The first parachute was invented when Jack, tumbling haplessly from his titanium beanstalk, used a purloined pair of giant underpants to steady his fall. Glide to earth safely with today's Groupon: for $115, you get a tandem jump from Jump Florida Skydiving (a $199 value). Jump Florida is located at the historic Chalet Suzanne Restaurant & Country Inn in Lake Wales, just 35 minutes south of Disney World.
Jump Florida’s tandem skydives let novice skysplorers taste-test upper altitudes while securely strapped to skydiving professionals. All of Jump Florida's friendly staff members hold United States Parachute Association licenses, delineating the company's commitment to safety, adherence to strict regulations, and allegiance to opposable thumbs. Before hopping aboard a Cessna 205 aircraft on the day of their jump, customers participate in approximately one hour of ground training. Adjoined at the chest to an unruffled expert and outfitted with state-of-the-art gear, beginners feel as safe as a breakfast sausage on a stegosaur's plate when it comes time to take the exhilarating plunge. Jumpers should come dressed in comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and tennis shoes and should expect the entire experience to last about three hours. Friends, family members, or pet kiwis can watch with admiration from a huge spectator area, and DVD packages are available for an additional cost.
Jump Florida Skydiving
Though skydiving is often billed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for the staff at Jump Florida Skydiving, it's a job. As they climb above the scenic landscape of Lake Country in a turbine aircraft, they stay calm as excitement radiates off customers—as young as 18 and as old as 79—about to make their first leap. At the ideal altitude, the plane levels off, and jumpers get into position. The sky is amazingly clear around the plane, which takes off from a private airport, so there are no commercial jets or flocks of migrating geese obstructing the airspace. Tandem or solo divers step to the edge, take a deep breath, and experience the thrill of accelerating at 9.81 meters per second per second.
While participants revel in their adrenaline-fueled thrills, the staff keeps them safe by adhering to the strict standards of the United States Parachute Association. These protocols enforce rigorous regulations, safety guidelines, and eminently cool member handshakes. On the ground, the team prioritizes hospitality, offering guest rooms, a restaurant, spectator fields, and a nerve-diffusing bar.