While Kitty Hawk, North Carolina became symbolic to the Carolinas as the site of the “first flight”, Carowinds will follow down a similar path as the amusement park announces plans to debut WindSeeker in the Spring of 2012 - a $6.5 million, thirty story tall swing ride designed to give riders the sensation of flying.
WindSeeker’s three minute ride begins when the ride’s carriage, featuring 32 two passenger swings, slowly rotates while climbing to the top of a 301-foot tower. Riders will experience a sense of weightlessness as the swings reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour and the arms extend outward at a 45-degree angle. WindSeeker will give riders an astonishing panoramic view of not only the park, but also of the greater Charlotte region.
“The sense of soaring thirty stories in the air will be both exhilarating and breathtaking at the same time,” said Bart Kinzel, Carowinds’ vice president and general manager. “This new addition will give guests an unparalleled view, making it a must-ride attraction for both families and thrill-seekers alike. The immense scale of this ride alone will be truly stunning.”
WindSeeker will be located in the Carolina RFD section of the park near the entrance of Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular. A portion of the lake near the Nighthawk rollercoaster will be filled in to accommodate this massive tower ride.
To complement the recently added Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular, WindSeeker will be built with an elaborate LED lighting system. Aside from the LED spotlights that will be located at the top and bottom of the tower, the carriage of the ride will be equipped with LED light strands that will run out from the tower and down each of the ride’s steel arms. At night, as the ride ascends to the top of the tower, the light display will come to life with a kaleidoscope of colorful patterns and shapes. In addition, WindSeeker will be equipped with speakers located on the ride’s carriage. This on-ride audio can play up to eighteen different music tracks.
WindSeeker will climb sixty nine feet taller than IntimidatorTM, the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in the Southeast, introduced by the park in 2010. Construction will begin later this Fall, continue throughout the winter months and is expected to open in the Spring of 2012.
WindSeeker has a ride capacity of 960 passengers per hour, a 52-inch minimum height requirement and is designed and manufactured by Mondial, a 24-year-old Dutch based company focused on developing unique and innovative amusement rides.
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