Trip Report: Kings Island
August 4, 2007
Kings Island Central: The Event
Following the trend of different kinds of trips to Kings Island this summer, today I opted to go to Kings Island, on a Saturday, in the summer. I know what you are thinking, "Are you out of your mind?" Perhaps yes, but this was also the day when a website I occasionally post to "Kings Island Central" was hosting their first ever organized social event. The event was, creatively enough, titled "KIC: The Event" (Kings Island Central: The Event). However, before I could attend the event, I had to register for it. I'm glad to see enthusiasts clubs are starting to embrace online event registration, and for a website based "club" it's a natural. Event prices for the event were just around $42.95, but if you had a pass or furnished your own admission, the price was rolled back to only $16.95.
It was obvious the park and KIC worked together well on this event from the moment I registered. Kings Island handled the entire registration process, from filling out the registration card (which gave Dane and Ryan the information they needed, and gave you the link you needed to go to the event ticket page). They used the standard Paramount Parks event ticketing page which works well for them, and is easy to use. It was particularly easy as I already have a profile on Paramount's event ticketing page so it filled in the vast majority of the information for me. It's a lot better than the event registration process I am used to. You may recall normally for an event, you read a paper flier, fill out a paper registration card, and send it with a paper check in a paper envelope. That's it, no confirmation, no nothing, just show up at the park gate the day of the event and hope your name is on the guest list. While I haven't had any problems, I am still one to take a copy of the canceled check with me just in case. The KIC: The Event tickting process was, not too surprisingly, similar to the Coastermania and CoasterEXT registration procedures, and soon I had confirmations galore. An e-mail confirming my RSVP, and an email confirming my ticket order. What's more, just two days later, I received the manila envelope containing my receipt and personalized event ticket. To sweeten the pot, the ticket stub has a $15 off one admission coupon.
Just about the only thing I didn't like about the registration process was the $3.95 processing fee (postage on manilla envelope: 81 cents), but then that same business practice irks me to no end with TicketMaster as well. It does irk me a bit more as the Paramount Parks event ticket system has boasted NO processing fees IF you elect a print at home e-ticket. The park was cunning enough to NOT offer e-tickets to this event, so you had to pay the service fee. It's a minor blemish in the grand scheme of things, and the only ding in a very smooth electronic registration process.
So on Saturday morning, I left home with camera, season pass, and the all important event ticket in tow and headed to the park. Following advice on the website, I did grab a breakfast at McDonald's before arriving at the park at around 8:48 am. I walked up to the entrance plaza to find a quite large crowd already assembled. I knew the event was limited to just around 100 people, but it sure looks like more than that here. Following directions, I headed to the former season pass entrance. Setup at this side gate was a registration table. Registration was speedy, you just told them the name used to charge your event tickets (tickets were only available presale and then only with credit card), and they crossed you off the list and handed you a FUNvelope along with a copy of the days event schedule and a empty lanyard. While I was checking in the group around me had their yellow tickets out where they could be seen by the registration crew, but I'm not sure if that was needed as you were being checked off against the ticket sales list, not the RSVP list.
After having a very efficient registration, I opened my FUNvelope to obtain the insert for my lanyard. Then a few moments of arts and crafts time as I inserted the insert into the lanyard, connected the two ends of the safety break away joint together and I was ready for the event. I noticed the prime feature in the design of the credentials in the lanyard were the letters "VIP" in large friendly letters, flanked on top by the event logo, and on the bottom by the Kings Island logo. The top of the credentials read "080407" which was how the event was teased before we even knew it was an event, and the bottom had a sticker with your username on it.
Now, living in Cincinnati, I have gone to some other events at the park and seen cases where various departments in the park did not seem to talk to each other about the event. I recall once where we were admitted to the park before security even arrived, and they demanded we exit the park and be screened, and another instance when the admission people were not informed that a season pass plus the event lanyard was as good as having the event ticket. I am pleased to say that was NOT the case with this event.
In this case, after checking in, we milled around outside the park, as nothing was open including the metal detection point. Shortly before 9AM our event hosts walked us over to the three metal detectors on the far left (nearest the will call buidling) that had previously been roped off, and gave our group exclusive use of those three lanes so that we could gain entrance to the park at least 30 minutes before the regular visitors. Having no troubles with metal detection, we proceeded to the admission gate, where there was no problem getting in with a season pass and event lanyard. Following directions, I headed to the plaza in front of the Paramount Theater. We waited here for a bit, and made introductions and small talk, while the rest of the group got checked in, and cleared through metal detection and the admission gate. At around 9:10 it was time to begin.
First up, our hosts introduced themselves. Ryan and Dane from the KI Central side, along with Josh and Don Helbig (Mr. 12,000 Racer Rides) from Kings Island's marketing department. Ryan and Dane are to be complimented for dressing professionally for the event in dress clothes and ties, despite the near 100 degree temperatures we would be facing. There were some general announcements and ground rules about how the event was going to go. Most noteworthy was that because Son of Beast was not behaving today, the Son of Beast Photo Tour would have to be canceled, but not to worry, a replacement activity has been scheduled to replace it. Almost as if on cue, security dropped the rope by Paramount Theater and we were escorted back to X-Base.
Once we arrived at X-Base, we were greeted in the Flight of Fear plaza by two Flight of Fear team members who would be leading us on the Flight of Fear backstage tour. Simple ground rules, don't touch any track or parts, and stay behind the safety fences. We were led into the Flight of Fear building via the exit hallway and came into the unload station. Here there were views of the short tunnel that goes between unload and load with the lights on, but more interestingly, we got to see a train in unload complete with its brand new on board video system. We also got to see something the average guest won't get to see, a bunch of heavy duty cables running from the coaster cars to a power source, presumably to give the camera system its daily charge.
From there we went through a wooden gate ad down a short flight of stairs so that we were level with the transfer track/brake run, then down a much longer stairway to the floor of the show building, we walked under and to the side of the brake run, being careful to watch out for tripping hazards and low beams. When we made our way into the main show building, thats where you hear the oohs and ahhs of those that have never had the experience before, and some who have. Flight of Fear's drum section is often dubbed a spaghetti bowl, and for good reason. There is a whole bunch of track in there packed in about as tightly as clearance guidelines will allow. It is very impressive, and for us they had both the work and show lights on for a unique look at it all. I also noted that since the ride spends much of its operational hours in the dark, there are parts of it that are quite a bit dusty. As I was walking around the perimeter safety fence I heard people wonder which went up first the building or the ride. Because I care about you so much, I went back and looked at my notes from a Flight of Fear tour I had taken on October 2, 2004.
