Sea Dragon set to retire
After delighting guests with more than 12 million rides at the Santa Monica Pier, the 6,000 pounds, 26 feet long, bright green Sea Dragon is taking its last ride into retirement with an epic helicopter flight across Santa Monica Bay California USA, and landing at the Port of Hueneme
The original Sea Dragon ride opened with Pacific Park on May 26, 1996, and after carrying more than 12 million guests will take its last ride via heavy-duty helicopter from Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier and will land at the Port of Hueneme in Ventura County to go into retirement at City Museum in St. Louis, Mo., where it will continue to fly high on top of the museum's roof and sit next to a Big Eli Ferris wheel, slides, and other eclectic attractions.
Housed in an old shoe factory in Downtown St. Louis, City Museum is an ever-evolving, always-thrilling, artist-built playground full of weirdly wonderful spaces to explore. Pacific Park's original Sea Dragon has found the perfect place for retirement.
The Sea Dragon is a classic amusement park attraction that has been a beloved part of the Santa Monica Pier experience for over 26 years. It has been replaced with an updated version of the same ride and sports the familiar bright green, scaly exterior. The new $1.5 million Sea Dragon has been installed in the identical space and delivers the same high-swinging ride experience, but features a variety of new ride enhancements including custom music and sound to amplify the experience, wind generators, and a misting system to make riders feel as if they are riding the dragon out over the open ocean, and shaking seats to replicate the stormy seas. The new Sea Dragon lights up the evenings with LED energy-efficient lights lining the ride car and 40-foot tall ride supports.
The ever-popular, classic Sea Dragon is a swinging ship ride with two lifelike dragonheads making passengers feel as if they're caught in the turbulent waters. The ship moves back and forth in a 180-degree arc, giving riders a series of 40 feet drops and thrilling launches. The Sea Dragon ride car weighs 6,000 pounds, is 26 feet in length, is 3 feet in width, and is accentuated with 12 feet tall Sea Dragons heads on each end.
“The original Sea Dragon has provided millions of Pacific Park guests with fun memories with family and friends over the last 26 years,” said Nathan Smithson, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. “The enthusiasm that guests have for the original Sea Dragon and its extreme popularity prompted us to introduce the all-new Sea Dragon and reimagine the ride experience while providing the same classic swing ride that guests know and love so well.”
Pacific Park celebrated the Sea Dragon's long tenure of service at the two-acre amusement park by displaying the original two-headed dragon outside the amusement park on the Santa Monica Pier deck so guests would have an opportunity to say goodbye, take a photo, and even contribute to its legacy by sharing videos, photos and memories of their experience.
According to Wikipedia, the first known predecessor of the [swinging ship] ride was invented by Charles Albert Marshall of Tulsa, Oklahoma, between 1893 and 1897. This ride was originally called "The Ocean Wave." The Ocean Wave was first used in the Marshall Bros Circus in 1897. Charles Marshall and his brothers Mike, Will, and Ed, friends, and family, ran the circus.
Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA's only admission-free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 14 midway games, an oceanfront food plaza, and beachside shopping. In addition to the Pacific Wheel solar-powered Ferris wheel, Pacific Park's signature rides include the Route 66 West Coaster roller coaster and Inkie's Air Lift Balloon Ride, the high-flying, family-sharing kids' ride.