US Thrill Rides

Last updated
US Thrill Rides
Industry Manufacturing and design
PredecessorPatent Lab, LLC
Founder Bill Kitchen (Inventor)
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Products Amusement rides, roller coasters
Website www.usthrillrides.com

US Thrill Rides is an entertainment design and consulting company in Orlando, Florida. It is best known for creating thrill rides in several US locations.

Contents

History

In 1992, William Kitchen and Ken Bird invented the SkyCoaster. Kitchen founded Sky Fun I Inc. that same year to sell the product to amusement parks. Canadian firm ThrillTime Entertainment International purchased the company for $12 million in mid-1998, renaming it SkyCoaster Inc.[ citation needed ] All 12 employees kept their jobs, with Kitchen remaining linked to the company as a consultant. [1]

Kitchen's next invention was that of the SkyVenture, sold under SkyVenture, LLC. The first installation opened across from Wet 'n Wild Orlando on International Drive in July 1998. The attraction received a visit by George H. W. Bush. [2]

Kitchen next founded US Thrill Rides. [3] US Thrill Rides has since developed the UniCoaster flat rides and SkyQuest transport rides, [4] as well as the SkySpire and Polercoaster (in collaboration with Intamin). [5]

On December 21, 2022, US Thrill Rides filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. [6]

Products and technologies

US Thrill Rides specializes in amusement rides and attractions. [7]

Polercoaster

Polercoaster is an amusement ride offered as a joint venture by US Thrill Rides and Intamin. An installation consists of a large tower structure which features glass elevators to an observation deck, as well as an El Loco steel roller coaster wrapping around the tower. [8] The model was first introduced in 2012. US Thrill Rides' Bill and Michael Kitchen invented the concept to allow amusement parks with little available space to be able to design a full-size roller coaster. [9] [10] [11] By November, 2014 Kitchen had licensed the Florida rights for his invention to Skyplex where it was announced the first Polercoaster would be the tallest rollercoaster in the world, (called the "Skyscraper") and would be built by 2017. [12] The Skyplex project is still claimed to be moving forward but has not yet broken ground and was not opened in 2020 as previously claimed by the developer. [13]

SkyQuest

SkyQuest is a people mover introduced in 2010. The cable-car style ride utilizes covered platforms and gondolas to move rides either around the track or from one platform to another. [14] [15]

SkySpire

SkySpire is an amusement ride offered by US Thrill Rides. An installation consists of a large tower structure which features glass elevators to an observation deck, as well as a ride featuring fully enclosed gondolas wrapping around the tower in the shape of a double helix. [16] [17] Skyspire was chosen as one of the five finalists to anchor the San Diego Bay revitalization project. [18] Skyspire won the contract with 1HWY1 who took primary ownership of redesigning the initial concept and implementation, but encountered numerous obstacles that have hindered development to the present day. [19]

SkyView

SkyView is a proposed concept for lightweight Ferris wheel designs with heights between 200 feet (61 m) and 1,000 feet (300 m) and able to withstand strong winds. [20] The wheel itself does not turn like a conventional Ferris wheel, instead a chain-like mechanism is used to move the gondolas around the structure, which could be constructed in shapes other than the traditional circle. [21] In 2009, Park World Online reported that US Thrill Rides planned to erect and operate 300-foot (91 m) tall SkyView rides in Orlando and Las Vegas, [21] however the 400-foot (120 m) Orlando Eye and 550-foot (170 m) High Roller giant wheels have since been constructed in those cities. No SkyView rides have yet been built.

UniCoaster

UniCoaster is an amusement ride with a small footprint designed to mimic the experience of a looping roller coaster. The design was licensed exclusively to Chance Rides [22] until 2020 when Kitchen cancelled the exclusivity and began marketing variations such as "Unicoaster Roulette" to casinos [23] in an attempt to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 theme park shutdown.

Notable installations

YearRideLocationNotes
2010 BrainSurge (UniCoaster) Nickelodeon UniverseBloomington, Minnesota
  • First park installation of ride
2010Octotron (UniCoaster) Belmont ParkSan Diego, California
2012SkyQuest Indianapolis ZooIndianapolis, Indiana [14] [15]
2021Time Tumbler (UniCoaster)Doha Quest [24]
TBA Skyscraper (Polercoaster) Skyplex – Orlando, Florida
  • Upon completion, expected to be world's tallest roller coaster [25]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roller coaster</span> Rail-based amusement park ride