A reading from Dave's previous Flight Of Fear Tour Trip Report:
That lecture included such fascinating tidbits as the fact the ride was first designed to launch via a flywheel cable system. That idea was short lived, however, when they could not find such as system that would meet their needs. They then saw one of those LIM powered people movers and thought "If we scale this up", and thus the idea of a LIM powered coaster was born. Other tidbits were that due to the construction timelines, the building was constructed first, then the ride was installed inside the building (usually its the other way around on indoor coasters), and that the building has serivce cranes built into it. However, he got the biggest round of applause when he talked about changing the shoulder bars to lap bars, and detailed the 6 month testing process where they mounted a car on a piece of track, put people in the car and turned it upside down to see how it worked.
Here endeth the reading.
I walked around the Flight of Fear show building, which besides the massive roller coaster taking up most of the building it also has lots of other interesting points of interest. Amongst them are the King Cobra trains, a Flight of Fear car that is still equipped with shoulder bars, the bare metal frame of a Flight of Fear car, boxes of giant springs, boxes of flat metal fins that were labeled "LIM Fins" which I presume could work on both Flight of Fear and Italian Job. There were also parts of coaster lift chains, old used ride control consoles, and many bins of various ride parts. Remember the service cranes I mentioned, well towards the back of the show building I saw a crane head that was labeled indicating it had a 3 ton capacity. Sitting next to it was what looked like a crane basket without minimal railings suitable for lifiting parts (and I presume properly harnessed passengers) In the big open area towards the front of the show building were both a small cylyndrical crane basket which I think is a single passenger manlift, as well as a larger rectangular basket complete with railings all around it and clearly visible Red Cross symbols. I will presume this is a bigger work lift that is rated for use as a ride evacuation lift.
Towards the end of our photo safari time, we were given the rare opportunity to stand inside the fully lit show building and watch (and possibly photograph/video) a Flight of Fear train go through the circuit. After the test ride, the photo tour was over and we were escorted out the way we entered the Flight of Fear building. Okay, 1 event down on the event agenda, and it was a success. As we exited the Flight of Feat building we were encouraged to head directly to Firehawk, "Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200" as the general public was about to be admitted to the park. I had a fanny pack and all, but still opted to get the locker so that I would be more comfortable on the ride. We were all safely in line in time to be able to watch "The Running of the Bulls" and see the surprised looks on the faces of the front runners when they saw a queue had already formed.
I did notice that Kings Island has joined the Cedar Fair tradition of starting the day with the national anthem, and nothing, I repeat nothing takes place in the park during the playing of the national anthem. As an aside, I have noticed this year, mostly because I have been arrived at the park after noon, that the giant flag in the front of the park is proudly flying during the day, and is absent at night (yes, it is equipped with the required lighting for night use) Today I noticed the flag was not flying when I arrived. Perhaps Cedar Fair is taking a page of out Walt Disney's book and is being patriotic with flag raising and retreats at the proper times. Where was I, yes waiting for Firehawk to open. The ride wound up opening at around 10:10, and after the queue was open and we were advanced in, I found myself in the last switchback lane before the greeter and queue split. Shortest wait i have had for this yet, and they had both stations/trains running.
We were sent down the left lane (the one that ducks underneath the track and enters the right hand station), where a seat assigner was grouping people. I got sent to row 4 and was soon off on another great FireHawk ride. This ride is quickly becoming one of my favorites in the park. For the most comfortable ride, you have to ride arms outstretched like a superhero and embrace the flying concept.
After First Ride on Firehawk (event #2: chalk up another success), I decided that now would be my best shot at getting a ride in on Flight of Fear. I left the stuff in the locker and headed into Hangar 18. The line was just back to the door between the hangar proper and the entrance hall, and they were going the short way, and the pre show video was running. Not too long after I was getting into seat 2.2, and had no trouble fitting the safety restraints. I can verify that if there is any lighting for the on ride video it is infared or other invisible lighting that will not distract the riders. Decals advertising the on ride videos have been added to the cars since my last visit and . WHAM here we go into the show building. Dark as ever, and the trims hit as hard as ever but it was still a great ride. One of the parks top rides. Its no wonder X-Base gets crowded, it has two great rides. Upon exiting Flight of Fear, I noted it was 10:50. I also noted the Sign Shop tour was at 11:00, and I was very interested in taking the Sign Shop Tour. Meeting spot: path to picnic grove. Move out, its going to be a sprint to make it there in time. First I had to get my stuff out of the locker, then I moved it at as fast a pace as I could muster given the out of control heat and the fact it was an uphill trek most of the way.
The good news is I made it to the meeting spot on time, and with some flexibility in the schedule I would have had some time to spare. When it was presumed that most of the group had arrived, we were escorted back the Boomerang Bay/ Picnic Grove trail, and went backstage through the gate directly across from the picnic grove entrance. A quick lanyard check and soon we were standing on a service road. We started walking back the service road and saw a building labeled PKIU. The building itself wasn't that remarkable, but what was noteworthy were the multiple hearses parked out front. I suppose FearFest isn't that far away.
We walked further down the service road we came to the Sign Shop building. Some time was given for the work crews to close off parts of the building that were not open for tours. I can somewhat feel for them, I mean to have a large group of strangers invade your work area, toting cameras is certainly an awkward situation. We were told to wait on the driveway outside the sign shop and due to the nature of the worksop environment we would be taken inside in small groups of 20. Later on, the waiting area was moved to just inside the building so as to let people get out of the direct sun.
When my turn came around, we were let into a back room. The sign shop is also the parks Art and Design department, and clearly the current project is FearFest theming. It was hard to miss the massive crypt style tombstones bearing the names of Cedar Fair executives, and the smaller gargoyles and other things that were being put together. In a way I was both surprised and somewhat honored that they would allow us to see, and photograph, and post on the web for all to see, set pieces for an attraction that is still under development. But seeing what the project of the day isn't the main reason for the sign shop tour. You see, it seems like the park does not throw out many, if any of the parks former signs. I suspect this is for reuse, or so their designs can be reused. This gives the workshop a park history museum kind of feel to it. There were the big show pieces like the huge King Cobra and Winter Festhaus signs, down to obscure thngs like signs for booths and one time special events. Those would include two Survivor logos. Sitting in the back of the shop is a rack full off all the past skins for the portable A-frame signs they use for special events. It was one of those tours that went by so fast and there was way too much for one person to notice. Another task of this crew is restoring the carousel horses. The park has a few spare horses, and the horses are cycled out for rehab on a continual basis.
