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King Cobra's Complete History


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Wow. I did not realize I had the same birthday as King Cobra- April 22nd. (Granted King Cobra was a few years before I was born) :P Granted, I never got to ride this coaster. I do remember seeing it in 2000 on my first visit to Kings Island and thinking it looked cool with the big loop right next to the walkway and stuff, but the fact it went upside down intimidated me as I was just a kid. By the time I finally felt ready to ride roller coasters it was 2009, and King Cobra was already long gone and replaced by Delirium.

Also, good article IMO.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As a kid/pre-teen I was a big fan of KC!! It felt like a real thrill ride that I'd read about at other parks which all seemed far away lol Sadly, it closed during my "dark years"  when I stopped going to parks and before I became an enthusiast. The stand up coaster at Canada's Wonderland (if it's still open?) was a good throwback for me though when I rode it several years ago ^_^ Great blog post and thanks for the trip down memory lane!! :D

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 Man, I was a young feller the first time I rode KC. I was one of those kids that was always big for my age, so at the ripe age of 7 I got to ride coasters like KC and Vortex. I felt like a real bada** when I rode it for the first time. Such a sad story for that coaster!! 

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On 1/12/2018 at 10:49 PM, KIghostguy said:

Hello everyone! My new blog post is up: a complete history of the King Cobra, the world's first true stand-up roller coaster. Enjoy!

http://kingsislandghosts.blogspot.com/2018/01/stand-up-thrills-story-behind-worlds.html

Great read!! I shared the link on my Facebook page!! Go check us out on there if you want!!

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One of the nice things about blogs is the fact that you can edit your posts. I've just added some new and more accurate information on the King Cobra's construction and added a very interesting and rarely seen photo.

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On 3/16/2018 at 4:35 PM, KIghostguy said:

One of the nice things about blogs is the fact that you can edit your posts. I've just added some new and more accurate information on the King Cobra's construction and added a very interesting and rarely seen photo.

Your blog is great, keep up the good work!

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I know people favor standup coasters poorly but from what I recall, a lot of the GP miss it. It would be cool if the park had B&M make a standup with the same layout to pay homage to the original but that wouldn't happen since Cedar Fair is purging their standups. Hopefully a next gen standup gets invented in the coming years,

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This is a great read! I'm glad you brought up the derailment, simply because it's something that I remember hearing about from several sources as a child but always as an urban legend. I live in Detroit, and I've found it humorous how the legend grows. When I was a kid, I heard from several people that the King Cobra had derailed in the 1980s and killed 8 people; I remember as a kid, we even thought the small cemetery out front of Kings Island was for the King Cobra victims (nevermind that that makes no sense at all). When I got older, I figured the deaths were an urban legend but always wondered where the derailment came from -- I'd heard it from too many people to think it was just a story, but I never was able to find out what happened. So your post answered a lifelong mystery for me! Thanks! 

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I was an eye witness to the King Cobra derailment in 1984...so was my brother, his girlfriend (now his wife), and about 5 friends. We all had season passes and went all the time (I still have my season pass from that year in a memento box).  We had been waiting in line to the King Cobra for 20 minutes and we made it up to about 5 or 6 cars away from loading. We were standing in the turn styles with a good view of the loop.  It was normal to watch the coaster go down the hill into the loop (as you anticipated getting your chance). As it came out of the loop and the last car crested the hill, I thought I saw someone's shoe fall off as the last cars of the coaster turned into the Helix. I later learned it was the wheel (or pieces of it). The first cars entered into the Helix normally but as the last car turned on it's side entering it, it slipped and starting slamming into the support plates that held the track. I remember my brother grabbing my (one day) sister-in-law and yelling "Don't look!", forcing her face into his chest. The last 2 cars were jumping up and down and causing the whole train to go slower and slower with each hit. It seemed like it was in slow motion and I remember thinking this isn't so bad as long as nothing comes off the track. The water sprayer that fired as a train went past, was stuck on.  I remember as the train came to a stop, I could actually read the lips of a boy in the front row who said, "Wow, that was cool". The last car was dangling and only held by it's front left (now upped) wheel and its connector to the second last car. A woman in the last car was apparently knocked unconscious and was slumped in the stand-up harness and was now almost hanging completely by her neck.  We stood up on the rails and started yelling at the attendants to help that woman but they simply announced over the PA for us to not stand on the rails (which we didn't listen to since we had to stand on the rails to be high enough to see what was going on).  Meanwhile the next car was ascending the hill.  We all started screaming at the ride operator to stop the next car.  2 of that next train's cars had already ascended the main hill and had leveled out.  The operators hands started moving back and forth over the controls looking for the button to stop the ride and finally hit a big red emergency stop button which caused the next train to come to a stop.  The guy put his hands to his face as if he couldn't believe he didn't know how to stop it.  We stayed until they announced that we all had to leave the ride entrance and then we stood out in front of the King Cobra entrance. I was surprised how everyone seemed to just go on about their day. We left about 15 minutes later since people in our group had to get home. That night on the evening news it was one of the top stories.  I hope this clears any myths concerning the derailment. I remember the cause of the derailment was they had incorrectly determined how long those Polyurethane wheels could last.  The wheel failed from over usage so they started changing the wheels more often on standup coasters since certain wheels were put under greater stress.  We talk about the derailment at family / friend get-together events to this day. It's amazing how well each person remembers what happened.  I would love to meet the boy in the front row that thought it was cool or the lady that was in the last row and hear her story.  Even for us witnesses to it, we always thought she had died until a few years ago because of the urban legends. We had no way of knowing what happened to her.  On a side-note, once it was fixed, I decided to ride it in the dark...and it made it extra great. A few years ago, I took my son to Niagara Falls and decided to stop at Canada Wonderland to ride SkyRider (King Cobra's twin that opened in 1985). We visited it a year before SkyRider closed and rode it almost completely empty. We rode it twice...once in the back and once in the front row and both times were great. Having seen King Cobra derail made me feel pretty closely attached to the ride and I wanted him to experience it by riding the twin now that King Cobra was gone. He said it was pretty shaky and it hurt his neck a little.  Oh well, that's about par for the course.

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I never got the chance to ride KC but still to this day I hate that mantis was changed to floorless. Granted I haven’t ridden it since the change, but the first time I rode Mantis I was so in love I immediately hopped back in line. It’s such a shame standing coasters are disappearing 

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