Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (2/15/20) You may recall back in December some of the local residents near Kings Island had been filing complaints about the noise levels from the park, including a predicted increase from the addition of Orion. Kings Island has come forward to address the issues and added that Orion’s rail sections will now be pre-filled with sand to reduce the sound levels from the ride, and the park has “initiated a project” to go back and fill “certain sections” of Diamondback’s track with sand based on recommendations from an acoustic engineer. After the park opens the noise levels will be checked again to see how effective the process was on the adjusted sections and determine what further action can be done with additional modifications, if needed.
The addition of sand to the track of B&M coasters has been a long-time noise-reduction solution in place used on many of their coasters around the world, as well as at other Cedar Fair owned parks.
(1/25/20) I had a few of you ask about Vortex at Kings Island and according to some photo found on Facebook, the demolition of Vortex has begun in full force. According to another tip sent my way, it sounds like some of Vortex will live on at Carowinds for a time, as the trains were apparently sent to the N/S Carolina theme park to be used on that park’s Carolina Cyclone coaster. This will actually be the second coaster trains to make their way to Carowinds from Kings Island, as the Firehawk trains were also sent there for Nighthawk.
(12/14/19) I wouldn’t expect this to change anything right now, but there is some growing concern amongst the locals who live around Kings Island, some of which were there before the theme park was built in the 60’s, over noise concerns. According to this local article, everyone even agrees that the park is violating the current noise regulations, including the city and the park. Here is where things get kind of sticky however, as the city’s attorney also commented that the existing noise ordinance is “outdated and unenforceable” and that the city needs to rewrite their noise ordinance to address today’s reality. The good news is that the park is aware of this and does not want to be a bad neighbor and can take certain actions to lower noise levels where they can as well.
(9/27/19) BREAKING - Kings Island announced early this morning that after 33 years of making guests scream, the park’s VORTEX roller coaster (Arrow - 1987) will be officially retired and removed from the park. The last day to ride will be October 27th, so your 30-day countdown will begin with the rides tonight at Halloween Haunt.
According to the park, after 33 seasons and 45 million riders, and 275 million inversions, Vortex has reached the end of it’s long and successful life. When it first opened in 1987, Vortex was said to be the first coaster to flip-riders upside down through six inversion on a continuous circuit.
I’m happy to say that I had the pleasure to ride Vortex a few times over the years and while the inversions were not the most comfortable, the thing I fondly remember most was always wanting to ride in the back car because of the intense gut-wrenching plunge sensation as you were ripped around the corner and down that first drop. So long Vortex!
2020 - ORION - (1/31/20) Good news for those waiting to ride Orion, Kings Island reports that the final piece of track was installed on Thursday. They go on to report some other fun stats, such as the $30 million budget and that it took nearly 160 truck-loads to deliver all the steel used for Orion to the park. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if Orion is able to take the first test run before the end of February as long as things start to warm up.
(1/18/20) According to the local news, Kings Island has set April 11th as the opening day for their new Orion coaster.
(12/8/19) Kings Island offered up a backstage construction tour of the Orion site the other day and you can check out some of the great footage posted to Wild Gravity Travels this weekend, giving us what is probably the last close-up looks at Orion until 2020.
(11/23/19) Another construction update of Orion at Kings Island was posted to Wild Gravity Travels this weekend, showing off the progress on the buildout from the first drop over to the second hill as well as some early signs of construction to build the extra “Area 72” theme enhancements to the area around the entrance to Orion, which will include the existing Flight of Fear attraction.
(11/20/19) One of the new lead coaster cars for Orion from B&M was on display at IAAPA t his week.
(11/7/19) The latest construction update on Orion shows that Kings Island has surged ahead and have topped off Orion’s lift hill. You can see photos of the top of the lift hill piece being put into place at Wild Gravity Travels.
(10/27/19) A few new shots of Orion’s lift hill and first drop track sections being installed have been posted to Wild Gravity Travels this weekend.
(10/19/19) Wild Gravity Travels has posted one more Orion construction update with shots from the park’s Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately the park will be closing the Eiffel Tower for the season at the end of this weekend, making views into the site much harder to come by.
(10/14/19) Another new construction update for Orion can be found at WildGravityTravels this week as more track has gone up to form the brake run.
(10/1/19) A quick time-lapse video from the Kings Island construction camera footage shows off the progress made on Orion this past week.
(9/29/19) A new Orion construction update has been posted to WildGravityTravels this week as Orion’s lift hill is now going vertical.
(9/10/19) Head on over to Wild Gravity Travels this week to see the latest construction update from Orion, including a look at the first track section to go vertical.
(9/2/19) A new construction update from Kings Island showing off the progress of Orion has been posted to Wild Gravity Travels. It was also reported that one of the old Firehawk trains (the yellow one) was spotted on the back of a truck heading South on 71 from the park. I’m not sure where they are sending it, but previously I was wondering if they might show up at Carowinds to be used for parts as they are the only other Cedar Fair park to have a Vekoma Flying Dutchman coaster. That doesn’t seem to be the quickest route to the Carowinds from there however, so the final destination may still be unknown. Of course, they could also be donating one of the trains to the National Roller Coaster Museum as well for preservation.
(8/27/19) Wild Gravity Travels has a new Orion construction update from Kings Island this week, as a ton of new coaster pieces have arrived on-site.
(8/20/19) For those wanting an even better look at Orion, check out the two new videos below showing off a POV run on the coaster as well as an aerial “birdseye” view of all the action.
(8/16/19) Kings Island finally get the cat out of the bag on what has possibly been the worst kept secret of the year. They played it like pros though, with a fine teaser campaign that ran everyone wild until the very end when they announced ORION, a new B&M Giga Coaster is coming to the park for 2020.
As I’d mentioned a few times in conversations with a few of you in email and social media, Orion will not surpass Fury 325 as the king of the Giga Coasters. Orion will feature a 300 foot first drop, hit 91mph at the bottom and send riders on a twisted high speed journey through 5,321 feet of track and over 8 airtime hills to become the tallest, fastest and longest steel coaster in the park. While not mentioned in the preview video, RCDB lists the lift hill height of Orion as just 287 feet.
For those who like to compare stats, it will have the same first drop height as Millennium Force, but be 1274 feet shorter in length. If you want to compare it to Fury 325, Fury stands 325 feet tall, has a 320 foot drop, and is 6602 feet in length and hits a top speed of 95mph.