CoasterBuzzCon 2002 - PKI

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

Jeff's avatar

Dare I say that by late Saturday night I was about ready to not go to what would be my third enthusiast event in about a week. I was tired, burned out and seriously messed up on Benadryl (allergies are killing me). Of course, I can't easily blow off my own event, so I'd have to get through it.

Stephanie and I arrived at the Microtel on the other side of I-71 around 9pm the night before, after spending much of the afternoon getting the registration stuff for CBcon in order. The Microtel is weird... everything is small, but comfortable. It's fairly new and clean. We went to Outback for dinner, where I very quickly entered a food coma. I was out cold while Steph watched the overtime of the hockey game.

The next morning we set up ticket shop at the group sales booth around 9, and the peeps started flowing in. All told it looks like we had 77, though I'll wait for PKI's final bill to see what the official tally is.

In the morning, we hooked up with James Draeger who was visiting the park alone at the end of a 36-hour adventure that had him driving all over the state. We did Tomb Raider, Beast, Reptar and Flight of Fear in that time.

First off... Tomb Raider. Flat ride in a box my ass... I loved it! Anyone who calls this "just" a big Top Spin either hasn't been on it or isn't giving it due credit. "Totally emersive dark ride experience" was something we all got tired of hearing, but that's what it is! I love the light sequence before the door from the antechamber opens, and the Brahma looks really outstanding in there. When that next door opens and you get your first peak at the ride, you can't help but be a little amazed at its size. I love the tribal drums playing when you first enter the ride.

The lighting, fog and water effects on the ride are very cool. The placement of the ride near the sets really surprised me. I imagine that nothing could ever touch the vehicle, but the tolerance couldn't be more than a few inches.

Believe the hype, ignore the critics... Tomb Raider is a very cool ride.

Beast was kind of a let down on that morning ride. Sitting about four from the back, the ride really kicked our asses in an unpleasant way. The new brakes do let it loose, but I wasn't impressed (until that night).

Lunch was all-you-can eat burgers, dogs and chicken. The cookies were divine. Our pavilion was decorated in an extra special manner, with Eiffel Towers on the tables and real table cloths. We got the hook up. I said a few words thanking people for coming, and the park's PR man Jeff Siebert did the same. Man can that group eat! We had about 77 people.

After lunch it got really warm. The air was almost wet and it was getting kind of gross. Our little posse went around to the water park, then the train, found a long ride for the Rugrats flume and headed to Vortex.

Vortex isn't a terrible ride, but I suppose it depends on where you sit. It's just a few of the transitions that hurt. The ride itself is very interesting to look at and very photogenic. We made the observation that it's odd how the ride almost looks like it was meant for a flat piece of land, given the height of so many of the supports.

Some Skeeball and snacks, and we eventually met up with the young crowd, who in turn combined with more people. To the Flyers they went, to the Flyers they snapped. What happens when you get a dozen coaster jerks on the ride? Lots of stall/snaps! I've never seen that ride get yanked around like it did. The ride ops apparently didn't care, but wow did it scare the hell out of some of the kids watching.

Then the large group hit Action Zone, where we cranked out Top Gun, Sonny and Drop Zone. Top Gun's surrounding plants have grown in very close to the ride. Sonny is a lot smoother this year, save for the helix bottoms, and I finally got to ride Drop Zone, which blows away any S&S ride, easily.

We broke off from the group and did a little shopping and a brief rest in the car. By 9 we re-entered the park and did Eiffel Tower, followed by the Carousel.

We met up with the group at the floral clock and piled everyone into the pavilion for a group photo. That was a challenge, because there were so many damn people!

To Flight of Fear for the first round of ERT! We got two laps, and the energy on the platform rivaled that of SRM. I know, I was surprised too. I think we all agreed that the ride is nothing short of awesome with lap bars. Fortunately they changed the way the belt attaches to them this year, so they're a little easier to deal with.

From there, the mass of enthusiasts went to Tomb Raider, where we entered the escape route took our seats. This time we sat in the front row, which is better, I think. Gets you closer to the "stuff." Best part? The ride ended, we all stayed put. Nice... I liked the ride even more.

