Kings Dominion

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Theme Park:Kings Dominion (since 1975)
Address:16000 Theme Park Way
23047 Doswell
Operated by:Six Flags

Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, is one of the classic American amusement parks opened by the Taft Broadcasting Company and Kings Entertainment. Opened in 1975, the park features a very wide range of rides and attractions. The theme park is famous for its world-class selection of roller coasters.


Having a great time at Kings Dominion


Highlights of the Theme Park




A large-scale looping coaster



Backlot Stunt Coaster

A very fun launched coaster




A very intense ride



Drop Tower

Going down



Flight of Fear

An awesome indoor coaster




The out-of-control wooden coaster



Project 305

The intimidating ride



Racer 75

A rebel yell of a ride



Twisted Timbers

The best RMC coaster


Having a great time at Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion

International Street

When you enter the park, you immediately find yourself on International Street with the large fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower. To the right and left of the fountain, a number of shops and cafés invite you to take a stroll. All around are the entrances to the individual areas of the theme park. The Eiffel Tower, built by Intamin, towers above everything and offers a marvellous view of the entire park.


While the Kings Island theme park has a large pirate boat from Intamin, Kings Dominion goes one step further and transports passengers overhead. Beserker is one of the most powerful looping starships I have ever had the pleasure of riding. It only takes three full swings to reach an upside-down position. What a ride! It’s just a shame that this type of ride has become so rare.


The Dominator roller coaster dominates the left-hand side of International Street. The coaster owes its rather unusual track layout to its location at the now closed Geauga Lake theme park, where it was in operation between 2000 and 2007. The coaster has been at Kings Dominion since 2008.

The ride on the Dominator starts with a small drop out of the station. This is followed by an S-curve and a turn before entering the lift hill. Once we reach an exit height of 157ft, a pre-drop is followed by an immediate descent. We pick up speed in a very steep right turn before entering the huge loop. At full throttle, we go through a right turn close to the ground and a big steep turn high above the station to the next element: a cobra roll. We also enter this element with a lot of speed and pressure. A long ramp then leads us into a block brake. After another drop, we enter the interlocking corkscrews, where we’re tossed back and forth nicely. A steep banked turn and a couple of ground hugging banked turns lead us into the brake section of the ride.

Dominator is a very intense coaster. The layout, which is rather untypical for B&M, has a few highlights, including the Cobra Roll, which is really interestingly placed here. Thanks to the quick turnaround I was able to do a few laps on this coaster.

Planet Snoopy

As in Kings Island, the Planet Snoopy children’s area in Kings Dominion is remarkably large. Originally opened as the Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, this area has been entertaining its target group since the 1970s. Over the course of time, this area was expanded again and again before the children’s channel Nickelodeon claimed large parts of the themed area for itself with Paramount. In the year of the takeover by Cedar Fair, the remaining Hanna-Barbera rides were also remodelled. When the licence agreement with Nickelodeon expired in 2010, the decision was made to use the well-known Peanuts characters, as in the other parks in the group.

Great Pumpkin Coaster

The Great Pumpkin Coaster is located in the centre of the Planet Snoopy themed area. This is a small family roller coaster built by E&F Miler Industries in 1997, which has a fairly compact layout and is only suitable for families with small children. For this reason, and because of the somewhat longer waiting time, I decided not to take a ride.

Woodstock Express

Next door is the Woodstock Express, the smallest of the three wooden roller coasters at Kings Dominion. The ride through the compact layout of the completely blue painted coaster starts after a short right turn with the ascent of the lift hill. Once at the top, it’s straight into the first drop. At around 35 miles per hour, we speed through the first valley before taking a turn. After another descent, we race over a small speed bump before crossing the wooden structure and taking another turn on the other side of the track. It’s all uphill and downhill for a while before we dive into the wooden structure below the first bend and follow its course. Back out in the open, we enter a small dip before reaching the coaster’s braking section where the fun and excitement of the wooden roller coaster comes to an end.

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill

The interactive dark ride Boo Blasters on Boo Hill was originally opened in 2004 under the name Scooby-Doo! and the Haunted Mansion. Back then, the ride in the Mystery Machine still took you through two-dimensional scenes with the characters from the well-known Hanna-Barbera series, in which you could trigger your own effects and unmask the villain at the end. Now there are only ghosts. It’s still very kitschy and nicely done, but unfortunately Boo Blasters on Boo Hill doesn’t capture the spirit of the original attraction, although the queue through the swamp is really well done and gives the ride an eerily beautiful atmosphere.

Jungle X-pedition

The new Jungle Expedition themed area shows just how well Cedar Fair can design its areas if they want to.  The main attraction in this area is the new Tumbili roller coaster – a free spin roller coaster from S&S – which was only doing a few test rides in the afternoon during my visit and was otherwise closed all day.


The Avalanche roller coaster used to run in typical Swiss bobsleigh track style with trains from different nations through a white channel decorated with rubber abrasion. Today, the ride is called Reptilian and the track is bright orange. The trains are now also standardised.

After the lift hill, we slowly pick up speed in a helix. With a little speed, we first go over a long ramp and through a block brake. This is followed by several left and right turns in quick succession. Finally, we race through a downhill helix, which is immediately followed by an uphill helix. After this brilliant finale, we reach the final brake and our fun ride unfortunately comes to an end.

