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Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT

RobLec RobLec Profile

Posted:
4/17/14 at
4:18:48 PM

Yes, the BAT is back! Flight Deck (nee Top Gun) is now The Bat! It has been refurbished with bright new paint and what appears to be new cars (probably on the old trains) but it is running GREAT! Kudos to CF for resurrecting this classic name, and reassuring those of us who love the ride that they will likely be keeping for at least a few more years!

Anywho, other impressions on KI's park preview day:

All new entrance plaza and admissions gate. Where previously there had been a hodge podge of blacktop, pavers and a few concrete slabs, the entire entry area has been paved with all new concrete. And having experienced the puddle jumping that many had encountered whenever it rained, I'm willing to bet that this is the new porous pavement that drains quickly without ponding. New entry area too. The turnstiles have been torn out and the front gate is now all brushed aluminum or stainless steel and is extra wide to allow for quick entry. Even with a dozen gates previously, this area had always been a bottle neck.

There has been some reworking of the Action Zone (nothing major other than Banshee being there)... sort of like how they re-did the Beast entrance as part of the DB installation. At the entrance to Banshee there is a monument to SOB with an eternal flame (though the queue actually stands where the go-carts had been.)

Banshee uses restraints that are very similar to Gatekeeper. The metal yoke is actually well away from the rider's body, with rubber shoulder straps slung within the OTSR frame. Unlike Gatekeeper, the shoulder straps are spring loaded and allow "breathing room". You can raise and lower your shoulders without feeling pressed in too much.

As for Banshee itself, while it is a very good ride, it may take a while before it becomes a favorite of mine. It is almost TOO much. While I still hold similar rides such as Montu and Fire Dragon in high regard, these rides are what I would say "more tight" whereas Banshee has large, powerful elements. Personally I spent more time riding the Bat than I did Banshee (mainly because one had a line and the other didn't) I would have to say that I probably would not wait in line any longer for Banshee than I would for, say, Maverick... that is, an hour tops.

One thing kind of cool about Banshee is that you really don't get to see the entire layout until after the third inversion, then the major portion of the ride appears over the crest of the hill. You really can't see much of it from the Bat and I don't know how much will be viewable from the lift on AE.

So I'll leave the blow by blow reviews of Banshee up to the other posters, who should be showing up here any time now...


Hello? Anyone there?

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 4/17/14 5:47:49 PM
^^^Thanks for the TR Rob. Blow by blow reviews? Sounds like she beat you up pretty good huh? :)
Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/17/14 6:19:57 PM
Overbanked said:

^^^Thanks for the TR Rob. Blow by blow reviews? Sounds like she beat you up pretty good huh? :)

Well, I was expecting her to be smoother than she was. To be honest, I was amazed how smooth the Bat was running for a 22 year old ride, and how chattery Banshee was in its first week of operation. Still much smoother than Raptor however.

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by NotSo NotSo Profile at 4/17/14 7:59:35 PM
Roblec, thanks for the update on one of my all time most visited favorite parks.

One question, in the new front gate area did they leave the picnic table area there?
It was always nice to drag a cooler with drinks and snacks up there and leave it for the day.

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/17/14 8:18:16 PM
RobLec said:
At the entrance to Banshee there is a monument to SOB with an eternal flame

I hope someone posts a picture of that. I'd love to see it.

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/18/14 7:55:34 AM
NotSo said:
One question, in the new front gate area did they leave the picnic table area there?

To be honest I didn't notice, but it's probably still there. I know the area well and have opened and closed those giant umbrellas many times while working there.

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by Katie Katie Profile at 4/18/14 8:44:45 AM
beastmaster said:

RobLec said:
At the entrance to Banshee there is a monument to SOB with an eternal flame


I hope someone posts a picture of that. I'd love to see it.

Mike

Mike, I got one for ya!
The restraints were so tight. I actually felt pain in my left shoulder on my first ride!

R.I.P. SOB

* This post was modified at 4/18/14 8:45:35 AM *

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT Photo by coastinj coastinj Profile at 4/18/14 10:08:34 AM
Well I personally felt the ride was much smoother in the front of the train than the back half, especially if you rode on the left side of seats. But the back was way more intense (which I like). However in the back of the train (especially the right seats) it's way more shaky than I would have imagined but they still could just use some adjustments to the wheels configurations.

I don't like the spring loaded harness though as around the bat wing if I sat on the right side of the train the forces would pin the harness further on my legs and was quite uncomfortable, and the inline twist is odd, if it was done at a faster speed it'd be better. The only thing missing from the ride would have been a trench dive to flat spin (ala montu), but the ride is visually stunning and as a whole it cracks my top 10.

Also I loved the Bats new paint job and train/track maintenance. I wish suspended coasters would make a comeback as they are just fun rides.

