Skyline Attractions - From Imagination to Innovation
Skyline Attractions, LLC is an amusement rides manufacturer and designer based out of Orlando, Florida, USA. The company has had a hand in record-breaking roller coasters, revolutionary new ride concepts, and projects at some of the world’s premier amusement and theme parks. The relatively young company’s history can be traced back to the early 2010s and includes wooden roller coasters, innovative ride concepts, and Cincinnati chili.
The concept of Skyline Attractions was first dreamed up by three Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCII) employees – VP of Sales & Design Jeff Pike, Design Engineer Evan Souliere, and Procurement and Assembly Director Chris Gray. The trio had worked for the award-winning wooden roller coaster company for a cumulative 30+ years, designing and building some of the world’s best thrill rides. They had played critical roles in many of the company’s biggest and best attractions and, during their time at the company, had been involved in the design, sales, operation, and/or maintenance of more than 25% of the world’s operating wooden roller coasters. But they were itching to expand outside of wooden roller coasters and take some wild new ride concepts for a spin.
The three GCII employees were joined by a fourth amusement industry veteran, Bill Wydra, and began to discuss starting a new amusement rides company. They wanted this new company to offer more than just one type of attraction and have a diverse range of rides for all age groups and thrill levels. The co-founders also began to take weekend trips to Florida, where the new company would be located, and started dreaming-up new ride concepts and ideas. They also settled on a name for the company: while brainstorming what to call the venture, Pike spotted a cup from the Cincinnati-based chain of chili parlors, Skyline Chili, where the company took frequent lunch breaks. The name Skyline worked perfect for a company that would one day be transforming the skyline of amusement parks everywhere.
Skyline Attractions, LLC was officially launched on July 1, 2014. The company’s first line of products, GamesURide, was announced shortly thereafter. GamesURide was an innovative concept that married carnival games with amusement rides. This included the Strike-U-Up (a thrilling take on the popular High Striker game), followed by Spin-U-Win. The two ride models would go on to have successful runs at parks and events across the country.
One of the goals of Skyline Attractions was to support the future of the amusement industry by investing in the next generation of industry professionals. Skyline Attractions hosted its first SKYnext event in March 2015 to accomplish this. SKYnext is an opportunity for the future leaders of the theme park industry to network, learn about themed entertainment companies, and establish lifelong connections. The event has since recurred several times, most recently in 2020 with a virtual SKYnext Reunion.
Skyline Attractions expanded beyond the GamesURide line in October 2015 with the debut of Crazy Couch. Crazy Couch is one of only a handful of U.S.-built children’s rides and is incomparable to anything else on the market. The child-favorite ride has since been installed at numerous parks across the country and overseas.
Approximately a year after Crazy Couch’s debut, Skyline Attractions unveiled another new ride in November 2016: Skywarp. Since redesigned and reengineered as Skywarp II, this compact roller coaster ride offered big thrills for a low price and would enable even the smallest of parks to have a thrilling, inverting roller coaster of their own. The first installation, Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster, opened less than two years later at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, USA. A variant of the ride, the Horizon (since succeeded by Horizon II), opened in 2019 at SeaWorld San Diego in San Diego, California, USA with the debut of Tidal Twister.
In addition to Skyline Attractions’ own line-up of amusement attractions, the company’s roots in GCII and its world-class wooden roller coasters has remained strong over the years. Skyline Attractions has provided its design and engineering expertise to help bring GCII’s wooden roller coasters to life, including Mystic Timbers (Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, USA), Wicker Man (Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England), and Texas Stingray (SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, USA). Skyline Attractions engineers have also spearheaded some exciting new design projects for the premier wooden roller coaster manufacturer, including the revolutionary Infinity Flyer train design and Titan Track steel track design.
Skyline Attractions has also partnered with other amusement ride manufacturers and major USA theme parks on a long list of behind-the-scenes engineering, design, and inspection projects. Even though the company’s name is not typically associated with most of these ventures, it has further solidified Skyline Attractions’ spot as a major theme park industry company.
Looking toward the horizon, Skyline Attractions continues to innovate and help define the future of the theme park industry with its growing portfolio of rides, attractions, and experiences.