Kings Island Racer gets ACE Landmark status

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
My first rides on Racer were in 1990, and I was blown away by the airtime. It's never been the same since; however, it has occasionally surprised me. I'm quite sure Bill has it right as to why the award was, well awarded. The Racer has often been cited in print as the catalyst to the wooden coaster boom.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Jeff said:
I'm kind of shocked that it is at all. What's the criteria, that it's more than 30-years-old? I find it generally mediocre at best.

Something you and me can completly agree on and I also find it's running condition HORRID. Oh, I got two pops of air on the RECAR side, BIG WHOOP the thing used to deliver on every hill!


rollergator said:
I definitely find KI's Racer to be of historical significance. It really was a MAJOR contribution that helped to spur a wooden-coaster building boom that leads us to where we are today.

As always, feel free to argue the opposing viewpoint, this is MY perspective. :)

IMHO, WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! and a little bit right. KI was the first of a very long list of chain parks to open over a ten year span from 67-77 starting with SFOT. The difference was. KI was the first to open with a woodie as it's star attraction. Other parks seen the draw of it and built woodies as well.

To credit racer with any sort of greatness IMHO is just a little off the mark as Skyliner and a few others were also built around this time frame. Recognition that the wood coaster wasn't dead yet? maybe but the rebirth of woodies. HARDLY! that was all RAVEN!

Chuck *** Edited 6/20/2007 12:32:06 AM UTC by Charles Nungester***

rollergator's avatar
It sure would be AWFULLY nice of Cedar Fair to take a year off of *expansions* to the former PPs and do something to restore ALL those classic wooden coasters like Thunder Road, Rebel Yell, Mighty Canadian Minebuster, and Racer. I recognize it's not that easy to market a "restored" coaster, but the guests (the enthusiasts oftentimes forget how smart those people can be, LOL) they DO recognize a good ride and they DO appreciate good wooden coasters...good might mean "smooth" to them more than it does to me (intensity-hound), but we all prefer wooden coasters that don't hunt or bounce relentlessly.

The lines I saw for just Blue Streak and Mean Streak at C-Mania tell me that those "GP" types, they aren't stupid, they go to the better ride. And I believe that *whatever* was done to Blue Streak since my last visits, it CAN (should!) be done to other classic wooden coasters.

edit: Chuck, while you have a point about OTHER parks opening their classics prior to Kings Island's, I would argue that none of those wooden coasters got the same *nationwide* media attention/recognition when they did so...

*** Edited 6/20/2007 12:36:24 AM UTC by rollergator***

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

New trains on half these coasters would make a world of difference not only in ride quality but maintainence as well. Most of them run non articulated trains. The Beast expecially which has sections of it retracked two to four times a year in sections.
And I believe that *whatever* was done to Blue Streak since my last visits, it CAN (should!) be done to other classic wooden coasters.

I rode it on my last visit three (four?) years ago and was completley blown away. It was not the Blue Streak I remembered growing up. It had a lot of nice air and was generally a very fun ride. We re-rode the thing time and time again. I actually enjoyed it more than the Big Dipper (hard for me to say this) the day before. If they've improved this thing any more fom three years ago...then I might have to get back to the Point.

Anyhow...this indeed is a case of a ride that seemed neglected for years that somewhere along the line was very good results.

Let us hope the same could one day be done to the Racer...

P.S. Does anybody know what the heck Cedar Fair did to Blue Streak to make it so much better?

Acoustic Viscosity said:
It was featured on The Brady Bunch for crying out loud! What else do ya need? ;)

Exactly. How many 6 to 14 year olds in the early 70s badgered their parents into going there based on that episode?

BTW, is it true that when they unveiled the plaque they found Jan's poster AND Mike's lost plans??? ;)

Jeff's avatar
The Canadians fixed Blue Streak. I think they painted it right after, so whatever they did blended in.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

The only problems with Blue Streak and Big Dipper IMHO is that they are overshadowed by everything around them. Last time I rode Blue Streak I was dissapointed that they had switched to ratcheting lapbars but the ride was pretty good.

Big Dipper when running well is one of my favorite woodies, Just a blow you away and unexpected surprise from a coaster I kinda laughed at when I first seen it from the road.

Chuck, who also likes the classic ride it gives like sliding from one side of the seat to the other on the turn around.

