The Life of Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight / Southern Cross

All about the rides at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA and post-Marriott rides, too
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JW65
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The Life of Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight / Southern Cross

Post by JW65 » Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:38 pm

I've often wondered why many skyrides became unpopular in most theme parks after the 1970s. MGA was no exception. I recall riding both the Delta Flyer/Eagles Fligt and Southern Cross in Gurnee when they were in operation. I do recall the difference in height of these two rides. I remember having to stand in front of the cars so they would lift you properly at "take off time". Many young couples found these rides great to be together in, I am sure of that.

Why were these rides dismantled so quickly after they were put in the park? Operation costs? Popularity? Number of riders per hour?

Did they end up in another park after they bit the dust at MGA?

I do recall seeing the towers that once held the cables still standing years after the ride was taken out. Does anyone know when these towers were officially gone for good?

It is almost an eerie feeling to see the former MGA with all of its old rides, now gone. Wondering if anyone else feels this way.

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Post by Santa Cruisin » Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:49 pm

There's only two left in California that I know of; the Delta Flyer/Eagles Flight at Great America and Sky Glider in Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Both Six Flags Magic Mountain and Disneyland removed their sky rides a while back.

I'm surprised the one in PGA is still standing.

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JW65
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Post by JW65 » Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:53 pm

Thanks for your repsonse!

Yes, I am surprised too that Delta Flyer/Eagles Flight are still at PGA, especially considering that it is such a thrill park. Maybe Steven knows why it is still in that park. I am still curious when they removed both rides from the Gurnee park.

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Post by BrianPlencner » Fri Jul 22, 2005 6:47 pm

Southern Cross was removed at the end of the 1982 Season. The loading / unloading station in Orleans Place was on the site where White Water Rampage (now Roaring Rapids) now sits. I believe the towers for the ride remained for a few years after that point.

As for Delta Flyer/Eagles Fligt, they are on the 1983 Park map, but missing from the 1985 one. The towers for that set remained well in to the 90's. The park actually put them to use by mounting Emergency Flood lights on the top of them. I believe at this point, they have been removed, and the Emergency Lights were placed elsewhere.

My thoughts on the removal of these rides from the Gurnee park was wind. I know a lot of times the Southern Cross was closed due to high winds. I feel that Delta Flyer / Eagles flight was removed due to the same reason. Maybe Steve Wilson can add more info on why the rides were removed from Gurnee.
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JW65
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Post by JW65 » Fri Jul 22, 2005 6:52 pm

Thank You!! :P

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Post by akorbel » Fri Jul 22, 2005 9:58 pm

There's also a cool (and really tall when it passes over the canyons) sky ride at the San Diego Zoo.

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Post by Santa Cruisin » Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:54 pm

Oops! I forgot about that one.

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Post by coasterfan71555 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:20 pm

I think one of the major reasons the skyrides were removed was because of a major incident at Six Flags over Mid America (St. Louis) where their skyride cable snapped and there were some casualties. I really don't remember when that happened, but I am sure it did happen. Thus, I believe that because of this, all skyrides were removed from all Six Flags parks. If anyone remembers when that St. Louis accident happened, please refresh my memory. I do have many pleasant memories of riding the Delta Flyer/Eagle's Flight and Southern Cross. I especially remember passing by or over Tidal Wave and watching that ride go through its paces. I also remember the sign at the turnaround of Southern Cross saying that "The Great Southwest Territory rises in '79". I wish I had taken a photo of that! Of course, that did not happen until 1996! :idea:
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Post by JW65 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:22 pm

Hey Coasterfan,

Thanks for your reply...seems odd that ski lifts aren't removed for the same reason too. There is a sky ride still in operation in Milwaukee at their "SummerFest". It has been a few years since I rode it, but it brought back fond memories.

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SFGAmLover
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Post by SFGAmLover » Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:10 pm

There's a great sky ride at Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines). In fact, I rode it just this past Tuesday! It originally operated at the 1974 World's Fair in Spokane, Washington, and fits nicely into the park's layout.

It has a very open feel with nothing much to hold you in -- just a bar that you can flip up at any time. It allows great interaction with park guests on the ground and those riding the log flume. I really wish that more parks had sky rides.

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Post by redfishpaw » Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:06 pm

Here is a more recent view of the Delta Flyer Station in SC

http://www.pbase.com/suresh2/image/5082365

For me, this kinda brings back old memories of Gurnee.
I do not believe the Gurnee station was reused
for anything. It being boarded up for a year or so.
Then it was torn down and the space stood empty
for a while until Condor was installed.

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Tanya
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Post by Tanya » Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:21 pm

Andy, I found a photo online of the Sky Glider at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Have you seen it before? I think you will like it.

http://www.amigasat.clara.co.uk/2005/wcs/wcs400.jpg

Redfish, I like that photo. Having the ride over coasters makes it more exciting.

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:00 pm

JW65 wrote:Hey Coasterfan,

There is a sky ride still in operation in Milwaukee at their "SummerFest". It has been a few years since I rode it, but it brought back fond memories.
Yes, the ''Summerfest'' skyride still operates. I was on it 4 weeks ago. I think there is one at the Wisconsin State fair grounds as well. The fair opens today, so I'll check out the skyride sometime this week.
Anyway, MGA put up the largest and tallest that I have ever seen. They where pretty cool.

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SFGAmLover
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Post by SFGAmLover » Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:13 am

Thanks for the link, Tanya! That sky ride appears to be very similar to Waldameer Park's (Erie, PA) ride (same manufacturer?).

One of the main reasons that I like Adventureland's sky ride is that it makes its way through trees (which, unfortunately, are getting butchered to allow the ride to operate within their space)... creating a sort of 'woodsy' feeling.
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Tanya
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Post by Tanya » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:08 am

Andy, it certainly is pretty looking there.

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