Canada's Wonderland retiring SkyRider stand-up roller coaster

Posted Wednesday, August 6, 2014 12:59 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

After almost 23 million riders, Canada's Wonderland will be saying goodbye to the iconic stand-up looping roller coaster, SkyRider. Monday, September 1, 2014 will be the last chance for riders to experience one of the legends in the roller coaster collection at the park.

SkyRider opened for riders in May, 1985 and was instantly a hit for coaster enthusiasts across North America. It was the first stand-up coaster to be built in Canada, and second in the world with a loop.

"As the park evolves each year, we continue to focus on future park enhancements that will provide our guests with innovative entertainment and leisure experiences. To accommodate these enhancements, we need to make difficult decisions when considering redevelopment of the land for an improved guest experience in future years. After creating 29 years of memories for our guests, we wanted to make sure thrill seekers of all ages had advance notice of the SkyRider retirement, and an opportunity to enjoy one last ride before it closes at 8 p.m. on September 1," Norm Pirtovshek, General Manager at Canada's Wonderland.

Read more from Canada's Wonderland via PR Newswire.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 1:27 PM

It was inevitable. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 1:39 PM

It wasn't as awful as most standups I rode, but that's what's commonly known as as damning with faint praise.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 3:34 PM

I thought of Skyrider as 2/3 King Cobra (a good thing!) and 1/3 Shockwave (a far less good thing, LOL). Probably have as many laps on Skyrider as I have on any stand-up, but I'm OK with not adding any more...

Togo to go!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:35 PM

I wonder if they'll send the parts to Virginia or if they'll be another announcement coming shortly...

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:42 PM

My prediction: Star Jet at Washuzan Highland in Japan will be next to go, leaving KD's Shockwave, arguably the worst of these (near) clones, the last survivor.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 5:16 PM

Oh well it's just a TOGO stand up coaster.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 7:11 PM

tAer it down!!11!!1!!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 9:18 PM

Maybe Sky Rider will be transferred to Michigan Adventure! Tee Hee!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:38 PM

Then what would Dorney get?

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:54 PM

I'd rather have Sky Rider at Dorney than Stinger.

Not a real loss, but seems like they have plenty of land to develop for their new and inovative leisure entertainment stuff elsewhere without removing this attraction.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 11:03 PM

New for Six Flags America...

Kidding. But I'm sad to see the TOGO stand-ups going. I grew up on King Cobra, and I very much miss that ride. There was some killer airtime on the first drop, as well as the camelback after the loop, in the back row.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 8:05 AM

I figure that it's probably getting harder to get parts. How long has Togo been out of business? This leaves Shockwave as the only Togo standup left and it's almost 30.

Heck even the coaster in Vegas got an all new train from someone other than Togo.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 8:44 AM

In Togo's defense, (which is something no one said ever), I always thought their restraints were the most sensible and comfortable of any of the standup coaster designs we've seen. The adjustable body-hugging loops for the rider's arms, rather than over-the-head or horse collar restraints, made the loading process faster and were easier on the ears and neck.

I agree that KI's ride was a goodie and I was sad to see it go. The airtime was unexpected and the helix was fast, laying riders almost completely on their sides. If I was to pick a long-gone ride to return to the park I think it would be King Cobra. We always rode it, always had fun, and I have a lot of great memories associated with that coaster.

Shockwave? Not so much. I think the re-design of the back half does that ride no favors and the lift has to be the most excruciatingly slow one in history. The last time I was there I tried to think of another ride that would fit nicely into that area and came up with nothing.

As for SkyRider, I was glad to get on it. One, for the credit, and two, to relive for a moment the ride I loved at Kings Island. I only rode it once though- the line was long, there was only one train, and to make matters worse the Canadians thought it was necessary to remove their shoes to ride it. I'm not sure why, but just about everybody took off their shoes and left them on the unload side of the train, causing chaos on the platform as well as huge delays.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:07 AM

Couldn't they just convert it to a floorless?

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:11 AM

KI's Cobra was my favorite stand up until the day it closed, which is weird because KD's Shockwave was absolutely the worst. By far. By a million.

I've never been to CW, but is the large grassy area next to the bottom of Vortex's first drop still mostly open? I could see using SkyRider's main foot print for a station/breakrun/lift area and the rest of that area for the rest of a coaster. Probably a Wingrider if you want to make a completely uninformed but reasonable guess.

Last edited by matt., Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:13 AM
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Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:55 AM

The things are just expensive to maintain... I doubt there is any higher motivation for removal than that. These aren't like Arrow rides, where there is one in every park, creating a steady parts market.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 10:08 AM

RCMAC said:

Shockwave?[...] The last time I was there I tried to think of another ride that would fit nicely into that area and came up with nothing.

An SDC Galaxi would fit there nicely. Just a hunch...

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 10:24 AM

RCMAC said:

In Togo's defense, (which is something no one said ever), I always thought their restraints were the most sensible and comfortable of any of the standup coaster designs we've seen. The adjustable body-hugging loops for the rider's arms, rather than over-the-head or horse collar restraints, made the loading process faster and were easier on the ears and neck.

See, I always thought the loading on the Togo standups was far slower than B&M. Mostly due to the lap bar, making it difficult to maneuver in/out of the seats or passing by each other in the rows. But also the vertical adjustment usually required a ride attendant to assist in raising/lowering.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 3:26 PM

King Cobra was the coaster that made me love coasters in the first place. I was surprised that the KD Togo was not nearly as interesting back when it was new. I hate to see a decent coaster go, but with this news if will be fun to see how long the KD standup lasts.

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