On our way out of the sign shop, we were reminded that the 12:15 Son of Beast tour had been canceled, "While the ride is closed it is considered a hard hat area, and therefore for your safety we aren't allowed to take any tours back there" We were presented with our replacement activity. Pair up into teams of two, one person from each time come up to collect an ink pen and a packet. Yep, its another of the infamous Kings Island Evil and Demented Scavenger hunts. This one was a bit different than their past hunts. Instead of being given a clue of what to find in the form of a cryptic rhyme, each team was presneted a packet with tiny thumbnail size images, except they weren't full images, they were extreme close ups of a minute part of something. If you like the Eyebenders in Games magazine this is for you. All you have to do is look at the pictures and write down on the answer sheet where in the park it is, be as specifc as possible. Each picture correctly identified is woth 1 point except for the two bonus items worht 3 points. The instructions inform you that you will need to go to all sections of the park to complete the hunt, and that all the items can be found in areas of the park that are accessible to the general public. I noted that prizes would go to the top two scoring teams. The winning team would get a PKI-Opoly game and a Kings Island viewmaster for each person, the runner ups would only get the viewmasters. Oh and you have till dinner to complete and turn in your answers.
I was planning on posting the scavenger hunt clues and answers here, but this post from Kings Island Central does the job quite nicely:
After the Scavenger Hunt was introduced, we were asked to kindly stay on the driveway directly outside the sign shop, and we would be escorted back in to the park. Upon being escorted back into the park, I made my way to Avatar: The Last Airbender. I noted a mostly full queue, but it moves fast. I also noticed a large group of event participants fall into line around me. It didn't seem like long at all, thanks to conversation, that we were informing the grouper we had 7 people. It did not help us get preferred seats, even with the VIP tags. We wound up in middle row 3. Avatar is a fun ride, and was also quite refreshing with the natural air conditioning provided by the spinning.
After Avatar, the group went to Chick-Fill-A for soft drinks, and then announced that they simply planned on chilling out in the Festhaus until the ice show. I had a naive moment, I was all gung-ho about ignoring the oppresively hot weather, I have rides to ride. In fact as I had already seen Endless Summer on Ice, I was planning on skipping the Ice Show, and since I had been on numerous Beast tours, I planned on having a nice ride session and rejoining the group for dinner. At least thats how I had it planned.
I did grab a Strawberry/Banana Chill at a cart located near Eiffel Tower and headed to Action Zone. It did not take long for my enthusiasm to get squashed. I got to Delirium, and saw a totally full queue with the line overflowing out onto the midway. I verified Son of Beast was closed, and that Face/Off and Drop Zone had lengthy lines. I didn't feel up to the hike back to Top Gun, so soon made a hasty retreat out of Action Zone.
I did briefly think of rejoining the others in the Festhaus, but pressed on into Oktoberfest. Once in Oktoberfest, I went on Adventure Express, and the queue was backed up about a third of the way over the bridge over the track. Interestingly, when I got to the queue split everybody was heading towards the front, so I dashed through the line for back. Soon I was in a seat near the back of the train. Adventure Express gave a noteworthy ride. Not only was the ride running great, it seems that attention has been afforded to the special effects, such as the errie green lights on the lift, but most noteably all the tribal drummers AND the big boss at the top of lift 2 were fully illuminated and working. Wow, I haven't seen this in awhile. Adventure Express is getting some love from the special effects maintainence team.
After Adventure Express, I headed into Coney Mall, and proceeded to take a ride on Racer. The line was down the ramp, but quite back to the queue house. As always there was congestion in the station, and once I actually got up to the load station, there were plenty of seats available in the back of the train, so I chose seat 5.2. One click on the lapbar and away we go. I see the FireHawk line looks insane, I note we are actually racing, and I note the ride is running as good as it can be given the trim brakes.
Racer was so good, I went and tried recaR. The line and congestion in the station were about the same, and I found myself in 5.1. Again one click, and again the trains were racing. Backwards was giving a great ride until the big dip right before the turnaround. That was when the safety bar decided it wanted to go CLICK-CLICK OUCH, I didn't know it could get down that far. Well there is still airtime on backwards side, as it was a bit unpleasant with the bar embedded into your gut. I was just happy there was enough room to push down, then pull up at the end of the ride.
After recaR, I was headed towards Vortex, but spotted an interesting situation at Monster. Both lanes were open, there were several people in the right lane, and almost nobody in the left lane. Hey, maybe those Disney guidebooks about always taking the left lane were correct. The upshot is that by noticing the line disparity I was awarded with a near walk on ride on Monster. Woo-hoo. I can verify they are still using the click pins instead of Eyerly door keys. I had a well behaved tub. That meant that while it didn't spin at an incredible rate, it did keep pretty much in constant rotational motion, and as with most good Monsters, the up and down motion of the tub provided nice floater air especially as the effect seems to amplify and by the end of the ride you are getting bounced up and down in the seat. I knew there was a reason I liked these rides.
I grabbed a courtesy ice water at Subway before heading to the Arcade.
I call a cool break. I didn't play any of the games, but I did take another look at the Kiddie Casino. I don't get redemption games that last maybe 5 seconds per quarter, with incredibly awful payback percentages. (Then again, what do I know, I like playing slot machines that last about 3-5 seconds for often more than a quarter, and sometimes offer dubious payback percentages)
After chilling in the Arcade, I headed to Vortex. The Vortex line was back to the Shake, Rattle and Roll exit, and the switchbacks in the station were in use. It still a pretty short wait all things considered. I soon found myself in the front of the back car. The car that gets what is possibly the best airtime moment in the whole park, shame it is ruined by shoulder bars. And I swear they have really tightened that mid course back up to the point where it hangs you through the corkscrews. After my Vortex ride, I checked the clock, it was 2:15. And this oppresive heat is not getting any better. At first I thought I would skip the Ice Show, but now, here it is 2:15 and NOTHING sounds better than parking my butt in an air conditioned theater for an hour. I did enjoy a nice cold adult beverage, okay a BEER!!!, while walking to the Paramount Theater.
According to my instructions, I had interpreted it to mean we were to meet at the left side doors to the Paramount Theater. When I approached the theater there was no crowd gathered along the side but I found the group by the left front door. Shortly before 2:30 our hosts invited us to walk around to the side door,and after a quick lanyard check we were admitted to the Paramount Theater about 15 minutes before the general public. The majority of the group decided to take the suggestion that we fill up the first few rows.
