Diamondback (roller coaster)

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Diamondback
Diamondback overview from Eiffel Tower.jpg
Kings Island
Park section Rivertown
Coordinates 39°20′31.51″N 84°16′02.64″W / 39.3420861°N 84.2674000°W / 39.3420861; -84.2674000Coordinates: 39°20′31.51″N 84°16′02.64″W / 39.3420861°N 84.2674000°W / 39.3420861; -84.2674000
Status Operating
Opening date April 18, 2009
Cost $22 million
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Model Hyper Coaster
Track layout Out and back
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 230 ft (70 m)
Drop 215 ft (66 m)
Length 5,282 ft (1,610 m)
Speed 80 mph (130 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 3:00
Max vertical angle 74°
Capacity 1,620 riders per hour
G-force 4.2
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Fast Lane available
Must transfer from wheelchair
Diamondback at RCDB
Pictures of Diamondback at RCDB

Diamondback is a steel roller coaster designed by Bolliger & Mabillard at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, United States. The ride is located in Rivertown just behind International Street and the Eiffel Tower. When built in 2009, it was the first hyper coaster to feature a splashdown and the first Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster at Kings Island.[1] Diamondback was previously the biggest investment in Kings Island’s history at $22 million (ahead of The Crypt and Son of Beast, each of which cost $20 million) until surpassed in 2014 by Banshee, an investment of $24 million. The coaster has a 230 ft (70 m) lift hill with a 215 ft-drop, featuring 10 total drops and a top speed of about 80 mph (130 km/h).[2] It is similar to Behemoth at Canada's Wonderland in statistics, layout, and seating.

History[edit]

Diamondback during construction

Construction of Diamondback began on October 11, 2007, with the removal of a tree.[3] Swan Lake was drained and filled with concrete before opening day in 2008, this turned out to be location for the splashdown element.[4] Kings Island started teasing visitors during the Fourth of July weekend in 2008 with signs saying, "Ride sally ride" and "Steep incline ahead."[5] Diamondback was announced on August 6, 2008 as the largest investment in Kings Island history. The ride was topped off with the 230 feet (70 m) lift hill on October 30. The last piece of track was installed on January 26, 2009.[6] Diamondback started testing about a month later on February 26.[7] Diamondback officially opened on April 18, 2009.[8] The 1,000,000th rider was on July 20, 2009.[9] On July 21, 2014, Diamondback gave its 10,000,000th rider. The rider, Mike Brogan, was given a Diamondback gift package including t-shirts, hats, keychains, coffee mugs, shotglasses, and a large sign proclaiming his ride.

First rider auction[edit]

On February 3, 2009, Kings Island announced they would hold an auction for the first riders on Diamondback. The winners of the auction would be given a commemorative first rider ticket, a special gift from the park, and an admission ticket. All proceeds from the auction would go to A Kid Again non-profit organization, formerly known as Adventures for Wish Kids.[10] The first rider auction raised $102,000. The first eight trains, or the first 256 seats were auctioned off. The average bid was $398 per seat.[11][12]

Ride experience[edit]

Layout[edit]

After the train leaves the station, it begins its ascent up the 230 feet (70 m) chain lift hill. Once reaching the top of the hill, the coaster drops 215 feet (66 m) at 74° over the Rivertown midway reaching speeds up to 80 miles per hour (130 km/h). It then curves to the right up a 193 feet (59 m) hill and down the drop into the ravine, curving again to the left. The ride then ascends a 131 feet (40 m) camelback hill and drops, curving left into the hammerhead turn. After dropping out of the hammerhead, the train travels up a 129 feet (39 m) hill (which has a trim brake). After the fourth hill, the train turns into down into a 287° counter-clockwise helix (on-ride photo camera is here) and into the mid-course brake run. After the short brake run the train drops down into the ravine, raising into a bunny hop hill, then into another bunny hop and into the final clockwise helix of 323°. After the final helix, the train passes over the Rivertown midway a second time and drops into the splashdown finale, slowing the train down and leading it into the final brake run. After braking, the train takes a left U-turn and heads back into the station.[2][13] One cycle of the ride lasts about 3 minutes.[2]

Splashdown[edit]

A train in the splashdown element.

Diamondback is the first hyper coaster to feature a splashdown. Scoops positioned at the back sides of the last car on each train send water soaring at heights of 50 ft (15 m) as the train passes. The riders don’t actually get wet in the splashdown. Splashdowns are used for a visual effect as well to slow the train down. The splashdown is located in the former Swan Boat pond.[1][4]

Trains[edit]

Diamondback operates with three open-air stadium style steel and fiberglass trains. The trains are the same prototype trains seen on Behemoth at Canada's Wonderland, Intimidator at Carowinds and Shambhala: Expedición al Himalaya at PortAventura. Diamondback was the first roller coaster in the United States to feature the new trains. Each car seats four passengers, with two front seats set near the middle of the car and two rear seats set closer to the sides of the car. The front car of each train features a yellow/orange snake head with long fangs, while the inside of the trains are black, red, and orange. Riders are restrained by a single T-shaped lap bar and a seatbelt.[citation needed] There are three trains total, each train featuring a different fin color: green, red, or brown. Under the sides of the last car on each train are the scoops for the splashdown at the end.[1][14]

Track[edit]

The steel track is 5,282 feet (1,610 m) in length and the height of the lift is approximately 230 feet (70 m).[2] The supports on the first lift hill and part of the second hill are yellow while the rest of the supports are tan. All of the track pieces are red.[13] The track was fabricated at the Ohio-based Clermont Steel Fabricators.[15]

Awards[edit]

The back half of the ride located in the woods.
  • Won the award for "Best New Attraction in 2009" from NAPHA[16]
Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ranking 7[17] 7[18] 11[19] 10[20] 14[21] 4[22]
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best steel-Tracked Roller Coaster[23]
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking 4 19 No poll 26 (tie)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Diamondback to tower over Kings Island in 2009". The Coaster Critic. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Diamondback Statistics". Kings Island. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Did you know?". Kings Island. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Kings Island history". Kings Island Central. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Diamondback to strike Kings Island for 2009". Coaster-Net. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Diamondback track complete". Kings Island. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Diamondback testing". Kings Island. February 27, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ Marden, Duane. "Diamondback  (Kings Island)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Diamondback gives 1,000,000th rider". Kings Island. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Let the bidding begin!". Kings Island. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Diamondback first rides auction tops $100,000!". Kings Island. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Roller coaster opens in Ohio". Associated Press. April 18, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Diamondback POV". Coaster Force. 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Track layout and train information". Kings Island. 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Diamondback Built in Clermont". Clermont County, Ohio. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ "NAPHA 2005–2011 Survey Results". National Amusement Park Historical Association. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  21. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  22. ^ "2014 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 18 (6.2): 46–47. September 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  23. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 13 Year Results Table (1999–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]