Skip to Main Content

Kings Island

Skip to Next Section

KI 45: The Racer

Don Helbig

Area Manager, Digital Marketing - Kings Island

"It rides like a baby coach.”

That was the opinion of the renowned late John Allen of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, who’s “baby” was the Racer roller coaster at Kings Island.

The Racer – really its twin racers – has been the focal point of the Coney Mall sector of the park for the past 45 years, and with good reason. The Racer is credited for re-igniting the roller coaster building boom in the early 1970’s, thus beginning the second golden age of the roller coaster.  More than 103 million guests have taken a ride on the Racer since it opened April 29, 1972 – the most in park history. Its record year was 1976, when a park record 3,681,338 rides were given. 

In addition to being considered an important part of the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970’s, the Racer was the site of several world-record riding attempts and is notable for its appearance in the “Cincinnati Kids” episode of The Brady Bunch, filmed at the park in 1973.  On May 28, 1982, one side of the Racer became the world’s first full-length, backwards travelling roller coaster (both sides now face forward). 

Kings Island officials coaxed Allen out of semi-retirement for the task of designing and building the Racer.  He started to design the ride’s blueprints in 1969. Actual construction began in September, 1970. The first trial run came in September, 1971. It worked perfectly the first time as Allen predicted it would. 

The Racer was the first roller coaster built structurally on the ground with prefabricated sections lifted into position and bolted. It was one of the largest roller coasters ever built at the time, and the largest that Allen had built.  He considered the Racer to be the finest roller coaster he ever built. 

There’s more than 600,000 board feet of lumber in the ride. Nobody knows how many nails. The construction crew started with 6,000 tons of nails which lasted only 60 days. 

The Racer was the first roller coaster I ever rode back in 1972. I can still remember that ride like it was yesterday and have a lot of fond memories of riding the Racer over and over again, as do many of our guests.

Share This

Don Helbig

Area Manager, Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Ultimate Stunt Show returns to Kings Island

A stunt show is returning to Kings Island for a limited time run. The Ultimate Stunt Show features edge-of-your-seat thrills, including a Double Motorcycle High Wire over the Royal Fountain on International Street, Wheel of Destiny, High Wire Tight Rope Acrobats and Globe of Fear. The show will be performed three times daily – 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. – July 30 through August 19.
Read More

Meet the rescued animals of Snoopy's Barnyard Friends

Snoopy’s Barnyard Friends has all kinds of creatures to pet, feed and even ride! The barnyard includes one-on-one interactions with horses, alpacas, goats, chickens, cows and more. Read on and get to know some of our friends from Honey Hill Farm, almost all of whom are rescues!
Read More

Christmas in July the time to think WinterFest at Kings Island

While there’s still 59 days left of summer, the holidays will be here before you know it, so it’s time to start thinking about WinterFest at Kings Island. It’s called Christmas in July for a reason, right? In just a few months, Kings Island will be transformed into enchanting winter wonderlands featuring ice skating on the Royal Fountain, the Eiffel Tower turned into a magical Christmas tree, rides, millions of lights, live holiday-themed shows and characters spreading merriment, like Jack Frost and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Read More

5 types of roller coaster riders

Welcome to the Kings Island safari! On this journey we’ll take you through all the fantastic creatures you may encounter as you ride our record-breaking roller coasters like Banshee, The Beast and Mystic Timbers. Read carefully! Keep this guide with you as a reference on your next visit. Remember, No matter which creature you encounter, it can’t ruin the thrilling experience of a Kings Island coaster. Happy riding!
Read More

Mystic Timbers established Kings Island as the wood roller coaster capital of the world

Kings Island and roller coasters are synonymous, particularly wooden roller coasters. The 46-year-old amusement and water park boasts four wooden roller coasters (five if you count each side of the Racer separately). One of them has been a record-holder for 40 seasons!
Read More

The Scrambler celebrating 50th season of spins and thrills

It’s not the tallest or fastest ride at Kings Island, but it is one of the most recognized rides in the park and a staple attraction. The Scrambler is celebrating its 50th season this year and has delighted generations of people since it made its debut in 1969 at Cincinnati’s Coney Island, and continues to put smiles on faces of guests old and young, whether they are experiencing it for the first time or reliving childhood memories.
Read More

Why Kings Island is the best place to visit on rainy days

You’re pumped up and ready for a great day at Kings Island when you check your mobile device and see the weather report. Unfortunately, the forecast calls for rain and your plans seem to be washing away with it. Don’t worry! Rainy days can be the best days to visit Kings Island. The wait time for your favorite rides and attractions will be minimal, plus there's more to do than rides.
Read More

The thrill of it all

Come feel the surge of excitement as The Beast, the longest wooden roller coaster in the world, unleashes its awesome power on the unsuspecting; as Banshee, the world’s longest steel inverted roller coaster, makes your heart pound with anticipation; as you snake your way along 5,282 feet of track at speeds up to 80 mph on Diamondback. Or as The Bat, a coaster that hangs in mid-air, takes you on a frenzied flight. Year after year, some of the best thrills and memorable ride experiences the world has to offer are at Kings Island. Year after year, the best thrills just keep getting better.
Read More

Ride the Grand Carousel in honor of National Carousel Day

If you’re looking for something fun to do, round up the kids and head to Kings Island July 25 for National Carousel Day, also known as National Merry-Go-Round Day. The annual celebration marks the day William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa, was issued the first American patent for a carousel, in 1871. The mission of the day is to direct attention to the hundreds of historical carousels still in operation today and continue to bring joy to riders of all ages.
Read More

5 stories behind your favorite Planet Snoopy rides

What’s in a name? How about nearly 70 years of comic strips and cartoons! Each Kings Island ride has a story behind its creation and theming, but the Planet Snoopy rides have some extra history to them. Read more to learn how the adventures of the PEANUTS gang inspired rides in Planet Snoopy.
Read More