TR: Kings Island

Trip Report: Kings Island

Mason, OH

May 17, 2009

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Today we welcome a special guest star to Coasterville's Coasting Adventures, JerryD. Jerry is a professed morning person (I still don't understand the whole morning person thing), and so we are at the park by 9:10, where we easily clear parking tolls with Jerry's parking pass, score a prime spot in Gold Pass parking (and witness the car ahead of us shamlessly barrel into Gold Pass parking without even slowing down, depsite the shouts of the parking attendant), easily clear security, Jerry clears Guest Relations with his Platinum Pass, and we are in the park by 9:15.

Today, Gold Pass ERT is set to start at 9:30, and I note instead of a mob waiting by the Gold Pass gate, they have one orderly single file line that by this time reached all the way from near the three flagpoles to the lobby of the International Restaurant. Various park management types were chatting it up with the guests while we waited for the gate to open. It was a quick flash your pass to the guard as you walked by and then we headed to International Street. Dutifully following the signs to Diamondback, we arrive at the ride just as it is opening.

We get expressed through an empty queue house and find ourselves assigned to an okay spot towards the middle of the train in the third train out for the day. We start the day with another airtime filled Diamondback ride. We get back to the brakes and we note the train ahead of us has not left the station yet, and is not being loaded, we note the train behind us come to a stop on the final brakes. Uh, oh this isn't good. Ride operators come out to our train to inform us of the situation, that's never good. A good 5-10 minutes later they are able to advance our train into the station where they let us exit, but again do not load the train. We exit the ride and since the ride is clearly down we take the time for a pitstop, and Jerry can find a way to store his rental car keys in such way that will not cause him discomfort on Diamondback. I mean really, they put both keys and both remotes, as well as a tag on one large keyring that can't be opened. What are the rental car companies thinking?

We rejoin the line for the closed Diamondback, after all its 9:50, the only other ride open at this time is the Beast. We figure there is nothing to be lost by waiting here, and although people are constantly streaming out of the entrance gate, they have not yet cleared the station. At about 10:05 we are practically at the ride entrance gate but seeing no dicernable progress we decide to try to find an open ride.

We head back Rivertown, and I point out the new Haystack Drier to Jerry, but we skip that, the train, the log flume, and the rapids ride and make our way to Crypt. I am half amazed to find Crypt open. The word on the forums is that Cryt has been changed again, and for the worse. Get ready for a train wreck. (Choo-Choo) We enter the Crypt building and are allowed to proceed directly to what was the preshow room, now Death Bat's room. I note a gate at the end of the ante chamber before the preshow room, and the operator is opening and closing the gate between groups instead of just keeping it open until preshow fills, or its time to ride. At least we get choice of rows, thats some small consolation. I look ahead and clearly notice the overhead door seperating the preshow room from the ride chamber no longer closes, replaced by safety gates between preshow and the ride chamber. At the appropriate time, the gates are opened and we board the gondola. People move pretty much, but not all the way to the right, and take seats. We hear the request to "Please move 3 seats to the right" Everybody shifts three seats right. There is another request "Please move 6 seats to the right", there are no more empty seats to move to. They ask again in a "Are you deaf or stupid?" tone. Finally after they decide verbal intructions aren't working, the operator comes to our row and says "Please move to the right", again there are no seats to move to. Then he finally says "Everybody move 6 seats towards me" He is standing to the LEFT of us. Therin lies the problem. His right is our left.

Anyway, the ride finally starts, and now you can forget the music, you can forget the fancy lights, you can forget any powerful flipping. The ride operates pretty much in large Ferris Wheel mode, you do go upside down twice per ride, and thats becuase the lock the gondola as it goes around. You know its a bad ride when the kids are complaining about it. As we exited the ride, the people on my cycle made it clear to the operators that they did not particularly enjoy their ride.

Okay, until we have some improvements, that is it for that ride. Sorry Don Helbig, but your tweet advertising a new soundtrack isn't going to cut it. We head next for Beast. Beast is a walkon and we walk right to the back car. Jerry scolds me for taking the back seat when I get to ride Beast a lot more than he does. Since both of us are of nice size, we decided to split up for both our comforts, I change seats with him and am glad to move to a non wheel seat. I really do like the retracking they did in the Helix, the ride has been running better than it has in years, but that doesn't stop it from being a pretty overrated ride.

