After a long day of work on Dry Run Day at PKI on Saturday, I thought it would be fun to take a trip south to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom with my good friend Dawn and her “little sister” Autumn on Sunday. I missed going to SFKK in 2003 with the debut of Greezed Lightnin’ (SFOG’s Viper from 1995-2002 and SFGAm’s Tidal Wave from 1978-1991), so it was a good time to return early in the season to get a lot of rerides on a small classic Schwartzkopf treasure. I got up around 5 AM, made sure I knew the right directions, looked up the weather and the nearest Kroger to the park, and got ready to go around 8:30.
I loaded up the CD player in my car with something old (Matchbox 20’s Yourself or Someone Like You), something new (Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue), something borrowed (Guns N Roses Greatest Hits), and something blue (Danny’s Sappy Mix by Aubrey). I love driving in my car and listening to music, so this was another reason I was excited about the trip. Included on my sappy mix were certain songs I had always wondered what it would feel like to drive to, after seeing music videos or movies such as Come Away with Me by Norah Jones, Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty, and Ironic by Alanis Morissette. It was oddly amusing and my trip went by a lot faster.
I arrived in Louisville earlier than expected, so I called up Dawn around 10:40 from the Kroger on 3rd street to see if she still planned to be at the park at noon and if she wanted to stop and get lunch or breakfast somewhere beforehand (but I forget this part). She wasn’t awake yet, but she still thought they would be at KK around 12. I ran into Kroger and bought a season pass for $39.99 (an incredible deal- when are they going to stop giving these things away??) and headed over to the park.
I pulled into the parking area and was greeted by an impressively cheap $4 parking fee. It was nice to drive up next to Greezed Lightnin’ and see the two sides of the park surrounding me. I walked into the park and got my pass processed extremely quickly (great work KK!), but I looked like a very angry constipated Gollum from Lord of the Rings. How festive. It was about 11:30, so I walked around the park to check out what was operating and such. On my first walk around the front area of the park, I saw a lot of sweeps out, managers making sure everything was going well, and very energetic Looney Tunes characters walking around. The park was fairly dead then and full trains weren’t going out on any of the coasters. Roadrunner Express wasn’t open yet and I took my first lap on Greezed Lightnin’. More on my thoughts about the coaster later. More importantly here, I wanted to mention that the bathrooms were very clean (I checked all of them at the front of the park, lol), there was no trash on the ground, I saw at least 4 people cleaning and sweeping in the front, and all of the employees were very friendly.
Dawn called my phone and left a message (I saved it for evidence ;)) around noon telling me that she wasn’t going to be on time and that I should go ride some stuff and she would call me when she got there. I’ve heard it from a couple people and now I got to experience it in person. Dawn Marie is infamous for being late, so always plan for her to meet you about 30 minutes before that time and just be there 20 min. to a half an hour later… You’ll be there at about the same time. ;)
Since I’m such a huge fan of walking, I decided to just take another lap around the figure 8-designed park (connected in the center by a bridge across the road) and see if Thunder Run was open yet. Lines were still non-existent for Chang and T2 and I noticed no sign of life at Roller Skater and Thunder Run wasn‘t cycling the train. Dawn called me back around 12:20 with a more awake and booming “Hello Sunshine” and told me she was in the drive-thru at Burger King and would be at the park shortly. She said she would call me back when she got there and after Autumn processed her pass. I went and grabbed a bite to eat at the burger place across from Break Dance and the staff was overly nice and talkative and seemed really happy to be working there. I was extremely glad to see that.
