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The Firehawk back-story...


Shaggy
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21 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

It was going where King Cobra was.  It wasn’t going to be installed by FOF or behind the Eiffel Tower as rumors suggest.  I specifically asked Jeff Seibert this a few years back and he confirmed it was spec’d for Action Zone.

 The basic idea of Firehawk/ X-Flight would have made sense in the Action Zone too. 

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30 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

It was going where King Cobra was.  It wasn’t going to be installed by FOF or behind the Eiffel Tower as rumors suggest.  I specifically asked Jeff Seibert this a few years back and he confirmed it was spec’d for Action Zone.

Funny how rumors go around!  I had also heard it was supposed to go back in X Base where it currently resides.  After seeing the crude mock up in the post earlier, it makes sense that it would have went into Action Zone.  It's funny how the Butterfly Effect affected the park by not adding X-Flight/Firehawk originally.  We may have never had TR:TR, Delirium, or Backlot.

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@Shaggy Wonderful, wonderful write up. Thank you for sharing! Such a great story. 

 

11 hours ago, jtro223 said:

@upstop  I had heard somewhere that Paramount was going to replace it with a Giant Wheel and have the Paramount stars incorporated somehow.  I don't know if it was sarcasm or legitimate.  I was fairly new to the enthusiast community.

I can't speak to the level of validity here in the way that @Shaggy can, however, it should be noted that the ferris wheel with Paramount stars concept frequently appeared in concept art of proprosed overseas Paramount Parks. These concepts were interesting because these parks were clearly conceived to be on a Disney/Universal level rather than a seasonal, regional park level. None of them never got off the ground and it was a bit awkward to read about, because while they were proposed "Paramount Parks," they seemed nothing like the existing "Paramount Parks."

1 hour ago, lifetimecoaster said:

 If there is any validity to my local news station, they just said that it is being moved to Kentucky Kingdom. 

I'd be very, very surprised by this. Take a lesson from the recent debate about which coaster was going to be removed. Everyone was certain that the clues pointed to Vortex. "Kentucky flyer" sounds convenient, but Firehawk was a ride that suffered a lot of downtime, was generally unreliable, and couldn't put a lot of guests through in an efficient time. Yes, KK is smaller and maybe the ride could work there. I just doubt that out of all potential additions to their park, they'd go with a 17 year old ride that had a reputation and existed nearby for some time. 

 

 The basic idea of Firehawk/ X-Flight would have made sense in the Action Zone too. 

And as @Shaggy pointed out, it could've carried a Mission: Impossible theme. 

Shaggy, any idea why "Stealth" didn't get a theme?
 

 

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19 hours ago, gforce1994 said:

Actually, @Shaggy, there is a bit more to the story. The KD ride was replaced with Hypersonic XLC, and after that, KD was going to be receiving the second RCCA wooden looping hypercoaster in the woods along the interstate. 

How early was this conceived/planned out? RCCA fell out of favor really, really fast. 

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32 minutes ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

I think this tweet from Chad confirms that it is not going to KK.

 

 

I had seen that tweet last night, and laughed this morning at the TV news when they said that it was "confirmed that the ride was being dismantled and shipped to Kentucky Kingdom where it would be known as "Kentucky Flyer". Then the other half of my brain thought "did I read that wrong?" 

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On the one hand, this surprises me, because, as I've said before, Firehawk always felt like it didn't fit organically into Kings Island. . . but if it was originally going to go to KI and was designed to be build on the land owned by KC, would it have felt like a more organic fit to the park? Does it feel like an unnatural fit to its location because that location was never ideal in the first place? Interesting post. 

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2 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:

How early was this conceived/planned out? RCCA fell out of favor really, really fast. 

