REVIEW: Banshee – B&M Inverted Coaster at King’s Island – April 2019

Banshee – The Longest Invert in the World

King’s Island is the host of many well-known coasters. We’ve already covered different highly regarded coasters at the park such as Diamondback and The Beast, and both coasters have received great scores from us. Another coaster that is often talked about at King’s Island that we haven’t talked about yet is Banshee. This inverted coaster was added to the park in 2014, and currently holds the record as the longest inverted coaster in the world. It is often considered to be one of the greatest inverted coasters out there, if not the best ever. Is it really as good as people say? Here’s my opinion.

Tough Competition

Before riding Banshee, I had already been on a few different B&M inverts including the constantly praised Afterburn at Carowinds. I absolutely LOVED Afterburn when I rode it in 2017, and I had always considered it as my favorite B&M Invert and one of my top 10 favorite coasters. With that being said, Banshee had some pretty tough competition in order to become my new favorite invert. It was definitely possible though, since some coaster enthusiasts consider Banshee to be better than Afterburn.

Impressive Stats

I already stated that Banshee is currently the longest invert in the world, but it has so much more to offer on paper than just a long ride. The coaster also has 7 inversions, and although I could be wrong, I believe that is the most inversions on an invert (feel free to bash me in the comments if I’m wrong). It also stands at a height of 167 feet and reaches 67 mph, which again, I believe is the tallest and fastest on an invert. Overall, this coaster is monstrous and daunting. It also looks pretty nice too. The color scheme is pretty unique and eye catching, and the gothic Banshee theming is some of the best of the park. The whole creepy aesthetic could really freak inexperienced riders out, that’s for sure.

And the Ride is…Okay…

Stats are obviously not everything when it comes to a roller coaster. You can have a really tall, long and fast coaster with lots of inversions, and you can even make it look really cool, but all that doesn’t matter as much as the actual ride experience. And, well, I guess the experience is fine…but I wanted it to be a lot better than fine. It was kind of one of those situations where “bigger isn’t always better”. There was something about Banshee that felt very grandiose and elegant, but surprisingly not in a good way. It was like every large, over-the-top inversion they put into the layout took away from the intensity and pacing of the ride. For instance, by the time you get to the last inversion (an inline twist), you go through it so slow that it feels less like a grand finale and more like a drawn out, blood-rushing gymnastic tumble that doesn’t stick the landing. I actually got off the ride feeling a bit sick afterwards because the ride was just too long and spent too much time hurdling me through an unnecessary amount of hang time. There are some parts during the ride that I do enjoy, like the lift hill through the loop, the dive loop inversion, and the turn-around before the final inversion. The rest of the ride though…could be better.

The Verdict

The thing I love so much about Afterburn at Carowinds (and even the Batman: The Ride clones at various parks) is the tight, compact layout that offers relentless transitions with furious intensity. They might be short rides, but they’re strong ones. Banshee doesn’t have that. What looks good on paper about this coaster is certainly appealing to those who have never ridden before, but I honestly think that Banshee is one of the most overrated rides I’ve ever been on. The pacing feels weird, it has too many drawn out inversions, and there is little to no intensity. Maybe as I get more rides on the coaster my opinion will change, but for now I’d say I was thoroughly unimpressed.

Coaster Grade: 4.5/10

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