Backlot Stunt Coaster

Passing Arachnidia – an Eli Bridge Scrambler from 1976 – we head to the backlot stunt coaster. Opened as Italian Job: Turbo Coaster in the days of Paramount, the coaster is a special effects coaster from Premier Rides and, as the name suggests, boasts a number of special effects. The compact ride also offers a few other surprises.

The first is right at the beginning of the ride. The launch into the car park, where you then spiral upwards in a tighter and tighter helix, is a brilliant and above all breathtaking start. Never before have I been pressed so hard into my seat. After the 900° helix, there is only a short breather as the descent is immediately steep. In the valley, we take small, gentle bends past police cars, advertising billboards and containers. At the end of the passage we change direction in an Immelmann bend before climbing a hill. After a short right-hand bend, a wide left-hand bend brings us back down into the valley. Shortly after this we come to the big special effects scene. A helicopter is attacked with a lot of noise and a fire effect is triggered, at least in theory. Shortly afterwards we are accelerated through a tunnel. This is followed by a steep turn to the right before changing direction and heading towards the light at the end of the tunnel. We then pass through a dried-up pool of water and after another turn, the end of the ride awaits.

The Backlot Stunt Coaster is a very interesting roller coaster with nice ride elements and a lot of effects that are unfortunately no longer used in the park. The ride is very fast and surprisingly intense due to the start in the triple helix. In any case, the former Blockbuster coaster is great cinema at Kings Dominion!


I love big Arrow looping coasters and was very excited to ride Anaconda after riding Kings Islands Vortex. From the outside at least, the big looping coaster looks very promising.

After climbing the 128-foot lift hill, the ride descends in a long, steep turn. The ride then enters a tunnel just above the water surface. After the very pressurised valley we climb a long ramp followed by a very intense loop. Still at high altitude, we then enter a sidewinder. Then we reach the coaster’s block brake. Now the track gets a bit weird as we make our way through an interestingly curved figure of eight with rather strange transitions. In a long right turn we approach the coaster’s two corkscrews, which are taken very slowly. After a short hill and a left turn we reach the brakes.

Anaconda is a very uneven coaster, where the beginning of the ride is really strong, the middle part is bizarre and the end is a bit too slow. The loop and sidewinder are the highlights of the ride and are great fun. After the block brake the coaster loses some of its momentum. The figure of eight element is a bit strange to ride. The corkscrews are slow and almost uncomfortable. Conclusion: Great start, mediocre finish.

Flight of Fear

In the same year as Kings Island’s Flight of Fear, Kings Dominion opened the same coaster. Both coasters are pioneers in the use of LIM modules on roller coasters. Again, the queue is a good introduction to the space flight that follows.

As at Kings Island, the launch takes place directly from the station. Now at full speed, you immediately enter the powerful Cobra Roll, before hurtling across the floor of the hall after two headstands. After a powerful valley, we immediately enter a sidewinder before cruising through the upper part of the track. After a couple of turns, we are slowed down a little in a block brake before heading into the lower part of the course. In a constant up and down, we spiral further and further down before changing direction after a wide left turn. We now quickly approach the floor of the arena, where we change direction again. After two more steep bends close to the ground, we unexpectedly find ourselves upside down in a corkscrew, whereupon we reach the braking section and shortly afterwards the exit station of the ride.

Flight of Fear is a very solid roller coaster with a really nice track and great scenery. Fortunately, the ride is a lot smoother than the one at Kings Island, which is why I always enjoy getting on this ride.

Intimidator 305

Probably the most spectacular roller coaster at Kings Dominion is Intimidator 305. Built by Intamin, the ride has a drop of 305 feet and sits very close to the ground.

The ride on the Intimidator 305 starts with a very fast lift, where the height of the ride becomes apparent as soon as you pass the nearby Drop Tower. The first steep drop then sends you hurtling at almost 90mph through a relatively tight radius turn, with the view becoming increasingly limited until all you can see is grey. But before our eyes go black, we regain height and immediately race over an airtime hill. Now we take a long left-hand turn close to the ground. After a short straight we continue to the left. This is followed by a series of fast turns. A long right-hander is followed by the second airtime hill of the circuit. Another hill leads us into a right-hander, which quickly turns into another left-hander. Shortly afterwards we enter the braking section of the coaster.

It’s not for nothing that the Intimidator 305 is Intamin’s knock-off machine. Although the first bend was softened after the first season, it still severely restricts your field of vision, but you regain full consciousness before the first crest at the latest. The following bends are taken quickly but very smoothly, although the final bends are somewhat unimpressive. All in all, the Intimidator 305 is a really good roller coaster, which scores points above all for the speed rush created by the close-to-ground layout.

Candy Apple Grove

The Candy Apple Grove is the large midway of Kings Dominion with numerous rides to the right and left of it. Here you will find the classic Dodgem bumper cars, a carousel, the Wave Swinger, the HUSS Troika Mad Apple and the large Ferris wheel Americana.


Another highlight in this themed area is the Mondial Revolution Delirium. Compared to the swing ride of the same name in Kings Island, the ride here is much more dynamic, which is also due to the pleasingly faster rotation of the gondola. Unfortunately, the monotonous rotation in only one direction is present here too.

