Kings Island 4/27/14 for company day. No lines, good times

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

Monday, April 28, 2014 6:31 PM

Having lived in Cincinnati for 20+ years now I'm very familiar with Kings Island. Summer after summer was spent in my youth at the park. Fast forward to today and my company rents out the park every April for our annual Company Day. It is a great way to ride everything quickly as lines are non-existent for the most part . I was looking forward to Banshee and of course riding some of the classics

Started out in kiddie land, not able to ride too much with a 16 month old but was able to do Boo Blaster. I miss the old Phantom Theater (or Smurf ride to go back farther) and the classic dark haunted ride. The BB is ok though, I just hate blasters where you don't see your shot so you sort of shoot aimlessly around. Everything seems to be the same number of points which is a bit annoying. From there went to both carousels and then the kid was shipped off to the grand parents

First up was the Racer. Only one side working. Decent ride, a bit rougher than I remember. Load times were horrible. All in all your classic wood out and back, nothing overly special. I still miss the backwards option, it was so unique 5/10

Skipped Flight of Fear this year. While the 'new' restrains make it more tolerable the ride just isn't worth it to me

Fire hawk always brings a unique ride. The flying concept still remains so different and even a relatively 'tame' track feels exciting. Not a huge fan of the restraints (wife bruised her sternum last year) but all in all always a cool concept 7/10

Wind Seeker was next, first time ever riding. Pretty cool to get that high. I liked the speed, didn't go too fast to make it a true spinning ride and possibly cause sickness. Odd how quiet everyone is, seems like we all just relax and take in the view. Not sure I'd wait a while for it but nice ride 7/10

Vortex - your classic Arrow multi looper. I used to put this ride on par with the Beast. I was wrong. Besides the corkscrew elements nothing really impresses. Hate the train/restraints 5/10

Italian Stunt - just a quick little coaster with some fun twists. I especially like the tunnel and swerving in and out. Odd foot restraints but other than that a good ride. Start is much quicker than anticipated and gets a good pace going. 7/10

Beast - I would say it gets rougher with age but it could be me noticing it. First drop in the front still a great visual and you feel like your flying through the first tunnel and turn. The trims on the straight away prior to the second tunnel annoy but are probably necessary. The second tunnel has a great sound effect to it and adds I the out of control feeling. Part two with the helix is an absolute fight which at the end I realized was the full coaster ride. I didn't focus on who I was next to, the scenery around me, nor anything else. I was focused in the ride itself and fighting through each turn, hill and jarring motion. Getting to the end almost feels like an accomplishment. I made that sound worse than it actually is, just amazing how different I view this coaster. 8/10

Diamondback. Best in the park. Rode twice, first time middle which was fine but front row which is how you have to do it. Crew was pumping the trains out fast and doing a great job getting people excited. Love climbing that first hill and the overhang is ridiculous. Speed ad airtime galore. The front car has ridiculous air time, so much that I grabbed my seat a few times which is rare. Awesome pace, awesome layout, awesome seats, an incredible ride. 10/10

Went over to the action zone to finish up. Delirium was down (I'm ok with that) and so was drop zone. Quick ride on Top Gun...err the Bat (4/10) and then off to Banshee. Love the queue, the eternal flame to SOB is hilarious. First ride I was in the middle of the train. Absolute whirlwind of elements and it was over. I remember the hill, slow heart line roll and that was about it. Not saying it was a bad experience, just so much going one and element after element with no break left t hard to process each one. At that point I gave it a 7.5/10. Decided to try again in the front seat. Wow, wait the extra time. The visual on the first drop alone makes it worth it and being able to see the elements and track make this a monster but one where you can anticipate and enjoy the intensity. I like how you keep gaining speed and it isn't all about the first drop. Ride was smooth and I like the restraints better than Raptor. All in all a great addition to KI 9/10

Random thoughts
I look around the park an winds what could've been if Paramount never entered the picture. The rides/attractions added during this tenure are pretty sad

Between Flight of Fear (operating for now), Crypt (closed), SOB (closed), Days of Thunder (maybe closed?), and Italian Job (good ride) the 13 year ownership just didn't produce much in terms of lasting impact IMO. Heck the SoB alone in 2000 while rides like Millennium, ROS, Bizzaro were built and still top rides blows my mind. Thankfully Cedar Fair has already strongly improved their lineup with Banshee and DB

Park landscaping was not great but it is early. Staff better than past years

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Monday, April 28, 2014 10:29 PM

I agree in a way that much of what Paramount put in or rethemed is gone, but a lot of the hardware is still there. Drop Zone, Face/Off, Reptar, Some of Boomerang Bay, Flight of Fear, Italian Job.

Odd that Cedar Fair decided to not pursue new movie options for the Action Theater. I noticed that last time I was there.

Cedar Fair nearly bought Kings Island in 2000, and with the way they try to preserve rides, I can only imagine that King Cobra and the Flying Scooters would still be there, but Boo Blasters, Delirium and Stunt coaster might not have been. Son Of Beast might have had a different future as well.

