As for SOB, I think the park said let's forget this ever happened when they decided to knock it down.
Perhaps you didn't see the picture above...
I'd say it's the opposite, KI refuses to let go of certain things from their past. As the monument states, Son of Beast last operated in 2009, yet they make it seem like it died yesterday. They renamed Flight Deck to The Bat...a coaster from 30 years ago...that was an almost complete failure!
Wonderful reviews. We'll be down in July...doubling up a visit to Kings Island with an Aerosmith concert later that night. It will be our first trip to KI since the year before Diamondback opened, so we have a couple new treats waiting for us.
Out of curiosity, and maybe it's a mute point since it's something parks would not be interested in, but is it conceivable that some of the older inverts, like Raptor, could get new trains?
I wondered the same thing, but apparently it's quite an expensive proposition.
The SOB monument has a flame on the top, which makes it even more awesome.
I saw a pic on FB that included the flame and some lighting effects. Very neat looking!
The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
Well, I'm looking forward to feeling difference. At least it's a much more realistic pipe-dream than, say, "let's put floorless trains on Mantis". :)
How was the station and surrounding atmosphere? Does Banshee have it's own creepy theme music? Sorry if I missed that being covered in the posts that rained in. Obviously the ride itself is the main attraction. Personally, I love the SOB monument idea.Last edited by OhioStater, Friday, April 18, 2014 12:28 PM
Out of curiosity, and maybe it's a mute point ...
I guess that's why no one is talking about it. :)
Ohiostater, there isn't creepy music, however as the train ascends the lift there is some dramatic music playing from speakers on the lift hill. Once the train crests the lift the Banshee scream happens. I thought it was a pretty cool touch. Kind of like the wolf howl when Legend at HW crests the lift.
The extra 'stuff' isn't Cedar Fair's usual idea of 'theming,' and that's a good thing! I think Rob Decker and his team did an amazing job on the details. The station is pretty amazing down to the flickering lights that look like its from a cathedral. There are tomb stones throughout the queuing area and a few that are on the course of the ride that you fly past. The entrance has the cast iron gates that say 'Haunted Hill' across the top.
It's all easy to miss, but once you realize it, its pretty cool.
And this is probably little nerdy for some, but even the way the ride is programmed (advancing to the station, the stop, etc) is in a way that allows for as much capacity as possible. For a detail person like myself I think the team effort behind every aspect of Banshee is probably one of the best I've seen outside of Disney. Seriously.
The gift shop, under the station, is beautiful, too, and behind the cashier are large, overlapping screens showing Banshee graphics. They didnt have to do that, they just could've hung a poster that says "pay here". Really nice.
I'd like to commend Kings Island for putting on such a great event. It would be enough to just open the ride for everyone, but all the freebies (t-shirts, those glass thingies, breakfast, lunch, drinks, ice cream), along with opening a few extra rides really showed that Kings Island cared to go the extra mile. I had a great time and I can't wait to go back many times this year!
Three of my Kings Island dreams came true on Thursday. One, Kings Island finally got an inverted coaster. It is something that they have been lacking for a long time, and now that it is there, the park to me feels complete. Two, Son of Beast is gone. I never hated a coaster before my first ride on that piece of garbage. Three, The park got rid of the terrible name, Flight Deck, and replaced it with one of the coolest roller coaster names I have ever heard. The Bat was shiny and pretty. It's nice to see such a great coaster get some attention.
The event was awesome. I have never had such a good time in a park. The Banshee ice cream seems to be a big hit. Everyone I knew had more than one. It was yummy, and the colors are pretty. I was at the park opening day Friday and noticed that the park sells something called Banshee Brew. I wasn't brave enough to try it, but I did ask what it was. The man at the counter told me that it was red cream soda with the pink ice cream, kind of like a float.
Oh, and everyone was trying to figure out what the pink ice cream flavor was. I asked. It's vanilla, only colored pink. That color threw me off. It was hard to tell vanilla without it being white.
The Chicken Shack was really good. People were rightfully commenting that it was like Chik-Fil-A, but without the hate. I agree. They served two pieces of breaded, boneless, home made style fried chicken, crinkle-cut fries, and a piece of buttered, thick-sliced Texas toast. It was really good.
During the ceremony, every time someone said banshee in their speech, the Banshee scream was heard from the lift. Comedy!
What can I say about the ride that has not already been said? The ride is extraordinary. A new entry on everyone's top ten. Relentless was the first word I used to describe it after my first ride. It's very fast and forceful, but also very re-ridable. It's all positive Gs except for the flat spin near the end. That element is such a drastic change in forces from the rest of the ride, and it really threw me off, in a good way.
The station, themeing, and gift shop is worlds better than anything Cedar Fair has ever done before.
