Today, Kings Island has announced their 2017 reveal date, which will be Thursday, July 28 at 10 pm. Much like the Banshee announcement two years ago, it will be a live event at night, which is very exciting news for the media and many enthusiasts.
Now, it should be no surprise that this addition will be a wooden coaster, and likely built by GCI. Nothing is confirmed of course, but with the relationship that Cedar Fair has with the company, and the drawings we have seen, this is pretty much a lock. Unless they really throw us a curve ball, even the latest of teasers have a profound display of wood:
Now two questions still remain:
1) What will the ride be named/themed?
2) Who will be the builder, more specifically what elements will the ride contain?
No new trademarks have been filed by Cedar Fair this year, leaving this ride down to either Centurion, or something we have not heard of. I highly doubt that Centurion will be used for a wooden coaster. It seems as though the park is running on the theme of nature with this appearing on their website:
This is really fitting for what seems to be a terrain woodie. Some people have suggested another theme related to The Beast. But you cannot really call it Son of Beast II, and Grandson of the Beast is kind of corny. I think that they are going in a completely different route. A name like Renegade or Prowler could even be reused from other parks.
As for builder and elements, this is the biggest and most intriguing mystery of the ride. There are only a few options for wooden coasters currently. Of course the big two are RMC and GCI. Martin and Vleminckx as well as the Gravity Group are out there too, but Cedar Fair does not have a track record with them. Gravity Group could have been a huge success, seeing what the Voyage has done for Holiday World. But, look how rough it has become recently. I feel as though if the problems are not fixed, the coaster's ranking could start to slip.
GCI seems like the best fit here. People everywhere, myself included, of course would love to see a Topper Track RMC through the backwoods, but it seems like Cedar Fair is saving that treatment for Cedar Point and Mean Streak. GCI can build a traditional wooden coaster that will last and serve a wide range of guests.
What will the coaster consist of? Will it be tall, fast, and mean as a tribute to Son of Beast? Or will it be a tweener ride that is quick and nimble, but is more of a family coaster compared to others at the park? Either way, this fills a wooden void that Son of Beast left, and it should be a pretty intense ride. Expect a lot of laterals and pops of air here, maybe even a layout that even breaks GCI's traditional track. There has even been talk in the past of GCI wanting to do an inversion, so we may see a twist or barrel roll sneak into the coaster. This could happen if the Millennium Flyer trains, track, and restraints could hold up.
Whatever this ends up being, I myself am pretty excited. I hope to see something unique, intense, and a good replacement for SoB. This may end up leaning towards families and smaller height requirements, like InvadR will at Busch Gardens, but if it does so, hopefully it's in a fun-for-all manner.