While we were waiting for the show, our hosts checked to make sure everybody was having fun, to remind us of what the future events are today, but the most important announcement before the ice show was that Maureen (the parks former PR person) was making a cameo appearance at this event. Also before the show, the spirit of cooperation was making itself known as I noted people were sharing scavenger hunt hints. Once the doors opened to the public, we got to watch the children of the audience (mainly) play a big game of Simon Says to kill time. Then of course there was the usual screaming competition to get the audience all warmed up for Endless Summer on Ice.
So as I said, the show in the Paramount Theater is "Endless Summer on Ice", the headliner of the parks live entertainment program. It looks like they placed a synthetic surface on the stage, however after getting "iced" during one particular skating maneuver, I can verify that it is a real ice surface, albiet somewhat small. The show offers a series of scenes that depict the typical summer. Last day of school, camping trip to Jellystone complete with Yogi Bear, a day at the bech, a trip to a NASCAR race complete with Scooby Doo, 4th of July celebration, return to school, and the return to school dance. Lots of song and dance numbers complete with figure skating moves complete with some spins, flips and jumps, even some trick moves. All in all I thought it was a very good show, and I do think the parks live entertainment department is back in good hands, and unlike Paramount, Cedar Fair seems willing to fund it. I really enjoyed this show on July 1, and it seemed to be even more spectacular today.
After the show, we remained seated while the general public left the theater. As part of the event package, we were treated to a meet and greet with the cast of Endless Summer on Ice. While we waited for the case to change into street clothes and get refreshed after the show, we started playing a Kings Island trivia game, then once it became apparent that the questions were way to simple for such a seasoned group of Kings Island enthusiasts such as us, it suddenly became Scott's Trivia Game. I mean there are people who know such minutia about Kings Island that they had no trouble answering the question "Who made the ticket printers Kings Island uses?"
First we were introduced to the cast, then we had a Q&A session. There were questions of a wide variety asked. Questions from the basic "How long have you been skating?" (most since a very young age) "What got you into skating?" (More than one person noted they were introduced to skating by a friend, a friend that no longer skates), to the technical "How do you adjust for the small rink?" (Some noted that this is actually a bit bigger than the rinks used on cruise ships, but the general answer is by careful use of corners and geometry to make the most of the smaller floor), questions about shos business like "What did you do before this show" or "What do you have lined up after this show?" (most mentioned they have done other shows of various types, and most have something lined up), of course with a group of park enthusiasts, they were asked to name their favorite ride (Vortex and Firehawk got several mentiones, and a few people who stated they either don't like rides, or just haven't had time), even the morbid questions like "What is the worst accident you had?" (I think the winner went to the one that was doing a flip or jump, misjudged the edge of the stage and went flying into the audience (not at Endless Summer, sounded more like an arena show somewhere). A lot of them mentioned how different "Endless Summer" is to their regular routine. They indicated that they are used to giving one 2 hour show a night rather than 4 half hour shows, and yes the repetition does start to wear on them. They indicated that there have not been any changes mid year to the Ice Show, and I don't think we got a confirmation on if we would have an Ice Show next summer. After the very informative Q&A session, there was some time for a meet and greet before we were dismissed.
Upon leaving the theatre, a quick time check revealed we would have to head directly to the Beast, for the Beast Photo Safari. I had not originally planned on the Beast Photo Safari, but I could meet up with Don Flint there, and I figured with the crowd size, I couldn't really do much else, so why not? I headed to Beast and had intended on getting a bottle of water to take with me. Hey it was near a hundred degrees, and we would be outdoors in the middle of nowhere for about an hour. Unfortunately the vending machine was out of water, so I settled for a citrus soda.
A short time later, the service gate to the right of the ride entrance was opened, lanyards checked, and we walked back the service road. There was then an unannounced attraction, as some took photos of the Tomb Raider theme pieces sitting out behind the Tomb Raider building. The ground rules for the tour are the usual, stay on the paths, don't touch the structure, and take nothing but photos.
The tour started next to the station area, and we walked down a roadway that goes alongside the final brake run, then ducks through an opening built into lift hill 1, we then made a quick right and walked through a 'tunnel' made up of the bracing for lift hill 1. The first photo attraction came when we got to the base of the first drop where the train enters tunnel 1. I noted the park has added some safety fencing in this area, probably especially for photo tours such as this.
This particular area is pretty good for photos. You have drop 1, the entrance to tunnel 1, the exit from tunnel 1, and the big turn after the tunnel as well as the drop off lift 2, part of the helix and the final dip into the brakes all at your disposal for action shots.
But proceed we must, but not before peering deep into the woods to get some shots at a distance from drops 2 and 3. We then talk under the second hill and alongside lift 2. Unlike on past tours, they were totally cool when we wanted to get close to the motorhouse for lift 2 and take photos of the motor and mechansisms (there is a locked safety gate). Next to the motorhouse is the bridge to lift 2. As usual we couldn't go there, but there was a place to get a shot of the approach to lift 2. Did I mention Beast is very photogenic?
From this point the paved driveway ends, and we continue further back in the woods on a gravel trail. This isn't Holiday World, so I can't call it the Snowy White Gravel Road. The trail to see the rest of the ride goes deep into Beast Woods and parts of it have lots of foliage, and there are also parts where the ride can't be seen at all. Since it was also Boy Scout days in the park, and I just watched the Weird Al concert Saturday, I'll call this part of tour the "Nature Trail To H***".
And look, while we are on our nature trail, the next point of interest is up on the left, here you can see the track enter tunnel 2, and if you look on the right, you can see the wooden horseshoe part of tunnel 2 heading back behind some trees. Let's grab a few photos, and head on our nature trail. By the way, how many people remember when the land where Beast now sits was a nature trail, for real, along with a canoe ride.
Anyway there is another short section of nature trail, then look to you right to see the other end of the wooden horseshoe part of tunnel 2 diving back under the path you are walking on, and it you look to the left, you can see the train exit tunnel 2, and make the right curve towards that long ground hugging rambling section.
Now we have a longer nature trail, then the trail goes down a steep hill. You can go on, I'm going to just wait up here on top of the hill. I've had problems in the past with the gravel on the steep hillside giving way under my feet causing a real dangerous trek. No one in our group hit the gravel, but there were a couple close calls.
