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SkyScreamer
SkyScreamer logo.png
SkyScreamer at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.JPG
SkyScreamer at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
General statistics
Attraction type Tower Swinger
Manufacturer Funtime
Model Star Flyer
Speed 43 mph (69 km/h)
Vehicles 16
Riders per vehicle 2
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Flash Pass available

SkyScreamer is an amusement ride located at several Six Flags theme parks in North America. Designed by Funtime, an Austrian ride manufacturer, the attraction is one of their "Star Flyer" models. Since 2011, Six Flags has installed SkyScreamers in ten of their parks.

Riders aboard SkyScreamer are carried aloft in two-person swing-like chairs attached to a rotating gondola mounted on a central tower. When the gondola reaches the top of the tower, riders are swung in a wide circle at speeds approaching 43 miles per hour (69 km/h), with expansive views of the adjacent countryside. The ride is marketed to both thrill-ride enthusiasts and patrons seeking a more family-friendly experience.

History

The first two SkyScreamers were announced in late 2010 for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Six Flags St. Louis for the 2011 season. On May 14, 2011, SkyScreamer officially opened at Six Flags St. Louis, where it replaced the Riverview Racer. On May 27, 2011, SkyScreamer made its debut at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, adjacent to the Medusa roller coaster.

In September 2011, Six Flags announced the addition of SkyScreamer to two more parks, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags Great Adventure. On January 19, 2012, Six Flags announced that La Ronde would also receive a Star Flyer tower. On May 19, 2012, La Ronde opened their attraction, using the name Vol Ultime (French for "Ultimate Flight") instead of SkyScreamer. On May 23, 2012, Six Flags Great Adventure opened SkyScreamer as part of their new Adventure Alley section, which was based around the idea of retro-style amusement rides. On May 27, 2012, Six Flags Fiesta Texas opened their SkyScreamer in the Spassburg section of the park; season passholders were allowed to experience the ride one day earlier.

In July 2012, Six Flags New England submitted plans to the city of Agawam, Massachusetts requesting special approval to construct a 385-foot-tall (117 m) Star Flyer ride, as the proposed height exceeded the city's height limit. The approval was granted a week later, with an additional conditional approval to build as tall as 410 feet (125 m), in case a competing park built a taller model first. The planning documents revealed that the ride would replace the park's Skycoaster, "Taz's Dare Devil Dive" as well as the former spot of "Catapult".

However, when Six Flags announced its 2013 capital investments in August 2012, the Six Flags New England Star Flyer was not included. Instead, two other parks, Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Over Georgia, were set to receive SkyScreamer attractions. Six Flags Over Georgia's 242-foot (74 m) version replaced the Wheelie and officially debuted on May 24, 2013, after two weekends of passholder previews. Six Flags Over Texas' model, dubbed the Texas SkyScreamer, was awarded the title of the "world's tallest swing carousel ride" by Guinness World Records. Although reports suggested it took this record from the 117-metre-tall (384 ft) Prater Turm in Vienna, Austria, Eclipse at Gröna Lund actually held the record for a period of a month standing at 120 metres (390 ft), 3 metres (9.8 ft) shorter than the Texas SkyScreamer.

On August 29, 2013, Six Flags announced that they would be adding the New England SkyScreamer to Six Flags New England in 2014. The over 400-foot-tall ride debuted officially on May 23, 2014 in the park's North End section.At the time of its debut, New England SkyScreamer held the title for the tallest swing ride.

As part of its 2015 attractions presentation on August 28, 2014, Six Flags announced that Six Flags Mexico will be the next park to receive a SkyScreamer, a 242-foot (74 m) model and the only attraction of its kind in Latin America.

Two years later after the announcement of Six Flags Mexico addition, Six Flags announced that they would be adding yet another Funtime Star Flyer for the 2017 season after a hiatus of building the swing ride back to back. Six Flags America announced on September 1, 2016, that for the following season they would be constructing the tallest ride in the park, Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth a 242-foot (74 m) SkyScreamer. The ride would become one of the first SkyScreamers to be themed to a DC Comics character. Six Flags Mexico rethemed their SkyScreamer to Supergirl in 2018 to be a part of the new theme area the tower was already located in.

On August 30, 2018, Six Flags announced the Six Flags SkyScreamer. The 242-foot-tall ride is set to open in May of 2019 at the newly-renamed Six Flags Darien Lake, as Six Flags has recently re-purchased the operating lease for Darien Lake. The ride is set to be the tallest ride in New York State. The current holder of said title is the park’s Ride of Steel roller coaster.

Ride experience

New England SkyScreamer 05-2014
New England SkyScreamer

While the heights of the various SkyScreamer installations vary from park to park, the basic operation of the ride is consistent. Riders sit in one of 16 two-seat chairs connected to a gondola mounted on a central tower, which brings the gondola up and down. A seat belt is placed over the rider's waist to keep them firmly in their seat, and a lap bar is fastened into place. When the ride cycle begins, the gondola rises to the top of the tower, beginning to spin slowly around the central tower and picking up speed as it ascends further. By the time it reaches the top, it rotates around the tower at its full speed of approximately 43 miles per hour (69 km/h), with riders rotating around the tower in a circle 98 feet (30 m) in diameter. The gondola remains at the top of the tower for a period of time, then it descends and slows down slightly before returning to the top. At the end of the cycle, the gondola lowers to the ground and slows its rotation such that, by the time it reaches the bottom of the tower, all rotation ceases and the riders are able to depart. Optionally, SkyScreamer can be set to rotate in the opposite direction during its cycle, such that riders are traveling backwards. Thus far, the installations at St. Louis, Discovery Kingdom, Fiesta Texas, New England and La Ronde have operated in this manner, with each running them in this mode during special events or as a limited-time promotion.

The New England SkyScreamer and Texas SkyScreamer differ from the standard models, although the actual ride experience is intended to be the same. The gondola of the two rides hold 12 two-seat chairs instead of 16. When the gondola reaches full height, the chairs rotate in a larger circle—124 feet (38 m)—but at a slower speed—35 miles per hour (56 km/h).

Installations

All rides were installed by Ride Entertainment Group, who handle all of Funtime's operations in North America.

Name Park Area Height Opening date Refs
SkyScreamer Six Flags St. Louis Illinois 72 metres or 236 feet May 14, 2011
SkyScreamer Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Sky 46 metres or 151 feet May 27, 2011
Vol Ultime La Ronde 45 metres or 148 feet May 19, 2012
SkyScreamer Six Flags Great Adventure Adventure Alley 74 metres or 243 feet May 22, 2012
SkyScreamer Six Flags Fiesta Texas Spassburg 61 metres or 200 feet May 27, 2012
SkyScreamer Six Flags Over Georgia ScreamPunk District 74 metres or 243 feet May 24, 2013
Texas SkyScreamer Six Flags Over Texas USA 122 metres or 400 feet May 25, 2013
New England SkyScreamer Six Flags New England North End 122 metres or 400 feet May 23, 2014
Supergirl Sky Flight Six Flags Mexico Hollywood 74 metres or 243 feet March 7, 2015
Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth Six Flags America Gotham City 74 metres or 243 feet June 13, 2017
Six Flags SkyScreamer Six Flags Darien Lake 74 metres or 243 feet May 18, 2019
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