Back in 2014 with Skycoaster’s 25th anniversary on the horizon, our team began to take a look at how to come up with a new way to fly on a Skycoaster®. After 25 seasons of providing millions of flights, it was time for a refresh, a way to repay our loyal fans who had flown at sites on 6 continents.
We had discussed for several years the possibility of a seated flight experience, which finally got a boost after a visit to our Flight Suit manufacturing partner where we tested several different prototypes of the new product by being winched from the ceiling in the middle of their shop! Immediately we visualized the experience and the green light was lit for full-on development to commence. As the saying goes “if it were easy, everyone would be doing it”, roadblock after roadblock were encountered (and subsequently hurtled) and by Sky Sled v.5, we had a finished product that everyone on our team was thrilled with. The team at Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, CA) was such amazing partner, working with our team before and after-hours to allow for many test and adjust visits where their team members served as test riders.
Skycoaster® Managing Director, Lance Beatty, during a test/adjust session with an earlier version of the harness.
From an end goal standpoint, besides offering a completely different flight experience from our traditional proned-Flight Suits, our other goal was for the new experience to easily be adapted to the existing ride system. When Sky Sleds debuted in the fall of 2018 at the world’s tallest Skycoaster® (Fun Spot America- Kissimmee, FL), we were ecstatic with the results. Now, instead of being winched up staring down at the ground, flyers are sitting upright and able to take in the amazing views across Orlando’s attractions skyline from Walt Disney World landmarks to the Orlando StarFlyer!
It truly was a thrill to see the Sky Sled come to fruition and in its first season debut at 8 different parks in the USA and Mexico of all different types and sizes. We can’t wait to see the product debut at even more sites in 2020 and along with new lighting and video systems in development, the continued enhancements to the Skycoaster® experience!
Debuting the final version of Sky Sled at Fun Spot America (Kissimmee, FL) – Oct. 2018