Roller coaster fans, it’s time to make plans to visit Kings Island to say goodbye before the Vortex rides into history Oct. 27, the final day of the fall season.
The Vortex has been a guest favorite since it debuted April 11, 1987 and it is sad to see it go. I have vivid memories of seeing the ride take shape as it was being built during the fall and winter of 1986 and of my first rides on the coaster – 33 to be exact – on media day. While it remains popular, the ride has simply reached the end of its service life.
The Vortex was designed exclusively for Kings Island by Arrow Dynamics and included the following succession of thrills that had never been incorporated into one steel coaster before:
- a 148-foot high lift and drop of 138 feet at a 55-degree angle
- two vertical loops
- one corkscrew
- one boomerang turn
- a 360-degree helix turn at the end
- a top speed of 55 mph
The Vortex is notable as the first roller coaster in the world to send riders through six inversions on a continuous circuit. Overall, riders have been flipped upside down more than 275,000,000 times while riding Vortex.
Over the past 33 seasons more than 46 million guests have ridden Vortex. Only six attractions have given more rides since Kings Island opened its gates in 1972.
Both 2019 and 2020 Gold and Platinum season passholders may use their pass for early rides on Vortex 30 minutes before Kings Island opens to the public every Saturday and Sunday through the end of the fall season.