Orion

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Orion
Orion (Kings Island) 2021 01.jpg
Kings Island
Location Mason, Ohio, USA
Status Operating since July 12, 2020
Cost $30,000,000
Height restriction 54 inches (137 cm)
Replaced Firehawk
Statistics
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Product Hyper Coaster
Type Steel - Giga
Riders per train 32
Hourly capacity 1650
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 287 feet
Drop 300 feet
Top speed 91 mph
Length 5321 feet
Inversions 0
Drop angle 85°
Duration 3:00
HELP
Orion logo 2.png
Orion's Layout.jpg

Orion is a steel giga roller coaster located at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, USA. It replaced Firehawk, a Vekoma Flying Dutchman, which closed on October 28, 2018, as well as the Dinosaurs Alive upcharge walk-through attraction. It is the third giga coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard, after Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland in 2012 and Fury 325 at Carowinds in 2015. Orion opened to season pass holders on July 2 until the 11th and opened to the general public on July 12.[1] This is the only giga roller coaster with a height below 300 feet.

History

A front car from Orion on display at IAAPA 2019

Orion replaced Firehawk, a Vekoma flying roller coaster that closed in 2018. Construction work began in late 2018, and the ride was officially announced on August 15, 2019.[2]

Vertical construction of Orion began in September 2019.[3]

The lift hill was topped off in November 2019.[4]

The lead car from one of Orion's trains was on display in Bolliger & Mabillard's booth at IAAPA 2019.[5]

The track layout was completed in January 2020.[6] On February 22, the coaster completed its first test run.[7] It was planned to open on April 11, 2020.[8] However, this was delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ride opened to season passholders on July 2, 2020 and opened to the public ten days later on July 12.[9]

Design

Elements

The lift hill is 287 feet tall. The bottom of the first drop is below ground level, allowing it to be 300 feet tall, and thus Orion is a giga roller coaster.

The track is been filled with sand to reduce the noise created by the ride.[10]

Like Fury 325, a lighting package illuminates the lift hill at night. A soundtrack was provided by IMAscore, who also created soundtracks for Smiler and Wicker Man at Alton Towers and Wilde Hilde at Schwaben Park.

Theme

Orion is themed after a future-Earth population of humans trying to escape a titanic meteor storm and reach another habitable planet in the constellation of Orion, featured on the ride logo. The program needs volunteers to be a success, and the coaster acts as a simulator. As part of the project, the X-Base area of park, also home to Flight of Fear, received a makeover and became Area 72, a spaceflight, military research facility. Flight of Fear and the surrounding area all got the makeover.[11][12]

There are various Easter eggs referencing other Cedar Fair coasters, including Magnum XL-200, Firehawk, Disaster Transport, and even Vortex and Volcano The Blast Coaster. The old fountains from the park's International Street midway were recycled to use as props in the queue line. The ride even has a preshow building.[13]

Trains

3 trains with 8 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 4 across in a single row, for a total of 32 riders per train.

Incident

On April 23, 2022, a loaded train partially exited the station and rear-ended an empty train which had stopped at the bottom of the lift hill, jolting the empty train forward. Riders were retrieved from the loaded train and the ride was shut down for the remainder of the night.[14]

References

  1. "Kings Island Announces 2020 Season Opening Dates". Kings Island. https://www.visitkingsisland.com/park-update. 
  2. "Kings Island's new gigacoaster, Orion, will be park's tallest and fastest steel coaster". https://www.cincinnati.com/story/entertainment/2019/08/15/kings-island-big-announcement/2018843001/. 
  3. "Kings Island lays first track piece for new Orion roller coaster". Kings Island. https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2019/september/kings-island-lays-first-track-piece-for-new-orion-roller-coaster. 
  4. "Kings Island crews top off new 'giga coaster' Orion". https://www.wdrb.com/news/business/kings-island-crews-top-off-new-giga-coaster-orion/article_b5032a1c-00e2-11ea-9d09-db1c102d6d43.html. 
  5. "Kings Island Orion train cars revealed". WCPO. https://www.wcpo.com/money/consumer/dont-waste-your-money/kings-island-orion-train-cars-revealed. 
  6. "Track work done on Kings Island's Orion roller coaster". Kings Island. https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2020/january/track-work-done-on-kings-islands-orion-roller-coaster. 
  7. "Kings Island 'Orion' completes first test run". https://www.wthr.com/article/news/entertainment-news/kings-island-orion-completes-first-test-run/531-c2d977c8-a41f-4355-8824-bc05dedd500a. 
  8. Helbig, Don. "Kings Island Begins Testing Orion". Kings Island. https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2020/february/kings-island-begins-testing-orion. Retrieved 25 February 2020. 
  9. "Orion giga coaster drops into Kings Island". Coaster101. https://www.coaster101.com/2020/07/02/orion-giga-coaster-drops-into-kings-island/. 
  10. "Kings Island Taking Steps To Respond To Neighbors' Noise Concerns". WVXU. https://www.wvxu.org/post/kings-island-taking-steps-respond-neighbors-noise-concerns. 
  11. "Kings Island - Early August 2020 - The Coaster Kings". https://www.thecoasterkings.com/kings-island-early-august-2020/. 
  12. "Kings Island's Orion roller coaster a story-driven attraction". Kings Island. https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2020/july/kings-islands-orion-roller-coaster-a-story-driven-attraction. 
  13. "The Hidden Easter Eggs of Orion". Coaster101. July 2, 2020. https://www.coaster101.com/2020/07/02/the-hidden-easter-eggs-of-orion/. Retrieved February 1, 2022. 
  14. "Kings Island". Screamscape. 2022-04-24. https://screamscape.com/html/kings_island.htm. Retrieved 2022-04-26. 

External links

  • Orion on the Roller Coaster DataBase.


Articles on Kings Island
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