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Kings Island | Orion | B&M Giga Coaster

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
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Alright, I've digested Orion enough where I can sufficiently convey my thoughts on the ride.

As of now, I'm pretty lukewarm on the ride and much of my disappointment stems from how the ride was presented. As was mentioned last night, the park forgot to turn on their live stream of the announcement and took almost 30 minutes to launch the microsite. As I dug into the details, I actually couldn't believe some of the claims they listed. Eight hills? Yeah...counting the lift, every turn, AND the brake run. They included some other strange metrics as well, like arc length of the entire drop...why? And the presentation itself was underwhelming. I recall back to Banshee's announcement when everything just hit perfectly - the mood, the intro spiels, the reveal, and then a hefty amount of follow up material covering numerous details of the ride. Banshee's announcement was a benchmark that very few rides in general have lived up to since, and the park certainly didn't live up to providing the same perfect experience for both Mystic Timbers and Orion as they did for Banshee. But that's just Kings Island being up to shenanigans.

As for the coaster itself...287 feet tall, 300 feet tall, or 325 feet tall, it doesn't matter all that much - Orion is still enormous. That 300 foot drop will be fantastic like its sisters' drops and it should showcase its speed nicely...but it still just doesn't feel right. I shouldn't judge on renderings, but it just seems sluggish. The transitions lack the snappiness and power exhibited on Leviathan, and especially on Fury. Everyone seems to be excited for the first 90 degree banked hill because they think it's a wave turn and it isn't. I think everyone is expecting the ride to kick them out of their seats in RMC fashion and the element simply isn't profiled that way. I'm not even convinced that the element will exhibit true weightlessness since it curves slightly to the left and will force riders into their seats more than anything. The turnaround also exhibits uninspired, conservative dynamics. It rises, banks, turns, and dives with zero spice whatsoever - it is purely vanilla. They could have made the run out much more exciting by simply tightening up the transitions to make the train snap into and out of each element. They could have cooked up some strange lead-in to the turnaround - maybe something where they roll the train overbanked, then maybe unbank a bit for some strange airtime, and then bank into the turn again, just to give the element some semblance of life. And the jury is out on the hills - the animation makes the return run look fairly drawn out, but the hills will likely be fine though.

The whole package from initial presentation to the ride itself just looks uninspired, conservative, and generic...especially the final helix and final turn. There doesn't appear to be any inspiration or innovation whatsoever - just completely textbook and totally standard as they could possibly get with an absence of the subtlties that will actually throw your body about your seat. I honestly wasn't expecting the park to announce a 9,000 foot Fury beater - just something with more vigor. The entire thing feels like Kings Island sort of phoned it in to appease the hordes of fanboys screaming for a giga coaster...and if that's the case, then that's really sad.

On a positive note, y'all can probably guess that I adore the color scheme. The renderings show that this corner of the park is going to look gorgeous with Racer's white hills in the foreground and Orion's striking blue splines making up the skyline. The aesthetic is going to be fantastic.

Also worth noting is that Kings Island has not figured out how to take care of their B&Ms. While Canada's Wonderland and Carowinds have figured something out and have actually improved their Beemers over the years, Banshee and Diamondback are sadly shadows of their former selves. Banshee's rattle gets worse every season on all three trains and Diamondback yields the same rattle with the addition of pacing issues. I certainly hope the park figures something out such that Orion does not head down that same path, because I can't imagine the B&M rattle is pleasant at 91mph.

So if you actually read through all of that...yes, it is some pretty heavy, but (in my opinion) valid criticism. Despite it, I TRULY hope to be delightfully surprised when I get to ride it next spring. I hope testing footage shows the ride absolutely tearing through the layout with a fantastic pace, and I honestly hope there's some hidden physics trickery sprinkled throughout the layout, but there doesn't appear to be any indication of that. I really want to like this ride and I really want it to be good...but I don't want to get my hopes up either.
Well thought and mirrors my exact sentiment.

The night of the announcement, @Antinos and I sat on a voice chat for nearly 2 hours afterwards trying to break down the coaster and put it in perspective. And, despite however many POVs we watched, ways we sliced what was on the table for Kings Island, and considered each and every layout photo to deduce actual ride experience/airtime, we continued to circle back to the same conclusion: Orion is as aggressively mediocre a roller coaster as they come. No frills, no tricks, nothing that makes this uniquely qualified on paper. It is a Giga coaster no more, no less.

