Where can you get a bird’s eye view of Orlando with full tour, and try your hand at flying the plane yourself? Mauiva Air Tours. Flying air tours from Kissame Florida near Orlando since 2010, Mauiva Air Tours offer a unique Orlando experience. VisitOrlando set up a Captain’s Package Grand Tour with Mauiva Air Tour for me when I was visiting prior to the TravelingMom.com Preview Cruise on the Disney Fantasy. I was, ahem, flying solo, and although I missed my family, I enjoyed the freedom of exploring the Orlando area at my own pace. Traveling alone is a little luxury that doesn’t happen for us moms very often.
Upon arrival at the Kissime airport I was greeted by wind. I thought to myself, “Does flying in a small plane really sound like a good idea today?” I walk in to Mauiva Air Tours and meet my pilot, Blake. The wind is my first question. I asked it several times just to be sure. He assures me it’s fine, and handles my incessant questions with a friendly smile and all the right answers. He helps me into the cockpit, makes sure my seatbelt and headset are on, them begins to explain the basics of the airplane. He tells me that I can fly once we are in the air if I’d like. “OK.” I reply, not really taking him seriously.
The engine starts and we approach the runway, waiting our turn behind two other small planes. I can still feel the wind, but here we go! When it’s our turn we make the turn, the engines speed up and we begin our ascent. Wheels off the ground and we are on our way.
The Mauiva Air Tour really gave me a feel for Orlando, the attractions, proximity of hotels and better understanding of the Orlando area. At SeaWorld I could see the orca working with their trainers for the Shamu show. We made a couple of passes over Disney’s Animal Kingdom and watched the elephants at the watering hole. I saw the massive crowds of people at the Harry Potter experience. We looked down on huge houses, like that owned by Shaquille O’Neil. After about 20 minutes Blake said, “OK, it’s your turn, ready to fly?” I guess he was serious when he mentioned that earlier. I take over controls and he tells me how to turn. I’ve been teaching my 15 year old to drive, so all I can think about is, “Nice slow turns, don’t react too quickly.” It was an amazing experience, but I’ll admit, I was happy to give back the controls.
Our 30-minute tour was over and we came in for a landing. Easy. The experience was exhilarating and gave me a whole new perspective of the Orlando area. People have asked me if I felt motion sickness on the flight. Truth be told, my stomach did flip a little toward the end of the flight, but that was it. The plane accommodates 4 passengers including the pilot. I was alone this time, but if my family of four were with me we would have had to take separate flights. My special needs daughter would have loved it. She really enjoys the movement of flying, and you feel a little more in a small plane. Mauiva Air Tours also offers a sunset tour and one that flies during the Olrando theme park fireworks shows for a front row seat to the magic.
For more information contact:
Mauiva Air Tours
3956 Merlin Drive
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Disclaimer: I was invited to have this adventure for review purposes. The thoughts and experiences are my own.
Karin Sheets is a techie, travel writer and mother of two teens, one of them with special needs. She encourages all families to live the adventure of life. Her personal blog is www.specialneedstravelmom.com and you can follow her @ionMyAdventures on Twitter.