Map of all Von Roll skyrides still in the USA
Tulsa’s classic Von Roll skyride stands alone in a vast central region of the United States. This map clearly highlights what a unique feature the Tulsa Skyride is for Tulsa and Oklahoma. The nearest neighboring Von Roll skyride is to the north at the Minnesota State Fair in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The Von Roll skyrides on the map
- San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA opened 1969
- SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego, CA opened 1967
- California’s Great America, Santa Clara, CA opened 1976
- Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, FL opened 1974
- Minnesota State Fair, Saint Paul, MN opened 1964
- Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ opened 1974, a combination of parts from Freedomland 1960 and New York World’s Fair 1964
- Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sandusky, OH opened 1962
- Tulsa State Fair, Tulsa, OK opened 1965
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA opened 1975
- Washington State Fair, Puyallup, WA opened 1962 at the Century 21 Exposition, Seattle World’s fair and later relocated to Puyallup
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment owns three of the US Von Roll skyrides: SeaWorld San Diego, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Busch Gardens Tampa.
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company owns two of the US Von Roll skyrides: California’s Great America and Cedar Point.
Six Flags is down to only one remaining Von Roll skyride: a rare double Von Roll skyride at Six Flags Great Adventure, originally built from parts that came from New York’s defunct 1960 Freedomland theme park and the New York 1964-1965 World’s Fair. It originally ran Gangloff cabins from the New York World’s Fair but now runs CWA cabins from defunct skyrides that were at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL.
The remaining four Von Roll skyrides are all independently owned at three state fairs and one zoo. The state fairs with Von Rolls are the Minnesota, Tulsa, and Washington state fairs. The Minnesota and Tulsa skyrides started out under common ownership. The San Diego Zoo is the lone zoo in the United States with a Von Roll skyride.
Oklahoma vs. Texas
Note on the map that Texas has zero Von Roll skyrides. The Lone Star State was once home to six Von Roll skyrides. They are all long gone. The Sooner State never had more than one, the one that’s still here.
Eventually the State Fair of Texas replaced their Von Roll skyride in 2007 with a new Doppelmayr skyride for a cool $5.5 million.
Texas lost out on keeping any of its Von Roll skyrides and it doesn’t do any favors for the Tulsa Skyride, either. The State Fair of Texas is a much larger and more successful fair than Tulsa’s. Ironically, it gets a huge annual boost from Oklahomans flocking to the OU-Texas game that takes place at the State Fair of Texas during both that fair and the Tulsa State Fair. The Oklahoma football fans pour tons of money into the Dallas economy and into the State Fair of Texas each year. Not only that, but that game reportedly takes a bite out of the attendance of the Tulsa State Fair that weekend.
Tulsa’s skyride: a unique asset and underutilized gem
Don’t wipe it off the map. Let’s embrace and celebrate the Tulsa Skyride. It’s the only Von Roll skyride in the USA that’s limited to only eleven operating days per year. It has the potential for lots of creative new opportunities that could benefit Tulsa and Oklahoma. It’s a Tulsa treasure. Let’s keep it going.
Be sure to visit our homepage to see how easily you can take steps to help save the Tulsa Skyride.