Kings Island’s new Banshee coaster is 150 feet closer to delivering death-defying thrills.
Work crews Friday completed construction of the track for the coaster’s first 150 foot drop. The coaster will be the world’s longest inverted steel coaster when it opens in April 2014.
The coaster is manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard. The Swiss firm also created Diamondback, the park’s most recent roller coaster which opened in 2009.
Once completed, thrill seekers will travel 4,124 feet of track and seven inversions at speeds up 68 miles per hour including a Curved Drop, Dive Loop, a loop interacting with the lift, Zero-G-Roll, Batwing, Outside Loop, Spiral, In-Line Roll and Carousel.
Banshee will be the fastest B&M coaster in the nation, surpassing the previous record of 67 mph held by Busch Gardens-Williamsburg’s Alpengeist.
Park visitors can get an aerial view of the coaster’s construction from the Eiffel Tower during KI’s Halloween Haunt and Howl-O-Palooza events held through Oct. 27. Guests with the most sonic screams have the chance to win passes to be among the first to ride Banshee.
The $24 million project represents the 364-acre Mason amusement park’s largest investment in its 41-year history and is being built with materials produced locally and by Ohio companies, park officials said.
Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. owns and operates Kings Island.