Drop Tower and Windseeker

Together with the Windseeker, the Drop Tower towers above Candy Apple Grove. While the Windseeker allows a wild flight over the area on windless days, the Drop Tower offers a free fall from a height of 83 metres for up to 56 people at a time. As always with Intamin, the drop is very, very good.

Racer 75

When Kings Island opened, the two-lane wooden roller coaster The Racer was the star of the park, being the longest, highest and fastest roller coaster in the world at the time. So it’s no surprise that it was also included in the opening of Kings Dominion, albeit under the name Rebel Yell. With the opening of the Candy Apple Grove themed area, the name was changed to Racer 75.

The ride on the two tracks of Racer 75 starts with the front turn, after which the two tracks meet a few metres down the track and climb the lift hill together. Meanwhile, riders have plenty of time to cheer each other on, which also helps to build team spirit within their own train – after all, everyone wants to win together. As is so often the case, the first train plunges into the abyss while the second has just reached the top. After a steep valley, the track leads over a rather low hill, followed by a bunny hop, before the two trains separate on the next ridge. As one train heads left, the other turns right. With a lot of momentum and airtime, we now head through another valley with a hill, at the end of which the rear turn awaits. While it was easy to follow the other train up to this point, it becomes a little more difficult on the way back to the station. After another descent and a wonderful airtime hill, we reach the section we have already travelled. Parallel to this, we now race over a series of smaller airtime hills before finally disappearing into the support structure of the first drop and even being confronted with a dark tunnel on our way to the braking section. Shortly afterwards we return to the station.

The ride on the Racer 75 scores points mainly for the great view over the park, at least when only one of the two tracks is in operation, as was the case on the day I visited. The ride on the Racing Coaster with its many airtime bumps and out-and-back design is just as much fun, but without the second track something is missing.

Apple Zapple

At the very end of the Candy Apple Groove themed area is the Wild Mouse Apple Zapple. Right at the beginning of the ride, visitors experience a big drop before going through hairpin bends and over hills again towards the end. All in all, a pretty fast-paced family rollercoaster.

Twisted Timbers

The Hurler roller coaster was long regarded as one of the worst wooden roller coasters in the world. The ride through the layout characterised by ground-level turns had no real highlights to offer in addition to the rather poor ride characteristics. In 2018, the roller coaster was converted by RMC into Twisted Timbers.

The ride on Twisted Timbers begins directly with a right-hand turn that takes us up the ride’s lift hill. Once at the top, the ride initially takes a left-hand bend, which then leans more and more to the side and finally turns into a roll. With momentum, we then head through the first valley, over a speed bump and through a steep turn before heading over three airtime hills. A skilful change of direction in a cutback element leads over another series of airtime bumps. Then it’s through another turning curve and another roll. After a Bayernkurve, it’s back to the station via some more airtime bumps. Shortly afterwards, we hit the brakes.

Twisted Timbers is a fantastic roller coaster and finally an RMC with inversions that I could ride all day without any problems. This is mainly due to the fact that the roller coaster here doesn’t race over the numerous airtime hills as aggressively as other comparable rides. Without almost breaking your thighs, the ride is simply more fun. In this respect, Twisted Timbers is currently the best RMC roller coaster I’ve had the chance to ride.

Old Virginia

The Old Virginia themed area is mainly characterised by the two large water rides Shenandoah Lumber Co. and White Water Canyon, which are located right next to each other. Unfortunately, both rides had not yet started their season, so I was unable to test them on the day of my visit.


Located in the woods of the Old Virginia themed area, the Grizzly wooden coaster is hard to spot. After entering the ride through the gift shop, the expedition can begin. We approach the lift hill of the ride in a long left turn. At the top we immediately take the drop and turn left. After a climb, we go through a long left turn. The second drop takes us straight into an airtime hill and shortly after into a tunnel with another airtime hill. We then change direction in a big turn. A hill then takes us next to the track we have already experienced. Here we go over another airtime hill before taking another turn. Finally, a series of airtime hills leads us to the braking section of the ride.

Grizzly is a very good wooden roller coaster. The ride is so out of control that it is hard to believe. Although the ride’s statistics are not that surprising, the layout has a lot to offer. It’s just a very wild roller coaster ride.

Pictures Kings Dominion

Conclusion Kings Dominion

As with its sister park, I really enjoyed my visit to Kings Dominion. Although the park is not quite as big, it also impresses with a really strong portfolio of rides and rollercoasters. Due to the relatively low crowds on the day I visited, I was able to try out all the rides without any difficulty and got through everything relatively quickly. It was just a shame that the new Tumbili rollercoaster had problems on the day I visited. I will definitely be back again at some point.

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Blown away by a Vortex

History of the Theme Park Kings Island

Kings Island’s history begins, interestingly enough, with that of another amusement park, Cincinnati’s Coney Island, which was badly damaged by a flood in 1964. Since the future expansion areas were also limited, the idea of relocating the park to a new site was considered early on.

Things really got rolling in 1969 when the park was taken over by the locally based Taft Broadcasting Corporation, which saw Coney Island as an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of its television programmes, especially the Hanna Barbera cartoons. Gary Wachs, the son of the owner of the park at the time, was given the role of building the park on a 1600 acre site northeast of Cincinnati.

