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Shane's Amusement Attic

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Kings Island - The Bat

As a follow up to the post of some old magazine ads, here is some good stuff from Kings Island I found, the year they introduced the Bat.


The year is 1981, after riding high on the success of the nationally recognized Beast roller coaster the park is about to introduce the "next generation thrill ride".


Before I get to the Bat, get caught up on the park the way it was in 1981. There is quite a bit of reading but it is all interesting stuff and a good way to brush up on Kings Island history.






PS. If you love looking at old nostalgic amusement park stuff check out my thread that is dedicated to all the old parks, rides and fun stuff of the past. I will be updating it with old stuff every now and again so check back often.


Shane's Amusement Attic


See Vekoma's version of the suspended coaster here...

Vekoma's Swinging Turns


click here to see footage of The Bat in action.



very small themed sections of the park. Safari is now gone and little remains of Oktoberfest




The big new addition..."The Bat"


Here is the way the park laid out. Park Map from 1981






A history of the park in the 80's with a description of each themed areas and the rides and games at that time.


Boy the racer looked good back in it's hey day. What happened to painting the rides red, white and blue? So much better than faded and flaking white and grease.


The other big thrill ride at the time was "The Demon" aka "the Screamin' Demon"


Scenes from the park circa 1981. The Beast in it's prime!


The Beast was a huge success and even appeared in national magazines such as People. Notice the capacity of the ride when it first opened.


This is the official Press Release for "The Bat" 1981


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Here are some of the News releases and photos from the park that introduce and describe the experience of "The Bat"


Also is some interesting stuff on coaster history and Arrow Development, the company the built and disassembled the ride.


Scroll down for even more Bat photos...



another press release about the ride. When it opened it was "the toast of the town" all that is left is some footings that can barely be seen beneath the Vortex.



This release talks about Arrow Development and all it's accomplishments at that time.









Originally the ride was designed to have two corkscrews but Arrow was not able to perfect the swinging, so they were omitted. Probably a good thing.






What a great logo. Everything about this ride was done right, well except for the ride. The Logo was great, the station fit the theme and the trains were some of the coolest trains ever to ride the rails...or hang from the rails as the case may be

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I love the drawings on all of these old-school ads and brochures. Can't find anything that cool anymore. Its funny, in a way, with all the advances in computer design no one seems to be able to capture the charm that these ads once have. Hell, even the parks themselves cant seem to continue that tradition.

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The bat flew sparadically its initial season. Luckilly it was operating the week that I visited the park. I will never forget my first ride on the Bat, it was such a unique experience compared to coasters of the past. The only thing to rival that unique experience was the original Batman: the ride at SFGAm.


Anyways here is the ride in action.


that is it for my post on one of my most missed coasters!!!






notice that the brake fins are located on the bottom of the trains rather than up between the wheel housings





great sign


This is me and my mother in front of the ride. Good thing we grow out of that "awkward stage" OMG those socks!!!!!

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Fourth picture down from the top - that's some crazy swinging! Over 90 degrees on an un-banked turn! Wow! I wish current suspended coasters had that much swinging.


That's one of the main reasons why the Bat had to be removed. That kind of wild swinging, while exciting, was murder on the trains and structure.


I think that if the curves had been banked properly for the speeds it was hitting, The Bat might still be flying today (and we wouldn't have had to endure Vortex).


Incidentally, the problems with the Bat were the reason that SFAW's XLR-8 was so tame. Not only did they bank the turns, but they went with a really conservative layout. Yawn.


Luckily, a little later that same year, BGW opened Big Bad Wolf and proved that a more aggressive suspended layout actually could work well.

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