The Crypt (Kings Island)
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The sign outside The Crypt at Kings Island.
|Opening date||April 5, 2002|
|Closing date||October 30, 2011|
|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 flat 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 cost to construct the ride was approximately $20 million, making it one of the most expensive rides the park has ever built. The Crypt was the world's only Giant Top Spin, and performed two inversions on a cycle that lasted about 1:10.
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 removed all references to Paramount and their licensed film properties from rides and attractions. At Kings Island, this led to a change in the name of Tomb Raider: The Ride which became The Crypt.
The name change coincided with a change in theme, as many film aspects of the original ride were removed. The Durga goddess statue in the Heart of the Tomb, a feature in the line queue, was painted over. The ride's water and fog effects were also removed. The Giant Top Spin's 77-seat gondola was reduced in size with the removal of the first row of seats, reducing the capacity by one third. 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 less intensive cycle with only two inversions – half the number previously performed when it was known as Tomb Raider: The Ride.
The Crypt was changed and updated several more times over the years. Following its operation in 2008 with a techno soundtrack in complete darkness, the soundtrack was changed to howling wind and beating drums. Gradually, more of the theatrical lighting used on Tomb Raider: The Ride returned to the ride. The queue line, which had its Tomb Raider: The Ride musical score removed earlier, began playing 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. Also in 2011, new lighting and props were added to the queue line, and manual doors were retrofitted in place of the original "vault door" that would raise and lower to let riders in. In the middle of the season, the red, amber, and yellow underwater lights that formerly illuminated the "lava pit" were turned back on, and would stay illuminated throughout the ride. In addition, blue lights were installed on the goddess statue and would begin flashing as the gondola reversed direction halfway through the ride cycle.
The Crypt gave its last ride October 30, 2011. The following year on January 20, 2012, The Crypt was removed from the park's website without explanation. Park officials confirmed the following month on Twitter that The Crypt "has reached the end of its service life", and that it would "be replaced by an all-new Halloween Haunt experience".
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).
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.
- "Madame Fatale's Cavern of Terror | Kings Island, Mason OH". Visitkingsisland.com. Retrieved 2013-01-29.