America’s finest Amusement Park moved and became part of a much larger project. With Disneyland in Anaheim and the two Six Flags parks in Texas and Georgia, there was admittedly still very little competition, but the trend towards new theme parks was there and they planned big from the outset. The four themed areas Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, Rivertown, Oktoberfest and Coney Island, all starting from International Street with its dominant replica of the Eiffel Tower, were to shape the park in the future. Interestingly, it was the latter area that was King Island’s unique selling point, since it was here that roller coasters, amusement arcades and classic rides were built.

Tour of Kings Island

When you enter the park, you immediately find yourself on International Street with its large fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower. To the right and left of the fountain, a number of shops and cafés invite you to take a stroll. All around are the entrances to the individual areas, as well as to the large theatres and the park catering. The Eiffel Tower, designed by Intamin, towers over everything and offers a wonderful view of the entire park.


You can currently ride a total of 14 roller coasters at Kings Island. I would like to start with the roller coaster that was themed to Nicolas Cage’s film Face/Off back in the Paramount days, but now only bears the manufacturer’s roller coaster model name: Invertigo.

A total of five examples of this roller coaster were built, but currently only four of them are still in operation. This is basically the suspended version of a timeless roller coaster classic – the Vekoma Boomerang – but Invertigos wouldn’t be Invertigos if they didn’t have even more special features. First of all, the seating arrangement allows you to reverse the proven experience in its order, and you can also watch your fellow riders while doing so.

The ride through Cobra Roll and Looping is, as usual, extremely intense and absolutely brilliant. As with Tornado from the former Danish amusement park Sommerland Syd and Diabolik Invertigo from the Italian Movieland Park, the ride characteristics are quite impressive. Basically everything is smooth and even small bumps are only present to a very small extent, which is why at least for me the ride was a lot of fun again and therefore offers a high repetition factor. Especially with a waiting time of 0 minutes, this is an absolutely worthwhile experience.

Congo Falls

When the Action Zone theme area was launched in 1999, no effort was made to integrate the Spillwater Congo Falls, built in 1988, into the theme. So it continues to shine in all its glory, while the rest of the area resembles computer graphics from around the turn of the millennium and in the meantime doesn’t quite want to fit into the park in its colorful appearance. Unfortunately, Congo Falls also joined the list of water attractions still closed in April, which is why I sadly had to forgo a ride with a heavy heart.

Drop Tower

Fortunately, however, right next to it is the Drop Tower, which is the highest gyro drop tower in the world. Wait a minute, we know that slogan from the Lüneburg Heath, don’t we? That’s right, because Scream from Heide Park Soltau still uses it all too often. In fact, the ride length of the 7m smaller tower in Kings Island is a good 9m longer at 80m than the 103m tower in Lower Saxony. Of course, this is no comparison to the much taller Highlander from Hansa Park, which premiered just on the day of my visit; but the tower, as we all know, is not a Gyro Drop, but just a competing product. The Drop Tower at least is absolutely, 100% good – height record or not.

The Bat

Somewhat inconspicuously hidden in the farthest corner of the park is the suspended coaster The Bat. The name is a tribute to the very first suspended coaster in the world, which stood at another location in Kings Island – but more about that later. Opened in Paramount days as Top Gun, the coaster was renamed Afterburn for the Cedar Fair takeover. The aircraft carrier theming fits quite well with the Arrow Coaster’s elevated station and the far too long queue, yet The Bat really needs a little bit of theming right now. A few gravestones, a forest, maybe a crypt with an organ playing animatronic and it would be perfect.

Instead of boarding the Vampire roller coaster at Chessington World of Adventures, however, we find ourselves in Mason, Ohio and, after some delay, finally board the classic suspended coaster train.

The ride on The Bat begins immediately with the entrance to the lifthill. We make our way up through an aisle and enjoy the view of the neighboring Great Wolf Lodge resort for a brief moment. Once at the top, a banked turn awaits us at lofty heights before we plunge down a straight-line drop. Just above the bottom, this then transitions into a right turn, whereupon lateral forces push us beautifully outward. Shortly after, we change direction in a climb and are neatly transversed in the subsequent turning maneuver before we plummet to the ground another time. Close to the ground, we now steadily change direction at a fast pace before we come across a downhill helix in a wide clearing. With a lot of momentum we now tackle the way back. Over hill and dale we make several detours back to the station. It seems that the rhythm of the directional changes has increased once again. After a last detour, we reach the braking section, where we swing out cheerfully for the time being. Shortly afterwards, we reach the station again.

I like suspended coasters, but The Bat fell short of my expectations. Although the ride is incredibly fast and the swings are remarkable, the ride is ultimately a bit too predictable for me. Here, a repeat ride in the late afternoon would probably have made sense to be able to give a final verdict, but unfortunately it didn’t come to that. Nevertheless, The Bat offers the proven suspended coaster fun and thus submits itself to the list of ultimate family coasters. It’s a wonder that there are so few examples of this type of coaster.


Right next door is Banshee, the latest inverted coaster from B&M. Built in 2014, the ride scores points mainly for its height and length – less popular, however, is the ride’s restraint system, which, similar to the Wing Coaster from the same company, relies on a belt system instead of rigid restraints.

