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The Firehawk back-story...


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  • 7 months later...
On 9/28/2018 at 11:07 AM, 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.

I would like to see these documents! They could be an interesting read.

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On 9/27/2018 at 12:25 PM, Shaggy said:

Tim Fisher was behind much of the push to “modernize” Kings Island and removed what he considered “eyesore” and “dated” rides.  That’s why KCKC was demolished and Tomb Raider came into origin – as a direct reaction to the cancellation of the flyer.

I met him later, when KI first installed [Italian Job: Stunt Track] and learned that the removal of the Antiques and Flyers were a result of [his] initiative to modernize the park.

I'd love to have the original Coney/Kings Island flyers back as well as the original much larger antique cars. KCKC could have been replaced with almost anything else and it would have been better. It's ironic that two of the park's biggest "eyesores" are BLSC and the former TR:TR building. Hindsight is 20/20, but this still was a series of unfortunate decisions.

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Depends on who you ask.

I for one enjoyed it immensely, and really had always been one of my favorites in the park. In a vacuum(disregarding the poor dispatch times/low capacity), I honestly think I prefered to Banshee, for instance.

But to your answer your question, no, Firehawk as it turns out was far from a universally-praised ride, particularly as it neared closer to the end of its life. Some liked, some "hated" it, others indifferent...

And to be perfectly honest, I was almost completely unaware that it had been such a polarizing ride until the rumors/confirmation of its removal had surfaced. (It was really that bad?)

I get that it wasn't the most comfortable coaster, but by flyer standards I found it to be perfectly rideable. It was surprisingly smooth, especially by old Vekoma standards, and I think I actually preferred the lie-to-fly configuration to B&M's fly-to-lie. Ill take a mild sunburn over all the blood uncomfortably rushing to my head, as is the case for the latter...

I can't help to think that some of the disdain for Firehawk had stemmed from the view of it being "just a hand-me-down from GL". (And the fact of it being a cloned ride did not help either)...

To that I would say, just because something is cloned or the product of salvage from another park doesn't make it an "unfit" ride in my opinion. After all, it was just FIVE years old at that point. And people forget that it was a pretty big deal when it opened at GL. The first Vekoma flyer coming off the troubled prototype - a refined success, in my opinion. One of the very few successes that ever resulted from pre-bankruptcy Vekoma, but a success nonetheless.

Yes, it would have been ideal to receive Dominator instead. But it could have been worse - Carowinds being the sent the sit-down boomerang, MiA receiving the SLC, and CW getting....well, nothing!


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  • 8 months later...
On 9/17/2019 at 6:28 PM, MaxxForce said:

I would like to see these documents! They could be an interesting read.

The documents are 5 year plans. It’s interesting to note, KD wanted to add putt-putt golf, go-kart tracks (multilevel complex), and Starfleet Academy.

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