But instead of thinking what might have been, yes, Paramount is gone, but it did make an impact on how the park is run today, especially with the gold pass options that Cedar Fair started for all its parks adopting shortly after the purchase.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:14 AM

This isn't grandpa's Cedar Fair anymore. I can assure you that King Cobra would not be there.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:29 AM

I'm a little surprised by the Flight of Fear comments. Up until Diamondback was built, I would argue it was the best coaster in the park, or at least on the days when the Beast was not running so well.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:27 AM

Perhaps I was harsh in my memory, it had definitely improved with the lap harness. I just remembered the last ride on it being very unpleasant. My memory could be skewed or perhaps I just had a bad seat/ride

Last edited by dmxfury, Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:53 AM
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 1:23 PM

Jeff said:
This isn't grandpa's Cedar Fair anymore. I can assure you that King Cobra would not be there.

Grandpa must be at Kings Dominion, then, cause Shockwave is still up and runnin'.

:-)

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 1:56 PM

I'm at least happy they still kept the kid's can que option, then cross over on the platform. I never thought it would be that big a deal...until I had one kid that is 58in, and the other that is still 48in. I wish CP would adopt the policy.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 3:28 PM

RCMAC said:

Grandpa must be at Kings Dominion, then, cause Shockwave is still up and runnin'.

For whatever reason, I *loved* King Cobra, HATED Shockwave, and feel like SkyRider is pretty much meh. Weird...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:18 PM

I'm the exact same way, Mr. Gator. I thought King Cobra was a great ride, and lead me to believe that Togo (as crappy as their rides tended to be) had invented the superior stand-up model. Then again, Shockwave does nothing for me, and the alternate ending is painful. Plus, if it isn't the worlds slowest lift hill I don't know what is.

The thing I remember about Sky Rider was that every person on that ride removed their shoes and set them over there, causing the biggest delay. Not sure why that would be, but I also noticed the young folks there were all slightly over dressed for the occasion, like the place was a nightclub or something. They did have nice shoes...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:01 PM

Flight of Fear used to be a "must ride" kind of ride, ever since they removed the shoulder harnesses, but lately the ride stops so suddenly into the brake run that it is very unpleasant. I like to stick my tongue out and make the barf noise every time I hit those brakes. It hurts!

Other than that, I love the ride. The last flatspin inversion is awesome.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:44 PM

I'm with ya, Travis. That mid course brake is awful. And I always assumed it was a necessity for some reason until I rode Joker's Jinx at Six Flags America, (the identical ride, only outdoors) There, the flat spot is there, but there is no brake and the train just scoots right on through, making for a rollicking ride right to the end. I loved it and went on it many times the day I was there.

If I remember correctly, that ride is two train op and the load/unload is in the same place. So when train A completes the course and comes to a stop on the final brake before the station they go ahead and launch train B. It worked really well.

I hear Six Flags version in San Antonio is the same.

Last edited by RCMAC, Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:47 PM
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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 1:24 AM

I was talking about the brakes that end the ride on FoF, but I know what you are saying. FoF nearly comes to a complete stop in the mid-course brakes.

Vortex at KI has a sudden stop in the mid-course brakes, and it is then that I make my gut-wrenching barf sound on that ride.

If a ride needs to slow down or stop, I want a clean, painless stop, safely.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7:38 AM

Jeff said:
This isn't grandpa's Cedar Fair anymore. I can assure you that King Cobra would not be there.

I can agree and disagree with that, but that really is noticeable (in terms of rides) up to two or three years ago when Matt's changes really started taking place. I base this on the two "standing" (no pun intended) TOGO's at Wonderland and Dominion (the latter having a black eye for a guest-caused fatality), sure newer by two years (1986 vs Cobra 1984).

We'll see how much longer the two remaining Togo's last.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7:45 AM

I guess you did say brake run. Sorry.

Ok, well, in Maryland that brake run is more gradual, slowing the train down through what is the unload area in Ohio. (and Virginia) Then it goes through the u-turn and comes to rest just ahead of the station.

Now that I think about it, maybe the mid-course stop is necessary due to the fact that the unload area is closer at KI and KD.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 12:58 PM

I never thought of that. I couldn't imagine how much more sudden the stop at the end of FoF at KI would be if it wasn't almost completely stopped in the MCBR. It's already too much, so the added speed would be terrible.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 12:59 PM

Oh, and no apology necessary, RCMAC. lol No harm done.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 1:00 PM

RCMAC said:

Grandpa must be at Kings Dominion, then, cause Shockwave is still up and runnin'.

For now.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 1:42 PM

Doesn't FoF also have three trains vs. Joker's two? That would necessitate an extra block, hence the mid course brake on FoF.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:46 PM

Yes, but you'd never know it. At KI no train leaves the station until the other two are stacked up behind.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:35 PM

I can't imagine anyone (not even CP) getting any real "mileage" out of a third train on a spaghetti bowl. I guess theoretically you could have one on the course, one loading, and one unloading...but I'd put an estimate on capacity increase of 5-8% max over a regular 2-train operation. The ride is short, and the load is excessively hard since operators have to virtually kneel down to check restraints...

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