With the increased popularity of adventure parks and places offering more daring thrills, amusement and theme parks looked to add similar attractions to their ride lineups. Because things like zip lines and rope courses have low capacity when introduced in a theme park, they are often offered as up-charge experiences to help offset the added costs of staffing and maintenance.
|For the 2013 season, Six Flags
Great Adventure opened the Safari Off Road Adventure, incorporating the
former Wild Animal Drive-Thru Safari into the theme park. The Safari was given
new themed elements as part of a major makeover including a new outpost in
the middle of the African Plains area called Camp Aventura. This area
disembark the ride's tour vehicles and get up close with more species of
smaller animals, an ever changing array of Safari babies, as well as
opportunities to feed giraffes. The camp also featured restrooms and limited
food and merchandise outlets.
Another unique feature of Camp Aventura was the Soaring Eagle zip line.
The attraction was a modified zip line experience with a
ride vehicle that securely sat two guests, pulled them up outside the
boundaries of Camp Aventura and let them fly back down the cables into
the heart of the camp area.
Manufactured by Altitude Rides and Attractions, the ride was not a true "zip line" where people individually wore harnesses and took a free flight down a wire. The design of the ride allowed for a quicker and safer way to experience the thrill of speeding down a steep slope suspended by a relatively small cable.
The two person ride vehicle included an overhead roller assembly which had a cable that threaded through its center upon which the seats would roll. Another cable served as the drive mechanism for the seats and was attached on the front end of the assembly, threaded through a powered winch which controlled its speed, and sent up and over the seats to a pulley located far away to a tall mast. The mast was positioned atop one of the highest points in the Safari above the brown bear area Terra Ursus. Depending upon the powered direction of the winch, the passengers were either pulled backwards out of the load area to the top of tall mast for a wonderful view of the park or pulled forward to race back down to the earth below.
|Soaring Eagle had a weight limited of 450 pounds combined for both seats. Sensors automatically weighed the payload in the car and overweight riders were notified. The ride also did not operate in high winds. Coupled with Soaring Eagle's limited capacity and being a remote up-charge attraction made the ride something few guests experienced.|
|Over time, in order to attraction more riders the ticket price for the ride was dropped but the ride still didn't really live up to ridership expectations. It seemed to be too tame for real adventure seekers and the extra charge put off others.|
|The Soaring Eagle was even advertised in the theme park hoping to entice riders to come out and ride it, but between the up-charge for it and the long lines to get to it on the Safari Off Road Adventure trucks, few made the trek out to Camp Aventura just to ride it.|
After the 2019 season, everything changed with the Covid-19 pandemic. In
order to open to the public again as soon as possible, the Wild Safari
was turned back into a drive through experience. The Safari Off Road
Adventure trucks were mothballed starting in 2020 meaning stops at Camp Aventura
Camp Aventura remained shuttered during 2021 and starting in 2022 a special Giraffe Encounter up-charge safari using the off-road trucks resurfaced and included a stop at the camp for giraffe feedings. As far as the zip line attraction, visitors to Camp Aventura soon discovered that the Soaring Eagle ride had been removed from the park.
|Original Spotlight: March 27, 2023. GAH Reference#: PAID-2013-001|