Long Lost Proposed Kings Island Wooden Coaster Rediscovered
Over the the last few weeks, we have highlighted several proposed coasters that were never built in our “Lost Concepts” series. This week’s featured coaster was proposed and never built, but the concept was revived as a much larger coaster.
In 1979, Kings Island opened the Beast, a record breaking wooden coaster. The ride opened as the tallest, fastest, and longest coaster in the world, and was surprisingly completely designed in-house. Over the course of the next few years, the park rapidly expanded with the Bat in 1981, King Cobra in 1984, Vortex in 1987, and Adventure’s Express in 1991.
The park also sought to expand it’s legendary wooden coaster line-up. In 1991, a deal with Dinn Corporation was made to produce a large wooden coaster for Kings Island, however this coaster did not come to fruition, for unknown reasons. Undeterred, the park looked for an alternate route, and quickly came upon a cunning solution. Since Kings Island built the Beast themselves, why wouldn’t they build another one?
At the same time a renaissance had occurred within the industry. Parks were looking to build wooden coasters that were based off of iconic rides of yesteryear. In 1988 Wolverine Wildcat, a coaster based off of the Phoenix at Knoebels, opened at Michigan’s Adventure. That same year, Raging Wolf Bobs, a coaster based off of the iconic Riverview Bobs, opened at Geauga Lake. It appears that during this time, officials at Kings Island became interested in building a coaster based off of the Rye Aeroplane Dips coaster.
The ride would have been situated on Swan Lake (where Diamondback’s splashdown currently sits), and would have featured some really fun drops into tunnels that ran directly through the lake. Since there were no articulated cars at that time, it is very likely that the transitions were altered to allow the cars to navigate the course. The ride would have been approximately 3900 feet long, with a 110 foot drop and offered speeds over 55 MPH!
The ride would have featured a drop into the lake, followed by a helix, not once, but twice! The first helix, situated beside the station, would have sent cars roaring past riders about to board the ride. Furthermore, the final drop of the ride hurled passengers into a tunnel that ran underneath the lake.
It is still unknown precisely for which season this ride was to be added, but when Paramount bought Kings Island in late 1992-early 1993, Top Gun (now Bat) was already being installed. What is known, is that the new owners quickly canned the project. Ironically, a few years later, Paramount thought a new wooden coaster was needed, and that project eventually became Son of Beast.
Jeff Gramke (co-designer of The Beast) talked about this project extensively during a Q&A session at CoasterStock — a private event for roller coaster enthusiasts.
The land the coaster was supposed to be constructed sat mostly vacant for the next 15 years, until the lake was removed for the installation of the Diamondback. Furthermore, in 2017 Rivertown received it’s second wooden coaster, the award-winning Mystic Timbers.
Although this ride proposal has been lost to the sands of time, we used the specs to re-create this forgotten woodie. Take a virtual ride below!
Are you happy Arrow’s Top Gun/Bat was chosen or would you rather have seen KI’s Aeroplane coaster? Let us know in the comments below or on our socials!
This wasn’t the only coaster Kings Island never built. Take a look at this Dueling coaster, it was proposed to the park but not selected. Click the image for the full story.
For tickets and more information about Kings Island, visit the official Kings Island website by clicking here.
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