The ride on Banshee begins with a short left turn, after which we already climb the ride’s lift. We pass through the ride’s first loop before arriving at the starting height of 167ft and immediately entering a steep turn. We approach the ground without any consideration for losses and then cross the first valley with a lot of pressure. In an oversized dive loop we slowly turn upside down before we plunge down a half loop. Now we enter the equally oversized loop with a lot of pressure. A long zero-G roll skillfully turns us once around our own axis, whereupon the transition to the next element is immediately initiated. In the world’s only Pretzel Knot we follow the course of an oversized pretzel and see the world upside down twice. This is followed by loop no.2, which is a lot more intense than the first one due to its much smaller proportions. Afterwards we spiral upwards in a steep turn, at the end of which we immediately enter an in-line twist. Here we turn once around the axis of the track, refusing to follow the heart line. Then we enter a downward helix very smoothly. With a little pressure on our feet, we then say goodbye into a right turn, whereupon the braking section of the ride is already waiting for us.

Banshee is a quite nice inverted coaster with great pacing and an exceedingly solid ride track. Unfortunately, ride element follows ride element, so that bigger surprises fall a little by the wayside. The ride itself is fun, and especially convinces in the evening hours.

Delirium and Viking Fury

Fans of large swings will get their money’s worth with the HUSS Giant Frisbee Delirium and the nearby Viking Fury boat swing. While the HUSS ride does what all swings of this size do, the Intamin Bounty Viking Fury scores especially with its location and the rather long swinging phase. It’s just a shame that the operator here has to do half a climb each time before the swing can be set in motion.

Adventure Express

With the best view of the Banshee roller coaster, the Adventure Express makes its way through the dense undergrowth in Mason, Ohio. Kings Islands Mine Train is one of the last examples of the manufacturer Arrow Dynamics and promises, like Thunderation from the amusement park Silver Dollar City the day before, an extremely exciting and family-friendly ride.

This also starts immediately with a series of right and left turns, which lead us out of the station in the direction of the lift. The whole thing is underpinned by a small drop, as well as several straights and two short tunnels, both of which are quite nicely themed. The first lift is characterized by several slanted archways, but otherwise the theming is discreet. At the top, we quickly pick up speed in a downhill right turn before we cut a building in a left turn and gain some altitude. A classic Bavarian curve follows, followed by an extremely crisp helix just before we enter a tunnel. Here we change direction once before we leave it again in a right-hand bend. Back in daylight, we take a left turn through a valley and gain momentum for a small climb. At the end of it a kind of temple ruin awaits us. Inside we meet the second lift of the ride, accompanied by music and rhythmically drumming animatronics. After this design highlight, the end of the ride awaits us after a short right turn.

Even though the Adventure Express is a bit anticlimactic in its storytelling, the ride on the two-stage Mine Train is simply great entertainment. The ride is extremely fast and has some really nice passages, which are also nicely staged by the existing design elements. Sure, the ending with its “Now you will pay!” announcement is a bit silly, the Terrain Coaster at least is not.

The Racer

When Kings Island opened, the double wooden roller coaster The Racer was the star of the theme park, after all, the roller coaster was the longest, highest and fastest roller coaster in the world at the time. The industry was also amazed at the time when Kings Island staked all its cards on a new roller coaster. The success in turn proved the theme park right and led to a renaissance of roller coasters – now everyone wanted to have the fastest, highest and longest roller coaster in their park.

The ride on the two lanes of The Racer roller coaster begins immediately with the front turn, whereupon both lanes meet after a few meters and climb the lift hill together. During this time, the passengers have enough time to spur each other on, which also strengthens the team spirit in their own train; after all, they want to win together. As it usually happens, the first train plunges into the abyss, while the second has just reached the crest. After a powerful valley, both tracks lead over a rather low hill with a subsequent bunny hop before they separate from each other on the crest of the following hill. While one side now continues to the left, the other side now bends to the right. With momentum and all kinds of airtime we now go through another valley including a hill, at the end of which the rear turn awaits us. Where we managed to follow the other train quite easily so far, it now becomes a bit more difficult on the return to the station. After another downhill and a great airtime hill we come across the already completed track. Now we race parallel to it over a series of smaller airtime hills before we finally disappear into the woods at the height of the First Drop and are even confronted with a white tunnel on the braking section. Shortly after that we enter the station again.

The Racer is addictive. The ride on the racing coaster with its many airtime hills and the out and back design is simply great fun, which is why, thanks to the low crowds and the use of both tracks, I made it my mission to ride the roller coaster until I would eventually win. A lot of bad luck led to seven rides in a short time, after which I gave up the action; after all, the rest of the park still wanted to be explored.

Coney Mall

In the Coney Mall area in Kings Island you can still find some treasures from the Coney Island time. In addition to the well-known US classic Scrambler, you can also ride a Monster from the Eyerly Aircraft Co. Here the ride is similar to a Schwarzkopf Monster, except that the eccentric cannot be lowered and therefore only two gondola arms can be loaded at the same time. Due to the construction, this quickly leads to longer waiting times, but this can easily be topped by the loading process itself. The nacelles are too high during loading. However, there is a remedy, because the front part of the gondola can be folded down and then serves as a staircase, which makes it easy to get in and out. Once folded up and secured, however, the seating position in the gondola is not quite as comfortable, as you sit relatively flat on the ground. The ride cycle itself is then also a bit too short and not very revvy, which is why I can only recommend a ride when the crowds are low. It is at least nice to see that Kings Island cares so much about their older rides.

