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How Many Years Does Vortex Have Left


CoasterOhio
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Well, here are my thoughts on this...

 

It's probably difficult to guess how much longer Vortex would have to live based on other Arrow Loopers- some of them are 10+ years older than Vortex and still going strong (mainly Loch Ness Monster and Corkscrews), but a few younger rides have already kicked the bucket by now as well. 25 years is said to be the standard for these, so technically every day Vortex operates beyond this point could be considered a bonus. The park certainly got their money's worth from the coaster over the years, especially considering it was bought at a discount thanks to the whole Original Bat fiasco. However, time won't do Vortex any favors, and at some point the ride just won't be able to hold up anymore due to fatigue and I don't think the park will spend tons of money just to keep an old ride like this going (it could even cost millions for repairs). At that point, the park will probably announce the day for the final rides, and soon after the last train of the final night enters the station one more time, demolition will begin. That will be a sad day, but it is probably coming- if it's not within the next decade at some point, I'll actually be surprised by how long Vortex would have lasted by then. 40 years for this ride is a real stretch IMO.

 

The park will then have a BIG challenge- replacing a legendary roller coaster that was one of the park's iconic rides for so many years and beloved by millions of riders. A B&M Floorless Coaster seems like it would the the logical "successor", due to also being a large inversion-centric ride with great capacity (something the park would need with Vortex gone) though something else might go there instead (Blitz Coaster, GCI...???). If I were the park, I'd at least keep the old Original Bat station and use that for the new ride as well, possibly with pictures and descriptions of Vortex and the old Bat in the Que line to showcase the older rides that once took up said spot in the park, which would be a neat touch. If possible, even maybe keep a section of track or a car or something to use as scenery somewhere in the park.

 

If you enjoy Vortex (I do myself), then I'd suggest riding it as much as possible- it might not go on that much longer. Which is really sad, but likely the truth. At the very least, when Vortex does go, it will leave behind a good rep as steel coaster that broke records, thrilled millions and didn't give its park any major issues through the years. Some rides cannot make that claim. For now, however, you can still get sent upside down 6 times at up to 55mph on Vortex. And the wait shouldn't be more than 20-25 minutes most days thanks to the great capacity. If you don't mind the headbanging, I'd take up that offer while you still can.

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I will not disagree that the ride was designed around 5-1, because it was.

But I will disagree on 5-1 being less headbangy than 7-1. But hey, to each their own. Why not try every seat?

- homestar92, fan of the second-last row on every Arrow looper he's ridden, except the Corkscrews at Cedar Point and Valleyfair, which are inexplicably best enjoyed in 2-1.

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On the other hand, for some people the jerkiness is more of a problem than the headbanging. And for some of those people, it's a problem even in 5-1.

 

I've ridden Vortex exactly once this season, and said ride was in 5-1. I managed to avoid most of the headbanging, but the jerkiness was enough to leave me with a headache that lasted for two hours and forced me to sit out a Beast ride.

 

Given that experience, that might be my final ride ever on Vortex.

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One such as myself hopes that Vortex gets some love in the very near future...along with new restraints.

It is not rideable in it's current configuration.

If it weren't rideable then how is it that I have ridden it well over 100 times this season alone?
Exactly, why do you think it's a walk on 75% of the time?

Sent from a signal coming out of the Vega system.

6059baef88b3b71bfba1d0d1db1d6ec4.jpg

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I rode Vortex yesterday.  First time since 1997.

 

I had no headache after.

 

It is rough.

 

However, I did enjoy myself.

 

I dedicated my ride to my high school buddy Michael, who is now deceased.

 

The first year Vortex opened, Michael and I saw the sign that stated it was an apporximate 2 hour wait.  So we went to LaRosa's, ate, and got in line.  The line took about 30 minutes.  We both barely made it to the bathroom before  loosing the pizza.  Good times.

 

After this deed was done, we rode many times again.

 

RIP, Michael.

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^ Thank you for your story. I suppose I'll share mine. I've shared it before, but it isn't something I discuss very often.

