Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Another Arrow looper gets ready for its final run

September 27, 2019, 12:31 PM · Kings Island announced today that it will close its Arrow Dynamics custom looping coaster, Vortex, at the end of the season.

That means that Vortex's last day will be October 27. The coaster opened on April 11, 1987, offering a then-record six inversions, with two loops, a double corkscrew and a batwing.

"While it remains popular, the ride has simply reached the end of its service life," Kings Island said in its press release announcing the closure.

More than perhaps any other company Arrow Dynamics founded the modern roller coaster industry, and its custom looping coaster was its most iconic design. With Vortex's departure, 11 other Arrow loopers will remain in the United States, including Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Tennessee Tornado at Dollywood, Corkscrew at Cedar Point, and Canyon Blaster at the Circus Circus Adventuredome.

No word from Kings Island on a specific replacement, though the Cincinnati-area park has announced the debut of a new 300-foot, 91-mph Bolliger & Mabillard giga coaster, Orion, for next season.

Kings Island tickets Need tickets for a final ride? For discount tickets to Kings Island, visit our Kings Island tickets page.

Replies (6)

September 27, 2019 at 12:54 PM

Wow, I actually rode this way back when I visited King's Mountain in 1988 and '89. Back then, this was considered as high-tech and wild as a coaster could be and was a pretty intense experience. A shame to see it go but that's a pretty good long run for it (it outlasted Great America's Shockwave by several years).

September 27, 2019 at 4:29 PM

That’s an old POV, back when it was only moderately trim braked. My last ride on this one was in 2018. I could safely say then that it was time. It was probably time even before that. Just too rough and not enough ridership. It couldn’t be what it once was even if they wanted it to, and the real estate it sits on is prime land within the park.

This removal reminds me of how old I’m getting. I was almost 7 when this ride opened. I remember the line for it for the first several years stretching all the way to near the front gate of the park, which those familiar with Kings Island will understand just how long that is.

Farewell to a revolutionary ride that entertained a generation and then some. 32 years is a long time for an Arrow mega looper. There’s bound to be something special in its place

September 28, 2019 at 9:47 AM

I loved the Arrow megaloopers when I was a kid, rode Shockwave over 100x in a year once. Enjoyed Vortex the first time I rode it.
...that was 20 years ago and TBH they were rough and most people hated them back then as well lol. Last time I was at KI I didn't even ride it.

I went to KI this year the park felt like it was still trying to live off the great reputation it had in the 70's. There were 5 coasters that I felt definitely should have be removed by now (Adventure Express, Bat, Vortex, Invertigo, and Flight of Fear). Beast was also extremely rough and trimmed but I think we can all agree that can't ever be removed. Glad Cedar Fair notices this as well and have decided to remove X Flight and Vortex hopefully over the next decade or so all of these rides get removed and replaced with more enjoyable attractions.

October 1, 2019 at 10:14 AM

Reportedly Anaconda at KD is also on the chopping block, but got a reprieve when Volcano had to be removed.

October 1, 2019 at 8:23 PM

At this point I think its safe to say both Anaconda and Viper are living on borrowed time

October 3, 2019 at 2:42 PM

i visited KI for the first and (so far) only time in 2014. i rode every coaster in the park with exception of vortex. i did the same thing at SFMM with viper and same with SFGA with GASM. not sorry to see these trains of pain go but they did serve their purpose and provided millions of thrills through the years. arrow was a very innovative company and was instrumental in shaping the theme park industry into what it's become today and they certainly had a great run but it's time to make room for whatever the future holds.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Buy Tickets

Plan a Trip

Get News, Discounts