It seems these days it takes a lot more to spike a heart rate. Adrenaline, fear and excitement often go hand in hand. Luckily, Dallas and Fort Worth skies teem with rides and activities that range from romantically floating under the clouds in hot air balloons, to bursting through them on a vintage dogfighting warcraft. Grow some wings and give one of these heart-racing thrills a try.
1039 PR 438
Whitewright, TX 75491
Whose bucket list would be complete without skydiving? SkyDive Dallas has been scratching flying off people’s lists for long enough to call itself North Texas’ Premier Skydiving Center. SkyDive Dallas makes first-time jumpers heartbeats race with either a tandem jump with an instructor or even first-time solo jumps after conducting ground school. Experienced skydivers can continue to jump over North Texas’ gorgeous terrain here, even earning their skydiving license with SkyDive Dallas’ help. Basic packages for first jumps start at $229, with solo basic packages at $329. Skydive University leveled packages are also available.
Zero Gravity Thrill Park
11131 Malibu Drive
Dallas, TX 75229
Adrenaline-junkies insist that Zero Gravity is a must, with its five exhilarating rides to choose from, each one exciting in its own way. The Skycoaster takes up to three people 110 feet into the air and lets the rider pull the ripcord to be shot into the air up to highway speeds. The Skyscraper is a gut-wrencher, dragging riders through 4 G’s of force. Blastoff is basically a giant slingshot, capable of sending riders into the sky at 70 mph. Nothin’ But Net is basically a free fall. Participants in this courageous feat are dropped from 16 stories onto a double net system. As if these rides weren’t enough to prove one’s fearlessness, Zero Gravity also has bungee jumping. Ticket prices are based on the number of rides that will be experienced. The cost for one ride is $32.99, $47.98 for 2 rides, $62.97 for three rides, and $77.96 for four. Family deals and packages are also available.
Flying And Floating Toys
Arrowhead Leg 1
Hickory Creek, TX 75065
James Doolin is a master of thrills. Not only does he rent boats and take adventurers on parasailing rides, but he also can take people up in his powered parachute. Flying up to 1,000 feet above Lake Lewisville, the powered parachute ride is smooth and peaceful, floating over the area’s coastline, highways and even high-class neighborhoods. The powered parachute ride is only $125 for 30 minutes, or $195 for an hour and is offered year round as long as the weather allows. Parasailing is only offered during warm months and costs $75.
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Kite Enterprises: Hang Gliding & Paragliding
Since 1973, Dave Broyles and Kite Enterprises have been hitting the skies, hang gliding and paragliding. Located near Allen, Texas, and flying out of Indian Creek Airpark, Kite Enterprises features an array of experiences for thrill-seekers as colorful as a rainbow parachute. Broyles offers hang gliding, paragliding, tandem paragliding lessons, powered paragliding lessons, and even advanced training. For beginners several packages are available. Perfect for a first-timer, a single 4 to 5 hour lesson costs $225. For those who want a more in-depth experience, the Intro Package is priced at $350, and includes introductory ground school and 2 lessons that take learners through set up and harnessing as well as ground handling and launching and 6 low flights to get started. A Novice level rating package is also offered for those who want to learn more.
Cavanaugh Flight Museum
(972) 380-8800, ext. 100
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison has both brains and brawn for aviation enthusiasts. After visiting the fascinating exhibits in the museum, dogfighter rides can be purchased through the museum’s gift shop. The dogfight ride consists of a 30 minute flight experience in classic aircraft including trainers, bombers, fighters and even helicopters. Prices start at $225 with a ride in the Boeing Stearman N2S-4 Kaydet; the 1940’s designed North American T-28B Trojan for $550 North American P51-D Mustang for $1,995, all of which proved their prowess and strength, helping write history. A ride in one of these planes will etch one great memory.
Kena Sosa is a freelance writer in Dallas. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.