6520, 1000 Universal Studios Blvd #1, Universal City, CA 91608
The first stop on my Los Angeles bucket list is an activity that I've always seen but never had the guts to try. After those long tiring days at Universal Studios or even after those long tipsy nights at Universal City Walk, I always ended up face to face with this large glass container. Within this container a large gush of wind blows from the bottom of the tank while raising two participants into the air. Free falling with control, the participants made it look easy. Face to face with the glass container, I wondered could I ever handle this experience. I WOULD NEVER & WILL NEVER GO SKYDIVING! So, this might be the next best thing. In celebration of both my sister's and my upcoming birthday, I finally had the opportunity to try it out and I loved it.
A baby step to sky diving, iFly is an immersive experience located at the center of the Universal City Walk. The attraction gives participants the gift of flight, without consequence. The website's press reads " iFLY is the experiential entertainment company that created modern indoor skydiving…we make the dream of flight a reality by giving our customers “wings” in a safe and reliable environment." From a part time activity to now an athletic event, the experience has became a growing trend. As the trend grew, so did the business. Locations have been added to popular places of California including: San Diego and Hollywood.
To prepare for my flying moment I wanted to know what more can I do to be ready...
My experience began by entering the Universal City Walk's Jurassic Parking Lot- which provides free parking for iFLY participants. The location is next to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant. After booking your flight either online or in-person, the first step is checking in at the front desk. Here, the staff will weigh you and give you any feedback about the experience including prices for the flights and photos. Next my adventure led me to a place I never expected-a classroom. Only for a few minutes, I was presented an instructional video that taught me basic rules and hand signals. Due to the tunnel being too loud, the trainer does hand signals to instruct us for our flight. After the video we were given a brief quiz on the hand signals. Leaving the classroom, our next step was suiting up. The jumpsuit was baggy but comfortable for all sizes. Suiting up consisted of: the jumpsuit, helmet, ear plugs, The next step was conquering the tunnel.
All of the participants lined up to head into the two layer tunnel. The first layer is for the participants to wait for their turn and the second layer is where the fly machine is. Helping the experience was the fly instructor, who was pretty impressive with the sport. As the participants went one by one, I noticed the different ages going one by one. From three to 50, this activity truly was for all ages. "Hey, if a three-year old can do it, so can I", I said in my head.
Fearful of heights , I approached the glass door with ease. The first step of the flight is to fall into the instructor's hands and let go of the door. As a beginner, majority of your first flight consists of you floating and maintaining your breath. Due to the wind tunnel's power, the tube can become difficult to breathe in. I struggled for a minute but I eventually got the hang of it. The focus of indoor flying is to listen to the instructor both in the tunnel and the one controlling the fan. Watching their hand signals can either make or break your flight experience. The first time felt like an eternity! Due to the gushing wind, and uncontrollable movement of my body, my immediate reaction was complete panic.
Though I make it seem a bit athletic and unpleasant, I did have fun! I finally understood the hype of skydiving. Releasing your inner thoughts of fear by participating in a daring activity was gratifying. I flew and nearly hit the wall , but still I enjoyed myself. By the second flight I was almost a pro. Going up and down in the tunnel, I had the opportunity go to the top of the container. I flew 22 feet in the air and loved it. This is a great experience that gives you that rushing experience of free falling without the initial obstacles. To find out more about iFly including booking flights, prices and locations visit the company's website.