Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA
While my hubby and I are avid coaster riders and enthusiasts, we're just now starting to get around to traveling here and there to parks we've never been to before. After moving to Michigan, some parks were just easier to get to from where we were. So after a quick decision a week or two ago, we decided to take advantage of some time off that matched both our schedules (a rarity) and hit Kings Island for a day.
I grew up going to SFGAM and have been lovingly going to Cedar Point for 11 years now. Being a regular to two fairly large parks, I wasn't sure how KI was going to fare in my book after checking out their selection of rides. But we've learned you never judge a book by it's cover, and sometimes rides that look lame are a surprisingly fun little part of your day. We met up with six friends of ours and after some quality waffles at our hotel (thank god for Orbitz cheap room rates this weekend), we headed to the park.
Now I'll admit, from the parking lot, I wasn't impressed on first glance. Sections looked like they needed repaving badly, and it just didn't have that wow factor that some parks do when you pull in. Before you jump on me for this, realize I had NEVER been here before and I didn't understand the full layout of the place till much later in the day. =) I actually loved this park.
Being the 3rd of July, which was NOT my first choice of weekend but we're hitting Holiday World in a few weeks and want to go back to CP in the off season, the park was pretty crowded. But I'll be honest; it was better than my worst day at SFGAM. Ride waits were listed considerably longer than they actually were, and the longest line we stood in all day was Flight of Fear, and I'm convinced that was just for the AC in the building. It was actually a very pleasant day! Beautiful weather, not too terribly hot but hot enough to be comfy, and great company made for a terrific day.
A few words on some of the rides:
The Beast: FINALLY got my ride on this sucker, and I loved it so much we made time to ride it again later in the day right around twilight. Now, I will admit, this ride beat the crap out of me. I have two bruises under my right arm from getting whipped around on the first big turn before going into the tunnel. But punch for punch, I adored this coaster! The layout is awesome, the twists and turns unexpected, and speed speed speed. If Voyage Raven and Legend are anything like this, I think I may just never end up leaving HW when we go later this summer. I love that the ride is built with the woods as such a central part of the design. It really adds to the coaster. Few rides actually scare me out of my shorts, and this one did in a spot or two. I adore this coaster, and it is officially in my top 10. Can't wait to try and get back for another ride!
Flight of Fear: Nifty ride! I'll admit it was a first riding a coaster of that design with no over the shoulder restraints, but good god I see why they took them out. It was a fast, fun ride though. Think we can convince them to take out Disaster Transport and put one of these suckers in it's place?
Flight Deck: The only reason I'm bringing this coaster up at all is to point out something interesting we noticed while at the park. Flight Deck is a perfect example of what makes KI a unique park; it takes something that you think you've seen done to death and does some interesting things with it, turns it up a notch, and makes it a lot more fun than you think it will be. That's about all I've got on this. Just a fun kick back ride.
Adventure Express: ...why the hell is the best theming on this goofy thing at the end??? Our entire train started chanting "ooooga-chucka-ooooga-chucka" and burst into song. Maybe there was something in the water...
The Crypt: Shame I didn't get on this in it's Tomb Raider days, because aside from the theming literally falling off the walls, this ride was a huge letdown. I love top spins when they run properly, and the size of this one made my jaw drop. The ride, however, didn't. This one just made me sad.
Stunt Track: FUN. Too short, but a lot of fun...even with my party cracking L4D jokes when we stopped. Yes, we are nerds.
We spent some quality time with friends and their family checking out a few arcades and playing some midway games, and just taking in the ambiance of the park. Sadly, the wait for Diamondback was far more than we wanted to wait, and we plan on revisiting later this year for a day if we can swing it to check this one out. It looks very reminiscant of Raging Bull, which is one of my favorite rides back home, so on one hand it didn't bother me missing it, but I'd love to check it out. I really wanted another ride on Beast instead of waiting for this.
Great notes about the park:
KI is a beautifully laid out park, and I was really intrigued by some of the landscaping and food eatery layouts. Having lunch by the Eiffel Tower with the tables next to the fountain and walkways outside of it made for a lovely place to grab a snack.
