MASON, Ohio -- With more than 44,000 riders in its first weekend, the verdict is in: Despite long wait times for some, the people say Kings Island’s Banshee is “awesome.”
“(The day) was perfect. I don't think we waited above 30 minutes at any given ride,” said Tri-State resident Kristine Grossi Brennan, who went to Kings Island Sunday. “My kids were able to ride the Banshee three times and loved it.”
The Banshee roller coaster, the latest thrill ride addition to Kings Island, made its debut Friday with the opening of the park.
The blue and pink coaster that covers 4,124 feet of track is the world's longest inverted steel roller coaster, featuring seven inversions. It’s described as a two-and-a-half minute trip of terror.
Many park goers said the warm weekend weather and Banshee’s introduction was the ideal combination for fun.
But the Banshee experience wasn’t perfect for everyone.
Most of WCPO’s Facebook fans said the wait times to ride Banshee on Friday were too long.
Bethel, Ohio resident Megan House said she waited an hour-and-a-half to get on the ride due to multiple maintenance issues.
Clermont County resident Amanda Werner Sharp said she experienced “the biggest crowd I have ever seen there.”
“The Banshee line was wrapped around the Eiffel tower,” Sharp said. “My kids were disappointed they didn't get to ride, but no way would I have wasted my day standing in line.”
Brown County resident Crystal Tyler Schneider said she had even longer wait times.
“We were there Friday and did not even bother,” Schneider said. “The wait was five to six hours.”
But Schneider said she went back with her family on Saturday and only had to wait 30 minutes to ride the Banshee.
“They loved the coaster,” she said. “The ride was very fast and smooth.”
Others echoed Schneider and said Saturday and Sunday were the best days to explore the park without long lines.
Sunman, Ind. resident Steve Stutz said his visit to Kings Island was a blast.
“I rode (Banshee) four times Sunday and the longest wait was 20 minutes,” Stutz said.
Some park goers said they bought Fast Lane tickets to get on rides without waiting.
A Fast Lane ticket allows you to bypass regular lines on more than 20 rides and attractions including Diamondback, Flight of Fear and more. On most Fridays and Sundays, a Fast Lane ticket is about $55 per person. On most Saturdays, it’s about $70 per person.
Then there’s a Fast Lane Plus ticket, which allows you to bypass regular lines and have unlimited rides on Banshee and Firehawk. On most Fridays and Sundays, a Fast Lane Plus ticket is about $70 per person. On most Saturdays, it’s about $85 per person.
Kings Island spokesperson Don Helbig could not give specific numbers on how many people attended the park between Friday and Sunday, but said organizers are very pleased with attendance.
“There was a lot of excitement for the ride from a lot of coaster enthusiasts,” Helbig said. “We had a good weekend. All those people that were counting down the days, it was definitely worth the wait.”