Kings Island tops out Diamondback coaster

January 27, 2009, 11:31 AM · Yesterday at 2:42 p.m. workers at Kings Island amusement park, outside Cincinnati, installed the final section of track for Diamondback, the park's new Bolliger & Mabillard Mega Coaster.

That means that construction is on schedule for an April debut for the $22 million coaster, with its "stadium seating" design. You can take a virtual ride on Diamondback on our listing page, and follow the construction on Kings Island's live Diamondback webcam.

Diamondback roller coaster at Kings Island
Image courtesy Kings Island

Brrr. Snow. Frankly, I'm impressed with any coaster builder working in that. I'd say "hats off," but in that snow, y'all really need to keep 'em on.

Update: I'm feeling a bit sick today, so I'm not going to be able to get out to a park for a Tuesday visit. Will try later in the week, though.

Also, I'd love to take requests from folks on which SoCal attractions they'd like me to visit and post photos/recaps/comments/interviews on the site. Post requests in the comments or e-mail 'em to me. (Link at bottom of page.)

Replies (15)

January 27, 2009 at 12:21 PM · I saw the footage on local news last night. It look great in full color! It still looks strange to me that they plopped a coaster in where they did. They filled in an old water feature that helped set the mood for the "Rivertown" area of the park where The Beast resides. The area was previously just open green space and water.

I'm excited, but I think my soon-to-be 7 year old will be shut out due to height. She was at 48 inches last year - says the Beast is her favorite ride! (She didn't have her big heeled sandals on when she got measured for Rock 'n Roller Coaster at Disney, so we didn't ride).

January 27, 2009 at 3:10 PM · I've been following the blog and webcam ever since they announced it. I just love to be updated! Here in D.C., we also got a few inches of snow... although it has nothing to do with ANYTHING, I'm sick, too.
January 27, 2009 at 4:20 PM · you say brrrr, but you beach bums have no idea. Sorry for the name calling, I'm just hating because I'm living in the middle of Ohio. It got down to the single digits yesterday. Imagine the weather 250 feet in the air, and the guys who had to bolt the track together. At least it didn't rain ice like it has been today.
January 27, 2009 at 10:22 PM · I love to see u go 2 universal studios hollywood it has'nt been looked at in a long time.
January 27, 2009 at 11:01 PM · USH, actually, was my intended destination today. So it's definitely top on my to-do list.

And Derek, let's not forget that I did my four years in Evanston "cooler-by-the-lake-effect-snow", Illinois, not to mention another three winters in Omaha. I *earned* this good weather, darn it! :-)

Yep, winters in Chicago and summers in Orlando. I really was an idiot back in the day.

January 28, 2009 at 7:48 AM · I am excited to try it out this year. And it looks like they have been making good progress along the way. Which means someone had a plan and hopefully a good design to go with it. I have been following the pics and webcam too. Was really neat to see it move along. I think they are working on finishing up the station now. WOOT!
January 28, 2009 at 7:49 AM · Oh and we got about 8" or so of snow here in Indy late yesterday and overnight. We don't normally get that much here so hopefully this will be it. It's pretty and I like snow just not digging out my drive way for an hour and then driving to work in it. :P
January 28, 2009 at 11:46 AM · I'm looking forward to visiting my new "home" park, Kings Island. The addition of this new Mega-coaster will make my introduction just that much sweeter!
January 28, 2009 at 12:16 PM · I am thinking about getting a Platinum Pass for Cedar Fair (instead of the Gold Pass just for World's of Fun), and making KI a destination for this summer. I do so want to ride this new B&M hyper coaster.

Questions for the experts:

1) Are there enough things at KI for the under 48" crowd to stay busy and have fun? The Nickelodeon section of the park looks pretty sweet, and Don, I know you have talked about KI before in relation to the youngin's, but I need a little verification. Nine hours is a bit of a drive if my 44" daughter can't ride anything but midway spinners, ferris wheels, and carousels.

2) Is Flight of Fear as cool as it seems? A crazy looking coaster in the dark...should be outstanding. Are there special effects in the dark, or just some crappy strobe lights? And, is it really dark, or just dim? I hate to get my hopes up...but I can't deny I do want to ride Flight O Fear.