I walked over and sat on the benches in front of GL to wait for Dawn’s call and got it about 10 minutes later. She said she was walking across the bridge and was wondering where I was at. I told her at GL and she said to stay there and she would be me there. I waited a few minutes with no sign of Dawn and called her back. Me: “Do you know where Greezed Lightnin’ is?” Dawn: “Well, now I do.” We kept talking and I was walking toward the bridge and we saw each other and embraced… No, there’s no theme to this TR. ;)
We talked about some things and went over for our “first ride” on Greezed Lightnin’. This was Autumn’s second looping coaster ever after Demon at Six Flags Great America, so she was pretty excited about it but sort of nervous about the backwards aspects of the ride. We walked onto the coaster in the back car and were shot off with a nice launch. It isn’t spectacularly thrilling forwards, but when you’re going backwards, it definitely packs a great punch at the top of the loop. It grabs you in the gut and doesn’t let it go very easily. I was rather surprised at the intensity and it feels like to tighten up when you almost feel like you’re going to fly out at the top. It was a very cool effect that I don’t see as easy to wear off or get used to. We rode GL about 8 times and Autumn probably got a dozen rides in while Dawn and I sat out for a few rounds. What kind of enthusiasts are we? Old ones that hurt our heads on Chang and hurt our backs on T2? ;)
So we were off to Chang and had a wait just until the next train got back in the third to last row. Autumn wasn’t tall enough for this one, so she hung out at the exit. It’s always nice to just be sitting (or in this case standing) in a B&M coaster, but I’m not such a big fan of this one. There was a good bit of head banging, but I didn’t notice any leg pain at all this time. The inversions are moderately fun, but I still can’t help thinking the turn before the first drop and the little swoosh in the ride are the best parts. The rest is sort of meh and I could take it or leave it. Dawn and I decided to “leave it” the rest of the day and only took one ride. Autumn would have loved it.
T2 had the longest wait of the day since the dispatches were kind of slow and we had around a four train wait both times. Yes, we rode a hang-n-bang with a 20 minute wait twice at Kentucky Kingdom. This first time we rode it was towards the front and there was quite a disappointing yet pleasant lack of head banging, but it did do a little number on my back. Luckily it wasn’t a showstopper… Autumn fell in love with the ride and wanted to do it several times during the day. I think she’s really digging inverting/inverted coasters, so I can’t wait to see what she thinks of Batman The Ride. I could tell that Dawn had rubbed off on her with being an enthusiast. They both had the same answer for favorite coaster and park: The Legend and Indiana Beach.
We realized we were in line for T2 the second time at 3:33 on 4-4-04 and thought it was notable for the archives of life experiences. I’m not completely sure where we were at 4:44, but I’m thinking we were walking under the ferris wheel for the fourth time. Earlier Dawn had jokingly told Autumn that its bad luck to walk under a Ferris Wheel, so while Dawn and I were laughing it up, Autumn ran under it… She was the smart one because my drive home was a little shockingly freaky, yet humorous after the fact. I won’t be detailing that event here though. ;) Dawn got her credit for T2 and we were on our way.
Continuing around the park, we passed the closed Penguin’s Blizzard River that I think is fairly well themed compared to the other rides in the park and came around the Thunder Run which was finally open. We got in line and ran into a “wannabe enthusiast” (noted: we’re coaster snobs in a good way where we make fun of ourselves *and* everyone else… please make fun of us too and let us in on the joke ;)). Waiting for Thunder Run, the station seemingly went silent and Autumn said, “I smell ham.” For some reason this hit Dawn and I as absolutely hilarious. I guess you just had to be there. To follow up Autumn, I came out with random comment number 2 as I boarded TR with Dawn- “I have the sudden urge to watch Winnie the Pooh.” What a bunch of hungry enthusiasts we have here. ;)
Thunder Run didn’t run as insanely as I had remembered it when we rode in the middle, but as the day went on and we progressed our seating towards the front of the ride, we became more and more impressed with it. We counted 4.5 solid moments of airtime by the ***final ride of the night of 4-4-04 on Thunder Run, the best coaster at SFKK***. Yea, we are the coolest people on CoasterBuzz… or not. ;)
We rode TR about 4 times and really had a blast with the fantastic laterals, bucking bunny hops, and great layout. I would dare to say it could be a top 15 woodie. The first half of Twisted Twins is nothing near forgettable either. While the second half increased in speed and intensity as the day went on, Dawn said she could have poured us an afternoon tea on it. There were a couple pops of air on the first half of the Twins though and some solid CCI lateral goodness. We rode this about 3 times and we’re not sure what all the fuss is about. It’s way more than a “family coaster” and would be in my one of my top tiers of woodies. I think the park takes great care of what they have.
