Whether you like it or not, Windseekers are taking over the Cedar Fair chain; Six of out of the twelve theme parks currently operate or are building one. Cedar Fair is hooked on these 300 (excuse me, 301) foot swing sets, and it’s understandable why; simply put, it’s a gimmick, and the general public eats them up. I can already hear “Dude, did you hear some guy fell out of that thing?” “No way! Lets go ride it!” on the midways of Carowinds.
Anyway, the two Windseekers currently under construction are making decent progress. Both just hit the milestone of their first piece of tower being installed and have “gone vertical.” With the theme park season just around the corner, it’ll be fun to watch these things fly up. Hopefully they’ve worked out the kinks from the last set and these two will have a smooth season.
So, here are some pictures of the “30 or so feet of OMGs”:
Carowinds (via Carowinds Amusement Park on Facebook)
Invasion of the Windseekers continue with Kings Dominion announcing a Windseeker for 2012. The announcement comes just weeks after Carowinds announced they will be adding a Windseeker to their 2012 line-up. Kings Dominion appears to be an identical version of the Mondial model standing at 301 feet, 32 carriages of 2 passenger seats, and the elaborate lighting/audio package. Kings Dominion brings the total Windseeker count to 6 for Cedar Fair parks.
In addition to Windseeker, Kings Dominion will also add Dinosaurs Alive! animatronic dinosaur park. Occupying 6 acres, this interactive educational experience will be a 3,000 foot walk through including 36 dinosaurs, 3 of which of interactive. However, just like the Kings Island version which opened one earlier this year, Dinosaurs Alive! will require an additional fee with park admission (fun eh?). Dinosaurs Alive will be located near the Grizzly wooden coaster.
Cedar Point also announced they will add Dinosaurs Alive!, with similar statistics. At Cedar Point, the attraction will be located on Adventure Island, under Millennium Force. In order to create access to the island, the park will have to remove the Paddlewheel Excursions attraction, which has generated some public out roar on the park’s Facebook page.
I have to say, Kinzel is leaving a mess for Ouimet to clean up. Mass purchasing dysfunctional attractions, and now installing lame, up-charge Dinosaurs at several park is not particularly a grand exit leaving a great impression. Nice to see that Cedar Fair is turning into Six Flags of the early 00’s. I am certainly looking forward to a management change.
An on-ride view of Windseeker, soaring high above King's Island. Image from King's Island TwitPic
After many, many, many delays Cedar Fair’s mass-produced Windseekers are finally opening. The problem-prone rides suffered severe delays at Canada’s Wonderland, Cedar Point, and King’s Island. However, all the rides received the proper new parts for them to successfully and safely accommodate thousands of riders a day.
The exact cause of the Windseeker’s delays is not known. However, pictures seem to indicate that the joint in which the individual arms swayed from the main carriage received some sort of reinforcement/additional part that had to be attached to all 32 of the ride’s swinging arms. The Swiss manufacturer, Mondial then had to mass produce these parts for all 4 of the rides, and deliver them across the ocean to the respective parks. Considering that these are prototypes, it could have ended a lot worse (*cough* Flying Turns *cough*)
Windseeker at Cedar Point
The Canadians were the first to get their Windseeker open, with Canada’s Wonderland beginning daily operations of the ride by the end of May. Cedar Point and King’s Island continued to have their own troubles however, each of the park’s got their own Windseekers opened in time for the massive summer crowds in mid-June.
An unexpected treat accompanying the Windseeker’s arrival was a marvelous lighting package that really paints pictures in the sky with LED patterns that radiate from the ride’s carriage. In addition the tower is lit from the top creating a towering beam of light shooting down the 300+ foot structures. Video courtesy of our Twitter follower, lepolt.
Windseeker is now open at Canada’s Wonderland, Cedar Point, and King’s Island.
Windseeker's 300+ foot tower is now the tallest part of Knott's Berry Farm's skyline. Image from Westcoaster.net
At Knott’s the ride has quite a different story. Originally planned to occupy the space of the old Sky Cabin, the park realized removing the giant observation tower and then building a similar tower in the same location was not financially smart. As a result, the ride’s location was moved to butt-up with the loop of Silver Bullet. For this to happen, a support was need to be modified.
Once that was complete, the park got to draining the surrounding lagoon, filling in part of it and pouring the foundation. Earlier this month the park finally began to install pieces of the giant 300+ foot tower. Now, as pictured above by Westcoaster.net, the tower is complete with the ride’s carriage currently being pieced together. An optimistic prediction for the opening of the ride is mid-July at best.
As for 2012, could we see Windseekers in store for more Cedar Fair parks? One rumor already indicates that King’s Dominion is eyeing the flat ride for 2012, and it would no doubt be a welcomed addition at California’s Great America (which is now going on it’s 10th year sans new coaster). But other parks such as Worlds of Fun, Valley Fair, and Dorney would welcome the flat ride. What’s in store for the future? No enthusiasts knows.
Have you ridden a Windseeker? Do you even want to ride a Windseeker? Leave a comment with your Park Thoughts below.