TR: Kings Island

Trip Report: Kings Island

Mason, OH

October 18, 2009

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As mentioned, I started the day like any normal Sunday, went through the Sunday routine. Then I sat and waited for Rideman. Rideman had inidcated he was going to take it easy in the morning, after all the park is open till midnight. To give you an idea, his text message asked "I'm finally going, do you still want to go" I'd say we arrived at the park around 4 pm, but to my mind any park time is better than no park time!

We pulled into the lot, and found a nice parking space in the first row of general parking and headed into the park. It probably won't surprise you that we beelined it right for Nick Universe, you thought I was going to say Diamondback! The idea isn't as strange as it sounds as we knew Nick was closing at 5pm, and it might be our last chance to see it as Nick. We took a quik ride on Fairly Odd Coaster and confirmed that while it is the best running wood coaster in the park, it is also still braked. We witnessed an attendant tell an adult that one of their children (family of like six) could not ride for height, so instead of having the one child wait, she made the other 4 all get off. I don't quite get that.

We then took a quick walk through Nick on our way to Diamondback. We got to Diamondback, and found it to be a total walk on. You're telling me the park's newest ride is a walk on!??! We walked right on to seat 16.. What a great ride. We took a few more Diamondback rides before doing the customary tour of the park.

On our first pass around the park we skipped Beast, but took a ride on Back Lot Stunt Coaster. It too was a near walk on, so we went right for the front seat. Recall just the day prior I rode the ride with a loose lap bar that the operator set. This time I got the ride operator who wanted to see just how far it could go down, not just till it touches, but how far they could physically lower the bar. That was just uncalled for. At least it gives a fun if short ride.

We next headed around and took the customary ride on Vortex, nothing much to report here. We started heading back towards the front of the park when we took a walk back to X-Base. Ok, its cold, maybe all the people are in Flight of Fear. Nope - walk on conditions here as well. You may recall I had trouble with Mr. Freeze, so I was hesitant about even trying to ride Flight of Fear. I took my usual spot on the left side on Row 1, and was rejected. However, the ride operator suggested I move to Row 2, which I did actually changing seats on the operator side of the platform, recall it is a two stop loading ride. Okay, they were able to get me seated in Row 2. At least I got to ride Flight of Fear, its a shame its so hard for me to get on the ride since it is actually a really fun ride, even if they do brake it to a full stop, and with the delay in the station I caused don't tell me it was a blocking issue. At the unload platform, my belt would not release and Rideman had to perform martial arts on it for it to release.

Okay, next up was Firehawk, which Rideman declined as he was not suitably equipped. Now there were 4 people in front of me in the queue when I joined the line. Sounds like I would get a a quick in and out ride, right. Wrong, Rideman clocked it at 15 minutes. Most of that time was spent with me strapped into the back seat looking at Rideman with both of us gesturing "What's taking so long?" Oh well, I at least got a great ride on my second favorite coaster in the park. I'm flying, oh and vertical-loop-on-your-back!

After Firehawk, we decided that Rideman needed to get his jacket out of his car before the No Re-entry policy starts at 7pm. We noted that Scrambler was running during Haunt for the first time in years. So this year we gain Scrrambler back but lost Viking Fury. I suppose the bigger change is Flight Deck is now open during Haunt. Rideman got his jacket and we headed to Invertigo.

Wait, this can't be right, a walk on for Invertigo! We again walked right on to an end seat, the end facing Congo Falls and took a quick high G intense ride. Our ride included an extra show as I got a glimpse of the flag retreat out in front of the park while we were climibng lift 2. It seems the park is raising the flag in the morning, and taking it down at sundown, very traditional, but only for the flag out in the former tram circle in front of the park. That particular pole is even flood lit, and the still keep the flood lit at night.

