On Saturday night, I went ziplining for the first time. One of my good friends wanted to do something different for her birthday and ran across this place called Forever Florida south of Orlando that offers "Florida's first and only zipline safari." They have tours that run during the day and at night. We weren't sure which one to choose as we had never been before, but the choice was made up for us when the day was already booked up. Forever Florida is quite far south of Orlando in a more remote area of Florida (yes, there are areas in Florida with no strip malls and homes!) From Mount Dora where I live, it took about an hour and a half. But if you are heading there from the Disney area or downtown Orlando, it is only about an hour. When we arrived, we checked in, signed some waivers, and jumped on a custom built vehicle that can go in up to four to five feet of water.
After driving through a few miles of wilderness, we arrived at a building that housed our harnesses, hard hats, and ziplining equipment which we got into. We then walked a little ways more into the wilderness and came upon a 4 1/2 story metal tower which we climbed. At the top was a platform made of metal grating, which we stood on with the other members of our group along with our two guides. One of the guides explained some of the basics of ziplining, safety, etc. and we were off. I purposely positioned myself as the last to climb the tower as I figured this would put me in last position to zipline. However, it instead put me first in line! I screamed for a few moments after I jumped, but a few seconds later I stopped screaming and said, "Oh! This is fun!" It wasn't scary at all. We zipped twice between towers then the third we zipped down to the ground. We walked to another tower, this one about 5 1/2 stories tall. This leg had four zips I believe, two of them between towers and the other two we walked across bridges in the air to get between zips. Some of the zips were short and others were long (about 450 feet). The long ones were my favorite as you could coast for awhile before having to think about your landing at the end compared to the short ones where almost as soon as you jumped off you had to start thinking about your landing.
I would definitely do it again. And, next time probably try out the day one. We thought the night safari might be more exhilarating because you wouldn't be able to see where you were going, however, after trying it we think now that the daytime might be better because you can see how high up you are and also really notice how fast you are going (some places 25 mph).
Come Fall, we are planning on returning to Forever Florida to go on an overnight horseback adventure. In this adventure, you ride for three hours to the campsite where your guide cooks dinner over a fire. All of your personal things plus any drinks or anything else you want will be waiting there for you when you arrive. They provide two person tents to sleep in and there are also restrooms available. In the morning, a steak and egg breakfast is prepared and you head back to civilization where you get a lunch in the Cypress restaurant. The overnight adventure is once a month or booked special for groups. They need a minimum of four and a maximum of twelve people to do the adventure. We are hoping to get a group together of just our friends, which we think will make it even more fun.
What really made this fun was the easygoing nature of the staff at Forever Florida and the fun group of people that were along with us on our safari. I'm sure any of the many adventures they have available would be a success because of this.
(All pictures taken from the Forever Florida website. Cameras are allowed during the daytime safari's, but not at night so we couldn't take any pictures.)
BTW - It's been three months since I took the challenge and I am still going strong!