I can’t tell you how many times I have rented a water-sprite, or taking a trip on the boats from FORT WILDERNESS to the MAGIC KINGDOM PARK and glanced off to my right to see that big yellow parachute with a big smile in the air. Cruising about 300 feet in the air was some brave soul parasailing above Space Mountain and the CONTEMPORARY Resort.
Today, those brave souls were my wife and I!! I have been to WALT DISNEY WORLD over 25 times, and I am asked by friends and family all the time, “Why do you continue to go to DISNEY, you have done everything there haven’t you?” No, I have not! This trip, I wanted to find something new and exciting things to do for Dads.
One name comes to mind when I am at DISNEY and I think “Toys for Dads”…Sammy Duvall’s Watersports! First of all, there actually is a Sammy Duvall! Sammy is one of the most accomplished water skiers in the world! He was ranked #1 in the world for ski jumping, or overall competition, for seventeen straight seasons. Let’s face it, this guy knows water sports and fun!
I’m going to come right out and say this, “I am afraid of heights!” Some of my friends may have heard me scream like a little girl when the parachute gently lifted from the boat! The first thing going through my mind was how cool it is that I don’t even get wet. You have probably seen a video of someone strapped to a parachute running on the beach only to fall and get dragged on the beach and into the water face first. Well, Dave and Ross know how to launch you off the back of the boat so you don’t even touch the water. Ross went over the safety rules while we made our trek out to the designated area for Sammy Duvall’s Watersports! That is probably one of the things that made me feel most safe! Not only is there a designated area, there is a designated boat to keep people out of the area for safety. In addition, Dave Santini, the boat captain has been doing this for over seven years. There was almost a calming effect in his voice as the confidence came shining through that we would have a great time soaring over 400 feet in the air.
As my wife and I were lifted away from the boat we began to rise and it was simply amazing. With hundreds of thousands of people vacationing throughout DISNEY for a brief period of time it looked so peaceful like we were the only ones here. No lines, no Fast Passes, just my wife and I cruising at a few hundred feet above Bay Lake. You never realize just how big Disney is, until you have to look what seems like miles to see EPCOT, HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS, and ANIMAL KINGDOM. I heard the story of Walt and the DISNEY Company purchasing acres and acres of land and was really excited about seeing all the possibilities they have surrounding the property. I honestly feel they could add a 5th park here with no problem at all.
By the time we were fully extended, we had a great view of all the parks, as well as downtown Orlando. Ross kept an eye on us at all time making sure we had a smooth, safe flight. At this point, I was playing with my video camera overcoming the fear of heights. Having something to do up there was nice way of keeping me focused on the scenery rather than the height. This was something I have always wanted to do, and I can now cross it off my list. The really cool thing is Sammy Duvall’s Watersports has so many other great options, I know I will be back!
Here are a few things I learned from our adventure:
Book early and early! You want to reserve your time well in advance, almost like you are booking a dining reservation. Knowing how the weather is in Florida, book your adventure early in the day to avoid bad weather.
Although Sammy Duvall’s is not a “DISNEY Company” they take their safety precautions just as good if not better. At no time was I worried about the personnel or the equipment. Call Sammy Duvall’s at 407-939-0754 for certain age and weight restrictions.
You do not need to wear your bathing suit. We never touched the water! My wife and I could have been in my tux and her wedding gown. Although a water landing could be a possibility, I was wetter going on Splash Mountain than I was parasailing. Check out the video here: Mike and Kathy in Flight
Have fun! If you have a fear of heights like me, it could be a little scary, but if you truly take the time to look around and see the sites, it is an amazing trip.
Take the time to go to www.sammyduvall.com to see all they have to offer, because there is so much more than just parasailing. They offer Water Skiing, Wake Boarding, Tubing, Personal Watercrafts, Tubing and more! They have a few new adventures as well that include Stand Up Paddle Boarding rentals. If you are truly looking for “guy stuff” one of your first stops should be Sammy Duvall’s Water Sports!