Flight of Fear

Passing the wave swinger Zephyr, we now head to the indoor roller coaster Flight of Fear. After having just missed the spaghetti coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, I was even more excited about the indoor version of this ride, which played a major role in the use of LIM modules on roller coasters. The queue at least puts you in the right mood for the subsequent space flight, which I was able to spend as a single rider in the front row thanks to a closed seat next to me.

Unlike the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster from Walt Disney Studios Park, the launch takes place directly out of the station. With full speed, we immediately enter the extremely pressurized Cobra Roll, before we whiz across the hall floor after two headstands. After a pressure-packed valley, we immediately go up a Sidewinder before cruising a bit through the upper part of the ride. After several swerves, we are then slowed down a bit in a block brake before heading into the lower part of the ride. In a constant up and down motion we spiral down continuously before we change direction after a wide left turn. Quite swiftly we now approach the hall floor once more, whereupon we make another change of direction. After two more steep turns close to the ground, we find ourselves upside down for the fourth time in a corkscrew, whereupon we reach the braking section and soon find ourselves in the exit station of the ride.

Flight of Fear is a very solid roller coaster with a nice track design and a great setting; it’s just a pity that the hall was a bit bright thanks to the incoming light and the ride has no other effects except for the darkness. In addition, the ride is a bit jerky, just like Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast from the theme park Six Flags Over Texas, which is why you can only be very happy to have experienced it without the originally installed shoulder restraints. A ride in the evening would certainly have been beneficial here, but the waiting time at this roller coaster was a bit too long for me for a second ride.

Kings Mills Antique Cars and Wind Seeker

The nearby vintage car ride Kings Mills Antique Cars could show the longest queue on my visit day, after all, it was also the novelty from this year. The ride was built in the spirit of the 70s – so it resembles the original vintage ride Les Taxis with its internal combustion engine.

At the rear turn of The Racer roller coaster, a true monster towers into the sky. The Windseeker is a Mondial Rides ride that gives you a similar view as a Funtime Star Flyer, but with rigid bars instead of filigree chains. The result of this is probably that the ride always stops immediately in stronger winds due to undesirable ride characteristics, as it did on the day I visited. Interestingly, however, the Windseeker opened again shortly before closing time, but I didn’t take the chance, because I didn’t want to miss a night ride on a legendary roller coaster, but more about that later.


Before that, however, we turn our attention to the also very legendary Arrow coaster Vortex, which unfortunately had its last season this year. It was the first roller coaster with six rollovers and at the time of its opening it was the highest roller coaster in the world – two records that went hand in hand for a long time. Without the extremely maintenance-prone suspended roller coaster prototype The Bat, on the other hand, it would probably never have come into existence.

When The Bat first swung its wings at Kings Island in 1981, none of the people in charge at the time probably expected that just six years later the next roller coaster would be standing in its place. The swinging bat rocked without mercy through the minimally inclined curves, which in turn led to problems at the welding seams. Shock absorbers on the carriages reduced the swing; but this was again accompanied by very high wear and tear. Last but not least, the brake mechanism, thanks to its decoupling from the rail, was also decisive for the premature end of the ride, as the swing of the cars led once again to increased wear.

All the problems of The Bat roller coaster were taken into account in the design of the XLR-8 roller coaster from the Six Flags AstroWorld theme park and Big Bad Wolf from Busch Gardens Europe. However, a rebuild of the complete track was rejected for cost reasons.

Instead, a large part of the existing infrastructure was used for the Vortex roller coaster. The already existing station house including sidings, as well as the already existing foundations shaped the new roller coaster.

The ride begins with a short right turn in the direction of the lift. This then transports you to the starting height of 148 feet. At the top, you can enjoy the view of the Diamondback and Mystic Timbers roller coasters for a short moment before you plunge into the abyss after a right turn. With about 55 mph we now shoot through the first valley. Far above the park visitors we then complete a rather wide turn, which also leads us quite elegantly through a dip. On a longer, sloping straight we now take a run-up for the two loops of the ride, which are driven through intensively as usual. Interestingly, these have been set very high. After a short uphill and a tight right turn we find ourselves in the first braking area of the ride. Here we reduce our speed to a minimum before we plunge towards the ground once more. In an exceedingly bizarre way, we now enter the first corkscrew, which awaits us in a curve with a very strong lateral inclination. Now we see the world upside down two more times as we make our way between the two loops. In a wide right turn we then glide over into the Batwing – an inversion element where first a half corkscrew turns into a half loop and vice versa. Thanks to the clever use of the terrain, the Batwing is a real eye-catcher, which adds to the already incredibly aesthetic look of Vortex.  After a long left turn, an upward helix awaits us before the ride soon ends in the brakes. Here we have to wait for some time, because interestingly enough Kings Island operates the ride with all three trains despite the low crowds.

Vortex was an extremely good roller coaster that still ran very well even in its final year. The brilliant start, the unusual inversion sequence and the special aesthetics of the ride spoke for themselves. I am very glad that I was able to ride it in its final year of operation and would have been very happy if it had been kept for a few more years. Nevertheless, I am already looking forward to its successor. The area is large and Kings Island will certainly make good use of it.

