For decades, downtown Myrtle Beach revolved around the old Pavilion, which closed in 2008 to the dismay of longtime visitors who got their thrills at the historic amusement park. Just a few years later, the downtown district has filled the void with lots of new thrill rides, water slides and zipline glides high over the Myrtle Beach skyline.
Best of all, Bay View on the Boardwalk guests can simply stroll down the beach, the Boulevard or the new Myrtle Beach Boardwalk to find some heart-thumping entertainment. With the Adrenaline Adventure zipline moving into the old Pavilion site, the addition of the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and upgrades to Family Kingdom, downtown is hopping again.
The thrills start at Adrenaline Adventure, where two towers now stand on opposite ends of the old Pavilion property. Standing five stories tall, the towers have a series of cables that cover a 600-foot stretch of zipline. Groups of up to six can soar down the zipline together and race to the other end, or enjoy the bird’s-eye view of the ocean.
Adrenaline Adventure also offers a ropes course for those who like a good challenge, but the most hair-raising stunt is a five-story freefall from the tower into a safety net. Experienced and trained guides take the time to show patrons all the ropes before giving them the green light, and there’s a view stand for those who just want to watch.
For those who prefer the more traditional amusement rides, Family Kingdom Amusement Park is only a short walk down Ocean Boulevard. This historic park used to play second fiddle to the Pavilion, but it grew by leaps and bounds after its closing. Several new thrill rides have been added, like the Twist-N-Shout roller coaster and kiddie rides.
Other popular rides include the Hurricane, the Scrambler, the Thunderbolt, the Yo-Yo, and the old Swamp Fox roller coaster, a classic wooden roller coaster that has thrilled visitors for generations. The new Slingshot Drop Zone allows guests to experience a free fall from 110 feet and provides a nice balance of older and newer rides for guests.
But the biggest addition to Family Kingdom came across Ocean Boulevard at the Splashes Waterpark. The only oceanfront waterpark on the Grand Strand features two types of waterslides – the twisting tubes that take passengers down a spinning course, and the tall and steep speed slides that take riders on a spine-tingling splash to the bottom.
For a ride on the slightly milder side, check out the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel in the heart of the downtown district. The flashing neon lights make it impossible to miss, and the unique view of the Atlantic Ocean and downtown Myrtle Beach.
Taking passengers 190 feet in the air in comfortable, climate-controlled gondolas, the SkyWheel is the tallest of its kind on the East Coast and provides the perfect place to snap some vacation photos and, as many young couples have discovered, a romantic spot to pop the question.
If all those high-flying thrill rides aren’t enough to get your blood pumping, you may be ready to step up to the biggest challenges in the downtown district. The Slingshot takes the brave at heart on a bungee-cord freefall that propels you 300 feet in the air at speeds approaching 100 mph.
The Skyscraper features a giant propeller with twin arms that spin riders in a complete circle in open-air cars. Experience the feeling of being suspended in mid-air before spinning at speeds in excess of 55 mph and heights of 160 feet.
Bay View Resort guests don’t have to look far to find some adrenaline-filled thrills. Just don’t look down.