Kings Island 1st time and Cedar Point 1st time since 2003! Part one KI

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

Saturday, September 22, 2018 10:27 PM

This was my first ever trip to Kings Island. It was also the first day of a three day trip. The second two days were at CP for the first time since 2001 and 2003. I was going to meet up with someone, but he ended up losing his job of all things(contract ended he wasn't fired). I flew from Utah to Cleveland and landed around 7pm ET. My plan was to spend the first two nights in Columbus and then the second two in Sandusky. It was about a two hour drive to Columbus. I then arrived at Kings Island around 10:30 AM on Saturday September 1st.

On this day and all three days I bought the FL+. I'm really not a fan of it. At one point during the day someone from the main line actually called me out saying "hey come back here". I almost turned around and told them that I came from Utah and wouldn't do this if it was my homepark. I actually thought this might be the most important day of the three since I only had one day here. This was my first day buying the flash pass at a CF park. It sure is different than the SF version! I kept thinking the wristband would come off. When I bought it the attendant told me that they can tighten it up, but if I lose it, I'm out of luck. The following day at CP I was specifically given a receipt in case it came off. Do they really have two different rules? All day long the ride operators would just ask to see if I had the wristband on or not. I never saw a scanner. The following two days at CP all the rides had scanners. Again I ask do they really have different rules? Thanks to the FL almost all rides were near walkons. It was surprising how few people bought the FL. Some of the lines I was skipping were an hour wait in the regular line.

Beast
It might not be the best ride in the park, but this was an easy first choice. It's just such a classic and there really is only one Beast. I had a train towards the back row with very little wait. It was strange how the FL entrance was going through the rides exit. It was a good ride, but I was really looking forward to a night ride.

Diamondback
This I was thinking would probably end up being the best ride in the park, and it was! The ride operator asked me if a back seat would be all right. Where else would I rather ride? The ride had outstanding floating airtime, but it felt a little smaller than Nitro. Throughout the day the ride operators kept telling me where to sit and for the most part it wasn't worth the fight. In the back of my mind I kept thinking of the following two days and SV. I knew I would refuse anything but a back row seat then.

Mystic Timbers
It was an outstanding ride. I think I'd rate it just under Tremors and off course El Toro for my third favorite wooden.

Banshee
This was a middle row ride and I also think this was my first coaster with the vest restraints other than on a Vekoma Flyer. I did a terrible job adjusting myself before the ride. I carry everything in my invincible zipper cargo pants and if I don't adjust myself properly the restraints lock up against my glasses case and not my body. This meant that every time my body was forced against the restraint my glasses case took most of the force. This is not a good combination and took away from the enjoyment of the ride.

The Bat
After buying $14(I believe it was) sunscreen and running back and forth to my car to save it, it was time for my longest wait of the day. It was a good 20 minute wait with no flashpass help off course. Ok ride

Drop Zone
Nothing special but always worth doing at least once

Invertigo
This I knew was definitely going to be a one and done ride. This actually is the first one of these rides I have ever been on where the riders face each other.

Delirium
This was my first Giant Frisbee and I absolutely loved it!

Adventure Express
This might have been the longest line I skipped all day with the FL. This is where that person told me to "come back here".

Racer
It was a mediocre racing coaster. The one thing I really didn't like was how you couldn't see the other train when the two trains reached the finish. I rode both sides once and it seemed like the train that hit the brakes first would actually get back to the loading area second. I don't know if it was a coincidence or the ride operators just messing with people. It also started to rain on my second ride. This was only the second time I can remember being on a ride in the rain. The other was SROS at SFNE my homepark growing up. While going up the lift hill I remember looking at the Firehawk and it didn't seem to be running. It really didn't upset me very much.

Firehawk
Well I was wrong it was open! I just looked at bad times. Of the entire trip the biggest surprise was probably this ride. I had been on Batwing at SFA nine years ago and don't remember enjoying it very much. It's a Vekoma! I really was thinking this was going to be a one and done. While in the short line I saw my first Steel Vengeance T shirt on someone. It turned into a conversation as that was the ride this whole trip revolved around.This has to be the best Vekoma I have ever ridden! It was actually a very enjoyable ride. I still think that the most intense part is when the ride hits the brake run!

Flight of Fear
Always nice to go upside down with just lapbars. I just wish the ride was completely in the dark.

Windseeker
Fun and relaxing, but this has nothing on the SkyScreamer at SFNE!

Vortex and rain delay
I got into line and people started leaving because of a weather delay. I looked around and there were storm clouds coming in, but this seemed premature. I was just on the highest ride in the park! I ended up finding some pizza to eat. I also got a coke. When the cashier told me $2, I honestly couldn't believe it. I almost asked her to repeat herself. Apparently it was some 1$ pizza day. I may never see this good of a deal at a major park every again! I ended up coming back here again for more during the second rain delay. While it may have only been $4, Kings Island got more out of me than CP. In my two days at CP I bought zero food, drinks and souvenirs. I didn't want to spend the money and I was too busy on the rides. I just relied on water fountains to keep me alive in the heat when at CP.

