May 23, 2016
After Sunday at Cedar Point, I stayed overnight with family friends in Tipp City, outside Dayton. I drove their daughters, Jasmine and Camille, to the park. They renewed their passes, and we went to Banshee.
Banshee opened the year after my last visit. I had heard a lot about it and was looking forward to a new B&M. It's got updated trains and newer restraints compared with other inverts. We got on quickly and went to the back row. The first drop is steep and swoops to the right. It flows smoothly into a dive loop. The loop goes around the lift hill. That's followed by a zero-G roll and then a long drop into the batwing. The bottom of the batwing might be the fastest part of the ride because of the terrain. The batwing flows into a second loop, an upward helix, an in-line twist that's taken slowly and gives hangtime, and then a strong helix. The ride swoops left and then right into the brakes. We rode a second time in the back seat.
Banshee is amazing. It's among the smoothest coasters I've ever ridden, and the transitions between the elements are perfect. But it's almost too perfect. I like a little straightaway, a snap in an inversion or perhaps a little space between elements. This is almost engineered to a flaw. That's just how new B&Ms are, though. People will eat them up, but I feel like they take a tiny something away. Raptor's better. 9/10.
Next was Top Gun/Flight Deck/Bat/whatever it's called now. I think it's Bat. I went to the back car, and they sat in the car in front. What can I say? I've ridden this many times. It's fast, has good G-forces and is fun. The terrain helps it keep up speed. It doesn't need a second lift hill like so many other suspended coasters.
We went to Delirium, which is fun but not as good as MaXair at Cedar Point. This one doesn't do as many swings at full speed.
Adventure Express was next. This is a favorite of mine. It's a little bumpy (it's an Arrow) and has a dumb ending (lift hill into the brakes), but it's well done and enjoyable. The terrain is used perfectly, and it includes high-speed moments and plenty of turns. If the park was open later, I would have insisted on a night ride.
We went to Racer. Only the red side was running, which doesn't really matter since they only run forward. Jasmine said she and Camille play a high-five game on wooden coasters. You try to slap hands as many times as possible with your seat mate. It makes an enjoyable coaster a bit more interesting. I think we got around 80 high-fives.
Flight of Fear was down, so we walked to Vortex, the classic Arrow looper. I like this ride, even if it does beat you up a little. It's not as bad as some Arrows. The two corkscrews are interesting and give some hangtime because they're so high up.
Next was Backlot Stunt Coaster, my second of these this year. The first was at Kings Dominion. I like this ride. This one doesn't have the slam into the brakes that KD's version does. We were seated in the front car; they were in the front, and I was behind them. I'd never ridden in the front before. There are some surprising moments of airtime. This is simply an enjoyable little coaster.
Beast was next. This ferocious coaster is long and intense, but it really needs a dark ride. It just doesn't do much for me after Holiday World's woodies and other newer woodies. We sat in the back car after a couple of trains. It's still great, but it doesn't have airtime, and the straightaways could be improved upon with a change in elevation. It's running really well, which adds to the experience. Still can't beat that double-helix finale.
We got in line for Diamondback, but it broke down. We waited in the station for a few minutes but left after maintenance didn't leave the control booth. We split up for lunch. I went to Skyline on the Coney Mall midway. Delicious as always. I saw that Diamondback was up again, so we met up and went there.
We got two rides on Diamondback in the back seat. I sat in the outside seat for the first ride and got my arm soaked in the water splash (I reached back). I do think this is my favorite B&M hypercoaster, even after recently riding Apollo's Chariot. It's got spectacular airtime throughout, and that water splash is a real highlight. I love it.
We split up again, so I got a ride on Banshee, Drop Tower and Diamondback. We met again for blueberry ice cream. We finished the day on Monster. When the other arms were loading and mine was in the air, I moved side to side in my vehicle and got a few extra spins in. Why not?
I finished the day on Bench: The Ride. It was great seeing my family friends again, and I always enjoy a day at Kings Island. Banshee is a real winner.