Banshee roller coaster ready for test runs

MASON, OH (FOX19) - Work crews have fought rain, snow, cold and ice in their efforts to complete one of the most highly anticipated new attractions in the world for 2014. Now, Kings Island officials say that the Banshee roller coaster is ready for test runs.

The track and electrical work is finished. Trains have been placed on the track. The landscaping and site work around the ride has begun. It's just a matter of days now before the world's longest inverted roller coaster makes its initial test runs.

Banshee will send riders through 4,124 feet of track and seven inversions at speeds up to 68 mph. The ride was designed exclusively for Kings Island by Bolliger & Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland and features: a 167-foot lift and curved first drop of 150 feet, a dive loop, a loop interacting with the lift, a zero-G-roll, batwing, outside loop, spiral, in-line roll and carousel.

Built on hilly terrain, riders will experience an elevation change of 208 feet from the highest point of the coaster at the top of the lift to the lowest point of the ride between loops four and five.

Textured lighting and other lighting effects will bring the Banshee legend to reality, creating the ultimate night ride experience.

Riders on Banshee will be seated in cars four across. A total of three trains, each containing eight cars, will enable Banshee to accommodate approximately 1,650 riders per hour.

Banshee will be the 15th roller coaster at Kings Island, which is home to some of the top-ranked roller coasters in the world in annual industry and enthusiast polls including The Beast and Diamondback.

Banshee will make its public debut Friday, April 18, when Kings Island opens for the 2014 season.