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Kings Island | Orion | B&M Giga Coaster

Jarrett

Most Obnoxious Member 2016
Wow the lift's almost at its full height already!
Bottom of the drop is in place, just gotta throw two feet of track on top of it and our much too short giga will be topped off! :p



Okay but I’m all seriousness, bottom of the drop is legitimately up! Or down! It’s there!



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UKCoasterFan

New Member
Fair enough, but Thorpe's a bit small for a giga, and Alton Towers can't build one because trees.

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Astonishing that this tree height limit malarky hasn't been dropped. The theme park has been there for almost 40 years. If Wicker Man had been 50 feet higher would that really have bothered anyone? The closest homes are 4 lines of trees and several roads away. The park also has limited operating hours. There seems to be a large plot of land to the north east of the park. If Towers could shift the current car park there should be plenty of space for a hyper or giga without it bothering anyone.

I guess this is what I'm looking forward to most on my next trip to the USA doing some gigas and hopefully Orion.
 

Fluorineer

Member
Astonishing that this tree height limit malarky hasn't been dropped. The theme park has been there for almost 40 years. If Wicker Man had been 50 feet higher would that really have bothered anyone? The closest homes are 4 lines of trees and several roads away. The park also has limited operating hours. There seems to be a large plot of land to the north east of the park. If Towers could shift the current car park there should be plenty of space for a hyper or giga without it bothering anyone.

I guess this is what I'm looking forward to most on my next trip to the USA doing some gigas and hopefully Orion.
To be fair, I think Alton Towers (together with Phantasia) is one of the examples where the greatness originates from the limitations. Nemesis and Oblivion are both absolute masterpieces in their own ways. Nobody to this day ever bothered again to give a dive coaster a fully-fledged tunnel that is entered at near 90 degrees angle of descent, which tells you what a massive civil engineering project that was. The problem lies rather in the fact that they stopped doing stuff like that years ago and instead went for the Ritas, Thirteens and buckled lifthills to deal with height limitations.
 

UKCoasterFan

New Member
To be fair, I think Alton Towers (together with Phantasia) is one of the examples where the greatness originates from the limitations. Nemesis and Oblivion are both absolute masterpieces in their own ways. Nobody to this day ever bothered again to give a dive coaster a fully-fledged tunnel that is entered at near 90 degrees angle of descent, which tells you what a massive civil engineering project that was. The problem lies rather in the fact that they stopped doing stuff like that years ago and instead went for the Ritas, Thirteens and buckled lifthills to deal with height limitations.
They were very inventive with the B&Ms they have and still hold up. I also like Galactica but it seems to be a polarising coaster. Not sure how that will work for FLY at Phantasialand. Indeed they are in the same boat.

Maybe a Taron esque double or triple launcher would be good for Towers but it probably won't happen with Rita there.
 
Astonishing that this tree height limit malarky hasn't been dropped. The theme park has been there for almost 40 years. If Wicker Man had been 50 feet higher would that really have bothered anyone? The closest homes are 4 lines of trees and several roads away. The park also has limited operating hours. There seems to be a large plot of land to the north east of the park. If Towers could shift the current car park there should be plenty of space for a hyper or giga without it bothering anyone.

I guess this is what I'm looking forward to most on my next trip to the USA doing some gigas and hopefully Orion.
The area is an area of natural beauty. Churnet valley has some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK with green forests on rolling hills, and that’s coming from somebody who practically lives in the Peak District national park. I for one would not want to change that for the sake of a taller coaster. You see the problem is that if they build above the tree line in certain areas of the park, their location means that whatever they build could be visible across the valley, spoiling delicious natural countryside. And as @Fluorineer says, those limitations have given us rides like Nemesis and Oblivion. Creativity is all that is needed. However, I am all for looking again at whether the height of the valley / gardens can be used for a hyper / air time type coaster without destroying too many trees.

Also, I don’t see why Thorpe isn’t big enough for a Giga, maybe not a straight out and back, but with a little creativity I’m sure we could at least squeeze a KiGa in there 😂 The issue with Thorpe is it’s proximity to the ever busier airspace of Heathrow airport.
 

VikingsAf

Member
The area is an area of natural beauty. Churnet valley has some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK with green forests on rolling hills, and that’s coming from somebody who practically lives in the Peak District national park. I for one would not want to change that for the sake of a taller coaster. You see the problem is that if they build above the tree line in certain areas of the park, their location means that whatever they build could be visible across the valley, spoiling delicious natural countryside. And as @Fluorineer says, those limitations have given us rides like Nemesis and Oblivion. Creativity is all that is needed. However, I am all for looking again at whether the height of the valley / gardens can be used for a hyper / air time type coaster without destroying too many trees.

