The park opens to the general public July 12.
Designed exclusively for Kings Island by Bolliger & Mabillard, a Switzerland-based company that also created Diamondback and Banshee and one that Koontz said is “without equal.” Seven of the top 20 ranked steel roller coasters in a 2018 poll conducted by Amusement Today were designed by B&M, the most by a ride manufacturer on the list.
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Orion, which replaces Firehawk, isn’t the only thing new to Kings Island this year.
The park has used various details and theming elements, including a soundtrack by IMAscore, to transform the area around the ride into faux top secret government compound Area 72. It has branded the area immediately adjacent to Orion as Fort Mason and highlights Kings Island rides past and present as part of the overall "top secret" research vibe.
Also new to the Area 72 is Meteor Canteen, which offers Afterburner Fries and four “Missile Launch” options: Italian Sausage with Peppers, Beer Bratwurst & Sauerkraut, Jumbo Chili Dog with Cheese and vegan option Trailblazer Sausage along with Frozen Lemon Slush, Frozen Blue Raspberry Slush and bottled water.
Since acquiring Kings Island in 2006, Cedar Fair has constructed four roller coasters. Diamondback debuted in 2009, in place of the former Swan Lake. Inverted roller coaster Banshee opened in 2014, replacing go-kart attraction Thunder Alley and wooden coaster Son of Beast, which the park shut down in 2009. Mystic Timbers launched its first riders in 2017 in the park’s Rivertown area.
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Five Things to Know About Orion
• Orion is the tallest (287 feet) and fastest (91 mph) roller coaster with the longest first drop (300 feet) at Kings Island. At 5,321 feet, it is the park’s longest steel roller coaster and second-longest overall behind The Beast (7,359 feet).
• Orion is the seventh giga coaster in the world, the fourth in the USA and the fifth in North America. A giga coaster is one with a height or drop between 300-399 feet.
• The first drop on Orion takes riders down the length of a football field. At 300 feet, it ties for the seventh longest drop on a roller coaster in the world.
• At 91 mph, Orion is the seventh-fastest roller coaster in North America and 13th fastest in the world.
• Orion is the third roller coaster at Kings Island designed by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), joining Diamondback (2009) and Banshee (2014).