The parent company of Kings Island has temporarily shuttered its WindSeeker rides nationwide after reports this summer that the tower swing rides have stranded thrill-seekers hundreds of feet in the air for hours at a time.
Cedar Fair, which operates 17 theme parks in the United States and Canada, said it will conduct an internal review to determine why safety systems have activated on the rides at parks in Ohio, California, North Carolina and Canada.
No injuries were reported in any of the incidents. The move is a “precautionary measure,” according to company officials.
“Safety is our number one priority and the company will not open a WindSeeker ride until an internal review has been completed,” said Cedar Fair in a statement.
The $5-million WindSeeker rides, built by Dutch-based Mondial Rides, opened in six Cedar Fair parks in 2011 and 2012. The Kings Island ride debuted June 21, 2011.
The thrill ride carries 64 riders in twin -seat gondolas 30 stories above ground. At the tower’s peak of 301 feet, the ride’s metal arms whirl riders at a 45-degree angle with speeds up to 30 mph for one minute.
California state officials indefinitely shut down the ride at Knott’s Berry Farm Wednesday after the ride’s second breakdown in two weeks left 20 riders stranded 300 feet in the air for nearly four hours while crews tried to repair a brake malfunction, according to The Associated Press.
A previous incident on Sept. 7 trapped 15 riders hundreds of feet in the air for three hours when an electrical relay malfunctioned, causing the ride to shut down.
The thrill ride left riders stranded at Ohio’s Cedar Point in June and at North Carolina’s Carowinds and Canada’s Wonderland in Ontario, Canada in July, according to local media reports.
There have been no reports of malfunctions at the Kings Island ride, said KI spokesperson Don Helbig. It is uncertain when the ride will reopen.