Prior to their acquisition by Cedar Fair, the parks were owned by Paramount Parks, where the rides were named Drop Zone: Stunt Tower after the Paramount film of the same name. All the rides were built by the Swiss ride manufacturer, Intamin and are either the Gyro Drop, or Giant Drop models. All of the rides are currently operating. With the exception of Kings Dominion's tower, they are located in their park's various backlot themed areas, with each having originally carried the theme of a group of stunt performers preparing to film a falling scene in an action movie. Although all the rides were manufactured by Intamin, the installation at California's Great America was constructed by Martin & Vleminckx.
In 2006, the Paramount Parks were sold to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, who removed the ride names licensed by Paramount. All five attractions were renamed Drop Tower: Scream Zone, and the "swirl" logos associated with each were removed from the rides' signs for 2008 season.
Due to an incident that occurred on a giant drop ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom all five Intamin-designed drop tower rides at Cedar Fair parks were closed to inspection on June 22, 2007. They reopened several weeks later.
Drop Tower: Scream Zone at Kings Dominion, as viewed from the Eiffel Tower
The three original drop towers, opening in 1996 and 1997 at Carowinds, California's Great America, and Canada's Wonderland were of the "Giant Drop" model. They feature either four, five or six cars fitting four people on each one. Wonderland and Great America's models fall at a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and are 227 feet (69 m) tall, while Carowinds' model falls at 56 mph (90 km/h) and is 160 ft (49 m) tall. All three are painted in rainbow colors with the race track decals and were themed that the riders were "stunt actors" about to film the final stunt scene of a movie.
The two latest drop towers, 1999 at Kings Island, and 2003 at Kings Dominion have been gyro drops, with one large circular car, both taller and going at a faster speed (67 and 72 mph (116 km/h) respectively). Interestingly, both the Kings Island and Kings Dominion ride claim to be the tallest gyro drops in the world. And in fact, both are correct. Kings Island's tower is the tallest in the world. While Kings Dominion's tower isn't taller, the brakes start farther down, therefore providing a longer drop than Kings Island's.