2 sided Skycoasters

ApolloAndy's avatar

I realized today that in 15 years of this hobby I've never seen a skycoaster operting both sides at the same time and yet I would guess 90%+ have two sides. Why is that?

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

99er's avatar

For the most part it is for capacity because you are doubling what you can do. Back when these things were popular and new you would routinely see both sides operating all day long. I think the last time I saw Rip Cord at Cedar Point operate both sides for more than an hour was maybe in 2006.


Fun's avatar

Unlike a coaster where adding another train can be done with the same number of operators on the platform, you essentially double your labor cost running both sides since you are required to have dedicated staff for each side.

Even if the park was busy and you were considering running both sides, it's easier to manage the demand via dynamic pricing than to try and have the right number of operators for every size crowd. Most parks need those operators somewhere else on a busy day. You can influence the demand of a Skycoaster, but you can't for a coaster when it's already included in the price of admission.

ApolloAndy's avatar

Do parks actually adjust the price of the skycoaster based on conditions? I guess there are occasionally those early bird discounts and they do set the overall price, but do any parks change it midseason or even midweek?

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Tommytheduck's avatar

I don't know about "changing conditions" but the only time I've ever actually paid for one was years ago when KI was doing $5.00/person rides. (I've had a couple free rides at KW as well.) Even at $5.00, the line wasn't very long.

They're fun, but at $45-60, pretty outdated. So many other upcharge attractions are a mere fraction of the cost. (Slingshots, Skyscrapers, etc.)

Last edited by Tommytheduck,

My strictly amateur sense always told me that the higher the skycoaster, the more swings you could get. When the taller arches were developed, the span support allowed space for two swings. The shorter squared-off ones, like Kennywood's, had only one.
Larger, busier parks bought those really tall ones and two sides make sense, capacity-wise. While maybe not as busy now as they were at first, I still see KI operate both sides frequently. I can also think of times when they were out on the sidewalk on slow days encouraging riders to step up. And pricing is according to the amount of business.

Cedar Point's attraction has always been a little strange. It started in Challenge Park and was more of a resort/hotel/waterpark afterthought kind of thing. When it moved inside the gate there was such an uproar- mainly from enthusiasts who thought the real estate might be put to better use, and Ripcord would be rendered useless if it didn't go to the sports park or someplace else. And maybe they were right- I can say quite honestly that in the 7 or 8 times I've been to the park I've never one time seen a soul on it.
Kings Island's ride (and others, I'm sure) have remained busier, maybe because it's been in a highly visible, busier spot all along.

And now that I think about it, that "Worlds Tallest" ride in Kissimmee (at around 300') is one swing, with the square arch top. Maybe the style and not the height dictates how many swings the structure will safely support. And there may be taller, square ones with two swings but I can't think of any off hand.

Last edited by RCMAC,

I tried my first skycoaster at CP when they decreased the price to $25 for 3 people. It's great and thrilling and all that, but I wouldn't do it again unless the price is $5 or less. I've also hardly ever seen anyone on the thing.

Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

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