We continue our tour of the park, this time stopping at Italian Job. They really should open the shortcut gate when the line is short, as this morning everybody was doing the Queue Rail Vault or Duck to avoid the long excessive trip down to, through, and back up from the disused queuehouse. We get our seat assignment, and we are lucky enough to draw row 1. Yeah, we get a little airtime, and they don't insist on stapling me like they did last week. The ride is a fun ride but not too thrilling. Jerry had not ridden since Italian Job media day, so he got to really notice how badly the special effects have broken down.

We continue the coaster tour with a near walk on Vortex ride in the front row of the back car. Nothing special here folks, move along. We start to head into X-Base and note a huge group all headed down the path to X-Base right before we arrived, so we passed this for now. We also passed Racer, and Adventure Express to head into Action Zone.

We do stop at Delirium, which has about a 1/3 full queue house. We wait a few cycles, we get loaded onto the ride, we get unloaded from the ride and sent back to the bull pen. Uh oh, its a problem that is best solved with a garden hose. "Clean up on Aisle Delirium!" "Another Satisifed Customer!" I expect them to run the ride empty to spin dry it, but no except for the people with seats near the affected area, the ride is immediately reloaded and we go for a ride. This is my favorite flat ride in the park, one of Paramount's better moves.

We exit Delirium, bypass the go-karts and head to Son of Beast. Uh Oh, Son of Beast is closed. What a shame! Neither of us look too sad at that revelation. We decide to pass up Flight Deck. (Jerry has been to the park multiple times, and has thus earned the right to skip rides) We note the Extreme Skyflyer is only $5 today. $5 each and about 20-30 minutes later and we are being harnessed. I note they have added a knotted rope loop to the footbar but I'm not sure what thats about. We have both flown this several times, which causes the ride operators to show concern if we enjoyed ourselves when we aren't screaming or freaking out during the ride. We follow the usual procedure, decide Jerry can pull this time. I note during the final checks before they lower the lift they call out what sounds like "Two Flags, Two Beaners, Two Flyers Ready to Go" I can't figure out what Flags reffers to in this context. We go up, we don't hesitate to pull when instructed, and Jerry leans way to one side which causes us to get the Spinning Skycoaster Experience. I am amazed how even the first drop just doen't do much for me anymore. I remember my first ride I thought the first drop was going in slow motion as my life was passing in front of my face. All in all a fun experience.

We exit Extreme Skyflyer and decide to bypass Drop Tower (I mean after we just did the brakeless freefall ride!), Congo Falls and decided the line for Invertigo looked a bit long. We headed back to X-Base. Flight of Fear and Firehawk were each posting about an hour wait. We decide to wait for Firehawk. One slow moving line later we are being shown to the other station where you have to go down stairs, cross under the track, then back up. Firehawk itself is the park's second best coaster behind Diamondback, shame the wait for it is alsways so long. Yes I ride in the arms extended Superman pose.

At this time we decide its already like 3pm, the park closes at 8pm. We head back to Diamonback and proceed to spend the next 5 hours gettng to know Diamondback. All in all we score like 17 more rides on Diamondback. We use the single ride line at times when it looks shorter, and we get awarded with some back of the train rides, some close to the front rides, a lot of mid train rides. We keep trying and keep gettng rejected trying to request the front seat. Finally about 11 rides into the session we finally get that coveted front seat, lean over the clamshell intense ride. That's a real neat ride, and I'm torn beteween that experience and the airtime filled back car, I think I have to give the edge to the back car.

Halfway through our ride session, Jerry mentions he has never ridden Avatar. We go to ride Avatar and get awarded with sucky middle of the bench middle of the car seats. Enough of that, its back to Diamondback.

Don Flint finally decided to show up around 6:30, and the lot of us manage to get 4 or 5 more Diamondback rides after he arrives. I know I love DIamondback, and considering its the only coaster Jerry really seemed interested in, I take it he really liked it as well.

After the park closed down for the night, we all met up at Culvers (Jerry, Don, Don's mom, and myself) for a post park visit celebration.


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