We were on the road by 11:15 am on Friday, June 10, and except for a bit of construction, the worst being in Monroe, Michigan, we had a smooth drive. We drove through a few downpours, but although the rain was coming down hard a few times, the showers were brief and served to clean the windshield of bugs. The hotel directions had us getting off 75 at state route 63 and taking that east to 741 south. I have to say it's just as fast, if not faster, than taking 75 further south to 71 and coming back up again.
We arrived at the Comfort Suites Kings Island at 3:30 pm and promptly took a nap. I woke at 5:30 and went outside to call Gordon. What I saw was weird. There were dark clouds in an upward line at the tree line, and another set moving downward from the dark clouds above. Soon, the two joined. I didn't see any twisting or rotation, so I don't THINK it was a tornado, but it was strange none-the-less. As I was talking to Gordon, the wind picked up, as did the lightning and thunder, and the skies opened up. We had dinner with my friend, Therese, who lives just over the border in Kentucky, at Ruby Tuesdays. She was going to meet up with us for the event on Saturday.
I let the Ian and Donna sleep until 7:30 am, then got them up so we'd have time to grab a bite to eat at the free continental breakfast, and we hit the park by 8:30 am. I picked up our tickets from Jeff and we were let into the park early. There was going to be a walkback to The Beast for our first ride of the day at 9:30, so we hung out by the fountain across from the ACE plaque to wait, not believing we'd have enough time to ride anything in the 45 minutes before the walkback. We met and chatted with a few CBuzzers while waiting, and saw Kristen and Jeff as we were being led back to the Beast.
I knew the Beast would be running slow and rough first thing in the morning, so when Maureen asked if anyone wanted to ride the Italian Job Stunt Track instead, it was a no brainer. This marked my 60th coaster for my track record and although looks small and is considered a family coaster, it has some neat elements and is highly themed, including fireballs and water. It was a great way to start the day!
We moved to Vortex with Kristen & Company and grabbed seats in the middle of the train with a one train wait behind Kristen. Still an intense coaster, but one headbanging ride is enough for me. Kristen & Company were no where to be seen when we got off, so we decided to head to Flight of Fear. When we arrived, Kristen was right behind us. It began to sprinkle a bit, but after we got a fast and loopy ride on FoF, enough to cool us down a bit, but not enough to close any rides, so we made two runs on Racer, both front and back before moving on to Adventure Express.
We move to Top Gun, but the line appeared to be close to 45 minutes and it was too close to noon to attempt since Kristen and Company were wanting to get into the scavenger hunt, so we decided to catch it later. Ian, Donna and I opted for a snack of french fries at the Festhaus. Afterwards, we went to the front of the park and sat by the fountains so I could call Therese and leave a message.
Not sure when we'd hear from Therese, we decided to take a ride on Scooby's Haunted Castle. We were close to getting on when Therese called, so we decided to meet by the exit. Ian thought his flash gun on the ride wasn't working, but it was simply not making a sound. He ended up with the highest score of 1080, while Donna and I got 870 and 840 respectively.
We met with Therese around 1:30 and went back to Top Gun for a ride, wanting to stay near the front of the park since lunch was at 2:30. I wish Iron Dragon at Cedar Point were as much fun as Top Gun is.
Lunch at the International Restaurant provided a nice respite from the heat and humidity. Although it was overcast, it was still rather warm. As before, there were burgers, hot dogs and the most excellent fried chicken, with pasta salad and chips to go with it. Dessert was ice cream bars. Yum!
After lunch, we went to the car, parked in the VIP lot (well worth the extra bucks, IMO, just for the convenience), grabbed our bathing suits and met Therese in Boomerang Bay for some water park fun.
Our first stop was the wave pool, which was a bit disappointing. Waves come from either side of a half circle in the middle, so they weren't as big as those at Soak City, and the cycles were way too short for any real fun. We decided to try Tasmanian Tsunami, the Funnel Slide. With four of us in the cloverleaf raft, we had one wild ride with our raft slipping nearly high enough to reach the water pipes on both sides.