At the bottom of the hill, is what I can best describe as the Beast's turnaround point, its where you stop heading further back into the woods, and start on the way back home. The gravel path gets very near the track which allows for some great photos, and great photographer/rider interaction. Don't worry I was still able to get some good shots from up on top of the hill. At all the signifcant photo spots amble time was given to photograph several trains, and we stayed at the turnaround for a while before heading back in.
We went back the same way we came, so we passed the same spots, and some folks got some more photos, but this was a faster paced walk. There was another point of interest when we got back to the front of the ride. Here we could venture into the space between the train storage area, and the motorhouse for lift 1, along with some supply sheds. These last photos taken it was back the path to the park. Another chance to get those Tomb Raider photos, or rare shots of Beasts queue maze, and station from otherwise inaccesible places. I even took some Vortex photos from the unusual vantage point. Well, look at that I am back in Rivertown, time to check my watch, and look at that, it's time for dinner.
I decided to walk through Rivertown to get some shots of the closed Tomb Raider ride. Those ancient caves come complete with modern garage doors, didn't you know. By the time I got back to International Restaurant, dinner was in progress. I entered the restaurant, ticket out, but the host at the bottom of the stairs indicated that the lanyard was sufficient to enter. So I head upstairs, and the line for the buffet is back into the lobby. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the lobby walls are covered with old newspaper clippings of new attraction announcements for Kings Island. I noted the Carousel Room and bar areas were off limits.
Dinner was described as an elegant picnic. After waiting for some time in the buffet line, I reached the head of the line. Here I took a red cloth napkin which was rolled around real silverware, then took a real china plate. I started down the buffet table: dinner rolls, baked beans, potato salad, buns, hot dogs, hamburgers, a nicely stocked toppings area for the sandwhiches, and fried chicken. Over at the next table, I picked up a real glass, filled it with ice, and poured a soft drink. Sitting at the very end was a freezer with ice cream. In other words, it was the standard Cedar Fair picnic package served amidst the elegance of the former International Restaurant. You will, however, notice there was no gravy on that buffet.
I first tried to join a couple groups, but wound up starting a new table. Not too long after we had a full table good ofgood food and good conversation. Oh the elegance continued to the dining tables where they had real tablecloths and Eiffel Tower centerpieces sitting on mirror bases. Overall there were very few announcements during dinner, but the scavenger hunt players did have to turn in their papers during dinner. So after enjoying my share of the hospitality, it looked to be around 6:30 and time to find a ride or two.
I gathered with Don Flint and his group outside the International Restaurant, and as a group we decided to go ride Son of Beast. We headed over to Son of Beast, and as we were getting in line, one person of our group got a weather alert page. The page indicated that severe weather was due in our area in about an hour. That should be just about right, as should be heading to the Paramount Theatre for the "Night at the Paramount Theatre" but the rain may arrive first, so we could see it would be a race to get our ride and get back to the theatre.
The line for Son of Beast was back to the tunnel under the service road. The group was guessing 20-30 minutes, but having just done this a week or so ago I know that 40-45 would be a closer guess. One of the benefits of being in a big group is the conversation makes the wait time just fly by. When we got to the top layer of the ramp queue, we could also kill some time by taking photos. We got a few drops of rain but nothing major.
When we were almost up to the station, we got something else to watch and kill time. We saw a service truck pull up, a ride mechanic get out, take a wood ladder out of his truck and haul it up the long stiarcase up to the Son of Beast platform. He also pulled up some other stuff with a rope and pulley arrangement. We never did see what he was doing, and it didnt effect ride operation. We were glad to get under the station roof in case we did get a downpour.
When it came time to choose seats our group filled rows 5.1, 5.2, and 6.1 of the blue train. More specifically I was in row 5.2. I was not exactly looking forward to it when the train left the station, we headed up the lift and after the ear splitting loud racket cresting the lift. I must admit that todays ride was better than my first ride, mainly due to the fact I followed the guideline "Don't let your back touch the seat back". As i said then the ride is great up the lift, down the first drop, up the second hill, its the Rose Bowl Helix where the ride turns into ShuffleMania. Yes, the train was still shuffling like mad, but keeping my back off the seat back and leaning forward while grabing tight to the grab bar seemed to help. When you get to the mid course brake, the brakes bring the train down to a crawl, which also seems to reset the train so the drop off the mid course, and the new track section are nice and smooth, but then the rest of the ride is all curves, so more shuffle action. We returned to the station and decided it wasn't that bad.
After our Son of Beast ride, I would have liked to ride Top Gun, as the two rides seem meant to be ridden in a pair, and I had not yet ridden Top Gun today, but the majority voted for Adventure Express, so thats where we headed. I was glad to see I was not just imagining the improvements to Adventure Express. If we get the bell at the entrance to tunnell 1 ringing, and the spears popping out of tunnel 2 operating, I think we would almost have the entire package.
After our Adventure Express ride it was almost 8, and even better it looks like that storm changed paths and will go north of the park. We headed to the Paramount Theater and joined the crowd waiting outside. After the audience had left after watching the 7:30 Endless Summer on Ice, we were admitted to the theatre. Almost everybody headed to the front of the theatre, which given the video nature of the presentation, may not have been the brightest move.
First order of business were the general announcements, and the thanks to Josh,Don and Scott for having us. Scott was introduced as the manager of the Paramount Theatre, and has been very instrumental in getting KIC sneak peeks of upcoming shows, not only that he is letting us use his theatre tonight. Before we start the videos, it was time to talk about the scavenger hunt. We spent time discussing some items that generated interesting (but wrong) answers. It was also announced that the prizes were being slightly upgraded. First of all both the winner and the runner up would collect the same prize. That prize would be a PKI-Opoly and Viewmaster for each person, plus a collection of undisclosed promotional posters from the PR department. They talked about how they were worried they would end up with a five way tie or something like that, but were relieved when they had clear cut winners. Lets see it looks like a perfet score would be 51 points. It was revealed that the runner up scored 36 and the winner scored 38. Prizes were passed out, winners congratulated, and in a refreshing change in policy, they said the answers would be available as we left the theater. (In the past, the park did not reveal the answers in case they wanted to reuse the game)
After the winners were announced it was time for the video presentations!
"Roll that beautiful bean footage!"
