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Vortex Is Leaving After This Fall Season

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I'm really going to miss photographing Vortex. All things must pass. There is going to be a huge hole in the back of the park next year that even Orion won't be able to fill. 

 

 

Vortex2019_384x216.png

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On 9/27/2019 at 6:50 AM, Ben43065 said:

I’m just so confused, it’s not a maintenance nightmare and they just removed a major coaster last season. The future is not looking very bright to say the least if they keep this trend up. I get some people don’t like Vortex but it was a popular, easy to run reliable ride. I don’t know why they’ve done what they done but I’m incredibly disappointed in their decision.

Arrow has been out of business for close to 20 years. That makes this hard to find parts for. Cedar Fair is taking out their Arrow suspended coasters as well, so this is not too much of a stretch or a shock. Firehawk was not only a nightmare with capacity and plagued by issues, but Vekoma upgraded the model and probably made it harder to find parts for this model of Flying Dutchman. Arrow being completely out of business means that aftermarket parts can be found, but that it not always the best idea. I honestly think that if Arrow was still around, Vortex would have many years left. It is also probably not an easy decision. I do not think that this was out of the blue, and I am almost certain that they will be removing Top Gun/Bat/Flight Deck within the next 5 years due to it being an Arrow coaster. I am said and upset to see Vortex go, as it is in my top 10 favorite coasters, and will always be grateful for the credit. 

However, I think that the positive might be that this could be the site for an ground up RMC (timeline of an RMC build works out of about 1.5-2 years minimum). Kings Island has the next coaster at least in development after Orion, as it takes about 4-5 years from conception to completeion for a coaster, at least according to the research I have done. 

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2 hours ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

 Especially now that we've gotten that giga, I'm really intrigued to see what they do with that area. There's not a particular model that leaps out at me as a possibility.

One leaps out to me.

Vortex was such an iconic ride for KI for numerous reasons. It was the tallest coaster at the time I believe, and the 1st to invert 6 times. It got on Insane Coaster Wars back in 2012, and was a lot of people's 1st looping coaster. 

People, however, have been complaining about roughness but a lot of that ride is more nostalgic based and doesn't hold up in comparison to newer steel coasters. You could argue The Beast is the opposite because it still holds up record wise with its length, speed, and even drop. 

I think if Kings Island gets another looping coaster to replace Vortex, KI fans and the general public would be happy because in a way it shows Kings Island wants to improve on a product that a lot of people have loved. 

That being said, I think the park should go with a B&M which could be iconic in its own right. If they choose to get a B&M floorless coaster they could easily break a height record; remember Dive coasters aren't technically considered floorless coasters. Additionally with a taller height you can also take the speed record as well. Vortex was such an iconic ride that, in my opinion, getting a B&M floorless would be a fitting replacement.

A ride doesn't have to be iconic in the sense that it draws people from around the country or even the world, it just needs to be good enough to be better than the ride it replaced and I think a B&M floorless would do that perfectly.

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28 minutes ago, LondonFreak said:

Arrow has been out of business for close to 20 years. That makes this hard to find parts for. Cedar Fair is taking out their Arrow suspended coasters as well, so this is not too much of a stretch or a shock.

*sigh*

Again, parts availability for Arrows was not a problem and never has been, and won't be for the foreseeable future. Metal fatigue is what will be the undoing of the Arrows. Parts are readily available and still in production. We've beaten this horse time and time again, please let it be dead. The "aftermarket" parts you referenced are only "aftermarket" in the same way that parts for a pre-2010 GM vehicle aren't technically being made by the same company as when the cars were new (since the GM of today is technically a different company than the pre-2010 GM). Take the VIP coaster tour at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and they will let you see and handle some of Loch Ness Monster's wheels. "Arrow" is still stamped on the metal on those parts to this day.

And Cedar Fair is most certainly not removing their Arrow Suspended coasters. Every single Arrow suspended coaster that has ever been under Cedar Fair's ownership is still operating, and none of them have had a closure announced at this time.

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3 minutes ago, homestar92 said:

*sigh*

Again, parts availability for Arrows was not a problem and never has been, and won't be for the foreseeable future. Metal fatigue is what will be the undoing of the Arrows. Parts are readily available and still in production. We've beaten this horse time and time again, please let it be dead. The "aftermarket" parts you referenced are only "aftermarket" in the same way that parts for a pre-2010 GM vehicle aren't technically being made by the same company as when the cars were new (since the GM of today is technically a different company than the pre-2010 GM). Take the VIP coaster tour at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and they will let you see and handle some of Loch Ness Monster's wheels. "Arrow" is still stamped on the metal on those parts to this day.

