Skip to Main Content

Kings Island's New Orion Roller Coaster at first sight

Kings Island announces important updates regarding the rest of the 2020 Season. Learn More.

Skip to Next Section

Orion at first sight

Kyle Kruthoffer

Video Content Producer 

As the newest recruit for the Project X Initiative, I recently got the chance to get my first look at the brand new Bolliger & Mabillard creation, Orion. All I can say is that I was breathless taking my first steps into Area 72. The new soundtrack for Orion provided by IMAscore, a German recording studio well known for their theme park scores, really sets the atmosphere for the new testing grounds, and complements Flight of Fear as well.

So let's get you briefed on your mission before we carry on: 5,321 feet of track 300-foot first drop at an 85-degree angle, a maximum speed of 91 mph. The 13th fastest roller coaster in the world and one of only seven giga coasters. It took 160 truckloads of steel, 4,000 gallons of paint and 16,000 high strength bolts to build. This secretive project is so massive, that it cost comparably to what it took to build the entire park in 1972 and is the biggest single investment in the Kings Island’s 48-year history.

The real star of this ride will without a doubt be the back row. This thing hauls and is not messing around. The pacing is perfect and will project you straight past the stars, safely to your destination on the Orion constellation.

A fun thing to note is that the elevation changes throughout the layout are very noticeable. You WILL feel the forces as you plunge into the terrain down the 300-foot drop. As I traversed the landscaping, I was constantly having to watch where I stepped, as there were steep inclines all throughout the area.

New to Kings Island in 2020, Orion Roller Coaster

Now, let's get one thing straight. I hear people trying to compare Orion to Diamondback. Diamondback is a B&M hyper coaster (a coaster that features an elevation change of 200-299 feet) that focuses on what we call “airtime”, which is defined as the feeling created by negative g-forces which gives riders the sensation of floating on a roller coaster. Remember that butterfly out-of-body experience you get when you go over one of Diamondback’s camelback hills? Yeah, that’s airtime. Orion specializes in speed and intensity. They may both be related as they come from the same manufacturer, but in reality are two of their own kinds. 

Another great thing - this simulator is relentless. Rail-junkies will be pleased to hear that it maneuvers precisely from one element to the next, never letting up on speed. (Fun fact; Kings Island’s last three coaster additions - Banshee, Mystic Timbers and Orion - have not included a mid-course brake run where the trains’ speed are kept in check, allowing for full throttle).

The element that I consider the unspoken hero of the ride is what I call “Orion’s Belt”, or the 125-foot helix towards the end of the ride. At its highest point, it does not slow down, but rather it actually maintains its speed heading back towards the ground. You don’t always see that on many coasters that have helices.

If you are brave enough to volunteer this summer, do yourself a favor and get a sunset ride on this masterpiece. It will provide breathtaking views that you won’t find anywhere else. Trust me, the animation video does not do it justice. 

In conclusion, Bolliger & Mabillard should not be underestimated, as their latest and greatest creation prepares to welcome riders starting July 2 through July 11 for season passholders. I’m curious. What aspect of Orion are you looking forward to the most?

Related Topics:

Share This

Kyle Kruthoffer

Video Content Producer 

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

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

Have you hyped yourself up for a day at Kings Island but then you check the forecast and (gasp!) it’s raining? Of course you have! We encourage you to bring a poncho because Kings Island can be just as fun on rainy days as it is on sunny days. From shows, shopping and short ride wait times, there’s still tons to do at the park when the weather takes a turn!
Read More

Some interesting facts about the Dodgem

You don't expect Newton's laws of motion to be mentioned alongside the Dodgem, yet we've done it here. You can experience all three of Newton’s laws of motion while riding the Dodgem – inertia, acceleration, and reaction.
Read More

Island Nights an event you don't want to miss

Come and join us for the party of the summer during Island Nights in Soak City Water Park every Friday from 8-11 p.m. until the end of July! Get extended ride time on some of your favorite slides such as Tropical Plunge, Rendezvous Run, Splash Landing, Tropical Twister and splash around with family or friends in Tidal Wave Bay.
Read More

Take a spin on the Grand Carousel on National Carousel Day

If you’re looking for something fun to do, round up the family or friends 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.
Read More

A Walk in the Park at Kings Island: Shifting Winds

It’s always sad to see things end. Goodbye Grand Carnivale, until we meet again. Goodbye to the Spectacle of Color parade with the amazing performers and catchy song. Goodbye to the spare ribs and cannolis. Farewell to the Chinese Donuts I didn’t get to try and the Vegetable Samosas. Also can’t forget the Baja Banana and Apple Strudel.
Read More

Morning view from Ring Toss in Coney Mall at Kings Island

This week's "Morning View" shot was snapped at Ring Toss in Coney Mall. It is one of the games that opened with Kings Island in 1972 and it continues to be as popular as ever. Ring Toss consists of glass bottles lined up side-by-side. This game of skill requires good aim, steady hand-eye coordination, and a rapid flick of the wrist for the perfect toss.
Read More

Feel at home with Fischer Homes Family Care Center 

The Fischer Homes Family Care Center is perfect for parents who are visiting Kings Island with infants and toddlers. Consider it your home away from home with all the comforts and amenities. For those interested in utilizing the Family Care Center on their next visit, please take a look through the following tips to best prepare you for a simple and timely experience.
Read More

40 things you may not know about The Beast roller coaster, which turned 40 this year

The world's longest wooden roller coaster, The Beast, is celebrating its 40th anniversary season this year. Here are 40 things you may not know about Kings Island’s legendary attraction.
Read More

A Kid Again teams up with Kings Island to give kids with illnesses a day of fun and laughter

The only thing better than being a kid is perhaps being a kid, again. A Kid Again, a nonprofit organization which exists to foster hope, happiness and healing for families raising kids with life-threatening illnesses through fun-filled group activities and events, had its 24th annual outing Wednesday at Kings Island.
Read More

On this day 41 years ago, construction of The Beast began

On this day 41 years ago, officials at Kings Island announced the park had begun construction on a major new attraction that would open as America's champion roller coaster in the spring of 1979: The Beast!
Read More