Trip Report: Paramount's Kings Island
Fields Ertel/Mason/Kings Mills//Whatever the heck they call themsevles, OH
As you may recall from my earlier PKI TR, submitted for your approval a couple weeks ago, I though my coaster season was over on October 20.2001. Fortunately, due to the way some events unfolded, I found time to make one last run on the park in 2001. (Yeah!)
As had been pre-arranged through the magic of FREE long distance (the same way HW offers FREE Pepsi), Rideman would pick me up bright any early at 9am. I was not prepared to also meet up with John Peck, and was it Arrowguy that was in Rideman's fine automobile? With precise parking we found a close parking space at PKI and headed to Checkpoint FrontGate.
I recently read in a major news magazine that if you whine about the current state of security checkpoints at ever major venue you are not a true patriot. I woulnd't have cause to whine about it, IF the checkpoint did what it pretends it does. Since the park is closed for the season, I feel no risk of revealing my grievance with it. Park security is doing a fine job at making sure NOTHING contraband enters the park in your carry-in items, however they are not addressing concealed contraband about your person. While they have metal detection wands, I have not seen them actually used except as toys. "Look at me, I'm an Advanced Rent-A-Guard cause I get to carry this metal detection wand" Never mind the fact one could easily pass an item over the temporary fencing seperating the entrance checpoint from the exit lanes. It's not the delay in (re)entering the park that annoys me, its the fact that it's totaly ineffective.
After getting through security, I made my way to meet what has to be one of the largest ACE contingnets ever. The park actually conducted two walkbacks, and ofered a choice of either Beast or Son of Beast. While the majority chose Son of Beast, a good contingnet went with Papa Beast. I was in the Papa Beast contingent. Papa Beast was running the best it has during the day in a long time, and with virtually no wait, we went for a secnd trip on the Beast. Those of us in the first train reported back that the Beast was still givng amazing rides, while those in the second relayed that reality has kicked in. Time to move on.
We moved on to Flyers, I lost Rideman somewhere between the ride unloading and me stepping out onto the midway. We foolishly frittered away our virtual ERT session on a rehearsal session for the "Flyer Enthusiasts Air Show, scheduled for 6pm" Severa Flyer ride, and one Troika ride later, we were on our way to Flight of Fear. Just in time to see Rideman exit and report a 15 minute wait in our future. It was in actuallity a 30 minute wait, but a pleasant one. I took a ride in the back of the train and confirmed that Flight of Fear is awesommly smooth and fun to ride in the back as it is in the front. Worst to First Indeed!
We exited Flight of Fear to hear "You guys have to get back to Vortex, the line just started getting crazy" Vortex line was about 30 minutes with only two trains on. I took the chance to hydrate myself with a fine high markup "Pause that Refreshes" Except that regular Coca-Cola wasa hard find in bottle form. You could get Cherry Coke, Sprite, or Diet Coke, but forget about regular Coke.
We rode Vortex in the rear ("Float Trick") Vortex was running a bit rough, but having just ridden FoF may have influenced that opinion. We then headed out for the Budget Gourmets to enjoy the Parking Lot Diner. As well as shed jackets and stuff.
Dining Tip for Budget Minded Amusement Park Goers - Be careful when you pack your cooler. It is not wise to place the sandwhich under the 6-Pack of Coke. John Peck - How was that flattened sandwhich?
We re-entered the park, and headed to Racer. Two trips on Racer, one forwards, one backwars confirmed that Racer was delivering some nice airtime today. Forwards was running rough, and backwards was giving better air, but backwards was running single train operation, as opposed to the two forwards trains. Racer was runing 15 minutes, recaR was running closer to 30.
We ten headed to Vortex so that Derek and girlfriend could have a ride on Vortex before heading home. Back car gain, float trick again, the ride seemed better this time.
We then said our goodbuyes to Derek and partner. The park was really starting to get crowded at this point, so we deicded to get out of Coney Maul. (I know FearFest is over, but some remnants remaied, the Coney Maul sign being one of them)
Adventure Express was back to the midway, but since the line moves fast, we opted to take a ride on Adventure Express (30 minutes). Still a mighty fine Mine Ride. We then headed into the Action Zone, under the assumption that people will have moved beyond the Action Zone by now.
No such luck. King Cobra was running 1 train, and a full queue back to the miday (PASS), Son of Beast was back to the 2 Hour marker. We decided not to invest 2 hours in that waste of good wood. We again spied Rideman exiting something in the Action Zone area and he told us that Top Gun was about 45 minutes. We decided to ride it. It's a fine suspended coaster. It's short, and running exceptionally rough today. After riding Top Gun, we high taled it out of the over crowded, low capacity ride ridden Action Zone. We opted for a visit past the gift shops. We also stopped by for some LaRosa's pizza. Two slices and $4.50 later we were venturing into Hanna Barbera Land. Okay, HB is packed. Lines of kiddies streamed everywhere. After waiting in Beastie line for 10-15 minutes and not even getting so far as the real queue house, we high tailed it out of Hanna Barbera Land.
John and Arowguywanted to take care of some business, so I took this opportunity to go to the top of Eiffel Tower and shoot some videos. It may have taken close to half an hour to even get on the elevator up. I then proceeded to liesurely walk around Tower, shooting video of anything and everything. After much time was spent shooting video, I caught an elevator back down. John and Arrowguy were actually still waiting for me.
We headed over to Racer for a ride, then high tailed it back to the Flyers for the aforementioned "Flyer Enthusiasts Air Show" A 2 hour exhbition of some of the best Phlying this side of Knoebels. It ws noted that we may have scared a good number of non-Phlyer enthusiasts away from the ride as our antics grew even more turbulent and noisy. KERCHUCK! A special note of thanks to Bisch-Rocco for this fine piece of riding machinery, and to PKI for still operating this fine piece of ride machinery, and to some real cool ride-ops for operating this fine piece of ride machinery.
We then waited for a newer park custom. For the last three years, members of ACE have gotten the final rides on Beast. So what if we had to wait around for almost an our and some for our final ride. Our host Jeff was very congenial and the hour or so just seemed to breeze right past.
Beast ran in fine form for our final ride, then Sean Flaharty got some photos for the regional newsletter. Then we passes thanks out to Angie and Jeff as we made our way to our cars.
And a dining experience that could be the subject of its own TR, but won't be.
I won't spare you will all the details, but on this night the Fields Ertel Steak N' Shake was unequivicolly lousy.
Consider that they were out of Chilli, Ice Cream, Iced Tea, Onion Rngs, cleaning supplies for the FILTHY dining room, and short on staff members and managers. How a Steak N Shake served Shakes without Ice Cream is a real mystery to me. They must be using some Soft Serve mix crap. It was noted that after we left, this particular Steak N Shake locked the doors, and put up "Closed for Routine Maintenance" signs.
I mean it took 2 hours to get a meal there. Okay, maybe I have gone on way to long about Steak N Shake.
The only other noteworthy point, is that coaster season had scarcely been over for half an hour when we resorted to video. Yep some folks were mesmerized by watching television mn my camcorder while they waited for their food,
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