CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Visitors leaving Carowinds amusement park Saturday were disappointed they couldn’t ride the WindSeeker – one of the park’s newest rides, and also the tallest -- but understood the reason why.
“They were having problems with this ride all year long here,” said Neil Smith, who had a car full of kids. “They would stop it every now and then.”
Saturday, Carowinds’ parent company, Cedar Fair, shut down the WindSeeker ride at Carowinds and five of its other amusement parks in the U.S. and Canada.
The ride has stranded passengers 300 feet in the air on at least four occasions in three different parks since June.
"I really was hyperventilating. I didn't know if the whole thing would plummet," said Dona Garrison, after getting stuck on the WindSeeker at Knott’s Berry Farm in California this week.
It was the second time in a month that particular ride had stopped mid-air, stranding passengers.
The same thing happened at Carowinds in July. Twenty-five people were stuck in the midday sun for more than two and a half hours after a safety sensor stopped the ride.
"After about three minutes, everyone started freaking out," Chad Kistler told NewsChannel 36 two days after it happened. "People, wondering if they were going to die."
The WindSeeker ride also malfunctioned at Cedar Point Park in Ohio in June.
In a statement Saturday, Cedar Fair said, "For this particular ride, the safety system has been activated on more than one occasion for various reasons at various locations."
Cedar Fair said the WindSeekers would remain closed "until an internal review has been completed."
Park Patrons were disappointed as they left Carowinds at closing time.
Wayne Pack said he wanted to ride the WindSeeker, but it was closed. "We didn't like it too well," he said of the company's decision to stop the ride. "I think they had a good reason, but we'd still like to ride it."
Despite the attention the malfunctions are getting, no serious injuries have been reported.