13 Best Kings Island Roller Coasters (2024 Ranks)

Kings Island is an award-winning amusement park with multiple rollercoaster accolades. From a Giga coaster to most wooden rollercoasters in one park, it has a lot to offer to seasoned coasterheads as well as freshly initiated riders.

The park has 13 rollercoasters you can take twice in the same visit. But if you don’t want to ride every single rollercoaster at Kings Island, you must prioritize the more thrilling ones. And this best Kings Island roller coasters list will help you differentiate between the best (and the rest):

Roller CoasterTrack LengthDropTop Speed
Diamondback5,282 ft215 ft80 mph
Mystic Timbers3,265 ft98 ft53 mph
Orion5,321 ft300 ft91 mph
Invertigo1,013.8 ft130 ft50 mph
Flight of Fear2,705 ft74.2 ft54 mph
Banshee4,124 ft150 ft68 mph
The Racer3,415 ft82.17 ft53 mph
The Beast7,361 ft141 ft64.78 mph
The Bat2,352 ft70 ft51 mph
Backlot Stunt Coaster1,960 ft31.2 ft40 mph
Woodstock Express1,350 ft30 ft35 mph
Adventure Express2,963 ft47 ft35 mph
Great Pumpkin Coaster199 feet8 ft2.61 mph (avg.)

Rollercoasters are best judged by how thrilling they are. And thrill comes down to speed, drops, inversions, and other track specifics. Experience can be subjective, but thrill metrics are objective. They give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

Below are some baseline rollercoaster parkwide metrics for some perspective. You can measure individual rollercoasters against these data points.

  • Height: The tallest rollercoaster at Kings Island is 287 feet high. The park’s shortest rollercoaster is only 8 feet tall. 
  • Length: The longest rollercoaster track at Kings Island is 5,321 feet. The shortest track for a rollercoaster at Kings Island is 199 feet only.
  • Seating Capacity: The most common seating capacity for Kings Island roller coasters is 32 riders per train.
  • Drop: The greatest rollercoaster drop at Kings Island is 300 feet. The shortest recorded drop at the park is 8 feet. 
  • Top Speed: The fastest rollercoaster at Kings Island moves at 91 mph. The slowest rollercoaster at the park has a 2.61 mph average.
  • Ride duration: Most rides at Kings Island last roughly 2 minutes.
  • Maximum Angle (vertical): The greatest vertical angle for a rollercoaster at Kings Island is 85 degrees. The park’s lowest vertical maximum is under 40 degrees.

With baseline data out of the way, here are the Kings Island roller coasters ranked. The table below covers track length, drop, and speed. Scroll down to the rest of the article for more specifics for each rollercoaster.

1. Diamondback

kings island diamondback roller coaster
  • Date Opened: April 18, 2009 
  • Height: 230 ft
  • Length: 5,282 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 32 riders per train 
  • Drop: 215 ft
  • Top Speed: 80 mph
  • Ride duration: 3:00

The Diamondback rollercoaster has a top speed of 80 miles per hour and reaches a maximum height of 230 feet. The ride starts off with a steep climb and goes through a momentum-building drop, leading to a sheltered section. 

Then, the train enters an open-air section, takes a large U-turn, and goes over a relatively small slope. Then comes the splashdown, where riders get soaked after the train makes contact with the water underneath. And before they can catch their breath, Diamondback riders find themselves going over multiple airtime hills before the ride comes to an end in the woods.

While the ride’s biggest draw is its splash down, the rest of its track acrobatics are nothing to scoff at. During its 3-minute duration, the rollercoaster delivers multiple memorable moments, including its 215-foot drop. 

Diamondback has zero inversions, though.

And for some rollercoaster enthusiasts, this can be disappointing. But that’s not the case for most Kings Island visitors. Despite zero inversions or vertical loops, Diamondback remains the most popular rollercoaster ride at the park. This is reflected in its queue time of up to one hour.

It’s not surprising since it is the only splashdown rollercoaster at Kings Island. Visitors describe the experience as worth the wait, citing its speed, smoothness, and –of course– the splash element.

  • Diamondback is located in the Rivertown section of Kings Island. 
  • It has a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour.
  • The ride is best known for its splashdown element.

