On April 11th, 1987, Paramount's Kings Island (PKI) debuted their roller coaster legend: Vortex. Designed by Arrow as a custom looping steel coaster, PKI paid a smooth four million price tag for this 1,000-ton structure.
PKI closed their prototype suspended coaster Bat and used the same land, station, and some footers, to create Vortex. The old Bat was removed due to numerous problems back in 1983 leaving a massive four year gap between its closing and Vortex's opening. While waiting in line for Vortex one can carefully spot some of Bat's footers. Rumors have circulated that Bat's steel was used to create Vortex but this was denied by numerous employees of PKI, though nothing "official".
Vortex takes guests up a 148-foot lift hill to drop them down 138 feet. With a 55-degree drop, and top speed of 55 mph, riders will be surprised to find many inversions and sometimes mild tunnel vision, or "going gray" as some riders call it. This multielement coaster sends riders through two vertical loops, a double corkscrew, and a batwing for a grand total of six inversions.
My friends really have a love for this coaster. Personally, I enjoy it, especially for the g-forces, but overall it's not a coaster that always stands out in my mind. Obviously, if you go to PKI, you will see it towering in the back and resistance to ride it will be futile. Even walking around you will find yourself quite near the ride as riders dive through the batwing.
Opened April 11th, 1987
Resources include: roller coaster database, rec.roller-coasters, and many tunnel vision ridden rides on this monster.
- Height: 148'
- Drop: 138'
- Max Speed: 55 mph
- Drop Angle: 55-degrees
- Inversions: 6
- Length: 3800'
- Duration: 2:30