The swing ride or chair swing ride (sometimes called a swing carousel, wave swinger, yo-yo, waver swinger, Chair-O-Planes, Dodo or swinger) is an amusement ride that is a variation on the carousel in which the seats are suspended from the rotating top of the carousel. On some versions, particularly on the Wave Swingers, the rotating top of the carousel also tilts for additional variations of motion.
Swing rides were present at the earliest amusement parks. At Idora Park in Oakland, California, in 1908, the ride was called the Flying Swing, but appears to be the same principle.
The Chair-O-Planes premiered in Germany in 1972, designed by Zierer and built by Franz Schwarzkopf, brother of Anton Schwarzkopf. In 1974 the first portable unit debuted under the same partnership. Since then Zierer has built about 200 units. Other manufacturers have followed creating their own versions of the Chair-O-Planes including Zamperla, Chance Rides, Grover Watkins, Bertazzon, Preston & Barbieri, Vekoma and Sanoyas Hishino Meisho.
In the late 2000s, Austrian manufacturer Funtime developed the world's first tower swinger known as the Star Flyer. Mondial followed with their WindSeeker resulting in a lawsuit between the two companies. Zamperla also sells a Vertical Swing.
The Prater Turm located in the Wurstelprater in Vienna opened in 2010 at a height of 117 metres (384 ft).
Les Chaises Volantes in Walibi Sud-Ouest is a Zierer model from 1987 which was relocated to the park in 1992.
In Germany, swing rides are often found on fairs, Volksfests like the Oktoberfest and traveling funfairs. But swing rides are also common in amusement parks. Most of the German swing rides are from Zierer.
Some of these include:
- Africa Swing - Safariland Stukenbrock (Zierer)
- Fliegenpilz - Eifelpark (Zierer)
- Flying Carousel - Wunderland Kalkar (Zamperla)
- Himmelsstürmer - Taunus Wunderland (Zierer)
- La Ola - Heide Park (Zierer)
- Kettenflieger - Fränkisches Wunderland
- Kettenflieger - Hansa-Park
- Kettenkarussell - Ritter Rost Magic Park Verden
- Kettenkarussell - Schwaben Park
- Kettenkarussell - Skyline Park (Zierer)
- Königsflug - Bayern Park (Zierer)
- Pier Side Carousel - Movie Park Germany (Zierer)
- Sea Swing - Movie Park Germany (Zamperla)
- Wellenflieger - Fort Fun Abenteuerland (Zierer)
- Wellenflieger - Freizeit-Land Geiselwind (Zierer)
- Wellenfliegerpilz - Erlebnispark Steinau (Zierer)
- Wellenflug - Holiday Park (Wooddesign Rides B. V.)
- Wellenflug - Phantasialand (Zierer)
- Wiener Wellenflieger - Europa-Park (Zierer)
- Wirbelpilz - Erlebnispark Tripsdrill (Zierer)
- Zonga Kettenflieger - Serengeti Park (SBF Visa)
Attractiepark Slagharen located the same Chair-O-Plane as Loundoun Castle.
Some Swing rides in the Netherlands:
- Djinn - Toverland (Wooddesign Rides B. V.)
- K3 Slingermolen - Plopsa Indoor Coevorden
- Kettenflug Apollo - Attractiepark Slagharen (Schwarzkopf)
- Piraat Enterhaak! - Avonturenpark Hellendoorn (Zierer)
- Super Swing - Walibi Holland (Zierer)
Second largest amusement park in the Nordic countries is TusenFryd located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) outside the capital Oslo in Norway. TusenFryd is the home of a Wellenflieger named "Sverrehusken" and has been in operation since 1988. Sverrehusken is the first of its kind in the Nordic countries.
In Kongeparken located 10 km outside the fourth largest city in Norway, Stavanger is the home of a Wellenflieger named "Spinnvidle" and has been in operation since 2012. Spinnvidle is the first of its kind in Norway with double seats.
The Swedish name for Swing ride is Slänggunga or Kättingflygare. At Gröna Lund, Stockholm a swing ride with the name "Eclipse" can be found. With its 121.9 metres (400 ft) it shares the "world's second tallest" title with SkyScreamer in Texas, North America.
Loudoun Castle Theme Park in Scotland claimed that its moon-shaped ride, "The Plough", was the largest Chair-O-Plane in the world. The Plough was originally called Apollo 14 and was owned by the Bembom family, operating in their Ponypark Slagharen in the Netherlands during the late seventies. It had gondolas travelling around the outside of the ride. When moved to Dreamland in England (then called "Bembom Brothers"), it was reconstructed into a Chair-O-Plane and named Heatwave. Leaving Dreamland, it opened in Lightwater Valley in 1998 where it operated until 2003 when Henk Bembom moved Heatwave to his new park, Loudoun Castle, where it was renamed "The Plough" and painted green. The park has been closed since 2010.
