Any idea what is going on at Kings Island this year?

Kings Island: I see PKI's web-site says stay tuned for a major announcement coming soon, anyone care to speculate on what it is?

From Rick Strawser
Posted January 8, 2007 at 8:09 PM
I see PKI's web-site says stay tuned for a major announcement coming soon, anyone care to speculate on what it is? This is my local park and I go frequently each year, I am anxious to see if Cedar Fair has any money to put in the park for the 2007 season.

From Derek Potter
Posted January 9, 2007 at 9:01 PM
In case you haven't seen online, there is a large, coaster like plot of land that has been cleared by Flight of Fear. The big rumor is that the flying coaster X-Flight is being relocated from Geauga Lake to Kings Island. The park recently announced that they are laying down about 10 million for improvements in 2007. That sounds about right, given that Cedar Fair already owns the coaster and moving it would be a minimal amount of money. Personally I think that a park that has recently outdrawn Cedar's nearby competition and company flagship, deserves a little more, but that's just me. The move would bring a much needed novel thrill ride/coaster to Kings Island. Still a rumor, but a pretty solid one in my book.

From steve lee
Posted January 9, 2007 at 9:50 PM
In their announcement, Cedar Fair said they were spending ten million for a new thrill ride. Would it really cost that much to move X-Flight from one end if the state to the other?

More importantly, will anyone care? I would think that anyone much interested in a flying coaster would have visited Geauga Lake in the last six or so years that that coaster has been there (way too lazy to do research now). I fail to see how this relocation is going to drum up much excitememt.

I'm seriously hoping that a junker Vekoma flying dutchman isn't the big plan for PKI. I have to hope that there's something else up their sleeve, because X-Flight is NOT a new thrill ride. It's purely sloppy seconds.

From Derek Potter
Posted January 10, 2007 at 9:15 PM
They announced ten million in total improvements...which doesn't necessarily mean whatever the new ride is will take up all the cost. If Kings Island is planning a few more things along with X-Flight being moved, then the ten million makes sense. You can't really build a new large steel coaster for 10 million anymore (a good one anyway), but a new smaller steel coaster, or a new wooden one can be had for that.

As far as the X-flight rumor, it still very much has legs, however by all accounts the coaster remains intact at Geauga Lake. The announcement should be coming soon.

From Adrienne McDonald
Posted January 12, 2007 at 10:10 AM
What happended to FoF? Well, there goes the neighborhood. I don't have any reason to visit now *SNIFF* :( Was it moved to some other park, does anyone know? I thought they were just getting rid of King Cobra which I think compared to King Cobra, X-Flight would be a more welcomed addition even if it isn't as good as a B&M flyer as you say. I haven't ridden either type & doubt I ever will. I think it wud just make me have a heart attack or else make me viciously sick.

From steve lee
Posted January 12, 2007 at 10:20 AM
It's okay, Adrienne - Flight of Fear is still there. The land that was mentioned was cleared near Flight of Fear, not over it.

From Adrienne McDonald
Posted January 12, 2007 at 3:06 PM
Ohhhh THANK you Steve! You made my day SO much bettah!! :):):) Whew I thought I was gonna hafta scour the countryside, lol. ;). Well if it WAS true I guess The Beast wudda been good enuf xcuse to visit. I forgot about that one, lol. But thank you for putting my mind at ease. I just LUV that ride! For a minute there I thought I was gonna have to go give someone a good piece of my mind for doing me that way! ;)

From Rick Strawser
Posted January 13, 2007 at 1:33 PM
You say they announced they are spending 10 mil, how much of that will go into Son of Beast? I assume they are going to redesign it so they can open it again. Last I heard, they knew what was wrong with it, but didn't say when or if they would fix it. And as for Flight of Fear, I sure wouldn't miss it if they did take it out, sorry:(

From Derek Potter
Posted January 13, 2007 at 10:06 PM
They removed the loop on Son of Beast, and are reprofiling that section of the ride...they are also replacing the trains. No word on whether or not that's part of the ten million, but I would think that SOB repair/reprofile job would come out of the maintenance/repair budget instead of the new improvement one. Flight of Fear isn't going anywhere, it's the plot of land next to it thats getting the new ride. Announcement coming very soon.

