SANTA MONICA—After 27 years of entertaining beachgoers at Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier, the iconic 6,000-pound Sea Dragon, was lifted out of the amusement park by a heavy-duty helicopter on Thursday, March 9.

After a brief stay at the Port of Hueneme in Ventura County, it will make its way to its retirement at City Museum, a playground-like destination, in St. Louis.

The bright green fixture at the pier known as Sea Dragon, a giant swinging pirate ride, debuted in May 1996.

“I live very close to the pier. My memory of the dragon, rather humorously, is the sound of children, screaming with a glee in rhythm with its pendular swings,” said Bernard Yin of Santa Monica.

High above the sea, the Dragon flew with lifelike heads and thrills anew for patrons who rode it.

An updated Sea Dragon is now sitting on the footprint of the first ride, bringing similar swing-based thrills with new technology, like LED lights and wind generators, and new features that include an energetic custom soundtrack.

“The original Sea Dragon has provided millions of Pacific Park guests with fun memories with family and friends over the last 26 years,” said Nathan Smithson, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

“The enthusiasm that guests have for the original Sea Dragon and its extreme popularity prompted us to introduce the all-new Sea Dragon and reimagine the ride experience while providing the same classic swing ride that guests know and love so well.”