On Wednesday I got a call from a friend saying he wants to come down and hit up the "usuals", HW and KI. Without counting Disney World, these are my two first parks of the summer, so I was excited and quickly planned. While I have before, I prefer to go to parks with others; there's something about having to balance what you both want to do and share memories with. Saturday was Holiday World and Splashin Safari, while Kings Island was relegated to Sunday.
We all know both parks. I skim over other people's reports where they cover the 10000th review of Raven or Adventure Express, so I'll instead here talk about "what's new to me!" along with any updates or comments from both parks.
Holiday World & SS:
Voyage- this ride needs those Timberliners. The tack is getting rough in the heat and humidity. Our first ride was in the back 2/3rds of the train, and it was painful. I'm athletic, young, and in good shape. My back hurt a lot after that ride, to the point of considering not going again on the ride anytime soon. Luckily my back got better and a reride in the front eased my fears of a 'ruined' Voyage; the front was much better and more fun with air.
Pilgrim's Plunge- first of all, holy crap, that's a huge fan! I saw the pictures but seeing it in person is god like. The loading of this ride confuses people so much, but damn it's a people eater because of it. We got the front seat and this ride I was the most scared of out of them all. That drop is steeper than it looks! That climb up in nerve racking! ALL THAT WATER! It was tons of fun, and if it wasn't for the 45 minute wait and us still waiting to get on Wildebeast. Great addition to the park and I want to ride it more.
Wildebeast- this is the highlight of this weekend. We waited about 45 minutes thanks to single riders line and I got front seat. This ride is supernatural, it's freaky to have your tube shuffle up a tube faster than it went into it, and those drops and turns are crazy. The dual ride station combined with the conveyer up made us dub the ride the "Rollercoaster Tycoon Water Slide ride".
Customer Service- I've always seen the employees as nice and kind, but this trip it really shined. They all conversed, smiled, and were having a great time. I was amazed, how can people working this long doing this kind of work be this happy this long? Pat has to be putting something into their drinking water!
Cleanliness- I saw employees at The Alamo scrubbing tables after people left. When was the last time you saw that anywhere? Conversely, the water park needs some attention placed to the locker areas and bathrooms. While they were clutter free, someone with a broom to push water into drains or to clean the floors would go a long way.
Also, if you guys are looking for suggestions on what to add for next year still: changing room expansion near the main lockers. I saw long lines out the door, and when I went to a bathroom on the other side of the water park there were lots of people changing there. Add in 20 shower/changing areas, another 20 private changing areas, and some more toilets would be amazing.
I'm already planning on my visit back for the fall to take my room mates.
While Holiday World was a park full of quality entertainment, Kings Island felt like a discount warehouse. I saw sings for "EVERYTHING UNDER $10!" and outside vendors. That's nice, but I can get Starbucks, Skyline, and Greater's Ice Cream within a 5 minute drive of my car, so why should I drive an hour and spend MORE to buy the same stuff? I bought more at HW not just because of the drinks, but because of what they offered. HW has tons of great "classic" designed tshirts, while KI had bland, unappealing clothes and toys. I could get glass wares, fudge, and so much more at HW than KI, so why would I spend any more than just on their somewhat ok food?
All the rides were running fine, though Diamondback was getting shaky, very un-B&M of it. No new updates with SoB, and the racer was racing. Woho!
Now onto a puzzling topic. While on Beast two punks behind me were using their phones while in the load station. As the attendants came around to check restraints they told them to put them away for the ride. They ignored them, and when they came around again they were asked. After dropping some f-bombs and putting them away, we were off. I knew behind me they took out their phones before they hit the lift hill, and so did the ride attendants as they watched. As we came back into the station they were commenting on how security couldn't do anything about it, it was only one time, etc. Well sure enough security then showed up and they were escorted out of the park for using phones/cameras on the ride.
What makes no sense to me is that why you would pay at least $40 to get into a park, wait 30 minutes, then text on a ride. Why? I don't get it. It's four minutes and fifty seconds. Is this something that kids who grew up with cells do? I got my first cell phone in high school and never grew up with continuous texting (I did grow up with IM and the net though).
In the end this shows the difference in the parks quite well. HW stresses value, not cheapness, but honest value, while KI steps into the tacky while offering less for more. The pizza deal at HW for $24 is offered for $29 at KI and you have to have a gold pass to get it.
I'm planning another HW trip this fall with my house mates. I can't say the same for KI, which is 2 hours closer...
I've been thinking the same thing about Diamondback for some time now. Not sure why it is getting shaky, maybe needs new wheels? I've noticed some wheels have been replaced. I've gotten 50 rides in this summer and each one has gotten more and more rough. Still love the ride in the back, but it is definatly getting rougher.
My favorite part was when the punks got thrown out.
Yeah it's nice to see people thrown out for taking phones on the ride. I have seen people take phones out on rides all the time at parks and never once have I seen anyone thrown out of the park for it. The worst I have ever seen happen is someone get taken off the ride after 1 lap (Blackbeard's at Great Adventure where you get 2 laps per ride). I guess it depends on the park but knowing what will happen if you get caught isn't enough to stop people. On Thunderhawk at Dorney they used to announce if you get caught with a camera out on the ride, you aren't allowed to ride the coaster for the rest of the day. That isn't a deterrent to most people. Saying you will get thrown out of the park (and actually enforcing it) might be.
Forgot one thing. I think this picture says it all...
So that's why he handles all those interviews himself. ;)
Very curious, and somewhat discouraging, about Diamondback. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has ridden its older brother in the great white north this year?
Very nice, honest trip report. Thanks for sharing!
In regards to the B&M hypers I've ridden all of the US versions this year (and Behemoth last August) and Diamondback and the back couple rows on Nitro had by far the most rattling. That's not to say that it's rough by any means but there's definitely a little shake present when you hit the bottom of the bigger hills.
The problem on Diamondback is actually with the brown train and the back half of the green train. The red train seems to be doing well for now and delivers by far the best rides currently. It has to be an issue with the trains themselves because the rides are too variable from train to train for it to be anything else.
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