Kings Island to retire Vortex roller coaster, which opened in 1987

KINGS ISLAND, Ohio — Thanks for the memories, Vortex.

Kings Island announced this week that one of its most popular attractions, the Vortex roller coaster, will be retired after 33 seasons. The iconic coaster will shut down for good this fall.

Vortex opened on April 11, 1987. The park estimated it has given 45 million rides since going into service—only six more attractions in the park’s history have given more rides since Kings Island opened in 1972.

The Vortex featured a top seed of 55 mph. It had two vertical loops, a corkscrew, a boomerang turn, a 360-degree helix turn, a 148-foot high lift and a 138-foot drop. The park said the Vortex was the first roller coast in the world to send riders through six inversions in a continuous circuit.

While the Vortex remains popular, “the ride has simply reached the end of its service life,” wrote Don Helbig, area manager of digital marketing for Kings Island.

The Vortex will run for the last time on Sunday, Oct. 27, which is the last day of the park’s fall season.

Roller coaster fans can take solace in next year’s opening of the ambitious Orion “giga coaster.”

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