Kings Island Announces Banshee for 2014

Tonight Kings Island officially announced Banshee, their record-setting 2014 roller coaster. Boasting 4,124 feet of track, it will be the World’s longest inverted roller coaster. Riders will face seven inversions along the journey including: a Dive Loop, a Loop wrapped around the lift hill, a Zero-G-Roll, a Batwing (2 inversions), an Outside Loop, and an In-Line-Roll. Banshee will reach speeds of 68 mph.

Banshee - Kings Island 2014 Roller Coaster

Banshee’s Theme

Banshee Kings Island 2014 - Logo SmallI really like Banshee’s logo as well as the unusual color scheme. The supports are blue and the track will be purple. As many have pointed out, the Banshee name was supposed to be used for Cedar Point’s Mantis until the name was changed due to complaints. The current management at Cedar Fair doesn’t see this as an issue.

In fact, I like how they’re taking the initiative as Kings Island is promoting Banshee as: “The first female-inspired thrill ride at a Cedar Fair Entertainment amusement park”. While not heavily-themed by any means, the ride’s supernatural theme looks to be incorporated into the station and again in that great logo.

Breaking Down Banshee’s Loops

Banshee’s succession of 7 loops looks pretty cool. It’s no surprise that I love that loop wrapped around the lift hill. It’s reminiscent of my all-time favorite looper Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa. I also like the choice of the Batwing element over the similar, but reversed, Cobra Roll. Again, they could have taken the ride up a notch in my opinion by spicing up the bottom side of that element. Afterburn’s batwing is actually buried in an underground tunnel and Montu’s is below ground as well.

Banshee’s finale could be its highlight. Banshee will borrow from another recent B&M creation. The carousel turn leading into the In-Line Roll reminds me of X-Flight’s show-stopping in-line roll through the flight tower. It’s preceded by a u-turn as well.

Would Have Preferred More Terrain & Maybe Fewer Loops

During the announcement there was a mention of how Banshee’s layout will make use of Kings Island’s hilly terrain. From the top of the lift to the lowest point later in the ride there’ll be a total elevation change of over 200 feet. As a result of the wooded area the ride will sit in, Kings Island shared the Banshee will become the third roller coaster that you’ll offer great night rides. The Beast (and I assume) Diamondback are the other two.

Banshee’s looping layout looks fun, but if the park really wanted to exploit its terrain I wish that the ride could have hugged the ground a bit more. It’ll be hard to tell until we’re actually riding it, but from the POV it looks like 90% of the layout is high-flying loops followed by short moments where you’re near the ground and then another high-flying loop. This is pretty much a nitpick, but a tunnel or section that stayed low to the ground might have been a nice change of pace from the repetition of all of those aerial maneuvers. Even if it meant fewer loops, I would’ve preferred more interaction with the ground.

Here’s an off-ride video of Banshee at Kings Island that shows the entire ride from above:

My Take: A Great Replacement for Son of Beast

While I do think it would have been cool to see another terrain woodie from the Beast family, (“Niece of Beast” had me LOL-ing) I can see why Kings Island would want to move away from the Beast theme and from that type of coaster. Given the very public issues that Son of Beast had, it makes since to do something completely different.

Any B&M roller coaster would be a solid choice as they’re known for their comfort, reliability, and crowd-pleasing thrills. The ride’s new open restraints will make this great ride even more ride-able. Similar large inverted roller coaster Alpengiest has been a fixture in my Top Ten list for years. It’s only drawback in my opinion is the little bit of roughness and headbanging during one section. Banshee’s restraints might neutralize that issue altogether.

Rest assured Ohioans, Banshee will not be another Son of Beast.

Kings Island’s 2014 Announcement

I watched a live stream of Kings Island’s 2014 announcement tonight. Thanks to @ThemePrkCentral for sharing the link to the feed on Twitter. It was quite an impressive announcement. The atmosphere seemed pretty electric with the crowd cheering throughout. It was kind of neat hearing theme park fans geeking out on what felt like ‘TV’. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing a few more outside of the box announcements.

Banshee is set to open in April 2014. Learn more about the ride at Kings Island’s official site. Also, here’s a POV video of Banshee:

What’re your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

28 Responses

  1. Alex F

    One thing that bothered me about the announcement was that they didn’t announce the height of the ride. I had to go practically to hell and back to find the height but I did. The first drop is 165 feet tall and has a drop of 150 feet.

    Another thing that bothered me is that throughout the day today soul piercing Banshee screams were heard throughout the park. Workers were alerted when the screams were going to happen so they wouldn’t get scared on the job but for random park visitors that would have been scary. Just think if a child were walking around Kings Island and heard the scream. They’d be so scared that they’d be in tears!

    Anywho it looks like a great ride. Inverts really don’t fascinate me but this one looks great. I can’t wait until other roller coasters are announced around the industry. This is always my favorite time of year in the coaster industry!

    Reply
    • Joel Bullock

      You’re right. They kind of buried that stat. I guess they thought 165′ doesn’t sound very tall. They did mention the total change of elevation from the top of the lift to the bottom of the valley later in the course. I think they said it was around 208′.