After Invertigo, we head to Son of Beast. Okay, you probably know Son of Beast is closed for the forseeable future, but they are using the Son of Beast queue for Flight Deck during Haunt. What they have done basically is cut an opening in the very back of the Son of Beast queue nearest Flight Deck, so you start of going through the Son of Beast queue, then when you get to the end of it, you cross over the exit lane, and go down a newly paved connector to the regular Flight Deck entrance, then you enter Flight Deck as normal at that point. Actually using the Son of Beast queue is probably unnecessary but it helps with crowd control as at one point you have the queue for Club Blood, the exit for Flight Deck and the queue for Flight Deck all right next to each other, so putting Flight Deck queue in the Son of Beast queue helps allievate some of that congestion, and allows another coaster to be open during Haunt to take Sonny's place. I did not enot only is the Son of Beast entrance and exit fenced over, but the theming in the tunnel, as little as it was into the area has been completely painted over. I didn't look at the Flight Deck side to see if they painted over the big American flag mural. When we got to Flight Deck we sat down in the front seat of the back car, and rode for like 7-10 times straight without even getting out of the seat. I didn't even undo my seatbelt the whole time. Marathon going on on Flight Deck. At one point we were the only two on the ride. What was more amazing is they were still running both trains.

When we tired of Flight Deck, we were going to head to Delirium, but due to a rider who was so excited they couldn't contain themselves, we decided to pass it for later. We passed Sling Shot and I had to think hard about the $5 special before I finally declined it. It was even a walk on at only $5. We opted instead for a back seat walk on ride on Adventure Express. Another steady performer nothing too bad to mention here. I noticed the game booth that was a kids jacobs ladder, then a Guitar Hero game is now a soccer themed skill game.

After Adventure Express we took a ride on Racer, and with unbelievable luck had a walk on front seat ride. They even let us ride with only 1 click on the lap bars, it was shaping up to be a great Racer ride, too bad Racer failed to deliver the goods. We continued our way around and stopped off at Zephyr for a swing ride in which we were the only two riders. Are you noticing a trend?

Rideman pointed out to me the feature fo the gross "Funeral Cakes" stand I had missed, which was a skeleton , using a urinal, next to the soft drink machine. I alsways had my doubts about certain citrus sodas. We noticed Troika was not open for Haunt, and since we had already done Vortex and Back Lot, we decided to finish up the open part of the coaster collection with a ride on Beast. The good news is it was only a train or two station wait for Beast, the bad news is the two click rule was in play. The new flag was still there, and the ride was for the most part dark with very minimal lighting on, which is a better night ride than this thing has given in years as far as asthetics go. The bad news is its still running slow and rough. Let's head to a true night ride.

We head back to Diamondback and proceed to take numerous Diamondback rides, mostly in the back seat. We must have ridden Diamondback several times for an hour or two. once we even took a ride in the front seat, seeing as it was also a walk on. The operators commented "Welcome to Diamondback, proving once again Kings Island is better than the Magic Kingdom" When asked how that is, he said "You just waited a total of 30 seconds for a front seat ride on our newest, biggest coaster, at the Magic Kingdom you wait 90 minutes to ride the elephant ride!"

Low temperatures, lower wind chills, and the very open front seat provided a very cold ride experience, "Welcome back Diamondback riders, how was your freezing cold ride" On one ride we were cuationed to protect our ears going past Showplace, and sure enough when we passed Showplace it was the exact right time for Hot Blooded's pyro features. Yes, that was loud. We rode Diamondback until we were just about ready to leave the park. We even stopped of at Starbucks for a quick warm up. We took in a tour of the Haunt displays in the Internationsl Street store windows, and the Phantom Theater characters on the Bandstand.

After Starbucks, we realized we hadn't ridden Delirium, a situation we needed to fix. We headed to a walk on Delirum, but not only a walk on Delirum a Delirum in Party Mode. Basically the rules were whever the ride stopped, if you wanted off, get off, if you wanted on, get on, no need to exit until you have had your fill. We took 3 Delirium rides in that set, and both swear the last one was significantly shorter than the other two. I labeled the ride experience "Invigorating", Rideman said "So, that's what you call it" The ride operators said something like "Welcome to Delirum, we are going to swing you 137' in the air at speeds up to XXX, which is going to feel great in this weather, while spinning you at XXX rpm, which is also gonna feel really good in this weather!"

After Delirium, we were basically done with the park and headed to Waffle House, but I stopped off for a walk in haunt, Slaugher House with no queue, and only 3 of us in our group. I mainly wanted to see if it was better in the dark, it was slightly. Then it was our of the park and to Waffle House for some Scattered, Smothered, Covered, and Topped hashbrowns to which we added Cassa De Waffle picante sauce (like a salsa) and hot sauce, oh yeah we also had drinks and cheeseburgers. Its the Coaster Enthusiast after hours dinner of champions!


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