Kings Island 8/8/2021

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

eightdotthree's avatar

My wife and I visited Kings Island on the 8th as part of a weekend away from Pittsburgh. We stopped in Columbus on Friday night and stayed in the Short North neighborhood which was packed with young people going out. It’s striking how young Columbus is, the energy was great. We woke up with a bit of a hangover but still managed to hit the Cincinnati Zoo in the afternoon. We thought we got in free with our Pittsburgh Zoo membership, then realized that it was half off, then once we were there they told us that the reciprocal benefit wasn’t renewed. Whatever. The small blue penguins were worth it alone. We hit the Rhinegeist brewery and ate vegetarian chili on top of spaghetti before checking into our hotel across the street from Great American Ballpark. We watched the Pirates lose to the Reds that evening.

After breakfast downtown we got to Kings Island at around 11:30. I splurged on Fast Lane + wristbands in advance to make the day as stress free as possible. It was a lot to spend but why else do we work?

We started with Banshee and were assigned the back row. There’s something about the large B&M rides — hyper and gigas excluded — that I don’t really like. There’s too much vibration and sustained positive g-forces that when combined tend to give me a headache. I also don’t I care for the vests very much. I suppose the lack of head banging is an improvement? I was disappointed by Banshee.

I love the drop ride so I rode that by myself. It’s just as good as I remembered. The anticipation of the climb up, with the long drop on the way down is stunning. I don’t get the jitters on many rides anymore but this ride did.

It was hot so we rode Congo Falls once then shared a beer at the Bier Garten.

Adventure Express was next. While we were walking up the Fast Lane queue a dad said “so they paid $300 to skip the lines”. Yes, and I was glad we did as that queue looked miserable. Did I mention how hot it was? This ride is fine.

Racer 75 was next. We rode the right (red?) side in a middle row. The retracked bits are outstanding with actual sustained airtime until the turnaround. The rest is fun but you can definitely feel the difference between the old and new sections.

Orion had a stoppage and was closed as we walked back. After some investigation I noticed it was cycling trains and then that people were starting to board. We walked right up to the station and were assigned the 2nd row. Seatbelts on B&M clamshells? That’s new to me but they weren’t a bother. The lift is shockingly silent. We got off and went around again and got a back row assignment. Back row is where it’s at on this ride IMO. The first drop is stunning and the airtime on every other hill is sustained and not just a yank over the top. My thoughts after these two rides were that it’s very good but all of the criticisms are valid. The helix before the brakes is not great and it is over too fast. It’s missing a low I have yet to ride Fury 325, but Leviathan is in my top 5. I don’t think this cracks my top 20 but I did really enjoy it.

We stopped at Potato Works for cheese fries. The serving was so much larger than we were expecting and we wished we had split.

We were melting in the heat so we decided to ride the train then realized it stopped at the waterpark so we got off there and splashed around in our street clothes. We did a lap stopping at each pool to cool off and ended up spending about an hour just sitting in beach chairs in the shallow Coconut Cove pool. It was refreshing. I’m glad we did it.

We squeezed into Woodstock Express, rode Boo Blasters on Boo Hill, then worked our way over to Diamondback.

Diamondback has been one of my least favorite B&M hyper coasters for as long as it’s been around. I can’t say that today’s experience changed that opinion much but I did enjoy it more . The pacing is weird to me with its stretched out airtime hills and slow helixes. Two rides, front and back.

We stopped at the Brewhouse for a pretzel and a couple of beers. We ordered at the bar and sat outside in the shade on the patio that overlooks Diamondback’s water brake. It was good to relax while the evening set in.

Next was Mystic Timbers. I was expecting a lot and I was blown away. This ride rips. The pace is frantic and it feels out of control the whole time. My wife doesn’t always love GCI coasters but she giggled and yelped through each element just like I did. The shed is neat and gave you something to consider while waiting for the train ahead of you to unload.

