Kings Island - 08/21/16

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

So I'm just gonna write my thoughts about the coaster because who really cares about all the other stuff.

This is the order that I rode the rides by the way.

BANSHEE - I thought it was OK. I'm not a fan of inverted coasters though. It was also super intense - I grayed out on multiple parts of the ride.

THE BAT - Not too thrilling but super fun. Much better than Iron Dragon at CP (my home park)

INVERTIGO - Just your typical copy and paste coaster, but I did like the facing seats (The ones I've been on were just forward facing)

DIAMONDBACK - easily my favorite ride there. Great first hill, awesome airtime, great overall experience. Ended up riding it 6 times in the same day.

BACKLOT STUNT COASTER - It was fun, but the seats/lap bar were a little uncomfortable. I liked the launch.

THE BEAST - Honestly, didn't live up to the hype. It was painful, uncomfortable, and very loud in the tunnels. I would ride it again though.

VORTEX - Easily the worst ride in the park. They need to remove it pronto. It was uncomfortable, jerky, the harness tightened throughout the ride, the harness wasn't suited for taller people (like most old-ish rides), and it just looks ugly.

THE RACER (RED) - Your typical out and back woodie. Nothing special.

FLIGHT OF FEAR - Loved the launch, but it definitely needs OTSR. My upper body was being thrashed inside that dark room (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having no OTSR, but this ride needs them).

FIREHAWK - I felt unsafe on this ride. Half of the time I was out of my seat, relying on the flimsy harness and unfitting lap bar it had to keep me in.

ADVENTURE EXPRESS - A typical mine train ride, but TBH, the end of it was a HUGE letdown. Thought it was gonna be some awesome hill, but it just takes you right back the entrance.

My goodness. It sounds like you should just skedaddle your butt right back to Cedar Point where everything is awesome and the coasters are perfect.

I wish you had included your impressions of the park in general, and other interesting items like whether it was your first time to visit there, where you ate, how the crowd was, any flats, shows, weather, things like that. Because who cares about the other stuff? I think probably most of us do.

By the way, I predict you're about to receive an even worse thrashing for wishing OTSRs back on Flight of Fear. I laughed out loud, because trust me, you would have complained about that, too. Even worse. Losing them was one of the best things that ever happened.

Raven-Phile's avatar

I would rather have my upper body thrash around and not hit anything, than leave the ride with cauliflower ear..

Jeff's avatar

The rejoicing when they ditched the OTSR's on Flight of Fear was one of the most historic and positive changes ever made to an existing coaster ever. The ride went from brutal to one of my favorites.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Vater's avatar

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the harnesses on the Vekoma flyers anything but flimsy?

It's a lap bar and a vest to hold you in. It's not flimsy, but it's not sturdy either. The vest gives a little bit, probably by design.

Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

I disagree with almost all of your sentiments on those coasters. I have only been once, but Kings Island was a blast when I visited.

As for Adventure Express, the lift hill to the station is the best part, especially for newbies.

Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

Flight of Fear is not the smoothest of rides, so I can kinda understand how someone who never experienced the ear pain of the OSTRs would think it needs something. When you know there are 3 inversions coming right after the launch, it helps you prepare for what's coming. I would recommend riding it a few more times. It gets better every ride.

The comment I don't understand is that Vortex is ugly. Vortex is many things, but I would argue that it is the best looking coaster at Kings Island. I would rather look at it than ride it...a trait it shares with Mean Streak.

Last edited by Pagoda Gift Shop,

Coasterbuzz - Coaster enthusiasts, but so much more. We're the good ones.

Poor Keegaan. As much as I like trip reports I knew this would be an unfortunate entry. To each his own...


This sounds like kings island is the worst park ever.

I went a few weeks ago on the way back from Kentucky kingdom for a few rides. Let me start by saying the parking lot scanners are awesome, as long as you don't drive by them like I did. That is a very welcome addition to the park or any park in general.

Next the ride ops finally scored a wow from me. Banshee has always been the gold standard since its went in for moving lines, but beast and adventure express were great with lines too.

Btw, one of the reasons we went on adventure express was the crappy ending. Still enjoy theatrics on rides even if they are terrible. AE is just....a one of the cooler arrow mine trains out there in my opinion, and two the classic ending makes it fun.

Banshee was still solid, although it does have some serious vibrations in its wheel assemblies now. However, it's not killing the greatness of what is still my favorite invert I have had a chance to ride.

Lastly, beast is still the beast. Sure it's kinda rough, btw rode near the back, but not nearly not enjoyable. The 540 at the end through the loud tunnels😭, is still the best part of the ride to me.

This sounds like a cedar point fanboy if I ever heard one. Heck, I used to be one when I went places on trips. People need to enjoy the parks for what they are not... And that is In this case it's kings island not cedar point. Experience what the park is and what it offers, maybe you will actually enjoy yourself.

