Location: Coney Mall, where Coca-Cola Marketplace now is in Oktoberfest
Former Names: Also referred to as Sky Lab
Model: Giant Enterprise / Skylab
Dimensions: 90ft diameter
Vehicles: Fifteen four-person vehicles
Description: Skylab was a circular thrill ride that spun riders around the outside of a large disk before tilting the disk upright, inverting riders again-and-again as they traveled around the wheel’s circumference.
History: Skylab opened as one of several new Coney Mall attractions in 1986. It replaced the former Tumble Bug, which was then sold to Kennywood amusement park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for spare parts usage on their similar ride.
Skylab was one of only a handful of the HUSS Giant Enterprises ever built, including one at sister park Canada’s Wonderland. It was plagued with problems, including an incident on August 5, 1990 where the ride came to a sudden halt and injured 19 riders.
In part because of the ride’s issues, its platform was vacant for the entirety of the 1992 season. It was temporarily replaced with a small display on Kings Island’s history for the park’s 20th anniversary. The ride returned for the 1993 season.
Skylab closed mid-1997 and never reopened. Many sources claim that the ride was later relocated to Parque del Café in Colombia. The Colombian park opened a HUSS Giant Enterprise, Ciclón, in the early 2000s. Ciclón originally had a similar paintjob to Skylab and the park was home to several other rides that formerly operated at American amusement parks. It is not confirmed whether the rides are the same, but it is very likely that they are.
After Skylab’s removal, it was replaced with miscellaneous minor attractions and games, including The Edge climbing wall and later Cyber Sez virtual reality game. The space is now home to the Coca-Cola Marketplace.
The queue structure for Skylab remained at Kings Island after the ride’s closure. It was enclosed and is now used for storage for the games department. It can be best spotted when exiting Adventure Express or Racer. The ride’s control booth was also reused, for a time as the attendant booth in the Gold Pass parking lot and later as a piece of theming in Orion’s queue line.