TR: Kings Island
Trip Report: Kings Island
September 4, 2010
Then, not a week later, I was back at the park. This time for a speial event. The park was having a reunion for anybody that has ever worked for the park. Registration was free if you had your own admission and only $22 if you needed a ticket. The picnic lunch was an extra $10 either way. The website was vague on this point, however, leading some season ticket holders to buy the $22 tickets they didn't need. I, however, registered and bought the meal ticket and waited until I got the park to see if I needed to cough up te $22.
When I got to the park, I wondered why they even did web event registration. I walked up to a group sales window, I registered again on a paper form, and was given an event wristband (which wasn't valid for free drinks) and a schedule of events. had chosen to wear the KECO era employee jacket as it was a bit cool today, and a Paramount era Star Shirt. Some had on even older park garb and nametags and such.
We met at the metal detectors, where they waved us in, and the first activity of the day is the event wristband got you into the gold pass ERT on Beast and Diamondback. We headed to Diamondback and I think I managed like 7 rides during ERT. The best part about ERT was there was no seat assigner, and for some reason while the line for seat 16 was long, seat 15 was a walk on. I took numerous seat 15 rides, and we even had to wait out a 5-10 minute spot of downtime. As ERT was nearing and end I decided to put my "It's Saturday" park touring plan into operation. While ET was wrapping up, I headed towards Beast in perfect time to hit the rope drop into Coney.
I headed right back to Firehawk. Here is where my luck got real good. I walked right up into the station and took a seat on a train. Presumeably the first train of the day and they were waiting for it to fill before dispatching it. So we took our ride, which was fun as always for Firehawk, and when we returned to the station the ride had gone down for some reason. So I got my no wait Firehawk ride in with the slimest of boarding windows. While in the area, I ducked into the Flight of Fear builing and managed a real short wait for that coaster.
Taking stock in the situation, its now 10:20, and I have already been on the three biggest rides in the park. I knew I should next dart to Action Zone.
Once I arrived in Action Zone, I darted for Drop Tower. It was maybe a two cycle wait at that point, which is very good for Drop Tower. I next zipped over to Invertigo but was stopped by a welcoming committee by the restroom building informing me it was closed. As was Stunt Crew Grill as it is getting its Slaugherhouse makeover for Haunt. I walked back and scored the Delirium ride after a short wait.
After that, I noted Invertigo was open again, so I darted over there, just in time to wait through another downtime. Somebody in line mentioned it was the third downtime this morning. I persisted and some time later I took stock in the fact it was only 12:30 and I had all the low capacity stuff out of the way.
I headed back to the usual wlak on ride on Flight Deck. I did note that some of the fence for Son of Beast's queue is missing, not much, but a little bit. Flight Deck actually had a line that stretched back to just around the re ride gate. I wasn't expecting this. I waited it out, and right around 1pm, I delcared Action Zone done, as it was too cool for Congo Falls.
Next up, Oktoberfest, I was able to get the Viking Fury ride with no problem, Adventure Express had practically a full queue, not that it means much for Adventure Express. I then cleared Oktoberfest off the slate and moved onto Coney Mall. I had a reasonable wait for the Racer, just down to the bottom of the ramp. Let's see this means its 1:30 and I just need Vortex, Beast and Backlot to complete the major coasters. I would never get to Vortex or Backlot.
I headed up Coney Mall and noted an overflowing Vortex queue. Having not had breakfast, and with a 2pm Beast tour scheduled, I skipped Vortex, and Backlot was back into the queue maze which is an instant disqualification. The pizza booth line was flowing back onto the midway and wasn't moving, the potato works line was stretched across the midway and was a slow go. At around 1:50 I bagged on it was well, and went to Beast without breakfast or lunch.
