Saturday, June 9, 2001 3:59 PM
Flashback to the year 1992(or whatever year TopGun first opened)
I decided to go on a trip to this place called King's Island. Being that the only big amusement parks I had visited or seen before then were Six Flags parks; I expected this King's Island place to be a small park with no coasters.
Imagine my supride when I was greeted by the tall structure of Vortex, along with even more coasters! I was a little scared of tall coasters when I first visited, so I limited my rides to King Cobra, Adventure Express, Beastie and Top Gun.
Fast Forward to 2001.: I'm older and Raging Bull has all but eliminated my fears of coasters. I'm ready for anything.
I was asleep on the Greyhound bus recovering from the previous day's outing. I was awokened by the bus announcer stating that we arrived in Cincinnati. I noticed that it was nice and sunny out also. After walking through downtown Cincy and eating at Arbys, I headed for the bus stop to King's Island. Wouldn't you know, it began to rain. I paid my 50 cents and I was on my jolly way to PKI. Let me say it again. I paid my 50 cents and was on my way to PKI!
As I arrived to the park, I was greeted by the familiar Eiffel Tower and Vortex, but was thrown off guard by the huge inverted boomer, a slender tower full of color and HUGE lumbering pile of..well..lumber. My feet were telling me to walk towards it, but my mind was telling me to check into my hotel first. After cutting through hotel parking lots, forests, mountains, fields loaded with land mines, volcanoes, post-apocalyptic landscapes, and a gas station; I finally made it to my hotel, the Microtel Inn. It was a nice little hotel that was fairly priced.
After freshening up, I stepped out the house and proclaimed, "Ain't nobody dope as me, I'm just so fresh so clean", and began the journey back to PKI.
This time there were more people there than before. I proceeded to the entrance with my cheap ticket purchased fromt the hotel.
When I stepped in the park, I was greeted by the best theme park entrance I've ever seen. However, I would appreciate it's photogenic qualities later, because I had coaster riding to do!!
I noticed people were heading towards the left, so I followed them to a section of the park that had not yet been built when I first visited: Paramount's ACTION ZONE!! And yes I typed it like that for a reason. That's how big the sign felt.
I had arrived early, so I had to wait behind tape while the section was being opened. I chose to wait in line for the Invertigo because it was the lowest capacity and would probably have one of the longest waits.
When the line opened, I walked fast to....
Face Off: Some kids ran to the ride and proceeded to get in line for the very front, but actually got in line for row number 2. HA!
So I sat in the front, which is the back, which is the front, which....
The ride short, but intense and is a good reference point to the GIB that is being worked on in my home park. I noted that the Cobra Roll is more spaced out than DV's, but seems to be the same height. Vekoma have lost their minds in the building of Deja Vu.
Back to PKI. I wanted to ride the Gyro Drop next because it was also low capacity, but it was closed due to maintenance, so I decided to take a spin on my fav. from the last visit.....
Top Gun: 5 min wait, back seat. This ride is short and intense also. It probably is the closest a suspended will get to a hyper. But that doesn't mean that a suspended hyper is ruled out. Are you listening Arrow?
A strange thing happened when exiting the TG line; my feet began to wrestle with my mind. My feet finally used a fininshing move on my mind and my mind lost. 1....2....3!
The stipulation of the match was that the loser would have to ride the big wooden coaster. It was on to....
Son Of Beast: 35 min wait, front seat. I began the ride with an abrubt dive into the lift. The lift is steep and LOUD! It sounded like I was back in downtown Chicago at rush hour. We finally made it to the top and began the ride. At the bottom of the first drop, my knee slammed hard into the handle bars, so I rode the rest of the
ride with an ouch mentality.
Example: This second drop (ouch) is insane! (ouch) and this helix is out of control.(ouch) whoa a nice (ouch) drop into this (ouch) ultra smooth (ouch) loop and another helix (ouch) following it (ouch). Wow, this is an intense (ouch) ride, definately (ouch) top 10 coaster material (ouch).
After that ride (ouch, okay the joke is over), I was at a loss of what to do, so I headed to the first coaster I saw, which was...
King Cobra: I'm not too fond of the restraint system on these TOGO's, but I rode it anyway. The ride has a different layout from typical B&M standups. I has a little airtime and an extremely banked helix. A nice coaster to have to draw crowds away from other coasters.
I walked by the coney mall section of the park and proceeded to trespass on private,top secret goverment property. I was greeted inside the military base by what seemed like thousands of people with the same idea. Here's a funny story that you can tell your kids: I saw the queue going into the spaceship and I mistook the mirror for another set of queue on the other side of the spaceship. So what may have looked like a 45 min line to you looked like a "HELL NO" line to me.
You don't actually have to tell your kids who was involved in the story however ;-)
I safely made it back to Coney mall and shimmied my way on to the 6th Portal. It was a nice 3d simulator. In fact, it was the best I've seen. Many others felt the same way as there was a huge amount of orange vomit "cover up substance" used on the floor by the seats. I then took a right and hit......
Vortex: I waited for the very back seat, because the line looked like a walk-on. Wouldn't you know, it began to rain. It rained hard and lightning began to strike, so they shut it down temporarily. After 20 minutes, it opened again. I was greeted by a soaked seat, but boarded anyway. This ride reminded me of the Arrow roughness that I took for granted from not riding Shockwave that much. The layout is pretty different from most arrow multiloopers and some parts of the ride had recieved a fresh coat of paint. All in all, it was a great ride.