Resident Arrow Dynamics Whore

Wow, I had to create an account to reply to this. I follow Coaster Buzz a lot, but I am in the unique position of actually being at Kings Island that exact same day. (and many times this year as a platinum pass holder) I though I would complete the incomplete trip report for the day and give Kings Island a little more love, LOL.

First I think it's important to make note of where on the train you took a ride on any Roller Coaster, because it really makes a huge difference, especially on some of the rides mentioned!

I got there right as the park opened and took advantage of ERT for Gold/Platinum Pass Holders. Banshee was the ERT and got a quick ride in the second row outside seat. Banshee for me is my favorite invert at this time. I find the front to be very smooth, especially the inside rows. The back can be more intense, but nothing too crazy.

After Banshee I took a dash to Diamondback hoping to hit it as soon as the park opened to regular guest. Diamondback tends to keep lines throughout the day. Unfortunately as they opened the area up guest were told that Diamondback would be opening later as they were still going through opening procedures and it would be some time.

I decided to go to the Beast. I rode it twice in a row as there was very little line. First ride was second row, second ride was 2nd to last train in middle row. I though Beast was actually running relatively smooth in the morning. I find that taking a seat in the middle rows provide a much more enjoyable ride, especially on the Beast. I find the Beast to be a decent coaster in the day, but agree with most that it is an entirely different ride at night.

From Beast I hit Stunt Coaster, it had about a 15 minute wait at this time. I sat in the 2nd row for the ride, and it was a little intense. I typically sit in the middle or back of the train and find it more enjoyable there. I will have to admit the harness and train cars on this are a bit tight and I am not a very big person. I still think it's a great ride with surprising punch and a nice ending. I think it's a great family coaster. From Stunt Coaster I could see that the train was stuck on Diamondback, so I knew it wasn't going to be opening up yet.

From Stunt Coaster I went towards the X-Base area. I took a ride on Firehawk first (it tends to get lines with the average 30-45 minute wait time later in the day due to terrible capacity and slow loading). I waited a quick 15 minutes and had a ride on the outside seat in second to last row. I find the harness to be overly secured on this ride and don't find any feeling of being unsafe. Overall I think it's a decent Flyer, but no B&M for sure. Still a nice variety to have at Kings Island.

From Firehawk I took a ride on Flight of Fear. The line was a nice cool 15 minutes. Took a ride in the 3rd row of the train. I do find the first row of each cars to be a little tighter fit's then the second row. Flight of Fear is my 3rd favorite Roller Coaster at Kings Island. I used to hate this ride, until as others has mentioned they got rid of the OSTR. It made the ride a much enjoyable experience as it used to be the worst head banger.

At this point I decided to head back towards Action Zone to Banshee. I found the park to be very busy at this point. In fact I think it was the biggest crowds I have seen on a Sunday, I think a lot of people wanted to hit the park before school starts. Also it was the last day for Season Pass Holders to Bring a Friend for $15.99. I decided to take a break. I got my All Season Drink cup from my locker and ate at Hank's Burrito (First Time) all my typical places were very busy and I didn't want to wait in line. I have the all season dining plan and utilized it for a burrito and chips with salsa. The burrito was so stuffed that the staff member couldn't really close it. Overall it was a pretty decent burrito and a nice option.

After Lunch I decided to go Kick some Cancer. At the front of the park you could buy miniature soccer balls to kick in the fountain. Proceeds went towards Cancer. One lucky winner would be selected at the end of the day to win a car. (The contest had been going on for most of August). I got a set of 5 soccer balls for $20 donation and kicked them all over the fountain. As usual I was getting good as I was running out of soccer balls. (No, I didn't win a car! But, I got to kick cancer in a symbolic way, which makes it all worth it.)

Afterwards I went back to riding some Roller Coasters. I went to Bat first which surprisingly had a 15-20 minute line at this point. I got a ride in the 3rd to the last train front row. The Bat is the best Suspended that I have been on, and to me really provides a ride that you do not expect. I have always liked the ride. (Though my only comparison is the Iron Dragon, that I am not really a fan of). The only complaint about the Bat is the long walk to it.

From Bat I passed by Banshee which was running 35 minute lines at this time. I decided to head my way back to Diamondback as I wanted to get a ride on it. When I arrived at Diamondback the line was pretty full. I ended up waiting 30 minutes for a ride, I did get my 2nd row ride in. (people forget about the 2nd row for some reason). I really enjoy the airtime on this ride, and it is my favorite at Kings Island.

