Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA
We got in to the nearby Microtel Friday night. It's not a huge place, but it's fairly new and it's clean. It was fairly cheap as well. We were in for two nights because we had to pass out tickets in the morning and didn't want to drive home after getting out of the park near 1 am.
We arrived at the park around 9:30 to see a couple of attendees already in, with PR director Jeff Siebert already there (and his usual peppy self). We handed out tickets and registered people on-site until about 11. We chatted with some folks from 4-H selling tickets to raise money, and an older guy Jim, who worked in the admissions department (he was there last year as well). All nice people there. A little before 11, Kristin and Rob arrived to woman the window in exchange for tickets.
The metal detector setup isn't horrible, and it was a good idea that they have someone there to talk over a PA and be social to people, to lighten the feel around the security. However, the big flaw is that if anyone wanted to get something nasty into the park, they could do so at either end over the three-foot gates. Not very well thought out.
The park really looks great. Lots of subtle improvements including a lot of paint. We decided to hit Tomb Raider first. We had about a three-cycle wait when we got to the staging room and the ride broke down. Not having anywhere to go or any big plans, we just waited it out. Eventually we got move into the pre-show room as people left. There we ran into Siebert who was working the crowd (and this pretty freaky chick with piercings who was kind of cool). They cycled the ride a bit and we got on.
About midway through the ride, when the gondola was at its highest point, the ride was e-stopped and the sound and effects cut out). Gravity took over, and we went almost all the way around, and kept swinging for what seemed like nearly ten minutes with the work lights on. It was that point that I could finally see the entire ride. It's absolutely stunning to see how large the thing really is.
Eventually it stopped, and a mechanic on the ground manually parked the gondola so we could exit. Later we'd hear they weren't loading the middle row, so it sounds like maybe something was falsely sensing a restraint that didn't work. (That's just a guess.)
We walked around a bit after that, and picked up the registration stuff and went back to the hotel for a bit. We arrived back in the park for lunch.
It was kind of neat to see they prepared a CoasterBuzz cake for us (complete with logo) and brought out a little Delirium model. We did the group photo then began to feed!
After lunch, Jeff Siebert gave away some cool stuff including a Bat and Beast media kit for correct triva answers. He finished his thing with an offer to take us on a backstage tour through the "campus" at the front of the park, the new Bubba Gump Shrimp Shack (opening soon) and back through the woods to Son of Beast. I'm sure by now you've seen some of the amazing photos.
Stephanie and I broke off from the pack after that and really just kind of walked around a bit. We hit Son of Beast, Adventure Express and Top Gun. One thing that irritated me, in the physical sense, is these idiots that smoke in line. This is a bad allergy week, and I was pretty miserable to begin with. What's worse, the park doesn't do anything to enforce queue rules, and often can't because of the insane layout of these winding lines.
Son of Beast apparently got new restraints, but sorry, it's still uncomfortable and cramped. The good news though is that I didn't find it particularly rough sitting in a middle seat.
We went back to the other side of the park and had fries and a beer. After that, we ran into CPLady (Linda) for a little DDR in the arcade next to Beast.
We followed that up with another shot at Tomb Raider, but ended up leaving line because of this nasty add guy who had to spit literally every ten seconds.
Steph had not been on the flyers before, so we went there next. Big surprise, a bunch of CoasterBuzz idiots were already there getting the major snaps (we'd seen them there earlier too). Most impressive was Ebeth, who has an amazing knack for stalling those birds out. Later I learned nine buzzers freaked out a guy and his kid with their mad skills, causing the guy to scream out to stop the ride. Good times.
We did two laps. On my first one, I was able to get such an amazing series of stalls and snaps that my back cracked on the seat back when it finally caught up. Wow that was cool. I finally get it!
As the park neared closing time, we gathered near the floral clock for ERT. Reflecting on the day, I'm so impressed with the way operations at PKI have improved since just five years ago. It's very clear to me that their focus is clear and they want to show people a good time.
I went around to talk to people abou their day, and it seemed to have gone over well. Very cool to meet some of you again or for the first time. The best events are not so much about the rides, but the friends. For that I'm very grateful.
