The Bat history from Kings Island

I’ll be at DW this time next week and I’m looking forward to my time on Tennessee Tornado, IMO the most successful of the Arrow loopers. (In spite of its brevity...)

How many of the big boys are left to encounter, anyway? There’s KI’s Vortex. Oh, and Viper at SFMM is still standing. What others?

Bobbie1951's avatar

Glad that RCMAC mentioned Tennessee Tornado, which I rode multiple times during Labor Day weekend. That coaster is so smooth and non-punishing for a looper that I rode it more than any coaster in the park except for Lightning Rod. Plus the airtime descending into the tunnel is almost worth the price of admission; it's a truly outstanding moment of airtime.


eightdotthree's avatar

I actually passed on riding Viper at SFMM last week. No thank you. Anaconda at Kings Dominion and Viper at Darien Lake are still running.

Schwarzkopf76's avatar

I rode Viper at SFMM in July, and thought it was running as good as it did back in the 90s - that is, rough, but not bad for an Arrow. Demon at SFGAm is my favorite among Arrow loopers, just had 3 rides in a row on Halloween. That snapping first drop is one of a kind (the California Demon had it's drop changed back to the milder 45 degrees in the 90s), and all the campy visuals/disco tunnel really do it for me.

Anaconda, Viper, Carolina Cyclone and the one at Canada's Wonderland were all one and done for me. I thought Tennessee Tornado was fun, but it still ran like an Arrow and add a poorly designed short brake run... which was the reason we were told they don't like running both trains.

Vortex at Kings Island was fun in my teen years when the ride was new. Now, I'll give it a try-out or 'courtesy ride' once each time I'm there, but that's enough for me. I thought it was the roughest of all the big Arrow loopers. I loved Shockwave at Great America.

About Bat, never got to ride it myself. But as with everything it seems, I've heard both stories about how incredible awesome and terrifying it was... then the next person says it was nothing special. Still wish I got to ride it myself!

Last edited by Schwarzkopf76,

It wasn’t terrifying. But it was innovative and the first time a ride held riders below the track. But we’ve all had better experiences with that since.
It wasn’t without merit- it was well placed over the natural slope of the land. The turn off the first lift was s shaped and off the second was a spiral. (I may have that backwards) And when you left each of the lifts there was a sudden sensation of being up very high. So that was fun. The first half had a turn toward the midway side that was pretty good, but the slow down into the second lift happened right after that. The second half, like I mentioned, had that long swinging stretch then a couple of turns about where Vortex’ batwing and helix are now that were decent. But once again it all ended too soon.
My enthusiast mind always tried to re-design that ride with only one lift and a gradual decent to the bottom with the trains swinging more and more as it went. That would’ve been better.

I visited the park a lot those days and the rule was get there early or forget it. The line was always so long and the constant risk of a re-set made it pretty much not worth it. Many times we got there and the ride was already down for the day.

I was shocked when Astroworld installed one, thinking it was a bad idea. When I finally got to ride it years later I put it at the top of my “lamest major coasters ever” list. Big Bad Wolf happened at the same time, and it was a much better ride, but that layout and design was originally done by Schwarzkopf. When that company had trouble Arrow stepped in with hardware. So aside from successfully banking their track, I don’t give them much credit there.

The Top Gun/Bat and Vortex twins are currently the best living examples of suspended rides. They’re on the short side, but action packed and forceful. Every time I ride, in my mind I fear what might happen if the thing flew off. No other suspended coaster has ever given me those creeps.

RCMAC said:
...Every time I ride, in my mind I fear what might happen if the thing flew off. No other suspended coaster has ever given me those creeps.

I have the same fear whenever I ride Iron Dragon or The Bat since SFMM’s Ninja derailed.

But then again, what do I know?

ApolloAndy's avatar

Didn't Top Gun/Flight Deck/Bat 2 actually have an accident with a truck during a test run some morning?

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RCMAC said:

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

Thanks for the ride experience information RCMAC, I appreciate it!

I also really enjoy the swoop into the breaks on the Bat 2/Vortex versions. It's super intense in the first two cars and always gets some really genuine freaked out screams.

Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

Didn't Top Gun/Flight Deck/Bat 2 actually have an accident with a truck during a test run some morning?

It did...or allegedly it did. I found the old thread (because I'm a dork).

I can't believe it was 2002. I would have guessed something like 2007-2008.

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Vater's avatar

Schwarzkopf76 said:

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

That's the one. I thought I read somewhere that DF's old trains went to Canyon Blaster, but I can't find anything confirming that now. Maybe they were used for parts; the trains are identical, minus the lights on the side.

Last edited by Vater,
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

I got to ride it once in the summer of 1982. I was ten. The only thing I really remember about it is it looked "cool." Obviously it wasn't great or I would of remembered that, too.


Arrow built three sets of those trains in the 1990's:

- Three seven car trains for Drachen Fire

- Two seven car trains for Canyon Blaster in Las Vegas. This was later shortened to six car trains.

- Two six car trains for the Corkscrew at Toshimaen in Tokyo. Those were replacements for the original trains and I haven't been able to pinpoint when they went on.

I remember that after Drachen Fire was dismantled, BGW said that the Drachen Fire trains would be mothballed and turned to spare parts for the Loch Ness Monster. Same thing happened to the trains on Python at BGT.

Vater's avatar

Doesn't Cyclone at Dreamworld in Australia also have the same trains?

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