      Reply
  2. Quil

    Though I love the look of the ride, I was kind of hoping that this ride would take the hint from its forbears, The Beast and the late Son of Beast, and try to blend with the wooded scenery of Kings Island as much as possible.
    I was kind of hoping against all logic that they’d build another Hyper-woody, but with The Beast and the Diamondback at their park, and the failure of the SoB, it’s fairly obvious why they didn’t. A smooth looper is really what Kings Island has been thirsting for.
    I do really love how they’re bringing back the Pretzel inversion (or “Bat-Wing”, as it is referred to in this) , and that Zero-G-Roll looks nice and slow. The drop and the Dive loop both look fantastic.

    Reply
    • Joel Bullock

      I added some more of my thoughts to the post and I agree. It would have been cool to see the ride hug the terrain more like Beast did. At least going through a tunnel or something cool during the batwing would be great.

      But overall, it looks like a great ride.

      Reply
  3. Nick Glaab

    Looks like a very smooth ride, gotta love huge inversions. Seems like it should be a lot of fun, hope I can make it down to Kings Island next year!

    A little disappointed that the record they are breaking is so niche… “longest inverted coaster” really does not have the same clout at “longest steel coaster”, but I suppose a record isa record.

    Reply
  4. Bruce Reed

    I really thought it would be higher…..bit of a disappointment. And I did not like that KI downplayed the height of it. I rode Alpengeist which is taller so I would have liked to see it above 200 feet. I don’t call the longest inverted coaster a “world” record but the coaster looks to be awesome and I plan to ride it when it opens.

    Reply
  5. Gearhart

    I didn’t think an American park would have the guts to built another one of these with wing coaster’s and what not being much trendier, so kudos to Cedar Fair, they’ve made me very happy with this announcement. This looks to be one of the better inverts in awhile too. Need to get back out to Ohio next year for this and Gatekeeper.

    Reply
    • Joel Bullock

      That’s what I was thinking too Gearhart. Parks seem to stick to trends, but it’s good to see that Kings Island was more thoughtful and looked to fill a need instead.

      Reply
  6. skyhawk

    I’m very excited Ohio will again lead the coaster world with record breaking coasters on both the lake, and riverfronts. I generally don’t watch POV’s until after the maiden ride in the Spring! My kids and I are thrilled, and my daughter pointed out it will tie into the Halloweekend theme nicely! Looks like a great invert!

    Reply
  7. Nick

    I hope they don’t pour sand in the supports. The old B&M roar could easily be interpreted as the Banshee scream.

    Reply
  8. Jesse Scott

    I honestly am disappointed with the trains. They are using the same restraints like on Gatekeeper, X-flight, you know, they’re new spotlights.

    The reason I am a little upset about that is because I find these restraints very uncomfortable. I have ridden Gatekeeper three times, each time in a different part of the train. (Front, back, and third-row from the front)

    With these new restraints, they get tighter as the ride goes on, and by the hill, my back is starting to hurt. Not bad… Just enough to be annoying. And then by the end of the ride (helix to brake run), everyone I’ve talked to agree’s that the restraints are SO tight by that point, that you feel trapped. You want to move around but you cant. So Gatekeeper has been a major flop for me.

    That’s why when they said they are incorporating these restraints on their inverted coasters, I got very upset. B&M is my favorite manufacturer. But if they are going to be using these restraints for all their inverting rides… I think I will become an Intamin. REALLY hope Banshee will be different. Maybe just how it’s designed it won’t be as tight, or the restraints may be tweaked. Who knows.

    I might be going to KI next year, so I will be able to see.

    Reply
  9. Grant P.

    I absolutely love when coasters do not have MCBR! The ride seems so much more fast paced. I think this is exactly what Action Zone and more importantly Kings Island needed. I look forward to riding Banshee, but i will not look forward to the ridiculous crowds it will bring! lol

    Reply
  10. ProfBAM

    I wonder what makes them think that Banshee will do better now than it did back then. If they do have to rename it, I hope they don’t go with a bug again, or Bat. I’ve heard on Screamscape that KI may be retheming Flight Deck to the Bat. it would make sense with the leaked “fake” website.

    Reply
  11. SxcyMike

    The wait time shouldn’t be bad, probably just like Levithan. Once the train is released from the top lift, it’s clear to send another while the previous one is still in rotation. Extremely excited.

    Reply
  12. Troy

    I was disappointed with this rollercoaster, as a replacement coaster for son of beast i was expecting them to make it a multi record breaking coaster.

    Reply
  13. Mike M.

    Was disappointed at seeing how tall it was. I was hoping that it would at least give Alpengeist a run for its money. However, after looking at the details, there’s a 208′ difference between the top of the lift hill and the bottom of the batwing halfway through the ride. That means that most likely will be the biggest batwing element we’ve seen. Its top speed during that element (68 mph) is even faster than Alpengeist! Probably will be the highlight of the ride. We might also be looking at the best zero-g roll on an inverted coaster. Great addition to the B&M family of coasters. Definitely looking forward to making a second Ohio trip (Gatekeeper is on my to-do list as well).

    Reply
  14. Ryan

    There’s one thing on this post that bothered me in this post.

    The element that you think is a batwing is actually called a pretzel twist. It was only used one other time and it was in japan and had the highest g load ever.

    Reply
  15. Thacrrigler

    Looks like a great coaster and as a side note, correct me if I’m wrong, this is the only park with two different coasters with batwings. (Vortex being the other)

    Reply

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