The Beast is The Beast. I had the best ride I’ve ever had on it but I still don’t really get it. I’ve complained about the brake sheds but with the way it was running I was happy to have been slowed down. :)

Backlot Stuntcoaster is still a neat little ride but needs refurbished or rethemed… The trains look (and smell) terrible and the stunt scene just never lived up to expectations.

We stopped at the Antique Cars. This is the first ride that I noticed being understaffed. There was a long line and we walked right on. We felt bad but oh well. We ride the antique cars at every park that has them and appreciate that Kings Island invested in these.

We went back to Orion as the sun was just starting to set and I got 4 more walk on rides in the back, my wife rode with me 3 times. It was a lot of fun and I could have kept riding but I wanted to get some night rides on Mystic Timbers.

We stopped at Racer 75 to bag the other side but it was closed. We opted for the middle seat in the last car.

We had about an hour left and I was all in on getting the most out of these Fast Lane wrist bands.

Mystic Timbers at night is almost a religious experience. There is only one light near the turnaround that keeps it from being a complete blackout. What a ride. Perfect from start to finish with barely a moment to catch your breath. I think this is GCI’s best and it’s easily in my top 10. I hope they can keep it maintained and running this good. I rode 4 more times before I had to stop.

There were about 10 more minutes left before the park closed so I hit Diamondback one last time. The train was stuck on the lift but they let me get in line anyhow. I noticed earlier from the Brewhouse patio that they e-stopped on the lift for a cellphone incident and I assumed it was the same thing. This was the longest I waited all day. I watched the fireworks from the stairs and then they started cycling trains again. I rode in the 3d row. Even at night in the pitch black I still I don’t get the love for it.

This was one of the longest and best amusement park days that we’ve had in some time. The Fast Lane wrist bands made it less important to try to rush and squeeze everything in. The park looked great and their coaster operators were all very enthusiastic despite the heat. Has anyone else noticed how sarcastic the people on the mics are? They all say to enjoy your ride on some other ride or announce the statistics for something else.

I'm not sure when it was, but at some point Kings Island took over for having the best (efficient, friendly, outgoing) ride ops and coaster operations in the State of Ohio.

^ 1972 😃

Actually our first trip was in 1985. We have never had a bad experience there. It is still my #3 park, after BGW and Hersheypark.

Last edited by Bozman,

8.3- You hit the nail on the head about the Fast Lane passes. That’s exactly how we use them. We ride a lot but it allows us to slow down and enjoy the park for more than running from line to line.

But then again, what do I know?

eightdotthree's avatar

BrettV said:

I'm not sure when it was, but at some point Kings Island took over for having the best (efficient, friendly, outgoing) ride ops and coaster operations in the State of Ohio.

Arguably true. They were certainly nicer and more creative with their spiels. The guy running the swings was quizzing the kids riding on Kings Island trivia and the kids were screaming out the answers. That's certainly above and beyond the norm.

Cedar Point used to rival Disney's efficiency when it came to coaster operations. Now they are arguably as bad as other parks that have long standing reputations for slow, inefficient ride operations. Meanwhile, Kings Island seems to operate rides with the efficiency of old school Cedar Point.

When I was at Kings Island in June, someone spieling Mystic Timbers dropped this joke, which I thought was pretty great “What’s the Beast’s least favorite holiday?”

I had planned to be there for the rare 10 pm, close but they cut the hours last minute til 8. So I’m still chasing a Timbers night ride. It’s high on my bucket list.

Last edited by Kstr 737,
LostKause's avatar

Kstr 737 said:

“What’s the Beast’s least favorite holiday?”

What's the punchline? I'm dying from antici...


Father's (Mother's?) Day, after his/her son's early demise? (I am now pondering the Beast's gender after 40+ years).

The Beast is gender neutral and their pronouns are they/ them/ their.

LostKause's avatar

If that's the answer, it is not a "pretty great" joke.

When I was a kid, I thought of Beast as an angry male forest creature, but in my adult years, I think of the Beast as a ferocious female, kind of like a mother bear protecting her cubs.

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