My personal rub, as @Antinos alluded to, was the way this was announced. We got the blue prints from city hall, we got wind of possible names, we spotted the track already being fabricated. And I hoped there would be something, anything, we hadn't sniffed out already on this ride. Yet there wasn't, not in the slightest. Candymonium, a roller coaster half announced last year during Hersheypark's entry revamp announcement, somehow managed to have more mystery around it than this did. It's just disappointing, going into an announcement and having 98% of information already in hand. I'm a coaster enthusiast - I love these kinds of unveils and announcements!
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Not really on topic but I thought I'd post the layouts of all three B&M gigas to show the comparison between them as they all look fantastic :-

1566065915189.png
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From these images, it is clear that Orion has the smallest footprint of the three, yet only has a slightly shorter track length than Leviathan. However, Leviathan has 8 distinct elements in total whereas Orion only has 7. Whereas the monster Fury 325 has at least 10 that I can count. I am most curious to see whether people will prefer this or Leviathan because they are the most similar, whereas Fury is almost in its own league.
 
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Jcoasters

Member
I think one thing people aren't talking about is the first element. It appears to be around 0g, I think this is B&M doing something similar to a wave turn or wall stall. If you study the layout, there seems to be four major point of sideways airtime, with the last one being the strongest.

Given a budget restriction from cedar fair, especially due to expensive land combined with a focus on sideways airtime to differentiate from Diamondback, we have this. I think it will be good. What is the budget on this, 30 million, right?

Cedar fair could have spent more money though, I want a large B&M airtime hill right after the first drop on a giga. Add that in, and maybe one more helix or airtime hill, and I think this ride would have been the best Giga.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
I haven't ridden a B&M giga (or even a hyper), so my opinion probably doesn't count for much. But I'm completely disinterested by this coaster.
It'll be fun, no more, no less. But it doesn't captivate me enough to follow it's construction or anything, let alone enough to make me want to go to the park any more than I wanted to previously.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
I have done two B&M hypers (both in my top 10), so I have an idea on how most of the elements will feel. I really like Shambhala's ampersand so I bet the one on this will be cool, but I think the reason why I like Shambhala's so much is because the long trains make the bottom of it intense, and I actually greyed out on it on the back row of Shambhala. I know B&M can produce great, sustained airtime hills which is what I loved about Shambhala and I imagine this will have that too. Of course the people who have ridden the gigas will likely know what to expect from this more than I do, but for a guy who has done just those two hypers, I am really looking forward to eventually riding this.

Also there will be 8 gigas worldwide when this opens. Tower of Terror II is 377.3ft tall, and I swear everyone forgets about that.
 
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Kw6sTheater

Member
I have done two B&M hypers (both in my top 10), so I have an idea on how most of the elements will feel. I really like Shambhala's ampersand so I bet the one on this will be cool, but I think the reason why I like Shambhala's so much is because the long trains make the bottom of it intense at the back, and I actually greyed out on it on the back row of Shambhala. I know B&M can produce great, sustained airtime hills which is what I loved about Shambhala, and I imagine this will have that too. Of course the people who have ridden the gigas will likely more what to expect from this more than I do, but for a guy who has done just those two hypers, I am really looking forward to eventually riding this.

Also there will be 8 gigas worldwide when this opens. Tower of Terror II is 377.3ft tall, and I swear everyone forgets about that.
A rumor from Parkz (an Australian coaster enthusiast site) said that Tower of Terror II is on its last legs. This rumor brings up that when Intamin upgraded the Superman: Escape from Krypton control system at Six Flags Magic Mountain they also offered to do it for Dreamworld; however, Dreamworld refused the upgrade, perhaps implying that they didn't plan on keeping Tower of Terror II around for that much longer unlike Magic Mountain. Another tidbit suggesting its removal is that the ride has been reportedly running slower than Superman in its past few years. I apologize for going off topic.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Coaster Nation pointed out on Twitter that Invertigo doesn't appear in the background of any of Orion's renderings... Considering Dorney Park removed Stinger, could this mean Kings Island could be removing Invertigo in the near future?
 

TLARides

Member
To be honest, I'm happy with it. I wanted something fast at KI, and I've got it. Now I don't have to drive 3+ hours to get Millennium Force speeds. A giga is a giga. The story idea is neat, and I'm certain it'll have some neat theming.

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
 

tomahawk

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Or they didn't want to spend the extra money on the render and didn't put a ride in it that's not remotely close to this?
 

Antinos

Slut for Spinners
Social Media Team
It's also been pointed out that the blue side of Racer had it's trains facing backwards.
A park spokesperson pointed out that their CGI artist only had that configuration rendered and that it is not a hint that they will be returning Racer to its former glory. The rendering also shows Racer Red and Racer Blue on the wrong sides.
 