User Submitted Picture
Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/18/14 10:12:48 AM
Katie said:

beastmaster said:

RobLec said:
At the entrance to Banshee there is a monument to SOB with an eternal flame


I hope someone posts a picture of that. I'd love to see it.

Mike



Mike, I got one for ya!
The restraints were so tight. I actually felt pain in my left shoulder on my first ride!

Sweet, Katie! Thanks!

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/18/14 4:54:00 PM
coastinj said:

Well I personally felt the ride was much smoother in the front of the train than the back half, especially if you rode on the left side of seats. But the back was way more intense (which I like). However in the back of the train (especially the right seats) it's way more shaky than I would have imagined...

My first and last rides were in the last row and all my rides were in the far right seat. Little did I know... ;) As a single rider I was always first in the row for some reason, and never got a front seat ride as the line was too long.

And I agree entirely about the final twist. Reminded me of Volcano. It seems the seats don't swing into the twist, but rather the train is forced into the element from a flat run (maybe should have been just a hair closer to the the exit from the preceding roll).

Yeah, I really like Bat/Top Gun/Flight Deck. Usually it is my first and last ride of the season at KI and when I do ride it's 3 or 4 in a row. Great classic ride!

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT Photo by coastinj coastinj Profile at 4/19/14 10:21:45 AM
Beast master here you go. User Submitted Picture
Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 4/23/14 9:48:47 AM
Did they have good cake?

LOL

If you were at I-305's Media Day, you know what I'm talking about, right Katie?

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by frontrow frontrow Profile at 5/23/14 8:44:45 PM
I got off the boat near Louisville KY, so I decided to stop at Kings Island. I didn't arrive until 4:00. Luckily the park was dead. I headed strait for Banshee. It only had a 2-4 train wait all day. I managed to get 12 rides on it. Unfortunately they were all in row 4, in the big boy seat. I just barely didn't fit in the regular seats; I will by the end of summer. I was impressed with Banshee. The first drop is good, the dive loop is good, then you enter a vertical loop. Banshee really shines in the next 3 inversions. You enter a superb zero g roll, then dive to the ground. You then enter the pretzel knot/ batwing. That element is awesome also, and you carry a ton of speed through it. Then you go through another vertical loop, which is much better than the first. You then maneuver an upward curve and enter a flat spin at a very slow pace. It almost feels like Hydra's Jo Jo roll. Then a helix down before hitting the brake run. I feel Banshee is on the same level as Montu, when it comes to B&M inverts. I do give Montu a slight edge because of the theming. All in all Montu and Banshee are on their own tier of B&M inverts. It's a great addition to the park. I still feel Diamondback and The Beast are the main attractions, but Banshee fits in nice for Kings Island's big 3.

I did manage 3 rides on Diamondback, one in the front and 2 in the back. Two of my rides were great, but the Brown train has developed a terrible shake. It's in need of some new wheels. I rode the Beast twice, both in front seat. The Beast is running smooth as last year. I also rode the Red Racer in the front. Racer has gotten very bumpy since last year. The park closed at 8:00, so I got to ride a lot in 4 hours. The next time I visit, the crowds probably won't be so light.

* This post was modified at 5/23/14 8:47:06 PM *

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by RobLec RobLec Profile at 5/24/14 7:07:11 AM
frontrow said:
I feel Banshee is on the same level as Montu, when it comes to B&M inverts. I do give Montu a slight edge because of the theming. All in all Montu and Banshee are on their own tier of B&M inverts. It's a great addition to the park.

Agree with you 100% on that. Banshee is great, but Montu is the greatest!

The next time I visit, the crowds probably won't be so light.

Yup. That's springtime at KI. My wife and I went on Easter Sunday and lines were short for Banshee and Diamondback, with a longer wait for the Beast, which we attributed to inexperienced crew. After July 4 the park will undoubtedly become much more crowded.

Thanks for the TR!

Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by CortexBomb CortexBomb Profile at 6/9/14 5:19:33 PM
I only got on it once due to heavier crowds and general exhaustion last week, but Banshee is definitely a destination coaster for invert fans. My favourites were Montu and Fire (not been on Carowinds Top Gun or whatever it's called now) and I'd say it's just below Montu for me. I really like the tightness of the Montu batwing, but Banshee's general pace and design was impressive; it's definitely a vast improvement on the overwrought wood thing that was sitting on the land previously.

Regards,

Michael W.

Michael W.
242: 66 (22 CCI/GG) / 175
Voyage / Eurosat
R.I.P.: Riverside Cyclone...
Re: Banshee Media Day & KI Mini-TR & The BAT by RobLec RobLec Profile at 6/9/14 7:18:40 PM
Montu, Fire Dragon, and Afterburn (Top Gun) are definitely the tightest inverts on the planet... well, North America anyway. I'm still not sure where I would rank Banshee though. Definitely higher than Raptor, Alpie or any BTR. Guess I really need to ride more before setting a rank, but I still hold the top three (or at least my memories of those three) as still being the best.