It was time for me to ride a legend in the coaster
world, so I headed to the back of the park to ride...
Beast: 15 Min wait. Back seat. It was hard to decide what seat to ride first, but I wanted to be in the front for it's famous night ride.
But that happens later.
It was now Papa's turn to discipline me. My punishment began with a steep drop into a long tunnel and into the Sherwood forest. The ride just kept on gaining speed and it felt like I wasn't even at PKI, until a set of breaks brought me back to reality. I rode for what felt like 10 minutes into....
Another lift hill! After cresting it, the train just kept on gaining speed and speed and I kept on repeating to myself "we are not entering that tunnel at that speed, no way". I learned not to question "dad's" authority as the train careened through that double helix with a combination of speed, postive G's, laterals, and headchoppers, that made it seem like DCFS was bound to call any minute. I returned to the station with a new number one wood coaster. Now the young beast has the height, speed and the loop, but this one has what is likely the best finale in coaster riding!!
After recovering from that, I glanced at a future attraction sight and surveyed the kids area. This area looks like it's a dream world for children. It has about 5 coasters for kids alone. I felt like asking someone if they could lend me their kids for a while, but I threw that plan out the window. So I trekked back around and got in line for....
Racer: 10 min wait, front seat. I got in line for the backwards side and waited in line for the front seat, which is the back seat, which is the front seat, which is.....
It was eerie riding the coaster and looking at the track that you've already passed. I don't know how to explain it, but it was strange. I got back in line and sat in the front. The layout is nice and this ride has a little airtime. It sort of reminded me of AE at my home park. I would give Racer the edge though.
I saw an old favorite near the entrance to Racer, so I proceeded to ride....
Adventure Express: 5 min wait, front seat. This is probably the most enjoyable mine train I've been on. The theming is nice, although the mist wasn't on, as was the poking spears, and voices. It has the worst finale. I remembered the first time I rode it, I was nervously anticipating what was beyond that pot. Imagine my dissapointment when I found out it was a station! Oh well, you can't have your cake and eat it,
unless you've thrown a birthday party for youself.
No I'm not losing it, but I decided to make a return visit to the secret government facilty again. This time, I saw right through the governments attempt to fool me using smoke and....mirrors. I waited in a lonnger line than before to ride....
Flights of Fear: 1 hour 15 min wait. I had seemingly gone through this busy Sat. avoiding crowds until now. I stood it through the well-themed line and entered the spaceship. The station is themed very well, even though the aliens inside the giant vials look corny. I waited for the front row. I was pleased to see that there was a lapbar, instead of the normal Premier vice grip OTSR's. The launch of this ride was very nice and the layout was twisted as hell. Boy, I could imagine what this ride felt like with the head clamps on. The twists and turns were sharp and the inversions felt fine with the lap bar. All in all, it was a roller coaster very worthy of my praise. If the line wasn't so long, I would have done it again. But I'm no agent Mulder, so entering top secret government facilities numerous times is not my thing.
Especially ones with lines that long.
I headed back to the ACTION ZONE!! and got in line for...
Drop Zone: Ok it's not a coaster, but it's BIG as heck!! It looks like a giant donut ascending from the heavens to crush you. It's Homer Simpsons
worst nightmare, or his best dream. You decide.
I was in a very full queue house full of people watching old movie trailers until an attendant yelled "do we have a single rider?" That was my que, so I screamed "ME!" and the attendant let me skip about 4 rows of people to ride. MUHAHAHAHA!!
The ride took an unbearingly long time to reach the top, while it was rotating the whole time. When we finally got to the top, I said "what the heck" and extended my arms and legs in front of me. A couple of seconds later I was on terra firma with clogged ears, lost change from my jacket, and a wedgie. I wanted to do it again.
I decided it was time to enact my battle plan, so I headed for another ride on...
S.O.B. 45 min wait. This time I decided to ride the back seat, but I opted to use an old enthusiast trick and not ride in a wheel seat. Being that I was limping, this was a smart option. Wanna know about the ride itself? Just replace all the (ouch)'s in the original review with (ahh)'s.
I spent a considerable amount of time re-riding coasters and sitting down before it got dark. When dawn hit, it was time to defy authority again on......
The Beast(Nightime unplugged): 45 min wait, front seat. Being the disobedient urchin that I am, I rode it again on the front seat. I was greeted this time by a sea of darkness beyond the lift. And what made it even worse was that it stopped at the top. "Dad" was going to make me wait this time. When we finally got goin, we screamed and zoomed through that forest faster than the girl from the Blair Witch Project. It was a little lit at some parts, but pitch black at others. I was enjoying myself so much that I forgot about the finale. The helix felt even more intense than the first. It felt so intense that I swear I lost my voice on it. What can I say about this that I i've already said? My new number one wood is even better at night.
After that I still had some time left, but I had to get up early, so I decided to purchase a SOB dog tag and call it a day. It was back to my hotel to sleep and back to the Nati,to get back toChicago,to go back to the future! Great scott!
All in all, I kind of like this park a tad bit more than my home park SFGam, because it has a better atmosphere. It probably has to do with the amount of trees surrounding it, compared to the suburban development of Gurnee. I had no problems with park operations either and that made this visit even better. The only thing that was missing from this park was B&M.
You reading PKI park reps?
I recommend this park to everyone. A true winner!
Next episode: Wait,there is no next episode!
What did you think this was, Star Wars!
In the words of Ferris Bueller
"The movie's over, go home now!"