Intamin Double/Triple Wheels

Thursday, January 2, 2003 10:38 AM

Why do you think most parks have a traditional, super slow loading, short ride type giant wheels vs the intamin double and triple wheels that were produced in the 70's (sky whirl, zodiac, galaxy, astrowheel, etc). It seems only Hershey is interested in maintaining this nice ride, as all the others have been removed. The only other existing one i am aware of is the Zodiac at Wonderland in Australia, which i believe came from Kings Island.

The intamin wheels were a great innovation in loading efficiency and provided spectacular, long lasting rides. Its a shame the parks that had them did not choose to maintain them.

Thursday, January 2, 2003 10:43 AM
Maybe because the GP prefers these type of wheels and the older side of the GP think these rides as nastalgia and prefer them to the newer types? That would be my best guess....

"Launching in 1,2,3..2..1"
-Wicked Twister Ride Op.

Thursday, January 2, 2003 11:41 AM

I think Maintanence had something to do with it. It is much more difficult to maintain the equivelant of 3 wheels compared to 1. Space could have been an issue as well as they take up a large chunk of land, although I know of no specifics for that.

I personally didn't like made me motion sick...which is very odd since nothing else has. I can ride a mixer, zipper, tilt, breakdance, enterprise with no issue. Then, having a cycle time of 12 minutes is torture when you want to throw up after 1.

Thursday, January 2, 2003 3:30 PM

The Intamin multiwheels have very closed in gondolas. I'd wager to say that one reason for the unpopularity of these rides is the closed-in feeling riders sometimes get. I'm usually okay with small spaces, but Hersheypark's Giant Wheel was a little uncomfortable for that reason.

I'd still love to see one of these wheels at my home park though. Just open up the cabins a little more.

- John
Dag, yo
Support Rob in the Great DDR Challenge!

Thursday, January 2, 2003 6:25 PM

I loved the one at SFGAm, and I would assume the GP did also. On days the park was crowded, it too was crowded. It also made for a nice, quiet, romantic ride with your significant other. Made you feel like it was just the 2 of you and nobody else there.

Friday, January 3, 2003 12:54 AM
I love these wheels and am also disappointed that only one double remains in North America. I am thankful, however, that Hersheypark has kept theirs. The doubles require more space because they were designed with two landing pads, while the triples needed only one.

Two triples remain in operation. One is in Japan. The other is in South Korea. There is also a double in Argentina. I have a photo of it here:

I also have a small site featuring Sky Whirl construction photos here:


Friday, January 3, 2003 6:21 AM
Steven, YOU ROCK!

What great pics...for as long as I have appreciated your pics, I have never ran across your Sky Whirl construction pics...WAY COOL MAN! Thank you so much for sharing those...I (for one) really do appreciate it.

Perhaps I missed your reply in other Sky Whirl threads, but do you have any idea where the Sky Whirl that is currently up for sale is from? The link to the sales page is:

If I've missed your reply to this question, I apologize...if you have not replied to this, LET US KNOW! ;)

Thanks again...I guess I am just holding out hope that the Sky Whirl will once again LIVE somewhere!

Friday, January 3, 2003 6:50 AM

Those pictures are awesome Steve! I loved this ride so much when I was a kid and was very upset when they took it out. I had my first kiss on the It's so cool to see how the ride was put together and built. The site says more pictures to come. Do you have any of the rest of the park being built?


Friday, January 3, 2003 7:19 AM
Hersheypark's Giant Wheel is my favorite "Ferris Wheel" I've ridden. It produces a great soaring sensation, especially while the arm is moving up or down while the wheel is twirling, and the views are great at night. Unlike most Ferris Wheels, there is no feeling of being inside the steel structure of the wheel, and the cabin feels much more like it is suspended on its own. There is also someting thrilling about dangling high in the air from two little chains. I hope Hersheypark keeps maintaining the Giant Wheel for many years.
Friday, January 3, 2003 8:56 AM

You said a lot, this ride produces much more the feeling of soaring through the air than a ferris wheel. Ferris wheels stop and go as they load, and come back to the ground. The intamin wheels go high and stay high, and the ride is continuous, long and relaxing.

Even though it was invented 30 some years ago, this ride is the most modern innovation on a ferris wheel, both for the ride itself and efficiency and capacity. I too am thankful everytime i go to Hershey that it is still there. In fact, its our tradition now that it's our last ride before we leave the park, all 10 or 15 mins of it!

Friday, January 3, 2003 9:12 AM
I think that Intamin's Sun Wheel at DCA is probably one of the better ferris wheels ever produced. It is basically a modern version of Coney Island's Wonder Wheel. The free swinging cabins are very cool, and can be pretty freaky for the first time rider. I bet these are expensive (or maybe a custom job for DCA), but it would be cool to see more of them.

0-82 in 2.3 seconds! =Wow!

Friday, January 3, 2003 9:58 AM
Thanks for the pics Steven, its kinda sad seeing the pictures of this beautiful 3 armed wheel being built and now knowing that is scraped laying in a scrap metal junk yard or something.
Friday, January 3, 2003 10:40 PM
Thanks for the kind words! I'm really glad to hear that so many of you liked seeing the Sky Whirl construction pics! I just wish that the photos were of current construction rather than from the past.

Unfortunately, MrSkyWhirl, I'm pretty sure that the Sky Whirl in the ad is no longer available, even though the ad lives on. The photos are of the PGA ride, which was scrapped in July of 2002. I have heard that the SFGAm Sky Whirl was also scrapped, but that the cabins were spared. Since both US triples have been scrapped, my best guess is that the ad is stale and the advertised ride is not available.

