The moment that many theme park and coaster enthusiasts had been waiting for all season at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio finally arrived last night at 10 pm with the announcement of the much anticipated new attraction for 2014. Kings Island, in front of hundreds of guests and media personnel, announced Banshee which would be the single biggest investment the park has made in its 41 year history. Crowds gathered in Action Zone hours before the announcement was to happen just waiting to hear and see the news. The park brought in a big video screen and fog engulfed the area as the announcement was made. After the fireworks, park General Manager Greg Scheid stepped to the podium and unveiled what would be world breaking; the longest inverted roller coaster in the world.
The name of the ride will be Banshee as it is the first female character inspired ride in Cedar Fair’s history. According to the park release, the coaster will stand out on the skyline with its deep blue and purple paint scheme and horrifying train station. The roller coaster will jolt 167 feet into the air and leave riders dangling in the grasps of the Banshee as she twists and flips them seven times which ties the most of any inverted coaster in North America. The ride has a maximum speed of 68 mph and will not be met until the ride is in the second half of its 4,124 feet of track. The coaster is designed and is being built by Bollinger and Mabillard and will be the second B&M coaster (Diamondback) inside of the park. The new coaster will feature elements such as two very large vertical loops, one of which will interact with the lift hill and a very unique batwing toward the back end of the ride.
Banshee will mark the 14th coaster to be operating inside the park and will hold the title of second tallest at the park. She will have three trains that have eight cars that will carry four people across. One other unique thing about this new coaster is a brand new seat and restraint system for an inverted coaster. The design is said to be more comfortable and safer than ever. The cost of this project comes in at $24 million and will be the darling child in the park when she opens in April 2014.
Construction began this April after the Son of Beast was completely torn down and according to Scheid, the park is way ahead of schedule right now. “We’re way ahead of schedule at this point,” Scheid said of construction. “We expect test runs of the new attraction to begin early next year.” Fans are excited to see something go up in place of the Son of Beast which was nothing more than a paperweight for many years. “It’s going to be awesome. It looks like an amazing inverted roller coaster,” said William Rose.
Park officials are very excited to see what kind of effect this has on the theme park industry after looking at numbers from their sister park Cedar Point and their new attraction Gatekeeper. “Banshee reflects our commitment to providing the best in world-class thrills and value for our guests and is an investment in the Ohio tourism industry,” said Greg Scheid.