Banshee looks great from all over the park. It's so large and intimidating while walking towards it from the fountain. the lift, drop, and first few inversions loom overhead as you walk towards it. From the parking lot, it sticks out of the skyline in a very drastic way, like Diamondback does. Viewing it from Coney Mall, the lift hill and first drop serves as a "weenie", and the orientation in which it is viewed is very clean and tower-like. It's placement balances everything out better. The park is now complete, to me anyways. We used to have The Beast and Diamondback as the big, popular rides at the park, and now Banshee has added to that. Having these popular rides at the park is transforming the way it is viewed by visitors. The three major coasters are like the big department stores in a mall. They are the anchor stores, or anchor rides, if you will. lol
The entire Action Zone area has been transformed. They removed the lighthouse- I think it was a lighthouse, in the circular area in the middle of the open area, and replaced it with shaded seating for their new food offerings. All of the black and white checkerboard patterns have been painted over, even on Delirium. The area looks less sporty, and fresh.
Banshee merchandise was flying off the shelves, and the lines for Banshee ice cream cones were very long. If opening day was any indication, Banshee is already going to be a huge success, possibly the largest success Kings Island has ever seen.
It was really great to finally meet and hang out with other coaster fans in person. I guess that was the next step in my enthusiast evolution. Hehe!Last edited by LostKause, Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:03 AM
It's so satisfying when a coaster exceeds my expectations. Banshee is a hit in many ways. The relentless speed through the course, the epic first drop, the great pacing, improved trains, and lack of a MCBR took B&M's invert to a new level. I feel lucky to have this gem so close by.
Entering Banshee's queue for the first time at night was just perfect. I love this new Cedar Fair. The attention to detail and theme remind me of that special Paramount-era charm that differentiated KI from CP for me as a kid. The lighting, fog, Fun TV monitors with trivia/messages, convincing tombstones and props, and lift music / sound effect really added to the excitement. This is not just a great coaster; it has an identity.
Something that really made me happy was that the park is clearly listening to its guests. On another KI forum, posters were strongly hoping that KI include a sign or memory of SoB in Banshee's queue. Not only did the park deliver, but they seamlessly tied it into Banshee's theme. And the Bat makeover of Flight Deck was such a simple win, with a prominent queue entrance right near Banshee's exit. I saw a steady stream of people flowing right to Bat; the ride was given a new nostalgic life.
It's so awesome that the parks are giving us access to these media events. The free food, drinks, souvenirs and extra rides opened were much appreciated. I think this is a smart move too. I saw enthusiasts everywhere (including myself) taking pictures and spreading the word.
Kings Island keeps getting better. When Cedar Fair first took it over, I worried it'd become a generic coaster park without the atmosphere and identity it had when I was a kid. When I started seeing changes like Flight Deck & Stunt Coaster, I groaned at the affirmation. But after Banshee and other changes I've seen throughout the park and chain, I'm confident that the best years are ahead.
Mr. Krause, that thing was originally a smallish version of the Paramount water tower. When Paramount transformed that corner of the park to Action Zone they had a stunt show there several times a day. They would come out with cast and crew as if there was going to be an on-location shoot or something. The 'director' would call the shots and 'stunt men' would chase and fight and eventually fall from the tower onto big pillows.
Man, it was really great and every time I saw it I actually felt like I was part of The Movies. (pssst...not really)
That show lasted maybe a season or two then got cut but the water tower remained as a branded icon until the area received another makeover. I'm thinking it went away with the addition of Delirium, but I can't remember exactly.
RCMAC, I can't remember what changed in the area then. I remember big signs there or something. I know the seating area is new. I should have taken some pictures of that too when I was hanging around Banshee construction site taking pictures last season.
Jeph, I was impressed at how long the line for The Bat was on opening day. I haven't seen the line for that coaster that long since Top Gun's opening opening season. That coaster had very low ridership, especially after SOB closed, so hopefully Banshee will save it. I'm always afraid that the ride will be removed due to lack of riders.
Great to meet you both in person, by the way. :DLast edited by LostKause, Sunday, April 20, 2014 9:52 AM
It was fun hanging out, Krause. Thanks for joining us at the arcade, too!
I think the water tower in Action Zone was only removed in the last couple of years.
Here's what it looked like under Paramount:
And later under Cedar Fair:
Oh yea, we DO have a very good amusement park photographer in our presence. I didn't think about asking Gonch. Thanks for posting the pictures. It was good to finally meet you in person, even if it was only for a moment, Gonch. I'm surprised that I didn't have to stand in line to shake your hand. I should have taken a selfie of the two of us. lol
Josh, I had a lot of fun hanging out with you guys. Thanks for inviting me to tag along for Skyline Chili and the Great Wolf Lodge arcade after the event. I was just going to go see a movie by myself, but spending the evening with you all was much more fun.
I didn't see Jeff at all. I heard rumors that he was there. It would have been cool to say hi to the man who created my favorite website. Maybe I am just a brown noser. lol
Has any re-theming been done to The Bat's station, or is it still the aircraft carrier-ish station it's always been?
13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones
You never have to go see a movie or hang out by yourself if we're around. You're welcome to join anytime. Our little group is pretty fun.
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