I was in love with all the foliage and trees everywhere. Any park with that much shade gets a thumbs up in my book.
The section of Diamondback track over the midway area in that section is just gorgeous. Very picture worthy and sort of made me stop in my tracks and just take it in. They do a great job at KI with the layouts of the coasters and fitting everything in for great photogenic shots.
On that same creative token, I love that you really can't see Beast until you are almost up to the station. Ingenius and builds the tension.
The park was rediculously clean too. I saw people cleaning up all day non stop and making sure there wasn't crap in the dirt or in the flowers all day. CP was a mess a few weeks ago when we were there and it really struck me as odd.
The Nick kids area is one of the coolest kids areas I have EVER seen in a park. What an awesome job of theming and rides. It made me wish I was a kid again. I almost went on Avatar; the geek in me wanted to so badly but I was so tired by the end of the day that I decided it would have to wait till next time. (should have been a giant Appa you ride anyway)
Not so great notes about the park (aka me being nitpicky)
Staff at this park is SO blah. Honestly they were helpful enough but the attitudes were so drab and bored, like none of them really gave a crap. This always turns me off and it's something that turns me off of a lot of parks.
Theming was coming apart in a few spots, like The Crypt. GOD that was sad. A whole damn section of wall was coming off and peeling, and it would be so easy to go in there and fix it. it just made the park look like they don't give a crap. And maybe they don't, but they should.
Music selection: welcome to Kings Island, where we play the hits of 1985 to 1999 all day every day! Not too bad honestly but it was the butt of a few jokes all day long.
I was overall very impressed with the rides and the park as a whole. It was great to do a park we've never done before, and I'd like to give it another go and get my shots at diamondback and thunderhawk, since the waits were just too insane. Our own fault for going on such a crazy day, but hey, you have to live a little, right? =)
Loved the park and it will most assuredly be on our regular hit list in the near future. I'l alsol be curious to see if they do something awesome for the Crypt at Halloween. That would be awesome.
Holiday World in a month! CAN'T WAIT!
Glad to hear that you enjoyed Kings Island! I really think the place is getting better every year...
It's a shame you didn't ride Diamondback, though. It is an amazing coaster, and easily the best ride in the park. Also, the line is never as long as it appears---it is always moving, and I haven't heard of anyone waiting more than an hour for it since opening day (even on Saturdays).
Yeah by the time we got around to it it was so late in the day and they were saying 3+ hours. My buddies weren't too keen on the idea. We'll probably head back for a day at some point later this year though. =) Lovely park, honestly.
WTH?? I was at KI Friday, and Diamondback was one of the shorter waits in the park! Honestly, as a B&M hyper, it’s crowd proof!! The longest it ever got on Friday was about 1 hr 10 mins…so it’s too bad you missed out! It’s also nothing like Raging Bull (the worst B&M hyper, IMO).
About The Crypt…sadly it is true that the ride program has been horrifically neutered! Last year’s re-program was actually pretty good…lots of flips and stuff, but now it’s about only half of last year’s program length, which I’m guessing is preventative to avoid the constant breakdowns it had last year too.
As for the music?? I’m still confused by this as I heard brand new songs in Action Zone and Rivertown that are just getting played on XM’s Top 20 on 20 channel…maybe it’s a Coney Mall thing? (an area where you were a lot)
The music at KI is so much better than CP in my opinion. I swear CP uses the same 50 songs that haven't changed in the past few years. I wonder if it has something to do with paying royalties on a 'quantity discount' or something due to the limited amount of songs played in a day. I went to KI for the first time this past May and I was very pleased with the diverse amount of songs played on the park's music network.
Good TR, and I agree with you on pretty much all of your observations. KI is very well laid out and very beautiful in terms of landscaping. Too bad you missed D'back though.
Even on opening day the line for Diamondback never got much longer than 2.5 hrs or so, and the line stretched half way around the park almost.
