April 14, 2020
By Kelly C.
I remember waiting for the debut of Millenium Force back in the year 2000. A few months before Cedar Point’s opening day, someone in my family posted on our refrigerator a newspaper article, which featured an artist’s rendering of the new roller coaster. The memory of that simple image brings back all the excitement my siblings and I shared about the arrival of the world’s first “giga” coaster – a full circuit roller coaster that hits 300 feet tall.
Now we’re looking forward to the debut of the Orion roller coaster in 2020 at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio. Orion will be the seventh giga coaster in the world, and the second in Ohio. Not only do we live in the only state to have two giga coasters, but we get a sampling of the only two manufacturers that build coasters of this scale: Millenium Force was created by Intamin, while Orion is the product of Bolliger & Mabillard. Both companies are based in Switzerland. While Intamin has a reputation for taking more thrilling risks with their rides, B&Ms tend to be more mechanically reliable. A giga is a giga though, and I’m certain Orion will be plenty thrilling.
Unfortunately, it’s become apparent that we’re going to have to wait a little longer to ride Orion for the first time, and understandably so. My husband and I were looking forward to attending Orion’s media day on April 9th at Kings Island as part of our membership with the American Coaster Enthusiasts. However, the ride’s debut has been postponed until at least mid-May in the interest of everyone’s safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the meantime, I’ll think back to the picture of Millenium on the fridge of my childhood home and try to appreciate how that buildup of excitement is half the fun of any new ride. I’ll embrace the anticipation as we look forward to Orion, and I’ll stay focused on the good memories we have yet to make.