New thrill ride coming to Great America next year

After a multiyear drought, Six Flags Great America officials announced Wednesday the Gurnee park will have a new thrill ride next year.

The ride, called Sky Striker, is a pendulum-style thrill ride which will zip patrons up to 75 mph and swing them 17 stories in the air, according to Six Flags.

Sky Striker will be like a fancier, faster iteration to the classic swinging pirate ship seen at carnivals. Though, in this case, the heights are much higher and riders are spun around in a circle while climbing higher and higher toward the sky, officials said.

It is being touted as the tallest pendulum thrill ride in the Midwest.

Gurnee park spokeswoman Rachel Kendziora said there are similar rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Over Georgia.

Sky Striker will be the first new ride built at the Gurnee theme park in five years.

There were no new rides introduced this season. Last year, the section of the park once known as Yankee Harbor - decorated in the style of coastal New England upon the park's creation in 1976 - got a superhero makeover and was renamed DC Universe, with three existing rides adapted to the new theme.

The last wholly new ride built at the theme park was Maxx Force, the roller coaster which debuted July 2019.

In 2021, Hurricane Harbor, the water park next to Great America, debuted Tsunami Surge, an 86-foot-tall water coaster touted as the tallest of its kind in the world.

To make way for Sky Striker, the Dare Devil Dive skydiving and bungee jumping-style attraction in the park's County Fair section will be removed, officials said. Dare Devil Dive opened in April 1997 and has not been in operation this season.

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