Classic Santa Monica Pier Thrill Ride Gets New Home In St. Louis
A classic thrill ride from Santa Monica Pier's Pacific Park has a new home in St. Louis.
I'm talking about the iconic Sea Dragon ride that entertained pier goers at the Pier since 1996. The Sea Dragon is one of the more famous rides at the Pier having been included in "Iron Man" with Robert Downey, Jr. and "Her" with Joaquin Phoenix. The ride was also the subject of the book “Stella Rose and the Sea Dragon” by Stella and James Harris with illustrator Michael Bailey.
According to the Historical Amusement Park Flat Rides group on Facebook, the ride is the original Chance Fury ride manufactured by Chance Rides in Wichita, Kansas. Riders may be more familiar with its more popular Pharaoh’s Fury theme that seems to dominate fair and festival carnivals.
The iconic ride recently made a four-day trek from the west coast to its new home at the City Museum in St. Louis. The City Museum in a Facebook post says the ride entertained over 12 million people during its time at the Santa Monica Pier, and the City Museum is happy to be the Sea Dragon's new home.
The City Museum in their post says you can currently spot it in the parking lot, or on the rooftop of the museum in the future. Here's what some riders of the ride left on the Pacific Park's memory page honoring the ride's legacy on the pier.
"My very first time I ever went to the beach was when I was 17 and the moment I stepped foot on Santa Monica pier and saw the sea dragon, I made sure to ride at the very last seat so I can have the full experience. Still one of my best memories. After that year, I made sure to ride the sea dragon every December and I always had a blast." -Christine Cee
"On April 1, 2002, my then 51-year-old husband and 7-year-old son rode the Sea Dragon 16 times in a row!" - Mimi Poon Fear
"I live very close to the pier. My memory of the dragon, rather humorously, is the sound of children, screaming with a glee in rhythm with its pendular swings. So, it’s the sound of the dragon! Or better yet, the sound of those riding the dragon I will miss. Really a great looking ride, I hate to see it go." - Bernard Yin
Fox News 2 reports that The City Museum will be making some decisions on its future at the museum in the next few weeks. Here's hoping it will delight and entertain guests at the City Museum as much as it did Santa Monica Pier goers. Pacific Park replaced the classic ride with an updated version from Chance Rides that includes LED lighting, custom sound, and a misting system to make riders feel they're out at sea.
Pacific Park reports in retirement their original Sea Dragon will "continue to fly high on top of the museum’s roof and sit next to a Big Eli Ferris wheel, slides, and other eclectic attractions."