Paramount's Kings Island

October 24, 1999

Trip Report: Paramount's Kings Island

Date: 10/24/99

Location: Kings Mills, Ohio

Weather: COLD!

Crowds: Light


A Note about PKI and Ride Safety:

I was curious to see if I would spot any outward changes in light of all the recent incidents. I noticed one MAJOR change at PKI. Verbal ride operator signals. For example they have to call out "CHECK!" when they check a restraint. They have to call out "CLEAR!" in addition to giving the thumbs up. In essnce every hand signal is backed up with a verbal signal. That and they dusted off the "Unsafe Riding Practices are cause for ejection from the parK" [5] signs at the coasters, and they were more particular about ratcheting restraints.

Well we didn't arrive at the park till 5:00pm and it closed at 8:00pm so we knew we had to budget time wisely.

Arrived at 5:00 and was surprised that the parking toll collector was still on duty, only one lane open, how I love waiting in line to hand over outrageous sums of money to park!

Entered the park and noted quite a few closures, and the ill-fated sign "Sorry, Due to the temperatures some of our attractions will not be operating today" I quickly recalled the 50degree rule [1]. our initial plan was to look at the Son of Beast from the Eiffel Tower, however the Eiffel Tower was DDW, so we headed into the Paramount No Action Zone. And for the first time this season I saw an empty plaza ahead of me. We passed a DDM King Cobra, walked a bit farhter and staring at us from above the restroom building was Son of Beast. Some call it Sonny, I call it Junior! But let me back up, you can see the cranes and portions of Son of Beast from the parking lot access road, then there is a scale model of it sitting in what used to be the lobby of the International Restaurant. As well as a big roaring crate positiond accross from the Paramount Theater where the Chevy Car exhibit used to be. We took some more looks at it from the restrom building when we saw the chain being dropped blocking the Top Gun entrance

TOP GUN - 1993 Arrow Suspended Coaster

Running 2 trains (7x4)

Interval timings would be pointless as most coasters were waiting for ridiers. You've got to love a park that runs all its trains in a light crowd. (Or most of its trains)

As Dave A. Jr. mentioned in a separate thread they have a shortcut set up where you bypass the themed part of the queue, we went up to the station and hopped into the front seat. This is definetely one of Ron's better moments. The design is perfect for a suspended and now the figure-8 turn gets you up close and personal with SOB

I still love Top Gun, and it fares just under Big Bad Wolf.

Well upon exiting Top Gun we spent a lot of quality time looking over the layout and realizng that with the dense lift structure and helixes the ride will do a good job at concealing itself. Or concealing its feature element. I then speculated that we would see the demise of the Go-Kart concession in order to provide a proper queue area and exit for SOB.

With that we headed to Face/Off, the queue was back to the entrance of the permananent queue house, but none of the optional queues were open, we still opted to check back on this one later. We decided instead to go ride Adventure Express.

ADVENTURE EXPRESS - 1991 Arrow Mine Ride

Running 2/3 trains, running with several empty seats

Well its time to get up close and personal to SOB again. (And it is an excellent mine ride to boot) After tunnel #1 look hard to the left, then as you go up lift #1, after you get above the obstructions you can get another glimpse but the real show is after you crest lift 1 and start down through the arches and you come up close and personal with a dense wooden structure. We then went up lift #2, crested lift #2, and then <mystery element> and then we entered the unload station.

With this we went to ride Racer, walked right on and noticed the air was good tonight,

RACER - 1972 John Allen Racing Out and Back

Running 2 PTC trains per side, walk on. Was actually racing!

We also noticed that you get another SOB sneak peak on the backwards Racer lifthill. A cold fast ride with some mild air.

Then we headed half way down Coney to Outer Limits: Flight of Fear


1996 - Premier Launched Indoor Multi Element

Running 2/3 trians.

We gleefully walked through the entirely empty queue marched into the saucer said "Take me to your leader" entered the coaster station and was told "We need 10 riders to run Outer Limits you are welcome to wait" [2] Well we sat down in seat 1.1 and proceed to wait for the required complement of riders. We didn't have to wait over 5 minutes and we were being launched into Outer Space. I assumed the OL proper riding posture and had a relatively smooth ride, yet my headache of the night started forming right after deboarding this ride. I still like it a lot its powerfiul and fun, but now they have enough lights on inside.

We exited and then started notcing something, a LOT of the food stands were closed, and not just the dinky food stands, the major ones like both Pizza joints, Wings Diner, Tucker's Hamburgers, Stunt Crew Grill, all closed.

