Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Kings Island to add 'Tomb Raider'

Officials hush-hush on details, cost of 2002 ride

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Paramount's Kings Island will open a “next-generation” thrill ride in 2002 that will plunge riders into a dark and dangerous world and rely heavily on computerized special effects.

        “Tomb Raider: The Ride” will be the park's most ambitious adventure ride, officials said Monday, but they declined to reveal many of its working details or cost.

        Guests will be part of the action, even while waiting in line.

        “From the moment you enter the tomb and begin winding through the caverns, there will be special effects and things occurring at different points all the way throughout the adventure,” park spokesman Jeff Siebert said.

        The ride will occupy a building in the Rivertown section, next to The Beast. Tomb Raider, based on the popular movie and video game, will immerse visitors in effects that include skyrocketing into an ice cave and plunging into a pit of boiling lava.

        Season-pass holder John Peck drove from Columbus to Kings Island to learn about the new ride, which he said the theme park needed.

        “I think it appeals to a large age group,” said Mr. Peck, 27. “It's a nice alternative to roller coasters, and it fills in the missing gap the park had.”

        Leah Dowd, 15, of George town, Ky., who was visiting Kings Island with her family Monday afternoon, can't wait to get aboard the adventure ride.

        “I'm excited,” she said. “I like new stuff. It's different from the other rides, and it's mysterious.”

        Don Helbig, a member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts, said he is intrigued by the unique character of the ride. “It's not something you're going to see at a lot of parks closeby. I think it's great that they keep putting in variety.”

        California-based Technifex Inc. will design the special effects for Tomb Raider. A spokeswoman said the company has designed rides at Universal Studios, Disneyland and Disney World. A general contractor has not been selected.


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