An Awful Day at Kings Island - 4/27/13

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 2:42 PM
LostKause's avatar

As far as LaRosa's Pizza goes, I eat it every time I am in the park. It is consistently good and I always enjoy it. I also eat that the hand cut fries stand in Rivertown a lot. Yummy! I eat other places at the park sometimes, but these are the two I frequent the most.

The all-you-can-eat place in Rivertown was always decent, and a great value. I am a little disappointed that it is changing to a full-service restaurant this year, but I bet it will be good anyways.


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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:34 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I wonder if it has less to do with bad forecasting from the park and more to do with unavailability of staff. High school kids and college kids are both still in school this time of year, which I suspect cuts down on the people who they can even hire for these next few weekends.


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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Thursday, May 2, 2013 4:51 AM

I believe what Andy said is the sole reason CP opens a week later now than they used to. They now open the second weekend after exam week for most major colleges around here, which essentially gives a solid week to get the bulk of their people through training. Whether that helps operationally I'm not sure, but CP's opening day has never been as bad as KI's from my experience.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Thursday, May 2, 2013 8:23 AM

I loved it when the park opened a week earlier, talk about light. Monday was good, Tuesday ok, on Wednesday you could roll a bowling ball up the midway and not hit a soul. I can see how that didn't last.

Now it's more crowded, but easier to staff. ^ Colleges that are on semester have their last week around now. The science class trips are concentrated into fewer weeks causing more school busses on days that were previously lighter. Park calendars have shifted to fall, too. Thats where the big money is now, right?

I think the theme and amusement parks suffer from lack of people (students) who seek out that kind of employment. Back in the day, (ok, my day) these were desirable and sought after jobs and the park had the luxury of being choosy and actually turning down applicants. I don't think that's the case so much now. High school kids might do it, but college kids can't afford to waste a summer, if they work at all, doing something that isn't career oriented. I think they'd likely seek out employment or internships instead, trying to get their foot in the door somewhere before graduation.

I'll never forget talking to a young lady one opening week at CP and she told me stories about the shenanigans that had already taken place there causing a rash of first-week firings. Drugs in the dorms being the number one offense, but there was a hilarious story about a kid from Cleveland who smuggled his whole family into the dorm to live there with him.

Ah well. I'm in Branson this week (trip report is coming) and they have such great success here with retirees and older folks as seasonal employees. One, they're nice as they can be, and they're a little better matched to the audience! Same as Dollywood...

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 9:38 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I think if it had been me, I would have went right to guest relations and asked for some kind of comp. Maybe a coupon for a free drink or a t-shirt. Something. I went to Cedar Point when Top Thrill dragster opened it's first couple years on two different occassions, and it was closed, along with Wicked Twister, the Cable cars, and Thunder Canyon. On a day when it was blazing hot and packed. My brother and I were there from open to close, and only went on 7 rides. Gemini also had one side closed, with only two trains running, with a 45 minute line. Also went to Great America for the first year run of De-Ja-vu, went twice and it was closed. They also cut back on capacity big time, and American Eagle was only running one side with 2 trains, and slow and rough as hell. That was also the day that people were stuck on top of Giant Drop, all day long. That would really suck! Also, short circuit rides. Very disapointing day. Tripple play was also dismantled, and that was one of my favorite rides.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Tuesday, May 7, 2013 9:39 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 12:10 AM
Vater's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

I would have went

Would have gone. Gone. Oy!

Sorry Timber-Rider, it's not just you, I've seen it a lot on here lately from other people, too. I'm just picking on you because your post happened to be the one that pushed my bad grammar intolerance over the edge.

Oh, and because I won't see any response in retaliation for another week and a half when you have internet access again...

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:41 AM

Before Cedar Fair, I believe Kings Island used to open the first weekend of April, and apparently Paramount did a season pass preview day or weekend to further ease in operations.

Cedar Fair is now opening the park nearly a month later, and they're only open 1 day of the opening weekend.

So, while I agree with Andy in regards to limited staff availability, I think another big problem is pent up demand for a single concentrated opening day. It's just asking for trouble.

