Kings Island 6/10/15 and Cedar Point 6/11/15

Sunday, July 5, 2015 12:50 AM

After 10 years of waiting, I finally got a chance to go to Cedar Point. We were going to Cincinnati to see the Phillies play the Reds and go to Cleveland to visit the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. I had also hoped to get to Kings Island as our hotel in Cincinnati was 20 minutes from the park but that was going to depend on the weather since it was originally supposed to rain Thursday - Saturday and I know Cedar Point isn't good about running rides in the rain and if I had to pick 1 park to go to, it would have been Cedar Point

We left Monday 6/8 and drove to Cincinnati. The baseball game was on Tuesday and I thought maybe I could get to Kings Island before the game but didn't want to go to the park and not have time for all the rides I wanted to try so we decided to drive to Louisville and go to the Louisville Slugger Factory Tour and Museum. I never expected to go to Kentucky anytime soon and although Kentucky Kingdom was right near by, there wasn't time for it and wasn't really a priority for me. Tuesday night we went to the baseball game and not surprisingly, the Phillies lost 11 - 2 which sounds bad but is nothing compared to the 19 - 3 loss that just happened later in the month.

On Wednesday morning, we saw they changed the forecast and it wasn't supposed to rain until 9 pm on Thursday so it looked like we would be able to get to Kings Island and then drive to Cedar Point that night and go to the park on Thursday.

Cedar Fair has a good deal on their site with a 1 day admission to Kings Island and a 1 day admission to Cedar Point for $64.99. Cedar Point discounted tickets were $44.99 so adding on Kings Island for $20 with the combo ticket was a good value. They also offered discounted parking online at $12 instead of $15 and a souvenir cup for $10.99 with free refills all day and $0.99 refills the rest of the year like the red cup at Great Adventure.

We got to Kings Island just after 10 and although it was going up to 90, the humidity was low so it wasn't that bad. I later saw it was 95 in Sandusky with a 99 heat index so I was glad we waited a day to go to Cedar Point.

Banshee was the first coaster we saw but it was broken down. A worker announced to the riders waiting that they suggested we go to other rides as they didn't know how long the breakdown would be. We left about 5 minutes later and then right after we walked away they opened the ride so I got back in line and got on the 3rd train after the ride had reopened. They were not assigning rows and I went to the last row. I was looking forward to this coaster not only because it has great reviews but also because it was my 100th coaster. I have been waiting to get my coaster count to triple digits for a while now and this was a good coaster to be my 100th after my 50th coaster was a somewhat bad coaster- Rollie's Coaster at Morey's Piers.

The new restraints were comfortable and at first I felt like I was about to ride Superman Ultimate Flight with the vest restraints. Banshee was an excellent coaster with lots of inversions and the dive loop was different compared to the immelmann that other B&M inverts have. I also liked the pretzel knot and the in line twist taken at a slow speed. It is a great addition to the park and really complements Diamondback for 2 great major steel coasters.

I skipped Drop Tower for now since it had a bit of a line and thought I would go back to it later if I had time. I also skipped Invertigo since I really don't like Stinger at Dorney and knowing how unreliable Stinger is, I didn't want to take a chance on getting stuck on Invertigo (which turned out to be an issue with another ride later in the report).

Next to Banshee was The Bat. I have wanted to try an Arrow Suspended coaster for a few years and didn't get a chance to get back to Busch Gardens Williamsburg before Big Bad Wolf was removed. The queue was a long walk similar to Superman and Green Lantern both at Great Adventure. The station was mostly empty and I thought for our first Arrow Suspended coaster, we should wait 2 extra trains for the front row. I didn't realize it at the time that it was my sister's 50th coaster and if I had realized it, I would have ridden The Bat first so we could get our 50th coaster and 100th coaster credits at the same time.

The Bat was a fun ride and didn't let up until the brake run where the car was still and a high angle entering the brake run. It's a shame that Arrow didn't build more of these coasters and more parks didn't keep the ones that are open since they are really fun and good for kids who want an "in between" coaster that is more than a family coaster but not a major thrill coaster.

