Location: From Oktoberfest (current location of SlingShot) to The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera (current location of Snoopy Boutique)
Manufacturer: Von Roll
Model: Sky Ride
Height: 90 ft
Vehicles: 47 two-person buckets, painted yellow, red, green, or blue
Description: Sky Ride was a classic gondola ride across the park, from Oktoberfest to The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera. The Oktoberfest station was the “D” station (it included the ride’s drive unit), and The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera station was the “T” station (it included a large counterweight which created tension in the cable).
History: Sky Ride first opened at Cincinnati’s Coney Island in 1965 and traveled down the former park’s mall. When the ride was relocated to Kings Island, the three support towers were so large that a section of the Shooting Star roller coaster had to be demolished in order to successfully transport the towers out of the park. A fourth tower was added to the ride at Kings Island and the overall length of the attraction was increased 300 feet. Additional cars were also ordered to accommodate the new length.
The stations were relocated from Cincinnati’s Coney Island alongside the rest of the ride. The Oktoberfest one retained the Swiss theme it had at the old park, including the “1965” date engraved above its opening.
On April 24, 1977 at 4:38pm, Sky Ride stalled during a wind and hail storm. Three cars jammed together, stranding 38 riders between 19 gondolas. Kings Island had to call in fire departments from several surrounding areas to aide in the rescue. The effort took eight hours, with the rescue of the last two guests taking an additional two hours after trucks became stuck in the mud. No one was injured by the incident.
1979 was the final season for Sky Ride. During its eight years at Kings Island, it gave 12,273,796 rides. After its removal, both stations initially remained. The Oktoberfest one became a food stand (Der Cheese Haus, otherwise known as Wine & Cheese Restaurant) before being demolished in the early 1980s. The station in The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera was originally re-purposed as the home of remote-control cars and boats before becoming the Hanna-Barbera Fun Shop in 1982. The gift shop remains, now known as Snoopy Boutique.
The four towers were also removed with the ride’s closure, though the foundation of the one in Oktoberfest (next to the small pond) remained for several decades. A small tree has since been planted where the foundation was.