Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA
Great Amusement Park with a wide range of Pluses and Minuses
Photos may be found here: https://www.facebook.com/kick8472/media_set?set=a.10152303835351914...913&type=3
I visited Kings Island on the evening of Friday August 8th, and for the Beastbuzz event on Saturday August 9th.
General Positives for the park:
Kings Island is a great park with many great rides. I have been to KI many times and it has always been due to the rides, but I must say, this time the employees were top notch! The employees were all friendly, happy, and seemed to be in a good mood which is a great improvement over previous visits where they seemed to be just there doing their job. (I would even say that this year they were as friendly as Holiday World employees.) Friendly and happy employees always make a day at the amusement park much more fun! Thank you!
The catered lunch during Beastbuzz was very good! I would highly suggest Kings Island for any group event from the area.
General Negatives for the park:
The big minus to KI are prices. Everything at KI is crazy expensive! The standard entry ticket at the gate is expensive, so make sure you buy online and try to find a discount, but what got me this year was the price of food. It has always been a little high, but $14 for two slices of pizza and two breadsticks or $14 for a 3-way chili is insane!!! My wife and I ended up buying one meal plan wristband, then split the food every 90 minutes. I highly suggest utilizing the meal plan wristband if you are in the park all day and eating in the park. (Note: Drinks are NOT included with the wristband... Holiday World sure has us spoiled with free drinks and no dehydration!)
A second big minus IMO is fastpass. I know a lot of people love fastpass, but to me, it is just a way to bribe Cedar Fairs to be able to cut in line when normally line-jumping is cause for removal from the park. The fastpass line also took the place of the single-rider line on some rides.
A third minus - the trash cans smelled bad throughout the park. They need cleaned more often.
Cirque Imagine - WOW! is about the best thing I can say to describe this show! This is by far the best show of any type I have seen at any amusement park! It was fun, action packed, and an all out great time! I had a front row seat and was very close to the trials bicycler's front tire which was about 2 inches from the guy sitting to my left's nose (Dale). I enjoyed this show much more than Le Grand Cirque in Myrtle Beach. It was also great to talk to some of the cast after the show and get our photo with them!
Flashback: Totally 80's! - A completly oposite wow... About 10 minutes into the show, I whisper to my wife "Has there been one singer on-key yet?" Her reply... "Nope"... I will say most of the music selection was different than what most 80's shows cover which I really liked. But the singing was horrible! The worst was when everyone tried to sing in harmony and everyone was off key differently, it made me cringe! There was finally one lady who sang one song towards the end of the show who sounded good. I wish she was showcased earlier in the show. The dancers also were not synchronized very well. Of concern, there was one mixture of songs that sounded like a direct rip from Holiday World's 80's show in 2013. (Is the same production company used, and if so, what happened to the talent for the KI show?) Anyway, I highly suggest NOT wasting time on this show. If this show returns next year, I would suggest focusing the show more on singing quality and less on the costume changes.
Rock N' Roll Never Forgets - This show had some good singers and I enjoyed this show. This show was very popular as Festhaus was packed!
The Boyz are Back! - This show covered several boy bands. My wife wanted to see this show and I was hungry, so I followed. (This show is in Festhaus, a dining-hall type area so one may eat while watching the show.) They had a couple songs I knew and many songs that I did not know. The older songs I recognized did actually sound like the original so the singers in this show were talented. Apparently there were songs from some newer groups that I did not recognize. IMO, rather than covering new groups (The Wanted & One Direction), they should have covered older groups such as Savage Garden and All-4-One.
Adventure Express - a fun mine ride coaster with a horrible ending.
Backlot Stunt Coaster (previously Italian Job: Stunt Track) - This is the biggest rollercoaster let-down in the park for me. This was an awesome coaster due to the theming, both in the que line, and during the ride. Now, there is no theming in the que line and it was even worse during the ride... When the train stopped mid way through the ride, there used to be a helicopter that raised, turned, and shot at the train with flames and explosions, now the helicopter is stationary and instead of flames and explosions, there are red lights flashing... Also, the water splash pool was dry... A friend rode Backlot Stunt Coaster who had never ridden it as Italian Job: Stunt Track, and he said he was rather confused about what the ride was supposed to be.
Bat (previously Top Gun) - This is a fun old hanging coaster. I do miss the Top Gun theme with the sound track playing. Thanks for ERT, but the ride operators stated we could not stay on the train to ride a second time, we had to leave the station, go out and around. I am not sure why this rule was made as this was the first time I had been told this (not only at KI, but at any park). There was no one else in the station and there were people on the train behind our train, so they ended up sending out an empty train in order to unload the next train. Does not make sense...
Banshee - I hate to see a coaster torn down, but IMO, Banshee made taking down Son of Beast worth it! This ride was awesome! Fast with awesome inversions, yet smooth and not jerky! An all out great ride! I also love the theming and the SOB tombstone. I would suggest adding tombstones for the other rides from the parks past rather than misc. names on the tombstones. Thanks for both morning and evening ERT! Confusingly, these ride operators had the same rule of leaving the station and going around in order to ride again, even when no one else was in line.