2. Mystic Timbers

Mystic Timbers
  • Date Opened: April 15, 2017 
  • Height: 109 ft
  • Length: 3,265 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 24 riders per train 
  • Drop: 98 ft
  • Top Speed: 53 mph
  • Ride duration: 2:00

Mystic Timbers is considered one of the most popular wooden rollercoasters in the world. It delivers an authentic “out of control” experience that many visitors describe as being more “classic” and closer to original rollercoasters.

The ride has a maximum height of 109 feet, which might not seem impressive compared to some steel rollercoasters. But keep in mind that the tallest wooden rollercoaster in the world is only 55 feet taller than Mystic Timbers. 

Not only is Mystic Timbers among the tallest wooden rollercoasters in the country, but it is also among the fastest. It reaches a maximum speed of 53 miles per hour, which feels like 70 miles per hour, thanks to the wooden tracks.

But wooden tracks are not all that’s special about this ride. It is among the most popular attractions at Kings Island because it has a good backstory and is surprisingly immersive. The ride is set in a fictional lumber company site that was locked down after it was taken over by mysterious natural growth. 

The ride’s surroundings really sell the story, and pre-recorded messages warning riders to go back home create the feeling of breaking into a haunted site. Logs, signboards, and a wooden shed-like tunnel are all used strategically to sell the story and heighten the experience.

But if you’re a specification purist, then you might not care much for how cohesive, believable, or immersive the ride’s theme is. You want the biggest drop or multiple inversions, which this rollercoaster does not have. It has a 98-foot drop, which is impressive for a wooden coaster but easily beaten by steel and hybrid rollercoasters.

The ride can also be bumpy, which is the point of a wooden rollercoaster but a drawback in many people’s books.

  • Mystic Timbers is a haunted rollercoaster experience. 
  • It is located in the Rivertown section of Kings Island.
  • 30,000 lbs of nails were used in its construction

3. Orion

  • Date Opened: July 2, 2020 
  • Height: 287 ft
  • Length: 5,321 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 32 riders per train 
  • Drop: 300 ft
  • Top Speed: 91 mph
  • Ride duration: 3:00

Orion is a futuristic sci-fi-themed steel rollercoaster at King Island’s Area 72 section. It is set in the Fort Mason Research Compound, a functional research base for aerospace travel. The entrance to the ride is constructed to look like a research lab, with diagrams, formulae, and poster stamps referencing various high-speed rollercoasters. 

Once riders get on the rollercoaster, though, the rest of the experience is not very theme-driven. Still, Orion remains one of the most popular rollercoasters at Kings Island because it has world-class technical specs. 

With a 300-foot drop, Orion is a Giga coaster that reaches a top speed of 91 miles per hour! There are only 7 (currently operational) Giga coasters in the whole world, so this one’s worth riding even if you’re not into sci-fi-themed rollercoasters.

Your Orion experience begins with a long 258-foot climb followed by a steep 300-foot plunge. After the drop, you go over an airtime hill and make a turnaround maneuver. Before you can catch your breath, you zip across two more airtime hills, 56 ft and 147 ft. After that, there is a large spiral (125 ft) and an on-ride camera to capture your reaction.

  • Orion is a Giga coaster (300 ft+ drop) 
  • It is located in the Area 72 section of Kings Island
  • The ride has a maximum vertical angle of 85°

4. Invertigo

  • Date Opened: April 17, 1999 
  • Height: 131.3 ft
  • Length: 1,013.8 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 28 riders per vehicle  
  • Top Speed: 50 mph
  • Ride duration: 01:30

Invertigo is one of Kings Island’s biggest draws. It might not be the biggest or the speediest rollercoaster at the park, but it is one of a kind for many reasons. Invertigo is an inverted rollercoaster with a vertical loop. That’s a rarity. Plus, it has face-to-face seating!

The rollercoaster is 138 feet high and reaches a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour. While those specs are pretty standard, the ride’s social seating element is not. And experiencing a G-force of 5gs while looking at someone’s face is pretty memorable. The ride inverts three times and covers roughly 1,013 feet in 90 seconds.

The track features a cobra roll alongside other maneuvers that inspire feelings of weightlessness. However, the motion feels controlled and less wild than some of the other rollercoasters at the park. And that could be because riders can’t really look at the horizon because of face-to-face seating. 