From Diamondback I went to Vortex, which also had a line. The park really was crowded at this point! The line was actually out of the midway. There was a slight delay as the coaster stacked and they seemed to have an issue with one of the trains. They ran one of the trains in between the other two a few cycle empty but continued to load the other trains. After about 20 minutes I got my ride on Vortex. I took a ride on the 3rd train front row. Now Vortex is never really a smooth ride, but for some reason it was very rough on this trip. I really wish there was a way to refurbish Arrows like RMC has done for Wooden Roller Coasters. I do have to agree that Vortex may not give a great ride, but it's actually a very nice looking roller coaster.

From Vortex I decided to get on some Racer. The Racer line was pretty low and ranged from 10 minutes to maybe a train wait. I ended up riding it 6 time, 2 on blue side and 4 on red side. For this season I find that Red is a much smoother ride than Blue. Again I always ride in a middle seat of a car towards the middle to back of the train. I don't mind the Racer but do think a retrack would do it good.

At this point I was getting tired. The crowds just seemed to be getting worse through out the day, and everything had lines. (Even the Train) I decided that I would end with a ride on Banshee. The Banshee line was about a 25 minute wait, not too bad. I find that Banshee is the fastest moving line in the park for coasters. I got a ride on the 4th row outside train. It was another good ride, minus the girl on the other end screaming to the top of her lungs, lol.

Before I left the park I decided to grab dinner. I went to my favorite place in the park the Panda Express in the Festhaus. The line was super long, but the employee was super generous with portions. With the dining plan you get 2 entree and side option. I got my chow mien and two orders of Orange Chicken, that really was more like 3! It was around 5pm at this point so I got to also see the Hollywood Night show at the Festhaus. I have seen the Hollywood Night and the Let it Rock show several times this season, and they are actually pretty good shows.

I then departed from the park for the day. I shall return again soon!

Just some quick notes about this season at Kings Island that I have seen (been about 12 times this year )

I now live less than a hour away from the park this was the first season that I have been since 4-5 years ago.

Roller Coaster operation, there is not bad, but not as good as they used to be. I find this to be the case at Cedar Point as well on my trip there this year. Just not as much urgency as they used to have. The only two coaster that I really see effort is Diamondback from time to time, and Banshee most of the time.

All of the Employees of the park have been very friendly this year, so good job!

I am impressed with dining, I think they have improved over time. I really enjoy the Chicken Shack and Festhaus. The only thing that I think really needs improved is the hamburger...they just really taste bland. I also want to say the new funnel cake spot in Rivertown is awesome, especially when you get the 50% off coupon from the app. Typically hits between 3pm-6pm:)

I really enjoy the all season options they have now like the refillable cup and the dining plan. It's fair value when you go a lot and makes the park so much more enjoyable!

I really like Kings Island Theme and environment. I think that's what makes it so unique is that it just has a nice feel to the park. It's been well taken care of. I also really like how they have went back and re-bricked a bunch of the walkways. I really dislike the black tar pathways and I am very happy that Kings Island has minimized them.

Tropical Plunge was a nice addition to the Water Park. I enjoyed it several times this year and was impressed as I had not been to the water park for so many years. The one improvement that could be made is a better lazy river, or larger one! I also don't like the cost of lockers on the water park side and wish they were the same as the dry side.

I can't wait for Mystic Timbers! I think it's the perfect addition to the park and love GCI's!

Overall I really think King's Island is a nice balanced park with great atmosphere. Sure it doesn't quite have the coasters that Cedar Point has. But over the years they have made some very nice additions and I think it's one of the most enjoyable parks out there!

Just thought I would share my experience, since it was on the same exact day :)

They used to hand you two Tylenol and a cup of water at the end of Flight of Fear when it still had OTSRs.

Hello, Hello! (hola!) I rode a ride named Vertigo!-with apologies to U2

Ha, flight of fear with OTSR. That's a good one.

I still remember media day telling the Ops lady that "they ought to think twice about unleashing that on the unsuspecting public". Her face went white as a ghost. They knew it was bad.

That was before the extra "pillows" too. Ouch!!!!

As Jeff said, arguably the best improvement ever to an existing ride.

I was at the park 2 weeks ago. I went on FOF and the attendant at the line wanted to put me in row 6, I asked if I could ride in the front, and he wasn't happy and said "it will be a long wait". I said "I don't mind" and went to row 1 and was on the next train!

Incidentally I enjoyed myself at Kings Island more than any other park I visited on my two week coaster trip. I went to SFGAm, Indiana Beach, Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, Kings Island, Camden Park, Dollywood, Carowinds, and Cedar Point. I'm not saying KI is the best park out of all those, just I enjoyed myself more there this time.

There are lots of things that can make me not enjoy a park to its full potential, a combination of crowds, weather (particularly humidity and excessive heat), ride closures, annoying staff, having to pay for lockers to store your sports bottle, and my new pet hate - not being allowed to wait for the front row (cough Carowinds)

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