A roller coaster, or rollercoaster, is a type of amusement ride that employs a form of elevated railroad track designed with tight turns, steep slopes, and sometimes inversions. Passengers ride along the track in open cars, and the rides are often found in amusement parks and theme parks around the world. LaMarcus Adna Thompson obtained one of the first known patents for a roller coaster design in 1885, related to the Switchback Railway that opened a year earlier at Coney Island. The track in a coaster design does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters demonstrate. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cedar Point</span> Amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, United States

Cedar Point is a 364-acre (147 ha) amusement park located on a Lake Erie peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio, United States. Opened in 1870, it is considered the second-oldest operating amusement park in the U.S. behind Lake Compounce. Cedar Point is owned and operated by Cedar Fair and is the flagship of the amusement park chain. Known as "America's Roller Coast", the park features 15 roller coasters – fourth-most in the world with Six Flags Great America, behind Canada's Wonderland and Energylandia (17), as well as Six Flags Magic Mountain (20). Cedar Point's most recent roller coaster, Steel Vengeance, opened to the public on May 5, 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Intamin</span> Swiss design and manufacturing company

Intamin Amusement Rides is a design and manufacturing company in Schaan, Liechtenstein. It is best known for creating thrill rides and roller coasters worldwide. The Intamin brand name is a syllabic abbreviation for "international amusement installations". The company has offices throughout the world, including three in Europe, three in Asia, and two in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luna Park, Melbourne</span>

Luna Park Melbourne is a historic amusement park located on the foreshore of Port Phillip Bay in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria. It opened on 13 December 1912, with a formal opening a week later, and has been operating almost continuously ever since.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Expedition Everest</span> Steel roller coaster built by Vekoma

Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is a steel roller coaster built by Vekoma at Disney's Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The ride is themed around the Yeti protecting the Forbidden Mountain next to Mount Everest. It is the only roller coaster at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and the tallest roller coaster at any Disney theme park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Skycoaster</span> Amusement park ride

Skycoaster is an amusement park ride produced and managed by Skycoaster Company, LLC.. On the Skycoaster, riders in groups of 1 to 3 are harnessed in specialized Flight Suits, winched to the top of a launch tower, pull the ripcord to engage flight, swing from a cable tether back and forth until brought to a rest. The attraction is often compared to a combination of skydiving, bungee jumping, and hang gliding.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Enterprise (ride)</span> Amusement ride model

The Enterprise is an amusement ride, manufactured primarily by HUSS Park Attractions and Anton Schwarzkopf beginning in 1972. The HUSS ride was an adaptation and improvement of a design produced earlier that year by Schwarzkopf, with an increased passenger capacity. Despite not owning the original incarnation of the ride, HUSS was issued the patent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chance Rides</span> Ride manufacturer

Chance Rides Manufacturing is a roller coaster and amusement ride manufacturer. The company was formed on May 16, 2002, when the former Chance Industries Inc. emerged from bankruptcy. The main office and manufacturing facility are located in Wichita, Kansas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">DelGrosso's Park</span> Italian-themed amusement park

DelGrosso's Park is a family-oriented amusement park located in Tipton, Pennsylvania, a northern suburb of Altoona, Pennsylvania. The park was purchased by the DelGrosso family in 1946 and was named "Bland's Park" until 2000. In 2000, the DelGrosso family decided to change its name to "DelGrosso's Amusement Park." The park hosts picnics and special music events in its pavilion/picnic area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Six Flags Discovery Kingdom</span> Zoological theme park in California

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a 135-acre (55 ha) animal theme park located in Vallejo, California, off of Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Sacramento. The park includes a variety of roller coasters and other amusement rides. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has been part of the Six Flags chain of amusement parks since 1999.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rivertown (Dreamworld)</span> Former themed area

Rivertown is a upcoming themed at the Dreamworld amusement park on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It will replace the existing ABC Kids World and provide a link between Main Street and the Dreamworld Corroboree. The area previously existed from the park's opening in 1981 until being merged into Main Street in the 2010s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">SkyScreamer</span>

SkyScreamer is an amusement ride located at several Six Flags theme parks in North America. Designed by Funtime, an Austrian ride manufacturer, the attraction is one of their "Star Flyer" models. Since 2011, Six Flags has installed SkyScreamers in ten of their parks.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cheetah Hunt</span> Amusement ride in Tampa, Florida

Cheetah Hunt is a steel launched roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. The roller coaster was manufactured by Intamin and designed in collaboration with Mark Rose. Cheetah Hunt opened to the public on May 27, 2011, alongside a cheetah exhibit called Cheetah Run. Cheetah Hunt features three linear synchronous motor (LSM) launches and a single inversion. The roller coaster reaches a height of 102 feet (31 m), with a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and a total track length of 4,429 feet (1,350 m).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polercoaster</span> Amusement ride

