The Bat history from Kings Island

Monday, October 30, 2017 7:27 AM

This isn't really news, per se, but it was submitted as such. Still an interesting read (if you can get over incorrect use of punctuation and quotation marks).

https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2017/october/the-sporadic-err...of-the-bat

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Monday, October 30, 2017 9:33 AM

I'm one of the "esteemed few" that got to ride the original Bat, thanks to my parents who were willing to indulge my nerdy obsessions.

It's a fascinating article, but it could have benefitted from some judicious editing.

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Monday, October 30, 2017 4:55 PM

Very interesting article. I have always been fascinated with this ride. I had always heard the swinging motion was the problem for the trains and the track and that was the only reasons why it never worked.

The braking system underneath the trains is unbelievable with the swinging not helping to line up the trains on the lifts and brake sections.

Does anyone know if it utilized the troughs that lined up the train into the stations and lift hills like the rest of the suspended coasters? I mean arrow left a lot on the table when they built this thing, because obviously they did a lot of reconfiguring with the later ones.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017 4:39 AM

I grew up there and rode that ride as often as I could. We used to hang out when it was down near the end and they would occasionally open the ride. We would jump on and if it was an out of control ride we knew it was shutting down again. Loved it and also the Big Bad Wolf.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017 10:48 AM

I just can't imagine engineering that ride and thinking "let's put the brake fins on the bottom of the swinging carriages" that would seem destined to fail, or at least be a huge alignment headache. But I guess things were different in the late 70's.

Also, whats up with the corkscrew element in the prototype picture? I was unaware that suspended coasters were able to handle inversions. Can I please ride that?

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:06 AM

^Agreed on the seemingly goofyball engineering. But remember, this came from the company that never could figure out a comfortable corkscrew entrance. I always wondered, since Ron Toomer didn't ride his rides, couldn't someone - anyone - in the company (or not) told him: "Hey Mr. Toomer... uh... the entrance to your standard Corkscrew is quite painful for most people." I mean, it's not rocket science.

Speaking of rocket science, wasn't Ron Toomer a rocket scientist? I don't know if he was around for the designing of the Bat, but it seems someone in the company could have tried to fix some transitions.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:23 AM

With the risk of sounding crazy, does anyone know/heard of an Arrow Pipeline prototype being built in SW Ohio? I grew up in Middletown (just about 30min from KI) and would occasionally pass an old warehouse that had a pipeline coaster being build behind it. I don't think it was ever completed and was eventually scrapped. Unfortunately, I don't have any photographs and have been unable to find any additional information of it online.

If my memory serves me correct, it was somewhere around Hamilton, OH. It may be completely lost lore, but I'm certain that one was there.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017 12:21 PM

TheMillenniumRider said:

Also, whats up with the corkscrew element in the prototype picture? I was unaware that suspended coasters were able to handle inversions. Can I please ride that?

they couldn't. See the segment from the old children's show "3-2-1 Contact" and see the model dumping "bodies" out as it stalls in the corkscrew

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017 12:26 PM

MagnunBarrel said:

Does anyone know if it utilized the troughs that lined up the train into the stations and lift hills like the rest of the suspended coasters? I mean arrow left a lot on the table when they built this thing, because obviously they did a lot of reconfiguring with the later ones.

yes it did, only you hit them at some level of speed. Lift one had a trough that extended into (from) the station. I don't believe there was any gap. Lift 2 had a long bump guide along a left hand turn that you bumped along until you hit the trough. You could get two good bumps against it if you were in the front car.

If you remember the 2nd lift on the Big Bad Wolf, the train had a MCBR which slowed the train almost to a stop. I believe that was primarily to reduce the swinging as it approached the 2nd lift.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017 2:11 PM

slithernoggin said:

I'm one of the "esteemed few" that got to ride the original Bat, thanks to my parents who were willing to indulge my nerdy obsessions.

It's a fascinating article, but it could have benefitted from some judicious editing.

I was fortunate enough to have had a couple of laps on the original Bat myself. It was a great ride and I always loved the Bat cars. I also recall my parents buying me a pennant that had the Bat, the Beast, and the Screamin' Demon on it. Sure wish I had that. Well, the pennant and the cool Beast t-shirt with the puffy logo.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:24 PM

slithernoggin said:

I'm one of the "esteemed few" that got to ride the original Bat, thanks to my parents who were willing to indulge my nerdy obsessions.

How did it compare to the next generation of suspended coasters with the banked turns? In the videos on youtube it looks like it's a lot more violent with the side to side stuff. You can really hear the shocks straining in the curves.

