Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (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!
(6/16/19) WildGravityTravels sent us a link to see the Dress Rehearsal of the new Grand Carnival Parade at Kings Island that started this weekend. They also got a look at a series of new footers now in place for the park’s 2020 coaster project, which look like they could be for the station and transfer track area behind Flight of Fear.
(5/25/19) A video showing off the new Royale Finale night show at Kings Island can be found below.
(4/26/19) WildGravityTravels takes a look at the revamped and restored International Street at Kings Island this week.
2019 - Kings Mill Antique Autos - (12/29/18) The team at Coaster Nation decided to create an animated mock-up of how the new Antique Cars ride coming to Kings Island is 2019 might look based on those plans the park tweeted out in October. Check it out below.
(10/18/18) Kings Island tweeted out a look at the layout plans for the new Kings Mill Antique Autos attraction.
(9/10/18) Work to prepare the site at Kings Island for the return of the Kings Mill Antique Autos next season has begun. According to a post on the Kings Island blog, work crews have already demolished the Peach Basket gamer stand and Coca-Cola Refill station building to make way for the returning attraction.
(8/17/18) Kings Island... oh what are we to do with you? Amid various rumors running rampant about a variety of coaster relegated subjects, Kings Island revealed they would have a live announcement in the park (and streamed online) at 2pm on Thursday, just in time to celebrate National Roller Coaster Day.
This sent the fan community into a tizzy... and when the announcement was made, I think some of them took it a little hard, while I had a little good natured fun with it on social media myself. Bottom line... nothing coaster related was announced, but the park did confirm that a brand new version of the Antique Cars family ride would return to the park in 2019 in a new location right next to The Racer.
While I, in no way, believed the Son of Beast rumors claiming it would return in 2019, even I thought there was a chance that some kind of upgrade may come to The Racer in 2019. To be honest, this still could be the case... no reason they can make another announcement later, and if nothing else, I'm guessing the report and sightings of staff from a lighting firm could end up meaning that The Racer is getting some cool lights to show it off at night as a backdrop for the Antique Cars.
After all... I've been talking about the Antique Cars coming back for the past year, but when 2018 came with no cars, even I was starting to wonder if the project got scrapped, but it has been in the works all along I see. So look for the Kings Mill Antique Autos to open in Spring 2019 in the Coney Mall, across from the Juke Box Cafe with a quarter-mile track length. Cars will be 2/3 scale replicas of a 1911 Ford Model T.
2020 - ORION - Under Construction - (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.
(8/7/19) Kings Island is set to make a ‘major announcement” on August 15 at 10pm, which should be for the park’s new 2020 attraction.
(7/29/19) By the end of Sunday, Kings Island appears to have completed the grouping of 9 posters on the wall, and have indeed spelled out “TEOTWASKI”, which typically stands for “The End Of The World As We Know It.” The latest two posters added are for two more retired park rides: Shooting Star and SkyLab, which also add the states ID (Idaho) and SD (South Dakota) to the list.
So the question is… do we get an entirely new set of clues on Monday, or do we get an announcement, or something else entirely? Or even worse… maybe Kings Island will do nothing and make us sit and wonder for the next several weeks in silence. Make the jump over to Coaster-Nation to see the latest images on the wall.
(7/28/19) The new posters added to the construction wall at Kings Island just kept on coming about every day for the past week and as of yesterday I believe we were up to 7 of them now. In addition to the first two (Invertigo and Firehawk), to the left we now have Vortex, The Rotor, Flight of Fear, Zodiac and Bayern Kurve. You can see all the posters over at Coaster Nation today, along with their theory that the various letters in the background of the posters may be trying to spell out “TEOTWAWKI”, an acronym used in some circles that stands for ‘The End Of The World As We Know It”. So far all that is missing would be the A. and the W., filling in the gap on the wall.
A couple other items of note… the artwork in all the coasters all seems to have a Sci-Fi / Space Travel Tech angle to it, as if each ride represented was some kind of crazy endurance or stress test on both the machinery and the riders. You might say that it looks like we were being prepared for the final step of Project X to take us to the stars… which would definitely fit in with the celestial names trademarked so far by Cedar Fair: Orion and Polaris.
One more thing… now that we have more information and examples, I don’t think Invertigo is going anywhere and the AZ reference on the last two posters may have been much more simple to decode as being for “Arizona”. Looking at the rest of the posters, with the exception of the alternate text on Bayern Kurve, the two letter code on each of the posters is actually a state abbreviation. With that in mind we’ve got New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada, Kansas and then the two Arizona at the end.
This brings up more questions than answers however, as the order represented does not seem to represent a path of travel as they jump bath and forth, out of any logical order. However, with the exception of Nevada, the only thing I can see that the rest have in common is that they were all part of the old Route 66 roadway that traveled from California to Chicago, but I really don’t think that has anything to do with it all.
(7/26/19) Two more teaser posters have gone up at Kings Island over the last two days. One is For Vortex (Sequence VI; April 11, 1987) and again with the ride’s age reflected in the “32:NM” code. Much like the NV on Flight of Fear, we have no idea what the NM stands for either. There is also a large “T” in the background of the image.
The second poster is actually for a ride that is not a coaster, but from a well known coaster maker: Bayern Kurve from Schwarzkopf (Sequence III) which I believe was open at the park from 1972 to 1983. The code at the bottom is a current format as well, “9:900/HR:>75” with a large “W” in the background. Exactly what all this means… we still don’t know, but if the daily updates continue they should put up the 10th poster (Sequence X?) on Tuesday, July 30th.
(7/24/19) Kings Island has begun posting some teaser items in the park regarding their 2020 coaster, which is being referred to as Project X. On Monday a couple of large posters appears on a construction wall which can be seen in this post from Wild Gravity Travels. On the left was a poster for Invertgo and one for Firehawk on the right.
Both list Vekoma as the Project Partner, along with some interesting stats for the ride, with Invertigo listed as “Project X; Sequence VIII; April 17, 1999” and Firehawk listed at the top as “Project X; Sequence IX; May 26, 2007”. While I’m not quite sure what the Sequence numbering is meant to mean, the jump from Roman Numeral 8 to 9 almost seems to imply that Project X would be the next one in this evolution. So what do the two have in common? Well, both were coaster designs that ran under the tracks, with Invertigo being an Inverted design and Firehawk being a Flyer. Follow along with this logic and it almost makes you wonder if they are trying to trick us into thinking that the 2020 coaster may be an Inverted Mega-Coaster… but with the track seeming to be under construction at the nearby manufacturing plant and clearly labeled as a standard Mega Coaster design, this shouldn’t be the case. Though the idea of an Inverted Mega Coaster does bring a smile to my face as something I’d love to see someday.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the Invertgo poster has a large ‘K’ in the background and Firehawk has a large “I’ in the background… so in order it says “KI”, which is fitting.
There is one other item of note… something that may be more disturbing to the Kings Island coaster count. Under the work Vekoma on the Firehawk poster it also says “11:AZ” According to a theory by one reader, the AZ designation could be a code to say that ride’s lifespan (A to Z) was just 11 years. This is actually true as Firehawk opened in 2007 and closed for good in 2018. If you take this line of thought over to the Invertigo poster, it is labeled as “20:AZ”, opening in 1999 and if it closed in 2019, that would be exactly 20 years. So this could be a hint that Invertigo will be leaving the park at the end of this season.
Jump ahead to Tuesday afternoon and the park added a third poster to the wall, located far to the left of the first two, with a healthy gap between. The third poster is for Flight of Fear, with a large “O” in the background and is labeled as “Project X; Sequence V; June 18, 1996”. Judging from a picture showing the entire wall, it does look like there is ample room to place more posters in-between the groups for Sequence VI and VII. As the “Partner” here is listed as Premier (aka: Premier RIdes) it would seem the only thing they all have in common now would be the fact that they are all Steel coasters. Also worth mentioning is that Flight of Fear’s designation is “23:NV”, and not another “AZ” reference, with 23 being the number of years Flight of Fear has been in operation (1996 to 2019). While I’m not quite sure what the NV may be in reference to, it does not do anything to deter the thought that Invertigo could be at the end of its lifespan.
It is possible that the large “O” could also be part of the new ride’s name… though the placement of an “O” as the 5th letter out of 7 possible letters, does not fit in with either the “ORION” or “POLARIS” names filed with the trademark database.
For now we have to wait for the next poster to arrive… but will it be on Wednesday or will we have to wait a little longer?
(7/20/19) The latest construction update from Kings Island has been posted to Wild Gravity Travels this week, as they climb the Eiffel Tower to get a look at the site. Still mostly a big cleared dirt field with a good number of supports in place from the station area and leading out now into the area where the lift hill and more high speed portions of the ride will go where some of the first footers are now in place as well.
(7/7/19) A new construction update from Kings Island on their 2020 coaster project can be seen over at Wild Gravity Travels this week, along with a trip down to check on the track manufacturing plant where there is now a large group of pretty blue coaster track sitting up front, labeled with the same MC-T label that is suspected to be for Kings Island. (The Brown track there is thought to be for Hersheypark’s 2020 coaster, marked MC-R).
(7/1/19) A new video showing off the construction progress of the 2020 Kings Island coaster project can be seen below.
(6/8/19) The latest look around Kings Island this morning shows work-crews busy digging holes and setting up to pour footers for the new 2020 coaster project. You can see more at Wild Gravity Travels.
(6/1/19) While I’m not sure how legit any of these plans are that are floating around the internet, I’ve been asked numerous times by readers to show them off. While I’m not going to post them on Screamscape, I’m told you can apparently download a couple of PDF documents showing off the uncovered plans for the Kings Island 2020 coaster at the following links: HERE and HERE.
(5/19/19) Wild Gravity Travels dropped into Kings Island this weekend to get another look at the ongoing site clearing for the park’s 2020 project, including new survey flag markers in the ground.
(5/8/19) Cedar Fair filed for a couple of new ride name trademarks this week, looking to possibly use the names “ORION” and “POLARIS” for new rides in 2020. Chances are one of these could be for whatever coaster Kings Island is planning, and interesting to note that both seem to cary a celestial theme, with Orion being one of the most famous constellations in the night sky and Polaris also being known as the North Star. For longtime readers still keeping track, Cedar Fair finally released their claim on the name Centurion earlier this year, so that one is off the table, though they are still hanging onto “The Ledge” for some reason.
(5/4/19) As seen in new photos posted to WildGravityTravels, the clearing at Kings Island for the park’s 2020 project has grown even bigger in size this week and is now more well defined. Make the jump and check it out.
(4/28/19) Remember those rumors of a new Giga Coaster for Kings Island for 2020? To get the project up and running in time for the start of the 2020 season, the park would really have to begin site work about now… and according to our latest report, this seems to actually be happening. I’m told that there is a now a long bit slim plot of land cleared that runs from the former Firehawk site, though the now cleared Dinosaurs Alive site and then past it a little ways into the forest going past The Racer towards the back-end of The Beast’s covered trim-brake section. I’m told that it appears the work crews are even on site at night at the moment as well, so Kings Island sure seems to be in a hurry to get this site cleared. Keep your eyes on this area of the park for future developments throughout the summer.
(8/17/18) With the 2019 announcement out of the way... lets talk about 2020 shall we? And this time, it isn't all just rumor-mill talk. This time the thought is that Kings Island may be planning to add a B&M Giga Coaster, possibly one to beat out Fury 325 for the crown.
New paperwork for a future construction project at the park was filed and discovered on the Warren County Ohio website for something described as "2018, 2019 & 2020 Additions & Modifications to Kings Island Park". The timeline is clear here... with work to start this year and continue all the way through to 2020. If I had to guess, a likely location may be to place the new coaster into the now closed Dinosaurs Alive area. Of course they could also continue to tease the fans about bringing back Son of Beast in a new form and maybe drop the new coaster on that side of the park instead. Foot traffic wise, I'm thinking putting it Coney Mall would be the better location away from the last two coaster sites... Mystic Timbers and Banshee.