Until 2016 there was a Chair-O-Plane ride at Alton Towers in Staffordshire. Called Twirling Toadstool it was set in a fantasy themed area of the park called Cloud Cukoo Land, it was themed as a giant mushroom. This was formerly themed as a prehistoric dinosaur-type ride and located in an area called Ug Land.
You can also find a Chair-O-Plane at Carters Steam Fair which is one of the largest vintage travelling funfairs including some steam driven rides. Their ride's past is a little patchy but is thought to have been built in Germany in the 1920s and imported to Britain with a blank canvas. It's generally the case that British roundabouts run clockwise, whereas their Continental and American counterparts run anti-clockwise. The Chair-o-Plane certainly runs the right direction to be a British-built ride, but it may have been adapted by an early owner.
Butlins is home to three Chair-O-Planes, one at each site located at Butlins Minehead, Butlins Bognor Regis ans Butlins Skegness. Butlins Minehead is home to a Zierer Wave Swinger and the other two resorts manufacturers are unknown.
Most of the swing carousel rides in North America are found in amusement parks. They are usually made by Zierer (which calls the ride Wave Swinger), although some are made by Bertazzon (which calls the ride Swing Carousel) or Zamperla (which calls the ride Flying Carousel and Lollyswings).
Some of these include:
- Aviator - Kemah Boardwalk
- Bluegrass Breeze - Beech Bend Park (Bertazzon)
- Charlie Brown's Wind Up — Kings Island (Zamperla)
- Crime Wave — Six Flags New England (Zierer)
- Crow's Nest(Formerly Sparkler) — Holiday World & Splashin' Safari (Zamperla Vertical Swing)
- Backyardigans Swing-Along - Nickelodeon Universe (Zierer)
- Da Vinci's Dream — Canobie Lake Park
- der Werbelwind — Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Zierer)
- Dream Machine — Calaway Park (Moser)
- Elmo's Cloud Chaser-Sesame Place (Zamperla)
- Eye of the Kraken — Swampy Jack's Wongo Adventure (ARM)
- Fiesta Swing — Wonderland Amusement Park (Chance Rides)
- Flying Catousel — Park at OWA (Zamperla Flying Carousel)
- Flying Swings — Waldameer Park (Zamperla)
- Freedom Flyer — Park at OWA (Zamperla Vertical Swing)
- Gotham City Crime Wave — Six Flags (Zierer)
- Gulf Glider — Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier (Bertazzon)
- The Gunslinger — Six Flags Over Texas (Chance Rides)
- HallowSwings — Holiday World & Splashin' Safari (Zamperla Flying Carousel)
- Italian Trapeze — Knoebels (Zamperla)
- Lasso — Darien Lake (Zierer)
- Lolly Swing — South Florida Fair (Zamperla)
- Vertigo - South Florida Fair (ARM)
- New England SkyScreamer— Six Flags New England (Funtime)
- North Star — Valleyfair (Funtime)
- Seaswings — Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (Bertazzon)
- Silly Symphony Swings — Disney California Adventure Park (Zierer)
- Skycatcher — Kentucky Kingdom (ARM Rides)
- SkyScreamer — Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Funtime)
- SkyScreamer — Six Flags Fiesta Texas (Funtime)
- SkyScreamer — Six Flags Great Adventure (Funtime)
- SkyScreamer — Six Flags Over Georgia (Funtime)
- SkyScreamer — Six Flags St. Louis (Funtime)
- Texas SkyScreamer — Six Flags Over Texas (Funtime)
- SteelHawk — Worlds of Fun (Mondial)
- Storm Chaser — Adventureland_(Iowa) (Mondial)
- Swing Carousel — Silver Dollar City (Bertazzon)
- Swing of the Century — Galaxyland (Zierer)
- Swing of the Century — Canada's Wonderland (Zierer)
- Texas Star Flyer — Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier (Funtime)
- Tour de Ville — La Ronde (Zamperla)
- Turn of the Century — Elitch Gardens (Zierer)
- Turn of the Century — Lagoon Amusement Park (Zierer)
- Vol Ultime — La Ronde (Funtime)
- Waltzing Swinger — Dollywood (Bertazzon)
- Wave Swinger — Cedar Point (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — Magic Mountain (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — Dorney Park (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — Funtastic
- Wave Swinger - Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — Hersheypark
- Wave Swinger - Lake Winnepesaukah
- Wave Swinger — Kennywood (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — Kings Dominion (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — Knott's Berry Farm (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — Lake Compounce (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — Playland