3) How busy do you think KI will be on the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday following Memorial Day? Are area schools still in session? Is there a better time to go for a sequence of days than late May?

4) Is it best to stay in Cincinnati? Saw a Drury Inn and Suites that looked decent for $100 a night about 11 miles from KI. I think the GW Lodge will be a bit too expensive for this excursion.

5) Anything else I need to know before I start planning a multi-day trip to KI?

And Robert, when you go to USH, please sneak some photos of the House of Horrors. The idea of a year-round haunted house attraction seems very fitting for this park...and very fun. The last time I went to USH was in the early 80's, and I do not remember a haunted house being in the park. I honestly don't remember much about USH except for Jaws.

January 28, 2009 at 3:42 PM · James, I haven't been to KI, but I have been on the KD version of Fof, and It's awesome. SO much better than Joker's Jinx at SFA, and probably all the other copies outside. I'd say inside, It's 95% dark, with some flickering, moving, colorful lights moving all around you while you're there. Since you never stop moving, you never have a good chance to glance around and try to look at the track. Just put your hands up, and just let the ride do the walking! The other lights are on the launch; Blinking blue lights as you blast off in the tunnel... they also throw a pic in the boost, it's kinda hard to tell when it comes. (Remember, everything I'm referring to is from KD, NOT KI...)
January 28, 2009 at 8:08 PM · Thanks for the info, Eli. I remember seeing pictures of Poltergeist at SF Fiesta Texas and thinking, "That coaster would be awesome indoors and in the dark. Little did I know at the time that someone else had the same thought!

One other question about KI: is the park clean? Has Cedar Fair made an attempt to paint, sweep, and pull weeds? My local Cedar Fair park, Worlds of Fun, is very clean, not at all like that Six Flags mess over in Saint Louis. I need a clean doesn't necessarily have to be Disney clean, but it had better look like someone in mgmt gives a darn about upkeep!

January 28, 2009 at 10:46 PM · Robert - I'd love to see something on the Pony Express at Knott's. They have this ride on parts of their website - but missing from others and I've never seen a picture of it! I'll be visiting Knott's on February 6th so I'll try to take some snaps myself.

James - Kings Island during the week after Memorial Day should be great on crowds. That's often the week I visit parks (I'll be at Six Flags America, Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg that same week this year).

For kids rides, the Nickolodeon kids area ROCKS at KI. You'll love the Avatar Airbender ride and the walkthrough Spongebob water maze. Plus, there's a decent Scooby Doo Haunted Mansion ride there. Lots of character appearances like Dora and Spongebob.

I am, however, going to take the opposite stance on FoF. I rode the Kings Dominion version (same thing) in 2001 and loved it. I have also riden the outdoor version Poltergeist at Fiesta Texas and thought it quite fun. BUT, when I was at KI two summers ago, I thought FoF was going to snap my neck. It was jerky, slowed down to a crawl in the middle of the ride and completely dashed my exhiliration about the ride I had from my previous experiences at KD and SFFT.

However, the Beast ROCKS - only second to Dollywood's Thunderhead for woodies in my book.

January 29, 2009 at 4:23 AM · Thanks Scottland. I am almost convinced the visit will be a good one now. I am a little chagrined about FoF at KI as I have read in several places that it is a little painful and a little dated. I may have to make a quick jaunt to KD when I visit my friends in Virginia in late summer (no kids and no driving on that trip - just me and a few buds) and ride their version of FoF.

I just don't get how you can mess up FoF! That launch, and all the twists and turns...put it in complete darkness and let it rip! It should be a no-brainer! Just think what Disney could do with FoF inside that Space Mountain building of theirs....if they were so inclined! it possible that FoF is nearly the same layout as Rock n' Roller coaster at Disney Hollywood Studios? Hmmm....did Vekoma copy Premier Rides LIM coaster when they built RnR?

January 29, 2009 at 9:10 PM · I'd say FoF and Poltergeist are spaghetti - RnR is a nice elbow macaroni!!
January 30, 2009 at 8:40 AM · Gotcha...different, but similar.

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