The first video footage of the WindSeeker tower ride at Cedar Point carrying guests has emerged online, following its opening day on June 14, 2011.
The footage has immediately caused controversy online, with one video appearing to show that high winds cause WindSeeker's seats to swing very close together. Cedar Point was forced to delay the opening of the ride by more than a month after technical problems affected an identical ride at Canada's Wonderland, but the park claims that these are now fully resolved.
WindSeeker, manufactured by Mondial, sees guests swinging in circles around around a 301-feet-tall central tower in a vertigo-inducing variation on the classic "Chair-O-Plane" attraction. Riders reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour but still have time to take in panoramic views of the park and beyond.
The video embedded below, posted by YouTube user SeanFlaharty, offers a high-definition look at WindSeeker in action:
Another video, posted by InsiderPerks and analysed by Screamscape, appears to show the effect of high winds on WindSeeker. As the ride reaches the top of the tower, several of the seats begin to swing at different speeds, causing the distance between them to be reduced substantially:
Sister parks Canada's Wonderland, Kings Island and Knott's Berry Farm have all suffered similar delays to the opening of identical WindSeeker rides. The only other installation of the ride to have opened to the public to date is Canada's Wonderland's, which is finally operational after a stuttering debut.
Last week, the LA Times reported that the issue affecting the WindSeeker rides was that the angled arms to which the seats are attached "bounced too much". Dampers are said to be have been added to the arms to reduce the effect.
At Cedar Point, WindSeeker has replaced Ocean Motion in the Cedar Point Beach area. The park claims that the new ride is a tribute to the Sea Swings attraction, which dipped riders into the waters of Lake Erie in the early 1900s.
Theme Park Tourist will feature an in-depth review of WindSeeker at Cedar Point during the next few days.
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.