If you don’t want your view to be blocked by the next rider’s face, you can pick one of the exterior seats. Regardless of which seat you pick, though, you will experience the gut-gripping force of looping on an inverted rollercoaster. One moment, the track is over you, and your legs are pointing down, and the next, your heading is pointing down, and the track is beneath you.

And if that sounds exciting, wait for the cobra roll.

  • Invertigo is an inverted looping rollercoaster with face-to-face (and back-to-back) seating. 
  • The ride features three inversions.
  • It is located in the Action Zone section of Kings Island.

5. Flight of Fear

Flight of Fear
  • Date Opened: June 18, 1996 
  • Height: 74.2 ft
  • Length: 2,705 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 20 riders per train 
  • Top Speed: 54 mph
  • Ride duration: 1:00

Flight of Fear features aerospace research themes and alien conspiracy motifs. Like Orion, this ride is also located in the park’s Area 72 section, which is dedicated to sci-fi-themed rides.

But unlike Orion, Flight of Fear is an indoor ride. It has no prominent drops but has four inversions, one of which is a cobra roll. But the best aspects of this rollercoaster aren’t its inversions, height, or speed. What makes Flight of Fear great is its immersiveness. 

From men in hazmat suits to legitimate-looking UFO parts, every aspect of the ride is designed to look like it belongs to a sci-fi film. The post-launch experience takes place in complete darkness, which heightens your senses. So, even though the ride has a maximum speed of 54 miles per hour, you feel like you’re zipping across the emptiness of space at a much higher speed. 

The ride is 74.2 feet high but because the entire experience takes place indoors and in complete darkness, the track height doesn’t matter much. What does matter is Flight of Fear’s acceleration (0 to 54 mph in 4 seconds) and track acrobatics, which produce a G-force of 4.5g

Since there are no official in-ride videos, social proof is what most riders have to go by. And a queue time of 90 minutes is the best social proof an indoor rollercoaster can have.

  • Flight of Fear is an enclosed rollercoaster in the Area 72 section of Kings Island. 
  • The ride accelerates from 0 to 54 miles per hour in 4 seconds.
  • It has 4 inversions that take place in complete darkness.

6. Banshee

  • Date Opened: April 18, 2014 
  • Height: 167 ft
  • Length: 4,124 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 32 riders per train 
  • Drop: 150 ft
  • Top Speed: 68 mph
  • Ride duration: 2:40

Banshee is a thrill-packed rollercoaster ride featuring seven inversions. The ride’s atmosphere is quite light despite horror elements like the Banshee scream at the drop and the spooky decor at the launch station.

It reaches a top speed of 68 miles per hour and zips down across an acrobatic track with two back-to-back loops and a pretzel knot maneuver. It starts off by heading for its chain lift and ascends roughly 167 feet before plunging down a 150-foot drop.

The drop is followed by twin loops and multiple subsequent inversions. The first loop is the most intense one, but it is not as note-worthy as the pretzel knot maneuver. It looks like a pretzel with two mirror-opposite loops (dive loop and Immelmann loop).

Another standout feature is the zero gravity roll, though it isn’t as uncommon as a pretzel knot. During the roll, riders experience weightlessness and a feeling of being suspended not in their seats but in the air. Of course, this is a sensory illusion.

The zero gravity roll lasts less than a second but is often the highlight of the ride, which lasts two minutes and forty seconds.

Banshee is by no means the only rollercoaster with a large number (and wide range) of loops and inversions. What makes it special is how smooth it is to ride with this many maneuvers.

  • Banshee is located in the Action Zone section of Kings Island. 
  • It is one of the longest rides at the park.
  • The ride features 7 inversions and a 150-foot drop
  • Over 2 million rollercoaster enthusiasts have taken this ride

7. The Racer

The Racer
  • Date Opened: April 29, 1972 
  • Height: 88 ft
  • Length: 3,415 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 30 riders per train 
  • Drop: 82.17 ft
  • Top Speed: 53 mph
  • Ride duration: 2:00

The Racer, as the name suggests, is a racing rollercoaster. As a wood rollercoaster, its height and speed ceilings are lower than those of steel rollercoasters. The Racer has a top speed of 53 miles per hour and a drop height of roughly 82 feet. Again, those specs might not look impressive by steel rollercoaster standards but are remarkable for a wood rollercoaster.

