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Friday, November 2, 2001 5:55 AM
I bullied a friend of mine into going to PKI with me in the cold weather, because I wanted to get to one more park this year and my fiancee refused to go. So, after being forced to attend morning church services, my friend and I hopped in my SUV and made the trip from NW Columbus to PKI in 54 minutes...has to be a record. We were averaging about 95 all the way there.

We arrived at about 11:00, much earlier than I had thought we would. I wasn't happy about the prospect of paying $41.99 for a ticket, but I figured it might be worth it to ride Sonny for the first time. Imagine my surprise when, as we were walking toward the gate, a guy asked me if we needed tickets. I said, "How much?" To which he replied, "Fifteen bucks."  "Sold!"

Thrilled at having saved $50, we walked through the main gate and headed for the action zone. To my chagrin, there was a sign posted, stating that it had to be 50 degrees for the rides to run. However, it was fairly warm by then, and there were empty trains running on SOB, so we hopped in a fairly short line and waited...and waited...and waited. 75 minutes later, they opened the gate. After three trips to PKI, this would be my first SOB ride.

 

We headed for the back row, and rode the third train of the day. First of all, that on-ride photo location sucks. Secondly, the lift hill was running so slowly that I would guess that it was taking about 60 seconds to reach the top. However, once at the top, I began to really enjoy this coaster. Being in the back seat, we really got yanked down the first drop. I was surprised at the smoothness of the coaster, almost like a steel coaster...that is, until you come back up the second hill, and it starts to beat the living hell out of you . I can see why many enthusiasts dislike SOB so much-other than the roughness, it doesn't have any of the elements that I usually enjoy in a woodie. No airtime, no feeling of being a little out-of-control. I think that this layout would be great for a steel coaster, but it leaves much to be desired as woodie.

 

We continued on to the Vortex, which was my first "real" coaster, so it still holds a soft spot in my heart. After a roughly 5 minute wait, we took a quick circuit and found that this looper still packs a decent punch. It is by no means a head-banger, and provides decent speed. Not bad for a 5 min. wait.

 

Next was Flight Of Fear. Due to the colder temperatures, this wait was a little over and hour. The look on my friend's face was priceless when he saw the launch for the first time. Now, onto the ride...WOW! A ride that I hated with OTSRs is now a legit 4 star coaster with lap bars. Easily the best ride of the day. My only negative on this ride was the length-I wish it had been longer, considering the hour long wait.

 

Next we travelled to the Beast, a coaster with great sentimental value. It saddens me that they have braked it to death. What used to be a wild ride through the woods is now fairly tame. It's hard to believe that at one point, not too long ago, it was the tallest and faster coaster on the planet! I didn't get a night ride, though, and from what I understand, the Beast still comes out at night.

 

On to Drop Zone...and I have to admit that the Gyro Drop/Turbo Drops are really the only rides that still frighten me. Very little wait, and then we were spinning around and up the great tower. 5 seconds...and drop! It was a little bit scary to that much higher than Sonny-I was just glad to have gotten it out of the way.

Adventure Express was not on my track record yet, so we decided to hit that one next. Not a bad little ride for what it is. The only disappointment was the final chain lift through the temple...I was expecting something after that, and got nothing.

 

We saw the 7th portal 3-D, and it was much better than I thought it would be. I actually laughed my way through most of it-too long of a wait though (30 min).

 

 

We played a round of laser tag (which I won handily, defeating at least 4 small children:))and then took two more dark laps on SOB. We saved Face/Off for last, riding in the front row. The invertigo ride isn't too bad-I enjoyed the trip backwards, especially the loop.

 

Why no Racer, you may ask? Backwards wasn't running, and I don't really enjoy the forwards side that much.

 

All in all, despite the cold, it was a good day!

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