Like that he addressed the urban legend element about why it closed so soon. I worked with a guy in the 90s from Ohio that insisted a loaded a car slamming into a support pole was the reason for it's removal. It's interesting how this was a common explanation for something like this in the pre internet days. Riverside/SFNE had a Wildcat that friends and I loved and would do laps on as kids. In mid 80s we arrived at the park for the first time in the season and it was just gone. Naturally word on the playground was that someone had been decapitated by a beam and they had to remove it.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017 12:41 AM

I’ll settle this.
Fellas- The Bat wasn’t all that great a ride. I stood in line when it reached back to Dodgem and I was sorry.
I wound up with many rides on it and it was clear to me, as an enthusiast, that it was a mistake. Or, a concept that needed more tweaking than could be allowed for a ride of that length. Kings Island will always and forever be known to us as the park that gave a new concept a chance and held that first failure on its shoulders.

As for the banked track, Le Monster, the ride experience is the same. Banked or not, the train will deliver the same swing as the ride was designed to give. The hydraulics are pretty much the same. The difference with banked track to the system is that the lateral stress on the track is reduced, resulting (apparently) in safer and more reliable operation.

The best part of The Bat was the low stretch off of the second lift. The swaying motion coming off the spiral was great, and we might compare it to Iron Dragon’s run to the pretzel knot over the water. But it was ruined by the weird ending that was convoluted by a slow helix, crowd bars and brakes. I rode Bat 2 on Sunday and I was amazed (once again) by the swinging hop onto the final brake. It was an awesome finale that The Bat 1 never had.

So for those that missed it- I say don’t be so sad. The Bat is notable for being the original, but there have been much better suspended coasters since. As is frequently, the legend has surpassed the reality.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017 8:54 AM

Reminds me of the people that missed Drachen Fire. I only feel like I missed out because it stood there closed on my first visit before it was removed, but I know better from my various Arrow looper encounters.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017 9:13 AM

To be honest, I remember my parents joining the ACE walkback to the Beast more than any details about the Bat -- they were not and never have been members of ACE. So the ride apparently didn't make much of an impression on me. Whereas the Beast was and is one of my favorite coasters.

(The year I worked at Cedar Point, which was [redacted] years ago, my mother would come visit and merrily walk into backstage areas.)

The Bat currently flying around Kings Island is a fun ride.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017 5:12 PM

I can only imagine how rough the approach to the second lift hill was based on my own experience with the Vampire at Chessington in the UK. It is an Arrow suspended coaster with two lifts and a very nice finale. After Vekoma renovated the ride in 2001 and it reopened in 2002 with floorless trains, they could not load the first one or two rows. Why? The trim brakes at the bottom of lift 2 did not brake enough and the train bottom wheel would smash into the metal troughs, beating up the riders in the front cars pretty bad. They eventually corrected it by the time I rode it and now you get a very abrupt near stop before the second lift hill.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017 9:19 PM

Jeff said:

Reminds me of the people that missed Drachen Fire. I only feel like I missed out because it stood there closed on my first visit before it was removed, but I know better from my various Arrow looper encounters.

I was offered a reride on Drachen Fire and turned it down. That was the first time in my life that I did that with a roller coaster.

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Thursday, November 2, 2017 1:58 AM

Eh, Drachen Fire was badass.

I wasn't an enthusiast when it opened, but it was obvious even then that it was wildly unpopular; it was eternally a walk-on. Even my closest friend at the time who introduced me to Busch Gardens didn't like it much. I rode it with and without the first corkscrew, and while I noticed something was different its second year, I didn't know what it was until years later.

I usually rode up front which mitigated the violent headbanging, so I'm sure that helped, but I maintain that I never found it unpleasant. Plus I was 19 when it opened. I'm sure at my age now I wouldn't be able to handle it as well if it were standing today...nor would I find it as amazing since there are so many better-engineered rides to compare it to. I'm not so delusional to think it'd hold up after all these years.

In fact, I rode in the old Drachen Fire trains years later in Vegas, and they sucked.

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Thursday, November 2, 2017 10:16 AM

I used to think all of the Arrow loopers were the **** when I was a teen but looking back at the headaches I would develop after riding them I am pretty sure I was concussed more than once. I won't go near them anymore...

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Thursday, November 2, 2017 12:23 PM

Vater said:

In fact, I rode in the old Drachen Fire trains years later in Vegas, and they sucked.

What coaster got those trains? The only Vegas coaster I can think of that runs similar trains is Canyon Blaster.

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Thursday, November 2, 2017 12:59 PM

Jeff said:

Reminds me of the people that missed Drachen Fire. I only feel like I missed out because it stood there closed on my first visit before it was removed, but I know better from my various Arrow looper encounters.

If it were any other type of coaster, it would have been referred to as laps or rides. However when we talk about Arrow loopers we consider our experiences "encounters", like we fought a battle.

I guess that isn't so far from the truth after all.

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