301-foot tall WindSeeker is Kings Island’s newest ride

MASON — WindSeeker, Kings Island’s newest ride is so thrilling, it gives even the park’s leader pause.

“I’m not sure I’m going to ride it,” admitted park general manager Greg Scheid. “It’s quite a ride.”

WindSeeker was unveiled, Tuesday, Aug. 24, to a cheering crowd inside the Festhaus dining center.

The “swing ride” will take riders 301 feet in the air in open seats as they spin around at 30 miles an hours and swing out at 45 degree angles.

“If you are a thrill seeker, you will absolutely love this,” said park spokesman Don Helbig

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WindSeeker will hold 64 people at a time in seats of two. Riders will be pulled up the 301-foot towers while spinning around. If they are able to open their eyes, they can observe a breath-taking view of the park and surrounding area as they spin around for approximately one minute. The speed will pull riders out to a 45 angle slant as they spin, legs dangling outward.

The ride will then descend at the same speed, for a total ride time of approximately 3 minutes.

The ride will stand approximately 41 feet taller than Drop Tower, and 86 feet taller than Diamondback, Kings Island’s taller roller coaster. It will still be 11 feet shorter than the Eiffel Tower.

The WindSeeker will cost $5 million and be manufactured by Dutch-based Mondial.

“We’re thrilled about the WindSeeker,” Scheid said. “It’s a totally new ride concept for Kings Island and will give riders a total view of Warren County while they swing around at 301 feet in the air.”

Helbig said, on a clear day, a rider at the top of the WindSeeker could see 18 miles away, including “hidden” portions of the park, such as the Beast’s tracks.

“I think it will be awesome,” said frequent park visitor Ryan Frost, 16, of Fairfield. “You’ll be as tall as the Eiffel Tower but spinning all around instead of just standing still.”

The ride will be built and ready for operation when the parks opens April 30, 2011 in the Coney Mall area near the Vortex and the Racer roller coaster.

Cedar Fair, the parent company of Kings Island and also owners of Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, will build four WindSeekers rides in the coming months.

Besides Kings Island, Cedar Point, Knotts Berry Farms, and Canada Wonderland will each receive WindSeekers. Kings Island’s will be the first one open to riders, park officials said.

Construction for the ride will begin after the park closes for the season in November. This is the first new ride added to Kings Island since the Diamondback rollercoaster in 2009.

Contact this reporter at (513) 696-4544 or jmcclelland@coxohio.com.

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