And Cedar Fair is most certainly not removing their Arrow Suspended coasters. Every single Arrow suspended coaster that has ever been under Cedar Fair's ownership is still operating, and none of them have had a closure announced at this time.

Ah ok, thanks for the clarification!! That helps a lot! 

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2 hours ago, SonofBaconator said:

That being said, I think the park should go with a B&M which could be iconic in its own right. If they choose to get a B&M floorless coaster they could easily break a height record. Additionally with a taller height you can also take the speed record as well. Vortex was such an iconic ride that, in my opinion, getting a B&M floorless would be a fitting replacement.

A ride doesn't have to be iconic in the sense that it draws people from around the country or even the world, it just needs to be good enough to be better than the ride it replaced and I think a B&M floorless would do that perfectly.

Thank you SonofBaconator. I would love to see a B&M floorless come into play in that area. And who knows, maybe removing Vortex was part of their 5 year plan; but the announcement of it's demise maybe just falls on year 4. Who knows, maybe we'll start to see land clearing like we did this year for Orion. I'm not too worried about height. Heck, they could make it as tall as Dominator at Kings Dominion and I'd be ok with that. What I would love to see is somewhere along the layout, they have the back to back loops like Vortex has now. Also let those loops show up so well that it looks like Vortex in a way. Plus with the terrain they have from Vortex, they have a lot of possibilities to work with. I also would welcome the first floorless roller coaster to have the vest restraints that Banshee has already.

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4 hours ago, homestar92 said:

*sigh*

Again, parts availability for Arrows was not a problem and never has been, and won't be for the foreseeable future. Metal fatigue is what will be the undoing of the Arrows. Parts are readily available and still in production. We've beaten this horse time and time again, please let it be dead. The "aftermarket" parts you referenced are only "aftermarket" in the same way that parts for a pre-2010 GM vehicle aren't technically being made by the same company as when the cars were new (since the GM of today is technically a different company than the pre-2010 GM). Take the VIP coaster tour at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and they will let you see and handle some of Loch Ness Monster's wheels. "Arrow" is still stamped on the metal on those parts to this day.

And Cedar Fair is most certainly not removing their Arrow Suspended coasters. Every single Arrow suspended coaster that has ever been under Cedar Fair's ownership is still operating, and none of them have had a closure announced at this time.

If metal fatigue is the problem I wonder how much life Magnum has. My favorite Arrow of them all.

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I'm glad to read a lot of well thought out posts in this thread.  I agree with those that believe the reason to be structural.  It doesn't make business sense to spend millions replacing most/all of Vortex's track and supports when it could be invested in a new coaster in the future instead.  That doesn't mean it isn't a sad day though. 

Vortex is arguably the best Arrow looper ever built.  The loopers built after it that were taller were all generally terrible rides.  (I sometimes wonder if Magic Mountain continues to run Viper simply because they are stubborn.)  Unlike so many of the other multi-loopers, Vortex had a great first drop, as well as a helix at the end.  These made it a much more "complete" coaster.

I'm no expert, but I support the theory that every coaster ages differently.  I thought Iron Dragon and The Bat's days were numbered after Big Bad Wolf was removed at Busch Gardens, but here we are 10 years later and they both are still going.  When BBW was removed, the same "end of service life" reason was given.

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6 hours ago, Shawn Meyer said:

Thank you SonofBaconator. I would love to see a B&M floorless come into play in that area. And who knows, maybe removing Vortex was part of their 5 year plan; but the announcement of it's demise maybe just falls on year 4. Who knows, maybe we'll start to see land clearing like we did this year for Orion. I'm not too worried about height. Heck, they could make it as tall as Dominator at Kings Dominion and I'd be ok with that. What I would love to see is somewhere along the layout, they have the back to back loops like Vortex has now. Also let those loops show up so well that it looks like Vortex in a way. Plus with the terrain they have from Vortex, they have a lot of possibilities to work with. I also would welcome the first floorless roller coaster to have the vest restraints that Banshee has already.

Interlocking corkscrews would make it perfect. 

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18 hours ago, KIghostguy said:

Wow, exactly! You have hit the nail on the head. Just like how they removed The Beast and The Racer! 

Thanks KIghostguy. I really don't think I " hit the nail on the head", as you say,  but I do think it's a topic worth discussing. They haven't removed Beast and Racer yet, but removing iconic rides is a trend right now in the Cedar Fair chain and it seems a little suspect to me that they have or are retiring rides like Vortex, Volcano and others within the last year and keep telling us "it was the end of their service life" when there are other similar Arrows out there that have been operating much longer.  I think cost is definitely a factor as to why Vortex and Firehawk are/were being retired, too. Can you explain why there are much older Arrows out there similar in size to Vortex such as Lochness Monster that haven't been retired due to "reaching end of service life"?  Just wanted to get the facts from the fact master. Thanks again for your feedback.