Reports are that KI's first couple weekends have been packed the last several years. I think the park should consider opening earlier once again or change the park buyout day to not fall on opening weekend.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:54 AM

Six Flags hires international workers for the beginning of the season. I guess otherwise they wouldn't be able to open so early in the season and especially on those weekdays for Spring Break where not all schools are closed the same week.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 3:59 AM

For what it's worth, I was at KI this past weekend, Friday evening through Sunday (their 2nd weekend of operations) and it was perfect. Very manageable crowds and mostly decent operations made for very reasonable wait times. All waits were under 30 minutes, save for Backlot which had a 45 minute wait with a slow crew and heavy Fast Lane usage. It helps that we knocked out Firehawk and Flight of Fear right at park opening. Most crews were moving quickly with the exception of Flight of Fear and Backlot, and we didn't see any downtime.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 8:57 PM
Bobbie1951's avatar

Good trip report although obviously not a good trip. My one trip to Kings Island was a disaster and I would not go back to that park due to the long ride lines, long food lines and difficulty in finding a parking spot. After spending the money to fly from Philly to Dayton, rent a car and stay in a motel I got only two rides: one on Diamondback and one on The Beast. What a waste! Was thinking of going back early the next morning but it was raining so hard that that was not a reasonable option. Last year I went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Kings Island, Six Flags New England, Michigan's Adventure, Cedar Point, Kings Dominion, Dollywood, Six Flags Great Adventure, Dorney Park, Hersheypark and Busch Gardens Tampa and had a great time at all of these parks EXCEPT Kings Island. I hate that park! Never again.


Bobbie

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 9:10 PM
Vater's avatar

I'd reserve judgement on the park itself until you decide to go on a slower day, like...any other day but a Saturday. I've been to my home park Kings Dominion on one of the busiest Saturdays of the year, and managed four rides all day and a lot of waiting. I can't justify hating the park simply because everyone and their uncle decided to visit on the same day.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 9:35 PM
Bobbie1951's avatar

Unquestionably the park has some great rides; my feelings about Kings Island come only from extreme frustration. I did go on a Saturday; just logged onto my Enterprise Rent A Car account and saw that I went to KI on May 12, 2012. I guess I wasn't expecting the park to be so crowded so early in the season. Have already been to SFGA three times this season and didn't have to wait at all for most of the rides. The longest wait I had was 20 minutes to get on El Toro. At KI in early May the wait was 2 hours to get on Dback and 2 1/2 to get on The Beast. Last week I didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes to get on the rides at Six Flags Fiesta. (Would post that trip report but it's already been posted on a Florida-based theme park website.)


Bobbie

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 10:00 PM
Vater's avatar

Bobbie1951 said:

I did go on a Saturday

Yep. That's why I mentioned it. ;)

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Thursday, May 9, 2013 12:36 AM
sirloindude's avatar

Days like that are why Fastlane was invented. That system turned what would've been a disastrous day at KI and a disastrous day at Canada's Wonderland later in the year into pretty awesome experiences.


13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

www.grapeadventuresphotography.com

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Thursday, May 9, 2013 1:58 AM
LostKause's avatar

Kings Island can get really busy sometimes. I did go one opening day Saturday in 2006 and it wasn't too bad at all. I think the longest wait of the day was about 30 minutes. They seem to be more crowded over the last few years though.

It's a really great park. Hopefully the new coaster next year will help with the crowds.


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Thursday, May 9, 2013 2:38 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Kings Island has never really clicked for me. It's been the closest park to me for 7 seasons now and I haven't been there in 3 years. In fact, this was the last time we visited the park. Yes, May of 2010 when they debuted the Snoppy Spectacular thing - which means we never returned the rest of that year. I've not seen the Dinosaurs nor Windseeker and I'm like 45 minutes away.

(Actually, I just did a little research and in the 7 years we've lived with KI as our closest park I've visited a total of 14 times - and one of those was the Diamondback media day.)

I've tried a few times to get my finger on why that is. The truth is that the park doesn't suck. The problem is that nothing there is particularly outstanding (two or three obvious exceptions like Diamondback excluded). It just doesn't seem to be worth the 45 minute drive for a meh-tastic day at the park.

We're planning a triumphant return in less than two weeks. I'm hoping a May weekday will alleviate some of the crowd problem we always seem to run into. I'm not sure the place is ever really dead. It's one of the few parks I can't seem to catch a break on with crowds - which isn't helping my opinion of things as I hate waiting for rides I like...I'm not gonna wait for rides I'm indifferent with.

