It was early morning when our team pulled into the parking lot at Orlando Tree Trek, the fog was still burning off as the sun struggled to break through. We checked in and paired up with another small group for orientation. Walking out back I caught my first glimpse of the aerial courses. A series of rope nets, swings and wooden steps hanging from metal cables extended high above the ground tightly between large wooden poles.
Was I really expected to climb all the way up there? I wasn’t nervous before, but that quickly changed as I thought of walking across those obstacles so far away from the ground. It was at that moment that our guide for our adventure made his appearance.
Michael assured us that he had completed each of the courses many times and confidently walked us through the safety procedures and multiple actions we would be expected to perform on our own using the different clips on our harnesses. Afterwards, he took us over to a small demo course where we tested out our newly fitted harnesses on cables just a few feet off the ground. Having never done this before I thought it would take longer to get used to but after a few times using the magnetic clip system on the cable I quickly got the hang of it.
We approached our first course of the day and made out way to the top of the first platform. Each of the obstacles at Orlando Tree Trek have a provided safety cable above that we hooked onto using our harness. If at any point we made a mistake or lost our footing, the cable would hold us in place until we could continue. We clipped our harnesses to the cable and were presented with our first challenge, a series of wooden planks suspended between two cables. This was a great one to start out with as the planks were spaced fairly close together and walking across was pretty easy. The first few challenges boosted our confidence and slowly introduced us to new skills that we would be expected to use in later courses.
When we reached the end of the first course, we were eager to accept the challenge provided by the next one. Orlando Tree Tree has four adult courses, green, blue, silver and red. Each of the courses is progressively more difficult and as I found out, with platforms spaced further apart. Two kid courses are available as well with lower platforms and obstacles geared towards a younger age range.
We made it through the first three courses and surprising even ourselves, decided to try and conquer the most challenging red course. This last course used all of the skills we had learned from the previous courses and introduced a few new challenges including hoops and barrels. I found that crawling through multiple barrels suspended over twenty feet off the ground wasn’t exactly my favorite thing to do. After almost three hours of intense exercise, I was getting both physically and mentally exhausted. The final zip line signalling the end of the course was a welcome sight. We attached our harness to the cable and pushed off into the air reaching the last platform.
Orlando Tree Trek had pushed me way passed my normal level of exercise and I was happy for the experience. While I was sore for the next few days, I see myself returning in the near future.
Orlando Tree Trek additionally offers zip lining by itself if you’re not up to taking on the courses. Reservations can be made by contacting Orlando Tree Trek through their website at www.orlandotreetrek.com.
Thanks to Orlando Tree Trek for providing us with the opportunity to experience these courses.
Gaylord Palm’s annual holiday event, ICE!, made its debut for the 2015 season.
Featuring fantastic ice sculptures detailing the timeless story of Twas the Night Before Christmas, guests walk their way through scenes depicting key parts of the tale.
At 9 degrees, the temperature inside ICE! makes this event a true Winter experience with guests donning blue parkas to keep warm while they make their way from scene to scene.
While inside, make a visit to the Frostbite Factory and see the artisans from Harbin, China sculpting new additions.
In addition to ICE!, visitors to Gaylord Palms can try out their indoor Alpine Rush Snow Tubing featuring actual snow. After 6pm, the snow tubing turns into Cosmic Snow Tubing with holiday themed dubstep music.
ICE! runs from November 24 – January 3. Tickets can be purchased from the Gaylord Palms website.
The Joker is expanding his ambitions and taking on the entire Justice League in the new dark ride Justice League: Battle for Metropolis coming to Six Flags next year.
Guests to Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St. Louis will get the chance to fight alongside members of the Justice League to defend Metropolis and defeat the Joker when the new ride opens in 2015.
Guests go into battle with one of six electronic guns mounted in the ride vehicle, similar to the Men in Black ride at Universal Studios. Using a combination of 3D and animatronics, the ride puts guests in the middle of the battle.
The Joker animatronic created by Sally Corporation was unveiled today at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions expo taking place in Orlando.
Sally Corporation teamed up with Oceaneering to build the all-new 6-passenger ride vehicle. Oceaneering was responsible for the ride vehicles for SeaWorld’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin that opened in 2013.
We got a close-up look at the Joker animatronic. He’s just as creepy and awesome as you would expect Mister J. to be.
Sally Corporation has released a teaser video for the ride.
This week, The Orlando Eye unveiled their first ride capsule for the 400 foot observation wheel being built on International Drive.
The wheel will hold 30 air-conditioned ride capsules which can each seat 15 people allowing for 450 guests to ride the wheel at once. The glass enclosed capsules will give guests a full circle view of the Central Florida theme park area from atop the wheel.
To get a feeling for how big the Orlando Eye is, we took a 360 degree video of the current construction.
The Orlando Eye construction has been progressing at a rapid pace with the center section of the wheel already complete and the outer section currently being constructed. The wheel will be ready for guests in early 2015 and is part of the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex.
The Orlando Eye, the city’s 400 foot observation wheel under construction on International Drive, achieved a milestone this week with the installation of the central hub.
With the hub in place, the framework for the wheel is in place allowing for the spokes to be installed.
The Orlando Eye is the centerpiece of the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex currently under construction on International. The new complex will provide local residents and guests with multiple venues including Tussaud’s Wax Attraction and SeaLife Aquarium along with restaurants and shops.