This was my first coaster club event, even tho I've been an ACE member for a couple years. My husband, Gordon and I drove down in the Lightning on Saturday and checked into the Red Roof, had dinner and watched the hockey game. I was glad we were so close to the park and could sleep in a bit Sunday morning when the hockey game went into the 3rd overtime period.
We were up and at the park by 10 am, picked up our packet from Stephanie (and Jeff), and headed into the park.
This is my first ever trip to PKI and I didn't know what to expect. My first impression was how "old" the park seemed, which was strange considering my home park CP is much older. After reflection, I think it was the large amount of trees that gave it that old feel. CP does look rather "sterile" in comparison. The themeing was very nice, and we found ourselves migrating back to the fountain pool several times over the hot, sticky day to rest. Sitting by those fountains gave the impression of coolness.
We let ourselves wander rather than using the map. We made our way back to Tomb Raider, saw the very long line and opted to pass considering we would get a walk on later. Instead, we walked onto The Beast. In hindsight, I should have warned Gordon it might be a "rough" ride, and to be sure to sit forward and ragdoll a bit, but I didn't. Our first ride on Beast was fast and battered us about a bit. One look at Gordon and I could tell he was in pain. He walked off with a headache and feeling battered, and was definitely in no shape to ride coasters.
Fortunately (and why I love the guy) he wasn't going to put a damper on my day. Instead, he was more than happy to wander with me, and find a shady spot to rest while I rode. And early on most everything was a walk on. We made our way over to Vortex. I prepared myself for a headbanging ride after seeing the number of inversions and twists. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, and my description to Gordon was "CP's corkscrew on steroids". It was a fun ride, but not one I'd do over and over.
Wandering toward the front, I saw FoF. Gordon planted himself in the shade of the exit while I walked on to FoF. WT at CP was my first ever launched coaster, so I was looking forward to riding FoF, and not really knowing what to expect. I'd heard it had OSTR's at one time, so I assumed it did some twisting. WOW! The twists and sudden transitions in darkness, and the out of control feeling made this an exciting coaster for me. I hoped Gordon would be up to riding it later on.
Next stop was Racer. It wasn't until I got to the loading platform that I realize I'd gotten in on the "backward" side. This was an entirely new experience for me, so I chose to ride in the "front". I'm still not sure how to describe the feeling of dropping down the hills and experiencing airtime backwards. Suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Back around and I rode facing front from the last seat.
We missed Adventure Express that time around because we were too busy watching the nut cases who paid $25 to be bungeed into the air in a little spinning ball. We found ourselves in the Action Zone, and at this point Gordon was in need of some Advil. He opted to go out to the truck and rest a bit while I tackled the Action Zone coasters.
There was a 15 minute wait for SOB. While waiting, I reflected that the one thing PKI sure has over CP were the covered/shaded queues. As hot and sticky as it was, the shade was much appreciated. SOB was fast and furious, and not quite as rough as I expected it to be. Or maybe I'm just used to ragdolling on woodies and that made the ride less rough feeling. I rode in 2-1 and enjoyed it.
I came off the exit of SOB and turned right into the Top Gun line. Another walkon, and I got to the loading gate just as STChick and Robobud were loading. They noticed the CBCon tag and I introduced myself, and explained The Beast had taken Gordon. I also asked if Top Gun was more exciting than Draggin Iron, and was met with a loud "DEFINITELY" as they pulled out of the station. They were right. It was much faster, the cars swung out more, and was much more exciting than ID, although it did seem short. As the train pulled into the station, I saw STChick, Robobud, KicksTheSky and Arrow Guy waiting for me by the exit. We chatted for a bit and they invited me to tag along with them if Gordon was going to bow out and head back to the hotel. I don't think they realized how much I appreciated the offer, and planned to hook up with them later.
They headed toward SOB, and I was going to head to the truck to check on Gordon. I did take a slight detour on the way out to tackle Face Off.
It was shortly after noon, and rather than keeping Gordon out in the heat, I suggested we leave, maybe rest a bit in the air conditioned hotel. Instead, we opted to grab a quick bite to eat at Skyline Chili, hit Target so I could pick up a little carry case for my cell phone and ID, and a trip to Barnes and Nobles for some reading material. By then, we were cooled off, Gordon's headache was gone and we went back to PKI. We wandered a bit and met up with the CBuzzer's for a great meal.
Afterwards, Gordon indulged me while I rode Runaway Reptar and Adventure Express. Once again, PKI outdid CP by themeing their mine train coaster. It was a faster and more exciting ride, IMO. And believe me, I have a soft spot for CCMR.
