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For goodness snakes! King Cobra

Natalie Belfiglio

Social Media Coordinator - Kings Island 

You know what’s fun? Speculation. Yes, it’s time for another fun segment that doesn’t have a name, but it’s where I pick something in the park and its history that I know nothing about, speculate what it is and then actually research it and find out the facts.

Today, we’ll be doing a throwback. Today we’re going to be talking about King Cobra. Now for starters, you have to remember that the first time I ever came to Kings Island was in 2019 when I had my interview for this job, (what is my job again?) Anyway so although many of you grew up riding these rides and have seen a few of them come and go, I haven’t. When I got here, The Beast was turning 40 and Antique Autos was having it’s blast from the past moment. So with that in mind, let’s move forward to the speculation.

When I think of King Cobra (not the ride, but the snake) I think of Egypt. So we’re going to take that with what I know about King Cobra, the ride, which is that it was a roller coaster in the (70’s??) So I’m going to speculate that this was an Egyptian King Cobra kind of roller coaster. When I think of snakes, I think of the color green, (No, I’m not a Slytherin, I’m a Hufflepuff) so I think this track could’ve been a scaly green, or maybe even a yellow track with green supports? The possibilities are endless. I’m also thinking that King Cobra was built around the same time as The Beast and that coaster has a cool underlying storyline to it. Maybe that was the trend back then and it honestly still should be a trend. So I’m thinking the backstory for King Cobra was something mysterious hidden in a pyramid in Ancient Egypt, guarded by said King Cobra who is probably guarding a long lost Pharaoh’s tomb. When I try to imagine what the trains might’ve looked like for this ride, all that comes up are the trains from Diamondback. It’s the snake thing and I can’t get past it.  Okay now get ready because I’m about to speculate this coaster’s crazy detail that made it such a great ride…a cobra roll inversion! Come on, if somebody didn’t grab onto that, they really missed out. Also the only reason I know that a cobra roll is a type of inversion is because I did some research while I was writing my Coasterstock blog way back when. I also don’t know how many years this coaster was in operation so I’m going to say it was around for about 15 years.

Okay I’m done, everyone can stop cringing and rolling their eyes. It’s time to find out the facts! Here we go!

(5 minutes later)

I hate saying this because I know people really liked King Cobra and obviously I never got a chance to experience this coaster, but I’m underwhelmed. It’s time to state the facts though, no matter how underwhelmed I am, because I do believe that this was a ground-breaking roller coaster in 1984. Upon further reading, it was ground-breaking, it was the first coaster in the world to be designed from the ground up as a prototype stand-up roller coaster. I completely forgot those existed while I was writing my speculation. Also, Egypt is nowhere to be found and I can’t find anything about a backstory.  It looks like the only parts I sort of got right were the color scheme and I was two years off on how long the ride was in operation. The one part I thought I was going to get right was about the cobra roll inversion. SERIOUSLY? Such a great missed opportunity. However this coaster did have a vertical loop and when you combine that with the fact that you were standing up while riding, that sounds pretty cool, and it was the first time it had ever been done in the United States. It’s sad because it sounds like the demise of this roller coaster was out of anyone’s hands. TOGO, of Japan, who manufactured King Cobra closed their American offices in 2001 and parts for the coaster started to become difficult to replace, so in 2002 park officials decided to dismantle the ride and put it up for sale. By the end of King Cobra’s 17-year run, it had given 18,272,333 rides.

That’s all for now on this speculation. If you like this one, be sure and check out my Kite-Eating Tree speculation blog.

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Natalie Belfiglio

Social Media Coordinator - Kings Island 

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