I see you enjoyed the Beast a lot, you are going to be in for a nice surprise when you visit Holiday world, I enjoy all three of their coasters, much more than the beast. The Voyage is one of my favorite rides anywhere. The very front, and back seats are the only way to go.
[url][url]Tigelinus: I had a feeling that was the case. The crew we were with were all locals and swore people in line were saying three hours. *eyeroll* Don't worry, we're going to hit the park again this year if we can in the off season. I am craving some of that coaster in baad ways. I loved the layout of it. And admittedly I did hear a few more modern songs, but it seemed like every time we actually listened it was some 1996 song from my high school days ;) Still better than any six flags park. Uuuuugh.
KYJoe: The beast didn't love me back though. I have two huuuge bruises under my right arm right near my ribcage. Oooow! Still cannot wait for HW later this summer. I've never been and we've wanted to go for so many years!
arw84: believe me, I'd rather listen to pop music all day than what they play at CP. Sometimes I wonder if they've just given up at that park on some things, musical selection being one of them. I love CP to bits, but yeeeesh.
Yeah they'll be doing something with the Crypt for Halloween Haunt.. They'll start the removal process at last. ;)
D_vo: But...but it's a GIANT top spin! Doesn't that MATTER?? ;)
^^Yes!! It makes it suck more!! I was thinking...who cares about the giant part...top spins at Dorney, GAdv, CW, are all a billion times more thrilling and outdoors.
And btw, Graeter's ice cream is semi-famous (been on Oprah and a Sex and the City ep as Cincy native SJP is a big fan), so of course you can order through the mail (sent via dry ice) and I encourage it! The chips in the chocolate chip are a little crazy, but a fav of mine!
I was at Kings Island, for whole or part days from Saturday the 27th through July the 2nd. The longest line I saw for Diamondback was a hair over 60 minutes on the board, and about 45 minutes on the ground.
I won't bother posting a full TR, since KI gets enough of those. I will say that Diamondback is sweet, sweet, sweet. I haven't hit Behemoth yet to compare, but in my book Diamondback is the best airtime steelie I have ever ridden...but only if you sit in the middle of the train. It's truly a beautiful coaster. And as the first coaster to offer a midway overpass in the park*, it adds a lot of energy to that section of Rivertown. I'm revising my list in my head, but I gotta think this coaster cracks my top 5 steelies, maybe even top 3.
*Okay, as I think of it, Racer technically features an overpass too, since they cut through to what is now 'Fort Kinzel'. But there's little interaction with the coaster in that spot, so it almost doesn't count in my book.
Airtime in the middle?? Really? I'm a back-seat rider myself. Love that jumpy airtime lift you get in the back row.
Also, will be ordering ice cream. *sigh* why are all the things I love to eat a state or three away?
I like my air time set for 'float'.
^'Float' is for ice cream and root beer. ;)
And check kiting.
We did 5 laps on Behemoth a few days ago. Diamondback is much better IMO.
Since you say you hit CP quite often you may have a CF platinum pass. When you head to HW try to route yourself through Cincy and get that Diamondback ride....and then another.Last edited by DaveStroem, Wednesday, July 8, 2009 6:23 PM
We did 5 laps on Behemoth a few days ago. Diamondback is much better IMO.
I'm speechless...from the speed, intensity, ejector air, and don't forget getting to pick your own seat, Behemoth is superior in almost every way except I like interacting with people on the midway (for D-back) more so than the cars on the 401 highway (for Behemoth).
I personally love assigned seating. We most often have 3 in our group and it is tough to get rides together. On DB I have never been denied either front or back row requests. On my rides DB has had much more air then Behemoth and the near stop before the twists at the end kills the momentum of B. If you like B better that is great. Don't get me wrong, I also enjoyed it, but not as much as DB.
We also did not have an issue with the 401, but the 400 was bumper to bumper at 2:30 pm when we left.
I just looked up the stats from both of these. CF claims that DB is faster then B by 3mph. Both have the same lift hill and similar drop angle.Thursday, July 9, 2009 12:24 AM
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