Firehawk is a hit!

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Monday, June 11, 2007 4:47 PM
I went to Kings Island with my girlfriend this past weekend for my work’s picnic, my first time to the park under Cedar Fair management. Tickets were only $10 each and they got us in for free after 5pm Saturday night, all day Sunday along with free parking and a free lunch. Not bad at all. Beautiful weather all weekend too. The park was pretty crowded Saturday night but not too bad on Sunday. We had a good time. We got on all the coasters (except Son of Beast which is still closed, and the kiddy ride that we were too tall for). I got a couple new coaster credits, having never been on Reptar or Face/Off before.

In 5 hours Saturday night we did 8 rides including 7 coasters. We could see Firehawk while waiting for the front seat on Racer and we would only see about 1 train cycle every ten minutes or so. It didn’t look good. We wanted to ride that night but it appeared the line was very long and only 1 side of the station was open. We hoped things would be better the next day.

First thing Sunday morning we made our way back to Firehawk, which I had rode at Geauga Lake before. The ride was running very well, two trains with both sides of the station open. I was impressed, props to Kings Island for handling the ride and the crowds so well. The wait at that point was only 45 minutes to an hour. I really like the placement of the ride; it really fits with the theme of the area. One thing to note about the ride is that they make you wear shoes no matter what, including flip flops and sandals. Waiting in line we saw one person lose a sandal on the ride and many more can be seen on the ground under the coaster. I would also like to know why they changed the name from X-flight to Firehawk? X-flight is a perfect name for the theme of the ride and that area of the park. I guess someone at Cedar Fair just really likes birds.

The biggest surprise for me of the whole trip was how much the general public loves Firehawk. It blew me away how ecstatic people were about that ride. I didn’t hear a single negative remark the entire day. Everybody getting off the ride was talking about how awesome they thought it was and that it was well worth the wait. I think it is funny how most of the guests think it’s a brand new concept but in reality that ride is what, like 6 or 7 years old? I always thought it was an ok ride but at Kings Island Firehawk is a BIG hit. At least that was the vibe that I got. I will admit I thought the ride was a lot more fun than I remember it to be, or maybe I just got caught up in the excitement of all the first time riders around us.

As for some of the other coasters:

Italian Job is a fun little ride, although I was disappointed because there was little to no airtime to be felt and I absolutely hate the placement of that ride. Bring back the old fashioned cars! Also, what happened to all those other effects like the stairs and the fishtailing?

The beginning of Flight of Fear was a lot more intense than I remembered it to be. The block break slowed us almost to a stop though. I can’t imagine that ride with over the shoulder restraints. Ouch!

We rode Racer in the front seat twice and that was one ride that was a LOT better than I remembered. I hated the ride when I rode on a previous trip a few years ago because it was very rough, but man that front seat was great. There were a few good air moments. I just wish they would race em’ every time.

Some negative aspects that I noticed, just a couple small things:

We did the water park for the first time Sunday afternoon. It was a lot of fun but there has to be a better material out there besides concrete that is not hard on your feet and doesn’t burn your soles off.

Since when did they install trim brakes on Fairly Odd Coaster. That’s lame, give me a brake man. And what’s with the price of drinks being 3.39? They can’t round to an even number like 3.00 or 3.50? Also, I wish they had some traffic directors in the parking lot to help direct the flow and to help tell you where to go.

We had a free lunch in the picnic grove for my work and I was a little disappointed in the quality of the food. I don’t know if I was expecting too much but it wasn’t good. The soda was the most watered down pop I’ve ever had and it’s things like that make you appreciate Holiday World even more because their drinks are “free” and they taste far better. At least I didn’t have to spend an arm and a leg for it.

In my opinion KI is missing a ride that has insane airtime ala Apollo’s Chariot. That would really complete their lineup of attractions. I prefer Power Tower to Drop Zone. I hope Cedar Fair continues to keep up the theme and effects of the current attractions and anything that they may add in the future.

Also funny to note: In one day at the park I saw more kids with Mohawks than I’ve seen the rest of my entire life combined.

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good day at the park and it was sofa king fun. Pictures and video coming soon. *** Edited 6/11/2007 8:49:28 PM UTC by Amnesiac***

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Monday, June 11, 2007 5:12 PM
"Also, what happened to all those other effects like the stairs and the fishtailing?"

Could someone explain this to me? I don't recall PKD's version having this type of stuff. Am I missing something?

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Monday, June 11, 2007 5:33 PM

Amnesiac said:
And what’s with the price of drinks being 3.39? They can’t round to an even number like 3.00 or 3.50?

Maybe they were showing the price without tax? Was this at a stand or a vending machine? I don't recall seeing the odd price the few times I've been there. But seeing as how I don't usualy buy out of the vending machines and I use my debit card everywhere else, I could see why I wouldn't notice. :)

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Monday, June 11, 2007 5:35 PM
I believe they were shown and marketed in the concepts, but never made it into the final product.
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Monday, June 11, 2007 6:20 PM
Well at least the speed limit sign in the parking lot isnt 14 MPH.

