You’ve always told your kids that people flying is the stuff of movie magic––but now your aspiring superheroes can really experience the thrill of soaring like Wonder Woman and Superman at iFLY, an indoor skydiving facility in Mission Valley. Read on to learn how kids ages 3 and up can defy gravity and earn their capes on this unforgettable adventure.
Reservations & Check-in
You can book your flight online from home in the same manner as you would an airline flight. Select your flight package then choose the date and time you’d like to fly. You’ll be advised to arrive 60 minutes before your flight so you can check-in via the touchscreen kiosks and get prepped before takeoff!
Insider’s Tip: Fill out the flight waiver online here before you go to iFLY, to streamline the check-in process. Prepare for the total experience to last around an hour and forty-five minutes from start to finish. Bring snacks and water for little ones who may get the munchies. They also have vending machines. And don’t worry, you can eat before you fly since “you won’t get any feeling of motion sickness, nausea, or dropping feeling in your stomach.”
After check-in, you’ll be shown a short, informative video on the flight experience which teaches you how to position your body and use a few different hand signals to communicate with your flight instructor while in the flight chamber, because speaking isn’t an option due to the noise level of the wind. See the red table above? A flight instructor will also show you how to position your body for a prime flight experience if you’d like to practice on the table first.
Hang loose and memorize a few basic hand signals that your flight instructor will use to communicate with you during your flight to help you fly better and soar high.
Get in Gear
After training, you’re off to gear up in a flight suit and put on googles, a helmet and ear plugs. Wear fitted clothing that will be comfortable under the flight suit, which goes on over your street clothes. And be sure to wear snug-fitting sneakers. It’s also important to note that you should remove all jewelry (even wedding rings) before your flight. There are free lockers you can keep your belongings in while you fly.
Insider’s Tip: Fliers young and old will be more comfortable wearing the full face G3 helmet that the instructors wear. It will eliminate the feeling of the wind in your face and allow you to breathe easier in the flight chamber. An upgrade to this type of helmet, available in sizes from XS-XXL costs $9.95/one time use or $14.95/all day rental. Ask for it at check-in.
Ready for Liftoff
Once you’re all suited up there’s nothing left to do but fly like a bird, or a plane, or Superman, or Wonder Woman! Your group will enter the outer part of the wind tunnel where there are benches to sit on and watch each other’s flights before being called for your turn.
Soar Like a Superhero
In the vertical wind tunnel, you’ll float on a cushion of air that lets you experience freefall skydiving without having to jump out of an airplane. A flight instructor will supervise and help guide you the entire time you’re in the flight chamber via the handles that are on the outside of your flight suit. Each flight lasts 60 seconds and is the equivalent of one and a half skydives. Depending on comfort level and desire, the flight instructor may crank up the air to take you for an adrenaline rush of a spin called a ‘High Fly’ (about two stories high!) in the wind tunnel during the final ten seconds of your allotted time.
Souvenirs From Your ‘Trip’ & A Quick After Party
Once you’ve ‘landed,’ pictures and videos of your crew’s flight will be available for purchase at the kiosks back at the gear counter. But before you go, take a seat and watch your instructor show you the amazing moves and tricks that can be performed in the flight chamber! They look just like Spiderman deftly defying gravity and quickly flying all over the place in there! Kids will be awestruck.
Cost: $79.95 and up/packages and pricing listed here.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs.: 9 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri.: 9 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sat.: 8 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sun.: 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
iFLY San Diego
2385 Camino Del Rio North
San Diego, Ca
Have you been to iFLY? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
–– Beth Shea
All photos by the author unless otherwise noted.