The weather couldn't have been better on the morning of Thursday, May 17 for the inaugural run of Six Flags' newest ride, SkyScreamer, christened by 30 members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) decked out in Elvis garb. With a name like that, I must admit, I was a little skeptical upon first sight. Oh…another swing ride, I thought to myself. What could possibly be so special about this one to summon 30 incarnations of the King all the way from Graceland?
Kaitlyn Turi, our host and PR Supervisor, explained the concept for the opening came from the film "Honeymoon In Vegas", referencing the scene involving the skydiving Elvises. “Since this is a flight-themed ride and the newest part of the park, Adventure Alley, has a retro theme, we thought it would be fun to use our own version of flying Elvi.”
I began to reconsider my first reaction as the very enthusiastic group of impersonators exited the ride with beaming smiles and windswept wigs. I managed to pull one aside amidst the festivities and photo-ops for a first-hand account of the experience.
Robert Derman, an ACE member since 2000, has been a coaster enthusiast since he was eight years old. “Overall, I'd say it's pretty good! The only one I've rode that is comparable was in Germany. It's definitely faster than I thought it would be.” This was coming from a guy who has toured over 30 international coaster events, so surely, he must know a worthwhile attraction from a kiddie ride.
It was time to see for myself. Fellow FTF staff member, Ambra, and I boarded our swings and strapped ourselves in. As the ride began its ascent I started to realize just how high 24 stories is… high enough to get a bird's eye view of the entire park, and also high enough for my stomach to flip when I let go to capture this footage:
Final verdict? The Skyscreamer lived up to its name. I screamed, Ambra screamed, and I'm pretty sure all 30 Elvi screamed. It's definitely a ride that most members of the family can appreciate — just enough thrill for discriminating teens, but not so nauseating where mom won't want to join in on the fun.
- Height requirement for riders is 48 inches. There is no official age limit, however, the consensus is this ride is best suited for children ages 10 and up.
- Stands 242 feet tall, swings hang 48 feet long.
- Spins at 40 mph.
- Accommodates 32 guests at time.
- Opens to the general public on May 24, 2012
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