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Monday, July 1, 2019

Flat Ride Feature: Swing Rides

 Swing rides are some of the most common and popular flat rides at any amusement park. Although they have steadily evolved over the years, their main principle remains the same: a fun spin in the air that slightly recreates the feeling of flight. These rides have ranged everywhere from simple Chair-O-Planes...
Tuscora Park, OH
...to complex tower rides like the Windseeker, which is found at many Cedar Fair Parks.


Kings Dominion
Perhaps the most common type of swing ride, however, is the Wave Swinger, manufactured by Zierer. Invented in the 1970s, it sometimes goes under different names. What makes these rides different is their ability to undulate, which makes the "wave" effect advertised in the ride's name.
What's your favorite type of swing ride?

13 comments:

K. Martinez said...

Hi Penna, I discovered your blog by reading GDB and viewing your profile. You have a real nice blog here. Flat Rides and older amusement parks are a favorite subject of mine. I look forward to reading more from you. Great photos too!

I've been on many Wave Swingers in several different parks, but as a kid I also remember riding the black & yellow colored "Yo-Yo" swing ride at the local carnival or county fair back in the day. Nice post today!

Andrew said...

This made my day! I don't know if I'll keep this blog up, but I figured I'd go at it full force for a bit. Knowing that people like you enjoy it certainly gives me encouragement! I was able to ride a "Yo-Yo" last summer. I took a picture, and I meant to include it in this post, but it slipped my mind. Darn!

Thanks again for the thoughtful response!

Major Pepperidge said...

Hi Penna. Andrew, Major Pepperidge here. As I told K. Martinez, I would have never guessed that you were so young! Maybe you are an "old soul"? Great stuff here, and an interesting subject. I used to live near Harrisburg, so I am sort of a Pennsylvania boy myself (to a degree, anyway)!

Melissa said...

I didn't realize that style of swings was such a recent invention!

Nanook said...

The Windseeker seems frightening merely to gaze at it. I think all this body can tolerate are the Zierer-designed Chair-O-Planes swings.

Andrew said...

Wait a minute...this isn't quite right! It's like Blog Don't Gorilla. (GDB backwards - caveman speak!)

Major Pepperidge, now that I have a comment from you on my own blog, I guess I can stop it right now. :) And yeah, sometimes I feel like I have an "old soul," and my mom constantly tells me that, too! I like internet message boards because there's no first judgements made about anyone's age or appearance. I figured I should put my own age out there, though, just because I didn't want people thinking I was some seasoned "Disneyland expert." Amusement park history is definitely not the type of thing that's "cool" for teenagers to be doing in 2019, but it's a hobby that I'll gladly take over video games. I have a great-aunt who lives near Harrisburg. Once again, thanks for the encouragement!

Melissa, especially since they're designed in such an "old-world" style, it can be easy to confuse them for being older.

Nanook, as someone not scared of heights, I actually found the Windseeker to be sort of relaxing. There'll probably be a day when I'm looking for the slow rides, though.

Thanks again for the wonderful comments!

JG said...

I like the one in DCA, it is relaxing. There is also one there like a zeppelin hanging from chains, it's a fun ride without being agoraphobic.

JG

Andrew said...

JG, the zeppelins at DCA are actually recreations of another turn-of-the-century ride, the Circle Swing. Most Circle Swings started with wicker gondolas, switched to seaplanes in the 1930s, and ended their lives with the stainless steel rockets from the 40s. Every park used to have one, but they've been slowly replaced with newer technology to the point that there's none left.

JG said...

Andrew, thank you! I did not know that. I do like the DCA ride. It's so guileless compared to the complex things we have to have today.

JG

TokyoMagic! said...

I loved Windseeker, during the one short year that it was in operation at Knott's Berry Farm, here in So. California. After it broke down twice and stranded guests up in the air (for four hours during one of the breakdowns!), it was moved to Worlds of Fun in Missouri. Supposedly, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, would not allow Knott's to reopen Windseeker, without having a quicker way to get guests down when a breakdown occurs. I actually miss it, but then....I was never stranded on it for four hours! Yikes!

Andrew said...

I guess that's an example of where DCA's bare-bones simplicity actually worked out!

Andrew said...

Geez! Since the Knott's observation tower got stuck, too, there must be a curse! At least that reopened. Here at Kennywood, we had a HUSS Top Spin that got stuck upside down for about 10 minutes. That's probably equivalent to about a couple hours stuck right-side-up on a Windseeker! Needless to say, the Top Spin was gone by the next season.

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh my gosh....stuck upside down for 10 minutes? I wonder how long the human body can stand to be in that position before blacking out!

I was so glad that the observation tower (Sky Cabin) at Knott's reopened. I really didn't think it was going to after that last time it got stuck and people had to be lowered down individually on a cable, by the fire department. Double yikes!