One of Kings Island's roller coasters is going away forever soon, but which one?
The Cincinnati, Ohio park now has 15 coasters, but has been teasing the demise of one of them during its Halloween Haunt event. Park PR director Don Helbig confirmed what's happening this morning.
Rumors confirmed. A roller coaster will be removed at Kings Island. #KingsIsland #RestInPiecesKI #ItsBigItsGone #RIP2018KI https://t.co/6nYWuazGz2— Don Helbig (@DonHelbig) September 24, 2018
Let's start with the obviously immune. Relatively new coasters such as Mystic Timbers, Banshee, and Diamondback aren't going anywhere. Removing The Beast likely would cause a riot the park never would overcome. I suspect that ditching Racer would elicit a completely different style of PR campaign. The "It's Big" hint probably rules out the family coasters. That's half the field right there.
So which of the other Kings Island roller coasters are most likely to succumb to New Thrill Ride Fever? Let's hear your guesses — or wishes — in the comments.
Update: [Sept. 27] It's Firehawk.Tweet
While KI has some great coasters they also have many that could easily be on the chopping block. The obvious ones being: Bat, Firehawk, Flight of Fear, Invertigo, Vortex. Wouldn't surprise me to see any of these be removed as the ride models have shown to not be ones that last forever. Also Adventure Express and Backlot Stunt Coaster also I think could be replaced, AE because of how old it is, and BSC because no one would really miss it and it takes up some decent real estate.
It has to be vortex
Please let it be the Vortex, that coaster shakes as violently as any old wood coaster, just not fun to ride anymore.
I have to go with either Flight of Fear or Vortex. They have both become pretty much unrideable at this point. I rode them both this past August after being away a few years...just not good anymore because they are so rough.
If I had to pick one or the other, I’d say Flight of Fear is worse. However it’s a building tucked away on the side...next to Firehawk, which would be third on the list. Vortex is in a very prominent spot that would be prime real estate for something new. It would be bittersweet to see it go because it’s just always been there since I was a kid. I remember the line stretching almost all the way to the front of the park back in the day. It’s just time though.
Guess it all depends on the footprint they need for the giant they are rumored to be building.(cough..B&M..cough....sneeze SOB)
The rumors seem to be pointing towards Vortex or Firehawk. My money would be on Vortex, but there's something to be said for getting rid of the Firehawk from a maintenance perspective.
Invertigo is my guess.
Having experienced Flight of Fear, Firehawk and Vortex this past May, my vote would be to get rid of all 3 !! but I agree with Derek, FofF is the worst and an absolute horror of a ride. That area where FofF and Firehawk is would be a decent amount of real estate as well, but it seems KI is only getting rid of 1 coaster, so Vortex seems to be the obvious choice. There's a lot of unused land between the ride, Soak City, Diamondback and the back of the Beast, so if it is going to be a giga then it would fit nicely into that space. Maybe even go over and/or around The Beast at some point ... ?? Now that would be awesome .... :)
I'm leaning toward Vortex, which I rode for the 1st time this year and wouldn't miss one bit. Getting rid of Firehawk would be a mistake, as it's one of only 3 Flying Dutchman coasters in operation. It's aging well, much better than Nighthawk at Carowinds - which was painful when I rode it in August. Surprised to hear negative reactions to Flight of Fear. In April I ran into a young man whose girlfriend won't ride roller coasters so he and I teamed up, rode Firehawk and FOF and had a blast. Invertigo is a distinct possibility, especially as I suspect that it has much lower ridership than even Vortex. Maybe we should place bets on which coaster will go.
Please let it be Vortex. Of all the coasters in the park, it just feels like the one that packs the least thrills, the most discomfort and the best potential location for a future new Giga or some other big machine. Haven't ridden it in years; won't miss it a bit.
last (and only) time i was at KI, i skipped Vortex knowing it was an Arrow pain train, FoF was down all day as was Firehawk but very late in the day, Firehawk opened and since i'd never ridden a vekoma flyer, gave it a whirl. i wished i hadn't. if the other 2 aforementioned coasters are worse than firehawk, i couldn't imagine riding them as i thought it was the worst, most painful coaster i'd ever ridden.
The way I see it, there are only two possibilities that make sense here...Firehawk or Vortex. Everything else at the park is either too small to be considered a big ride or too new/popular to be a candidate for removal. So, which will it be? It's semi-confirmed that Kings Island is getting a B&M in 2020, and I suspect the ride removal will have a lot to do with exactly what type of B&M they go for. Knowing Cedar Fair, a dive or a giga are most likely. So...
If Kings Island is receiving a dive coaster, Vortex will likely get the ax. It's over 30 years old and doesn't have that much popularity anymore, plus Vortex occupies prime real estate for a statement coaster like a B&M dive. However, Vortex still seems to run very reliably and has low maintenance costs, though with several other Arrow loopers in the chain it would also be a good source of parts for other rides.
If Kings Island is instead receiving a giga, however, Firehawk is likely a goner. This ride sits at the edge of a ton of unused land, which would be the perfect spot for a large sprawling coaster. Additionally, Firehawk is reportedly the most expensive ride at the park to maintain, so even if the removal isn't strictly necessary it may be beneficial for financial reasons. As a stock model, this would also be suitable for relocation to another park should Cedar Fair decide to gift Dorney or Michigan's Adventure with a new ride.
Cedar Fair stated earlier this year that they'll be removing high maintenance and/or low popularity rides from their parks in order to create a bit of a buffer against future attendance downturns, and both of these rides seem to fit that bill. Personally, I'm leaning slightly more toward Firehawk, but I wouldn't be surprised by either of these. However, I would be surprised if the removal is any coaster in the park other than one of these two (or Invertigo as an outside chance since Stinger recently got the boot).
Hard for me to imagine it being anything other than one of those 3. That area of the park is not nearly as busy as it used to be, and that is where all of them are located. Everyone is either at Rivertown, Snoopy, or the Action Zone.
The only thing Flight of Fear is good for anymore is the air conditioning that the queue provides, and the queue doesn’t last long anymore anyway, unless they run one train with a skeleton crew...which seemed to be what they were doing when I was there.
Vortex just seemed like an old dog that was ready to be put down. It’s a 30 year old Arrow looper that was once an experience to behold, but has now been trim braked to the limit to help cover the rough ride, and there’s not much left to do to make it better. It’s been a park staple for so long that it’s hard to imagine it gone. Then again, sad to say it’s also hard to imagine ever riding it again too.
Firehawk’s location and cost to operate might make it the one, but to keep both of other two open is also a liability for guest experience. This one is still a decent ride. It could be shipped somewhere else and become their maintenance cost, or perhaps sold... cough... Kentucky Kingdom.
Not gonna be The Beast, that would trigger an armed invasion. Not gonna be Diamondback or Banshee or Mystic Timbers. I seriously doubt it would be the Racer, which was running great btw. Don’t think it will be Adventure Express, that one is popular with the kids. Invertigo isn’t significant enough to merit the campaign, and The Bat...it’s an Arrow, but still running well.
Here’s the local news breakdown
I am going with Vortex...
I think it’s going to be Vortex
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Flight of Fear.