Orion has reached the stars.
Workers at Kings Island lifted the top piece of the roller coaster's lift hill Wednesday morning, pausing to place an American flag on the summit as soon as it was locked into place.
WCPO's Chopper 9 and Dan Carroll were there to see the finishing piece of the 300 foot tall lift hill (technically 287 feet, with a 300 foot drop) squeezed into position, creating a towering "giga" coaster that can now be seen by passing drivers on I-71 in Mason.
The not-for-the-frightful job was finished on schedule, and with no major problems reported, by crews from Sky High Coaster Erectors of Illinois, using track constructed at nearby Clermont Steel Fabricators.
This doesn't mean, of course, that the coaster is ready for test runs. Much of the track, which will run into the woods at the back side of The Racer, has yet to be installed.
The park wanted to get the lift hill installed as soon as possible, to have the toughest section completed before the cold, windy winter weather arrives.
Orion is now the highest coaster at Kings Island at 300 feet, towering 70 feet above Diamondback, which is 230 feet tall.
A giga coaster is one that tops 300 feet, and Orion, designed by the Swiss firm B&M, joins an exclusive club of just 7 such coasters in the world.
Kings Island hopes to be able to start testing the coaster in early April 2020, with a planned opening around the third week of April.
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