Hutch

Active Member
I think we're going to have to go to Japan to get a fix of that.
If you’re referring to Steel Dragon 2000...sure. That ride is essentially a scaled up hyper coaster. But it is Morgan, and the first half looks pretty clunky. But if you gave me that layout as a B&M, and maybe tweak the hills in the first half, I’d be all over that.

If you study the layout, there seems to be four major point of sideways airtime, with the last one being the strongest
Four major points of sideways airtime?? Where? You’re probably thinking of the first overbank, the half-assed treble clef, and the last turn. That’s three possibilities, but it’s unlikely any of those will have sideways airtime. The first overbank will probably have some sort of gentle weightlessness, maybe like Mako’s first overbank, but it won’t shove you out of your seat. The treble clef doesn’t appear to have any sort of pull out at the top, it’ll just push you right into the turn. For the last turn, you’ll probably get some sort of standard airtime in the back going down the little drop, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

I think people need to ride some RMC wave turns in order to understand proper sideways airtime. Those actually kick you out of your seat.

Also there will be 8 gigas worldwide when this opens. Tower of Terror II is 377.3ft tall, and I swear everyone forgets about that.
I don’t think some people consider ToT II a giga as it’s not full circuit.

I personally don’t count Red Force as a giga either, and I didn’t even know people considered that a giga until a few days ago. I’ve always considered gigas and hypers/megas more than just a height class, but their own type of ride. Traditional chain/cable lift hill, no inversions, focus on speed and hills. Now, you could have a 300ft tall “giga dive” coaster, but I wouldn’t call it a true giga coaster. It’s my personal feelings, but that’s how it’s been for years.

Of course in recent years there’ve been weird things like the Mack Flash clones and Hyperion and other hyper style rides with random single inversions, thus contradicting my feelings. I guess in this day and age there’s no rules of what a hyper or giga should be, other than the height class.

But that’s a completely different debate on its own. Don’t want to get too carried away...
 

JJLehto

Member
Yeah...I never gave it much thought, just kind of a gut thing, but I also don't really consider Superman/ToT as gigas.... Maybe because I never heard the time dropped until MForce, or Steel Dragon 2000, despite those opening later. BUT TTD and KK are considered strata....so Red Force should be giga. Guess long as it's complete circuit it's good in my book! But yeah who really cares lol

Hope I didn't seem too low on this ride. Yes, the fact its more 'traditional' and less 'fury' and is a bit shorter than I'd like is not ideal but this will be a fun ride and surely best in the park. It's a "need" too. They do lack a standout coaster. It seems everyone's fav at KI is either Mystic Timbers, Beast, Diamondback or Banshee. None of those are really big name/standout or anything that "special" so this big giga is just what they need.
 

Jcoasters

Member
Four major points of sideways airtime?? Where? You’re probably thinking of the first overbank, the half-assed treble clef, and the last turn. That’s three possibilities, but it’s unlikely any of those will have sideways airtime. The first overbank will probably have some sort of gentle weightlessness, maybe like Mako’s first overbank, but it won’t shove you out of your seat. The treble clef doesn’t appear to have any sort of pull out at the top, it’ll just push you right into the turn. For the last turn, you’ll probably get some sort of standard airtime in the back going down the little drop, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.
I mention it would be somewhere close to 0 g in the post. If you look at the low to the ground air hill after the treble clef, it's banked sideways for, like, 2/3 of it, which is the other point of airtime. I agree, it won't be strong ejector.
 

vaugc002

Member
I have done two B&M hypers (both in my top 10), so I have an idea on how most of the elements will feel. I really like Shambhala's ampersand so I bet the one on this will be cool, but I think the reason why I like Shambhala's so much is because the long trains make the bottom of it intense at the back, and I actually greyed out on it on the back row of Shambhala. I know B&M can produce great, sustained airtime hills which is what I loved about Shambhala, and I imagine this will have that too. Of course the people who have ridden the gigas will likely more what to expect from this more than I do, but for a guy who has done just those two hypers, I am really looking forward to eventually riding this.

Also there will be 8 gigas worldwide when this opens. Tower of Terror II is 377.3ft tall, and I swear everyone forgets about that.
But Tower of Terror II isn't a giga...
Also I don't think that Orion has an ampersand element... an ampersand looks like this: &
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
To be fair, I can get where @CrashCoaster is coming from with the Shambhala ampersand comparisons; that was the first thing that came into my mind when I saw that element!

Am I the only one who's remotely excited about this coaster, or anything B&M are building in 2020? I think both Orion and Candymonium look like fantastic rides, but the overwhelming opinion on both seems to be negative... I almost feel like I'm in a minority for still liking B&M.
 
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