A bit of historical trivia is that we would have had a third Sky Whirl in the US had the third Marriott's GREAT AMERICA park not been killed by unwelcoming neighbors. Marriott's original plans called for opening three GREAT AMERICA theme parks in 1976. The Washington, DC area park was delayed and eventually killed by local opposition. The first site was in Howard County, MD, between DC and Baltimore. After that plan was axed, a site near Manassas, VA was proposed. It was nixed, too. Many years later, Disney proposed a new park, "Disney's America", not far from the Marriott site. It, too, was killed by local opposition.

Thankfully, there are two Intamin triples still in operation. One is in Japan:

The other is in South Korea:

I'll add more pictures to the Sky Whirl construction site soon -- probably in the next couple of weeks. This site is just sort of a temporary sneak preview of a larger Great America history project that is in the works.


Friday, January 3, 2003 11:46 PM
I know how you feel Steven, I miss this ride also a great deal. Back in 2000 when I was at SFGAm with my family they all went for a ride on skywhirl and asked me to join them. I said no, I thin ill ride it next time. So instead I went to the Yukon territory and rode Loggers Run, well little did I know that that day would be my last chance ever to ride the amazing Intamin triple wheel. After I heard it was to be removed, I was sad for weeks knowing that I blew my last chance to ride it. I miss it to this day, I look back at pictures of me on it with my mom as a baby and remember the great memories that ride gave me, and I wish that I could still go to Great America with my girlfriend and just sit together and enjoy the nice peacefull ride. Hopefully someday you and I will be able to ride one of these great rides again, and who knows, maybe Intamin will make a new one for a U.S park someday...

*** This post was edited by SFGAMNUT9302 on 1/4/2003. ***

Saturday, January 4, 2003 1:13 AM
Thanks for the reply Steven, I also have subscribed to the "stale" ad theory about that used Sky Whirl...oh well, I figured our last hope was that you would post back saying:

"Why certainly MrSkyWhirl, Intamin actually built a spare for Marriott and it has been sitting in storage 'brand new'...didn't you know that???"

Oh well, I guess that didn't happen! ;)

I had heard of the "third" Great America story...though it was sketchy. Thanks for that Readers Digest version...I guess, if anything, that would have given the Sky Whirl one more chance at still operating in America -- though I'm sure it would have been taken down by now as well.

Do you have any inside info as to why they are able to keep the two "Sky Whirls" operating overseas while the ones here in America have been scrapped? Are they just more willing to spend the cash to keep them going...perhaps they have replaced some of the technology which better helps keep it running at lower costs? I'm really curious about that for sure.

Once again, thanks for the pics...both of the Sky Whirl and all your other "classic" Great America pics...I know they help a lot of us relive what used to be. Now all you have to do is find me some of that nickel root beer and I'll be all set. :)

Saturday, January 4, 2003 3:45 AM

Cool Steven! I can't wait to see those pics. I still think that Great America could have put Deja vu someplace else in the park and kept Skywhirl. I've only been on Deja vu once out of 10 trips to the park, standing in line more than 20 times only to be let down on Deja vu breaking down. I think Great America made a huge mistake in taking out Skywirl, as the two parks over seas are having great success with their triple wheels.


Saturday, January 4, 2003 12:31 PM

stoogemanmoe said:

Cool Steven! I can't wait to see those pics. I still think that Great America could have put Deja vu someplace else in the park and kept Skywhirl. I've only been on Deja vu once out of 10 trips to the park, standing in line more than 20 times only to be let down on Deja vu breaking down. I think Great America made a huge mistake in taking out Skywirl, as the two parks over seas are having great success with their triple wheels.


Agreed! I support aot of stuff that SFGAm does, but the SkyWhirl removal was not one of them. SkyWhirl was a classic Marriott ride that was enjoyed by both young and old. It was stupid to put Deja Vu in County Fair, they should have put it where Power Dive and CCH wereand removed that grill. Then it would have been properly themed in Orleans Place (Deja Vu being a french word) And we would still have Sky Whirl.

Saturday, January 4, 2003 12:33 PM

If they'd wanted to keep it, they would've-- space had nothing to do with it. They didn't want to pay for it. Period.

Did you know that 1 in every 5 American teenagers believes that the US declared its independence from FRANCE???

Saturday, January 4, 2003 4:18 PM
Wow, I could've had a themepark roughly 15 minutes from my house in Howard County (I would love to find out exactly where, but I'm assuming it would've been located in Columbia.). Oh well, SFA does the trick.
Huss's Land of the Giants—coming somewhere, sometime soon.
Saturday, January 4, 2003 5:20 PM

I love those rides so much. Thanks Steven for those pics, very nice. It's really sad to see them gone. I've never been on one of the Triple Wheels, but they look amazing.

At least I've been lucky enough to ride the double wheel at Hersheypark and that's only an hour away from me. It's a great ride. I just hope that Hershey's isn't in danger. Especially since they just got that Chance Giant Wheel a few years ago. Now they have 2 ferris wheels, I hope that doesn't put the Intamin in danger.

Does anyone know why Intamin never built anymore of these rides? I love their Sky Rides and Observation Towers too. They don't offer any of that stuff anymore do they? Mostly coasters now I guess. It's really a shame, their, wheels, skyrides and towers were all amazing and beautiful. And it seems like the Sky Rides and Towers are in danger too.


You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC