Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (1/17/19) According to the local news Kings Island will be renovating all of International Street over the off-season. How extensive will it be? Total details were not given but according to a park statement, “No element of the street will be left untouched,” including the Royal Fountain which you will be able to get closer to than before.
(1/8/19) For those who want to see how taking down a coaster for scrap works, check out the video clip posted to Instagram below to see the machinery snapping the steel track apart like a set of bolt cutters snipping off a padlock.
(1/7/19) A variety of pictures made their way online over the weekend as demolition work on Firehawk at Kings Island kicked into high gear. The images also confirm one major item... that Firehawk will never be rebuilt anywhere. You can see that the coaster is being cut apart into tiny bite size pieces which will be heading off to the local metal scrap yard.
(1/4/19) The local news reports that The Racer at Kings Island will be seeing a lot of love over the off-season, as the park has hired GCI to come in and perform some extensive rebuilding and re-tracking to the coaster’s large turns in the back-end, as well as some of the track leading to and away from this element. Hopefully The Racer will be much smoother for it in 2019.
(12/5/18) Remember back in the summer when we predicted some new lightning would be coming to The Racer? According to a reader who visited on the opening night of Winterfest at Kings Island, not only was a new lighting package added to highlight the structure of The Racer, but Mystic Timbers as well.
(10/24/18) Just a reminder that this upcoming weekend is your final chance to ride Firehawk before Kings Island removes it forever. Time to pay your last respects.
(9/28/18) Kings Island confirmed on Thursday morning that Firehawk would be the coaster leaving the park for good at the end of October, with the last days of operation on the weekend of Oct. 26-28.
(7/21/18) Is something going on with The Racer at Kings Island? You may recall a rumored spotted of RMC's Fred Grubb touring The Racer reported back in June. But we also know that there is virtually no way in hell that Kings Island would convert The Racer into a hybrid coaster, so at the time I theorized that perhaps they were looking at installing some Topper Track to help improve the ride experience or shore-up some more maintenance intense trouble-spots.
All was quiet until this week when a few more sightings at The Racer took place, this time from Cedar Fair's Senior VP of Planning & Design, Robert Decker. Decker was spotted touring The Racer this week with KI GM, Mike Koontz, and a small group representing a company named Blue Haze Entertainment. Blue Haze is a lightning design company who I'm told has worked with Cedar Fair to put in dramatic architectural lighting systems on many new and popular Cedar Fair coasters like Steel Vengeance, Twisted Timber, Fury 325, Valravn and more. (Quick Note: A different company, KCL Engineering, was used at Knott's Berry Farm to do the complex lighting system on Hangtime this summer.)
Putting this all together, it is starting to look like The Racer could be getting some kind of improvement package for next season, adding both scenic lighting and possibly some track experience improvements. Next time you visit, keep and eye on The Racer and look for any other signs that something may be in the works for 2019.
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.
(9/24/18) A reader sent in a few pictures of the clearing work taking place for the return of the antique cars ride next season.
(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 - B&M GIGA?! - Planning - (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!