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 ???? www.parkworld-online.com


Orion soars at Kings Island


North American editor, Paul Ruben had high hopes for this ride and he wasn’t disappointed


K


Mike Koontz, Kings Island’s vice president and general manager


ings Island, Mason, Ohio, has introduced Orion, its newest coaster. Joining the world- class line-up of 14 coasters at the park, Orion


is one of only seven coasters in the world having a height or drop of 300 to 399 feet (91 to 122 metres).


No wings needed From Bolliger & Mabillard, Orion plunges riders down an exhilarating 300-foot (91 m) drop before sending them on a high-speed journey over seven more hills at speeds of up to 91 mph (146 kph). Racing along 5,321 feet (1,622 m) of track, it is Kings Island’s tallest, fastest, and longest steel coaster. The entire project, including both theming and the ride, was over $30 million. Orion is fast and smooth, but also offers some unexpected treats. Riders will experience six moments of weightlessness during their more than one-minute ride. Most of those moments are delightfully extended by the presence of ingeniously designed zero-g parabolic hills. No wings needed; you fly! Along with the introduction of Orion, the park welcomed guests back to the park for a later than expected 2020 opening. It put stringent health,


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safety and hygiene protocols in place to allow a safe opening – shaped by CDC recommendations and information from company and industry health and safety experts. “Orion reflects Kings Island’s commitment to


providing top notch thrills and value to our guests,” said Mike Koontz, Kings Island’s vice president and general manager. “Coaster enthusiasts from around the world are adding Orion to their list of must-ride coasters in 2020.” According to Orion’s backstory, the ride is themed to


the park’s new Area 72 and features the latest prototype vehicle developed by the Project X initiative. Scientists are in a race against time to develop technology capable of weaving transport vehicles through a coming meteor storm and traveling to a new planet within the Orion constellation. For the programme to be successful, it


SUMMER PART 2 2020


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