Polercoaster is a type of amusement ride offered by US Thrill Rides and Intamin. An installation consists of a large tower structure which features glass elevators to an observation deck, as well as a steel roller coaster wrapping around the tower. The model was first introduced in 2012, and as of November 2013, four have been proposed for construction. However, none have been constructed as of 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ride Entertainment Group</span>

Ride Entertainment is a firm based in the United States specializing in the construction, sales, service, and operation of amusement rides and attractions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fun Spot America Theme Parks</span> Amusement park in Orlando, Florida

Fun Spot America Theme Parks is a group of amusement parks. Since 1979, the group has owned and operated a number of small amusement parks over the years and currently has three locations in Orlando, Florida, Kissimmee, Florida, and Fayetteville, Georgia.

Skyplex is a proposed and planned entertainment complex, It would be located on a 14-acre (5.7 ha) lot at the northeast corner of Sand Lake Road and International Drive in Orlando, Florida. Plans for the complex include a 570-foot (170 m) tower which would feature the world's tallest roller coaster, Skyscraper, and the world's largest Perkins Restaurant and Bakery. In January 2019 the project was expected to cost US$250,000,000 and include space for a future hotel. The complex was originally planned to open in 2020. However, as of 2022, construction on the project has not begun, and it is uncertain if the complex would be built.

Skyline Attractions, LLC is an American amusement ride and roller coaster design and manufacturing company founded in 2014 and based in Orlando, Florida. The company also includes a subsidiary company, Skyline Design, LLC, which offers design services inside and outside the amusement industry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bill Kitchen (inventor)</span> American inventor and business executive (born 1948)

William Joel "Bill" Kitchen is an American inventor and business executive. Kitchen is the Founder and CEO of U.S. ThrillRides, Inc. and Thrillcorp, Inc.

References

  1. Waddell, Ray (August 3, 1998). "ThrillTime Entertainment purchases Sky Fun 1; to be named SkyCoaster". Amusement Business. 110 (31): 19.
  2. O'Brien, Tim (April 12, 1999). "Former President Bush takes a 'fall' at Orlando's Sky Venture". Amusement Business. 111 (15): 18.
  3. "Reinventing the wheel". Park World Magazine. November 27, 2009. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  4. "US Thrill Rides launches SkyQuest". Park World Magazine. December 29, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  5. "Polercoaster". Park World Magazine. November 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  6. "US Thrill Rides files for bankruptcy". 2022-12-21. Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  7. "Our Products". usthrillrides.com. US Thrill Rides. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  8. "Polercoaster™". usthrillrides.com. US Thrill Rides. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  9. "Parkworld Magazine November 2012". Parkworld Magazine: 36. November 2012. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  10. Kitchen, Michael (13 November 2012). "IAAPA 2012 Trade Show Coverage". Theme Park Review (Interview). Interviewed by Robb Alvey . Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  11. Kitchen, Michael (November 19, 2013). "S&S & US Thrill Rides Announce New Poler Coaster that will be Worlds Tallest Coaster". The Coaster Crew (Interview). Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  12. "The World's Tallest Roller Coaster (Opens 2017)". Time. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  13. Pepperman, Kelly (2019-01-10). "International Drive developer talks new coaster, more parking". WKMG. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  14. 1 2 "US Thrill Rides launches SkyQuest". parkworld-online.com. Park World Online. 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  15. 1 2 "SkyQuest ride sold to Indianapolis Zoo". Orlando Business Journal. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  16. "SkySpire™". usthrillrides.com. US Thrill Rides. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  17. Anstey, Tom (March 13, 2015). "AM2 News: Skyspire concept touted for New Orleans World Trade Center redevelopment". am2.jobs. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  18. "Soaring 'SkySpire' proposed for waterfront". FOX 5 San Diego. 2015-02-05. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  19. "Seaport San Diego tower is like nothing else on California's coast. That's the problem". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2019-07-20. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  20. "SkyView™". usthrillrides.com. US Thrill Rides. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  21. 1 2 "Reinventing the wheel : Park World Online – Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News". parkworld-online.com. Park World. 2009-11-27. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  22. "UniCoaster™". usthrillrides.com. US Thrill Rides. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  23. "The UniCoaster an interactive ride". Casino Life Magazine. 2020-10-03. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  24. "Rides & Attractions".
  25. Dineen, Caitlin (May 6, 2015). "Skyplex plans include 350-room hotel on Orlando's International Drive". OrlandoSentinel.com. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-07-11.