Specific Type: Inverted Coaster
It had been 5 years since Kings Island in Mason, Ohio had announced any type of new attraction coming to the park and now we know exactly why. On August 8, 2013 the park announced its largest and most expensive attraction in their history. Fans and enthusiasts lined up for the announcement late in the evening as fog blurred the illuminated video screen. The time had come and after much speculation and even some teasing, the park announced Banshee. The new attraction was a B&M inverted roller coaster that would be the longest one in the world. Coaster enthusiasts throughout the country and especially in Ohio are going to be anxiously waiting (again) as a new coaster is built in the offseason.
The name Banshee is one that most enthusiasts know well because it was supposed to be the name of what eventually became Mantis at Cedar Point. There was controversy over the name and the park decided to change the name at the last minute even after giving away shirts with the Banshee name on them. The name was never brought up again, other than the fact that Cedar Fair kept reclaiming the rights to the name but no attraction was called Banshee. When Son of Beast at Kings Island was torn down, everyone was hoping something BIG would take its place and that is exactly what happened. Construction began on the new coaster and at the announcement the layout was revealed. Fans were in awe as they saw a POV and bird’s eye view of what the coaster looks like and will ride like.
The new coaster will really stick out on the skyline with blue supports and a deep reddish purple track. The trains will be a teal and charcoal color that will fly around like that of a wailing banshee. The park is using the motto of the first attraction to be inspired by a female presence and the ride itself will boast some elements that have never been done before on an invert. The layout uses the hilly terrain to its advantage and the station looks like one that was built for a Hollywood horror film.
The ride itself begins when guests board trains with the new vest restraint system in cars that seat 4 across. The floor drops out and the gate in front of you folds down and now you are in the grasp of the Banshee. The train turns slowly to the left out of the station and progresses toward the lift hill. As you reach the lift, the train goes up the standard chain lift to a height of 167 feet. At the top the train releases and heads down the first element which is a curved drop. Most inverts have this element but this one is very steep and intense. As riders hit the bottom of the drop they are then thrown into an inclined dive loop that lines them up for one of the signature elements of the ride. The train hugs ground before going over a huge vertical loop that actually loops around the lift hill. As riders try to catch their breath, the train whips into a zero-g roll. The train will now hit the second signature element of the ride and that is a humongous pretzel batwing. The batwing is so smooth that riders will feel the air time and then swoop down for the home stretch. Where many rides fizzle at the end, this ride picks up intensity as guests are thrown into another vertical outside loop and straight into a spiral. Out of the spiral riders are weightless as they experience a long inline roll. The ride finishes out with a sharp carousel helix as the train arrives at the brakes.
Banshee definitely takes all the great invert elements and strings them together over 4,124 feet of track which breaks the record for longest inverted coaster in the world. Riders will be facing speeds up to 68 mph and flipping upside down a total of 7 times which ties that record. Next time you are near Cincinnati, Ohio stop in to Kings Island and try out the newest coaster on the block…BANSHEE!
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