Adventure Express was next with a 2 train wait. It had individual lap bars like Runaway Mine Train and Trailblazer and I liked how right out of the station there wasn't a lift and the train started the circuit right away. The ending lifthill that was enclosed with the moving statues was cool and felt like it could fit in an Orlando park.

Racer only had the blue side running with about a 10 minute wait. I should have waited for a non wheel seat and picked the 3rd row of a car since that was a shorter wait. It wasn't really rough but not as smooth as some other wooden coasters I have ridden and I knew since I didn't like Rebel Yell that much, I probably wouldn't think this ride was that great either. It was still not a bad coaster and Kings Island was a local park, it would probably be a coaster I tried to ride once a trip if the line was short.

Firehawk had a posted 90 minute wait with even the Fast Lane Plus line being 30 minutes (I decided against Fast Lane since the lines were so short except for Flight of Fear and Firehawk). The coaster wasn't worth a 90 minute wait to me and I didn't feel like even taking the chance on how I would feel knowing how the pressure of the pretzel loop at Superman Ultimate Flight can be forceful and didn't want to possibly get a headache with the warm weather.

Flight of Fear had a posted 45 minute wait but took about 30 minutes. I was looking forward to Flight of Fear since I never rode Batman and Robin The Chiller and the launch into the cobra roll would probably be the closest I would get riding the Robin track of Chiller. The ankle grabbers were kind of annoying not leaving a lot of room for your feet but I was glad that the ride had lap bars as I can imagine that this ride was brutal when it had OTSR's. The launch into the inversions reminded me a little of Rock N Rollerocaster and I wasn't expected a complete stop when the train got to the MCBR. Overall the ride was fun and I'll have to get to Six Flags America to try Joker's Jinx and see what the ride looks like outside.

WindSeeker was closed which didn't matter to me since there was no way I was going to try it with the problems they have had at other parks. Vortex was next with a 5 minute wait. I was looking forward to Vortex because I miss Scream Machine at Great Adventure and other than Viper at Magic Mountain, Vortex looked like it would be the next closest ride to Scream Machine.

I liked how after the drop there was a hill and a turnaround before going into the double loop and I also liked how the corkscrews weren't at the end like most Arrow loopers to make the ride a little different. The batwing reminded me of how much I miss that inversion from riding Scream Machine. It was a little rough but not too bad and another good coaster.

Backlot Stunt Coaster was next with about a 10 minute wait. I could see this ride having a very slow moving line on a crowded day with the low capacity, I had seen a POV of the ride before a few years ago and never expected to like the coaster as much as I did. The uphill helix was fun and the show scene with the helicopter and fire was cool. I forgot from the POV that there was an indoor section. This was probably the surprise coaster of the park for me.

Next was a coaster I have been wanting to ride after a friend from school told me about Kings Island in 2nd grade and how great The Beast was. There was just under a 10 minute wait. While it won't be overtaking Boulder Dash or El Toro, it is a top 10 wooden coaster for me with the great ride time, a great first drop and the forceful helix during the ride. I hear that night rides are even better but sunset wasn't until after 9:00 and there was no way we could stay until closing since that would have meant getting to Sandusky at around 2:00 a.m.

The train was next with a great ride op at the microphone giving lots of information about the train and the park. From what I could see from the train, Soak City looked really nice and not very crowded and if we had more time, I would have spent a couple of hours there.

We had lunch at the Reds Hall of Fame Grille. The prices were reasonable for an amusement park with most sandwiches under $10. It was themed nicely with lots of Reds memorabilia. They had multiple TV's in the restaurant but for some reason the Reds vs Phillies game was not being shown, maybe because the game started at 12:35 which isn't that common so no one realized the game was being played then?

I was going to try Diamondback next but it had broken down with riders stuck on the lift. The train was not that far out of the station.

