Catherine and I made the four hour trip to Cincinnati on Friday afternoon so we would be well rested for the long day on Saturday. After a short drive around the area (including a drive by PKI) to re-familiarize myself with the area and check out dinner options, we rested for an hour or more before having dinner at Lone Star. A Corona along with my steak dinner, and I was ready for a good night’s sleep.
We were up early, waking to an extremely obnoxious alarm clock, so we could enjoy breakfast at Bob Evans. We hit PKI a little after 10 am to pick up our tickets/package from Jeff and Steph who were manning the window. I was already aware of the new metal detectors, and Catherine and I only carried what was absolutely needed anyway, so it was a pretty quick entry into the park. It had been 11 years since Catherine had been at PKI, so she had a LOT of catching up to do. I noticed the fountains seemed "newer" looking this year, and they were at the point in their sequence when all were going so it made for a visually impressive first impression when we entered. We made the left turn and headed toward the Action Zone.
Our first stop was Face-Off. We opted for a front row ride since there was only a 2 train wait. I enjoyed my first experience on this invertigo shuttle last year, and the ride this year was just as good. No headbanging and a smooth ride, and I still find the experience of being pulled backwards up the spike before being dropped a bit unnerving. Flying backwards through the elements is a rush.
We did the RCT jump when exiting the ride and made our way to Top Gun. Again, one of the things that I like and dislike about PKI are the queues. Although most are shaded and/or covered making for a more comfortable wait on those hot, humid days, you have no idea how long the wait might be until you are actually IN the queue. We were pleased to see Top Gun was a walk on, and not so pleased to see the long wait for Son of Beast which was going to be our next stop.
Again, I really like Top Gun. This suspended coaster is a much faster and more exciting ride than "draggin iron" at CP. We also met up with Jbeast and Lumpy72 in the queue for Top Gun. We tagged along with them and made our way to Adventure Express, a mine train coaster that also outdoes CP’s Cedar Creek Mine Ride not only because it’s a much faster, more exciting "runaway" feeling, but because of the themeing.
Racer, backwards, was next. Last year, I rode the "front" of the backwards train on this racing coaster because I really didn’t know what to expect. This year, we rode in the "back" to get the full effect of speed and airtime. They were racing the front and back trains UNTIL the train before we got on. There were some issues with a guests height and the restraints, so the front train was dispatched. Darn. Still, I am getting really fond of riding wooden coasters backwards!
After a stop for some refreshment (a blue raspberry icee for me) Lumpy72 and Jbeast took a break while Catherine and I rode Vortex. Again, this is CP’s corkscrew on steroids. A fun ride none-the-less, with little headbanging if you know how to ride Arrow loopers. We opted for a ride near the middle.
Then it was time for a ride on the Eagle Flyers! Last year, I let my husband do the "flying", but this time I took a separate flyer for myself. I’m proud to say I had my flyer snapping immediately. In fact, I was even complimented by a gentleman who was riding behind me with his kid who said I was "quite the pilot".
We made our way next to The Beast. There was no line, so Catherine and I opted to wait for a front ride, with Lumpy72 and Jbeast waiting behind us for a front ride as well. The Beast was running fast and furious, which are both aspects of wooden coasters that I especially like. It made me wonder what our night ERT rides were going to be like. While waiting for Lumpy72 and Jbeast to finish their ride, we checked out the photo and opted to do the most cost worthy thing and get the two for one photos, not because I especially liked the picture, but it was a keepsake.
At this point the park and lines were filling up, and it was getting warmer. Catherine wanted to ditch her jacket, and I figured it would be a good time to grab the camera and spend some relaxing time wandering around taking pictures until it was time for lunch. We were happy that we opted to pay for preferred parking as our trip to the car was a relatively short one.
My first goal was to get some pictures from the top of the Eiffel Tower since I didn’t get to do so last year, and it’s pretty much the only way to get pictures of some of the coasters. I still couldn’t get a good picture of The Beast, even using the telephoto, but the pictures I did get were pretty decent. We worked our way back to the picnic grove for lunch, just barely making it for the group picture.
Lunch was the same as last year: hotdogs, burgers and fried chicken, with chips and a pasta salad. I didn’t have any cake, although I hear it was wonderful. Sat with Jeff and his wife, and Jeff Siebert from PKI, and enjoyed the conversation and company. After a presentation by Jeff Siebert, and some trivia questions where some neat prizes were given, Jeff surprised the attendees by announcing we’d get a "behind the scenes walkback". So COOL! And I was especially happy I had my camera with me.
We were shown many of the operational buildings, and taken up to the International Restaurant that overlooks the fountain, Eiffel Tower and International Street and has been closed to the public for years. I got some wonderful photos before we moved on to the new Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Shack, due to open in a week or so. It looks to be a great place to eat, or to have a drink in back at Lt. Dan’s bar. The themeing is very good, and even included a bench with a box of chocolates!
After a walk into the area where the wooden coasters are maintained, we were led on a long walk back to where the "mixing bowl" of Son of Beast was located. What a wonderful photo opportunity!! I got some great pictures of SOB’s mixing bowl, drop and loop, and a couple of pictures of Adventure Express.
