5/29 - Four Hours @ Kings Island

Associated parks:
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Saturday, May 30, 2009 8:31 AM

Having flown the previous evening from Los Angeles to Columbus to hook up with my friends with whom I'd be travelling to HoliWood Nights, the day started with breakfast at Waffle House and a short drive to Kings Island. Our time at the park was limited as we had to be at Holiday World that afternoon, which explains why we only rode a half-dozen attractions before leaving.

Joined by a small group of Platinum Pass holders and some coaster club members we enjoyed early morning rides on Diamondback before park opening. With all three trains running we enjoyed ERT conditions with rarely a 1-train wait. On most of our rides we walked into the station and sat right down on the comfy trains. There was a greeter placed at the top of the station stairs to assign rows but he would gladly allow you to wait for premium seats when asked. No drama, no hassels, no nazi-like attitudes.

My first ride was in row 1:1 (the middle two front seats) and every other ride after that was at the back, which is where I preferred to ride. Having ridden Behemoth last July, Diamondback was everything I thought it would be: fast, smooth, and filled with delicious air. It's exactly what the park needed as part of it's coaster lineup.

Next up was a lap on Stunt Coaster as it was the only other coaster I had not ridden since my last visit in 2001. While certainly not a thrilling ride (it wasn't meant to be, folks) I fine them a good solid family coaster, one that kids who are just beginning to venture out of the kiddie area can enjoy with their parents.

Next up was Beast, which was even more of a disaster and disapointment than eight years ago. The magnetic brakes following the first drop are oddly-placed and feel unnatural, killing the pacing and robbing the ride of airtime in the only two spots where it could possibly deliver any.

There are some who still find a lot of love for Beast, something I fail to comprehend. I liken their adoration to people who seem stuck in one era of music, usually from their formative years in high school. They still worship rock bands who found fame in the 70s and 80s and still proclaim them as their favorites, having failed (or refused) to recognize or enjoy any new music in the decades that have followed.

But enough about Beast. Let's move on.

I love Disk-Os. The supersized version at Silver Dollar City was giggly fun and one I couldn't get enough of. I was eager to try Avatar as I'd not experienced a Disk-O Coaster. Sadly it was not to be as Avatar was not open. We substituted the nearby Scooby-Doo dark ride, which was sufficiently fun.

Another ride I've wanted to experience since it debuted at Cedar Point is the giant frisbee. I finally got my chance with Delirium. While not as dizzily disorienting as the smaller models I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. This is exactly the type of ride SFMM should have been adding instead of coasters (not that having one would have gotten me back to the park sooner, lol).

We grabbed a quick lap on Flight Deck before splitting up. I took a ride up the tower to snap some photos while the rest of the gang headed back for one last lap on Diamondback. One the whole I enjoyed my few hours at Kings Island. Perfect weather, good friends, moderate crowds, solid operations...all add up to a good time.

Next up: HoliWood Nights, Night One.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009 9:13 AM

While not as dizzily disorienting as the smaller models

Maybe I'm just old (get off my lawn!) but I think this is a feature, not a bug. The larger pendulum length and disk radius means slower changes in direction, and makes for a fun-floaty rather than intense-disorienting experience. I'd much sooner try to talk my wife, who hates spinning, onto one of the giants than one of the regulars.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009 12:42 PM

I rode Diamondback for the first ti me a few days ago and enjoyed the first half but thought from the trim brake on it was just mediocre. Its exactly what Kings Island needed in a steel but for me was a tale of two rides. I'm sure there is a reason for the trim but it takes out any airtime on the final bunny hops and there isn't much force in the last helix.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009 2:09 PM

The Diamondback experience you had was not the Diamondback experience we all had. Trains were trimmed twice: once on the hill prior to the first helix and again on the mid-course break run. Neither harmed the ride as there was ample, ejector air on the the ending series of bunnyhops and a lot of power in the helix.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009 3:26 PM

Sounds like a good time, Moosh. Wish I was there. :)

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Saturday, May 30, 2009 10:53 PM

Humm....maybe the time of day we rode it. We rode it twice, with one time in the very back, and didn't get any air after the first trim that you talk about.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009 3:21 AM

I dont doubt you. Perhaps it was the time of day. Morning trains are slower and would require less triming.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009 11:45 AM

On a side note I was very surprised I didn't feel any drag when we hit the water. ;

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Sunday, May 31, 2009 12:46 PM

I tend to believe that most of The Beast was not that interesting to start with. The braking changes, for me, have no negative effect. They make a more abrupt trim, but honestly I'd choose that over hundreds of feet of skid brakes anyway. The ride is in fact "faster" with a shorter ride time now. They key to comfortable riding is still that you sit in a middle seat and not over wheels. The helix is still pretty cool in my eyes.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009 5:22 PM

Mamoosh said:
There are some who still find a lot of love for Beast, something I fail to comprehend. I liken their adoration to people who seem stuck in one era of music, usually from their formative years in high school. They still worship rock bands who found fame in the 70s and 80s and still proclaim them as their favorites, having failed (or refused) to recognize or enjoy any new music in the decades that have followed.

Gee, who could you be referring to? ;)

For me, The Beast is much like Dragon Mountain in that it's stupid and good at the same time. I just love how it skirts along the terrain through the woods. It certainly doesn't have airtime like I prefer, but it feels powerful and excites me unlike the ultra graceful GCI's with minimal airtime (see Renegade). And it's unique. If there were lots of rides like it, I doubt I'd care much for it, but after 20 years of being a coaster enthusiast, uniqueness counts a lot more than it used to.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009 6:47 PM

I really cant describe why I love the Beast either, although I have managed to get the "brass ring" of a trimless, full train, summer night ride on it (pre mag trims their was a bunch of mechanics by the first trim sled and all that I know is that we didnt slow down anywhere on the track.) It is also by far the best night ride I have ever done as well, nothing can Ive ridden can beat that, however in fairness I havent done the Holiday Woodies at night nor Bolder Dash which sounds to me like this ride's only compition.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009 10:46 PM

Jeff, I'd still take the skids over the mags. While the overall braking effect is about the same between the two, one advantage of the skids was the fact rain limited their effectiveness. Gone are the days of the mad rush to the Beast during any rain they'd allow it to run in (or right after a good thunderstorm). The roof on that brake shed didn't seem to keep much the water off the skids, and all the others were fully exposed...

I also still enjoy riding the Beast. Voyage definitely clobbers it in most regards, but it's still a fun ride. Love that double helix. My dream is that one day they will modify it... replacing the long shed with some interesting elements - perhaps an S-curve and a small airtime hill (or both combined, similar to Voyage), and maybe bringing back the rock music to the station...

Slight subject change, but does anyone else think the MCBR on Sonny isn't biting as hard these days? I rode it Friday AM before heading to HWN and even for a morning ride, the second half was actually a bit interesting. Usually it's a snoozefest after the first double helix, but this ride seemed faster throughout the 2nd half. Also, does anyone else think those little Gerstlauer trains look a bit silly on that giant coaster? :)

Edited to enumerate 'interesting elements'

Last edited by metallik, Sunday, May 31, 2009 10:50 PM
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Monday, June 1, 2009 12:25 PM

I am with Iceman. I made a quick stop on Sunday to get my first laps on Diamondback. After 4 rides in 25 minutes (yeah for the single rider line) in front, middle, and back it didn't do anything for me - way too much braking. The first half is OK but after the midcourse the thought that I had was that it had been neutered. In my world Apollo's Chariot leaves DB in the dust.

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