The Crypt (Kings Island)
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The sign outside The Crypt at Kings Island.
|Attraction type||Giant Top Spin|
|Manufacturer||HUSS Park Attractions|
|Height||80 ft (24 m)|
|Drop||70 ft (21 m)|
|Participants per group||77 (2002-06)
|Duration||Approximately 1 minute and 10 seconds|
|Height restriction||54 in (137 cm)|
The Crypt was an indoor Giant Top Spin thrill ride located at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio. Originally constructed by former owners Paramount Parks, the ride officially opened as Tomb Raider: The Ride on April 5, 2002. It featured numerous special effects in relation to the theme of the 2001 Paramount film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Following the 2007 season, new park owner Cedar Fair removed all references to the film from both the ride and its indoor queue line. The name was also changed to The Crypt.
For the 2001 season, Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal, a log-flume water ride, gave its last ride. On April 24, 2001, the area around Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal was fenced in, with the phrase, "An exciting new adventure is coming in 2002" written along the fence. Kings Island officially announced Tomb Raider: The Ride on July 2, 2001 by placing the 17-foot-tall (5.2 m) Hindu goddess Brahma prop used in the first movie (and later, in the ride's preshow) in front of the park's Eiffel Tower and Royal Fountains. After the Paramount Parks were sold to Cedar Fair and all licensing rights were dropped, the rides within the park continued to operate with the Paramount movie names for the 2007 season. However, on January 21, 2008, Kings Island's main web site replaced the name Tomb Raider: The Ride, with the new Cedar Fair name "The Crypt".
The ride gave its last ride October 30, 2011; and was announced via the parks official Twitter Wednesday February 15, "The Crypt has reached the end of its service life. Will be replaced by an all-new Halloween Haunt experience."
As of February, the Top Spin has been dismantled leaving the ride as one of the most short lived attractions in the parks history. At $20,000,000 it is also one of the costliest rides the park has ever built.
The show elements for Tomb Raider: The Ride were designed by Technifex, a special effects company specializing in themed entertainment. Scenic design was handled by Weber Group with lighting designed by Visual Terrain. The soundtrack was composed by Rob Pottorf of RPMusic while The Bakery handled sound design.
Technifex Team: Rock Hall – Principal, John Schedl – Project Engineer
Scenic Designer: Luc Mayrand
Scenic Provider: Weber Group
Electrical Engineer: Tom Poff, Herndon Engineering
Architect: Tony Ravagnani, RSL Architects
Ride Vehicle: HUSS Park Attractions
Lighting Designers: Lisa Passamonte Green, Jeremy Windle LC
Lighting Equipment: Bill Ellis, Candela Controls
Lighting Programming: Adrienne Klotz
Composer: Rob Pottorf
Sound Designer: James Fielden
The Travel Channel aired a behind-the-scenes special dedicated to the mechanics and story of the original ride.
The Crypt is a higher-capacity version of the highly popular smaller Top Spin located at many amusement parks. Initially, Tomb Raider: The Ride accommodated 77 riders. When it was rebranded The Crypt, its capacity was reduced to 46 (by removing the first row of the gondola).
Tomb Raider: The Ride (2002–2007)
In the attraction's Tomb Raider: The Ride incarnation, the attraction's entry plaza contained a special edition Land Rover Defender parked by the tunnel's entrance to represent Lara Croft's presence at the site. Atmospheric music (some sampling the movie's score) played throughout the plaza and into the queue. A large antechamber sectioned off one cycle's worth of guests and played a pre-show video in which guests learned the story of Lara Croft. There, too, was established the storyline of the Triangle of Light, an ancient powerful artifact sought by Croft in the film.
After a rising wall revealed the "secret" entrance to the sixty-foot-tall altar chamber of the goddess Durga, riders were seated on the 77-seat gondola divided into three stadium-seating rows. The ride (synchronized to an original soundtrack by Rob Pottorf with sound effects from The Bakery and voice-overs from Angelina Jolie and other members of the film's cast) then lifted up to the eyes of a sixty-foot-tall carving of Durga on the forward wall. Her eyes (embedded with automated lights) scanned the car, and fire and ice emblems held in two of her six hands illuminated. The ride then flipped through the darkness before stopping with riders looking straight up at razor-sharp icy stalactites on the ceiling. It released, flipped again, and came to a stop, holding riders looking straight down on "lava pits", pools of water cascading from a massive volcano stretching up the chamber's back wall. In time with the music, the lava would begin to jump up, as fountains narrowly avoided splashing riders.