By this time, the heat and humidity was oppressive. Since we didn't have bathing suits, or clothing that would easily dry, water rides were out, so we headed back to the Red Roof for some R&R and returned to PKI at 9 pm. Saw STChick and Robobud in the Showcase Cinema parking lot who honked and waved as we drove past.
Gordon was feeling much better and rested, so we hit many of the flat rides, including the Flyers...a blast from the past for me. I hadn't been on one of these rides in more than 30 years and had forgotten how much FUN they are. We took a ride on the train as well, and here I think CP is better for themeing.
Working our way toward the flower clock, I took a detour to ride Scooby's Ghoster Coaster. Feeling rather odd in line, I asked the ride op if "big kids" like me could ride without a child. He said no problem, but the woman behind me had two children, neither of which wanted to ride alone. So I "adopted" one of them and had a blast.
We barely made the clock tower as the group headed to a pavilion for a group picture, and then the ERT began.
First to FoF. Gordon and I slipped into our seats and off we blasted. Once was enough for Gordon, so I went back around and enjoyed my second ride with Jeff as my riding partner.
Then on to Tomb Raider. Earlier in the day, Gordon tested the seat, and it was a pretty tight fit. But he decided to try it anyway. Another first, as this was our first ride on a Top Spin. The booming drums set the tone, and although I thought the ride was a bit short and ended abruptly, it was fun and we enjoyed it even more when they announced we were going again.
Then we moved next door to The Beast. Gordon was determined not to let the Beast get the best of him this time and was prepared. As Jeff said, this ride is an entirely different beast at night. Riding with a train full of enthusiasts only added to the excitement. I swear I felt a sense of apprehension as the train rounded that last wild curve before the second lift hill. It seemed we'd fly off the track. After the second ride, we were pumped.
Then, the good folks at PKI gave us some goodies which included a Tomb Raider poster, a poster that included all of the coasters, and best of all a PKI map from 1972! Definitely suitable for framing. We were then led out of the park through the security exit.
At that point, Gordon turned to me and commented about how great the "Coaster Buzzard" people were, how much he enjoyed himself, and he'd do it again.
The only thing that would have made the trip better is if the air conditioning in the truck had worked on the 4.5 hour drive home today.
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
*** This post was edited by CPLady on 6/11/2002. ***
I've traded in my 2000 Giovanola for a 2002 Arrow X4D :)
My other car is now an Arrow X4D!
I wouldn't call it lame, but I would call Top Gun better! The plants and such are really close to Top Gun this year, and it added to the ride. It's easily my favorite suspended (and much better than Big Bad Wolf, as far as I'm concerned).
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"
I'll second that Jeff......I had ridden Top Gun before, and the proximity to SoB was the *kicker*. Back then, I thought it ranked between BBW and SFMM's Ninja.....the near-misses with all the trees, etc. certainly improved my take on the ride. One lift hill, the ride rocks!
.....Jeff S. said the PCW suspended also has one lift, which is cool on a suspended, as they generally lose momentum fast and require multiple lifts....I still like the Bavarian village on BBW, but the RIDE on Top Gun beats them all.
P.S. ID (DI?) is not "lame", but provides a "family-coaster" at the park.....hey, the kids need something to ride between growing out of Woodstock and graduating to MF......
And isn't TG a clone of Vortex at PCW or the other way around? Either way, they're both outstanding.
I always feel like I'm on an adventure while on BBW which makes it about equally appealing to me as Top Gun, which is short but has extremely non-stop thrills.
I loved reading your TR CPLady. I always have fun seeing first-time perspectives of any and every park. I hope you'll return as well since the park is really special. Your "old" comment surprised me, but I think the feeling is purposely done if you're speaking of International Street, Oktoberfest, and Coney Mall all of which should get a major update in the future. Did you like the "lands" and way PKI was divided up and did you find it easy to get around? Thanks for taking time for the TR! We all appreciate it very much.
*** This post was edited by Koaster King on 6/11/2002. ***
Thanks for the TR CP Lady.
Hope to meet you at Timbersfest :)
Chuck, who can't wait the 48hrs before he leaves for Muskegon, Chi Town, Des Moines, KC, STL, And IB
Lesourdsville Lake, The great American amusement park opens the season June 6th Thurs-Sun every week. Park phone is (513)539-2193
I never did get that autograph...
106 in '02
BuzzCon Frequent Flyer, making kids cry all day long
Proud member of the Frequent Flyer Club of CBuzzCon '02
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