Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aerial Antics: Kings Island

Thanks to Google's new 45 degree images, we have some great recent aerial photos of Kings Island to check out.  The park is quite large, so let's get moving, shall we?

After entering the park, visitors can wander down International Street, with the famous fountains in the center of the area.  Looming beyond the end of the street is the Eiffel Tower, undoubtedly one of the park's main icons.

Added to Kings Island in 1999, this blue coaster was originally name Face/Off.  Now it goes by Invertigo, and just this past season it received its dual blue color scheme.  Previously it was a bright yellow and red combination.  Above it is the back of one of the park's largest live entertainment theaters.

This coaster is one of a dying breed - an Arrow Suspended ride named Flight Deck.  Under Paramount ownership it opened in 1993 as Top Gun, with full theming to the movie of the same name.

This is the recently departed Son of Beast.  From the air the ride's massive wooden structure is even more impressive, if only the ride had been as well.  After sitting idle for several years, the record breaking wooden coaster was just torn down a couple months ago.

Longtime readers know about me and my love of Arrow mine trains, so looking at Adventure Express from above is pretty neat.  Most of the ride is down in a valley with the station up top, meaning most of it is hidden when you are inside the park.  With plenty of covered sections and additional theming (though a lot of it no longer works) this is a classic attraction.

The misfortune of Geauga Lake was the gain of Kings Island, that is how they received this coaster, Firehawk.  One of Vekoma's flying coasters, the ride was placed in the back of the park just beyond the indoor launch coaster, Flight of Fear.

The Racer, the set of wooden coasters seen here, do not fit well into one shot, so I chose to just feature their turn around sections, with the park's 4-D theater in the middle.  I also liked this view because you can see the addition of Windseeker, one of the park's latest tall rides.

Being able to fit the Beast into one aerial shot required zooming out quite a bit!  Still the longest wooden roller coaster on the planet, the Beast stretches 7,359 feet through the wooded hills and valleys behind the park.  After the second lift hill the coaster screams through a gigantic double helix as a solid finale. 

Kings Island's children's area, currently known as Planet Snoopy, wins as the best one in the country year after year.  This show shows a bit of why, there's just a really huge selection of rides and attractions aimed at kids!  The area got a colorful makeover when it became Planet Snoopy a few seasons back.

Diamondback is another tricky coaster to fit into one shot due to its layout.  Much like the Beast, the B&M hyper coaster starts inside the park but then extends back out into the woods behind the park, taking full advantage of the hilly terrain as well.

As if all those rides weren't enough to keep guests busy, Kings Island also offers Soak City, a full water park that was just renovated last year.  The projects included additional relaxing space, a sprucing up and painting of many slides, and the addition of Tidal Wave Bay, the park's second large wave pool.

If you'd like to check out Google's 45 degree images, click here.