Kings Island Racer Turns 45
Happy birthday to the Racer at Kings Island. The iconic King’s Island coaster is turning 45 this Saturday! The coaster is part of King Island’s impressive line up of wooden coasters sitting alongside the Beast, Woodstock Express, and the New Mystic Timbers. The Racer has been the focal part of the Coney Mall section of Kings Island since its opening on April 29, 1972. Since then, 103 million guests have taken a ride on the Racer. In 1976, the ride had its record year and gave 3,681,338 rides.
The Racer was an important ride in the roller coaster renaissance during the 1970’s and was also the site of several world-record riding attempts. If you’re familiar with the Brady Bunch, the Racer makes an appearance in the “Cincinnati Kids” episode that was filmed at the park in 1973.
If you’ve been a long-time visitor of the park, you may remember a time when one side of Racer ran backwards. On May 28, 1982, that side because the world’s first full-length backwards traveling roller coaster. The ride has since been changed back to both sides running forwards in effort to stay consistent with other Cedar Fair parks. Take a virtual ride on the Racer above!
The iconic coaster was designed by John Allen who was coaxed out of retirement just for the project. He started designing blueprints in 1969 and actual construction on the ride began in September 1970. A year later, in 1971, the first test trial began and the ride worked perfectly on the first go-around! It was the first coaster built structurally on the ground with prefabricated sections lifted into position and bolted. In addition, it was one of the largest coaster built at the time, and the largest that Allen had built.
More than 600,000 board feet of lumber went into building the Racer. Can you guess how many nails? Well, no one actually knows! Construction began with 6,000 tons of nails, but they only lasted for 60 days! In addition to the Racer, several other rides at the park are turning 45 on Saturday: the Eiffel Tower, Woodstock Express, and Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad. So, if you find yourself at the park this weekend, be sure to wish these iconic rides a happy birthday!
For tickets and more information, visit the Kings Island website by clicking here.
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