From Robert Niles
Posted January 13, 2007 at 10:40 PM
I'm looking for an excuse for a trip to Cincinnati this spring, so I hope it will be something notable!

From steve lee
Posted January 14, 2007 at 10:20 AM
Good point, Rick. While Screamscape said the park was receiving $10 million for a "new thrill ride," that actually isn't what they announced. They said they were putting 10 million in to the park, which would *include* a new thrill ride.

Whatever it is they're ultimately doing with SOB, I doubt it'll be cheap. Throw some money at that, throw some money towards general maintenance for the park, and all of a sudden that 10 million is looking a lot lower. That could mean a new flat ride OR it could (sadly) mean X-Flight.

I still think X-Flight would be a mistake. King's Island needs a strong steel coaster, and I've never understood why that park hasn't got a B&M, considering their location...

From Derek Potter
Posted January 22, 2007 at 5:44 PM
We have an answer. Track of the lime green persuasion has been spotted in the Kings Island parking lot. XFlight will in fact have a new home at Kings Island. I suspect that it won't be up in time for May. Given the mild winter we've had so far though, we could see it sometime during the middle of the season. Obviously a formal announcement will be coming very soon as to what else the park will be doing.

From steve lee
Posted January 22, 2007 at 6:55 PM
I guess me and Cedar Fair have a differing opinions on what "new" means. Sorry, PKI - looks like it's sloppy seconds this year.

From Derek Potter
Posted January 22, 2007 at 8:48 PM
Got to remember, Cedar Fair just handed over 2 billion and some change for these parks. They don't exactly have the money to pour into the Paramount properties yet. I would rather them be money smart and cut back on investment for a couple of years, than pull a Six Flags Worlds of Adventure move and overspend to the point of bankruptcy. Remember the Six Flags Ohio $40 million dollar investment of 2000. Didn't end up working out that well for them. XFlight is a pretty good thrill ride, and Kings Island badly needed another real roller coaster.

From steve lee
Posted January 23, 2007 at 2:29 PM
$1.25 billion, actually, unless they got a REALLY bad interest rate. I don't begrudge them for moving it (Geauga Lake's primary draw isn't the coasters, it's the water park), but I dislike them misrepresenting this as a "new thrill ride" when it quite simply isn't.

As for the quality of X-Flight, well, that's a bit more debatable. I'm personally leaning towards "poor ride." Cedar Fair could impress me, however, if they worked the landscape to take advantage of the circuit (much as Paramount really went overboard on the area Stealth was going to at Carowinds), but I don't see them going there. At least it'll look better than a coaster over a parking lot.

(edited because I can't spell)

From Rick Strawser
Posted January 25, 2007 at 9:41 AM
I agree they should just spend more on general upkeep of the park and themeing, landscaping. Take Top Gun for example, the queing area is in terrible shape, everything is filthy and broken, the TV's don't work and you can't hear the music anymore. Rename and retheme it if you have to, call it the Bat and change the old Aircraft Carrier Tower to a old Haunted looking house or something, just update all the rides falling apart. As for bringing in X-flight, I have no problem with that, KI needs more coasters. Any new ride will reduce lines on all the others if nothing else. KI is still very family oriented, which I happen to like, I don't want to see it become just a hang out for bratty teens because it is all coasters.

From Derek Potter
Posted January 25, 2007 at 10:37 AM
I think the improvements that will be made on Kings Island will be ones visible to the public. Landscaping will probably be one because it relatively inexpensive to improve and it's highly noticeable to the crowds. Top Gun's station really could use some work, although the 50 mile long queue isn't necessary anymore. They could probably use some of it for something else. Some of the 10 mil will probably also go towards developing the area around Flight of Fear/xflight's site a little more. I also look for the company to invest a little more into the gift shops. This year will be a transitional year for the park with all of the rebranding and changes in the park, but in the end I think it will regain some of the old charm that it seemed to have lost.

