Dear Coaster Friends,
Kings Island fans are excited! Well they are always excited but they are excited speculating about the possibility of a new roller coaster, wait they are always doing that too, but this time it’s for a giga! Hold on that isn’t new either, let me regroup. We have known since last year that Kings Island was filing permits for construction and we also knew that B&M is connected to this new project. Then as the park opened for the season it was noted that the land being cleared is immense in scale and far exceeds the plot of the recently removed Firehawk. This is promising for a large scale project but since we didn’t have any additional information our imaginations were the limiting factor. Then we recently discovered two names were trademarked by Cedar Fair; Polaris and Orion. These to astrological names could be for a different attraction at a different park, but it has literally sent the fever for more information into orbit.
There are many Kings Island regulars and fans who have been chanting giga for years as the logical project that Kings Island should tackle next. I am not saying there is a rivalry between Kings Island and Cedar Point but I get the general feeling that Kings Island fans want to see their park one up their neighbor. I do think that is a possibility, but in a different way. I know I made a joke a few weeks ago that it was probably going to be a stand-up, but I don’t actually see that as a plausible option. I think the choices on the menu are; giga, wing, dive, something new, and with this name reveal I will add flyer. I know I have friends who thought this was a possibility since removing Firehawk would remove the unique perspective of changing the seating position, but I figured that was the least likely. Now with the star themed names I like the idea of a flyer, it fits the theme, but does it fit the space?
I am still tempering my expectations that a giga is the next logical choice but the land being cleared is very large so I can’t rule it out. I like the idea that Cedar Fair has been running with that dive coasters can have varied and have interesting layouts. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them across the chain too. There is also always the possibility that B&M could be looking into trying something new or simply combining different existing technologies to create a new experience. I could see B&M wanting to experiment more with launches after how well Thunderbird was received. Launch coasters can offer an exciting twist on a familiar style, and save money on materials, as the lift and drop can be replaced with a smaller launch track. Maybe we could see a more traditional sit down train, or even a floorless launch. That would give Kings Island the first of a type and showcase innovation instead of stats.
I am still on the wing coaster bandwagon as the most likely option for Kings Island. I like how it could fit into the space or star themed names, and it could also lend itself to a long out and back plot of land. There is another reason I feel like this fits well and that is the leftover feeling of being duped by the Bat > Banshee tease. I love inverts and I know many people love Banshee, but the wing was a fresh new model before Banshee was revealed. It really captured many people's’ imagination and even though Banshee wasn’t a letdown I personally felt the reveal was anticlimactic and I feel like the installation of a wing coaster at Kings Island would provide closure.
So I know the remaining question would be, “So dude, why are they clearing so much land if it isn’t a giga?!” The easy answer is who knows, but it could indicate that whatever ride is being planned is going to very large no matter the style. There is another possibility though. That is that the ride will anchor a new midway that will be accessed from the plaza in front of the old Firehawk entrance and continue along to the old dinosaurs entrance. That would allow the park to have the opportunity to use the cleared area for future expansion, flats, services, and amenities. It would also allow the ride to do something that is clearly absent from the current plot of land, and that is interact with the terrain and the forest. If the ride starts around the turn around for Racer it could head on down the hill into the forest and maybe even interact with The Beast, something fans will surely view as an enhancement. The fun now I presume will to be totally wrong and have a giga finally be announced in August. Then we can have something new to speculate. How many weeks after the giga opens at Kings Island do fans wait before they start saying RMC ground-up woodie in 2021?