Kings Island is adding a new giga coaster called Orion to its line-up of thrill rides. One of only seven giga coasters in the world (according to a release), Orion will offer its first public rides on the park's 2020 opening day: Saturday, April 11.
But anyone who can raise or donate at least $150 can ride a few days early. The park is hosting an Orion First Riders Event on Thursday, April 9 to benefit A Kid Again, a nonprofit that Kings Island says "fosters hope, happiness and healing for families raising kids with life-threatening illnesses through fun-filled group activities."
According to a release, those who raise the most money will be the first to ride Orion.
So what exactly is a giga coaster? To be specified as such, the ride must have a height or drop of 300 to 399 feet. To put that into perspective, Kings Island's iconic Eiffel Tower is 315 feet. Orion will run on a 5,321-foot track and feature a 300-foot drop and seven hills while flying at up to 91 miles per hour. According to Kings Island, the coaster will be the theme park's fastest, tallest and longest steel coaster.
Following along with the park's new "Area 72" theme, Orion is a prototype created by the Project X Initiative. "Volunteers" need to help with testing to find out if the prototype will be successful in surviving the incoming meteor storm while voyaging to a new planet in the Orion constellation.
“Orion reflects Kings Island’s commitment to providing top-notch thrills and value to our guests,” said Mike Koontz, Kings Island’s vice president and general manager in a release.
For more info about the ride and 2020 season, visit visitkingsisland.com.