I kept checking back while we were in Planet Snoopy and the riders still hadn't been evacuated. We later found out that the riders were stuck for 90 minutes before being evacuated. While it wouldn't be pleasant to be sitting for 90 minutes in the train, I didn't think it would be a news story that we later found out many of the local news stations and papers were reporting on.

Race For Your Life Charlie Brown was next with about a 5 minute wait. I was glad to see Kings Island still had a log flume with so many parks removing them. I also wasn't expected to get drenched on the final drop with it being a smaller flume and then have a Snoopy figure at the end shoot some jets of water at you. With the warm weather, it didn't matter though.

Flying Ace Aerial Chase was the next coaster. It only runs 1 train but today that didn't matter with it being a 2 train wait. I had heard the earlier Vekoma Junior inverted coasters were rough compared to newer models like Freedom Flyer at Fun Spot with a lap bar but the coaster was mostly smooth with just a few spots of headbanging. I'd rather ride this version over a regular SLC any day.

We saw Woodstocks Whirlybirds and were happy to see no rule about needing a kid under 54" to ride. At Dorney, the only ride in Planet Snoopy that has that requirement is the rocket ship monorail even though other parks in the chain don't require a kid to ride. The difference with Woodstock's Whirlybirds is that they are pedal powered although they still move without pedaling. They were running 9 cars and loading 3 at a time. It was about a 10 minute wait and this is another ride I can see having a very slow moving line on a crowded day.

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill was another ride I was looking forward to as I really like dark rides, especially interactive dark rides. I liked how it had an omnimover system for faster loading. The ride was very well done with lots of show scenes, lots of targets to shoot at and when shot at, many of the props moved. I still hope that Great Adventure gets the Justice League Dark ride since I'd like to have an interactive dark ride closer to home besides the one at Hersheypark.

Woodstocks Express was running 2 trains with no wait. Other than the Junior PTC trains not having a lot of leg room, it was fun for a smaller coaster.

Diamondback's riders were now evacuated but the ride was still closed. They weren't sure when or if it would re-open that day so we left the ride area and went to some of the shops at the front of the park. We were ready to leave when we saw a couple of trains test and then 2 trains with riders. We quickly walked back to the ride and it was open with a short wait of 10 minutes. I knew Diamondback was supposed to be good but thought it would probably be equal to Nitro. I liked the different seating with the last row of each car away from each other so you don't have any seats close to you on either side giving the ride a more open feeling. I ended up liking the ride a lot more than Nitro with the better hammerhead, lots of air time hills (it seemed like more than Nitro, not counting Nitro's smaller hills after the MCBR) and the splashdown. I was disappointed that I was going to miss Diamondback but thought since it's a B&M Hyper and not something I have never ridden before like some other coaster types in the park, it wouldn't be a huge deal. After riding Diamondback and seeing how great it was, I would have really regretted missing it now knowing how great it was.

It was around 6:00 and with the drive to Cedar Point, we decided we should leave now to get there at a reasonable hour so we wouldn't be tired the next day.

Kings Island was a very nice park with some signature attractions and a good collection of other coasters as well plus some great family rides. It was a better park than I had expected. I also want to mention that I really liked Kings Island and Cedar Points bins in the station for loose articles. Although I didn't use them, I thought it was great how they used a seatbelt buckle to close the bins for the train running the circuit and that could only be opened with a key from a ride operator similar to the seatbelts used on the kiddie rides.

The next day, we left our hotel about 25 minutes from the park and got to Sandusky. When we saw the Welcome To Cedar Point sign and the skyline of all the coasters it was exciting. I was finally getting to Cedar Point and try the coasters I have seen so many reports and pictures of in the past 10 years.

Even though it was a Thursday in June, there were a lot of people entering the park right after the normal opening time and I knew to skip the coasters in the front of the park. Raptor had a 45 minute wait and I didn't even bother to check out Gatekeeper's line.

Blue Streak had a 2 train wait so that ended up being my first coaster at Cedar Point. It was good for an olden wooden coaster and better than other similar sized wooden coasters that I have tried such as Thunderhawk and Rolling Thunder.

