The original Sea Dragon has said its farewell Thursday and was retired from Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier.
The Sea Dragon has been around for over 26 years, providing guests with fun, thrilling memories. It opened with Pacific Park on May 26, 1996, and ever since has carried more than 12 million guests over the years.
The ride was a bright green swinging ship, with two dragon heads on each end. It would swing back and forth in a 180-degree arc multiple times, providing 40 feet drops in the process. The idea of the ride was to make guests feel as if they were passengers on this ship who were caught in a dangerous, rocky storm with two serpents in the ocean.
The original ride was displayed for a while for guests to come by and take pictures before it was retired. Guests had the opportunity of sharing a special memory, along with pictures and videos of their time on the ride on the Pacific Park website.
The Santa Monica Pier hosted a high-flying helicopter departure to give guests one last chance to say their farewells to the original ride. It was lifted by a HP-60A civilian Blackhawk, with the assistance of HP Helicopters at around 8:15 a.m. Once lifted, the sea dragon took a journey of 250 feet over the Pacific Ocean to the Port of Hueneme in Ventura County where it will be transported to its new retirement home.
Its new home will be in the City Museum at St. Louis, Missouri, where it will be surrounded by the Big Eli Ferris wheel, slides, and other attractions.
The original Sea Dragon’s departure makes way for an all new immersive Sea Dragon ride. Pacific Park wanted to keep the same idea for the new ride, but make new technological updates. It was designed and built by Chance Rides Manufacturing, Inc. in Wichita, Kansas.
The $1.5 million new Sea Dragon will have the same look as the original but with new features. Some of these features include custom music, wind generators, a misting system and motion seats that shake. All these features were designed with the intention of providing guests with a more fun, immersive and thrilling experience. The ride will officially open to the public on March 26, 2023.
Pacific Park is located at 380 Santa Monica Pier, and open every day. For more information, check out their website.