 

It was 2010. The first year I went to Kings Island that I was willing to ride the "big" rides. My (now-ex) girlfriend had dragged me kicking and screaming - literally - onto Flight of Fear. As much as I didn't think I would, I had a blast. I fell in love with roller coasters that day. Amazing how that one ride that I got on so reluctantly affected my life so profoundly - I've made so many great friends and memories as a direct result of that.

 

Shortly thereafter, we headed to Vortex. On the part of the queue that goes over the ready brake, I hear someone yell my name. I looked down and it was an acquaintance of mine, Jeremy, who I'd known nearly my whole life, but never been particularly close with. We left the line to meet up with him after he got off and then we got back in line and we all rode Vortex together. I rode with my then-girlfriend and Jeremy rode in the next row (we were in 1-1 and 1-2 respectively because we were young and naive) and on the way up the lift hill, I had my first kiss. And as any decent friend would do, he grilled us pretty hard for that ("ew, cooties!"). I had a blast on the ride and it quickly became my favorite coaster. Our little group spent the rest of the day in the park and we rode pretty much everything else. That morning I was afraid of roller coasters, but by the park's closing time, I was hooked. After that day, Jeremy became one of my best friends and my number one coaster buddy.

 

On July 4th, 2011, Jeremy and two other young men were killed in a pretty nasty car accident. It was a really tough part of my life... If you've never lost a close friend at such a young age, I hope that you never have to experience that. I wouldn't wish that pain on my worst enemies. Just a couple days earlier, Vortex had had its incident where the lift chain had broken, and it remained inoperable for quite a while afterward. I found it fitting. It was almost as if the ride didn't want to do anything either, as if it were mourning with me. Between the loss of Jeremy and the temporary loss of my favorite coaster, it was very difficult to go to Kings Island for a while. I think during that time, I was at the park once, and only for a couple hours before I couldn't stand to be there anymore. I'll admit, that whole period is kind of a blur.

 

When I heard that Vortex had reopened, I dropped everything to get to the park early the next day and I went straight to Vortex. And for those wonderful two and a half minutes, it felt like I was with my best friend again. And for the first time in weeks, I was truly happy and truly enjoyed myself. That same night, I got a fireworks ride on WindSeeker (also my first ride on WindSeeker, as it happened), and it almost felt as if that whole day was just his way of letting me know that it was time to start replacing my melancholy with fond recollection of our few, but so memorable, trips to the park together that really made us become the best of friends.

 

Fast forward to 2013, when we had the KIC event at the park (the one where we had a meet and greet with Ed Alonzo and tours of FoF and Firehawk). While we were waiting to see Ed Alonzo's show, I overheard another KICer talking about Vortex to his (now-ex, funny enough) girlfriend and I decided to interject into that conversation. This short conversation led us to discover a great mutual appreciation for old Arrows and ended up leading to one of the best friendships I've ever had.

 

Vortex has an immense amount of sentimental value to me. I had my first kiss on the lift hill. It helped me cope with the loss of one very dear friend and introduced me to another. There is not another coaster in the world that could even begin to match that for me. The day of its final rides - whether that's 1 year from now or 10 years from now, I'll be there. I'll likely cry myself to sleep that night, and maybe for a few nights afterward. I'll probably have to even take a bereavement day off of work (which if I'm working where I am now, will cost me a vacation day, because apparently mourning a roller coaster that has closed does not constitute bereavement, but I digress). I don't care what they put there, it won't ever be as good to me for obvious reasons.

 

I know that these machines can't run forever and I know that day is coming. But I sure as heck am not looking forward to it. But even if they remove Vortex, they can't ever take away all of the great memories I have with it. But for the time being... Long live Vortex!

 

Oh, and in addition to all of this, I still think Vortex is one heck of a fun ride!

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I'll probably have to even take a bereavement day off of work (which if I'm working where I am now, will cost me a vacation day, because apparently mourning a roller coaster that has closed does not constitute bereavement, but I digress).

