Specific Type: Suspended Coaster
Back in the early 1990’s, new coaster innovations were becoming a common entity in parks as new ideas became a reality. These include new inversions, new ways of sittining, or sometimes, standing in a car. One of these new innovations was the introduction of the suspended coaster. Kings Island of southwest Ohio was up to the challenge in building this newer coaster. Their first attempt was the Bat, sporting 100 ft lifts and many curves and helices, but because of underengineering, the ride was soon dismantled. Years later, in 1993, Kings Island tried to pull it off again. First to be named Thunder Road, a name used by Kings Entertainment, the ride came under the name Top Gun as Viacom bought the park with 4 other parks as Paramount Parks came into being. Later, 2006 to be exact, Cedar Fair acquired the park and renamed it yet again to Flight Deck. The ride is considered a terrain coaster, utilizing the terrain, such as hills, valleys and a nearby creek to enhace the ride experience.
In 2014, the coaster was re-themed and renamed once again as the park added in the new record breaking coaster, Banshee, in the former Son of Beast location. Kings Island painted the former Flight Deck Black and Orange and changed the trains to the same colors. The Action Zone of Kings Island has turned into a horror, haunt style area of the park wit the addition of Banshee and now this change to the Bat.
The Arrow Dynamics designed ride’s long queue line snakes side-by-side of the former Son of Beast’s line, but as the lines split, the themed station of The Bat comes into view. Soon, future Bat guests enter the 28 rider trains as they stare up the 90 ft lift hill which bypasses the Great Wolf Lodge, once home to a campground where the smell of campfires was once present, kind of a nice bonus for riding at that time. Once the restraints are down and the thumbs of the operators are up, the train begins the accent, eventually hauling trains 90 ft in the air with nothing below but air. The train swings around to the right and nosedives, swooping upto 55 mph as high g-forces press riders in their seats. The train rises to the right slightly, rising above the station as it makes an elevated left turn, which leads to another drop. Riders swing below the final breaks and swings to the right just short of the exit path. After a series of s-curves, which enhance the suspended coaster’s ride by swinging the cars, riders get to experience another set of high g’s as a clockwise helix twists riders past by a new view of the Banshee coaster and the train is positioned to make a bee-line to the station. Another set of curving hills finally leads up to the final brakes and the conclusion of the ride. A 90 degree right hand curve finally threads the swinging trains back into the station, where riders exit to their left and run back to potentially get back on.
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