One more important item not to miss on the paperwork... if you read the list of companies Kings Island has contracts for to build the project, I'm sure you'll recognize the last one on the list... Bolliger & Mabillard.
(4/2/18) Time to update our "GIGA" rumor story for Kings Island. Since our last update in the winter, a couple of new exciting developments have come up elsewhere in the Cedar Fair chain that will affect any coaster plans at Kings Island. For example, we now know that Canada's Wonderland is already building their own B&M coaster for 2019 and Cedar Fair wouldn't be expected to be building two B&M's in the same season, and right now if this is a Giga coaster being talked about, B&M would be the company to build it. Carowinds is also pushing ahead on a mystery project for 2019 that is also very likely a coaster (Project: Alpha - Digital) that may also be fairly significant in size.
With that all in mind, I would say Kings Island could possibly be waiting until the 2020 season to build their next big coaster, and perhaps focusing on something else for 2019, especially since they don't seem to be adding anything major for 2018. This could also mean that what they are working on may require some major infrastructure changes and upgrades as well... such as allowing the park to expand into a previously undeveloped area. Then there is the big question mark about what will become of the former Dinosaur's Alive space. One idea for 2019 may be to address another trend we've been seeing in some Cedar Fair parks, of adding refurbished high-quality flat rides to the parks. The best example of this would be Carowinds, who added four of them in 2017 and promoted it as a new County Fair area. Something like this could work at Kings Island as well, especially when you ask yourself, "When was the last time Kings Island added a new flat ride?" I'm not 100% sure of the answer, but since I really count Windseeker as a tower ride, I'm thinking the last big flat ride added to Kings Island outside of Planet Snoopy may have been Delirium in 2003... a whopping 15 years ago.
Either way, the next couple of seasons should be interesting at Kings Island, so keep your eyes open.
(1/5/18) Someone at Kings Island is desperately trying to get our attention it seems. Daily since the afternoon of December 30th the park’s Mystic Timbers Webcam has featured a look at a pathway closed off to guests where someone has been diligently shoveling the word “GIGA” in the snow daily every since. Please note that the evening of Dec. 30th was the park’s last day of WinterFest, so this has been ongoing despite the park being closed for the season. (Go on, take a look for yourself… I’ll wait)
Meanwhile I’ve been been blasted with emails daily from various readers, pointing it out to me… though I’m starting to suspect some of these emails may have been coming from some insiders. Why? Because my first reaction was simply to blow it off as a funny joke… after all, this Cedar Fair we’re talking about, the company who has often planted funny little false clues within their parks, sometimes just before a coaster enthusiast group is set to arrive, all as part of a prank and way to mislead the nosy from uncovering what they are really up to.
But this… ok I give up. After almost a week straight of this going on, accompanied by several emails sent in daily, I’m letting the world know about it. Now the question is… what exactly does this mean? My first assumption was that this was a prank of sorts by someone at the park hoping to simply get the local fansboys and girls all a twitter on social media… but what if there is more to it?
After all, between the 2008 and 2016 seasons, Cedar Fair did buy 8 new B&M coasters, spread out to place 2 each at Cedar Point, Carowinds, Canada’s Wonderland and yes… Kings Island who received the ultra-popular Diamondback and Banshee coasters as part of those dealings. While the two coasters that went to Cedar Point were alternative design ideas, both Carowinds and Canada’s Wonderland each got a Hypercoaster and a Gigacoaster, while Kings Island added a Hyper and a giant Inverted coaster instead. While people love Banshee, the Kings Island fans have been waiting for their turn to add a Giga (300+ ft) coaster to the park. After all, not only did Carowinds and Canada’s Wonderland get the latest pair, but Cedar Fair also bought their first pair from Intamin for Cedar Point (Millennium Force) and later at Kings Dominion (Intimidator 305).
So is Kings Island making early plans to add their own Giga Coaster to the fleet? Could be, but the earliest we would see anything open would be 2019… though with the project that large, construction would have to start about a year in advance, so maybe it is time for the first clues to start dropping. Stay tuned!