Kings Island has been my home-park all of my life. I’ve been a Gold Pass holder on many occasions and I visit as often as I can. Recently inspired by Winter Fest’s return, I decided to throw together a wish list featuring everything I’d love to see at Kings Island in the future. These are all personal wishes so you might disagree with some of my ideas. But it’s okay, because I don’t actually make any of these decisions. That in mind, let’s go!
- Honor The Racer
The Racer has been the longest standing coaster in the park and a fan favorite since its inception in early 1972 – when Kings Island itself opened after relocation! That year is important because The Racer will officially reach “Historical Landmark” status in the year 2022, on its 50th anniversary. As many Cincinnatians have seen in our locale, time slowly eats away at our buildings. However, with proper restoration, and additions of modern innovation, a combination of the past, present, and future can create something special. This is the perfect solution for an audience that is very protective of its history.
In recent years especially, the lines for the Racer have dwindled. It’s basically a consistent walk-on. That shouldn’t be a surprise, year after year the Racer has been stripped of its greatest features. To generate more buzz around the park’s oldest attraction, I want to see the park honor the Racer in 2022 and give it ample upgrades without imposing on its historical foundation. This could be the catalyst to reinvigorate the crowds less than enthused opinion of it. After all, everyone has already ridden the racer. To do this, I want to see the following changes:
– Re-track the coaster to make it as smooth as possible
– Upgrade to modern trains
– Bring back the backwards blue racer
– Engineer to ensure blue and red coasters are always racing
– Line the entirety of the coaster with red and blue lights
– Light all of Coney Mall to celebrate The Racer’s 50th Anniversary
- Re-theme and expand X-Base
X-Base has hardly been recognized as its own park section. Even in Kings Island’s latest installment of their park map they fail to mention it by name. There just isn’t a legitimate reason to give two rides and a bathroom its own code name. Scratch that, there isn’t even a bathroom there. Oh, and Firehawk is leaving. X-Base is literally just Flight of Fear now.
But that shouldn’t be the case. Kings Island has hit expansion capacity on its Eastern Border. So surely, their eyes are turning to the large plot of land behind the Racer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another entrance under The Racer created; they could use the same land where Dinosaur’s Alive used to sit. Seeing as evolution brings change, I would love to see the next phase of park growth introduce a brand new section on the same level as Action Zone, Coney Mall, Planet Snoopy, and Rivertown.
Change is a little scary, and I’m sure I’m not making friends with die-hard Flight of Fear fans at the moment, but a re-themed X-Base means a re-themed Flight of Fear as well. But FoF fanatics shouldn’t be too upset, as the exact same ride still exists in Kings Island’s sister park, Kings Dominion. Cutting ties with Flight of Fear as a theme would be one of the final bonds severed between Cedar Fair’s modern award winning park, and Paramount’s vision from a decade ago. And that’s a good thing.
- B&M Giga Coaster
If you’re not already aware, a Giga Coaster is a roller coaster whose maximum height exists between 300-399 feet tall. There are only six in existence (Millennium Force, Intimidator 305, Fury 325, Leviathan, Steel Dragon 2000, and Red Force). Rumor has it, Kings Island is next in line to receive one. As they should. Kings Island is a money making machine for Cedar Fair and loyal fans have been demanding one for years. And as I mentioned previously, the removal of Firehawk just opened a huge plot of land.
While some have speculated that a new record breaking coaster could be themed as a spiritual heir to “Son of Beast”, I have to disagree purely because I think that name will be bestowed to a new wooden roller coaster – honoring The Beasts legacy. No matter the name, I do wish for a record breaker. As seems to be tradition with with Kings Island, I’m sure our Giga will be the longest Giga Coaster to date. As for the height… at least we know it’ll be more than 300 feet.
- Screamin’ Swing
This flat ride is one of my favorites. You can find them in a variety of Cedar Fair parks, but due to their inconsistency of operation, it’s not shocking they haven’t been launched in other locations. However, with an improved track record, I’d love to see one finally migrate to Cincinnati, where flat rides aimed at an older audience are an endangered species. You can only ride Delirium so many times.
