Diamondback – The Best Hyper Coaster?
Okay, with other hyper coasters like Mako and Shambala, it’s probably not the best hyper coaster out there. That said, many consider Diamondback to still be a top-tier hyper coaster. I got to ride it back in August, and I must say, out of all the hyper coasters I’ve ridden, I’d definitely agree that it is in the upper part of my list. However, is it the best ride in king’s island, the best hyper coaster I’ve ridden, and/or worth your time to ride? Read on to find out.
Waiting is Boring
Unfortunately, there’s nothing super notable about Diamonback’s queue. You can get a decent view of the splashdown while waiting, but that’s about it. Once I made it to the station, the biggest thing I noticed was the trains. Instead of having the normal B&M trains which have rows of 4, Diamondback has similar trains with winged seats. This means that there are two seats that are close together in the first row, and then two seats (spread apart) on either side of the train in the next row. I had actually already experienced these trains on Intimidator at Carowinds, but they were still a pretty rare and cool sight to see.
Lots and Lots of Floater Airtime
Once you leave Diamondback’s station, you immediately head up the lift hill and into the first drop. The drop isn’t anything crazy, but it’s definitely a good one. Unlike most drops on roller coasters that have ejector airtime, I found that Diamondback had more floater airtime on its way down. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just something that I noticed. Floater airtime seems to be this ride’s strongest feature, as the entire layout is 90% large hills that the train crests over rather slowly. If I had to pick the part of the ride that had the strongest floater, it would probably have to be the first two hills after the drop. If you like floater airtime, this is definitely the ride for you.
But There Isn’t Much Else…
Other than an abundance of floater airtime, Diamondback doesn’t have too much else going for it. The only elements that aren’t airtime hills are as follows: a forceless turnaround, a helix into the midcourse with a little force, another helix that is probably the weakest part of the ride (and one of the weakest helices ever), and an admittedly pretty awesome splashdown section before the end of the ride. This isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, as usually a hyper coaster’s main focus is to provide the rider lots of airtime hills, but I still think Diamondback could have benefited from more elements. I really can’t complain about the layout too much though, because it does do floater airtime phenomenally. I’d rather have that than something like Raging Bull at Six Flags Great America, which has a twister layout and does a whole lot of nothing. Also, the splash down I mentioned earlier is quite the unique touch, and does provide a decent finale to the ride.
I know it may sound like I’m hating on Diamondback a bit, but don’t get me wrong; this is still a very good coaster and definitely in the top 5 at King’s Island. I just really wish that it had something more than just floater airtime that I could get excited about. Even if that just meant the helices on the ride were more forceful, that would be enough for me to say that Diamondback is a great ride, instead of just a good one. If you have extra time to ride it, then definitely don’t skip out on it. However, if the park is really crowded and you only have time to get on one or two coasters, I would definitely say that Beast and Mystic Timbers are more worth your time.
Coaster Grade: 7.5/10
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