I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is something for everyone at Walt Disney World. One of the reasons I choose it as a family vacation destination year after year is because there truly is something there for people big and small, young and young-at-heart. It should come as no surprise, then, that parasailing is one of the many activities available on site at Walt Disney World. Recently, I was invited to try a complimentary parasailing excursion with Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre, located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Marina. They offer a wide array of watersport activities, including: water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing and parasailing. Parasailing guests can opt to go it solo, or fly tandem with a friend or loved one. It is important to note, though, that either way, the weight of the flyer(s) must be between 130-330 pounds. Also, the minimum age to experience parasailing with Sammy Duvall’s is six. Lucky for us, my six-year-old son, Jayce, and I met those requirements. In March, we had the pleasure of heading to Disney’s Contemporary marina for an exhilarating mid-morning flight.
The day we visited, the weather was maybe a tad chilly for my Arizona blood. The good news, though, is that Sammy Duvall’s parasailing guests need not get wet. In fact, I opted to wear jeans and a t-shirt for my experience and I can gladly report that I didn’t get a drop of water on me. We showed up for our flight about fifteen minutes early, as requested. The Sammy Duvall Watersports Centre was easy to spot on the marina.
Upon arrival, we spent five or so minutes filling out some liability release forms. After that, we grabbed a seat at a nearby table and waited for our turn to get going. The wait wasn’t long, though. Dave and his partner for the day introduced themselves and showed Jayce and me (along with another guest who was flying solo that day) to the boat. Once aboard, we were fitted with life jackets and harnesses. It was an easy process that took no longer than a couple of minutes per person.
As the first guest was flying solo, Dave’s partner gave me the option to fly next to Jayce, or behind him. He said that both options are equally safe, but that some parents prefer the peace of mind that comes with being able to wrap his or her arms around a young child flyer. He also said that the view for both flyers is better if you fly next to each other. We opted to do it that way. When it was our turn to fly, Jayce and I were led to the rear of the boat and directed to sit down with our legs straight out in front of us, and the harness resting on our thighs, above the knee. Pardon the blurry picture; I thought it might be helpful to see the position in spite of the blur.
In no time at all, Disney magic was at work and off we went, soaring up, up and away. Tip: for the best photos, Dave advises waving your arms, giving thumbs up and/or hang ten signs. Oh, and smiles–big smiles (that part should be easy).
Once we had reached full height, we were able to see clear across the Walt Disney World Resort. The best views to be had were of the Magic Kingdom; I was able to point out lots of New Fantasyland landmarks for Jayce. If you use the trees in the photo below as a reference point, you can get a pretty good idea of how high we were. In fact, from our vantage point, we were able to make out the icons from each of the four major theme parks. If you’re wondering if it was windy up there, it wasn’t. One thing that struck me was just how quiet it was.
Our flight lasted right around ten minutes. Jayce and I both agree that the experience itself was a definite highlight of our trip and we hope to do it again sometime in the future. As for our crew? They were friendly, engaging and eager to ensure that our flight was easy and unforgettable, from start to finish. Whether you’ve visited Walt Disney World one time or one hundred times, I can highly recommend parasailing with Sammy Duvall’s as a sure-fire way to add adventure to an already pixie-dusted vacation.The cost of parasailing with Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre currently ranges from $95 to $195. Flights last from 8-12 minutes. For more information, check out the Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre website.