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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Retro Kings Island: The Bat Came Back


In the amusement industry, sometimes a brief operating lifespan doesn't mean the ride is over.  The Bat was an Arrow Development suspended steel roller coaster that operated at Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1981 to 1983.

The Bat was among the first of its kind, and a very popular ride.  There was an animated commercial promoting The Bat, plus a line of souvenir merchandise.

A Mason Jar Thing of The Bat at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio

Technical difficulties plagued the coaster, which led to an early closure.  Which also led to lots of rumors and urban legends, fueling The Bat's fame and keeping it in peoples' memories.  The Vortex roller coaster took over the site that had been home to The Bat (some elements of the old ride, like the load station, remain).

By 1993, Arrow had figured out how to build a suspended steel coaster, and teamed up with Kings Island to try it again.  By this time, Kings Island had a new owner (and the park was renamed Paramount's Kings Island--- really rolls off the tongue) and the new ride was themed to the film Top Gun.

The Bat Frisbee Comes Back To You When You Throw It

When Paramount sold Kings Island to Cedar Fair, the Top Gun theme had to be removed.  So Top Gun became Flight Deck in 2008.  For 2014, Cedar Fair did something that honored the history of Kings Island: they renamed Flight Deck to The Bat.


Cedar Fair totally redesigned the logo for The Bat, so this particular blood-sucker remains retired.

2 comments:

  1. I remember seeing something on the news when the bat opened. I remember they even showed the model for it. I was fascinated by the "suspended from the track" concept. I never made it to King's Island, but I finally got to experience that sensation years later when riding "Ninja" at Six Flags Magic Mountain. I like the fact that Cedar Fair is acknowledging the park's past by renaming their newer suspended coaster.

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  2. Hey TokyoMagic! The Bat was the stuff of legends, due to its splashy debut, its uniqueness, its prompt closure, and a lack of information in the 1980s. I can remember a cousin telling me that it closed due to someone getting hurt. I never got to ride The Bat, but I did ride Top Gun---so I guess technically I rode the "new" Bat.

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