 

Did you actually ask them about that? You seem like the type of person that would. :D

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I'll probably have to even take a bereavement day off of work (which if I'm working where I am now, will cost me a vacation day, because apparently mourning a roller coaster that has closed does not constitute bereavement, but I digress).

 

Did you actually ask them about that? You seem like the type of person that would. :D

 

At the risk of leaving a one-word post:

 

...Maybe...

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^ To be fair, (like me) you're tall enough to avoid headbanging issues on Vortex in any row.

 

I do find 7-1 to be slightly jerkier than 5-1, but having the improvement on the drop is more than worth it.

 

To be 100% honest, I think this is also the reason I can tolerate Vortex so well. My head is well above the top of the OTSR's (I'm about 5'11), so I can't get headbanged on it- "neckbanged" a little maybe, but I've never anything too serious. For comparison, Invertigo CAN headbang me and to date is the only ride to ever give me a headache (Voyage and Flight of Fear have given me backaches though). I actually like the OTSR designed Arrow used here- IMO, it's better than the huge bulky stuff.

Though by the same standard I'm tall enough that if I try a "2" row on any Vortex car, I'm cramped up and thus Vortex is much less fun from said rows. I'll be avoiding them after my first ever Vortex ride didn't go that great because of this. That was also my first-ever ride on a roller coaster that went upside-down though too.

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You guys and your extra inches of height. It is amazing to me how an extra 6-10" can make such a difference on a ride experience. :) I may be a bit jealous.

Jtro223 and homestar92 - thank you for sharing your stories and keeping the memories of your friends alive.

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Homestar, thanks for sharing that story. Now I know why Vortex is "bae" for you. In all seriousness, I don't know if I have that much fondness for a coaster... my love for The Bat (1993) comes close, but not as close as you and Vortex. :)

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I just love that story! I teared up reading it. Vortex was at the height of its glory in my teen years. I also lost my best friend since childhood at a young age (20) and I recall our many trips to KI with such fondness.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I just love that story! I teared up reading it. Vortex was at the height of its glory in my teen years. I also lost my best friend since childhood at a young age (20) and I recall our many trips to KI with such fondness.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Agreed awesome story, the day Vortex is announced closing I will probably cry.

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Although no earthly thing ultimately lasts forever (and Vortex is no exception), I am among those who wish for it to last as long as it possibly can (it would be cool if it made it to 40 years old!!!!).

 

I haven't lost any close friends of mine (though I am sorry for those who have :() but I might as well share why Vortex is oh so very special to me too.

 

I still remember gazing up at Vortex for the very first time back on Sunday, September 30, 2007. I was 8 at the time. That big dark blue and orange machine looked (and still looks) incredibly fantastic to even watch as I saw the train go through loop after loop before my curious eyes. Of all the rides I had seen, this one surely stuck out to me. I thought "Someday, I WILL ride this..."

 

That "someday" happened to be Friday, July 23, 2010. By then I had already taken a ride on the year old Diamondback but that was mainly because it did not go upside down. Though I was not afraid of tall and fast coasters anymore, I was still squeamish about looping coasters.

 

That night, I felt like I was finally ready to venture into the unfamiliar territory of a looping coaster. After a couple rides (and intense deciding!) on Diamondback and Shake, Rattle & Roll, I walked up to Vortex's entrance and stood there for a moment before taking my first step into the blue and white queue line. I still remember taking a mental note of the numerous steps in the queue to get over the track (most coaster queues nowadays go under the track) and the virtually nonexistent line in the station. A train was departing as I walked to the front row and nervously glanced at the train that was arriving, thinking "That's the train that's going to take me upside down for the first time..." and "When I get back here, I'll have gone upside down!"

 

When the gates opened, I stepped on the side of the train and then onto the seat before stepping to the floor since it seemed so far down for an 11 year old to reach in only one step. I remember looking into the train's nose and seeing all the leg room I had before slowly pulling the shoulder harness down. The attendant came around and checked my harness. I thought "This is it." I was harnessed into the left seat of the front row on a looping coaster and there was nothing I could do at that point except anticipate what was coming. When I heard "All clear!" I knew there was no turning back now. The attendant said "That all clear means you are out of here! Enjoy your ride on Vortex...at night..." (I still remember the emphasized "at night" part vividly!!) I said to myself "I hope so..." as the train carried me down and out of the station and onto the lift hill.