I dunno...I guess the negative opinions don't seem too strange to me.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, May 9, 2013 2:39 AM
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Thursday, May 9, 2013 9:13 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Is it home park fatigue? Or possibly just enthusiast fatigue ("I've been to so many parks overall, another trip to the same old park just isn't interesting to me.")?

I live 20 minutes from SFoT and probably go 10 times a year and am not really in love with the park. I've probably gotten a total of 10 laps on NTG (which is in my top 5 steel) and I honestly don't care that much whether I ride it again...or whether I ride anything in that park again. (So far, 5 trips to the park this season, 0 adult coaster rides).

Perhaps if I move away, I'll miss it more, but for now, I mostly go just to walk around and get out of the house at this point.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Thursday, May 9, 2013 9:14 AM

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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Thursday, May 9, 2013 10:09 AM
sirloindude's avatar

I find myself in the opposite category. I'd love to have SFOT as a home park. It's got a great quartet in Batman, Titan, Mr. Freeze, and NTG. That'd keep me occupied.

SFA is my home park, though, and honestly, I generally make it just once a season anymore (although that may change this year). As silly as this might sound, if the ride crews weren't so colossally bad, I'd probably go there every week when I'm not traveling. It's a pretty drive and there's something awesome about having an epic hypercoaster like Superman right in my backyard. It's a great way to kill a few hours. However, I too don't enjoy waiting for rides, even if I really like them. I'm even more bothered when, for all intents and purposes, there really aren't enough people to really call it a wait, but it takes so long to dispatch each train (and there's really no excuse as station platform storage has been replaced with off-ride lockers) that two trains takes ten minutes. Ten minutes isn't bad when the line keeps moving and the trains keep rolling, but it feels so agonizingly long when there's really nobody in line but the crew doesn't want to hustle.

Ultimately, I feel like I enjoy parks now more than I ever have despite me being less inclined to ride, ride, ride (I'm really getting more into photography).

I can see the issue if your home park is swamped, though. I went to KI for the first time in 2005 and barely waited for anything, but I've also seen the park at ridiculously full levels, so if "crowded" is applicable as often as it seems to be, I can get why someone would find the place to be "meh."


13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

www.grapeadventuresphotography.com

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Thursday, May 9, 2013 10:36 AM

I'm in agreement about park/enthusiast fatigue playing somewhat of a part, but also, as Gonch said, if the park only has a few excellent rides and the crowds are bad, it doesn't seem worth it. Living so close to Dorney, I get to go on quite a few quick trips there every year, and I ride as much as I can. However, if the lines get long, I get "meh" about it, take my lap or two on Talon, and I leave the park. For a small park, Dorney has great rides, but at the point where the crowds are pushing waits past even 20 minutes, I just don't care to stay. I can go to Hershey then. *laugh*


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Thursday, May 9, 2013 12:03 PM
LostKause's avatar

Gonch, the crowds are kind of why I wrote off SFGAdv so long ago. When I lived in PA and it was convenient for me to visit that park many years ago, I couldn't catch a break on the crowds. My last visit was on a September Thursday in 2006, I believe, and even with a Flashpass (What was it called back then?) the park was just unbearably busy, and the new ride, Kingda Ka, which was announce to be open by the website, was still broken down. FRUSTRATION!

I've been to Kings Island on days like that too, even before the park offered a line-cutters pass, but I have always loved KI for some reason. I grew up with that park.

You kind of just now made me realize that KI has a mediocre ride collection. I wrote a paragraph explaining that I didn't get it, then erased it when I realized that I am starting to agree with you. I really like Flight of Fear, Adventure Express and Flight Deck, but Vortex is way outdated, and they really don't have too much else that is big and extremely exciting.

...Oh, I once again forgot the flying coaster. That thing always has a long line and scares the crap out of me, so I don't even ride it every time I visit the park. lol

Kings Island will always be awesome though because of The Beast.

I'm going to try to get away from normal life and go to KI in a few weeks too. I didn't go last year at all, which is very unusual for me. Hope I'm not coming down with Home Park Fatigue Syndrome, or HPFS. :) (Good phrase coining, Andy)

Last edited by LostKause, Thursday, May 9, 2013 12:05 PM
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