"Project X" plans. Picture courtesy of WCPO.
For those who haven't yet been to Kings Island this season and/or aren't following along over at KICentral, Kings Island has been clearing a lot of land behind Racer. This, in addition to the space vacated by the removal of the Firehawk roller coaster over the offseason, has had fans speculating that a large coaster is coming next year. From WCPO (https://www.wcpo.com/money/consumer/dont-waste-your-money/kings-island-files-blueprints-for-new-coaster):
QuoteSo to help interpret the five pages of drawings, we went to one of the top theme park experts in the world, original Kings Island co-founder Dennis Speigel, who now runs a consultant group called International Theme Park Services (http://www.interthemepark.com).
Speigel, who helped design Kings Island along with Gary Wachs in 1971, went over the blueprints with us and came to one conclusion.
"This is a giga coaster," Speigel said.
A "giga" is a coaster at least 300 feet tall, which would place it almost 100 feet taller than Diamondback, and Speigel says, make it almost the same height as the park's famous Eiffel Tower.
It will definitely be interesting to see how things progress throughout the season. To follow along with the latest developments, check out Decoding 2020 on KICentral.com (https://kicentral.com/forums/index.php?/topic/34621-decoding-2020). More info will be posted here as it becomes available.
Interesting stuff. As a former Daytonian, I used to visit the park frequently as a child. I would like to go back again sometime soon, to see what has changed.
I used to visit about once a year with my family as a kid, and started frequenting the park again in the mid-2000s before becoming a passholder in 2009. It's amazing how much the park has changed in the last 10-15 years.
Twitter user sixohdieselrage has uncovered more blueprints...
On Thursday night, Kings Island revealed their plans for 2020 - a new coaster from B&M (the makers of Diamondback and Banshee) named Orion. It will be 287 feet tall with a 300 foot drop and a top speed of 91mph. In addition, the current "X-Base" section of the park (where Flight of Fear is located and where Firehawk was prior to its removal last year) will be rethemed to "Area 72" (a play on the infamous "Area 51" US military site that has been used for testing experimental aircraft among other things, with a nod to the year Kings Island opened). The park also confirmed that the popular Grand Carnivale celebration will be returning next year as well, but no further details have been released on that yet.
For more information on Orion, visit the park's website at https://www.visitkingsisland.com/explore/orion (https://www.visitkingsisland.com/explore/orion)