One of the best aspects of this ride is the split-and-join track structure. While racing is a social element that makes rollercoaster rides fun, it can get monotonous. The Racer’s track layout splits the two trains onto separate tracks before rejoining them on parallel tracks. 

Not knowing which train is ahead makes the split more suspenseful and fun. Plus, like with most racing coasters, the two trains have identical design specs, creating a neck-and-neck competition.

The ride lasts two minutes but is so engaging that it feels like a thirty-second experience. That can be a little disappointing, but given the queue time of 10 to 20 minutes, you can come back for seconds.

If you’re not a diehard coasterhead and are visiting the park with your friends, then you’ll love this ride enough to take it twice. If you’re after track acrobatics and intense drops, then you might not even take it once.

That said, there is a man, Don Helbig, who has taken this ride over 12,000 times.

  • The Racer is one of the oldest racing rollercoasters in the world. 
  • It is located at the Coney Mall section of Kings Island.
  • The ride lasts 2 minutes and has a queue time of 15 minutes on average.

8. The Beast

The Beast
  • Date Opened: April 14, 1979 
  • Height: 110 ft
  • Length: 7,361 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 36 riders per train 
  • Drop: 141 ft
  • Top Speed: 64.78 mph
  • Ride duration: 4:10

The Beast is one of five wooden rollercoasters at Kings Island. So, for those who love wooden tracks, it is in the top five. But for the average park visitor, The Beast is special not because of its track material but because of its track length.

For a rollercoaster with over 7,000 feet of terrain-exploring tracks, it has a surprisingly high drop (141 feet). The Beast’s maximum speed is around 65 miles per hour, though it does not maintain said speed for most of its duration.

The ride is sustained by its first drop, which is also its most memorable aspect. The second most memorable aspect of The Beast is its 4-minute duration. It lasts twice as long as the standard Kings Island rollercoaster.

And it’s totally worth the 45-minute wait. If you love wooden rollercoasters and want to get that classic carnival coaster feeling, you should line up for The Beast. It is one of the best wooden rollercoasters in the country.

But if you got your start with steel rollercoasters and care little about ride duration, then you might not be all that impressed with this ride.

ACE has designated The Beast as a landmark rollercoaster, testifying to its historic significance. But as is the case with most historic coasters, their records are beaten by time. For now, The Beast remains the longest wooden rollercoaster in the world. But it is no longer the fastest and is an easy pass for speed chasers.

  • The Beast is located in the Rivertown section of Kings Island. 
  • It is a wood rollercoaster with a 141-foot drop.
  • This ride lasts 4 minutes and 10 seconds.
  • The Beast has a maximum vertical angle of 53° and a G force of 3.6g

9. The Bat

The Bat
  • Date Opened: April 9, 1993 
  • Height: 78 ft
  • Length: 2,352 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 28 riders per train 
  • Drop: 70 ft
  • Top Speed: 51 mph
  • Ride duration: 1:52

The Bat is a suspended rollercoaster that swings from side to side with each bend and curve. The ride maintains its top speed (51 mph) for an extended duration following a 70-foot drop. But the ride’s speed and drop aren’t as noteworthy as its sharp turns that send its riders swinging.

Each turn lasts only a few seconds and is followed by another turn. The entire ride lasts 2 minutes, 40 seconds of which the riders spend swinging. And if you are left wanting more, you can always come back for seconds. You can take the ride four to five times in one hour, as it has an average waiting time of 12 minutes.

This is a very general-audience ride, so you’ll like it no matter what you prefer in a rollercoaster. It has no inversions or vertical loops, but it features plenty of horizontal maneuvers.

  • The Bat is a flight-themed rollercoaster located at Kings Island’s Action Zone. 
  • The ride has a 70-foot drop and a 45° maximum vertical angle.
  • It is a suspended rollercoaster that swings with each turn

10. Backlot Stunt Coaster

Backlot Stunt Coaster
  • Date Opened: May 20, 2005 
  • Height: 45.2 ft
  • Length: 1,960 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 12 riders per train 
  • Drop: 31.2 ft
  • Top Speed: 40 mph
  • Ride duration: 01:04

Despite being a kiddy coaster, this ride is pretty thrilling. It has a top speed of 40 miles per hour, which might not sound all that impressive. But how soon it reaches that speed is this ride’s main draw. It goes from 0 to 40 mph in three seconds! Some parents might see that as a drawback, but most kids love it.

