Banshee leads thrill list at Kings Island

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The new Banshee roller coaster at Kings Island.

Kings Island is waking up for its 43rd season of operation, and this summer will be one of the best in the park’s history. There are several new additions which are getting thrill seekers and coaster fans alike excited for the new season.

The most popular attraction at Kings Island this summer will be Banshee, a brand new coaster in the park’s Action Zone. This $24 million project hits speeds near 68 mph and includes seven inversions, including a zero-g roll, a first for the park. Banshee holds the record for the world’s longest inverted roller coaster, at 4,124.1 feet long. Inverted means riders on Banshee will be seated under the track.

When the ride was announced in August, Kings Island’s Vice President and General Manager, Greg Scheid said, “People from around the world will plan a visit to Ohio next summer specifically to experience this ride.”

Banshee is themed after the spirits that many have claimed to see at Kings Island. As riders go through the track, they will see gravestones with the names of rides that have previously graced the park, such as King Cobra, The Screamin’ Demon, The Bat, and Son of Beast. The new coaster has purple track and blue supports, and looms over the midway.

Connor Walsh, a senior at Elder and proud coaster enthusiast, had this to say about the new ride.

“I’m really excited to ride Banshee this spring. Banshee is an excellent addition to Kings Island’s already diverse and amazing line up of ride offerings. It is said to be one of the best inverted coasters of all time which makes it one of the most anticipated new rides for the 2014 season.”

Banshee sits on the same spot as Son of Beast, which was a big liability for the park. In 1999, the ride was introduced as the world’s fastest and only looping wooden roller coaster, as well as being second-longest, only to its “father”, The Beast. The ride started on a rocky plain when the original coaster designers were fired and the park, then run by Paramount, finished the ride on its own, which caused multiple design flaws. Accidents in 2006 and 2009 eventually led to the removal of the ride at the end of the 2012 season.

While Banshee is the biggest addition, there are other new things coming to Mason. Flight Deck, a swinging coaster that was built in 1993, is being repainted and rethemed to The Bat, a similar ride that was in the park from 1981 to 1983. The track has been painted orange, and supports have been painted in a charcoal color in order to blend in with the night. This makes for two new night experiences that are essential to a visit to Kings Island.

The Racer, Kings Island’s first coaster, will be giving its 100-millionth ride this summer. The coaster, originally built in 1972, caused a second revival of the wooden coaster in America.

Kings Island’s Public Relations Manager, Don Helbig, also holds a record for most rides taken on The Racer, with an amazing number of 12,999 total rides. He also has personal bests of riding The Racer 112 times in a single day and 2,211 times during the 1982 season.

Kings Island has another fun summer in store for all of its guests. Whether you enjoy roller coasters or waterslides, the park has it for you. Banshee, The Bat, and The Racer will make the park even more special this season. Opening Day is April 18, and gold passes are still available at At Kings Island, thrills connect.