Location: Coney Island (today known as Coney Mall), current location of Dodgem (1972-1985), current location of Three-Point Challenge (1986-2004)
Former Names: Flying Scooters (1972-1975)
Model: Flying Scooters
Vehicles: Ten two-person tubs
Description: Flying Eagles was a classic flying scooters ride. Guests were seated in thin “buckets” that were suspended from cables and revolved around a center axis. Each bucket had a large rudder that the riders could move side-to-side, changing the orientation of the vehicle. Talented riders could move the rudder in such a way to successfully “snap” the cables.
History: Flying Eagles opened at Cincinnati’s Coney Island as Flying Scooter in 1940. The ride originally had different vehicles with a more rounded appearance, but these were replaced with the tub-like ones by the time the attraction was relocated to Kings Island.
When the ride opened at Kings Island, it was renamed from the singular Flying Scooter to the plural Flying Scooters. It was located where Dodgem currently is, and the pyramid-shaped center had paintings of biplanes on it. The ride was renamed in 1976 to Flying Eagles, in conjunction with America’s bicentennial. The cars were also repainted to have bald eagles on their sides.
The attraction was relocated further down Coney Island (now renamed Coney Mall) in 1986, to the current location of the Three-Point Challenge. It retained its patriotic name and theme.
Flying Eagles’ closure was announced in 2004 with the upcoming addition of Italian Job: Stunt Track (today known as Backlot Stunt Coaster). The park originally announced that the ride would be relocated within the park if needed, but it was ultimately relocated to sister park Paramount’s Carowinds (today known as Carowinds) instead. The ride continues to operate there and has now gone under three different names: Phantom Flyers (2005-2009), Woodstock Gliders (2010-2017), and Mountain Gliders (2019-Present). It was temporarily in storage during the 2018 season.
In 2015, a “spiritual successor” to the ride, Woodstock Gliders, opened in Planet Snoopy. The new ride is manufactured by Larson International and is similar to the original, although with eight vehicles instead of ten.