We did Thunder Run before separating from the kids and heading back to the lounge area by the wavepool to rest and dry off. Ian and Donna did the twister slide and spent more time in the wavepool before they, too, were ready to dry off.
Overall, I prefer soak city to Boomerang Bay, but it was a nice break from the coasters.
I was ready for some serious caffeine since it was only 7 pm and we still had until 10 pm to keep ourselves occupied before the ceremonies in the Paramount Theatre.
A stop at Starbucks for a grande caramel frappacinno did the trick and we went immediately afterwards to Bubba Gump's Shrimp Shack for dinner.
My mouth had been looking forward to a Shrimp Po' Boy all day. Therese found us a table in Lt. Dan's Bar area where we saw Jeff and Stephanie and a couple other Coasterbuzzer's sidled up to the bar with Jeff Siebert from PKI chatting with them. We ate and discussed our next ride, with Therese and I not very enthusiastic about Ian's suggestion we do Drop Zone. Instead, we agreed upon Tomb Raider, gathered up our dinner remains for the trash and began the trek over.
On the way, we met with Jeff and Stephanie being led by Jeff Seibert and they asked if we'd ridden Tomb Raider yet. I replied that's where we were headed, so we were invited to tag along for a complimentary walk on ride. Therese decided to make a pit stop and said she'd meet us at the exit, but she had quite a wait. The walk on ride turned into a full blown behind the scenes tour including a "secret" doorway that led to an underground access tunnel, a tour of the control room, and we were able to watch the ride in action from an access point inside the building. It's difficult to tell how huge the ride is until you've watched it from ground level. Then we were led through the exit into the loading zone and lined up for a ride in the front row.
We found Therese after the ride and made our way to the Paramount Theatre for the awards ceremony for the scavenger hunt and some press videos. Kristen and Company named their group "The Best Scavenger Hunters on the Planet" in a spoof on Cedar Point's ad campaign and won first place, season tickets to PKI.
The videos were fun, especially the one with Maureen and Jeff playing the characters from The Brady Bunch. Jeff's role as Alice is an image I will never forget!
Then it was time for ERT. First up was Flight of Fear. Since I'd already had a ride earlier in the day, one was enough for me. While waiting for the others to finish their rides, it began to rain...not heavily, but enough that I worried if we'd get our remaining rides on the other coasters.
Fortunately, it slowed to a sprinkle for our two rides on Italian Job Stunt Track and by the time we made our way to The Beast, the rain had stopped altogether. Therese, who was in obvious pain with her back decided to call it a night after Flight of Fear.
The rain and humidity meant The Beast was flying. We got two incredibly fast rides and probably could have had a third if we'd opted to stay in the station and waited to fill in any empty seats, but I was more than satisfied.
We ended a bit earlier this year, at 12:30 am, but I was actually happy. 16 hours at an amusement park is about all I can handle in one day.We were back in the hotel by 1 am, and after all three of us took showers, lights went out around 2 am.
Check out was at 11 am, so although I was up a tad early at 9:30 am, I let the kids sleep until 10:30. We were on the road by 11 am, but made a stop at Bob Evans for some breakfast/lunch. Again, we drove through a couple of brief rain showers, but made good time.
When we hit Toledo, I got a call from Gordon telling me about an overturned semi on I-275 at the Ann Arbor Road exit and it was likely they'd be closing down the freeway. I considered taking US-23, but opted to take my chances on 275, figuring I could bail in any number of places if traffic was backed up.
It was a good decision as when I turned the radio on for the traffic report from WJR, we heard US 23 was closed at I-94 due to a car fire. Instead, we were able to get to Michigan Avenue, just two exits before the overturned semi, with no backups at all. I dropped Donna off at home, and Ian and I walked through the door at 4 pm, another successful Beastbuzz under our belts. *** Edited 6/15/2005 2:23:29 PM UTC by CPLady***
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