The Giant Swing

An addition for 2007, The Giant Swing is SDC’s first major stand-alone flat ride. The story behind the ride is that the Wilson kids got tired of the plain old rope swing in their family barn, and decided to take things to a new level.
TGS is a typical 32-seat S&S Screamin Swing built within a not-so-typical life-sized barn facade, and is the star of an all-new area of SDC: Wilson’s Farm. Wilson’s Farm is packed with goodies besides the Giant Swing, including: a milkable cow, 2 Hegee towers (dubbed the Hi-Lo Silos), several new games including a water balloon fight, and the usual Hershend charms like the magic faucet and the watering pot fountain, plus several other things.

The Giant Swing consists of two… well, giant swings which hold 8 riders on each face. These swings swing out to an arc of 230 degrees, reaching top speeds of up to 45 mph. Ride facing the back of the park, and you can look down at a great view of the Lost River, which lies in a valley below the swing. Ride facing the park, and you get a hawk’s eye view of SDC. The ride doesn’t last long, due to the amount of air that the tanks can hold, but I’ve found this ride to give a more fulfilling experience than the other swings I’ve been on. The air tanks aren’t all bad though, they do after all, provide the ride with the power it needs without affecting the environment, which is one of the prime reasons the Hershends chose this ride.

Thanks once again to S&S’s fantastic seat and restraint design, a large array of riders can ride TGS, but for some reason the height restriction is at 48 inches. Again, these seats are famous for fitting to the needs of the rider, allowing everyone from large mid-westerners to children to be accommodated.

The TGS concept was chosen from 3 suggested concepts. One was a Frisbee, presumably a Huss model; another was a Huss Topple Tower, presumably a clone of the Timberrrr Tower at Dollywood; and the final option was of course TGS. TGS was outstandingly chosen both by guests and park management, not only because of the exciting nature, low-impact on the environment, and family-friendliness with an eye to thrill seekers that the ride portrayed, but also because the Hershends have been iffy around Huss, especially when it comes to Topple Towers. The Huss Topple Tower at Dollywood has given the Hershends endless grief since its debut. When it was being built, there were many large delays due to parts problems and mechanical errors, and during it’s past two years of operations, the ride has been closed more than open due to constant break-downs. Indeed, there was one famous incident during the summer of 2007 in which riders were stuck on the ride for hours. Thus, the Hershends were not so interested in Huss, but S&S on the other hand had just built one of the park’s most Favorited coasters, so there really was no contest between the concepts.