From Samie Lawson
Posted January 30, 2007 at 10:15 AM
Does anyone know why if this X- Flight is such a awesome ride (I've seen most people weren't impressed) why they are moving it from the other park in the first place? I mean I'm sorry if someone decided that they were gonna just take and move a ride from Kings Island I wouldn't be to happy. And on there site it seemed to be one of there big sellers, that would be like someone wanting to get rid of the vortex. I'm with the ones that think we need something orginal not someone elses leftovers. And does anyone know if they plan to rename the ride?

From Samie Lawson
Posted January 30, 2007 at 10:20 AM

From Derek Potter
Posted January 30, 2007 at 8:50 PM
I've ridden X Flight a few times. It was a different but cool experience. It didn't blow me away by any means, but it wasn't crap either It actually seemed to get better with each year under Cedar Fair. I think that it was collecting dust a bit at Geauga Lake. They barely used more than a train, and the other loading platform was pretty much never needed. Yea it would have been nice to have something new, but I think that X Flight will have a new life and new fans in Cincinatti.

From Samie Lawson
Posted January 30, 2007 at 9:11 PM
It's good to hear that someone that rode it atleast somewhat enjoyed it. It seemed like it would be good ride to me but that was why I questioned why they would get rid of it. I think any new ride will make an improvement to the park and make the lines for other rides shorter. I guess it's just something we'll have to wait and see what actually happens. Hopefully in the next few years we'll beable to say that we're getting a new ride that is indeed new--

From steve lee
Posted January 30, 2007 at 10:00 PM
You've ridden it a few times, Derek? Masochist. Me and flying dutchman coasters have a one time only relationship. I get the credit, then I get as far away from it as possible (and yes, when it opens at Kings Island I'm sure I'll bite the bullet and ride it one more time. New location = new credit!).

From steve lee
Posted January 30, 2007 at 10:12 PM
Samie, the thing with Geauga Lake is they have too many coasters for their market. Six Flags loaded them down with new coasters during their brief reign, and for the most part they went the cheap route. They though they could make Six Flags Ohio/Six Flags World of Adventure a destination park, but the crowds weren't biting.

When I was there in mid May, the park was dead. We pulled in about ten minutes after they were scheduled to open and there were literally ten cars in the parking lot. Of course, being mid-May in Ohio, it was still practically winter...

From what I've seen, the primary draw of Geauga Lake is the water park, and the primary crowd is pretty much locals to that area. It's not really a case of X-Flight being a crappy ride (even though I think it is), it's really more a case of "where's X-Flight going to work more to our advantage?"

They think Kings Island is the answer. I think they need better steel. Now, that doesn't mean the move is going to be a failure, but I think the general public's reaction is going to be more muted than they expect simply because plenty of people in Ohio have undoubtedly been to Geauga Lake already (sure, it's a 4 hour drive, but with the added bonus of heading up to Cleveland I'd make that trip all the time if I had the option)

From Samie Lawson
Posted January 31, 2007 at 12:33 PM
I see what you guys are saying about the reasoning for the move. Hopefully it will do better at KI. I was just trying to find out what the scoop was. I got on to yesterday and the local that are on that site didn't really seem to sad about it leaving they were just more courious about where it would be going. MOst of them didn't even think that it would end up at Kings Island.

From Derek Potter
Posted February 4, 2007 at 11:00 PM
The announcement is official. X Flight will be making its debut at Kings Island as Firehawk. The coaster will be ready by Memorial Day and will have a new paint scheme. The land is ready and footers are being poured now. Track constructions starts by the endof February.

From Adrienne McDonald
Posted February 4, 2007 at 11:15 PM
Thanx so much for the update & 'official notification'. Any word on theming? I'd hope to see some type of theming or decor or something other than just bare land or just a ride on a plot of land. Theming makes things more interesting or even just trees or landscaping surrounding it would be neat. Thanx again for the update & let us know if you hear anything more.

From Derek Potter
Posted February 6, 2007 at 7:38 PM
Sorry about the typos on the last post. I wouldn't expect any theming, but Cedar Fair and Kings Island have always been good about dressing up the site with landscaping and such. I do know that the track will be painted red and grey instead of the ugly lime green it was. Park fans have a bit of a mixed reaction. Most who are displeased don't like the idea of a second hand ride. I think that even though the ride is a few years old, it will open in tip top condition.

