Skip to Main Content

Kings Island

Skip to Next Section

This date in 1970: Construction of The Racer began at Kings Island 

Don Helbig

Area Manager Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig 

  

On this date in 1970, construction of The Racer roller coaster began 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 47 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.

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). 

For a short time, The Racer was world's longest, fastest and tallest roller coaster. I remember seeing the sign pictured below promoting the ride during visits to Cincinnati’s Coney Island in 1971. Little did I know what was to come 10 years later with the Racer and I. 

Kings Island officials coaxed John Allen of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company out of semi-retirement for the task of designing and building The Racer. He started to design the ride’s blueprints in December 1969. 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 has given more than 1 million rides each year since its opening in 1972, including this year. In total, more than 106 million guests have taken a ride on The Racer, far and away the most in park history. Its best year was 1976 when a park record 3,681,338 rides were given.

Related Topics:

Share This

Don Helbig

Area Manager Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig 

  

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Hollywood actor with more than 150 film credits has Kings Island roots

Doug Jones is an actor millions have seen, but most don’t realize it. He’s had starring roles in blockbuster movies like Hocus Pocus, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Hellboy, and Pan’s Labyrinth. He even played the lead role in 2017’s Oscar Winner for Best Picture, The Shape of Water. With more than 150 acting credits in his nearly 40 year career, he’s certainly in an elite group of actors.
Read More

On this day 40 years ago, The Bat let out of the bag

On this day 40 years ago (Oct. 29, 1980), a revolutionary, groundbreaking Kings Island attraction gained national attention. The original Bat roller coaster was announced to members of the news media.
Read More

Tricks And Treats Fall Fest among top things for families to do in Cincinnati this weekend

The all-new Tricks And Treats Fall Fest presented by HERSHEY and Kroger at Kings Island has been immensely popular with guests of all ages and for good reason.
Read More

One year ago today, we said goodbye to the Vortex roller coaster 

One year ago today marked the end of an era as thrill-seekers descended upon Kings Island to say goodbye to the Vortex roller coaster.
Read More

21 Kings Island associates earn Over the Top awards for the week ending October 25

This past weekend, Kings Island’s vice president and general manager Mike Koontz surprised 21 deserving seasonal and part-time associates by presenting them with the “Over the Top” award.
Read More

45 years ago, Evel Knievel made history at Kings Island 

Evel Knievel, the death-defying daredevil, made his most successful motorcycle jump on this day 45 years ago, October 25, 1975, at Kings Island.
Read More

This Date in Kings Island History: The Beast welcomes 50 millionth rider

On October 24, 2014, an Ohio man became The Beast’s 50 millionth rider. It was one of several milestone rides that Kings Island attractions gave that year.
Read More

Kings Island Foodie News: Saturday's Chef's Plate a Taste of India

Chef’s Plate, introduced earlier this summer by our culinary team, takes place on Saturdays only at Wishbone Grill on International Street, offering guests a menu option that’s fresh, exciting and unique to Kings Island.
Read More

12 Kings Island associates earn Over the Top awards for the week ending October 18

This past weekend, Kings Island’s vice president and general manager Mike Koontz surprised 12 seasonal and part-time associates by presenting them with the “Over the Top” award.
Read More

50th Anniversary Series: Kings Island construction uncovers forgotten cemetery

Surveying the 80-acre landscape of what would become Kings Island’s parking lot when the park opened in 1972, the construction project manager had 35,000 dump truck loads of dirt to move. He needed the project to stay on schedule and standing in his way was a cemetery, hidden somewhere on the giant plot of land. Before excavation could begin, his crew needed to find the cemetery and protect it. The clock was ticking.
Read More