Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Kings Island- Orion, New coaster for 2020.

Kings Island building a new giga coaster, Orion for 2020. 

In August, Kings Island shocked the coaster world with the announcement they would be building a new giga-coaster for the 2020 season.

 The first giga to be built in five years, this comes as big news as the park hasn't built a new coaster since Mystic Timbers in 2017. Cedar Fair parks often run in cycles, each park gets new attractions or additions each year but coasters tend to only come on the building block every 3-5. It's impressive Kings Island is getting something new so quickly over their sister park, Cedar Point, who has been added a new coaster every two years lately.

Let's get into the real details of this new beautiful creature coming to Kings Island.

Manufacturer: Bollinger and Mabillard
Type: Steal, Giga Coaster
Ride Time: 3 minutes.
Trains: 2 trains of 8 car each, 4 riders in a single row for 32 riders per train.
Track Length: 5,321 feet
First Drop Height: 300 feet
Length of First Drop: 447 feet
Top Speed: 91 MPH
Total Hills: 8

Set to open in Spring of 2020, Orion boasts some impressive stats. It's 70 feet taller than Diamond Back, the current tallest coaster in the park. Built by the same coaster company, Kings Island boasts a collection of the finest things B&M has to offer.

Orion is themed to a new area of the park, Area 72. Themed around a group of scientists in a race to develop travel though a coming meteor storm and investigating a new planet in the Orion constellation. Naturally, we riders will be the 'volunteers' to help with testing out this transport system.

The new themed area will be going into the park which currently houses Flight of Fear, beyond the Racer. Ground clearing for this new coaster has been in progress since 2018 when Firehawk was demolished. During this time when additional land clearing began, fans began to get suspicious- why would they need that much land cleared out suddenly?

A coaster, was the obvious answer and Orion doesn't disappoint.

Orion is taking over a portion of the space Firehawk once occupied and a good bit more, stretching itself into the back part of the park towards the wooden area Beast plays in and that once housed the 'Dinosaurs Alive' attraction.

 In September, Kings Island showed us this lovely gem. The beginnings of the lift hill base and starting on vertical progress.

More recently, Wild Gravity Travels showed us this amazing little gem from earlier in November. The lift hill has been completed and downward progress is nearly to the bottom of the first drop.  While it's difficult to tell, we can guess that outward progress from the lift hill has begun in the form of supports and footers. Although how the cold weather will slow construction is difficult to say.

If we get the chance, we'll have to get out to Winterfest and take a look for ourselves.

Image from Attractions Magazine 
New today we have these lovely, sweet looking new trains which where just released at the IAAPA expo in Orlando, Florida.  B&M displayed the lead car for the new coaster at the expo, giving fans a another hint of what to expect in the spring of next year.

Easy to say, we're excited. We look forward to watching the progress of this coaster more so than we already are.  So stay tuned, space travelers? Space Travelers, we're going with it.. we'll have more to come soon!

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