Before 2006, the heart of Myrtle Beach was The Pavilion. Generations of families enjoyed the amusement park’s rides, and it was considered a vacation and family tradition for many Grand Strand vacationers. Today, while the old Pavilion is gone, Myrtle Beach is by no means facing a shortage of thrill rides. Far from it! The Grand Strand has plenty of thrill rides, and we are going to guide you through the best of them.
We’ll start just a couple miles down the beach from the Dayton House, where you’ll find Family Kingdom Amusement Park at 300 South Ocean Boulevard. The park is not new — it has been thrilling locals and tourists alike since 1966. While you’ll still find the Swamp Fox, the park’s original wooden roller coaster, Family Kingdom has added more thrilling and heart-stopping rides throughout the decades. The original, though, is still one of the best, with over 2,400 feet of all-wooden track featuring twists, turns and the bonus of an ocean view.
Farther up Ocean Boulevard and less than a mile south of the Dayton House, you’ll find two of the hottest thrill rides in the area. The name of the company is actually Myrtle Beach Thrill Rides, so that should tell you they are going to make your heart JUMP! The first heart-stopper is the Sling Shot. This thriller takes two passengers and sends them 300 feet into the air. As a rider, you will be lying down on your back facing the sky, toward which you will shortly be propelled at 100 miles per hour. The owners of the Sling Shot point out that, at the peak of your adventure, you are approximately as high as the observation tower on the Eiffel Tower! A video camera captures your screams from beginning to end, so you can relive the ride and show your friends how you survived.
At the same location and brought to you by the same company, the Skyscraper is not for the faint of heart. Imagine yourself spinning 16 stories into the air at 55 miles per hour while seated in an open car with your feet dangling. If your heart isn’t racing yet, then imagine this sensation lasting for two solid minutes while you rotate into the air and are turned upside down 160 feet off the ground. Just as with the Sling Shot, riders can take home a video of their hair-raising, bone-chilling adventure. This is a ride made just for the daredevils in your group.
If you prefer to keep your feet on (or at least near) the ground for your thrills, you may want to check out Myrtle Beach Speedway for the heart-pounding adventure of driving an actual race car at the track. The Speedway is home to the NASCAR Racing Experience, where guests can choose to drive their own race car (who doesn’t dream of this?) or ride along with a professional driver. Of course, for maximum thrills, we suggest getting behind the wheel yourself, as this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows you to drive at top speeds around the track while your heart races into your throat at every curve.
Of course, we can’t leave out the wet and wild thrills. This is the beach, after all! One of the area’s top water thrillers is an afternoon on your own jet ski. These are available for rent throughout the Grand Strand, with options that include racing along the Intracoastal Waterway or through the Atlantic Ocean. A jet ski is something of a motorcycle on water — the difference, of course, is the soft and wet landing when falling off a jet ski, which we can assure you is likely to happen. With that said, be sure to keep the water safety and regulations set forth by your guides in mind.
These are just a few of the thrilling opportunities available for your Myrtle Beach vacation. When you stay with us at The Dayton House Resort, we will be more than happy to help you plan your thrilling time! From the water to the sky and back down to the track at the speedway, these rides are not for the faint of heart, but they will certainly make for lasting memories and great stories to share once you are back home.