Location: Where the original Magic Kingdom is located.
Work Begins On Windseeker!!!!!
Can't wait to experience this one!
Knott’s Berry Farm crews this week started clearing a corner in Fiesta Village to make way for WindSeeker, the park’s newest ride.
WindSeeker will be located between the Fiesta Village carousel and the main entrance to Jaguar. Work began this week to remove trees and the Fiesta BBQ Mexican Food restaurant to make way for the new, $5 million ride.
The new attraction, constructed by Holland-based Mondial, will take riders up more than 300 feet in swing-like chairs, whirling them around at up to a 45-degree angle.
Last year, Knott’s management said the WindSeeker would replace the aging Sky Cabin, which has not operated for months.
Why the change? Knott’s General Manager Marty Keithley said it came down to adding a new ride without taking down an old one.
“We felt keeping Sky Cabin was important to the park,” Keithley said. “It’s an older ride…and it has a following.”
WindSeeker should open to the public between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Keithley said.
Ohio-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. — which owns Knott’s Berry Farm — bought four WindSeekers. Cedar Fair will install the ride at three of its other parks across the continent before it opens at Knott’s, which is why it may take until July.
Enthusiasts know Cedar Fair for roller coasters, Keithley said.
“This is a different sort of ride,” he said. “It’s not a roller coaster, but it’s a thrill ride…and I think for years, Knott’s was lacking in thrill rides. We’re changing that.”
Knott’s considered other sites for the WindSeeker, including Charleston Square. That idea got dropped because the more than 80-foot radius of the ride would have forced the removal of the Square’s landmark fountain.
Instead, the ride will be squeezed into the southern edge of Fiesta Village, where it will sit within three feet of some of its neighbors, the Jaguar and Silver Bullet roller coasters as well as the carousel.
“It’s a tight fit,” said Jeff Gahagan, who is supervising the ride’s installation. “That’s why it took so long” to find a site.
How tight? Parts of the Fiesta Village spot are already forested with support posts — the massive metal pipes that hold the roller coasters’ tracks in place. In fact, during construction, the Silver Bullet will have to shut down for one week while a post gets relocated to accommodate WindSeeker, Gahagan said. No other rides will be affected.
Gahagan said the site works because the ride doesn’t open up to its maximum circumference of 110 feet until it rises 300 feet into the air — well above the roller coaster tracks surrounding its base.
As for the Sky Cabin, Knott’s maintenance crew have continued to tinker with it. There’s no scheduled date for when it may be fixed.
“We will get that baby up and going again,” Keithley promised.
Windseeker looks like other swing rides, such as the Wave Swinger at Knott’s and Silly Symphony Swings at Disney California Adventure. It also is similar to the Screamin’ Swing at Knott’s.
But the new Knott’s ride will have chairs attached to bars, instead of chains. And it will bring visitors up 301 feet to twirl around a podium. Riders will swing for 60 seconds at a 45-degree angle, rotating between 25 and 30 mph.