Kentucky Kingdom Trip Report

Location: Louisville, KY

Date: 7/29/96, 5/27/97

Weather: 96 - Rainy, 97 -Perfect! but a bit cool

Crowd: 96 -Medium to heavy (for this park), 97 - Light to medium

Admission: $24.95 (coupons abound however, including 2-for-1's and free ticket offers)

Description: A relatively new traditional park. For it's young age (7 yrs.) it has managed to collect a great assortment of rides.


Rollercoasters:

Chang!:

A 1997 B&M Stand-Up Coaster

Description: The latest stand-up from B&M. This ride totes 5 world's records:

  1. Tallest Stand Up roller Coaster
  2. Longest Stand Up roller coaster
  3. Tallest Vertical Loop
  4. Tallest Dive Loop
  5. Most inversions on a Stand Up coaster

Basic Run down: After climbing the lift, you do a quick turnaround to the right to go into the first drop, to be followed by the vertical loop, dive loop, high speed carousel, and inclined loop (all in a row), then a turnaround to the mid-course brake. Now part 2, a corkscrew, a high-speed-spiral (helix), and another corkscrew round out this masterpiece.

Trains: 2 (possibly 3) B&M Stand Up Trains (7 cars/ 4 per car) (Station and trains built to be adaptable to 8 car trains in the future if needed, as well as a third train)

PlatfOrm: Seat queus, flush loading. Two problems here: First, the line enters at the back of the platform, forcing those who want the front half to push their way through, Also, platform offers no ADA access.

Opinion: This is LITERALLY a kick-butt ride. The most intense and exciting coaster I've seen yet, it just doesn't let up. This is the ULTIMATE in stand-up coastering! It does wear a person out though after repeated riding.  Oh, and I HATE 4-accross trains, if you aren't in the front row, or on the outside, you can't see a thing.

Rollerskater:

A 1994 Vekoma junior coaster.

Description: Kids size coaster laid out in a figure-8, also features a helix and mild laterals. Uses a tire-driven lift.

Train: 1 train, cars are designed to look like roller skates. Cars have lap bars and no seat dividers. (10 cars, 2 per car)

Platform: Flush loading, indiv. seat queues

Opinion: (96) Good for a kid's ride. I always ride once per visit.

              (97) Same as last year, but I did 2 rides this trip. (front and back)

Starchaser:

An enclosed in-the-dark 1984 Schwarzkopf Jet Star 2 (opened at KK in 1990/closed 1995) (Now at Darien Lake)

Description: A jet Star 2 in the dark, had a twisted path, reminded me of space mountain.

Coaster's History: Built in 1984 for Beech Bend Park, Bowling Green, Ky. After that park closed it was sold to the original Kentucky Kingdom who enclosed it and opened it in 1987. The park failed and the ride was put on the auction block and sold to an unknown owner. In 1989 new owners bought KK and bought back this coaster and made it the Starchaser. The ride re-opened to the public in 1990. KK sold this ride in 1995 and it now operated at Darien Lake Park as of 1996 as some Nightmare attraction. We have heard of coaster's being moved before, but how many coasters has a park sold and then bought back later, only to re sell it five years later?

Trains: Several (layout does not allow you to determine how many) 2 car trains with in-line seating. They can hold 2 per car, 2 trains per car. KK added seatbelts that wrap around both riders about their waist.

Opinion: Space Mountain knock-off. It's low capacity hurts it. Last rode in 1995 when all other coasters were walk-ons this had a 40 min. wait..

Note: Building now houses Thrill Park Theater - a motion simulator.

Terror to the Second Power (T^2):

"The world's first suspended, looping rollercoaster" - station p.a. spiel

A 1995 Vekoma SLC

Description : A Vekoma SLC, similar to an inverted, it only differs in manufacturer and that it only uses 2-across trains. Also Vekoma SLC are stock roller coasters. At least when they are first installed, they somehow tend to ride differently though. This one features 5 inversions including 2 corkscrews (that seem like barrel-rolls), a vertical loop as well as a couple other inversions. Very disorienting ride. Intense, has no dead spots except for the lift hill and brake run, even the last flat run into the brakes has a couple bunny hops.

Trains: 2 Vekoma SLC trains (7 cars/ 2 per car) OTS restraints with lots of added padding and 'flight grips'. (They have a 3rd train on transfer track).

Platform: Flush-loading, indiv. seat queues.

