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Looking back at 2014: Banshee

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My first time riding this was on opening day. I got reports that earlier in the day the line reached all the way to the Eiffel Tower and circled around it, but by the time I got there the line only went to the entrance of Delirium. Even though the line had shrunk considerably, my friends and I still waited nearly three hours to ride.


I like the tombstones that populate the grassy area around the line queues and feel that the purple and blue color scheme of the coaster was the perfect choice for a coaster named Banshee. The lights that randomly flicker inside the train station is a nice touch, but overall, the theming was rather light compared to rides of days gone by. I guess Paramount was the master of ride theming when you think about how elaborate Tomb Raider, Top Gun and even Italian Job were, but even before that you had the mining station of The Beast, complete with flooded mine, and The Bat, who’s haunted house looking station seems a bit out of place now that it is being used by Vortex. Banshee should have had something that looked more like a castle, I think, rather than just a purple box. I guess at the end of the day, however, it’s really not so much about the packaging but the ride experience, and Banshee delivers everything that it promises on the ride experience.


The first time I rode I sat somewhere in the first third of the train. It took me up, down, around, back around… I could not tell where I was, which direction I was going in, or even if I was right side up or not. It was like no other coaster I had ever ridden. It was a blast, but the Barrel Role near the end left me feeling a bit nauseous. By the time you reach the Barrel Role the train is moving pretty slow and you hang upside down longer than any other point during the ride. I can still take spinning rides, but hanging upside down agrees with me less and less as I get older.


I decided to wait until my second visit before attempting to ride it again. Not only did I not want to wait in that line again, but I didn’t want to push my luck and possibly make myself even more nauseous with a second ride. I would throw caution to the wind during my next visit, however, and ride Banshee three times in row.


I had just gotten off work and it was a cold and rainy Friday night. Weather has never been much of a deterrent for me and I figured the park would probably be dead, so instead of heading for home, I headed to Kings Island. My assumption was correct; business was so slow that Banshee was a walk on.


I rode the coaster and was feeling a bit nauseous like the first time, but I tried to pace myself. Instead of running around and hopping right back on the ride, I relaxed for 15 to 20 minutes, just walking around and taking night shots of the coaster, tombstones and the attractive, mist producing Banshee sign.


After feeling like enough time had passed, I hopped on for another ride. Enough time had not passed. I was really feeling the nausea this second time. I sat down on a wall afterwards and debated with myself if I should ride again or go have a relaxing train ride. I debated this for close to 25 minutes, but then realized the park was going to close in less than 15 minutes and I would never make it to the train in time, so I entered the queue for my third ride on Banshee.


Yea… that probably wasn’t such a good idea. I had to hold the rail as I made my way down the station steps. I thought I was going to fall into a rack of souvenir Banshee T-shirts in the gift shop, thanks to the world spinning around me, and I thought for sure I was going to puke up my guts, but hopefully not until I made it out of the souvenir shop. An employee wished me a good night as I made my way out of the exit door but it was too late for that.


I sat down on the wall again and questioned myself why I went ahead and rode it that third time. It’s not like I thought I would be skipping away from the ride afterward. The park closed and I slowly started making my way towards the exit, but by the time I got to my car I was feeling perfectly okay. Good thing the park was now closed because I might have been dumb enough to go back in for a fourth ride! I'm a glutton for punishment.


I ended up riding Banshee about 8 or 9 more times throughout the summer, although I never again rode it more than once a visit. I have found that I don’t get quite as nauseous if I make a point to sit in the front seat. I’m not sure why, but I suspect that it has something to do with being able to see where I am going, as opposed to all the other seats on the ride that have the view obstructed by the seats in front of them.


The kids really love this ride but it’s not for everyone. I met a couple while in Dayton who told me that they made the hike down to Cincinnati to enjoy the day and to try Banshee, but made the mistake of riding it first thing. They both got extremely sick from Banshee and ended up having to leave after just that one ride.


Overall, Banshee delivers in everything you could want from a coaster of its kind. Its smooth, the seats and harnesses are comfortable, and it has more than enough inversions to satisfy everyone who likes getting inverted, however, it’s good to know what your body is capable of handling as far as motion sickness goes before attempting. If you’re not sure, save Banshee for last so that hopefully, you won’t have to cut your day short to go home sick.


We have come a long way since the Screamin’ Demon.

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This is a great report, Mr. Roberts. Enjoyed it very much. Glad you got to ride as much as you did. Not for me; can't do the upside down thing but others like it. I still like Italian Job (though not officially a "coaster") and I still call it that; do not like when they change the names though I know it's sometimes necessary. You're right about the theming. I think they focus more on the ride anymore and that's okay with me.


I see a lot of people riding the same ride over and over. Couldn't do that even when I was young. And sitting in the front does help, probably for the reason you suggested. I have never even liked riding in the back seat of a vehicle. Glad you survived the repeated rides but hope you don't do that again this summer!


And yes, we certainly have come a long way since Screamin' Demon.

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Banshee is a fantastic roller coaster! No doubt! And we can't forget about Chicken Shack, it was surely a huge step in the right direction for Kings Island!

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