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 Review of Sky Screamer @ Marine Land
0 Rating Posted by: Canobie Coaster on 12/23/2010 9:36:00 PM
Have you ever seen one of Marineland’s commercials? If you have, I probably just got their catchy “Everyone Loves Marineland” slogan stuck in your head. Unfortunately though, the slogan of my visit was “Not Everyone Loves Marineland,” since the park as a whole was a major disappointment. Well, back to that commercial. In the commercial Marineland comes across as a really fun place (I hope Marineland’s marketing department gets a hefty salary since they inexplicably did this). Why? The entire commercial focuses on the park’s marquee attraction- the Sky Screamer, a massive 300ft tall S&S combo tower that is the tallest thrill ride in all of Canada.

While approaching Marineland, I could not help but draw my attention to the Sky Screamer. Honestly, it is impossible to miss from the entire Niagara Falls area due to the ride’s sheer size. Not only that, but as I was approaching Canada via car, I could see this monster from the United States. When Marineland erected this tower, I am sure that they wanted something that would draw attention to the park, and they definitely have succeeded with the Sky Screamer.

Perched atop a 150ft hill (you read that correctly- a 150ft hill), the Sky Screamer is even more imposing in person, as the triple tower structure literally looms over the rest of the park. Now I am not going to sugarcoat this, but be prepared for a long, grueling walk to the top of the hill. Instead of having a straight path to the top of the hill, the path to the top winds its way around the hill 2-3 times, making for a timely climb to the top. But the 5-10 minute climb is more than worth it, as at the top of the hill not only is a sensational attraction, but incredible views of both Marineland and Niagara Falls can be seen. Therefore, even if you have no intention of riding the Sky Screamer, I highly recommend climbing to the top of the hill just to take in the amazing sights.

Being the park’s most popular attraction and due to the fact that just one tower appeared to be operating from the bottom, I was anticipating a sizeable wait. Much to my amazement, the Sky Screamer was a one-cycle wait. Maybe it was because I got to Marineland right after opening, but even with a rather packed parking lot, there wasn’t much of a wait at all. Anyway, the loading procedure was fairly swift, which is always a plus. One word of warning though to those with poor eyesight like me- the park does not allow for glasses on the Sky Screamer. While I can see why since glasses falling from 450ft in the air could be a pretty dangerous thing; however, I had an athletic strap and never usually have a problem at other parks wearing my glasses on drop towers.

The ride began like most S&S drop towers, as the car slowly rose from the base of the tower. Once stopping, the roar of the compressed air can be heard by all riders and as the air fills the tanks, anticipation built for the imminent launch. A second after the tanks went silent, the car was launched upwards. The launch was sadly not all that sudden for me since I have come to realize that all S&S towers launch immediately after the tanks go silent. With that being said, the launch was still quite thrilling as it was very forceful. Once reaching the top of the tower, I was treated to some sensational floater air at the top of the tower.

Following the launch, the Sky Screamer then transforms into Turbo Drop mode and slowly reascends back to the top of the tower. Upon reaching the top of the tower, riders have a good 20-30 seconds to take in the sights. Even without my glasses, I was blown away by the views. While I did not really enjoy myself at Marineland, I have to admit that the park looked amazing from 450ft in the air. Not only did I get great views of the elusive Dragon Mountain, but I also was able to admire just how spread out Marineland was. But what really stole the show was Niagara Falls. Later that day I traveled to the top of the Skylon Tower to see Niagara Falls, and I have to admit that I got a better view of the falls from the top of the Sky Screamer.

But don’t forget about that drop. Lost in the scenery, I was caught completely off-guard by the drop. Unlike with the launch, the drops on S&S towers truly are surprises, and this one obviously was no different. While not as good as the drop on an Intamin drop tower, the drop still provided a strong burst of air-time and a decent stomach-dropping sensation. Following the pulse-pounding plunge were a couple of bounces, and then the ride ended.

Being such a huge drop tower fan, the Sky Screamer absolutely blew me away and was the highlight of my visit to Marineland. With a powerful launch, thrilling drop, and breath-taking views, the Sky Screamer is the best S&S tower I have been on at any park. I can’t say that it was the best drop tower I’ve been on since I have been on the Tower of Terror and Intamin drop towers, but with that being said no visit to Marineland is complete without a ride on this mammoth adrenaline rush. While I overall did not like Marineland, this attraction along with Dragon Mountain may convince me to make a return trip if I am ever up around Niagara Falls again.

Times Ridden: 5
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