We stopped at the Cadillac Cars next with about a 10 minute wait. Unlike the tracks at Hershey and Dorney, it was much better with some theming and the track had a cloverleaf design which made it a longer ride time.

Iron Dragon had about a 20 minute wait. It was tamer than Bat but still a lot of fun. I liked the final section with the mist over the water.

Surprisingly for a "new coaster" Rougaru only had a 15 minute wait. Since the first half of the ride is a mirror image of Green Lantern, it felt a little strange to be going through the ride and feeling like you have ridden the same type of ride before but much better with the floorless trains. I liked the second half two with just the 1 corkscrew and lots of turns. It was much better than Green Lantern and if Great Adventure didn't already have Bizarro, I would hope they would also convert Green Lantern to a floorless coaster. Operations were fast with 3 trains running and little to no stacking. I heard Mantis was rough and Rougaru seemed smooth with the floorless trains. It was a great idea to convert it from a standup to a floorless.

Top Thrill Dragster had been closed and when we walked around to the midway with it, it had just reopened. The sign said it was an hour wait but the greeter said it was really only 15 minutes. The line was just at the ramps right after the Fast Lane merge point and was just under 15 minutes. Ever since Kingda Ka opened, people who have ridden both Kingda Ka and Top Thrill Dragster have said Dragster is better. I knew the lap bars were supposed to make the ride better but I didn't mind the OTSR's that much on Kingda Ka and I like the air time hill at the end of the ride. After riding Top Thrill Dragster, I now understand why it is the preferred ride. The lap bars made the ride a lot better and it was nice for the ride to have a more open feeling because of it. Kingda Ka has also been running so rough this year that I have skipped it on most trips to the park this year. Top Thrill Dragster was much smoother and a much better ride overall. It wasn't my favorite ride at the park but it was still a great coaster and I was glad I had a chance to try it. They had a lot of switchbacks in the middle of the ride area and would hate to wait through a full queue for the coaster. Many of the coasters had queues that looked like they could hold hours worth of waiting riders.

I was going to try Corkscrew but it had a 30 minute wait with 2 trains running. I skipped it for now and planned to return to it later in the day when hopefully the line was shorter. It was cool to see the corkscrews go right over the midway,

Power Tower had a posted 15 minute wait for the turbo drop side and no wait for the space shot side so I went to the space shot. It was fun and better than Dominator at Dorney but I think it will be difficult to find a better ride than Zumanjaro.

After Power Tower it was time for one of the coasters I have been wanted to try ever since I first saw it and what might be the signature coaster for Cedar Point, Millennium Force. 3 trains were running and it took about 45 minutes. Like Top Thrill Dragster, the restraints were very comfortable and I liked the design of the trains. It was cool to try another cable lift ride besides El Toro and the train was at the top of the lifthill. The first drop was awesome with the height and angle and the ride hit the top speed and didn't let up. The overbank turns were a lot of fun and I liked how in between the high speed turns and overbanks there were some good airtime hills as well. The final overbank that goes near the queue area was a great finish to a great ride. This was my favorite coaster at Cedar Point and probably my favorite coaster of the entire trip.

Next we walked over to the train entrance and took a lap around the park. The skeleton town was cool and it was a good way to get some different views of the park.

We walked into Frontier Town and skipped Thunder Canyon because it looked like you got soaked with waterfalls that can't be avoided unlike Congo Rapids at Great Adventure where it's random if you get soaked or not. It was the same with Snake River Falls that I have ridden the clone of at Dorney many times and Shoot The Rapids. It's too bad Cedar Point didn't keep White Water Landing since traditional log flumes are always fun and a great way to get cooled off but not soaked.

The Antique Cars were next with about a 10 minute wait. The ride was good but the Cadillac Cars track was better.

We went to Chick-fil-A for lunch. The food wasn't that overpriced compared to the rest of the park with a chicken sandwich $4.29 and fries $2.59.

