Kings Island finally let the cat out of the bag, or rather the “bat out of the cage,” according to Vice President and General Manager of Kings Island Greg Scheid.
The largest amusement park in the Midwest announced a world record-breaking attraction, but kept it under wraps until last night. On August 8th, Kings Island unveiled its upcoming attraction — Banshee, which will be the world’s longest inverted roller coaster.
According to Scheid, Banshee will be built and running by the spring of 2014.
Banshee will feature 4124.1 feet of track, seven inversions, and speeds of up to 68 miles per hour.
Scheid said that Kings Island is spending $24 million on Banshee.
“The introduction of our 2014 project will once again set a record as the single largest capital investment in this park’s 41 years,” Scheid said.
Along with the new world record, the banshee theme itself is also exciting for park guests, such as The School for Creative and Performing Arts incoming sophomore Jack Fossett. Like many visitors, Fossett attempted to unravel the mystery before the ride was revealed.
“[It will] definitley [be] called Banshee,” Fossett said. “With the [theme] I’m hoping that it’ll bring back the kind of Paramount element the park used to have…From what I’ve seen it looks like it’s a pretty well-themed Irish folklore.”
The banshee theme is also Cedar Fair Entertainment’s first female-inspired thrill ride.
Banshee will be built at the site of the old wooden roller coaster The Son of Beast, which was demolished in 2012.
“We look[ed] at the previous ride that was located in this area, [and] it was imperative that we select[ed] a ride with a high thrill factor, but more importantly one that would be dependable,” Scheid said.
Banshee‘s competitors at Kings Island include other thrill-seeking rides like Vortex, Firehawk, and the fastest and newest roller coaster — Diamondback. Park visitors such as nine-year old Tyler Harris said they thinkBanshee will be even more thrilling than Diamondback.
“[Banshee is going to] make Diamondback look like a wimp,” Tyler said.
Despite this roller-coaster rivalry, Banshee and Diamondback are built by the same parent company, Bolliger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers.
“B&M is recognized throughout our industry as a leader in the right design and quality steel coasters,” Scheid said. “As with Diamondback…the track and columns are manufactured just 20 miles away in Batavia, Ohio…This will be the park’s second B&M roller coaster, and if you’ve ridden Diamondback, you know how comfortable the ride experience is.”
According to Scheid, B&M will use a different type of restraining for the first time on Banshee. Scheid also said the ride will include a curved drop, dive loop, interacting loop with a lift, zero gravity g-roll, batwing, outside loop, spiral, in-line-roll, and a carousel.
Scheid said that Banshee is different from other roller coasters because of its unique features and because it was designed specifically for Kings Island.
“The size of each loop is massive, much bigger than you’re going to see and experience in any other steel roller coaster out there,” Scheid said. “And unlike other roller coasters, the top speed of 68 mph is not [going to] be reached until the second half of the ride.”
Banshee is just the latest of Kings Island’s improvements. According to Scheid, Kings Island has been constantly upgraded over the years, with the introduction of Firehawk in 2007, Diamondback in 2009, Planet Snoopy in 2010, Windseeker and Dinosaurs Alive in 2011, and Soak City in 2012.
According to Kings Island visitor Paul Harris, these improvements and new attractions are important for the crowd.
“Every couple [of] years, they [have to] come up with something big to keep people excited,” Paul said. “Hopefully [with Banshee] they’ll be able to do that.”
*Watch the Banshee teaser video:
*Watch the Banshee POV video:
*Learn more at: https://www.visitkingsisland.com/banshee