VORTEX - 1987 Arrow Multi-element

We then walked right onto Vortex, and had a good ride on it. They manged to stack all three trains, one in station, one on ready, one on brakes by Troika. Yup due to the usual wheelchair you find at a PKI coaster.

We walked past Flying Eagles did not ride but noticed some good flight action :) We were on task to go ride Beast.

BEAST - 1979 In-House (Dinn) Terrain Coaster.

Running all 3 trains, walk on.

Its a good thing it was running all three trains as they had both lifts cranked down to their slowest possible setting. I mean you just crawled up the lifts. Brakes full on. Yet it still seemed to deliver an acceptable ride. Even now the helix kicks major butt. Now I must ask a ride operations queustion. they had one bar checker on. Now if you were checking all 36 bars, wouldn't you start at the front of the train, check both bars in a seat, and therefore finish up at the rear of the train, conveniently by the co-dispatch button. I would, but they were having the person start at the front, go down the train, checking the bars on one side, turn around, and walk back down the length of the train checking bars on the other side (reaching over). But then they wound up at the front so they had to walk the length of the train again to co-dispatch. It was at this point that we walked through a rahter deserted Rivertown (all the water rides were DDW)

and entered Hana-Barbaera Land, yes the parks kiddieland.

You won't beleive this

Upon entering Hana Barbera Land, Eric says "You know I would love to ride THAT." <Pointing up at Yogi's Sky Tours, the overhead monorail type ride>. I said that I also had a secret desire to ride Yogi's Sky Tours. So we walked over to the entrance ramp and studied the rides Fun & Safety Guide. Upon noticing no maximum height restriction we started up the entrance ramp, again a walk on ride. We were met with no resistance and were qucikly shown to a car, The cars have a two across seatbelt and a locking door. Only one of the two seats in each car is cushioned, so if you ride with a partner be sure to jump into the car first. I must say this is a cool little ride. It's downright funky to glide over HanaBarbera land. Though I must say the pedals in the cars don't do crapola. We tried pedaling and travled no faster than the electric motor did, so why work??? I do like the individual announcements in the cars with the safety instructions, and they must have some seat sensor becuase when we leaned forward we got a gentle "Please remain seated" announcement. An interesting ride that I wouldn't to when there is a line of kids, but when its dead, why not?

Speaking of a dead park, what about the other Caripro ride? We headed down to Ghoster Coaster but found it to be DDM. We then walked over to Beastie.

BEASTIE - 1972 John Allen Junior Coaster

Running 1 train, they were pretending they were the Riverside Cyclone and waiting for a full train. Or that may have been for us since we filled in the last two seats. I noticed no foot pedals on the PTC Junior train. (I wonder what made me think to even look for those) Beatie was running just fine, and after riding we quickly thought to try to ride the last adult coaster.

So with 30 minutes remaining we booked it over to Face/Off, noticed the closed eateries on International Street and got over to Face/Off. The line had not yet been cut off, so we entered the queue house where the line was only about half way through the queue house, and none of the optional queues were open. It still took about 15 minutes and at this point I realized this was my first night ride on this. Cool!

FACE/OFF - 1999 Vekoma Invertigo

1 Train

Well we were loaded, well most of us were loaded except Eric because his bar was locked in the closed positions preventing his sitting down., I mentioned "Lightning Loops" to Eric. [3]. We tried our best to notify an attendant before they checked bars since we were in the second last row to be checked, and knew the defect in Vekoma Trains. [4] So when the tried ride op made their way back (after cheking most fo the bars) and saw Eric standing in front of his seat, it caused them to have to unlock all of the OTSR's so he could sit down, then they had to recheck the whole train. I still say Invertigo is an extreemly smooth ride, it may be low capacity but it is an awesome ride.

We thought about a re-ride, but decided against it, instead heading up towards the front gate gifts. didn't buy anything but took a look around, then some more looks at the scale model of SOB and we were on our way out.

As Arnie would say "I'll Be Back" Next Sunday to be exact!

[1] PKI has this policy where they will not run a steel coaster under 50 degrees, nor a wooden coaster under 40 degrees. Today by my thermometer they were in non compliance with their own policy.

[2] I wonder if this is a ride spec or a PKI rule.

[3] The same situation caused the fatality on Lightning Loops, except the victim was dumb enough to sit down on top of the OTSR.

[4] You can't pop just one car, you have to unlock the whole train.

[5] It is also a misdemeanor crime in Ohio.

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