Florida Guide > Other Activities
Going for kicks – Star Flyer
If you are the type who like the most extreme roller coasters, and who doesn’t bat an eyelid on Tower of Terror, then a trip on the 256 ft Star Flyer is an absolute must. Not for the squeamish, and definitely for the extra brave, this attraction can be found at Magical Midway, on International Drive. You can’t miss it as it towers above the highway, looking considerably tamer that it is in reality. Maybe the notice which advertises it as ‘America’s Only Carousel on Steroids’ should send a shiver down your spine.
Don’t be misled by its appearance – it is faster and higher than it looks from the ground. In fact it looks a little like a giant maypole with chains instead of ribbons – but here the similarity ends. There are 12 sets of chains with two seats where passengers can sit side by side, or wider single rider seats, on the end of each set. The seats themselves look similar to a baby seat, but believe me, this is no walk in the park. About 20 ft above the ground is the loading platform where the brave can settle themselves into the seat which has a bar which slides down the front, with a seatbelt which goes over the lap. There is also another strap which clips between your legs, and this, once inserted into the buckle cannot be released. All this should warn you that this isn’t going to be easy.
At first the seats rise upwards before they begin to rotate. As the speed increases the seats swing outwards, and the ring around the main pole, which looks a little like a 12 point star, glides up and down, giving passengers both upward, downward, and circular movements. It has been described as ‘petrifying’ probably because once you are in motion you feel very exposed, and there are no over the shoulder harnesses to give you reassurance. Not only that, but the chains themselves look pathetically small, especially when the G forces kick in. When it opened it was said to reach speeds of up to 50 mph.
If you can keep your eyes open you will have an amazing view of the hotels below, the Interstate 4 and if you are lucky, Downtown Orlando.
How long does this all last? A mere 2 minutes. But it could well be the longest 2 minutes of your life.
How much does this ride cost – a meagre $7 and you can even go on it again for just $5 – that’s if you are brave enough.
Where can you ride it? At Magical Midway, at 7001 International Drive, two blocks south of Wet and Wild.
It is open from 2 pm to 10 pm on Monday and Tuesday, and from 2. 00 pm to midnight on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At weekends it opens earlier, at 10. 00 am and closes at midnight.
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