After the walkback, Catherine and I made our way back to the kiddie area so I could get a coaster credit I failed to get last year…a ride on the Beastie! We felt a tad silly climbing into the cars, but it was well worth it. It’s such a fun little wooden coaster. I only wish I’d had coasters like this when I was a kid. I snapped some photos of the Beastie, Runaway Reptar, and Scooby’s Ghoster Coaster, and hit the gift shop for some Wild Thornberry keychains for my sister-in-law, and Catherine bought a Quickdraw McGraw toy for her dog, Norman.
When we returned to the park, our goal was to get rides on Son of Beast and Tomb raider. We went first to Tomb Raider, already knowing the ride had E-stopped earlier and was only filling two of the four rows in the car. There was a two hour wait, so we opted to try later.
Catherine wanted to ride the shoot the chutes ride, but after working our way back to the bridge and still not seeing a station, we wondered how long a wait we were in for. Again, it’s kind of irritating to not have any idea how long the queues are. After hearing a couple of people giving estimates of a 2 hour wait, we opted out and made our way over to Son of Beast.
We met Jeff and Steph coming out of the exit, and they estimated the wait to be 15-20 minutes so we hopped into line. When we reached the station, we erred slightly and found ourselves loading into the back of a car rather than the middle, so we were sitting above wheels…meaning a rougher ride than I had last year. Catherine still thought Mean Streak was rougher, but one ride on SOB was enough for me.
We met up with some Cbuzzers again and returned to the Eagle Flyers where Catherine and I rested while they stood in line. I decided we both need a break, and it was a good opportunity to get some actions shots.
We left them afterwards to make our way back to Tomb Raider when I heard my name called. Jeff and Steph were heading into the nearby arcade to do some DDR. Knowing how horribly I did at CP on the arcade version of DDR Extreme, I certainly didn’t have much confidence. But, I at least passed a couple of the songs with a D and C before deciding I’d embarrassed myself enough and we continued on to Tomb Raider.
The line was at a more reasonable hour estimate so we entered the queue. Although I’d ridden TR:TR last year at Coasterbuzz con, we were led in through the exit so I missed all of the themeing. I wondered how they managed the cobwebs, and the "pre-show" set the mood.
We found ourselves loaded into the first row of the car and I warned Catherine about the very real possibility of getting wet, especially after we noticed some water and dampness on the seats. Like last year, I thought the ride was unique and fun. I remembered being flipped onto my back and facing the dripping ice from the ceiling, had forgotten about being completely flipped over in total darkness until we faced the bubbling "lava", and the ending didn’t seem to be quite as abrupt as it was last year. Still a great ride
We only had about 30 minutes before meeting the other Cbuzzers at the floral clock behind the Eiffel Tower, so we stuck to that area by riding the Antique Cars (with Catherine driving and me being the backseat driver), and the carousel. We enjoyed the fireworks with the other Cbuzzers and Jeff Siebert, after introducing us to some of the operations staff, announced our first ERT session would be on Scooby’s Haunted Castle.
What a blast! This was my first experience on an interactive ride of this sort. Catherine, who apparently had ridden the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disney, was an old hand and exceptionally good with the laser gun. She ended her first ride with over 1500 points while I had a measly 540. I did much better on the second ride with 960 points.
Our next stop was the ride I was anticipating the most. Delirium! It was such a rush and I could have ridden it more than the three times we had in a row. The visuals are absolutely amazing, especially at night with the park lit up.
We were then lead to Flight of Fear. We had ERT on this last year, but it seemed even faster and more "out of control" this year. We rode once in the middle, and again near the front, but two rides was enough for me.
Then we were led to our final destination, The Beast. Catherine and I opted for a ride near the front. It was after midnight, and a light fog was moving in making the visuals especially wonderful and eerie. It was such an out of control ride, and only my ability to anticipate the sudden turns kept me from being flailed about in the car more than I was. After our two rides, I could feel the soreness in my right arm from slamming against the side of the car, but what a coaster!!
We gave the ride ops a heartfelt round of applause and exited the station. After a few words of thanks from Jeff Siebert we were led to guest relations at the front of the park where we were given a commemorative poster of all of PKI’s coasters. Another big round of applause for Jeff Siebert who went out of his way to make our event such a grand time, and a round for our illustrious webmaster, Jeff Putz and his wife Stephanie for helping to put the event together.
Catherine and I made our way slowly back to the car (again thankful that we paid the extra $2 for premier parking). We were hungry, and attempted to find someplace open to eat, but after hitting the Taco Hell parking lot just as they turned out the drive through lights, we gave up and went back to the hotel to literally fall into bed. We didn’t set the alarm, wanting to be completely rested before the 4 hour trip home.------------------
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
*** This post was edited by CPLady 6/9/2003 10:08:30 PM ***
It was nice finally meeting you and putting "a face with a name." And, also, thanks for the pictures.