From Rick Strawser
Posted February 7, 2007 at 9:48 AM
I personally am looking forward to it, I don't care if it is second hand or not. As for sprucing up the park, KI says 3/4 of the money they budgeted is going into Firehawk and the other 1/4 is going into Son Of Beast and a new show. Unfortunately I saw on the local news today that SOB won't be ready in time for this season at all. It doesn't sound like they will be putting any money into general improvements in the appearence of the other rides or landscaping. I hope the show is a good one and I assume it is replacing School of Rock, which I thought was pretty good. They also need a couple of new movies for the motion simulator theatre in the back of the park where the Spongebob movie is now, I would think that shouldn't be too difficult. That building seems to really be getting neglected as the years go on.

From steve lee
Posted February 7, 2007 at 10:16 AM
Whoa, wait now. SOB won't be ready when the season begins, or they're flat out saying it won't be open AT ALL this season?

I hope it's the former...

From Derek Potter
Posted February 7, 2007 at 6:37 PM
Kings Island has little control on when SOB will be open. They have to redesign, reprofile, retrack, test new trains...etc etc. The kicker is that the coaster is being built under supervision and has to pass a tougher inspection. SOB may or may not be rebuilt this year, but they can't open until the Dept of Agriculture/ride inspectors say so. Kings Island still has a lawsuit tied up in court with parties involved in original construction of SOB. My take is that they probably can't and won't announce a formal reopening date months in advance because they just don't know when it will be finalized. I can't imagine them intentionally delaying the rebuild another year because Cedar Fair depends a lot on the roller coaster in its parks. Quite honestly, if it takes a little longer and greatly improves the ride quality, then so be it, cause the ride was pretty much a knee/neck banger to begin with. Some fans seem to think that they are being done dirty, but I just don't think thats true. Cedar Fair is being smart with money right now, and I think that Kings Island and it's fans will be one of the parks to reap the rewards down the road.

From steve lee
Posted February 7, 2007 at 7:39 PM
Oh, I totally understand Derek - I just hadn't heard anything about it possibly taking that long. I certainly didn't want to imply that CF was sitting on their hands with it. I'll slag CF for plenty of stuff, but I didn't think that was the case here.

From Rick Strawser
Posted February 8, 2007 at 9:47 AM
You seem to be a man in the know; where is the video from on KI's website that shows Firehawk in action? Is that video from Geauga Lake, or is it likely from the same type of ride somewhere else since we know it isn't even assembled yet at KI

From steve lee
Posted February 8, 2007 at 10:11 AM
Definately not Geauga Lake. There's virtually no foliage or trees around the coaster (it's practically over the parking lot, they just threw some sod down when they built it) and X-Flight was green there.

The quality of that video is pretty "meh." I'm not entirely convinced the whole thing isn't just computer generated.

From Samie Lawson
Posted February 28, 2007 at 12:28 PM
So where is this video at on the sight--- Im not even sure that i was on the right site I went to and it redricted me to the new site I'd love it if someone could tell me where to find the video--- Thanks Samie

From Samie Lawson
Posted February 28, 2007 at 3:33 PM
So I finally found the video for Firehawk, And Im pretty sure that it's not footage from a like like it from somewhere else. I'm thinking that it was just computer generated, did anyone notice that not long after the video begins that Drop Zone appears in the back ground.

From Derek Potter
Posted February 28, 2007 at 5:52 PM
Looks like a computer rendering to me.

For a better look at the actual coaster in action, Youtube has a Travel Channel segment on the ride posted. Just do a search on XFlight I would embed it here, but not sure if that's within the rules.

From Samie Lawson
Posted March 17, 2007 at 3:14 PM
Hey thanks for the link Derek.I can't wait until the park opens to see what CF has done with the place. I'll be sure to post my thoughs and I'll give you guys links to pictures. I'm not sure if any of you are frequent visiters of the park, so I'll try to keep those of you that aren't updated with the things that I can. I think that I am actually the closet one to the park and I also have a pass so I go quit often.

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