Kings Island – The Original Racer Concept
In 2021, Kings Island’s Racer will enter it’s 50th season of operation. Having thrilled millions of riders and started the second golden age of the wooden coaster, the ride has had a celebrated history. The twin 88 foot tall/3,415 foot long coaster has been a park favorite due to it’s unique layout. Although a racing coaster was planned from very early on in the development of Kings Island, the design was not immediately settled upon.
Early depictions of the Racer in Taft supplied material vary greatly from the Racer that was built. As originally envisioned, although Coney Mall was always a part of the original design of Kings Island, it had a different ride lineup and was similar to the main midway of Coney Island, hence the Coney Island section name. Besides the Racer, there were other differences as well such as a Bavarian themed shopping area, a jungle cruise ride, a larger canoe attraction, a bridge crossing the International Street fountain (a feature that was used for Canada’s Wonderland), and the location of the Scooby Doo and Turpike attractions were swapped.
Unlike today’s Racer, the cars went up separate lift hills (similar to what is seen on Kennywood’s Racer). After reaching the apex of the lift, the cars would enter a spiraling drop. After exiting the first drop, the trains would shoot through a series of speed hills on the two sets of tracks on the outside of the ride. The train would enter a banked airtime hill before entering the turnaround. At the far end of the turnaround, the trains would have a “near miss” moment, which set up for the ride’s final portion. After the two trains joined up, the trains would go through a series of airtime hills before reaching the brake run.
Another known concept variant was similar to the final design of the ride. This version had the two lifts on the inside set of tracks. The notorious camelback hill at the split was originally followed the drop after the turnaround. Even though diagrams and figures of the ride’s alternate layout were distributed to Coney Island guests and Taft investors up to Coney’s final operating days, it is known that the final design was decided upon before Coney’s final season, as the poster featured on the front of the Shooting Star layout featured the layout that was built.
Take a virtual ride on the original Racer concept right now!
For tickets and more information, visit the official Kings Island website by clicking here.
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