Monday, August 7, 2017

Roller Coaster Road Trip 2017: King's Island's Great Coasters

It's no coincidence that King's Island has been a destination point on our road trips in 2012, 2014 and again this year.  It's sister park, King's Dominion in Virginia, has long been a favorite of me and my buddies, but this Midwest sister is that much more.  The cleanliness and beauty of the park, the friendliness of its staff, and of course the roller coasters make it my second favorite amusement park in the world (for my first, stay tuned! Wink wink.).  Rich, Gary and I headed out bright and early our first full day and more than got our fill of these great rides.  Check it out what we enjoyed of what King's Island has to offer:

Mystic Timbers

Image result for mystic timbers

Mystic Timbers is King's Island's newest coaster, debuting on April 15th of this year.  What's in the shed? is some sort of mysterious advertising gimmick that I guess was supposed to get people getting even more excited about the park's new coaster.  After one ride on it, we were all questioning what the big deal was.  We were maybe expecting some sort of elevated drop like on Verbolten in Busch Gardens, Virginia, or something.  Without spoiling it for anyone, I'll just say it wasn't all that.

The ride, however, was great!  It's got a nice, left sweeping first drop of about 54 degrees and the coaster hits about 53 mph as it careens through a series of nice twists and turns before coming to a halt right before guessed it...the shed!  You can see in the video below what does or does not happen in the shed, but really the ride would be just great without it.  A nice addition to the park!  Check it out...


Banshee was the new coaster at the park the last time Rich and I visited and back then we liked it, but we only rode it once because the lines were too long, and because even though we liked it, we didn't love it.  That changed a bit this time around.  You see, Banshee is an inverted coaster, and Rich is not a big fan of those because you really can't see where you're going while you're riding it.  But for our second turn at the coaster this time around, Gary had an idea to ride it from the front car.  Big difference!  

Banshee was built on the former site of the notorious Son of Beast, towards the front of the park and is an imposing structure all on its own.  The lift hill travels straight through the second, vertical loop on the ride, as you can see in the photo, and the rest of it is well, wild!  Banshee is the longest inverted coaster in the world, with a length of 4,124 feet of track and it moves through seven inversions at speeds of almost 70 mph.  I can tell you that it's much more terrifying  from the front seat, and oh, that Banshee screech when you reach the top of the lift hill.  Hella scary!  Take a virtual ride...


Hyper coasters, those whose lift hill is more than 200 feet, are my favorite.  Aside from the thrill of that first, death-defying drop, they offer lots and lots of airtime.  King's Island's Diamondback is their version of the hyper coaster, and it is a doozy!  Reaching a height of 230 feet, this monster flies through the hill after hill, with lots of nice negative G's to give you that tickle in your stomach.  It even finishes with a nice splashdown over a small lake and is always fun to ride!  Oh, and the way the seats are arranged, each rider gets his own unique perspective on the!  Check it out...


When we first visited King's Island back in 2012, I had never heard of this one, but till the day I die I will never forget it.  This ride is pretty unbelieveable, a flying coaster where you start out on your back facing the sky, all the way up to the top of the lift hill where it turns your body 180 degrees so you are facing the ground...flying...and then all hell breaks loose.  Rich and I have a history with this thing ever since that first terrifying ride back in 2012.  The thing was so scary we only rode it once, and when we returned in 2014, we gave it one more ride for old times sake.  It was early in the morning and poor Rich lost his wallet somewhere along that 3,000 feet of track.  Poor guy, it killed the day for him, but luckily he was willing to give it another go this time.  Well, what are roller coasters for?  Yes, scaring the bejeezus out of you.  Take a ride...(psst, fast forward to about the 1:30 mark!)

Flight of Fear

inside the cue

waiting our turn

I wrote about this one back in 2013, well the one located in King's Dominion in Virginia, which is the same.  Here's what I wrote back then...

Flight of Fear is an indoor coaster, many of which I do not like.  All the ones I've ridden before, except Space Mountain in Disney, were disappointing at best, but this one is freaking awesome!  
You would never know from entering the building what's inside, but soon after the darkness of the place and the sound of screams up ahead are excitingly intimidating.  Throw in a fun ride operator, who took pleasure in enhancing the experience for the most scared of riders by teasing them before releasing the linear induction coaster into the darkness, and a whole new element of fun is added to the experience.

Yeah, this one's still a great ride, and though it doesn't get much fanfare, it is popular with park goers as there is almost always a bit of a wait with this one!  I just had to take a quick video of the launch.  Check it out...3-2-1...blast off!

The Beast

Finally, we come to my favorite roller coaster in the world!  To me, The Beast is the ultimate roller coaster.  Long before I'd ever ridden it for the first time in 2012, I dreamed of riding it...literally.  The ride first opened in 1979 and has been giving roller coaster enthusiasts thrills ever since.  It's not the newest or tallest or even fastest, but this wooden coaster gives riders more than four minutes of death defyingly awesome twists, turns, hills and tunnels, (ooh the tunnels!), traversing 7,359 feet of track through heavily wooded terrain, making it the longest roller coaster in the world.  

The Beast was what made me excited about returning to King's Island and it was awesome to see my friend Gary, who'd never had the pleasure, enjoy this one.  By far this was the coaster we rode the most times that day and each time was as thrilling as the last, and oh boy, it's a killer at night!  I wrote about this one on the last trip, and you can check that out here.  In the meantime, take a virtual ride on this monster...

So yeah, that was our day at King's Island...a great start to a great trip.  I hope this whet your whistles if you are into coasters because if you ever have the chance, you must get there.  They have even more coasters than the ones I've talked about, like Vortex, Backlot Stunt Coaster, Invertigo, The Racer and The Bat.  Yeah, King's Island is a world-class coaster destination.

Stay tuned for more of this years Roller Coaster Road Trip 2017, with even more thrill rides and a World Wonder, coming soon!  Here are some more pics from our day...

Me n Gary



Entrance to The Beast

Be sure to check out the first entry:

An Unplanned Stop in Pittsburgh and Kennywood

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