Shake, Rattle & Roll and Backlot Stunt Coaster

Past Shake, Rattle & Roll – a HUSS Troika from 1975 – I was drawn to the Backlot Stunt Coaster. The coaster opened under Paramount times as Italian Job: Stunt Track is a special effects coaster from Premier Rides and can, as the name suggests, fall back on some special effects. At the same time, the compact layout also offers some other moments of surprise.

The first one follows right at the beginning of the ride. The launch in the direction of the parking garage, where you then spiral upward in an increasingly narrow helix, is a brilliant and, above all, breathtaking start. So far, I have never been pressed into the seat as hard as I was here. After the 900° helix, you only have a short time to catch your breath, as the downhill run immediately starts at a high gradient. In the valley, we now pass police cars, billboards and containers in small, barely inclined swerves. At the end of the passage we change direction in an Immelmann turn before climbing up a hill. After a short right turn swerve, we plunge into a valley once more in a wide left turn. Shortly after, we climb the track to the big special effects scene. With much fanfare, a helicopter attacks and a fire effect triggers. Shortly after, we are accelerated into a tunnel. A steep curve, leading to the right, follows before we make our way to the light at the end of the tunnel after a change of direction. The ride through the drained water basin follows, after which the end of the ride also awaits us after another curve.

The Backlot Stunt Coaster is an extremely worth experiencing roller coaster with nice ride elements and effects. The ride is extremely fast and also surprisingly intense due to the launch into the triple helix. In any case, the former blockbuster coaster is quite a big deal at Kings Island!

Planet Snoopy

Planet Snoopy is, without much exaggeration, probably the most remarkable children’s land in a theme park far and wide. Originally opened as Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, this area has been skillfully entertaining its target audience since the 1970s. Over time, this area was expanded again and again before Paramount claimed large parts of the themed area for itself with the children’s channel Nickelodeon. In the year of the takeover by Cedar Fair, the remaining Hanna-Barbera rides were also redesigned, so that from then on there was only one huge children’s area with Nickelodeon Central. When the license agreement with Nickelodeon expired in 2010, it was decided to focus on the well-known Peanuts characters, just like in the other parks of the group.

Great Pumpkin Coaster

As soon as you enter the themed area, you come across the Great Pumpkin Coaster. This is a small family coaster from E&F Miler Industries from 1992, which has a quite compact layout and may only be used by families with smaller children. Because of this and a generally somewhat longer waiting time, I decided against a ride.

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill

The interactive dark ride Boo Blasters on Boo Hill originally opened as Scooby-Doo! and the Haunted Castle in 2003. At the time, the Mystery Machine ride followed two-dimensional scenes featuring characters from the popular Hanna-Barbera series, where you could trigger your own effects and even unmask the villain at the end. Now, however, there are only ghosts. This continues to be exceedingly cheesy and nicely done, but the spirit of the original attraction is unfortunately not captured by Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. Kids won’t care much, but for the adults with nostalgic feelings, I recommend a visit to the Spanish theme park Parque Warner, where you can still experience the original concept of the dark ride today.

Woodstock Express

Right next door is the Woodstock Express, the smallest of the four wooden roller coasters at Kings Island. The ride through the compact layout of the roller coaster, which is completely painted in blue, begins after a short right turn with the ascent of the lift hill. Once at the top, the ride immediately descends the first drop. With a speed of about 35 mph, we pass through the first valley, whereupon a turning curve awaits us at a lofty height. After another downhill we whiz over a small speed bump before we cross the wooden structure and enter another turn on the other side of the ride. Now we race a bit over hill and dale before we dive into the wooden structure below the first turn and follow the course of it. Back in the open air, we dive into a small dip, whereupon we find ourselves already on the braking section of the roller coaster and the extremely fun wooden roller coaster ride soon comes to an end.

Surf Dog and Flying Ace Aerial Chase

Past Surf Dog – a rare Zamperla Skater Coaster – we now head to the suspended family coaster Flying Ace Aerial Chase. Funnily enough, the layout is a tried and tested classic from Vekoma, but this time with free dangling feet. Accordingly, the ride starts with a short turn out of the station, whereupon the lift hill is already waiting. Immediately we complete a left-leading steep turn with subsequent upward helix, cross a short valley and a wide right turn near the station. Over a hill we cross the course we have just covered, whereupon we lose some altitude in another helix. A left turn follows, whereupon the braking section is already waiting and the quite pleasant ride comes to an end – for children, at least, the ride is first class.

Race for your Life Charlie Brown

The same applies to the ride on the neighboring log flume Race for your Life Charlie Brown. Although it only has one descent, the rest of the ride is all the more convincing with its fast whitewater passages. Here, at least, you don’t bob around in the canal for minutes on end, but rather whizz through it very smoothly. At the end, an all-drenching shoot awaits you whereupon you can step out of the boat very happily. Superb!

Mystic Timbers

The newest wooden coaster at Kings Island to date is Mystic Timbers, which became famous thanks to its advertising campaign and the question “What’s in the Shed?”. Unfortunately, however, the mystery surrounding the shed has led to a certain hype, which in turn could not be fulfilled according to first reviews, because roller coaster fans worldwide expect a naturally breathtaking world novelty after an Alton Towers-esque announcement and just not a showroom.