To top off the night we went next door to ride Beast. The difference from my earlier ride was massive. It wasn't rough at all. Crazy it was though... it ran incredibly well.

After exiting the ride Mr. Siebert hooked us all up with a few great posters, including one that was a park map from 1972, celebrating the park's 30th anniversary. World class.

So I'd like to thank everyone from the park for showing us a good time, thank you folks for coming, and to Stephanie for keeping me organized. I think everyone agreed that the event was a success and a serious good time. Even if it's not "CoasterBuzzCon," I think most everyone agreed we need to do something at PKI again next year!

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -,
"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"

Jeff's avatar

BTW... I'd name everyone I ran into there, but that's a long list and I'm terrible with names. ;)

Sounds like you had a pretty incredible time! I know(wait, I think, don't kill me if I'm wrong ;)) you said that you thought SOB and The Beast were more or less just ok on your past visits, but did that change with this one or do you still find them about the same?

I think SOB gave some of the best rides ever this year, but The Beast is still pretty ok towards the middle in my book besides at night. I agree that FOF is outstanding and you really can't believe how much better it is. I hope the midcourse was still off for you guys, because that's what really makes the ride with the end corkscrew and tight turns.
Glad you were impressed with Tomb Raider and I think more and more people are starting to come around as it gets further into the season. That initial hype has kind of died down and we can see the ride for what it really is and I still can't find anywhere where PKI "lied" or "tricked" us about what the ride was. Very impressed with it.

Thanks for actually setting up an event where we can all meet and have fun together and I'm sure it was very much appreciated by everyone. Good luck for next year and the next Con. I'll try my best to come! I'm rather jealous you guys had so much fun without me. :)


Jeff's avatar

In the grand scheme of things, no Beast and Sonny will never be better rides than say Raven and Legend, but they were running well last night. They're still not the reason I go to PKI though (Top Gun, FOF and now Tomb Raider get that honor).

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -,
"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"

Excellent! Thanks for the reply and I'm glad you appreciate Top Gun which many people have began to ignore in the past few years. It is kind of short for the long walk to get there, but its fast and intense like few others. I didn't know this was your first time riding Drop Zone, but good you enjoyed it as that's another real winner at the park.

To me, The Legend is the slightly better and smaller version of Son of Beast and The Raven is the slightly better and smaller version of The Beast and when each of those pack the punch they do in the rides they deliver, you can't help but rethink why they build these huge woodies to begin with. I respect and love SOB and The Beast both, but on their levels, the Holiday World duo can't be beat!


What a great event with some great people and great food. It was unbelievable! It was really great to meet everyone; for those of you who introduced yourselves to me, thanks...its really cool to put faces with names. Eventhough I'm a Michgander, I felt right at home with everyone ;).

It was an awesome event that I am so happy to have been a part of. Thanks to everyone for pulling it off...hopefully we can make this an annual event!

Kara (car-uh)
499 Laps
96 in '02
BuzzCon Frequent Flyer, making kids cry all day long

Amusement parks and overtime hockey? Jeff, Stephanie is awesome!!!


kara, i love your sig.

did you know that one of the guys with magnumforce, oherian, lumpy72, and me actually broke a branch off of a tree from snapping the cables so hard????

needless to say in our flyer competition he won that round.

seek first to understand
then to be understood

Great TR Jeff.
Coasterbuzz.Con...almost too much fun for one day! It was great getting to meet some fellow Coasterbuzzers and hang out for awhile. With the light crowd at the park, it made a fun day just that much better. Although my elbow feels like it's going to fall off from 'snapping' the cables too hard on the Eagles. Who knew that ride could be so dangerous...well maybe the little kids waiting in line! He he.he.

Proud member of the PKI Frequent Flyer Club.

