iFly Indoor Skydiving is the place to go for indoor skydiving in the DC area. If you have never tried indoor skydiving, it is essentially a freefall simulation in a vertical wind tunnel. Indoor skydiving at iFly is a great recreational activity for anyone 3 years of age or older, but also a new competitive sport called bodyflight. There are 3 locations in the DC area: Gaithersburg, MD; Baltimore, MD; and Loudoun, VA.
We were invited to the Gaithersburg, MD location to experience the How to Train Your Dragon Virtual Reality Flight. Fly with Dragons! is the latest immersive experience from iFLY that combines virtual reality technology with one of our favorite movies, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The experience began with a simple electronic flight waiver and check-in to receive our wrist bands before heading to the flight deck. Up on the flight deck, we geared up with flight suits, helmets, goggles and gloves (for me because of my wedding rings). The virtual reality helmets fit fliers 7 years and older so our young fliers were fit with regular helmets and goggles. There is a short classroom portion with a virtual, trained and certified instructor as well as our on site flight instructor. Once we learned the proper body position and hand signals we headed to the Flight Chamber.
Our 6 year old was eager to fly first. She took to the air with smiles and was able to get pretty good height on her first flight. Our 3 year old jumped up to be next and loved flying even more. Our four year old came out of the flight chamber and said, “That was awesome!” We had a 3 flight VR package so everyone was able to get into the flight chamber for a an assisted flight where the instructor stands and holds you. After each flight, the instructor gave feedback and asked if we wanted to go higher. Our second flights were way more fun because our instructor held onto us and flew with us up higher in the chamber. It is pretty difficult to describe the wind tunnel flight experience, but the higher in the flight chamber you go the more thrilling it is! It is very different than jumping out of a plane. One thing to note is that the earplugs do not fit well inside little ears so our littles did complain about the noise, but that was the only part they didn’t love!
Suiting up with the VR helmet was very strange. It was a little awkward walking over to the flight chamber, but the flight instructor led the way. At the entrance to the flight chamber, the Fly with Dragons! experience began waiting to jump off the ledge. As I soared down and around the cliffs it felt as though I was physically moving way more than I actually was. It felt like I was flying through How to Train Your Dragon. Because our wee ones are 6 and under the VR helmets did not fit them. The VR experiences are recommended for fliers 8 years and older. The kids thought it was pretty cool that they could watch a monitor to see what we saw in the helmet. Adventure Dad and I both were blown away by the VR flights. The VR experience is an immersive and exhilarating adventure for families!
The package we experienced 2 Flights + How to Train Your Dragon VR Flight. Info on packages are on the iFly website.
9400 Gaither Road