Beast - It's a great old rollercoaster! Big thanks to KI for nighttime ERT on The Beast! You guys Rock! Also, thanks for letting us stay on the train rather than getting off and going out and all around like the other ride operators during ERT!
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill - a laser shooting game. This may be a little too scary for young children.
Diamond Back - A really fun and smooth coaster with a lot of airtime! Thanks for the morning ERT. Again, these operators made us leave the station and go around when no one was inline in the station.
Firehawk (previously X-Flight) - I didn't ride this time, but I have ridden it many times in the past at KI and Geauga Lake. This is a nice flying coaster.
Flight of Fear (Outer Limits) - I love this coaster! Tons of fun packed into a small building! For some reason, only 2 trains seemed to be running on Friday night and it made a short que line take forever!!!
Flying ACE Aerial Chase (previously Rugrats Runaway Reptar) - This is a nice family coaster, but it was a little more jerky than I remember during previous visits.
Invertigo (previously Face-Off) - I rode this since it had a short line. I would not want to wait long to ride this one.
KI & Miami Valley Railroad - a nice train ride with a real steam engine. (The water is heated with natural gas I believe, not coal.)
Racer - A good fun racing coaster, but both trains were running forward. It would be nice to have one running backwards again.
Vortex - An old Arrow Looper. It is a fun ride but I suggest waiting for the front seat which, IMO, feels a little less jerky. (Perhaps the front seat just allows the rider to prepare for the next turn better than when sitting further back.)
Windseeker - A high swing style ride. I enjoyed this ride at night as it provides great views of the park with the night lights. It does really start turning fast after going up a little ways.
Woodstock Express (previously Scooby Doo, Beastie, Fairly Odd Coaster) - A smaller wooden coaster. A good one to ride if the line is short.
Were you putting your head in trash cans? Serious question, because I don't really understand your expectation.
Your definition of "old" coaster must be different than mine...
Just walking by the trash cans revealed the bad odor. My wife commented that the odor has been a common issue at KI as long as she remembers... I don't recall noticing it prior to this trip to KI, but I have noticed it at several other parks in the past such as Cedar Point, Geauga Lake, Conneaut Lake, and Holiday World.
My expectation is to not have smelling trash cans... This is not an unrealistic expectation, I worked at Arby's in high school and we had to clean the trash cans there every so often to prevent them from smelling bad...
You may have the incorrect impression that I was smelling the trash in the trash bag. Beverages, sauces, and other misc. junk makes its way between the garbage bag and the trash can. If this is left sitting, it begins to create a bad odor which is what seemed to be occurring at Kings Island.
I'll post my review of Holiday World from earlier in the year which had the same odor issue all day on Thursday, even before the park opened, but no odor on Friday... (Holiday World must clean their trash cans Thursday night... I don't know when/how often KI cleans their trash cans.)
Your definition of "old" coaster must be different than mine...
I guess I call all the Arrow rides "Old" regardless the park, and the Beast is the same age as ME, so I consider it old too.
FWIW, I have ridden several "old" coasters, including Leap the Dips at Lakemont... so I understand how some would think none of the coasters at KI should be considered "Old".
Sounds like you had fun. I was actually at the park the whole day on the 8th. I would have loved to have attended BeastBuzz, but I had a family event the next day. Still was able to get a night ride on The Beast though!
Loving Maverick since 2007!
Indeed, we had a blast! How was all day Friday?
It was great! Diamondback was awesome! I found it to be the best at the park. Got one ride during the day and one at 9:45 pm in total darkness. The Beast was second best. That night ride truly was incredible! Banshee was tremendous as well. It took third place. I love that slow heartline roll at the end!
I got stuck on Flight of Fear for 10 minutes too! The train didn't have enough speed to make it up the cobra roll, so the brakes kicked in and the maintenance lights came on. A couple ride ops came to entertain us while they waited for the mechanics. One of them said that old King Cobra track pieces were kept inside the spaghetti bowl. Finally, we were pushed back into the station by the mechanics and they tested each train once before loading only the first three cars. The second launch was much more successful than the first, but that MCBR really kills the ride. I'm gonna have to try Poltergeist or Joker's Jinx someday to find out what the second half of the ride could be like. I was hoping that they would give us exit passes, but I guess it was too common of an occurrence to provide those. Anyway, it was fun to see the spaghetti bowl with the lights on.
Overall, it was a great trip to KI and I hope to attend a BeastBuzz event in the future. Sadly, I have no plans to attend a Halloween event at a park this year, so I guess I'll have to wait until next year's Kings Dominion trip.
Loving Maverick since 2007!
maverick master said:
...Flight of Fear ...but that MCBR really kills the ride.
