Vortex (Kings Island)

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Vortex Kings Island.jpg
Kings Island
Park sectionConey Mall
Coordinates39°20′27″N 84°15′51″W / 39.340724°N 84.264219°W / 39.340724; -84.264219Coordinates: 39°20′27″N 84°15′51″W / 39.340724°N 84.264219°W / 39.340724; -84.264219
Opening dateApril 11, 1987
Cost$4,000,000 USD
ReplacedThe Bat
General statistics
ManufacturerArrow Dynamics
ModelCustom Looping Coaster
Track layoutTerrain
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Height148 ft (45 m)
Drop140 ft (43 m)
Length3,800 ft (1,200 m)
Speed55 mph (89 km/h)
Inversions6 (Loop, Loop, Double Corkscrew, Batwing)
Max vertical angle55°
Capacity1,600 riders per hour
Height restriction48 in (122 cm)
Trains3 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Fast Lane available
Must transfer from wheelchair
Vortex at RCDB
Pictures of Vortex at RCDB

Vortex is a steel roller coaster at Kings Island located in Mason, Ohio. Designed and built by Arrow Dynamics at a cost of $4 million, the ride officially opened to the public on April 11, 1987. Vortex debuted as the tallest, full-circuit roller coaster with the highest drop in the world. It was also the first to feature six inversions.

Vortex occupies the same location in the park once held by The Bat, the world's first suspended roller coaster. Attendance at the park exceeded 3 million in 1987 for the first time in the park's history. With more than 38 million rides given, the roller coaster is one of the most popular attractions at Kings Island to date.


For the design and construction of Vortex, Kings Island turned to Arrow Dynamics, an industry-leading manufacturer at the time. Construction began in the winter of 1986 on the former location of The Bat, the world's first suspended roller coaster, which was removed after the 1984 season. Kings Island invested over $4 million on the ride, which required 750 tons of steel to construct.[1] The line queue and train station from The Bat were reused for the Vortex.[2][3] The ride opened to the public on April 11, 1987,[4] and helped the park exceed 3 million visitors for the first time in its history.[1][5] At its inauguration, Vortex briefly set a few records for full-circuit roller coasters. It was the tallest, featured the highest drop, and had the most inversions with six. All were surpassed the following year with the debut of Shockwave at Six Flags Great America.[4][6]

Vortex has been repainted at least twice: during the 2001 season[7] and again in April 2009 before opening day.[8] The ride celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012, and since its debut, Vortex has given more than 38 million rides – sixth-most in Kings Island's history as of 2012.[4]

Ride experience[edit]


1 Vertical Loop
2 Vertical Loop
3 Corkscrew
4 Corkscrew
5 Part 1 of Batwing Element
6 Part 2 of Batwing Element

The Ride[edit]

Aerial view of Vortex

As the train leaves the station, it dips slightly taking a hard right into the beginning of the lift hill. The train ascends slowly giving riders a view of the park including The Beast to the left, Diamondback straight ahead, and the Eiffel Tower to the right. Once reaching the top, the train dips slightly, immediately making a right hand turn into a 138 ft, 55-degree nosedive down the first drop. The train then ascends into a left-banking turn as the track flattens out. After turning roughly 180 degrees, the track straightens briefly before descending into a sharp left turn that takes riders through two vertical loops. Off the vertical loops, the train ascends, goes around a 180 degree turn to the right, and enters the midcourse brake run, which slows the train almost to a complete stop. Next, the train drops off the midcourse brakes into a pair of corkscrews. The second corkscrew threads through the gap directly between the vertical loops. The train then goes through a right hand turn and goes through a batwing inversion, a heart-shaped element containing both a dive loop and an immelmann loop, that inverts riders two additional times. There is an on-ride camera in the dip between the two parts of the batwing. The train then enters its final maneuver – a 450-degree ascending clockwise helix – that generates positive g forces before the train hits the final brake run. A final right-hand turn is made to re-enter the station.


On Saturday, July 2, 2011, damage to Vortex's chain lift was detected by a computer as a train was pulling out of the station. The ride was stopped and all passengers were able to safely exit. The ride remained closed for several weeks while a replacement part was on order.[9]


  1. ^ a b Richardson, Rachel (April 17, 2014). "Kings Island's biggest and baddest". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  2. ^ "Random Facts". KingsIslandCentral.com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  3. ^ "KIExtreme.com". @2003-2012 KIExtreme. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Vortex at Kings Island". COASTER-net.com.
  5. ^ "Kings Island tops 3 million". Associated Press. Mansfield News Journal. October 6, 1987. p. 4-B. Retrieved October 7, 2018 – via https://www.newspapers.com/.
  6. ^ "Vortex at visitkingsisland.com". Cedar Fair Parks. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Coasterbuzz.com". Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Vortex Gets a New Paint Job". KICentral.com. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  9. ^ Goldsmith, Ethan (July 13, 2011). "Kings Island Closes Vortex to replace part". Fox 19. Retrieved 13 April 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
First Roller Coaster With 6 Inversions
April 1987–June 1988
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Tallest Full Circuit Roller Coaster
April 1987–June 1988
Succeeded by