It was conceived early on. The docs I have are from 97-99, and they're pretty interesting. The 96 docs indicate that the park would get an Intamin Launch Coaster in 98, water park expansion for the next two years, the proposed flyer in 01, the RCCA Wooden Coaster (listed as Hyper) in 02, and Drop Zone in 03. There were other undated projects as well, such as a new multilevel go-kart area and a Star Trek attraction. Only 2 of the proposals that were anticipated in early 1997 did not see the light of day, and those were the 01/02 expansion projects. The fascinating thing is the 01-02 projects nearly saw the light of day. I knew the story told by @Shaggy  was true since KD was well on their way on developing the flyer as well. The flyer would have been tucked into the area besides Grizzly and the wooden coaster would have been on the far side of the park along the interstate. However, when Paramount axed the flyer project for KD, they needed a roller coaster to fill the gap. They relocated the CGA S&S coaster to KD, and installed Apple Zapple (then Richochet) the following season. 

The fascinating thing was that the wooden coaster proposal was the second giant wooden coaster project canned by KECO/Paramount in the 1990s. The first one would have been a giant Dinn coaster over where The Bat stands today.

I should also add, that Great America had their fair share of dropped proposals. There was a concept called the "Brady Bunch Groovy Train" Morgan Coaster that involved two elevator lifts. The ride was supposed to go in the plaza across from where RailblaZer stands today. The ride had an elevator take riders up 201 feet, before they dropped 201.1 feet. Riders would then encounter an 157 foot airtime hill, 143 foot heavily banked turn (like on Phantom at Kennywood), 112 foot airtime hill, 20 foot hill, and then a 100 foot curving hill into the brake run elevator which took riders back to ground level.

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5 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:

@Shaggy Wonderful, wonderful write up. Thank you for sharing! Such a great story. 

 

I can't speak to the level of validity here in the way that @Shaggy can, however, it should be noted that the ferris wheel with Paramount stars concept frequently appeared in concept art of proprosed overseas Paramount Parks. These concepts were interesting because these parks were clearly conceived to be on a Disney/Universal level rather than a seasonal, regional park level. None of them never got off the ground and it was a bit awkward to read about, because while they were proposed "Paramount Parks," they seemed nothing like the existing "Paramount Parks."

I'd be very, very surprised by this. Take a lesson from the recent debate about which coaster was going to be removed. Everyone was certain that the clues pointed to Vortex. "Kentucky flyer" sounds convenient, but Firehawk was a ride that suffered a lot of downtime, was generally unreliable, and couldn't put a lot of guests through in an efficient time. Yes, KK is smaller and maybe the ride could work there. I just doubt that out of all potential additions to their park, they'd go with a 17 year old ride that had a reputation and existed nearby for some time. 

 

And as @Shaggy pointed out, it could've carried a Mission: Impossible theme. 

Shaggy, any idea why "Stealth" didn't get a theme?
 

 

I also think the way the ride layout would have been in AZ would have been better, as you would have had walking paths around it, instead of it being tucked back in a corner of the park.

I think Nighthawk has pretty good placement at Carowinds.

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21 minutes ago, teenageninja said:

I also think the way the ride layout would have been in AZ would have been better, as you would have had walking paths around it, instead of it being tucked back in a corner of the park.

I think Nighthawk has pretty good placement at Carowinds.

The reason for its current placement is because Kings Island needed at least 2,000 guests in the park and a park rating of at least 600 by October Year 3. They were pretty close, but just plopped some pre-fab design down in order to keep things moving as the deadline approached. All the guests let their balloons go when the ride opened.

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2 hours ago, gforce1994 said:

 There were other undated projects as well, such as a new multilevel go-kart area and a Star Trek attraction.

So, there were, in deed, ideas for an Addams Family coaster, a Mission: Impossible coaster, and a Star Trek attraction? Apart from removing classic rides, a big stick in the mud for me with Paramount Parks were the unimpressive movies they picked to theme rides after, i.e. Drop Zone and Face/Off. At the time, this would have made me happy, not knowing the park's future, of course. 

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13 minutes ago, Gordon Bombay said:

The reason for its current placement is because Kings Island needed at least 2,000 guests in the park and a park rating of at least 600 by October Year 3. They were pretty close, but just plopped some pre-fab design down in order to keep things moving as the deadline approached. All the guests let their balloons go when the ride opened.