 

 

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1 hour ago, kirbias1 said:

They haven't removed Beast and Racer yet, but removing iconic rides is a trend right now in the Cedar Fair chain...

The removal of two rides months apart does not equal a trend, and especially not some sinister scheme like you are alluding to.

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Does anyone think KI is hinting in the Orion teaser posters that FoF, and Invertigo are also being retired soon?

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9 minutes ago, kirbias1 said:

Does anyone think KI is hinting in the Orion teaser posters that FoF, and Invertigo are also being retired soon?

Doubt it, all the rides have a high tech or spaceish vibe to them. More importantly Cedar Fair likely wouldn’t remove 4 major thrill rides that recently to each other.

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Well this is not how I wanted to start off my Friday. This is just terrible to fathom, the first coaster I ever went upside down on is leaving. I’m kind of speechless because when I was there a few weeks ago I didn’t ride it. Now I totally regret it because I can’t make it back I time. I really hope they don’t add something generic or cookie cutter. Hopefully we can see a return of #Intamin haha sorry had to end with a joke cuz I’m sad.

 

 

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Maverick..... Buddy ole pal. I've missed you from the decoding 2020 thread. The loss of Vortex is terrible. I rode it last night and got arguably the best ride I have ever got on it. So that was fun as I clanked up the iconic sounding lift hill and got all the way too emotional.

 

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My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.
Have fun on Orion next year guys. I think I'm gonna sit 2020 out. I'm not going to be dramatic and act like KI has lost me forever (they haven't; I'll be back) but it's going to be very difficult emotionally for me to go to Coney Mall for a while and I'm not ready to put myself through that right away.
Same, as soon as I heard the news I made the trip to Kings Island and made a B-line straight for Vortex. I got arguably the best ride I have ever gitten on her. The whole time I was unbelievably upset. Im gonna miss even hearing the clanking of the lift hill....
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I hope they don’t replace Vortex with another B&M. We didn’t have any before, now we have plenty. I’d rather see a different manufacturer come in. See something else with a different design and feel.

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My initial reaction was a bit over dramatic... I respect CF and KI for the decision, I’m certain there’s a very good and legitimate reason to close the ride. I got to go yesterday to get a few final rides. Looking forward to the future of that part of Coney Mall. 

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I can take an educated guess on why the removal. Metal fatigue. If you really look at Vortex you can see all the patch work along the track, especially in the loops. There are a lot of forces in these loops. Someone mentioned there are older Arrows still around like Loch Ness and Corkscrew. Well Loch Ness and Corkscrew are not custom multi loopers like Vortex. Maintaining the interconnected loops on LNM is a lot less work then the multiple inversions of Vortex. I’d rather them remove Vortex then have an incident occur like in Mexico City the other day.


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5 hours ago, kirbias1 said:

This is generally why I believe the reason *must* be structural.

People can claim nobody liked Vortex, but they'd be wrong. It may not often have a line, but it still sends trains that are usually mostly full, which means it still operates at close to capacity. The ride is still popular and KI acknowledged that in the blog post. I imagine the park knew that the news wouldn't go over well, which is also why I don't think they would remove it if it was within the realm of reason to keep it going. Anything other than a structural problem would be relatively inexpensive to fix, and I imagine that's the route they would go if they felt it was possible.

I just wish it got a proper send off. The biggest hurt in all this is that the news was broken by a 6AM push notification from the app. That's like getting broken up with via a text message, and that aspect of the removal, I think we can all agree, is not cool. It feels wrong that freaking Mantis got a better send off than Vortex (and Mantis didn't even really go anywhere!)

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29 minutes ago, homestar92 said:

People can claim nobody liked Vortex, but they'd be wrong.

Just because it operates at capacity sometimes does not mean those people liked it once they got off.

It's true everybody didn't like Vortex, but I think that a lot of people on this website really don't understand what most of the general public thought of it: they hated the ride experience. It's hard to gauge for a lot of people on this site since they are enthusiasts and don't live in the area, but that is the consensus for most of the GP in Mason at least. 

I do agree that this closure was likely not planned or expected like with Firehawk.

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I think its safe to say that most people guessing on how GP reacts to the ride only really have anecdotal evidence.  Unless this info is coming from a dedicated sociologist, most people are going to take these estimated GP reactions with a grain of salt.  

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28 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

I think its safe to say that most people guessing on how GP reacts to the ride only really have anecdotal evidence.  Unless this info is coming from a dedicated sociologist, most people are going to take these estimated GP reactions with a grain of salt.  

