Well wishers to one of the Santa Monica Pier’s most famous attractions, the Sea Dragon, witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime and only-in-Santa-Monica moment when a helicopter dropped its wires, snagged the city’s largest green scaly resident and took the dragon on its last ride to a museum in St. Louis earlier today. The mayor, local police (who uploaded video on social media) and other city officials were on hand to say goodbye to the Sea Dragon, which will be replaced on the pier by a new Sea Dragon later this month.
I guess a city housing thousands of vikings (and viking alumni) wouldn’t be the same without its own dragon.
In its 29 years on the pier, the 6,000 pound giant swinging ride took over 12 million people up and down (and up and down) through the air in 180 degree arcs. Though perhaps bested in Hollywood popularity after the Ferris Wheel took several spins through Downtown Santa Monica in the Sharknado film series, the dragon starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix in Her and with Robert Downey Jr. in little known arthouse film Iron Man.
Those feeling sad about the questionable choice to retire in St. Louis can take solace that the two-headed monster will have an active retirement. The exact schedule for the green monstrosity hasn’t been revealed; but it will have plenty of space in the Downtown St. Louis Museum known locally as a place for fun and interactive experiences for kids. The museum is already threatening to place the Sea Dragon on its roof to keep a watchful eye over the populace and presumably scare the heck out of the local red-winged wildlife.
The new Sea Dragon, brought to you by the creators of the old Sea Dragon, promises to be even more thrilling and stomach churning than the original. The new ride costs $1.5 million, which could also buy the owners of Pacific Park a 1,000 sq. foot condo on California Avenue if they change their mind, and includes the following upgrades:
- Custom music and sound in case riders get bored as they’re flung through the air,
- Wind generators and a misting system in case riders get hot as they’re flung through the air,
- Shaking seats to replicate stormy seats, in case riders…wait a second…why would you do this? Dear Lord, why?,
- Energy-efficient lights lining the car and 40-foot tall ride supports, in case riders want to see better as they’re flung through the air at night.
The new Sea Dragon opens to the public for rides on March 29, which also happens to be my wife’s birthday. She seems excited that I have a new way to remember it.
Image via @SaMoMayor/Twitter.