For the first video segment, they said that even though it is KI Central, they are working on some other related projects. One of those is LeSourdsville Lake, and that they were given special permission by Jerry Couch to walk through LeSourdsville Lake and take photos. So, they took the photos, and decided to share them with us. So after polishing it up into a video file, adding music and all that, it was time for the video. The introduction to the segment had me bracing for the worst. The slideshow started, and I realize I am no expert, but I didn't think the park looked near as bad as I feared. Sure there are some signs that look faded, are missing letters, or are broken. (Most tragically the Screechin' Eagle sign is broken in half. Some of the rides look like they were taken apart and stored, others look like they were left out to the elments. (Like the Pirat and the Carousel, but the Carousel is under a pavilion). The pool is drained as you might expect, and I can' tell if the lake was filled in, or just filled with the scum and alegy that collect when a body of water stands too long, particularly a man made body of water like that lake. The Belle of Lesourdsville has been taken out of the lake and is sitting up on its trailer. At the end of the show they showed the Screechin Eagle. It has been overtaken by brush, but it looks like it the brush was cleared the basic structure still stands. Of course I remember it cost a lot of money to get it running after sitting dormant for only 2 seasons, we are now up to 5 dark years. Again, it was depressing, but it didn't look near as bad as I had thought. I temper that comment with the fact that it was announced that video was only a teaser and that the photos shown were just the tip of the iceberg. We should keep our eyes peeled to see the rest of the photos. But hey, why should you be sitting there happy, let me bring you down too! KIC was nice enough to post this presentation on YouTube, and its link is:
But we are at an amusement park, its time to get happy!
Our next presentation comes to us from 2004. This video stars former PKI PR personalities Jeff and Maureen. Sadly, Maureen had other plans and was not present to witness this in perso. In 2004, working with the parks Viacom parents, they created a new attraction teaser video that was themed to imitate the famous Brady Bunch episode, "Cincinnati Kids". Maureen played Ma Brady and the three daughters, and Jeff played Mr. Brady, the three sons, and ALICE! Given their association with the time with Viacom, the opening and closing credits are spot on for Brady Bunch, except with Jeff and Maureen dressed up as all the characters for the opening credits, and of course their names in the closing credits.
Okay, for the benefit of those who had not seen the original Brady Bunch episode, I am about to compare the two versions. I know the first time I saw the promo video at a different coaster event, I had not watched the original, or if I had, I did not remember it. So I failed to get the in jokes, but since then, thanks to cable and DVDs I have now seen the original Cincinnati Kids.
Both versions start out with Mr. Brady announcing a surprise vacation to Cincinnati, in both cases the family is less than thrilled until they learn that his client is an amusement park. In the remake, to cover the fact that there are only two actors, the shot only shows the Brady parents, and not the children. Then the remake used vintage footage of the original for establishing shots of the park. This includes such things as the old front gate, a ride on the Bayern Curve, and of course the famous Racer ride.
Gone from this segment are the subplots the original had. One subplot involved the children being admonished not to spoil their appetite on carnival junk food, as they had a big lunch planned, quickly followed by scenes of a pair of the children stopping at about every food stand they came across (and trying to justify each purchase), culminating meeting back up for lunch with a full belly. The other subplot was about the older Brady daughter flirting with the Football Toss operator, and subsequently following him even as he took a shift covering as a costume character, causing envy with one of the Brady sons, who bribes another costume character to borrow his costume. Someone did ask about this subplot after the video finished.
What is important is the main plot, the family meets for lunch. During lunch one Brady daughter shows off a poster she had purchased at the park. Ma Brady looks concerned at this point, and well she should, I mean every seasoned park goer knows you wait till you are leaving the park to purchase souvenirs, particularly those which could be easily damaged. Actually, MA Brady does express concern about the poster getting damaged, and suggests that Mr. Brady loan the daughter one of his blueprint tubes. Not to over analyze this (Too Late!), but why is Mr. Brady carrying around a spare poster tube in the park, and if it wasn't a spare, if the blueprints, which mean big money, were valuable enough to put in two separate tubes, why merge them together just to protect a souvenir poster. Why, the plot of course, this allows the tubes to both be set under the table, and swapped, unbeknownst to their owners. Why Mr. Brady didn't check his tube before leaving the lunch table is beyond me, but I am paranoid that way. (Sorry, over analyzing again).
Anyway, you know whats coming next, more footage of the family enjoying the park put up with footage of Mr. Brady in the boardroom delivering his introduction, opening the tube, and having to deal with the sickening realization that his plans are lost, vowing to get them back, and being giving a not too kind warning that the board has to leave in 2 hours. At this point, I like how the original has that shot of the girls commenting that they had lost the poster, but not to worry they can always buy another one.
At this point Mr. Brady meets his wife at the front of the park, and may I point out the major continuity error. The whole premise of this recreation is that Mr. Brady delivers the plans for Italian Job, however before the board has seen the plans, there is an Italian Job preview center set up at the top of International Street. I know as a PR video they want to get the name of the new product out as much as possible, but its still a major continuity error. Anyway , just like in the original they split up to find the daughter, then when they find the daughter and learn the poster is lost, they split up to search the park for the poster tube, almost just like the original. The Football Toss game even gets a cameo appearance, as Mr. Brady finds one daughter at the Football Toss game, and when he alerts her to the problem, she says "I'll look, you play the game" And here, even with his job and career on the line, he takes valuable time to play the Football Toss game, badly. (Over Analyzing again, Sorry!)
Since the Spinning Kegs ride is no longer there, they search the cars on the Monster, but we are all curious on the original the plans were found on the canoe ride, which has not been there in many years. Where will the plans be found? Well on Delirium, sitting between two seats. Alright, this is just laughable (as I go back into over analyzing mode), on the canoe ride there is no chance of the plans being flung from the ride (unless the canoe capsizes of course), and it is plausible that since the canoe was manned by a park furnished guide at all times, that guests might presume the tube was part of the ride, and belonged to the guide. Contrast to Delirum, that tube is gonna be flung from the ride on the first cycle. Thats if a rider or operator doesn't see it first since its glaring obvious and turn it into lost and found.
Anyway, the tube is found, and we have the mad dash back to Mr. Brady, mimicking the nonsense route the original took. I mean the plans were found on Delirium, they are going to the administration building, and Alice is seen running out of Hana Barbera Land by Showplace? (And yes jumps two chain fences just like in the original)
Anyway the plans are found, Mr. Brady is found, and the board is found on their way out of the park. In the original they take the plans with them and leave the park. We find out he was successful when Mr. Brady gets a phone call in the last scene. In this version, I suppose the board was lying about the two hours, as they all go back into the Administration Building and look at the plans.