Our first ERT ride was Scooby and the Haunted Castle. I never got in there when it was the old dark ride, but I was overall impressed and kind of fun. Sort of hard to fire the guns when you can't see what you're hitting, but still good fun.
From there are rides department managers took us to Delirium. This is what I was most looking forward to. Just seeing this ride I felt it would be a winner. Sure enough does it deliver. What an amazing experience. Every park needs one of these. The sensations are intense, the visual impact is impressive and the response enthusiastic. My first ride was amazing. The second ride was amazing. The third however pushed our limits a bit I think. The group got off the third cycle almost silent. Was perhaps a bit too much!
Next up: Flight of Fear. I admit being kind of selfish requesting ERT there, but I can't get enough of the ride since it went to lapbars. Here's the news... a full-out launch with no trim at the mid-course. The ride used to just kind of coast around. Now, it never slows down. Hitting that last corkscrew is insane. Two laps, and that was all I could take, especially after Delirium.
Finally, we went to The Beast. The ride again is in excellent shape. Steph and I did second row and it was amazing. What a great ride at night. We were offered two laps but I only did one.
Jeff gave us all new posters with the various coasters on them as we left. I can't say enough good things about him and the management of the park as they really went out of their way to show us a good time, with no obligation or request to do so. I'll take credit for setting up the event and dealing with tickets, but the execution of the event is all the park's doing.
I also need to credit Stephanie with the organization of ticket distribution. She's my rock and support system in keeping this club rolling smoothly.
Finally, thank you to everyone who attended the event. Your support is what makes the club and the events possible. None of this would exist without you. Thanks also for conducting yourselves as responsible enthusiasts. You really represent the club well. Can't wait to see you next year!
Regarding the dad who freaked out on the flyers- It didn't really help that he was riding in front of Arrow Guy who was yelping for most of the ride. I'm not sure if he was yelping in pain or glee... or both. Either way, that was the most awesome flyer spin I've ever taken.
Safety is everybody's responsibility.
I think all who attended agree that the park went way out of their way for us, but it wouldn't have happened without you, Jeff. Thanks again for providing another way for this "family" of coaster freaks to get together.
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
Here's the news... a full-out launch with no trim at the mid-course. The ride used to just kind of coast around. Now, it never slows down. Hitting that last corkscrew is insane.
See, that's exactly what I thought about PKD's FOF. After a great launch and first half, the midcourse slowed the train to almost a complete stop, resulting in a lot of cruising around. While the ride was not bad by any means, I certainly didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Does PKI just happen to run their ride any differently? Or was it just juiced up for BeastBuzz?
*** This post was edited by PT300 6/8/2003 9:38:15 PM ***
Coney Island (Cincinnati) ride operator
Take care and God bless!
Note to self: Don't ever again take three straight trips on Delirium. Motion sickness set in about midway through the 3rd ride (and as Jeff mentioned, I think several others felt the same way). Delirium, however, is a first class ride, and really delivers the total package.
Already looking forward to BeastBuzz 04...Thanks, Jeff, for going the extra mile to make BeastBuzz (and CoasterBuzz) such a success!
Pinball and Coasters...Any Questions?
I had a great time meeting new people.. putting faces to screen names, & getting a bunch of credits that were non-existant 14 years ago when I first went to PKI.
Thanks again to the Jeff's (Jeff's wife included) & to all the othere buzzers for making this a great weekend.
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
CBClub member #30 and #364 (renewal)
Coney Island (Cincinnati) ride operator
Sorry I couldn't come (and about the smoking, one of the only major problems they have), but some Graduation parties fell on the same day. :( Thanks for putting the event together Jeff and I hope you guys do it again next year. The CB cake is very cool and I'm impressed with the park for doing the extra goodies and treating everyone so well.
Nice to meet you all - it's cool to be able to put the names with the faces I met over the weekend now.
Untill next, THANKS
Looking forward to an even better BBuzz next year!
"If you can fit between these two poles, you are too small to ride" Lumpy72
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