To be fair, RCT2 guests flock to that particular model in-game. 

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3 hours ago, gforce1994 said:

It was conceived early on. The docs I have are from 97-99, and they're pretty interesting. The 96 docs indicate that the park would get an Intamin Launch Coaster in 98, water park expansion for the next two years, the proposed flyer in 01, the RCCA Wooden Coaster (listed as Hyper) in 02, and Drop Zone in 03. There were other undated projects as well, such as a new multilevel go-kart area and a Star Trek attraction. Only 2 of the proposals that were anticipated in early 1997 did not see the light of day, and those were the 01/02 expansion projects. The fascinating thing is the 01-02 projects nearly saw the light of day. I knew the story told by @Shaggy  was true since KD was well on their way on developing the flyer as well. The flyer would have been tucked into the area besides Grizzly and the wooden coaster would have been on the far side of the park along the interstate. However, when Paramount axed the flyer project for KD, they needed a roller coaster to fill the gap. They relocated the CGA S&S coaster to KD, and installed Apple Zapple (then Richochet) the following season. 

The fascinating thing was that the wooden coaster proposal was the second giant wooden coaster project canned by KECO/Paramount in the 1990s. The first one would have been a giant Dinn coaster over where The Bat stands today.

I should also add, that Great America had their fair share of dropped proposals. There was a concept called the "Brady Bunch Groovy Train" Morgan Coaster that involved two elevator lifts. The ride was supposed to go in the plaza across from where RailblaZer stands today. The ride had an elevator take riders up 201 feet, before they dropped 201.1 feet. Riders would then encounter an 157 foot airtime hill, 143 foot heavily banked turn (like on Phantom at Kennywood), 112 foot airtime hill, 20 foot hill, and then a 100 foot curving hill into the brake run elevator which took riders back to ground level.

Ah, thanks for the insight and info! So interesting that they were so confident in the wooden hyper coaster concept that they thought they'd build another. Jesus Christ, did they even look at RCCA's existing body of work at the time?

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10 minutes ago, Joshua said:

So, there were, in deed, ideas for an Addams Family coaster, a Mission: Impossible coaster, and a Star Trek attraction? Apart from removing classic rides, a big stick in the mud for me with Paramount Parks were the unimpressive movies they picked to theme rides after, i.e. Drop Zone and Face/Off. At the time, this would have made me happy, not knowing the park's future, of course. 

Don't forget about converting Flight of Fear to MTV: Soundwave (I think that's what it was going to be called).

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2 minutes ago, Gordon Bombay said:

Ah, thanks for the insight and info! So interesting that they were so confident in the wooden hyper coaster concept that they thought they'd build another. Jesus Christ, did they even look at RCCA's existing body of work at the time?

RCCA was primarily a coaster construction firm, and played a role in the construction of several Six Flags coasters (which have not been RMCed). They were getting a lot of offers from parks. KI was not the first one to approach them about a wooden looping coaster.

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Had Paramount really thrown money and creativity behind the concept, they could have really changed the park game. Rather than just slap some action movie theming on a coaster, I would have loved to see an Addams Family Dark Ride, a Star Trek simulator (that was more in line with something like BTTF than the Action Theater), a Mission: Impossible stunt show or thrill ride. I feel like they aimed too low -- but maybe the money wasn't worth throwing at seasonal parks. And all those would have likely been in big trouble once Paramount got out of the game. 

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37 minutes ago, teenageninja said:

Don't forget about converting Flight of Fear to MTV: Soundwave (I think that's what it was going to be called).

I would have been less happy about that. I remember having to sit there while friends watch TRL and The Real World. It just felt soulless. But I did like Beavis & Butthead.

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Had Paramount really thrown money and creativity behind the concept, they could have really changed the park game. Rather than just slap some action movie theming on a coaster, I would have loved to see an Addams Family Dark Ride, a Star Trek simulator (that was more in line with something like BTTF than the Action Theater), a Mission: Impossible stunt show or thrill ride. I feel like they aimed too low -- but maybe the money wasn't worth throwing at seasonal parks. And all those would have likely been in big trouble once Paramount got out of the game. 

