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.
I 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.
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.