- Wave Swinger — South Florida Fair 2005–2009
- Wave Swinger — Saudi Amusement, Dammam KSA
- Wave Swinger — Seabreeze Amusement Park
- Wave Swinger — Strates Shows (Zierer)
- Wave Swinger — J&J Amusements Zierer
- Wave Swinger — Bengtson Pumpkin Farm Homer Glen, Illinois
- Wave Swinger — J&J Amusements Zierer
- Whirligig — Six Flags Fiesta Texas (Zierer)
- Whirligig — Six Flags Great America (Zierer)
- WindSeeker — Canada's Wonderland (Mondial)
- WindSeeker — Carowinds (Mondial)
- WindSeeker — Cedar Point (Mondial)
- WindSeeker — Kings Dominion (Mondial)
- WindSeeker — Kings Island (Mondial)
- Yo Yo - Alabama Splash Adventure (Chance Rides)
- Yo Yo — South Florida Fair (Chance Rides)
- Yo Yo --- Family Kingdom Amusement Park (Chance Rides)
- Yo Yo — Carowinds (Chance Rides)
- Yo Yo — West Coast Amusements
- Yo-Yo — Fun Spot USA (Chance Rides)
- Yo-Yo — Quassy Amusement Park(Chance Rides)
- Zephyr — Kings Island (Zierer)
- Vertigo - South Florida Fair and West Palm Fair (ARM)
- Zweefmolen — Dutch Village, Holland, Michigan
- Trukis Di Pinguim - Hopi Hari (Vinhedo, São Paulo, Brazil)
- Vertical Swing - Mundo Aventura Bogota, Colombia
- Fly Over - Fantasilandia, Santiago, Chile
- Sillas Voladoras - Salitre Mágico Bogota, Colombia
Asia and Oceania
- Unknown - Luna Park (Yerevan, Armenia)
- Unknown(Zierer)- Yerevan Park (Yerevan, Armenia)
- Ontang-anting — Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Dunia Fantasi) (Jakarta, Indonesia)
- Flying Fiesta - Philippines (Enchanted Kingdom)
- Cyclone - Adventure Island (New Delhi, India)
- Vòng xoay thần tốc - Đầm Sen Park (Vietnam)
- The Thunderbirds - Dream World (Thailand)
- Puss in Boots Sword Swing — Dreamworld (DreamWorks Experience)
- Volare - Luna Park Sydney (Preston & Barbieri)
- Wave Swing — Royal Adelaide Show
- Chair-o-Plane - Mahons Amusements (Carnival Ride Operator)
- Spinner — Genting Highlands (Genting Highlands Theme Park)
Spinner had dismantled due to the Genting Outdoor Theme Park has been closed since 1 September 2013 to make way for the world's first 20th Century Fox World, due to be completed by 2021.
- Wave Swing - Gold Reef City
In Italy, most of the Chair-O-Planes travel with fairs. The ride is called Seggiolini volanti ("Flying chairs") or calcinculo which literally means "kick in the bottom", from the ingenious way used to grab the high-placed "tail" and win a free ride. Two people sit in contiguous seats, and the one sitting behind kicks the friend higher in the air.
The Metalocalypse episode "Motherklok" features a Wave Slinger.
A German rock band is named Chair-O-Plane.
A Chair-O-Planes is featured on the cover of Dave Matthews Band's 1994 album Under the Table and Dreaming. The liner note credit lists the site of this photo as Sandusky, Ohio, which is the location of Cedar Point.
In John Updike's short story "You'll Never Know Dear How Much I Love You" he mentions a WhirloGig.
- David Burton. "Waveswinger". Amusement Ride Extravaganza web site. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
- "Family Swinger". Zamperla. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Midi Family Swinger". Zamperla. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Yo-yo". Chance Rides. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Swinger". The Flat Joint. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Swing Carousel". Bertazzon. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Star Flyer". Funtime. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Jackson, Tom (25 August 2010). "Cedar Fair says patent dispute won't halt development of new rides". Sandusky Register. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Jackson, Tom (18 August 2010). "Ride wars at Cedar Point?". Sandusky Register. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Vertical Swing". Zamperla. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Eclipse". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "SkyScreamer". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "Chair-o-plane bandinfo". band web site. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
- Media related to Swing rides at Wikimedia Commons