The Sky Cabin attraction at Knott's Berry Farm could be set to survive for another season, with the park reportedly deciding to change the location of its planned WindSeeker replacement.
Announced in August, the 301-feet-tall WindSeeker was originally due to be located on the site of Sky Cabin, which was to be removed. However, the Orange County Register reported prior to Christmas that this plan was set to change, and Screamscape now claims to have confirmed that the ride will instead be installed in Fiesta Village area. With work to install WindSeeker yet to begin, a delay to its planned summer 2011 opening date seems likely.
The Sky Cabin observation tower opened in 1976, and stands at 225-feet-tall. It originally featured two attractions - the Parachute Sky Jump (which saw riders drop into baskets beneath a faux parachute canopy) and an observation vehicle (which revolves as its climbs slowly to the top of the tower). The Parachute Sky Jump has since been removed, but the observation vehicle continues to operate.
WindSeeker will see guests swinging in circles around a central tower in a vertigo-inducing variation on the classic "Chair-O-Plane" attraction. Riders will reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour but will still have time to take in panoramic views of the parks and beyond. It will be the second-tallest ride at Knott's Berry Farm, after the 312-feet-tall Supreme Scream drop tower.
Knott's Berry Farm's promotional video for WindSeeker (embedded below) showed that the "K" that marks the Sky Cabin's summit would be retained on the new ride. It is not yet clear whether this remains the case following the decision to construct the ride elsewhere.
Mondial's Wind Seeker is recent model that was only announced in February 2010. At the time, the company said it had been designed to meet the needs of parks that were demanding a "tall swing ride" that could be operated in normal wind conditions - something which it claims is achieved by using the steel arms in place of more flexible chains. Rival manufacturer Funtime has since disputed Mondial's claims that its StarFlyer rides cannot operate in strong winds, claiming that its attractions are already operating in areas that regularly face such conditions.
You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.