Jeff's avatar
Boo freakin' hoo on the ratcheting lap bar nonsense. Most people don't even remember the old lap bars! The ride is just fine with the lap bars it has.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Perhaps I'm not a "real enthusiast", but can someone explain to me why ratcheting lapbars are bad? I do rememer the old single position bars (and the hand braking!) but I don't see how the new bars make any material difference...

CPLady's avatar
Although Blue Streak still gives a great ride with the ratcheting lap bar, *I* remember the old lap bars. So does my son who was fortunate enough to ride BS before they made the change.

Yes, it's still a great ride with lots of air, and I certainly understand the need for the change. But I do miss that "sliding across the seat" feeling.

I guess it's because I spent so many MORE years riding BS with the long bar that it's easier for an old fart to miss it and prefer it over the split seats and ratcheting bars.

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

can someone explain to me why ratcheting lapbars are bad?

Simple physics really… Individual bars lower closer to the hips/gut. This leaves less room for movement (air) during negative-g –force spots on the rides. This is statement is true for small to average sized guests. For larger guests…I doubt he experience has changed much.

Many (most?) of the internet-era enthusiasts probably do not remember a lot of these rides pre-orange bastard bars. I think Phoenix still offers an “old-school” experience…and is a good example of the type of wooden coaster (out-n-back, etc) for which I believe the individual ratcheting modification could totally decrease (ruin?) the experience. Any ride with negative g-force possibilities would/could be adversely affected in terms of ride experience should any modification be implemented that would reduce hip/gut-to-bar distance.

There is a whole other safety argument that can be made FOR ratcheting bars. I’ve no dog in that fight…but would opine that Blue Streak and Racer ran fine for many years (decade(s) even) with a single bar installation with nary an injury blemish noted. Methinks a lot of this is insurance regulation overkill…but admit I have no hard data to confirm or deny that part of my opinion. As somebody with an ear to the track, I just don’t recall a lot of injury stories about the rides in question. My guess is that the agent for change was an insurance company demanding installation...

*** Edited 6/20/2007 8:46:58 PM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
What's really odd is when a coaster with no airtime like The Beast gets retrofitted with these bars.

A similar example is Tornado at my homepark, recently received individual seatbelts after operating safely for over 25 years, and although it has *some* airtime, it's fairly tame compared to rides like Phoenix.

Methinks it's all a bunch of CYA BS due to our growingly litigious society and rising insurance premiums. :(

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

This leaves less room for movement (air) during negative-g –force spots on the rides.

The negative-g experience matters much much more to me than whether or not my backside actually comes off of the seat. (And yes, I am old enough to remember. Sad but true.)

I guess I should have my enthusiast credentials revoked, but I just don't care either way. *** Edited 6/20/2007 9:45:29 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

No, whats even worse is the older trains that are retorofitted with dividers and ratchets. some even have them old hard foam side panel like Hercules did. Racer is one of these. Your taking two inches out of the seating area to do it and putting a bar that curves inward making the rider sit slightly sideways.

I've always wondered why people scream over the Gerstlauer bruise, I get it every time I ride a PTC with latterals.


matt.'s avatar
As others have said, Racer deserves the Landmark status as much as any other coaster I can think of. As far as I'm concerned it's opening was probably the single most important coaster opening that lead to the modern coaster age, along with the earliest steel coasters.

As far as influence and historical impact the only other wooden coaster that's right up there with Racer is Raven, as far as I'm concerned. Hershey's Wildcat would be up there, too.

Jason Hammond's avatar
There's a good chance a Hersheypark coaster will get landmark status in 2010 when they have Coaster Con there. However, I would think it would go to Comet.

880 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube

matt.'s avatar
Maybe. Comet really doesn't have much going for it other than it's old. Otherwise it's not particularly important and/or beloved unless I'm forgetting something.

I mean not that Comet isn't beloved, I don't want lots of Comet lovers jumping on my back. :)

Jason Hammond said:
There's a good chance a Hersheypark coaster will get landmark status in 2010 when they have Coaster Con there. However, I would think it would go to Comet.

Isn't Coaster Con that year going to be at Kennywood? (At least that's what's posted on the ACE website). My guess is that Kennywood will get it's due for Coaster Landmark status then.

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