The ride on Mystic Timbers starts with a short right turn, whereupon after two smaller dips the lift hill of the ride awaits us. Having reached a height of 109 ft, we immediately descend a steep curve. With a speed of now 53 mph we race through the first valley, whereupon we climb a rather high hill. After a left turn, we then plunge to the ground another time. Close to it, we now race over a series of bunny hops and even cross the park’s rapid river. At a fast pace, we now go over hill and dale in constant changes of turns, while being lifted out of our seats in the most delightful way. Interestingly, the descents and ascents are now getting higher and higher before we set off for the turning curve, diving into a tunnel in the process. The ride now continues with some momentum through a longer valley, whereupon we start the return journey to the station. Still close to the ground and with fast pacing, we go over the rapid river once more, whereby the frequency of the airtime hills increases more and more. For the finale, the track bends a bit to the left and to the right before a larger climb leads us directly into the shed. Here we find the maintenance house and afterwards the aforementioned showroom with projection mapping and numerous effects. After the station has been released, we enter it and the ride comes to an end.

Mystic Timbers is a really good GCI woody with fantastic pacing and breathtaking airtime moments. The ride is simply outstanding until the end. Compared to all of the manufacturer’s European wooden roller coasters, Mystic Timbers goes one step further, so it hardly bothers that they meant it a little too well with the ride in terms of marketing; although the secret of the shed is actually a pretty nice feature. Mystic Timbers, at least, is my new favorite GCI.

K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad and White Water Canyon

Much of the K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad’s route runs through the woods at the back of the park. While riding the steam train, you have an outstanding view of the wooden roller coaster Mystic Timbers and the Rapids Ride White Water Canyon, which was unfortunately closed during our visit. In between, the train stops at the Soak City water park, which also serves as a connection between the water park and the amusement park; however, you can also reach it on foot along the huge Picnic Grove picnic area.


Kings Island has been home to the B&M Hyper Coaster Diamondback since 2009. It is the first hyper coaster with a water splash as the brilliant finale of the ride.

Shortly after leaving the station, we climb the 70m high lift hill of the ride. With the best view of the showbuilding of the former HUSS Giant Top Spins The Crypt (Tomb Raider: The Ride) and the wooden roller coaster Mystic Timbers we immediately plunge to the ground. With a lot of pressure we cross the first valley, whereupon we climb a193 ft tall camelback. With good airtime we cross the crest and immediately plunge towards the ground again. Here we turn left and race over another airtime hill. Immediately we make a turn at a dizzy height. This is followed by another airtime hill. Very close to the ground, we then enter a powerful upward helix, at the end of which the block section awaits us.

Parallel to the first hill, we plunge to the ground another time and immediately glide over two more hills. In a very compact helix we increasingly gain altitude before we enter the splash finale of the ride. After a short climb, we immediately find ourselves in the final braking section of the ride.

Diamondback is a fantastic hyper coaster. The ride characteristics are terrific and the airtime is insanely good. There is absolutely nothing to complain about here; it’s simply a great ride!

The Beast

The fourth and final wooden roller coaster in Kings Island is The Beast. The longest and probably most legendary wooden roller coaster in the world has been the reason to visit Kings Island since 1979 – after all, the ride, which was designed and built entirely in-house, broke all records in the roller coaster world. It was the longest, fastest, highest and above all most breathtaking roller coaster far and wide.

It begins relatively harmlessly with a wide turning curve. Shortly after, we reach the lift hill. Once at the top, we immediately plunge down into the first tunnel of the ride. With a slight lateral inclination, a left turn close to the ground follows before we dive far into the forest after a camelback. Following a short climb, we head towards a wide right-hand bend. On a longer straight we then gain more and more speed before this is immediately taken away from us again by a trim brake. However, the descent on the ramp is not yet over and so we quickly pick up speed. In a left turn we then drive into a longer tunnel. Always close to the ground, we then continue through a very wide right-hand bend and continue to pick up speed. A short climb then leads us to the second lift hill of the ride.

Once at the top, we can enjoy the panorama for a bit before we increasingly gain speed on a ramp with a gradient of only 18°. With rising speed, the lateral inclination also becomes greater, which becomes necessary for the spectacular double helix finale of the ride. In the transverse 540° helix we now go through two tunnels at breakneck speed before we start our way back. Parallel to the first drop, we then approach the long braking section of the ride and soon the station.

The Beast is without question an interesting and good roller coaster. In fact, it is perhaps a bit too long and it is not really exhilarating compared to today’s wooden roller coasters. Nevertheless, it is and remains a fan favorite and that has one main reason: When it gets dark, the predictable beast falls into a breathtaking frenzy of the senses. With no sight of anything, the ride travels through the forest at breakneck speed with a mighty thud – an extremely breathtaking experience.

Pictures Kings Island

Conclusion Kings Island

Imagine visiting a theme park with 14 roller coasters and all of them tested are good. Then imagine yourself in a beautifully designed park landscape with numerous nice looking areas. Add to that an exceedingly low crowding with the simultaneous use of all rolling stock. Cedar Fair, you got me! Kings Island has done it to me and I am completely thrilled.

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