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.
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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.