Can't wait for next year's event.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
My new riding buddy CPLady arrived around 12:20 on Friday to pick me up. We were on our way to Paramount's King's Island, down near Cincinnati, OH. This would be my first trip there in over 10 years AND my first trip there with a coaster club group. I had the opportunity to travel with her after her two friends--who'd originally planned on going--weren't able to make it. Our drive to the hotel went easily and effortlessly for the most part; we only had traffic/accident back-ups around Dayton. We were at our hotel by 6-ish, I think it was. Crashed, collected ourselves and went in search of a place where I could buy a hairbrush - lol. Went out for dinner, came back and read our novels and went to bed.
We got to King's Island (henceforth PKI) at just about 10 a.m. and picked up CPLady's packet from the Will Call/Season Pass area. Donning our name tags (mine said I was Cathy Brio...!), we headed into the park and back to the Action Zone area. Our first coaster was Face-Off which is Boomerang style; this was my first ride on that sort of coaster. I've only played them on RCT. HA! We sat in the very front (or back, depending on how you look at it). After that, we went to check out Son of Beast, but the line for it was already atrocious, so we went to Top Gun. Cool ride - better than CP's Iron Dragon! In line there, we met up with two other Coaster Buzzer's (JBeast and Lumpy72) who became our buddies for the rest of the morning and early afternoon. We then rode Adventure Express; it's track and train layout reminds me a LOT of Big Thunder Mountain at WDW, actually.
The Racer was one of the few coasters I remembered at PKI from last time I was there -- we rode facing backward! Vortex was next, which Linda said is CP's Corkscrew on steroids. I'd concur and we were having a blast! Evidently, The Flyers are a favorite of CB'ers so we rode those before heading to The Beast.I'm declaring The Beast my favorite wooden coaster officially now. That was awesome - we rode it twice during the day. Those two rides couldn't have prepared me at all though for riding it at night... but I'll discuss that later. :) Meanwhile, since it was CPLady's first time in the front row, we bought our picture.
Let's see... the day was great. It was kind of muggy in the morning but by the time we were done with The Beast, the weather had warmed up and the stickiness had gone away. Nice! Part of the great-ness of the Coaster Buzz experience was that there was a luncheon for us of good park food AND we were offered a behind-the-scenes tour of the park! We were able to see lots of behind-the-scenes types of areas (am I allowed to say where? lol), then he also offered us a "walk back" to the other side of Son of Beast. THAT WAS WAY COOL. It was a long as all get-out walk!, but it was neat to be in a part of the park where people can't be... and seeing the coasters go by.
After catching our breath!, we cruised back through the park to get photos of various coasters. We headed back toward Tomb Raider, but the op said the line could be 1.5-2 hours long so we decided to wait. After some running around, we ended up at Beastie, the kiddie rollercoaster that adults could ride. It was actually rather intense! Son of Beast by now only had a 20 min. line so we hopped on there. (For those of you not in-the-know, this one is a wooden coaster with a vertical loop!) WOW. Good good ride! Went back around (it was after 8 pm now) to Tomb Raider and got in line. That ride was a blast - couldn't tell up from down on it! Linda and I decided to relax before the ERT and rode the antique cars and the carousel. :) Then... began the ERT after PKI closed! They let us do two rides on the new Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle. It was very reminiscent of Disney's Buzz Lightyear ride in Tomorrowland where you shoot up the bad guys, in this case: ghosts, with laser guns in your Mystery Machine. YAY! First time through, I had a whopping score of 15x0 (I forget if it was 40 or 80). Second time through, it was 1040 or so. They then took us over to Delirium, the new thrill ride for this year and we had 3 rides on that. Back to Flight of Fear which was an indoor (dark) launching coaster. Rode that twice and we decided that was plenty. LOL Then... to The Beast again. It was a whole new ride in the dark as the fog/mist was forming near the track. The brakes were "off" on the hills which made the ride even faster... and rougher. Wow. We were flying is all I can say! We had two rides on The Beast, and between them both, I managed to earn three nice bruises on my upper rib cage where I bashed into the seat. Heh. Battle scars. ;) PKI also gave everyone commemorative posters of the coasters (say that aloud - it rhymes!) which was way cool. It was 1 a.m. by the time we got back to our room where we promptly collapsed!
*** This post was edited by TheRealCP 6/10/2003 10:44:48 PM ***
This ain't no book you can close, when the big light hits your eyes. Cropduster-Riot Act-Pearl Jam
---Currency tracking experiment... http://www.wheresgeorge.com (Referring to The "George" on the $1 bill - Not Me)
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
Great TR! I was in the group that was in line right in front of you for Tomb Raider (got a bit old listening to the singing teenage girls; eh?).
I have been watching for your TR and pictures to be posted. Anyhow, just thought I would say Hi!
My fiancee, Jennifer (she was also in line with me), and I will be making our first trip to CP on June 21st. We can't wait!
Happy Coastering! Glad to hear you enjoyed your day at PKI.
Glad you enjoyed the TR.
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
(I avoided being thwapped on the head by CPLady - she was distracted by my being at work (again) on a day off. lol)
Check out this awesome park!http://games.coasterbuzz.com/filedetail.aspx?GameFileID=3001
why is it i always look so bad in pictures?? lol
"Happiness is the City of Hudson!!"
Michigan r0x0rs! :)
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