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Kings Island permanently closing one of its oldest roller coasters

When it first opened, The Vortex was the tallest and fastest full-circuit roller coaster in the world.

MASON, Ohio — Kings Island is saying goodbye to one of its oldest roller coasters.

After 33 years of screams, The Vortex will permanently close at the end of the fall operating season on Sunday, Oct. 27, park officials announced Friday.

When it first opened on April 11, 1987, The Vortex broke records as the tallest and fastest full-circuit roller coaster with the highest drop in the world. It was also the first coaster to take its riders upside-down six times.

Park officials say the attraction is closing because it “has simply reached the end of its service life.”

It was such a popular attraction in its first year, that it helped Kings Island surpass 3 million visitors in one season for the first time. Its record year was 1987 when 2.2 million rides were given.

The Vortex’s departure marks the second year in a row that Kings Island has permanently shuttered one of its coasters. Firehawk ended its run at the park last fall to make room for a new scream machine known as Orion, which will be the tallest, fastest and longest steel roller coaster ever constructed at Kings Island. Orion, which is slated to open in 2020, will feature a 300-foot drop with speeds up to 91 mph along 5,321 feet of track.

RELATED: Kings Island introduces its ‘tallest, fastest and longest’ rollercoaster for spring 2020

As we say goodbye to The Vortex, here’s a look at some fast facts about the long-running attraction:

Manufacturer: Arrow Dynamics

Date opened: April 11, 1987

Cost: $4 million

Hourly capacity: 1,500 passengers

Length of track: 3,526 feet

Maximum speed: 55 mph

Total number of riders since opening: 45,152,095

Ride length: 2:55

Lift hill: 148 feet high with a 55 degree drop of 138 feet

Loops: First vertical loop at 72 feet high; second vertical loop at 62 feet high; corkscrew at 30 feet high and 200 feet long

Boomerang turn: 60 feet from lowest to highest point

360 degree helix turn: Ends ride, total of 1.5 revolutions

Ride queue and load station: Re-purposed from the park’s original location of The Bat suspended coaster, which was removed after the 1984 season.

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