Amnesiac I totally agree with you about how Kings Island needs something to put it over the top for me, like a B&M hyper coaster. KI never has appealed to me even with the gimmick of SOB

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Monday, June 11, 2007 6:45 PM
Shoes on has always been the policy with X-Flight, err Firehawk. I'd imagine the same is true for all its clones as well. Not sure why it's a big deal. Do they have bins set up for loose articles?
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Monday, June 11, 2007 7:07 PM
^^No bins under the guise of "not enough room in the station"...which kind of makes sense since the side you exit on is kind of tight and there are a lot of ride ops trolling around...

On a related note, I was there Saturday and rode Firehawk and definitely agree with Amnesiac that Firehawk's placement is a hell of a lot better than at GL and that it seemed smoother than it ever did at GL as well! Also that for as slow as the dispatches were, the line definitely seemed to move really quick AND that a lot of the unknowning riders thought Firehawk was great...wow KI really needs a "real" coaster!!

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Monday, June 11, 2007 7:10 PM
No, you are not allowed to have any loose articles on Firehawk what so ever. There was an attendant at the very front of the line making anyone with any sort of loose article put it in a locker before riding. Nothing is allowed to be left in the station. Not sure why becuase with 2 train operation you always end up in the same side of the station that you started on.

The price of drinks was at a stand.

The fishtailing and stair effect were shown in the orginial concept video and press release I believe.

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Monday, June 11, 2007 7:49 PM
I know it used to be policy that nothing could be left in the station on X-Flight, at least during its first 2 years under Cedar Fair. However, last year bins were placed in the station for loose articles. I'm curious as to why they would remove the bins once more. I suppose it's a money thing, as lockers = revenue, but if it proved to be successful last season at GL, I'm not sure why they would mess with it.
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Monday, June 11, 2007 9:05 PM

sirloindude said:
I suppose it's a money thing, as lockers = revenue, but if it proved to be successful last season at GL, I'm not sure why they would mess with it.

It could also be a capacity issue. Less screwing around in the station = faster dispatches.

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Monday, June 11, 2007 9:12 PM
I know this is off topic, and maybe worthy of a new topic, but, do we have any ballpark idea when SOB will re-open????
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Monday, June 11, 2007 9:56 PM
I think you could restart it in the old SOB forum.
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Monday, June 11, 2007 10:35 PM

Audioslaved said:...I totally agree with you about how Kings Island needs something to put it over the top for me, like a B&M hyper coaster. KI never has appealed to me even with the gimmick of SOB

I remember in the time leading up to PKI's announcement of SOB I wished that the big day would come and we would see the offspring of the Beast in the form of a B&M Hyper!

To bad it was just a dream.

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Monday, June 11, 2007 10:40 PM

Amnesiac said:
The biggest surprise for me of the whole trip was how much the general public loves Firehawk. It blew me away how ecstatic people were about that ride. I didn’t hear a single negative remark the entire day. Everybody getting off the ride was talking about how awesome they thought it was and that it was well worth the wait. I think it is funny how most of the guests think it’s a brand new concept but in reality that ride is what, like 6 or 7 years old?

This continues to amaze me about BORG Assimilator as well. The ride is now in its fourth year of operation at Carowinds, and easily commands the longest line at the park every day. I loved the ride the very first time I rode it, but it does nothing for me now that the novelty of "flying" has worn off, because it's a pretty boring ride. But people constantly come off the ride raving about it. They'll stand in line an hour for it, despite the fact that there's a B&M a few hundred yards away that far exceeds BORG and commands a 5-10 minute wait time most days.

Amazing.

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Monday, June 11, 2007 10:53 PM
Good, very glad to hear they're using the dual-load station. I don't think they ever used it at Geauga Lake but if they can make it work at Kings Island, it can only help move the lines. Gotta say, I never rode Stealth (or Borg yet), and I HATED Batwing, I thought it was going to keep shaking harder & harder until it shook me out - but I thought X-Flight was pretty good, and I usually dislike anything from Vekoma. I hope it survived the move OK.
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Monday, June 11, 2007 11:20 PM
Yes, they did use both stations at the same time at Geauga Lake.

As for loose articles, considering the popularity of Firehawk and the long dispatch times already, I can't blame King's Island for not putting bins up there. Maybe next year, when things cool off a bit.

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Monday, June 11, 2007 11:21 PM
as for the shoe thing - I think it's the same reasoning behind Busch making you sit on your flipflops on anything inverted or floorless. They want you to have shoes with you in case of an evac and you have to walk down metal steps with uneven, possibly sharp surfaces.
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Monday, June 11, 2007 11:37 PM

SVLFever said:
I know this is off topic, and maybe worthy of a new topic, but, do we have any ballpark idea when SOB will re-open????

Whenever the bulldozers get there...trick-track moves slowly...

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Thursday, June 14, 2007 5:14 PM
So, say I go to the park in July, and I wear flip-flips. I have to wear them while riding? How the heck are they not gonna fly off?
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Thursday, June 14, 2007 5:36 PM
Duct Tape.
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