After lunch it was time for another coaster I had wanted to try since I first saw the animated POV before the ride was built Maverick. It was about an hour wait. The new restraints are great and much more comfortable than the older restraint type used on Kingda Ka, Storm Runner, Fahrenheit and other rides. The fast lift to the beyond vertical drop was fun and the twisted horseshoe rolls were great. Then the launch after that in the shed was great as well, add in the fast small overbanks and it was yet another great coaster. Before this trip I wasn't that much of a fan of Intamin steel coasters (I liked Cheetah Hunt and thought Fahrenheit and Storm Runner very good but not as good as some B&M coasters I have ridden) but after riding Millennium Force and Maverick, I can understand why their rides are so highly regarded. And of course El Toro is excellent as well.

I noticed that the posted Fast Lane Plus wait time for Maverick was 30 minutes. I had considered Fast Lane Plus and wanted to see if I could get away without it. It was $85 the day I was there and I see it goes up to $115 on peak days. On a Thursday in June if the Fast Lane Plus line was 30 minutes which is bad enough in itself but only half the wait of the regular line, it seems like they are selling too many of them when they are charging up to the equivalent or more than Platinum Flash Pass prices when Platinum Flash Pass almost instantly gets you in the Flash Pass ride and gives you 2 rides in a row on most rides.

Cedar Creek Mine Ride was next with a 15 minute wait. After Runaway Mine Train and Trailblazer got new individual restraints and Adventure Express already having individual restraints, I forgot how bad the shared lap bar with it lowering with the entire 3 rows of the car was. It was not good for taller riders and I had to cross my legs to get them under the lap bar and even then it was uncomfortable. The track layout itself was not bad for a mine train but even if it was a walk on, I wouldn't want to have ridden the coaster more than once.

Gemini had a posted 5 minute wait with 2 switchbacks full. I thought there was no way that it was really 5 minutes but with both sides open and 4 trains running, I almost never stopped walking through the queue and was in the station in a few minutes. I went to the first open row I saw which was the 3rd row of the first car on the blue side. I didn't realize there was a raised section of the floor in the 3rd row. The ride was fun with the racing but a little more jolting (not really rough but not smooth either) than I was expecting. I decided against riding again to ride the red side.

I had missed the turn to Mean Streak so we had to back track a little to get to the ride entrance. It was around 15 minutes with 3 trains running. With 2 bench cars, there was no way to avoid a wheel seat and although the trim brake on the first drop ruins part of the drop, I can't imagine how brutal the ride would be without it. It was shuffling and rough the entire ride. It wasn't as bad as Hercules of Gwazi but was easily the 3rd worst wooden coaster I have ridden and the only bad coaster of the entire trip.

After Mean Streak it was time for the world's first hyper coaster Magnum XL-200. I really liked the station design and the front of the trains. It was a 10 minute wait and I went for row 1-3 since I had heard there is a lot of air time in that row. The ride reminded me of Steel Force but more intense and after the pretzel turnaround, the air time on the hills was really good.

Corkscrew now had a mostly empty station and I went to the first row of the last car. The ride wasn't rough for an Arrow looper and the corkscrews over the midway were cool. I can see how this ride must have been amazing when it first opened and although it was ok, it would have been better if there were some more elements like a helix at the end of the ride.

The Sky Ride had about a 5 minute wait and it was amazing how many cars they were running and how fast they were loading them. Although it doesn't travel very far unlike Great Adventure's Skyway, it was still fun.

Blue Streak had no wait so I stopped there for another ride and then went to Raptor which was now a 1 train wait except for the front. Riding Banshee the day before and now Raptor it's difficult to say which coaster I liked more since they were both excellent. The layout was really good and it was nice to try another B&M invert with a cobra roll and I liked how hit had a good mix of inversions and turns rather than just inversion after inversion. I walked around for another ride taking advantage of the ride having no wait.