A Screamin’ Swing is a static pendulum that curls your stomach and induces the same fear of the first time you leapt from a swing. It’s awesome. Though from what I hear from others, it’s a love it or hate it ride. The best spot for one would be in the new section behind the Racer with our potential Giga and a rethemed Flight of Fear. Otherwise, I could see it replacing either Invertigo or Congo Falls in Action Zone. Speaking of those two…
- Relocate/remove Congo Falls and Invertigo
By that I mean move Congo Falls to Soak City and burn Invertigo for all I care. Congo Falls is completely out of place in Action Zone. The entire ride is simply meant to get you wet. At the very least, move it to Rivertown where it’s more accessible to the people who want to ride it most: visitors spending their day at Soak City.
As for Invertigo, this is a coaster officially listed as a “Vekoma Boomerang”. While I admit they are visually appealing, they are loud for those in line, they hurt when you’re on them, and they are uninspiring when placed along the likes of Beast, Diamondback, and Banshee. Also, there are currently 55 of them in the world, many the exact same variation as the one at Kings Island. So, if you’re irrationally attracted to it, you’ll be okay. Best case for you: Invertigo is relocated to re-themed X-Base.
To be fair, this wish is less of a wish and more of what I think will happen given Cedar Fair’s track record. Looking at Cedar Point and Carowinds for example, Cedar Fair likes to create incredible entrances utilizing modern roller coasters. As of now, Kings Island’s entrance has largely been untouched. But if that were to change, they would need the valuable space being taken up by these two rides.
- Don’t touch The Beast (for now)
I love The Beast. I never want it to change. But I do know that it won’t last forever, and if we want to continue to enjoy it, that may mean sacrificing some elements for the sake of its health. Maybe in a decade we can have a legitimate conversation about upgrading the best ride in the park. But as of now this is King’s Island’s pinnacle attraction to Gold Pass holders. Time has only adapted the theming to be even more engaging, and the capacity is still decent. So, leave it alone for now. Also, enjoy a POV:
- Figure out The Bat
The Bat is fine. You could sum up most all visitor’s opinion of this roller coaster with that statement. It’s a unique suspended roller coaster that has largely been forgotten in the modern renaissance of roller coaster design. It’s not a bad ride; in fact, it’s generally well liked by most visitors. It does have a fatal flaw though, and that is its location. It’s ridiculously far away. I’ll actively avoid The Bat just because I don’t want to have to hike down a mountain to get there.
To solve this problem, there are really only two solutions: (1) move it closer; (2) remove it. I personally would like to see it removed. I’m sorry The Bat fans. But I have good reason for this. First of all, it opens up a boat-load of space in Action Zone. The Park could put a new roller coaster in the area that just houses the walkway to get to The Bat. Plus, its removal opens up a lot of space for a rethemed X-Base expansion in the West side of the park. Finally, it could allow for…
- Son of Beast’s return
The Son of Beast was the craziest, stupidest, back breaking roller coaster anyone has ever ridden. It made Cedar Point’s Mean Streak look good. Like many stories I hear from fellow victims, you lost your breath and generally had significant chest pain the week after you rode this. However, this legendary coaster had two things that made it all worth it: (1) historical theming, (2) an incredible layout.
Yes, it hurt. But the son of one of the most legendary coasters in history was as close to Disney-level story telling that any of these amusement parks have gotten. Son of Beast was classified as a Hyper Coaster. Its drop was just one foot shy of Diamondback – the tallest roller coaster currently in the park. And for its lifetime, it was the only wooden coaster to feature a loop. I could describe it further, but you’re better off experiencing it for yourself…
I want this again. It doesn’t have to be the exact same, but more than anything else, I want a spiritual Son of Beast return. Whether built by world renowned coaster manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction, or Mystic Timbers creator Great Coasters International, the potential is off the charts. For many, it would immediately become the best coaster in the park just based on the hype. This is a can’t miss.
That’s my list wish list! Have your own desires for future park development? Disagree with any of my judgments? Comment below. Thank you for reading. And a special thanks to Coaster101 for the header image.