All we have to go off of are the published ridership numbers, which we haven't had in several years, but we do at least have a few years after Banshee, which means the numbers should still be fairly accurate relative to each other (I don't imagine Mystic would take riders away from Vortex in the same way that Banshee might). The most recent years when those numbers were published still placed Vortex's ridership solidly above average for coasters at KI. That's the only empirical data we really have, and that data pointed to it being reasonably popular.

KI is a local park that caters primarily to season passholders (AKA, repeat visitors). If Vortex is pulling numbers, that means people enjoyed the ride. There aren't a ton of people at KI on a typical day who are ignorant to what the ride experience is like and will ride it without knowing what to expect and hate it.

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On 9/27/2019 at 6:50 AM, Ben43065 said:

I’m just so confused, it’s not a maintenance nightmare and they just removed a major coaster last season. The future is not looking very bright to say the least if they keep this trend up. I get some people don’t like Vortex but it was a popular, easy to run reliable ride. I don’t know why they’ve done what they done but I’m incredibly disappointed in their decision.

I get the disappointment but I think they did this because they have something planned for that area. It's definitely possible that in a couple years we'll be happy with whatever they put there.

On 9/27/2019 at 6:40 AM, Phantom Theater said:

I understand that the area won’t be vacant for long and I do understand the reasoning behind it’s removal, however, we are getting Orion for next year. That land will probably stay vacant for 3-5 years before  another coaster is put there. Unless they plan on some unexpected expansion of Coney Mall. Firehawk was off the beaten path and it’s presence isn’t really missed. Vortex has a large presence and it will be missed. 

I don't really understand why people are so certain it'll be 3-5 years. I get that there's a pattern of new additions, but doesn't this development signal things might be different this time? I could be wrong, but I just don't see them leaving that plot empty for that long.

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My guess is that its removal times out with something that will be coming for the 50th anniversary.

that said I have two observations.

  • if not mistaken, and someone correct me.  The original press release time-stamps were like 4:30am.  is that curious to anyone?
  • Most of the news releases mention "retiring the coaster"
    • I haven't seen much of the term "remove"- though I'm pretty certain that's implied
    • I haven't seen the term "demolish" in any of the articles I've read

Just two observations I've seen.

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1 hour ago, Outdoor Man said:

My guess is that its removal times out with something that will be coming for the 50th anniversary.

that said I have two observations.

  • if not mistaken, and someone correct me.  The original press release time-stamps were like 4:30am.  is that curious to anyone?
  • Most of the news releases mention "retiring the coaster"
    • I haven't seen much of the term "remove"- though I'm pretty certain that's implied
    • I haven't seen the term "demolish" in any of the articles I've read

Just two observations I've seen.

I'm sure there's a strategy to what they're doing. @JubJester mentioned how FH and VX's removal announcements were exactly a year apart so that isn't a coincidence. Additionally I don't know of a functioning amusement park that has removed two coasters back to back. 

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but is the park telling guests to get their final rides on it? I remember they did for Firehawk but I don't remember seeing a statement by the park telling people when Vortex will have its last day.

Its all kinda fishy

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5 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

I'm sure there's a strategy to what they're doing. @JubJester mentioned how FH and VX's removal announcements were exactly a year apart so that isn't a coincidence. Additionally I don't know of a functioning amusement park that has removed two coasters back to back. 

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but is the park telling guests to get their final rides on it? I remember they did for Firehawk but I don't remember seeing a statement by the park telling people when Vortex will have its last day.

Its all kinda fishy

I mean it probably isn’t a coincidence but it makes sense to announce it around this time. If they announced it before Orion that would have made the response even worse then what it already is. This announcement gives fans enough time to hopefully be able to say their goodbyes. Announcing it at 4:30 am is still a little distasteful imho. The first part of the blog mentions that coaster fans need to get their last rides in before Vortex rides into history. I do agree though there’s definitely something behind the scenes that happened since how sudden this announcement seems to be.

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I've been a lurker here for years, I even had an account at one point just forgot my account info, oops. I will say I do agree with what everyone is saying though that something else other than demolition could be in store, but at the same time, I feel as though the park wouldn't say the ride is at the end of it's service life without demolishing it. What other coasters supposedly "reached the end of their service life" Regardless I'm upset Vortex is actually my #1 coaster I adore old arrows and after losing the scream machine at Great Adventure as a kid Vortex filled the void. I'll really miss the intensity of the first drop in the back row, being dragged through the loops and getting hang time on the corkscrews. It's a little bit of everything and that's what makes it perfect. 

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