Did you get your guts busted in the final station brakes though? I thank God for the MCBR because if it had any more speed going into the final brakes, it would be a punch in the stomach that I could not handle well. The stop is so sudden.
I love FOF though. Such a great ride. It must be a well-liked ride too, because there are always a lot of people in line.
I agree. I actually find FOF to be very jerky and I think it takes the second half too fast. And that's after coming to a full stop on the MCB even.
I also don't think it's a very well designed ride. Certainly not designed around the mythical "heartline" like B+M, Intamin, etc. More like designed around the track like Arrow, but much better. I feel the movements are very unnatural and leave me feeling dizzy.
That said, I love the ride! It was the first modern, LIM launched coaster I've ridden. And I loved the theming back when it was still OLFOF. It was very immersive. A lot of it is missing now, but KI still plays the queue video, KD does not.
I think Premier actually did a great job on the spaghetti bowl coasters with the heartline. I will say that I think the outdoor versions without the midcourses are actually some pretty fantastic rides. That second half of the ride taken at full speed is just sick.
13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones
Yeah, I don't remember what year it was, before the sale to Cedar Fair, but after the lap bar retrofit we had a BeastBuzz ERT session where they ran that thing balls out, no mid-course squeeze, and it was mind blowing.
maverick master said:
I got stuck on Flight of Fear for 10 minutes too! The train didn't have enough speed to make it up the cobra roll, so the brakes kicked in and the maintenance lights came on. A couple ride ops came to entertain us while they waited for the mechanics. One of them said that old King Cobra track pieces were kept inside the spaghetti bowl. Finally, we were pushed back into the station by the mechanics and they tested each train once before loading only the first three cars. ...
Was this in the evening? While waiting in line, I had just made it inside the UFO and then the line quit moving for at least 15 minutes (possibly longer)... We were wondering what was going on... lol
Edited to include a link to the photo album:
As soon as we went through FoF's corkscrew I braced myself, so the brakes weren't horrible, but they still weren't great. Magnetic brakes would be great for this ride! I rode it in the morning around 11. The line wasn't moving very fast, and it did stop a couple times, but they were only running two trains.
I forgot to mention in my mini trip report that I thought (just like many others) that Cirque Imagine was incredible! It was better than both Celtic Fyre at BGW and the Cirque show at SeaWorld San Diego. The performers were very impressive.
Loving Maverick since 2007!
Magnetic brakes are not intended to stop a train, which is the whole point of a block brake.
Oh, I didn't know that. I don't know a ton about how roller coasters work. I guess I was just doing a bit of wishful thinking.
Loving Maverick since 2007!
I've ridden Poltergeist, Joker's Jinx, and KD's FoF many times without the hint of braking, and never once thought the end braking was that abrupt. I love those rides, and think the second half is way more enjoyable taken at speed.
The only braking I find to be *really abrupt* is the MCBR on Mummy at Universal. Now that one comes in hot, and stops quickly.
"Magnetic braking" needs clarified a little more:
1) There are eddy current brakes where the braking force is directly proportional to the speed. The slower, the less braking force. This is what is used on Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. (The metal blades sticking up on the run back to the station, and the blades that pop up after the train passes on the launch section.) These brakes are NOT intended for stopping, only slowing.
2) Linear Induction Motors with modern controls have the ability to apply force in either direction regardless of the direction of motion. As such, LIM's may be utilized for stopping.
The best example of this I have ridden is SuperMan at Six Flags Ohio / Worlds of Adventure (Geauga Lake) where the train is held on the back section for a second by the LIM, not mechanical brakes. (If I remember correctly, you could hear the buzzing from the current causing the conductors going up the back section to vibrate.) The LIM on SuperMan was also used completely for acceleration in both directions and deceleration at the end of the ride. Wicked Twister at CP is another example, only without the holding section on the back end...
My guess is Flight of Fear was designed prior to modern AC Drives which have this capability. At the time, if this ability was available, it probably wasn't fully tested. As such, it was a smarter design to simply use mechanical brakes on the rollercoaster... (As I recall, the early to mid 2000s is when large AC Drive improvements were made and implemented in the manufacturing industry.)
Since Flight of Fear is an LIM launched coaster, there is no reason the LIM couldn't also be used for breaking, BUT, it would be a large expense to upgrade the system and rewrite the code. Since the rollercoaster works fine for the most part, I doubt Cedar Fairs would invest the funds to make this upgrade.
I am curious why they have only been running two trains on Flight of Fear...
On V2 SFDK (and I assume all the other impulses) a set of magnetic brakes drop down after the final forward pass between the LIM's the spike. No reason to use power and complicated machinery to brake when a completely passive system will do just fine.
(The back spike is a different story because the train is only completely stopped for a split second).
I assume FoF also didn't install LIM's just to brake for the exact same reason. Using LIM's for braking is less reliable (and the brakes are something you want to be as idiot proof as possible), takes more energy, and is more expensive to build. There's really no upside.
Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."
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