 

About halfway up, I thought "at least those lights [the "chasing" lights] are going faster than me." Thanks to my many rides on the Fairly Odd Coaster, I was slightly comforted by the familiar click-clacking anti-rollback and chain - a classic noise on any older coaster. I was nervous as to how I would react to the inversions, but I knew it was going to be worth it. At the top, I thought "Here goes nothing!" as I was whisked away into the darkness. When the train rocketed down the straightaway approaching the first loop, I sat back and got myself as ready as I could be (all while relaxing, of course ;)) in the last moment I had before entering my first inversion ever. The intensity of the loop jerked me forward a little, but not much. In that second, I now knew what I would be expecting in the second loop, which came as fast as the first one, and then just like that I was at the mid-course brake run, as if the ride itself were offering me a short break, saying "How'd that go?" (if it could talk, of course :P). At that point, I apparently had been holding on to the harness handles so tightly that my left hand had gone numb. Literally a "white-knuckle thrill ride!"

 

It gave me a split second to think "Going upside down isn't scary after all...that was actually pretty fun!" as Vortex treated me to the next surprise...the amazing hang time in the corkscrews! I had a huge smile on my face as I twisted past the two vertical loops that started this whole breakthrough. The next moment, I was speeding toward the batwing - the classic two-part hybrid of both vertical loop and corkscrew. I was blinded for a second by the intense flash of the on-ride photo camera as the sixth and final inversion of the ride was completed before heading up the big helix and onto the brake run.

 

In those three minutes, I had changed from an extremely picky rider to an adventurous thrill seeker. It opened up the whole world of coasters and thrill rides alike to me. From that point on, I wasn't afraid of trying even more high-thrill rides (Top Thrill Dragster, anyone?). That one ride on Vortex was my door to new adventures in coaster riding. It literally changed the way I approached these bigger rides.

 

When I arrived back at the station, I got off and excitedly told my mom "I can't believe I just went upside down SIX TIMES!!!!" before hopping back on for a second ride before we left. It was also my first time seeing the 10:00 fireworks. :D

 

272 rides later, it still runs deep. My own appreciation and love for Vortex has grown as if we were meant to be BFFs (hence my username) from day one. I have felt this "friendship" ever since that first night. No other coaster has as much sentimental value to me as Vortex has and that's why I love it like I do. I know it has much sentimental value to many, including a number of fellow KICers.

 

I'll for sure be treasuring that long-awaited moment of reaching my 300th ride later this season!!!! (it would be so cool if it happened during a meetup! hint, hint ;)) Though reading this thread makes me feel uncertain - as I know one day we'll have to say goodbye to this wonderful machine  - it also reminds me to keep appreciating (and riding over and over again!) the ride that will always be my special favorite. :wub:

 

(sorry to get all wordy, but I remember SO MANY DETAILS!)

 

 

Long live Vortex!

 

Oh, and in addition to all of this, I still think Vortex is one heck of a fun ride!

I second that greatly! :D

 

 

Given that experience, that might be my final ride ever on Vortex.

When I read that, my first thought literally was "Noooooooooooooo!!!!" Looks like I may have some persuading to do at the next meetup... :P Just because one ride is like that does not mean every ride will be like that. In my many times riding it I've had days that were better than others.

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Parts are widely available and can be made.

That's not even an issue.

Metal fatigue, however....

Yep, this is the very reason why wood coasters tend to stick around longer. Metal fatigue resulted in the complete retracking of Space Mountain.

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Interesting, I had wondered about that, but I thought maybe it hadn't had to have it done because of the low g-forces. It's also worth noting that those two run year round, but I would say that Vortex's intense G's, coupled with cold winters more than make up for that. I gray out a little in between those loops.

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