Well said everyone. I had a fantastic day, thanks mostly to Jeff and everyone involved in putting this great event together. The ERT was simply amazing! And those posters.......mmmmmm. I was fortunate to ride all day with some great buzzers, and it was nice to meet the rest of you. I extend a special congrats to those who rocked the Flyers. "Car-uh", Robodud and Kicks The Sky are now masters of the cables, and I look forward to scaring people with you again! *evil grin*
Brad Sherman
BuzzCon Frequent Flyer!
Model coasters and rides

Great Day, Great people. The side trip to Lesourdsville Lake with our own little group was great fun. I have never ever had a more fun day at a park. Awesome just awesome thanks everyone.

hey I missed the last lap on the fliers though ;) Had to go look for my girlfreind.

Does CCI know how to make a bad coaster?

*** This post was edited by MagnumForce on 6/10/2002. ***

I saw, Lumpy72, CPLady, Jeff, Stephanie, and a few other people.

Thanks Jeff and Stephanie for organizing the event. I had a blast. It was great to see people's faces instead of just names. I got to learn how to snap the cables on the Flyers. (although not near as good as the rest of you no doubt) and hang out with people that made me feel, not quite so different. (btw.. I fully plan to spend an afternoon trying those flyers out and practicing more for the next time we decide to kick that rides butt!) Night time ERT on Tomb Raider, FOF, and Beast were nothing short of awesome. I really thought it was a nice touch that they gave us those posters at the end of the evening. Thank you to everyone that let me hang out with ya's. (Robobud, STChick, Kicks The Sky, Jeff, Stephanie, ArrowGuy, and jbeast also known as the Frequent Flyer Club) I had a great time.

Pearl Jam + Roller Coasters = Heaven on Earth.

*** This post was edited by Joey Stewart on 6/10/2002. ***

CPLady's avatar

I had a fantastic time, and even my non-enthusiast husband walked away last night saying "THAT is a great group of people and I had a blast. I would definitely do this again". Considering our first ride in the morning was on The Beast and he walked off with a raging headache, and didn't ride anything again until we hit some flat rides in the evening (and then the ERT), I was very happy he came away on a very positive note.

Thanks to STChick, Robobud, KicksTheSky and Arrow Guy who waited for me to get off Top Gun when they found I had lost the husband to the Beast. You really made me feel welcomed. Although the hubby felt better later on, it was nice to know I could have hooked up with you guys instead of riding "alone". In fact, I felt so welcomed, I'm considering hitting Timbers Fest alone next weekend.

Also, thanks go to Jbeast for the Holiday World pep talk. The praises my husband heard for the park and for Raven and Legend, and the people he met at CBCon now has him interested in SRM next year.

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

*** This post was edited by CPLady on 6/11/2002. ***

Sounds like everyone had a great time. I was actually planning on going but getting home from Kennywood at 3:00AM among a couple of unfortunate things prevented me from attending. I did meet a few of you at Coastermania and it was great to chat a bit even though it was brief.


rollergator's avatar

Thanks to everyone who helped make CBCon, and the entire trip....enjoyable for myself and for Jill, too....she mentioned several times how much fun she had just chatting with all you great people. The Con was IMO a great success, and it sure seemed that the PKI folks were impressed by our number and enthusiasm.....(even if the flyers DO need a little extra TLC now...;)).

Many thanks to Stephanie, and her husband, whose name escapes me at the moment...;)...and to Jeff Siebert and the staff that worked hard, and late, to make CBCon I the success it was. I swear during the trip I met 50 or more of you - and hope to see many of you again at future CB events....oh and those "other" events, too!

and here is where the "legal stuff" belongs, but I'll just throw in a shameless plug for the Mega-TR that will follow sometime tonite or tomorrow.

Ga.Sean said:

Amusement parks and overtime hockey? Jeff, Stephanie is awesome!!!


Oh my....I'm blushing! I only wish my husband knew how awesome I was! ;)

Moderator and Wife to the self-contained Freak Show

So where are the photos?


If Lifes a Rollercoaster, I want a Flawless

Jeff's avatar

We all got autographed Jeff Siebert nudies, but we're not allowed to show them, sorry. ;)

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -,
"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"

How do you snap the flyers? Iv'e tried at knoebels but I had no idea what I was doing.

When you go to bgw don't go in festhaus,IT"S SCARY AS HELL!

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2022, POP World Media, LLC