LivingTravelDiamondback on Kings Island is a sliding roller coaster

Diamondback on Kings Island is a sliding roller coaster

Kings Island calls Diamondback its “highest, fastest and baddest ride.” We cannot argue with the first two. But more bad? I think SOB, er, the extinct wooden coaster, Son of the Beast, is King Island’s unrivaled and all-time champion in the bad department. Diamondback, however, is the opposite of average. It is silky smooth. And what kind of bad trip would provide such a great flight time load?

  • Mountain Type: Steel Hypercoaster
  • Height: 230 feet
  • First drop: 215 feet
  • First angle of fall: 74 degrees
  • Other falls: 193 feet, 131 feet, 129 feet, 110 feet, 106 feet
  • Top speed: 80 mph
  • Runway length: 5318 feet
  • Height requirement: 54 inches
  • Travel time: 3:00 minutes.
  • Manufacturer: Bolliger & Mabillard

Diamondback delivers delusional venom

The fun begins at Diamondback Station. Instead of a traditional train, the front and sides of the roller coaster have been removed, essentially leaving seats bolted to a chassis. Each car has two rows of two ultra-comfortable bucket seats. To give everyone the approximation of a front row view, the two seats in the rear row of each car are slightly raised and offset at the outer edges of the train (think: stadium seats). In addition to the spacious feel, the only safety restriction is a single discreet lap bar.

After exiting the station, Diamondback climbs its conventional 23-story hill on a fairly sturdy clip. Then it’s nearly straight for 215 feet when the coaster drops at a 74-degree angle and reaches its top speed of 80 bugs in your fangs.

Diamondback really starts working his magic as he soars his second hill and delivers a sweet, sustained blast of airtime. At 193 feet, the second roller coaster drop is almost as long as the first (and longer than the first drop from most roller coasters). And the air time that Diamondback offers, as it glides quickly and smoothly down its third hill, is even more sustained and sweeter than the previous dose. If this is the poison of the “bad” trip, you probably don’t want an antidote.

Sinfully smooth and slippery

The third drop is a 131-foot plunge ending in a change and another airtime infused ascent in the airspace over Kings Island. Diamondback then unwinds onto a deftly maneuvered propeller and enters a trim brake to briefly slow down his runaway (but always buttery smooth) chaos.

Two more outrageous peaks and valleys follow, and the roller coaster closes to a spectacular finish as you enter a pool of water and use the fins on the back of your trains to launch huge columns of water into the air (but don’t worry, its passengers do not get wet).

Not surprisingly, Diamondback is sinfully smooth and loaded with airtime. It’s designed by the roller coaster geniuses at Swiss-based attraction maker Bolliger and Mabillard, the developers of hypercoasters as incredible as Apollo’s chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. With the help of B&M, Diamondback is, in our opinion, the jewel in Kings Island’s impressive collection of roller coasters, and one of the best roller coasters in the world.

Read our review of another one of the exclusive coasters on Kings Island, The Beast.

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