Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA
This had not been my first trip to PKI, but was my best trip without a doubt. Previous trips had involved loosing keys, resulting in family driving 4+ hours and the beginning of my little brother’s trip to Ohio's Triple Crown (just two weeks ago). I was making this trip with my girlfriend Beth, who had been with me on my first trip involving the key incident.
We began the trip to ‘The Island’ when we left around 6:00 AM from our little Central Illinois town. The difference between driving in Illinois, and out of the state, is that other states tend to have much more road construction. I guess it will be better in the end, but won't they have to start all over again? Enough complaining... We stopped midway so Beth could try the newest breakfast sensation that Mickey D's offers. These McGriddles, when warm, are an excellent upgrade from the usual Bacon, Egg, & Cheese. After the semi-par sandwiches we finished the last 3 hours of our trip, and a quick check in at the hotel, we finally made it to the park.
Background Information: I am only nineteen, and BB was my first enthusiast event. I wasn't sure of the time that I would have, but I was even more 'worried' for Beth. I could only judge from the posts and reports that I had read over the last two years, since becoming 'hooked'. I had purchased the snazzy CoasterBuzz baseball T a month ago and figured that a wearing the shirt at a CB event would make the most sense. Also, I had purchased my first digital camera a few months before my trip to Ohio with my brother. My Sony Mavica and I have become best friends since that day I opened its box. I have taken it to all the parks this season, and have loved enjoying the pictures once I got home.
I had refrained from taking the camera with me on my first trip of the season, because I knew that I would have a lot of time at BB. Beth and I spent the first hour or so, taking pictures of the park. This was after dodging the annoying Keyhole Camera Nazis. PKI please listen to me… Take the small blue shirted army and distribute them throughout the park. Pictures that are taken ‘in’ the park, when people have most likely experience something are going have people more likely to see what the picture looks like than one when you walked into the park after waiting in lines to park, pay, get scanned, and enter. If you need a model a certain park that rhymes with Weeder Choint may be doing this on a very very small scale from what I saw while waiting in the 4.5 hour line to get into the queue for Dragster. It is just a thought. It was a relaxing pace that both of us enjoyed a lot. We got some rides on Top Gun and the Eiffel Tower in the process. We had limited time left before lunch at the picnic grove, but that time got eaten up while Beth had an incident with a bloody nose. Once the drama died down, we headed back to pick up a run on the Beast, meeting a few Buzzers on the way there. 'He' was still running great as always, but could not compare to the rides that I have had in the dark previously, and the rides that we were going to have later that evening.
We headed back to pick up some food, and to see the group that we were going to spend more time with that we had originally expected. The food was average. You really cannot expect too much out of burgers, dogs, and chicken. The cake was excellent, as was the soda. (People tend to underestimate soft drinks.) It was a lot of fun seeing some of the people that I had been 'listening' to for so long. The big surprise was the tour that Jeff S. was going lead has he led us around the park and showed us a side that most of us hadn't experienced. Highlights for me included realizing what the hell was above us when we walked in the park. (I had always figured it was office, and have not seen the Brady Bunch episode. *shrugs*.) I got some great pictures of the fountains while we were up there. Bubba Gump's new shack is personal predicted hit. It’s going to look great! Kudos to PKI, and the same to Jeff for naming ever kind of shrimp in his energetic head. The real surprise of the tour was the trek back into the woods to see the beginning of what is going to be a 782 foot 4D inverted standup coaster/revolving restaurant, which will include theming from the new Tomb Raider Movie, SpongeBob, and McDonalds. The word is it will be called - McBob Raider: The Ride. Sorry, I just couldn't keep the secret any longer. ;-) **The previous was only a joke** Back to the woods... The group made the sultry trip back to the bowl of SOB. This was the picture opportunity of the day. I took too many pictures back there, but a handful turned out great. It was a real treat to get up close and personal with Sonny. To the people that were waving to us... God have mercy on their twisted backs. The tour concluded there, but was more than enough to keep me entertained.
Beth and I decided, a.k.a. she forcefully persuaded me, to take a trip back to the hotel for some much needed showers. The trip to SOB alone would make anyone sweat like a whore in church. It was just the ticket before our evening of riding. We came back to the park refreshed and ready to conquer what our eyes had been viewing all day. We knocked off Tomb Raider from our list first. PKI had done a perfect job in what I think they were/are trying to create: a 'secret' ride that has people guessing even AFTER they have rode it. I love seeing the faces of people before and after. My favorite is hearing the "is that it's... and awwws...". I still will ride this one on every trip. Starting from there and going counter-clockwise, we waited in line for SpongeBob 3D. It was my first movie in the FX Theatre, and won't be my last. I do enjoy SpongeBob, and can't even imagine how much fun kids have watching him in this movie. Beth and I both giggled the whole time. It was such a blast. Once we finished up on that end of the park, it was time to see if Sonny had shaped up, and face Beth's fear of falling.
SOB is a beautiful structure to look at. It's lattice just screams at you, as it towers into the air. However, with all that beauty in mind, it can't fix to the damage that it does to my body as it bashes me against the hold bar, lap bar, and everything else that isn't soft or fuzzy. We waited for a middle seat towards the back, as instructed from experienced riders. I haven't ridden on top of a wheel in a while, so it’s hard for me to judge. Every other roller coaster I have ridden requires minimum effort to sit in the car and/or fasten myself. On SOB, I have to plan out my attack before hand.
