Four WindSeekers To Debut at Cedar Fair Parks in 2011
Anyone monitoring Theme Park Syndicate on Tuesday might have thought they were experiencing deja vu. All afternoon theme park news sites and blogs were reporting on announcement after announcement as Cedar Fair announced the addition of a new ride called WindSeeker at Cedar Point, Kings Island, Knott’s Berry Farm, & Canada’s Wonderland. WindSeeker will be a 301′ tall swing ride that should give some breathtaking views while spinning riders at 30 mph. The ride will end with a 26-story freefall at 64 mph. To read more and see renderings of each of the ride’s visit park’s official sites: Cedar Point | Kings Island | Knott’s Berry Farm | Canada’s Wonderland
Here’s a video of Cedar Point’s WindSeeker in action:
Differentiation in the Views, Not the Design
Everyone, including myself, probably assumed that if Cedar Fair was going to add a ride similar to its sister parks that it would make the flagship park’s (Cedar Point) special in some way. But, according to the announcements they will all be identical and even share the same name. Last year, when the Intimidator 305 was announced everyone assumed that the ride was 5 feet short of Millennium Force to keep it from stepping on the popular ride’s toes. During a Q&A at Kings Dominion over this past weekend a park rep scoffed at the idea. He stated that the ride’s design and layout called for it to be 305 feet tall and it’s height compared to Millennium Force was purely coincidental.
Perhaps, the differentitation will come in the views riders will experience. Kings Island is on the outskirts of Cinncinnati and surrounded (at least on one side) by a forest inhabited by the Beast. Knott’s may be the most urban of the four parks. I think I remember seeing neighborhoods literally across the street. I don’t know how they can keep building sky-scraping rides in that area without recieving tons of complaints.
I’ve never been to Canada’s Wonderland so I can’t speak to what surrounds that park. I would imagine Toronto would be visible in the distance. Cedar Point may once again be king thanks to its location on Lake Erie. Maybe riders will be spinning slow enough to catch a glimpse of Canada.
Legal Trouble in the Skies
The earlier scuttlebut was that Cedar Point was going to build a similar 400-foot tall swing ride called a Star Flyer. It was to be built by Austrailian-based manufacturer Funtime. According to FunTime an agreement was met to build one for Cedar Point and then Mondial was hired to build the ride (and three more). Allegedly, Mondial was asked to build and design the WindSeeker rides for the first time. Funtime claims that this was like “plagiarizing their idea”, and they are seeking legal action. Read more at the Sandusky Register.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of the Wind Seekers? Do you think that they should have been different? Leave a comment below and vote in these polls.