At this point the video changes to the Italian Job promotional video that was on the parks website, and released to the various media outlets. Its still fun to watch to see all the changes since the rides initial design. The most obvious is the bright yellow track was changed to gray to better simulate a roadway. Then it shows all the things that have gone wrong: the working headlights on the cars, the fogger in the long tunnel, a more impressive splashdown finale, the famous subway stair drop effect (bouncing the train) that never did come online, and the fishtailing that some deny works, and those that say it works says its so slight its barely noticeable. Speaking of changes, its too bad we could not have kept the Siebert shipping container in the show scene.
So that video ends, and the crowd cheers, next its time for something much older. My friends, they presented what they think is the first ever POV footage of Beast. (Imagine assorted oohs and ahhs here). They could tell from the footage that it is no later than the 1979, and is beleived to have been shot during pre opening testing. The video will sort out the myths, once and for all as to what all has or hasn't changed with the ride.
Let's take our video Beast ride, shall we? We are in the front seat and we start out heading out of the station and going over the former Beast lake under the queue area and lift approach. Note the absence of Vortex as you start up the lift. We can see that even back then the train was slowed down on the top of the first lift, and we can see that yes the brakes were there on the first drop. At the bottom of the first drop, we can see the mine tunnel theming was not in place at the tunnel entrance. We go through the first tunnel, round the first curve, and over hill 2, and is that a skid brake sitting there on hill 2? I could have sworn people keep saying these brakes were added much later. Over hill 3 and into the mid course brake run, not its just a covered section of flat track with a trim brake at the end, but it was intended as a block brake, and used to be lined the entire way with skid brakes, with kicker tires at the very end to get the train back up to speed after a dead stop. Like father, like son, I think Son lost its kicker tires on its mid course brake run this year. Coming out of the mid course, we round the corner and head towards the first real big change.
In the video we go through a short concrete tunnel, the go around a horseshoe curve that is out in the open, then back through another short concrete tunnel. As most Beast riders now, those two short concrete tunnels have been made one long tunnel as the exposed section between them was tunneled with wood. We go through the meandering section as it hugs the ground in the speed run before coming up to lift 2. We noticed the service walkways to lift 2 were not yet installed, and it looks like there were no brakes on the big drop after lift 2. Of course, I may have been distracted from looking for those brakes by noticing the other major change. Originally the helix was NOT tunneled. (This itself, was as opposed to the artists rendering which showed a completely tunneled helix all the way around) Today, we have what must have been the compromise, which is the two short tunneled sections of the double deck tunnel on the helix. I also noted that despite rumours to the contraty the return to the station from the helix looks to be just as it is today, some claim there was another dip that was taken out. We come back into the station and instead of Tomb Raider, we see the Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal.
Following the on ride footage, there was lots of off ride footage of the train going around the course. This allowed for great views of the short lived 4-bench 4 car PTC train with each car a different color. Ironically the video looked steadier during the POV than the off ride footage.
Next up was a promotional video for Tomb Raider the ride. This was done as a National Geographic special. We come across our exciteable explorer as he comes across the ride preview center at the park, and received the directions to see David Mandt. He goes to David Mand's office which is just filled with Tomb Raider posters, media kits, a coffee mug (which David drinks out of) and more, yet when our exciteable explorer asks about Tomb Raider, David acts like he had never heard of it. Looking about the office, our explorer is not buying it, but David sends him "on the other side of the park" Here he starts walking into the Tomb Raider cave where he finds a video. Remember the park was real hush hush about what Tomb Raider really was. They establish that its NOT a coaster, its NOT a simulator (but it shows footage of a Traver Rocket ride, not a simulator) it's a "Highly Themed, Fully Immersive Dark Ride Adventure" a catchphrase they repeat numerous times. When the video acts like its going to show the ride, the video experiences "technical difficulties" and abbruptly ends. Hmm, that fits the way the ride is currently running to a T.
Next up was another promo video, this one for Son of Beast. It is done in Blair Witch Project style. Two ACE members went hunting for the Son of Beast, they were never seen again, a few days later this footage was found... They are looking for Son of Beast and come across a wood coaster, but sadly discover its only Beastie (Not the right Beast), they try again, and you guessed it they come across Beast (Not the right Beast), at the end they come across the construction site of a partially costructed Son of Beast, point out some key features, till they come across "Son of Beast" the creature lurking in the woods, which brings an abrupt end to this video.
The final video, weighing in at 20-25 minutes long is our feature presentation. It is the video they showed in the Beast queue in 2004 (and possibly a year or two thereafter). Its the Beast 25th anniversary video. Tracking the Beast project clear back to the building of the Racer (and telling about Don Helbig's 12,000 rides, stand up and be acknowledged Don!), then to the planning, design and construction of the Beast, to Beast opening day. It tells the Beast story and hs interviews with the then president of ACE Carole Sanderson, then ACE PR person Sean Flaherty, Don Helbig, Carl Eichman (the Beast Tamer) and more. It's a great video for anyone curious about the Beast story. I noticed they trimmed off the ending where they used to say "In 2000, the Beast had a Son, and it shows a glimpse of Son of Beast "But, thats a different story!" But if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a 20 minute video is worth about a zillion words. Here, on Google Video is the Beast 25th Anniversary video:
After the Beast video, "Night at the Paramount Theatre" was over, please exit quickly but carefully, being sure to grab your scavenger hunt answers on the way out. See everybody at the Beast at park close. This event was great, very well done guys.
This left about 40 minutes to explore the park. Earlier this week, Don promised that if Extreme Skyflyer was $10 or less, he would try it. It was, so thats where we headed. Don and I arrived back at Extreme Skyflyer, and noted the $10 special was still in effect. We walk over to the ticket booth, and the ticket booth is empty. Geez, I hope Skyflyer isn't all sold out for the night. A few minutes later the person selling the videos comes to the ticket window, and $20 later we have a double flyer ticket. Oh, we also learn that tickets are sold clear up to park close, and at park close they will stay open until all ticketed riders have flown.
Don and I get in line, and find only 1 group ahead of us at the gate. We are soon invited into the harness shelter. We are first offered the chance to stow loose articles in the cubbyholes in the harness shelter. I don't usually leave loose items behind, but in this case, only crew and flyers can get near the cubbyholes, there aren't many people allowed in the area, and there are at least three crew mambers manning the harness shelter at all times. I'll risk it.