It was weird, after eating the rides were coming back up. I got my ride on Vortex. I hate saying this, but this might have been the single worst roller coaster ride I have ever had. It was a back row ride and I can't remember any other ride feeling this intolerable.

Rain and a little lightning was coming and this time most of the rides were down for well over an hour. It's weird looking back on it. It's like someone told the operators to shut down the rides only to realize that the call came too early. I ended up getting a ride on the Monster and Dodgem just to kill time.

Woodstock Express
The first ride I found opening back up was Woodstock Express. When in the train the operators found a girl that was too small to be sitting alone and I was asked if she could sit with me. Almost feeling responsible for someone else child made things far more interesting. The parents were behind me.

Firehawk 2x
It was now time to start having mini marathons on the rides I liked the most. I sure never thought I would be doing it on this when the day started. It was two really good rides.

Delirium 3x
I don't think there is a more comfortable ride I have ever been on that is still thrilling.

Drop Zone 2x
I was in line helping someone who was scared to ride it. Nothing I said helped him more than when he saw kids going on it. He was like" those are like seven year olds! Ok now I have to ride it!" It was fun and he did fine.

Banshee 3x
I was first assigned the car second to front. One thing I loved about this invert is that you can see through the train in front of you. It was almost like a front seat ride. My next two rides I asked for a front row and then a back row and got them both. This is a really good ride don't get me wrong, but it's not my favorite invert. It doesn't have that extra kick that Montu and Alpengeist(last time was 2000 my memory could be off) have towards the end with the tunnels ECT. My favorite part is the corkscrew towards the end where you actually go out of your seat and all your body weight goes into the restraint. I also found the back to be a lot more intense than the front.

Backlot Stunt Coaster
I almost got on this earlier right around the time the storm came. Nice ride but nothing really special.

Mystic Timbers 3x
The only of the three rides that I got close to the back was the first time and off course it was the best ride I had on it. I regret not being more forceful about getting the seat I wanted. Anyways this ride is nothing but fantastic. It has the perfect feel to it. It's smooth, but still has that great wooden coaster feel to it.

Diamondback 3x
I thought the display of broken cell phones was funny and an interesting way to make people think twice. All three rides were in the far back. Riding this at night is a lot like Nitro at night. They both go into their own area. This is a borderline top ten coaster for me out of 133.

Beast
Unfortunately this only ended up being one ride. It was going to close for fireworks and I decided after advice from locals that it wouldn't be worth the wait for one final ride. I was told they will have to walk the track before the ride opens again. Don't get me wrong if it wasn't for CP the next day, I certainly would have waited! About 48 hours later I was in a similar situation and I did wait things out until the end. Anyways I ended up with a seat towards the front. Riding this at night is a staple of the park someone told me as we climbed the lift hill. I told them I know and I wouldn't be a roller coaster enthusiast if I didn't. It was an outstanding ride. It really was pitch darkness at times! Glad to have this bucket list item checked off!

It was an outstanding day. The following two days people kept asking me if flying from Utah to Ohio just to ride SV was worth it. I was pushing it by saying the trip was ONLY for SV, but really this day alone would have made it worth it. For me there is no better reason to travel than to ride roller coasters. The only thing that comes close is mountains. When I was leaving I was having a hard time imagining the next two days being better. I don't think I have ever gotten this many rides in for one day! Originally this park was just an add on. My friend who I was going to meet up with actually first suggested spending a third day. I kept hoping that at the last minute things would change. They didn't. Anyways it was an hour drive back to Columbus. Hoping I'll have the CP part of the TR up within a week.

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by Eric Hossfield, Saturday, September 22, 2018 11:00 PM
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Sunday, September 23, 2018 11:21 AM

Nice TR. As to FL+, I think it's the only way to do an out-of-area park that you're not planning to revisit anytime soon. On my 1st trip to KI maybe 5 or 6 years ago I didn't buy it and as a result I got in only 2 rides. Considering what I paid for airfare, hotel and park admission that worked out to $250 per ride! I went back in April of this year, purchased FL+ and had the time of my life - although I must admit that I feel somewhat uncomfortable about line-skipping options when all these people see me moving right past them. Still, it's the way to go. Yesterday I was at SFNE and with only 5 1/2 hrs. to spend at the park a Flash Pass was a necessity, especially as Superman had only a one-train operation the entire time I was there.

Unlike you, I thought that Banshee was the best ride in the park, hands down. And I like it more than either Montu or Alpengeist. The mere force of the initial drop made quite an impression on me. Besides that I found the restraints exquisitely comfortable. Like you, however, I find that I have to make adjustments of my personal items. My phone is always in a zipper pocket on my right side and each time I get on a coaster I have to push it out of the way as far as possible so that the restraints can't come into contact with it and possibly crack it. Same with the Flash Pass I had yesterday. I had to make certain that it was securely between my legs on every ride to avoid potential damage.