I feel like they just picked movie titles that sounded like ride names. Drop Zone and Face/Off are the worst examples. The latter had its fans, but very ever cared about the former. I understand the use of The Italian Job and Tomb Raider, because they were recent properties, but neither proved to have longevity. (I seem to recall there ideas for an Italian Job sequel that never materialized.) They really should have went with the tried and true franchises.

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9 hours ago, lifetimecoaster said:

 If there is any validity to my local news station, they just said that it is being moved to Kentucky Kingdom. 

The KI PR stating that the coaster has outlived its service life is a rock solid guarantee that its going to be scrapped. They might send the mechanical parts to another park that already has one for spares, but theres no way another park can install a coaster that another park said is done. Way too much liability there. 

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Having been to Vegas and been on both Star Trek simulators I always wished for that kind of attraction.  I have no idea how much they cost to build but the entire experience from a walk through attraction with an incredible attention to detail with live actors followed by a simulator was one of the best ride experiences I have ever had.

The problem is that I doubt it was in the parks budget.

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1 hour ago, cdubbs727 said:

Had Paramount really thrown money and creativity behind the concept, they could have really changed the park game. Rather than just slap some action movie theming on a coaster, I would have loved to see an Addams Family Dark Ride, a Star Trek simulator (that was more in line with something like BTTF than the Action Theater), a Mission: Impossible stunt show or thrill ride. I feel like they aimed too low -- but maybe the money wasn't worth throwing at seasonal parks. And all those would have likely been in big trouble once Paramount got out of the game. 

The problem comes twofold: the first was having five seasonal amusement parks under their belt that each received attractions every operating year, meaning that capital expenditures had to be dispersed almost evenly amongst the former Paramount Parks (most major installations never seemed to exceed north of $20 million, at least I don't think they did).

The second, and slightly more important issue, fell on maintenance. More specifically, special effects and thematic maintenance. It's an issue that plagues even Disney and Universal (see Disco Yeti and the Jurassic Park rides) with funds being needed to maintain what elements a particular attraction has. Think Firehawk was a maintenance nightmare? I remember the first year and a half of Stunt Track having its ride crew spending more time out of the station and by the queue entrance spieling to guests that the ride is down because of all the "technological features" the ride had (most of which were also subsequently removed within two months of its opening). And let's not forget the simplistic nature of Boo Blaster's ride mechanics and interactivity that still isn't working at a satisfactory level.

...we did technically get some level of stunt shows in the Paramount Parks. One was themed to Tomb Raider that traveled from Park to Park in 2003 (I think), and another was essentially a stripped down version of the proposed Mission Impossible stunt show in 2006 that traveled from Canada's Wonderland to...Canada's Wonderland.

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Question--- Is the Firehawk layout the same as it was when it was X-Flight or has it been altered to fit it's current location?

Were there any elements like turns, twists, hills, inversions, heights etc... added(probably not) or removed or altered to make it work where it is now?

 I'm not talking about raising or lowering footers or supports so it will fit in the different terrain elevation changes.

   Thanks in advance for the info,

 

                                       Mark

 

 

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1 hour ago, MarkB. said:

Question--- Is the Firehawk layout the same as it was when it was X-Flight or has it been altered to fit it's current location?

Were there any elements like turns, twists, hills, inversions, heights etc... added(probably not) or removed or altered to make it work where it is now?

 I'm not talking about raising or lowering footers or supports so it will fit in the different terrain elevation changes.

   Thanks in advance for the info,

 

                                       Mark

 

 

Same layout, modified from the original Stealth layout.

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On ‎9‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 8:30 AM, teenageninja said:

Same layout, modified from the original Stealth layout.

Also, and correct me if I'm wrong, the only difference between Firehawk and Stealth is that they have corkscrews at the end rather than the barrel rolls that we have.

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