Overview What these two have in common is that they’re inverted coasters built by B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard). Montu, located at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, opened in 1996 whereas Banshee, located at Kings Island in Mason, OH, opened in 2014. Both are notable for being record setters. Back in the day, Montu was the tallest and fastest inverted coaster ever built, a record long since broken, and Banshee currently holds the record for longest inverted coaster. Layout, Elements and Theming Both Montu and Banshee feature out and back layouts with multiple inversions. Montu, themed after an Egyptian god of war, stands 150 feet tall with 3,983 feet of track while Banshee, themed after a spirit from Irish mythology, stands 167 feet tall with 4,124 feet of track. Both operate with three trains seating four across in eight rows for a total capacity of 32 riders and both contain 7 inversions. (The restraints are over the shoulder harnesses; Banshee’s are tighter than Montu’s but that’s fine with me, as I’ve rarely felt as secure on a coaster as I did on Banshee.) Montu’s inversions include, in this order, a vertical loop, Immelmann, zero-g roll, batwing, vertical loop and corkscrew. Banshee’s inversions include, in this order, a dive loop, vertical loop, zero-g roll, pretzel knot, vertical loop and inline twist. Additionally, Montu features a tunnel and trenches. As a result of these enhancements, in this category Montu comes out somewhat ahead. Photo by Bobbie Butterfield Photo by Bobbie Butterfield Ride Experience For Banshee, please see my full review on coastercritic.com: https://coastercritic.com/2018/05/review-banshee-kings-island/ Photo by Bobbie Butterfield A ride on Montu begins with a turn out of the loading station and ascent of a 150-foot chain lift hill. Upon reaching the top, the train drops 128 feet to the left, immediately ascending to a 104-foot vertical loop, reaching its maximum speed of 60 mph. It then swoops perilously – and deliciously – close to the ground, going through a tunnel and up into an Immelmann. This is followed by a zero-g roll and batwing. A batwing is a wonderful element under any circumstances, but in this case especially cool because the train drops into a trench prior to completing the element. From the batwing the train ascends to the block brake, drops into another trench and navigates a 60-foot vertical loop. From that point it makes a turnaround to the right, swoops close to the ground and swings around (see featured image), with riders fairly flying along. It then goes into yet another trench before navigating a corkscrew and making a turn into the final brake run. It’s quite a ride. Photo by Bobbie Butterfield Photo by Bobbie Butterfield Photo by Bobbie Butterfield The Winner Photo by Bobbie Butterfield And the winner is…Banshee. This was a very tough call because both coasters are exceptionally good as well as remarkably similar despite the fact that one is 23 years old and the other is only 5. (This would suggest that there had been no significant advances in inverted coaster design during that 18-year period.) Batwing, pretzel knot – even these are similar. If I were to go by the scenery, Montu would come out ahead, but Banshee has attributes which counterbalance any advantage gained by the landscape. While both coasters are equal in terms of rideability, I find that Banshee surpasses Montu in intensity and theming, especially intensity. The forcefulness of the initial drop is unparalleled on any invert I’ve ridden while the inline twist nails it. Both coasters pack a punch but Banshee strikes me as somewhat more dynamic. Videos courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa and Kings Island. What’s your take? Have you ridden Montu and Banshee and if so, which do you think is better? 4 Responses Josh Peterson May 22, 2019 Banshee exceeds Montu in terms of intensity? What have you been smoking? Reply Eric June 6, 2019 Montu is a great ride with excellent pacing throughout, but Banshee gets *faster* halfway thru its layout because of change in elevation. The slow in-line twist at the end is one of my all-time favorite inversions. Afterburn is also up there, along with Dueling Dragons (RIP), though I still need to hit up Nemesis. A front row night ride on Banshee is one of my best coaster experiences in recent memory, I gave it a perfect 10. Reply Zach June 22, 2019 I give it to Montu. Intensity is close to the same for both. But Banchees seats and restraints are horrible. I find Montu to be more comfortable and smoother. Has more of a nice ride to it. Banchee is a one and done. I’m 100 percent those restraints ruined Banchee for me. Reply Bobbie June 22, 2019 Interesting comment. I understand where you’re coming from, as the restraints on Banshee are pretty tight, but I often feel that the restraints on coasters – especially inverted coasters – are not tight enough, so I was happy with the restraints on Banshee b/c I felt very secure. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.