Another Firehawk fan. Hallelujah! I love this ride and it's one that I also rode more than once. I liked Batwing when I rode it some years ago but Nighthawk has not aged well; this August it was painfully rough. I found that the same was true of The Beast; it was so painful that I couldn't wait for the ride to end. As to Mystic Timbers, that's another one that I found a bit rough in spots. I suspect that this has a lot to do with the ageing process; at the age of 67 I find that I have to be especially careful with wooden coasters. Last year I fractured a rib on Boulder Dash and it still hasn't healed completely.

Diamondback offers a very good ride, without question. However, I find that I prefer ejector air to floater so my favorite hypercoasters tend to be Intamins. Agreed that Vortex is less than optimal. It's not the worst coaster I rode by any means - Steeplechase at Luna Park and Mind Eraser (now Riddler?) at SFNE take top honors for that. Invertigo was a one and done for me as well but a must ride b/c I really liked - and miss - Stinger at Dorney. Totally agree about Racer and didn't particularly like The Bat b/c I just don't like that coaster model. Flight of Fear was a fun ride.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:12 PM

Haha yea adjusting can be interesting. During this trip I always made sure that the screen on my phone was touching my body otherwise the sharp edges on the keys might get between it and the restraint. I always got these weird looks when people saw me adjusting. I consider my zipper cargo pants roller coaster pants at this point. It took two malls to find them. I used to just use the cargo pants with buttons, but one day on El Toro I didn't adjust myself properly and my glasses case slide between the buttons. I had a backup pair fortunately and thank God that wasn't my wallet or phone!

I actually thought the SCL at SFA was worse than the Mind Eraser at SFNE. Actually that SLC was the ride that usually came to my mind first when I thought of my worst ever rides. I'm also 30 now and starting to wonder if my tolerance isn't what it used to be.

Last edited by Eric Hossfield, Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:14 PM
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Wednesday, September 26, 2018 9:31 PM

My coaster shorts both came with buttons but I altered them myself so that they seal with Velcro from one end to the other. I still have to adjust to keep things from getting squished sometimes.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018 1:54 PM

I don't care how far I go to go to an amusement park, there is not one that is worth $155 on top of parking and admission...NONE! lol

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018 2:04 PM

What sounds worse: I spent hundreds of dollars to go to park x and only got on one ride!

Or I spent $155 for fast lane.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018 5:07 PM

zoug68 said:

I don't care how far I go to go to an amusement park, there is not one that is worth $155 on top of parking and admission...NONE! lol

You've never flown to or gotten a hotel at an amusement park?

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Saturday, October 13, 2018 4:48 PM

That’s not a fair point of comparison. Paying the money to get there isn’t in the same category as having to pay double, triple, or whatever inside the park just to enjoy it.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018 7:52 PM

We have different priorities, I’ll pay extra if I’m far from home or doing a special event. I went to Universal Orlando last week and did HHN 3 nights (used my free premier pass ticket one night, BOGO the other two) and paid for express all 3 nights. This resulted in me doing 14 houses each night, was worth every penny.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018 11:21 PM

sirloindude said:

That’s not a fair point of comparison.

I guess...I mean, we're paying $10,000 to go to Disney for a week, and I don't care how much of that is hotel, how much is tickets, how much is airfare, and how much is upcharges. All I know is that's the cost of doing Disney the way we want to do it. I can't imagine being willing to pay $300+ to get to a far away park, but not being willing to drive to a nearby park and then pay $200 to get in. I mean at the end of the day, the money goes somewhere and you have one day's worth of entertainment (unless you really enjoy flying independently of where you're going).

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Sunday, October 14, 2018 11:46 AM

The difference to me is that for a non-local park, flying and/or getting a hotel isn't optional. I can't skip out on those expenses and still go to the park. I can skip out on a FOL package and still go to the park, but if I need that upcharge to have any meaningful amount of fun, I'll probably pass, and partly because I already have to pay to get there. I just take an issue with the unbundling of the experience (it's why I hate airline bag/standard seat selection fees). I'd rather just have dynamic pricing because I still get the whole experience for the price of admission, and I also get a better read on when to consider going.

I've paid for FOL access and such before and would do it again in extreme cases, but the parks with more manageable crowds where I feel like I can visit and not worry that I need to drop an extra $120 just to get more than a couple rides in for the day are the ones that are more likely to appear on my travel agenda.

Last edited by sirloindude, Sunday, October 14, 2018 11:47 AM
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Sunday, October 14, 2018 4:50 PM

sirloindude said:

but if I need that upcharge to have any meaningful amount of fun..

"Any meaningful amount of fun" This isn't black and white to me. If I hadn't gotten the FL I still would have had tons of fun and the trip still would have been worth it. But why should I stop at worth it? I wanted to maximize my fun. If I need the FL for it to be worth it, then what did I think before it existed?

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Friday, October 19, 2018 10:25 PM

Disney charges an arm and a leg and everybody gets Front of the Line access. There is no other option. Is that different from going to a crowded Six Flags and paying an arm and a leg for Front of the Line access when not having Front of the Line isn't really an option? (I mean on a philosophical level. Obviously, people will value Disney vs. Six Flags differently).

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