Also, I don’t see why Thorpe isn’t big enough for a Giga, maybe not a straight out and back, but with a little creativity I’m sure we could at least squeeze a KiGa in there 😂 The issue with Thorpe is it’s proximity to the ever busier airspace of Heathrow airport.
This! For Phantasialand it's the same. The only reason they could build MC as high as it is, is because it looks like something which could possibly fit in the environment.
If not for this, they could have build "The wall" 10 times bigger with a giga behind and still there would be no noise complaint from neighbours.
 

Jarrett

Most Obnoxious Member 2016
Chilling at the park right now and not only do I have more photos up, there’s a support in place I was not aware of!


Got a lot of crane hardware ready to go. There’s this big sort of staging area in the parking lot near the front of the Banshee lot for cranes and there’s a few flatbed trucks there.


Big development out of today: there’s a support up I wasn’t aware of. There’s a little silver plug-shaped column just before the section of drop that’s been raised, so that’s probably where they’ll go next. And in front of it, you can see the blue bottom of the Larson Loop Six Flags has elected to turn it into.


They also have this section of catwalk up on the bit of lift they’ve erected so far, not sure if it was there last week or not.


They’re staging a bunch of columns back here that are significantly thicker than the others up front. Not sure if this is for lift support or elements but if I had to guess it was for the former. Based on how I’m looking at some old Carowinds photos I took, I’d guess it’s for the lift.


Got another one that just came in on a truck!

So it looks like they’re building from the drop bottom back to the top. Wonder if it’ll be topped off during Haunt? Can’t wait to see them keep raising this bad boy to the sky!


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Jarrett

Most Obnoxious Member 2016
Welp boys, here I am home from work as I got a nasty infection on my finger at the park yesterday. So while I sit at home enjoying the healing process now is probably a good time to post the Orion pics I took yesterday!


As noted, Orion’s brake run is taking shape and is honestly just about as tall as that lift hill segment going up. Definitely gives off Leviathan vibes with how big it is, towering over Racer.


The drop pullout is being assembled on the ground so that’s probably next after they get the brake run taken care of.


This little A-frame assembly has been sitting there for a couple weeks now and is likely either the next up on the lift hill or the first one behind the extended spine on the drop. In the following photo, I circled both supports I think it could be. If I have to guess, it’s the one circled in red as the angle looks a bit closer to the rendering. It’s definitely not for the brake run as it’s significantly thicker than the tubes that are already in place for it.




Here you can see a bit of the large red crane (fun fact: some wannabe vlogger from KICentral was shooting a stupid video on his phone while I was shooting these construction pics...rambling on about what to name this crane) and the section of lift hill track being assembled on the ground! Once the brake run is done I’d bet good money this is what goes up next along with the support above it.


On the Great Lakes trip, my buddy had just gotten paid so while I was driving he splurged on Amazon and when he got home his mom interrogated him on why so much crap was showing up at their door while he was away. That’s this section of parking lot. They’ve blocked off a fairly large section of parking (during the insanely crowded Haunt season when that parking lot is already a mess to begin with) to use as a delivery drop off for all kinds of big construction equipment. It’s insane seeing how much equipment is actually being used to build this big boy because it just gets more and more cluttered each week.


And finally, station progress. Our past two coasters have had cool stations and Orion should be no different.


Over by the woods they have these trusses in the profile of the hangar-style station roof shown in the ride rendering, so that’s likely what these are.




I seriously can’t wait for Area 72 to be a thing because seeing this area revitalized with this big beautiful coaster dwarfing everything is going to be great. It’s the perfect backdrop coaster for such a small, dead end area of the park.


Only two more weeks of this view likely with FoF not being open for Winterfest.


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Jarrett

Most Obnoxious Member 2016
@Hyde pretty much covered it, but I was there too and snagged a few photos.


Vortex’s departure won’t be the only thing clearly different on the skyline in 2020...


Obviously it’s probably a bit taller than the coaster will be, but the crane is up and it’s MASSIVE. It can be seen from several spots around the park, where you’ll probably also be able to see Orion once it’s done.


Going to look sick next year walking from Rivertown.


It’s a minor change but I noticed those station roof trusses I spotted last week are in place.


All in all, the construction site looks like a used car dealership for cranes. They’re everywhere, I’d be very surprised if this thing hasn’t broken the skyline from outside the park next week.


My guess is that their next order of business is that A-frame I noticed on the ground and these, which I assume are the legs to it. There’s also some lift track that’s been assembled, so the next lift support and bit of track will hopefully be up by next week.

Closing weekend is next weekend so I’ll be back two more times before Winterfest. With no Eiffel Tower I’ll be limited but I’ll certainly keep an eye on things from the rides and of course the webcam.


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