Opinion: (96) Ride this early in the day before a)the crowds find it, and b) it gets broken in for the day. This ride starts out smooth in the morning but by evening this is one rough intense ride. Good ride, overall. (Mind you my inverted exp. is limited to Vekoma SLC's)

(97) - Much improvved ride. This ride is now re-rideable and is actually smooth. One warning the ride is smoothest in the back, contrary to popular belief.

Thunder Run

"The world's #1 most terrifying coaster" - queue area P.A. spiel

A 1990 Summers double out-and-back

Description: A double out-and-back and clear inspiration for the Hurlers. You start at the station located in the middle of the ride, board the yellow(!) train and head out of the station into a turnaround for the lift, but then after the lift you do another turnaround and a slight uphill run before going down the first drop parallel to the lift, and right past those waiting in the station. You then go through a severely banked turnaround and onto a set of 3 bunny-hops, configured to give the most air-time possible, before going into a turnaround to go over a couple more drops before the turnaround under the lift hill (this seems to be a Summers trademark), to do a short out and turnaround past the camera to head in on the brake run.

Train: 1 brand new for 1996 yellow train by PTC- loaded with all the accessories. Including upholstered headrests, seat dividers, ratcheting lap bars, and the hard to fasten individual seat belts. This train is fully articulated, unlike the previous red trailered PTC train.

Opinion: What difference a new train makes in a coaster. With the old red trailered train, we would have to space out rides because of excessive shuffling and rough track. The new yellow train makes re-rides no problem. it has stepped up to my favorite ride in the park (was T2). In mid-June I was there(the day before SRM at Holiday World) and thus ran into a large group of coaster nuts who had a sort of unofficial ERT on Thunder Run by having enough people to keep filling the train (After we'd get off their was enough time to run the GP before we could get back around to the loading station) so I got several rides that day. In July,despite a storm earlier in the day, I waited 45 min. for it.

(97) - Running Great this year too, showing that an over-accesorised train does NOT ruin a coaster, as some would have you believe.Still my favorite ride in the park.

The Vampire

A 1990 Vekoma boomerang

Description: Your typical boomerang, this one runs a bit rough.

Train: 1 Arrow(?) multi-element train (7 cars/ 4 per car)

Opinion: I don't mind this ride now that I am used to the backwards-part.

         (97) - Same as last year, I now am used to going backwards


Water Ride and Attractions:

Mile High Falls:

A 94(?) Shoot-the Chutes ride. Features an 80' single drop, a figure 8 design and only 1 boat (that I've seen). You will get very wet on this one, lockers are provided between the entrance and exit. The boat has lap bars.

Hurricane Bay: Water Park

Water park with

The water park is much more enjoyable both because it is now included in the POP, but also because tube rental is now included in the POP.

Wet/Dry water slides:

The kind you ride in your street clothes, these really should be moved to the water park.

They have 4 slides:

3 'boat' slides where you ride in 1 person inflatable boats, the slides are set up as a double-dip, a triple-dip and and enclosed 'helix like' slide. They also have a watersled slide which is straight down a steep drop and you surf on top of the pool to the other end.


Other Rides:


Opinion:

Very nice park, could be a real contender in the upcoming years. Has a good ride selection for a young park. Where do they get the money????

Two problems stand in it's way of being a top park:

1) 'The Bridge From Hell" - If you've been there you know what I'm talking about, if not here goes: KK is divided into two smaller parks, one on each side of a major Ky state fairgrounds access road. The park started out as being only on one side in a corner of the fair. It has now expanded across the street, which causes one problem. Access. The only authorized crossing is by one bridge located in the center along the adjoining sided of the park. While this would not be bad, there are long winding ramps on either end that makes crossing this a hassle. Plus most of the coasters are on the far side, and you have to exit through the gate on the near side. Other layout problems plaque the expansion area. Where the old part is compact and you can get to anything from anywhere, in the expansion area their is one long serpentine trail that eventually winds past all the new attractions.

(97) - note they are planning on completing the loop, it will still be a serpentine trail, but at least it will loop, instead of being on long dead end (which it is now)

2) The park can't handle a crowd. In addition to the traffic control problems inferred by the above, the parks rides can't take a crowd. For example, the Vampire, Thunder Run, and Rollerskater only have 1 train, causing long lines, T^2 has 2 trains but it is so far back, only coaster diehards take the walk out to it. The other rides are smaller versions, like their Giant Drop only handles 20 at a time.


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