I didn't check out Gatekeeper's line earlier in the day thinking it would have a long wait like Raptor and now the line was just past the stairs. I chose the left side and thought it was going to be around 15 minutes but the line moved extremely fast and I was boarding the 7th row in just over 5 minutes. It was amazing to see how fast they were dispatching the trains here as well with the ride ops literally running. The dive drop was something different and the keyholes were cool giving the illusion you might hit them even though you knew it wasn't going to happen. I also liked how the track goes right over the park entrance. The ride was very good but for some reason I expected it to be better. It might have been because I had already ridden so many amazing coasters in the past 2 days but I thought it was going to be one of my top coasters at the park and was probably my 5th favorite. I should have tried the right side as well just to see if it was different.

I wanted to see if they had any baseballs to add to my collection along with the Banshee baseball I had gotten at King's Island and they didn't have any. I ended up getting Millennium Force and Raptor golf balls instead that I'll display next to a Cheetah Hunt golf ball.

Cedar Point was amazing and probably has my favorite coaster collection of any park I have been to. Rides like Millennium Force and Maverick lived up to the hype and combined with all the other coasters I could spend a few days at a time at the park and not get bored. I hope to return sometime again, hopefully in less than 10 years.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Sunday, July 5, 2015 12:56 AM
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Sunday, July 5, 2015 2:24 AM

I know it's a bit late to tell you this now, but having grown up with Firehawk (at Geauga Lake first then at Kings Island), I was actually surprised with how intense the Superman ride at Great Adventure was. I rode it twice when I was there this summer and it hurt both times in exactly the place you mentioned. Firehawk doesn't have a single moment like that anywhere in it.

I would be ASTONISHED if the Fast Lane Plus line on Maverick was actually 30 minutes. The line goes DIRECTLY into the station, and they let an awful lot of people in at once.

Thanks for the TR and glad you had fun! :)

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Sunday, July 5, 2015 5:43 PM

Its good to see that there are still fellow Phillies fans out there, sounds like you had a great time. Just the other day when i was at Great Adventure i thought about Green Latern being a floorless too. Your TR was a good read

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Monday, July 6, 2015 12:17 AM

Thanks. No matter how bad the team is, I will always follow them and remain hopeful in a few years they will get to the playoffs again.

GDdashROM said:

I know it's a bit late to tell you this now, but having grown up with Firehawk (at Geauga Lake first then at Kings Island), I was actually surprised with how intense the Superman ride at Great Adventure was. I rode it twice when I was there this summer and it hurt both times in exactly the place you mentioned. Firehawk doesn't have a single moment like that anywhere in it.

I would be ASTONISHED if the Fast Lane Plus line on Maverick was actually 30 minutes. The line goes DIRECTLY into the station, and they let an awful lot of people in at once.

Thanks for the TR and glad you had fun! :)

Thank you. If I ever get back to Kings Island or go to SFA and have the chance to try Batwing, I'll remember that the Vekoma flyers aren't like the Superman clones (the vertical loops was what concerned me the most with Firehawk).

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Monday, July 6, 2015 2:51 PM

Those Vekoma flying coasters are the only roller coasters that scare the crap out of me. What if that little buckle that holds me in malfunctions while I'm putting all my weight on it, plus all the g-forces? What if the mechanism that holds the seats in a flying position somehow breaks and the seats go into the seated position?

It's probably an irrational fear, but I can't get around it. I'll sometimes ride it one time while I am at the park, and realize it was a mistake halfway through. I want off, which makes it seem like a very long ride.

Last edited by LostKause, Monday, July 6, 2015 2:58 PM
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Monday, July 6, 2015 7:56 PM

When those Flying Dutchman coasters flip from "lie" to "fly" 100+ feet in the air is one of those true fear OH SH!T moments in this hobby.

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Monday, July 6, 2015 8:21 PM

I agree. Although I will say that for some reason the exact same ride as X Flight at Geauga scared me a lot more than it does at KI. Not sure why that is. Lack of parking lot below, maybe?

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