My (bad) joke of the day was asking park employees, “Is Déjà Vu working today?” or “If you had a Giant Inverted Boomerang, would it be operating right now?” I think I embarrassed Dawn when I asked it to the mechanics and managers trying to get Roller Skater up and running. ;) Roller Skater eventually opened later and Dawn got her credit. It’s a fine kiddie coaster, but I prefer the inverted version at PKI and Ant Farm Express at Wild Adventures.
I ended the day windburnt, sunburnt, and Thunderburnt and was extremely pleased and happy with how everything went. Dawn and Autumn were a real pleasure and huge fun to be around and I hope to see them again this year. I hope you enjoyed the TR and get down to Kentucky Kingdom! The SF turnaround is upon us… Just keep your fingers crossed and hold on tight!
Thanks for reading.
You can call me "Captain chopped up Paragraph" if you want. *** Edited 4/6/2004 7:03:38 AM UTC by Word***
Glad you had fun! Thunder Run is probably one of the most underrated coasters out there. The pics were cute of you guys. :-)
See ya at Delirium Saturday......hee hee.
"I'm two hours out." Two hours later, "I'm like 80 miles from Atlanta." ;)
OK, I'm done being defensive. :)
Sunday was great fun. The temps were cool, but the sun shined bright all day and it was never uncomfortably chilly. Autumn is my "little sis" through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and she's finally getting tall enough and brave enough to appreciate full size coasters, but she's still 2 inches shy of the magic number (54"). She even rode the Hellevator (but Danny was too scared to ride ;) ); I'm so proud.
Excellent TR Danny, it was a delight spending the day with you!
I also wanted to say that Dawn witnessed herself that I do indeed nearly staple myself into coasters including Thunder Run, Twisted Twins, and Greezed Lightnin'. I wrote in some thread a long time ago that I did this and no one believed it, LOL. She did manage to get me to "loosen up" on one TR ride though where I left it *one click away*. She's very persuasive. :-p
I'm glad you liked the pics Tina. I had 2 good ones and 2 that Dawn should have left stranded in Louisville. The girls were very photogenic, so I was jealous. ;)
Great TR Danny, and I'll chime in with praises for TR....as for TS/TT, I'll reserve my praise....;)
bill, happy to hear that EVERY bathroom was clean...
Well Bill, I would have to say the Twins were better than Cheetah and Zach's Zoomer (and probably the Myrtle Beach Hurricane as well ;)) and more in the range of Hoosier Hurricane, which I think is severely underrated as well.
I wouldn't go so far with the bathrooms to say I would lick the toilet seats or have a picnic on the floor, but I couldn't complain.
...you can't just leave us hanging like that...Spill the beans!
IM me and I'll give you the short version if you're that interested, but I don't want to post it here. :)
Now I'm not gonna say that I don't have a habit of running late, I'm just curious to know on what occasions (besides this most recent, umm, and the day at IoA with gator & jill) I've kept my coaster friends waiting?
What about Peabody and I at SFA in October? ...late late late late late... all because of your Ebay car? I don't think so.... ;)
Note: *You* were the one bumping into me in the queues Dawn, not the other way around. Rule #6 in Playa's Ride Line Rules clearly states who started the queue pinball game.
On a side note, it's OK to peek into every restroom, but don't advertise the fact. You may get unwanted attention (or wanted-I believe the jury is still *out* on that one);)
And, have you gotten to "Quiet Earth" yet? What, do I have to call every vid place in your area and find it for you?
I thought Hurricane was loaded with air, so maybe I caught it on a good day. It reminded me a lot of GASM at SFOG.
You're such a tease Robobob. You just want it. ;)
Quiet Earth is in my Netflix queue.
Ah, but you are fun to mess with, Dawny. We all love ya, not matter how late you are. ;-)
Danny, you are afraid of Intamin drops? I can fix that. If I remember correctly Drop Zone was near walk-on on PKI opening day last year, very early and very late in the evening........heh.
-Tina *** Edited 4/6/2004 10:08:21 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
You must be logged in to post