Swinging with the stars (Orlando Starflyer review)

Edited: June 20, 2018, 1:23 PM

For the first time in many weeks my drive home from SeaWorld was blue skies and sunny, so when travelling up Universal I couldn’t resist the chance to try the Starflyer. Parking the car by Charlie’s Steakhouse, I wandered over to find a very short line of people waiting to go on, so a good start. Ralph at work, who went on a couple of weeks ago, suggested I sit on the outside as I was a single rider. He found the inside swayed and twisted far more than the outside. So I paid my $12 and stood in line. You could tell it was still not running at the 60mph “thrill” speed it was first advertised to be, so I was happy. I’ve been on the Skyflyer’s at the Cedar Fair parks and really enjoyed those … the view is great, but they are a lot slower than the Starflyer. More importantly though the chairs weren’t held on by chains !! The Starflyer arrived, and I nervously settled myself into one of the chairs …. on the outside. The bar was little awkward to bypass as it lifts up the chains, but I managed to duck under and get myself into what was a hard but comfortable seat. I fastened the seat belt into the locking device and then sat there wondering WTF was I doing on this ride. But before I had chance to change my mind a slight bump signaled the start of the upward journey and off we went. The view is spectacular, even with whizzing round it was great to see Orlando from the aerial view perspective that the Starflyer gives you. We slowed down for a few revolutions at the top and then we were on our way down. This is where the “thrill” part comes into play as the rotational speed increases and the chairs swing out to around 45°. It was pretty windy at the top, and the chairs swayed around quite a bit, but at no time did I ever feel unsafe. All in all I loved it, and it was so refreshingly different to anything I’d ever been on before that I paid my $7 and went straight back on. Next time I want to try it in the dark, so it may be a few months before I go back on. Although they were saying that later in the evening the re-rides would be only $1, but that may have been because it was very quiet. The Midnight to 2am ride time could be a lot of fun with all the tourists around ?? But then again, now I’ve been on, and I drive right by it twice a week …. who knows, if I have $12 in my pocket another ride might be on the agenda. With the Starflyer and Mine Blower (at Fun Spot in Kissimmee) we have 2 awesome rides that, if you’re in town, my advice is definitely take the time to do them both. You won’t be disappointed. Starflyer’s bark is much worse than it’s bite …. :)

I was going to include some photos but Flickr et al is way beyond my computer skills. Is there a reason why I just can't copy and paste into the post ??

Replies (6)

June 20, 2018, 10:19 AM

I'm up for almost any coaster, but even just reading this post made my stomach churn. Actually just got my first real view of the flyer a few nights ago driving down Universal Blvd.....Nope, still not happening for me. Glad you enjoyed it, though :-)

June 20, 2018, 12:18 PM

FYI: For Flickr photos, you can embed them here by clicking the little arrow on the lower right corner of the Flickr image page, copying the embed code and pasting it in your Theme Park Insider post where you want the image to appear.

YouTube embeds work the same way, too.

Edited: June 20, 2018, 12:48 PM

Robert - thanks for the Flickr heads up, but I'm a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to computers and don't have any photo page storage areas. I'm one of those guys who doesn't have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. E-mail and cut and paste JPG's is about as far as I go. As I can cut and paste text into the TPI posting box I just assumed I could do the same with the JPG's. When I get home I'll see what I can conjure up with Flickr. My son and his wife are into all of that, so they should be able to help me ... :)
I know you mentioned in another post you wouldn't be getting on the Starflyer, but I was really surprised just how smooth a ride it was. Yes the chairs can move about at the top in the wind, but all in all I found it as enjoyable as the Skyflyers .... I assume you've been on those ?

June 20, 2018, 12:51 PM

We saw this on our ride to and from UO this weekend. It's definitely tall, but I don't think it's worth a $12 ticket. Yes, it's taller than other starflyers around the country, but I don't see how the extra 150 feet really makes the experience worth a separate admission. If it included a ride on the ICON or one of the nearby attractions, it might be worth $25-30, but as a stand-alone, it doesn't entice me to open my wallet with so many other options around Orlando.

June 20, 2018, 1:23 PM

I'm actually pleased it's a stand alone, as I have no interest to ride the ICON wheel, go to Madame Tussauds or see fishes swimming around in glass tanks. I agree $12 is a bit steep, and I wish the re-rides were in the $2-3 range, but it's a new ride so they will milk it for whatever they can get. The $1 re-ride later in the evening shout-out may be a sign of things to come?

June 20, 2018, 1:36 PM

I guess it depends on what their target audience is. If they're going after the locals, having it as a stand-alone attraction is probably the way to go (assuming they're not also charging for parking). However, if they're trying to target the tourist market, I think they're foolish to not package this attractions with other nearby Merlin attractions. It would be like riding to the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas and just coming back down (not riding the three rides at the top). If you're going to venture over to the complex as a tourist, you're not just going to spend the 20 minutes to ride this carnival swing on steroids, even if the price were more affordable. Fun Spot learned this lesson very quickly, which is why it's a full-blown amusement park now.

I'm guessing the $1 evening re-rides are a ploy to get teenagers to get their parents or other friends to come back to ride later in the day (and to have more than a handful of guests per cycle, which is what I saw on the few cycles I observed over the past few days).

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