Each train/cart is designed to look like a MINI Cooper, and the track layout is based on the chase scene from Italian Job. Given that it mirrors a car chase (and that it is for kids), the stunt coaster has no inversions or vertical loops. 

It has a kid-friendly 31-foot drop and a 48-inch minimum height restriction. You’ll have to wait in line for 8 to 10 minutes before you get your turn on this 1-minute ride.

  • Backlot Stunt Coaster is a child-friendly rollercoaster. 
  • It is located in the Action Zone section of Kings Island.
  • The ride has a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour.
  • Stunt Coaster carts are designed to look like MINI Coopers.

11. Woodstock Express

Woodstock Express
  • Date Opened: April 29, 1972 
  • Height: 38.6 ft
  • Length: 1,350 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 20 riders per train 
  • Drop: 30 ft
  • Top Speed: 35 mph
  • Ride duration: 01:30

Like most kiddy coasters, Woodstock Express is a junior coaster and is skipped by thrill-seekers. It is a pretty good rollercoaster but by family-friendliness metrics. It doesn’t stand a chance against the more popular Kings Island rollercoaster by metrics like drop height and speed.

The maximum speed this ride offers is 35 miles per hour. For many rollercoaster enthusiasts, anything below 50 mph is not acceptable. It has a 30-foot drop, which is great for kids but feels like going down a slide for most adults.

Compare that to the 300-foot drop of Orion, and you can see why Woodstock Express has a ten times shorter queue. But for families, that can be a plus. Not only is the ride very child-friendly, but it is also time-friendly. It is a 1.5-minute experience with a wait time of 15 minutes.

It is busiest during weekends and in summer, but even then, its queue time rarely goes over 20 minutes.

  • Woodstock Express is among the oldest (currently operational) children’s rollercoasters.  
  • It is located in the park’s Planet Snoopy section.
  • The rollercoaster has a speed of 35 miles per hour and a drop height of 30 feet.
  • The ride is height-restricted at a 40-inch minimum.

12. Adventure Express

Adventure Express
  • Date Opened: April 13, 1991 
  • Height: 63 ft
  • Length: 2,963 ft
  • Seating Capacity: 30 riders per train 
  • Top Speed: 35 mph
  • Ride duration: 2:20

This mine train rollercoaster is a child-friendly rollercoaster that most solo adults should skip. It is reminiscent of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark in its treasure-hunting and rainforest motifs. It uses recorded sounds and landscape design to create an immersive experience.

The Adventure Express has a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour and a maximum height of 63 feet. But despite this height, it does not nosedive into a decent drop. For the most part, the mine carts move forward. And that’s the main draw.

The territory it explores is peppered with “forbidden forest” and “abandoned temple” elements. There’s also a recorded voice that warns the riders about disturbing the forest spirit. The ride is spooky, especially for kids, but it is not a bucket-list necessity for most coasterheads.

  • Adventure Express is located at Kings Island’s Adventure Port. 
  • It is a mine train meant for children
  • The ride lasts two minutes and twenty seconds
  • The rollercoaster has a minimum height restriction of 48 inches.

13. Great Pumpkin Coaster

Great Pumpkin Coaster
  • Date Opened: 1992 
  • Height: 8 feet
  • Length: 199 feet
  • Seating Capacity: 12 riders per train 
  • Top Speed: 2.61 mph
  • Ride duration: 00:52

The Great Pumpkin Coaster is a kids’ rollercoaster with an oval track and no prominent track maneuvers. No loops, no drop, and nominal speed. It is a kids’ coaster for kids who are too scared to get on other child-friendly rollercoasters at the park. 

And unlike the terrain-exploring and accelerated family coasters, this one has little to offer to adults. You should get on the pumpkin coaster if you want to accompany your child.

  • The Great Pumpkin Coaster is the slowest rollercoaster at Kings Island. 
  • It is located at the park’s Planet Snoopy section.
  • The ride has a 36-inch minimum height requirement.
  • The entire experience lasts 52 seconds.

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