It’s time to say goodbye to an old friend this weekend. The Vortex roller coaster will be retired on Sunday, the final day of the fall season.
When the Vortex opened 33 seasons ago in 1987, it set a new world’s record by turning riders upside-down a total of six times in two and one-half minutes. The attraction was exclusively designed for Kings Island and included breath-taking thrills that had never been incorporated into one steel roller coaster before.
On the Vortex, riders are rocketed through 3,800 feet of track at speeds up to 55 mph through two vertical loops, double corkscrew, boomerang turn, and a 360-degree helix. The ride stands 148 feet at its highest point with a first drop of 138 feet at a 55-degree angle.
The Vortex required 750 tons of steel to construct and reused the wait queue and train station from the original Bat roller coaster, which operated for parts of three seasons from 1981-1983. The ride opened to the public April 11, 1987, and helped Kings Island exceed 3 million visitors for the first time in its history.
The Vortex reached its final ridership milestone Oct. 19 when it gave its 46 millionth ride, the sixth-most among active rides and seventh-most all time at Kings Island.
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