So while we are stowing our loose articles, the crew is setting out two red flight suits for our use, So, I figure this is at least my 13th or so Skycoaster flight, so by now, it the usual drill. Legs in leg loops, pull up like a pair of pants, clap hands together, dive through mess of straps, tick arms out through shoulder holes. Now stand at attention, and hold harness tight to chest while the crew goes behind you and adjusts and tightens things up. Okay grab hold of your foot bar, and proceed to the line next to the boarding gate. We get in line at the boarding gate, and we must have arrived at the tail end of a crowd, as they lookedto have just reopened Flight Area 2. A crew member comes out and splits up the line, sending every other group over to Area 2. We are amongst the groups heading to area 2. It winds up we are group 3 so there is one being hooked up to the cables, one on deck, and then us.
Now, I know we all have occasionally had morbid senses of humour, but once the group on deck is invited in, Don and I discuss the fatal accident on Air Glory, a bad Skycoaster knock off ride. Oh well, it kills the time. Beofre we get invited in, a check of the harness and its adjustents is made while still outside the flight area, then we are invited into the flight area. We wait next to the lift under instructed to board. We board the lift go up, watch the group in front of us recover from their flight. Flyers change places, put feet on the foot bars, and then we are attached to the flight cables.
The next part is what I call the "Connection Integrity Test", thats where they drop the lift down about halfway, and since you can no longer touch the floor it has a gallows like effect, and you are hung, literally. Well not by the next, but by the harness, so you fall forwards and feel a slight jerk as you are caught by the cable and harness. Some say thats even worse than the real fall.
Now the winch cable is attached, and everything is double checked. Then the lift goes down all the way, the previous group exits, the crew gets out of the way and the winch starts winching.
I must say it was a bit unsettling when I thought I heard the harness straps on my harness groan as we were winched up to the top. We could also see the construction site for the mystery building in Action Zone, but the lighting on it wasn't too good tonight. And my this whole experience just seems to go by faster and faster each time, I remember my first flight everything seemed to take an eternity, Soon we are at the top and the countdown is given. A few seconds later, I gently tug the ripcord, which sets this whole exercise in potential and kinetic energy into motion. First the big breathtaking drop, then its a swing ride. We seemed to be in spin ride mode, as we seemed to spin around on the cables the whole time we were swinging. Coolness, I love the added bonus. I knew we must have been off kilter as we kept wanting to rotate around while they were getting us ready down on the lift. All in all, it was a fu ride, and Don proclaimed it better than his first ever Skycoaster ride (this was #2). He was a bit nervous on the way up.
So grab hold of the lander, and grab hold with all your strenght and then some. We stop, kick off the foot bars, the lift is brought up and we try to stand ourselves up. Interestingly, the way we are standing, I could watch the main cables being disconnected. Two locking caribeaners (Air Glory only used one). The important part was they were locked. So we get disconnected, change places. When the lift lowers we are free to exit out of the flight area to the access path back to the harness shleter. We return to the harness shack, the straps are loosened and we are helped out of the harnesses. Harnesses returned, we reclaimed our loose articles from the cubyhole, exit the ride area and forget to check our video.
We have less than 10minutes till park close. We first head for Delirium, even enter its queue, and I find its queue maze half full. Thats at least 30 minutes, which is too long. We bail out of Delirium, and wind up heading to Vortex.
The Vortex line wasn't long at all not even filling up its permanent queue area, but the station switchbacks were still in use We wound up scoring a back seat ride, with the fireworks starting one train before ours. Where Firehawk is good for watching fireworks while riding, Vortex is bad as you always seem to be pointed the wrong way, Anyway, it was another good ride.
We head to Beast and join the crew waiting outside Beast entrance for the Beast queue to clear out. The lanyard said 10-10:15ish, and it wound up being more like 10:30 until the Beast queue was clea. We did have to deal with one obnoxious group of guests that razzed us for waiting for a closed ride. "You guys aren't going to get to ride tonight, Y'all are stupid" Unfortunately the ride entrance reopened for us just about 2 minutes after that incident, that would have been icing on the cake had we been let in right as they were razzing us. "Well, actually, we are!" I heard there was an upset guest who saw some people jump into the queue at unauthroized places after it had reopened for us, mainly becuase their family was not admitted due to not haing the lanyard. That situation was handled easily, one cell phone call uptot he station meant that lanyards would be checked again as you boarded the train, There will be no free rides here.
We entered the queue area, and I get the feeling we were moved into the queue area in case the razzing and so forth from the regular park guests got worse. That was because, as we were being let into the queue area, Beast was still cycling regular guests, and we were held at the bottom of the ramp between queue areas 2 and 3. There was some intersting R-rated conversation going on, "They stuck a string of christmas lights WHERE, and then they PLUGGED THEM IN!!!???!!"
When it was time, we were admitted through the "Front of Train" side of the rampup to the station, and lanyards were rechecked before getting into the seat lanes. We wound up in seat 1.2 of the middle train. There happened to be few enough people that everybody could be accomodated in three trains. Therefore it was announced that everybody would be sent around TWICE. I like them rerides without even getting out of the seat. Now, why is that one click on the lapbar has been fine all season, and it would be fine on the night of August 18, but tonight during the event ERT, its a two click minimum.
Beast was showing its good side tonight, as it was running partcualrly well. Not too rough, good speed, and the first half of the ride up until the second lift had very few lights, and before tunnel 2 had no lights. Don't worry, they made up for it, they have added two very high beam spotlights on the second lift hill. I mean divert your eyes or they may blind you spotlights. Man, those suck, I closed my eyes until we were halfway up the lift. Through that wonderfully intense helix, into the final brakes and into the station, We stop in the station in case anybody wants to change seats. Chivlary is still alive, as those in the front seat were willing to trade seats with someone else. Wow, here we go on our reride, even better than the first ride, and I close my eyes as we start to approach lift 2. That light has got to GO!
We return to the station, and exit the ride. The Beast crew thanks us, and we head to the Beast exit ramp. Park security is holding everybody on the Beast exit ramp, and will then escort us to the front gate after everybody has finished riding. I took the time then to thank Don, Josh, Dane, and Ryan for the wonderful event, and I will do so again here. Thanks guys for the fantastic day. KIC's first event was a lot of fun and a great time.
After everybody;'s Beast rides were over we were escorted to the front gate, We did pause at Eiffel Tower, and at that time there was another chance to get scavenger hunt answer keys. We were then walked to the front gate area just in time to fall in behind the last of the regular park guests. I did duck into the restroom where at least 4 or 5 guys from restroom crew had that look of "I though the park was closed, we just finished cleaning this restroom for the night, and here comes another group of guests" Sorry, guys!
From there it was the walk out to the car, saying goodbye to coaster friends and heading home.
Next Up: "Kings Island with Wierd Al - Watch for it!
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