Six Flags launches its newest thrill: Texas SkyScreamer

Posted Friday, May. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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One turn aboard Six Flags Over Texas’ newest attraction may be all it takes for longtime fans of the theme park to lose any feelings of nostalgia they might have for the iconic Texas Chute Out parachute ride.

The 400-foot red-white-and-blue Texas SkyScreamer opened today near the spot formerly occupied by the Chute Out, and judging from the reaction of VIPs who got the first taste of the towering swing ride, a more appropriate name might be SkySmiler.

“It’s just a swing, but with a great view,” said Haidee Ferrer, of Kennedale, moments after returning to earth with a grin. She wore a T-shirt that read, “Keep Calm and Enjoy,” under a picture of the top of the SkyScreamer.

Six Flags threw a Texas-themed party to launch the ride, which park officials say is now the tallest swing ride in the world. It’s about twice as tall as the Chute-Out, offering a view of the surrounding Metroplex that’s so expansive riders might be tempted to look for their house.

“How about we ride this thing?” Six Flags Over Texas President Steve Martindale told the crowd after a ceremony in which he used a hot iron shaped like Texas to brand the ceremonial ribbon.

Gold season pass holders were allowed to ride beginning at 2 p.m. The ride opens to the public Saturday.

The SkyScreamer takes 24 riders at a time in a 124-foot circle at speeds up to 35 mph. Atop the tower sits a globe surrounded with the words “Six Flags” and topped with the park’s iconic flags.

Arlington City Manager Trey Yelverton and Ronnie Price, the new CEO of Experience Arlington, were among the VIPs who took a spin.

“I’m 6-foot-5 but I’m scared of heights,” Price said afterward. “It didn’t take me long to lose that feeling. This is a thrill generator.”

Patrick M. Walker, 682-232-4674 Twitter: @patrickmwalker1

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