Step 1: Enter car with hands firmly on head rests.
Step 2: Take right foot and rotate 20 degrees to the left
Step 3: Lower foot under the annoying thing in the left-hand side of the seat
Step 4: Insert left foot in same manner only in the right-hand side of the seat, sans rotation.
Step 5: Stretch legs and sit in seat
Step 6: Rearrange everything that needs to be, including ankles, which are now crossed, and knees that must be tucked under lap bar
Step 7: Start counting down the minutes until you are back in the station
Whew... I don't mean to bash the ride. I love the speed, the turns, and of course the loop. With all that said, I wish there were changes in the train that would allow for some more comfort. I am going to leave it at that because I am a very tall man and don’t' expect to fit like a glove, but gloves can be comfy. I will always recommend it to new riders, as long as they plan out their attack before hand. :-)
On to Drop Zone... Beth has this fear of falling, and was dreading the ride all day long. I had her convinced her that she would love the rush and just HAD to ride it. We made it in the line, which led to some more questioning that I had. It just seemed like the ride could move much faster than what it did/is. Here are my suggestions. Take the last stretch of queue and paint numbers 1 - 40 on that stretch. Place an associate at the end of the row and have them assign numbers for each person. Once the platform is clear, have one person lead the single file line of people around the tower to first seat. People would then sit in their respected seat. The op could then start checking seats from that point, as other ops would join in. Two people checking restraints are fine, but the two last night could have shifted out of second and into third. I am aware that I don't know how the ride operates and it may take a longer time to get ready for the next ride, but I somehow doubt it. Also, install 500-megawatt railings so that people won’t be sitting on them, and the operation doesn’t have to repeat to the crowd the dangers of sitting, standing, crawling, leaning, flirting with, or even getting to know the rails. :-) There are the suggestions and complaining, now to the ride. I had asked Beth to refrain from cussing on all of the days previous rides in respect to the visiting families. However, she was a free woman on the tower. The trip up was great, but not as much as my last ride when the fog was covering the park. We talked the way up about how beautiful everything was. Then we stopped... I continued talking as heard the usual bells and whistles go off and softly told Beth that we were now going to go down. Well... after "f" this and you "f'er", we were back on terra firma enjoying the sprint to my car as I grabbed the camera for the ERT on Delirium.
Ten minutes later, we were behind the Eiffel Tower awaiting the fireworks with the rest of the group. I had enjoyed the show last year from the hotel pool across the road, but it was slightly better in the park. After cursing my camera for getting some lousy shots of the show, we started to make out way to Scooby Doo, our first ERT dose of the night and my first ever. It was Beth's first shoot-em-up dark ride, so I had to explain the jist of things. The first trip around was great, but the second ride was when I really shined. I could tell Beth was trying her damnedess to hit the targets, but just fell short. This is how I got the 2103 score that got me praise from some Buzzers, mainly Arrow Guy. I know my score would have been much lower if Beth would have at least topped *cough250cough*. That's not the point though... is it? Anywho, we moved on to Delirium for one of my new favorite rides in the park. My last trip had me screaming for mercy on this ride while I covered my face to protect it from the rain that was trying to invade. Tonight was different. We had two rides in no time. Beth was just floored by its lack of 'pukeyness' (its TR and I can use any word I want to!). I got some good pictures on its last cycle before we went to FoF.
Of all the ERT, and all the rides of the day, Beth had been relishing the moment to spend with her baby. We boarded toward the front after two trains cycled. Unfortunately the best ride ever on FoF would be the last of the day. It was just the way the line worked out. We took our single ride and headed for the crown jewel of the night, Mr. Beast. Both of us had ridden the Beast at night, so it was not going to be a total surprise. Both rides left us wanting more, but the day had ended. We made out way back to the front of the park, but not before free posters were handed out. It was a great end to the best day that either of us has ever had at the park. I know that I will be heading back to BeastBuzz and any other CB event that is concocted.
Jeff: Thanks for creating the great event. I hope it grows by leaps and bounds. Only certain parks have the character that PKI does, and that is what makes it a prime place to have a good time.
Jeff S.: You were the best host ever. Your enthusiasm really shows that you care about the place you work at. Keep up the great work and call me when you get McBob Raider: The Ride finished, I want to be one of the first to ride it.
BeastBuzzers: It was great meeting some of you. I'm glad you didn't scare Beth for life. I didn't want to have to drag her to another one, now she will go willingly!
Also, thank YOU for reading these confusing words that have poured out of my head tonight. If you weren't there, you should thinking about heading to PKI sometime. Beth and I had a great time at the park and the next day. We headed into downtown Cinci, across the river, and into the Newport, KY. The aquarium there was great, and topped off our 'mini-vacation'. Until next time...
Oh ya Jeff S... Perkin's was closed, Waffle House was full, Wendy's was closing, and the Taco Bell we gorged left us with gas. I thought you would like to know. ;-)
*** This post was edited by Neuski 6/10/2003 7:28:10 AM ***
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
Funny you should mention the Bob Evans, CPLady. We hit that before the aquarium. Here are the low points...
1. A kid blew chucks at my feet, while waiting for a seat.
2. Beth's burger was rare and had the blood soaked in the bun.
But, I enjoyed my pancakes!
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