Sky Diver is a whirlwind of fun

At first glance, the Sky Diver looks like a plain Ferris wheel. But when you get up close, you realize there is a lot more to this ride than meets the eye. The Sky Diver is based on a Ferris wheel design, but passengers sit in cages similar to the Zipper. The cages are mounted on an axle that allows the cars to spin like a barrel roll.

The best part? There’s a wheel in the cage so you, or your co-pilot, can control how fast you spin. To see this technique in action, check out the video below. (My favorite example is at 3:04).

Note: If video doesn’t play, try refreshing browser

This is one of several rides making its first trip to the N.C. State Fair. Powers Great American Midways, our midway provider since 2006, also will bring:

  • Magic Maze Glass House: Children will enjoy this two-story house of glass, especially the slide.
  • Looney Lagoon: Hop in a wooden tub and take the ride of your life in this family friendly pirate-themed coaster.
  • Crazy Chopper: You’ve been cleared for takeoff in this zany helicopter ride.
  • Cyclone Tunnel: You may want to hold off on the deep-fried goodies until after you go through this vertigo-inducing chamber.

With more than 100 rides, North Carolina has the largest fair midway in the country. There’s a ride for almost everyone, whether you like a peaceful rotation on the Merrie-Go-Round or a scream-enducing spin on the Twister.

Now’s the time to buy your ride tickets and take advantage of discounted prices. Discount tickets are available online now through Oct. 13. Walk-up locations open Thursday at multiple retail locations.

Ride sheets can be purchased in advance for $10 for a sheet of 18 tickets. At the door, ride tickets are $1 per ticket. Ultimate thrill seekers will want to come to the fair Preview Day Thursday, Oct. 13, for unlimited-ride wristbands. For more information, including a complete schedule of events and show times, or to buy fair tickets, go to

We’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite ride at the fair?

About Bearded Lady

Paul Jones blogged for the 2009-2012 N.C. State Fairs. Here's his bio from 2009: Paul Jones, here (a.k.a. Bearded Lady). I love the N.C. State Fair. I love the rides, I love the food, but my favorite part of the Fair is the displays of the unusual. The two-headed snake, the world’s smallest woman, the world’s tallest horse and the list goes on. Originally from South Carolina, I hope that I can bring a different perspective to this blog as I shed light on some of the ordinary, yet extraordinary, aspects of this year’s Fair.


  1. That violates my “no spinning in more than 1 direction” rule regarding rides. I will save that one for people with better equilibrium.

  2. SO glad to finally get the Skydiver back. This is a great ride. One time when I was in 8th grade we were stopped pointing straight down. We spun the wheel so fast and smoothly that the car felt completely still and the world seemed to spin. It was a fantastic lesson in inertia and acceleration. I’ve never been able to replicate that moment.

  3. Above, it says this is the first time that the skydiver will be at the fair. That is incorrect. It used to be there every year, right next to the super loop/ring of fire on the main midway.

  4. I too, am glad to see the Sky Diver back at the NC State Fair. When Strates Shows did the midway, they always had the Sky Diver set up. So, the Sky Diver isn’t really a new ride like they’re basing it as, seeing as Strates used to set theirs up when they used to do the NC State Fair. I think what they’re getting at is the new light show that Sky Diver of Powers’ will have. They did away with the turbo lights & put new LEDs on the sweeps of it. It will have a light show on it at night similar to what the light show on the new SkyWheel at Myrtle Beach has. The SkyWheel’s light show is pretty spectacular and i bet that the Sky Diver’s light show will be just as awesome!

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