I wasn't there to ride Beast, but part of the day's events, which seem to folow the parks standard special event schedule is a walkback of Beast. It was the usual photo walkback where you walk back the road that goes alongside the brake run, then walk out alongside the lift hill to a spot right around the bottom of the first drop and the curve immeidately afterwards. This particular area is prime photo taking real estate. Some time was given for photos and a Beast operator came bak for a Q&A. While there were some coaster enthusiasts in the group (hey working at a park and becoming a park nut tend to go together) there were enough non enthusiasts asking cetain questions about the Beast which the coaster nuts would answwer in unison. We did get to walk back as far as the motorhouse for lift 2 before turnng around. It's been a while since tours have gone deep into Beast woods all the way to the very back of the ride. This tour, however, did go where no other Beast tour I have taken part of has gone before, we went up by the station end of the ride to take a look at motorhouse 1, the transfer shed, and the first lift.
After that our tour ended and we were escorted back to the midway. Fro there I latched onto a group with Adam and his friends/relatives. e took a look through the Emporium, we took a ride on the Racer, we took another look in the Emporium before headig up to the front of the park by the Kings Island logo for the group photo.
After the group photo, I needed to get something to eat, so I stopped by Cinnabon to try one of their famous cinamon rolls, which I don't think I had ever had in the past. Yum. While in the Emporium, I noted a full size Joe Cool/Kings Island flag. Now, you know I am a flag collector, so I asked at the Emporium, but was told they were out of stock, which led me to the Snoopy shop in planet Snoopy. They had a few of them, and at only $7.95, I thought it was a pretty reasonably priced item. So I bought one, and while waiting in the check out line, I spotted a rack of Peanuts DVD's They had one with all the Peanut's holiday specials, at $65.99 I left that well enough alone.
By this time the park was getting insanely crowded. I walked around a bit looking at the insane lines for rides, I mean it IS Saturday, of a holiday weekend, with perfect weather, after all. I decided to take a ride on the train. It was a shortened ride as they had already closed the water park for the night, so no stop there. By this time it was about 5:10, lunch isn't till 5:30 but I figured it would take that long to get onto any of the rides. I made my way to the picnic grove to meet an already formidable looking line waiting at the picnic grove gate. Between group picnics and the "Backyard BBQ public picnic" the grove is quite popular. So we stood around in a rapidly growing line until 5:30 and entered the grove. They collected the e-tickets but did not scan them, and we were directed to the Firehawk shelter. They have upgraded the soft drink station from a manned booth to having three self serve fountains. I grabbed a free drink while waiting in line for the food.
The spread was the typical: potato salad, baked beans, pull pork BBQ, hot dogs, chicken tenders, watermelon and popsicles. I reunited with Adam's group and we had dinner. The best thing on the bar was the pull pork BBQ.
After dinner, we headed back to Beast. Beast had a full queue all the way through all three queue mazes and starting to spread out into Beast Plaza. It must have taken 60-90 minutes in line, to be rewarded with a mediocre Beast ride. The good news it at least it was starting to get dark. We then had some of that strange coasternut behavior where you stand around trying to figure out what to do instead of actually doing anything. We eventually wound up on Adventure Express. A quick ride there and it was time to head to International Restaraut for more food. A quick wristband check, and it was upstais for us. They had all the typical reception foods: cheeseboard, relish tray, fruit tray, quiche, sweedish meatballs, chips, pretzels and soft drinks. We dined on reception foods while we watched slide shows of old park photos featuring staff members, intercut with the parks 20th aniversary TV special. A few brief remarks of thanks were offered, and people had time to mingle and recall park memories and the like. We watched the fireworks show from the dining room, and were then asked to remain there until we were escorted back to Beast for ERT.
I use the term escorted loosely as we pretty much just walked back to ERT as well as salmon trying to swim upstream against the throngs of exiting guests. We got to Beast Plaza and it was hurry up and wait. We got the usual looks like "Don't you know the park is closed" After a bit of this, they moved us into the queue area but held us on the ramp before the line split. All told, I bet we waited nearly 45 minutes to a hour for the ride to close for the day to the public. After that we were initially going to be offered one ride on Beast, but some of us were lucky enough to get two rides. After that it was the long arduos walk through the near empty park to get back to our cars.
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