After another flip through the darkness, the ride circled around the bottom of its arc, looking up at the goddess on the wall. As fog and lights filled the room, the fire and ice effects went off at once as, in time with the audio track, the goddess screamed and her fire, ice, and eyes went dark. She appeared to "wake up" once more as one final blast of fog emanated from the base of the ride structure, nearly contacting riders before fading away (this used as a device to keep riders engaged during the ride's lengthy homing procedure before the bridges could lower to allow guests to disembark).
For the majority of its time as Tomb Raider: The Ride, the ride included four inversions, extended "hang time" over the lava pits, a goddess with piercing eyes and fire and ice emblems, fog effects, and a synchronized musical score composed specifically for the ride, lasting 2:30.
The Crypt (2008 - 2011)
In June 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company purchased all five Paramount Parks from Viacom. After the 2007 season, the parks had the "Paramount's" prefix removed from their names and references to the licensed film properties within the parks were removed. At Kings Island specifically, The Italian Job: Stunt Track was renamed Backlot Stunt Coaster; Top Gun became Flight Deck; Drop Zone: Stunt Tower was renamed Drop Tower: Scream Zone; FACE/OFF was renamed Invertigo and Tomb Raider: The Ride became The Crypt.
The change in name was met with a change in theme, as many aspects of the original ride were removed to cut ties with the film. The Durga goddess statue in the Heart of the Tomb was painted over, with the ride's water and fog effects removed. The 77-seat gondola specific to the Giant Top Spin was reduced in size by removing the first of its three rows, thus reducing the capacity by one third, but theoretically allowing the ride to perform a more "thrilling" ride experience to compensate for the removed special effects. The ride performed a nine-inversion cycle like its sister ride at Kings Dominion for the 2008 season and for a month of the 2009 season. Beginning in 2009, the ride was reprogrammed to perform a more tame cycle with only two inversions (half the number performed during the Tomb Raider: The Ride era).
The Crypt has consistently been changed and updated thematically, having originally operated in 2008 with a techno soundtrack in pitch black darkness which was quickly replaced with howling wind and beating drums. Gradually, more of the theatrical lighting used on Tomb Raider: The Ride returned to the ride, as well. The queue line (which had had a specifically-composed musical score during the Tomb Raider: The Ride era) played an album of atmospheric music from the Midnight Syndicate until 2011, when both the queue and ride were outfitted with music from the score of the film Inception. 2011 also saw the addition of new lighting and props in the queue line, and manual doors used to separate the queue line from the ride where the rising "vault door" once stood, again preventing riders from seeing the ride in action - or even seeing what type of ride it was - until they are seated. In the middle of the season, the red, amber, and yellow underwater lights that formerly illuminated the "lava pit" were turned back on, and stay illuminated throughout the ride cycle (though there is no water in the pool). As well, blue lights were positioned on the goddess statue which flash as the gondola reverses direction halfway through the course.
On January 20, 2012, The Crypt was removed from the park's website, though no official mention of its closure had been made. Then on February 14, Kings Island confirmed via Twitter that The Crypt would be removed for the 2012 season. It was confirmed that an all new Halloween Haunt attraction would take its place.
At its closure, The Crypt was the world's only Giant Top Spin, and performed two inversions on a cycle that lasted about 1:10.
Halloween Haunt Attraction (2012-)
The Crypt has been transformed into Madame Fatale's Cavern of Terror. This attraction is themed to a museum of oddities and wax.
During its time as Tomb Raider: The Ride, it was regarded as one of the best dark ride/flat rides in the world and received national attention on park fan sites and television specials such as The Travel Channel.
- "Madame Fatale's Cavern of Terror | Kings Island, Mason OH". Visitkingsisland.com. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- Kings Island Central information - Alternate source of details and stats.
- POV of the original attraction in 2002