Get ready to say goodbye to Firehawk at Kings Island

September 27, 2018, 9:33 AM · Kings Island announced this morning the roller coaster it would remove at the end of this season, and the winner/loser is... Firehawk.

The Vekoma Flying Dutchman, one of three now operating worldwide, opened in 2007. Kings Island owner Cedar Fair has moved this model of coaster before, shifting Stealth from California's Great America to Carowinds as Borg Assimilator and now Nighthawk. So might this coaster not be headed for the graveyard but the moving trucks, instead? We will see.

The coaster will welcome its final riders, at Kings Island at least, on October 28. But we don't need to wait until then to start speculating on Firehawk's replacement. Using AJ Hummel's reasoning from the comments on our previous article about Kings Island's plans, might the decision to eliminate Firehawk suggest a Giga is in Kings Island's plans for 2019 or beyond?

Vortex seemed a much more popular choice for elimination, at least among Theme Park Insider commentators. But location within the park and the usability of a coaster's site for future development always is a consideration with these decisions. So let the speculation about new coasters at Kings Island begin!

Replies (13)

September 27, 2018 at 9:44 AM

Ugh. KI Giga rumors are so overplayed. I hope they never get one, just to spite fanbois. Seriously. KI has a great location and wonderful landscape... you want tall coasters? Drive four hours North. Sheesh. Tired of spoiled Ohio fans telling me what they need in their two overstuffed parks.

September 27, 2018 at 10:05 AM

No tears here. I had only ridden Firehawk once because I live less than 30 minutes from the identical Batwing at SFA (granted Batwing is down more often than it runs anymore). I think this pretty much seals the deal that the replacement will be a B&M gigacoaster. If Vortex were going, it would have been in relatively close proximity to Diamondback, and unless it was going to integrate with Beast there really isn't enough space on the Vortex site for a gigacoaster. With Firehawk getting the ax, KI is putting a new coaster about as far from Diamondback as possible, setting up a similar layout to other Cedar Fair parks like Carowinds and Canada's Wonderland that have B&M hypercoasters (Behemoth and Intimidator) on opposite sides of the parks from B&M gigacoasters (Leviathan and Fury 325).

September 27, 2018 at 10:18 AM

Rode Firehawk the year it opened at KI and it sucked even then, I still have the picture of me standing in the station with my thumb down. Then the next day I took a picture at Geauga Lake with the sign that said X-Flight had been removed with my thumb up :D

Another perfect example of what happens when you go cheap with the Vekoma budget model instead of a B&M.

September 27, 2018 at 10:28 AM

To be fair the_man, B&M had not developed a flying roller coaster yet when X-Flight debuted at Geauga Lake in 2001 (Air opened in 2002).

September 27, 2018 at 11:01 AM

Well that seals the deal for me in 2020 ..... Kings Island (new Giga ??) Cedar Point (150th anni) and Canada's Wonderland (never been)

Makes you wonder just what is going into CP for 2020 if they are putting a 300ft+ into KI ? Surely the new KI coaster won't top the one going into CP ?

If it is a giga at KI, and it's 1/2 as good as Fury325 then it's going to be something special.

September 27, 2018 at 11:06 AM

This is distressing. I had so hoped that Vortex would be the one to go. With Nighthawk now intolerably rough, that leaves only Batwing as a viable option - maybe - unless CF sends Firehawk to another park. Maybe they'll send it to Dorney, no stranger to hand-me-downs. In any case the three Flying Dutchman coasters are the only ones I've ridden on which I left the loading station lying down and returned the same way, a riding position I adore, so I was hoping that an effort would be made to preserve something so out of the ordinary. Vortex for me was a definite thumbs down whereas Firehawk was a definite thumbs up.

September 27, 2018 at 11:38 AM

In essence .... Firehawk is/was a flying coaster, it just started and finished differently. I found it uncomfortable more than rough, but I'm so used to enjoying Manta at SWO, I suppose I've been spoilt.

Here's my thought (very stretched !!) .......
Cedar Fair has taken Firehawk out of KI because they are putting in a mega flier at CP in 2020 ??

September 27, 2018 at 11:59 AM

I despise the laying down position on the Flying Dutchman coasters. The orientation of the seat places your feet and lower torso above the level of your head, which I find incredibly uncomfortable if stuck there for long periods of time, a common occurrence due to frequent issues with the load/unload process, and ineffectiveness of either 2nd generation installation to competently use both load platforms.

At least Vortex is unique, and could always get the 3rd generation trains that have slightly improved the rides on Loch Ness Monster and Canyon Blaster. The Vekoma Flying Dutchmen have only slightly more redeeming qualities than the SLCs.

September 27, 2018 at 12:33 PM

To each his own. I like the supine position partly for one of the exact same reasons that Russell despises it. In addition to getting a kick out of going up the lift hill backward, I find lying down a real plus when stuck outside the loading station. (I certainly won't dispute the fact that loading and unloading tends to be very slow on this coaster model.) To me this is far preferable to being stuck outside the loading station face down with my hair hanging in my face, which is what happened on Superman:Ultimate Flight. That's an awful position in which to be stuck. Couldn't wait to get out of it, whereas on Firehawk I was in no rush to be unloaded from the train, as it was relaxing to be lying there outside the station in the sun.

September 27, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Understandable given it’s location. That doesn’t let the other two I mentioned off the hook though, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are done with removal. This coaster project is slated for 2020, and Flight of Fear sits awfully close to Firehawk. No ride experience is better than a negative one.

I imagine Firehawk will live on somewhere else, perhaps the Kentucky Kingdom rumor has some legs. If they are keeping Vortex, I implore them to try and do something about fixing that experience, or maybe they can have a chiropractor on duty at the loading station.

Next question, will they resurrect the Son Of Beast moniker.

September 27, 2018 at 4:20 PM

The incline on the Flying Dutchmen coaster would give me a headache before the ride would even start. I vibration a noise was so unbearable. I'm all in for a KI Giga or a B&M flyer.

September 27, 2018 at 5:15 PM

While I would have rather seen Vortex go, I'm not surprised by this one bit. The Flying Dutchman coasters aren't officially supported by Vekoma anymore, so as one of the park's most expensive and lowest capacity coasters it makes sense for Firehawk to bite it. Rode it twice on my visit this summer...enjoyed it, but won't miss it. Instead, I'm looking forward to trying the park's 2020 B&M (likely Giga) next time I make a trip out to Ohio.

September 30, 2018 at 10:13 PM

I thought I read they said it had reached it's lifespan for being able to maintain it or something of the sort (kind of the same reasoning behind removing Big bad wolf in Busch Gardens). If that is so I think they'd just use it for spare parts to help maintain the other one they still own.

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