Thursday, June 04, 2009

I wanted to post about a couple of cool things I've had the chance to do lately while they're still fresh in my mind!

First, we were invited to a concierge event at the Sammy Duvall watersports center at the Contemporary resort. They had waterskiing, parasailing, jet skis, lake tours, tubing, pretty much anything you can do on the water. It was basically a product knowledge event, since it's easier to promote something you have experienced.

Since I had to work that afternoon, I only did the parasailing and the boat tour, which was really enough for me! There were 7 of us there from my resort, and it was a nice change to get to hang out outside of work, since we rarely get to. We met at Music and carpooled over (I drove separately since I had to leave early for work), and upon arrival, we signed our lives away, and then signed up for the next available parasailing boat.

The parasailing is the one thing I really wanted to do-- I have the opposite of the fear of heights-- if it's up, I want to go! Janet and I decided to do a tandem ride, and everyone else went solo. Once you're out on the water, they have you step into a harness that goes around each leg, and has a strap that you sit on when you're in the air, almost like sitting on a swing. You wear a life vest, just in case, and then there are straps that run in front of you to connect you to the parachute. When it was our turn, we were taken to the back of the boat, clipped on to the rope, and told to sit down with our legs in front of us. As the boat picked up speed, the parachute caught wind, and we gently drifted up up up! I was really surprised by how smooth it was.

Kathy taking off

We got up to about 450 feet, which gives you an amazing view of Disney World! Janet and I kept pointing out things we recognized- Spaceship Earth, Expedition Everest, Space Mtn. The CM on the boat later told us that on a clear day, you can see downtown Orlando from up there.

Janet's hand is point out Space Mountain behind me

Bird's eye view of the Wl, Contemporary, and new Bay Lake Towers

Erin drifting over the contemporary

Did I mention we got to do this for free? It's usually $195 +tax per tandem, sonething like $150 for a solo. Thanks, Sammy! (Who we met a few times that day.)

If you are interested in doing the parasailing next time you're at WDW, check out:

They had a raffle later in the day, and I actually won ANOTHER tandem parasail, that I can use anytime in the next year! I was so excited! I think I'll enjoy it even more the 2nd time, since I won't be nervous. I'd like to go with someone taller than me, so I can be in front this time, but the weight limit makes that hard (You can only have a total of 320 lbs between the two people, and I take up almost half of that!)

Later, we did a boat tour, where we just went around the lake on a pontoon boat, seeing where they do the different watersports. We learned it's freakishly cheap for cast members to rent the boats, so we're hoping for another concierge party in the future! We liked seeing River Country up close-- it's the water park version of a ghost town now. Poor place!

About a week later, I got to do the Richard Petty ride-along experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway. (How funny... I started my Disney career at the Tomorrowland Speedway working with cars that go 7mph, and now a year and a half later, I'm at the OTHER Speedway, zipping along a BIT faster!)

The Richard Petty site says-"Experience real life racing thrills by riding shotgun in a 2-seat NASCAR-style stock car driven by one of our professional instructors 3-lap qualifying run at speeds at speeds up to 165 MPH" This usually costs $109 , but was free for us- YAY!

There were 4 of us signed up for today, but only Judy and I made it. It looked like it was about to rain, and they have to cancel if it even starts sprinkling, so they threw us into the car as quick as possible! It was pretty funny- Judy and I are trying to take pictures of ourselves in our super-sexy race suits, and they're just like "Get in the car!" Hehehe.

About five minutes after I arrived at the Speedway, a helmet was being stuck on my head, and I was about to hop in! Judy went first...

Getting in and out of the car is a little hard, but I thought it was fun. There are no doors, so you have to climb in and out through the window. Thank goodness I'm flexible! There is no weight/size limit for the experience, but you do have to be able to get in and out. The ginormous helmet made me totally misjudge the size of my head, and whack it gracefully on the window frame a few times.

Inside, I said a quick hi to my driver, and told him something along the lines that I'd really enjoy if he didn't kill me! Then, the track's photographer snapped my souvenir photo...

Yes, I blinked. The one photo ever of me in a race car, and I blinked! (I gave my camera to Judy for a pic, but I messed up and left the setting on video, so there is half a second of me, and then 20 seconds of Judy's feet. OOPS!)

I wish I could tell you more about the actual experience, but in truth it was over before I knew it! We got up to about 145, but it felt much faster! I just kind of sat there smiling the whole time, thinking "woohoo!" (It's a little too loud in the car to really hear anything you say). We zipped through our three laps, and I climbed out wishing we'd had 3 more. I'm a little worried that the lat few weeks are going to turn me into an adreneline junkie!

After, we were given our souvenir photos, and a quick tour of the facility. They film your ride, and you can buy a dvd, which I wish we could have at least seen, but I knew I couldnt afford to actually buy one anyway. They also do driving programs, where they teach you to drive the car, instead of just riding along. I love speed, but I think the ride along is more my style- sitting back and grinning while someone else does the work!

Judy and I chatted for a few minutes out by our cars, and then KABOOM! The downpour started! We are SO lucky the rain held out-- mere minutes after we were off the track, there was a downpour of biblical proportions that lasted at least half an hour.

Fore more info on this adventure, see

Whew! I'm feeling rather accomplished for telling both stories before they escaped memory! I wonder what will be next?

1 comment:

Robert Bradford said...

What awesome experiences! Yay!