Kings Island Opening Day

Thursday, April 17, 2014 3:17 PM

Does any one have any idea on what to expect for crowds tomorrow at Kings Island? It's a holiday weekend, a Friday, really not sure what to expect.

Any feedback would be great!

Thanks!!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:09 PM

Assuming a solid chunk of people who were at media day today are returning tomorrow, I'd say it'll probably be a decent sized crowd on top of that.

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Friday, April 18, 2014 3:51 PM

Looking at the Banshee webcam it appears that they are using the maintenance roads under the coaster as a queue. Can anyone confirm this?

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Friday, April 18, 2014 4:10 PM

Word on the street is that the lines for Banshee are like the lines for Diamondback were on opening day 2009 - weaving through the park with reports of 4 or 5 hour waits.

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Friday, April 18, 2014 4:14 PM

Like a dummass I thought KI was open its usual time, 10a with early entry around 9 or 930. I left the hotel and arrived on Kings Island drive around 815 and was dismayed to find traffic backed up already. I pulled to the far right and did a quick count, I was 14 cars back in my lane. Cool.

Wrong. When they didn't open the gate at 830 and then 900 went by I jumped on my phone and was shocked to find out park hours were noon to 10. Holy crap, and I was stuck with no way out. And the cars were backed up practically to the freeway by then.

Long story short, by the time the main gate opened the crowd had filled the plaza, and the line extended all the way down the middle barrier in the parking lot all the way back to the street. People were hollering that they had gold passes and should get in first. I watched as the grounds/sanitation manager got caught answering questions and giving directions and was faced with the unpleasant task of informing folks that they still had to stand in line to enter the park, gold pass or not. He did a great job, most people left him dismayed but somewhat satisfied.

I called my guys who were in a hotel across the freeway and gave them the situation, they said in that case they were in no hurry. I saw the line moving up and heard screams from the first Banshee riders of the day and then I left. There was no way I was going to fight that mob, especially after the lovely time we had yesterday.

On the way out I saw that by then the north parking lot was about 3/4 full and the traffic was backed up all the way down KI drive, all the way across the freeway, and then on 71 almost to the Lebanon exit. I could only imagine what must've been going on at the southern end, where most guests come from.

So- I didn't see Banshee today, in fact I never made it into the park. But I can say most assuredly that it was a very. very. busy day. I can't imagine why they didn't just go with regular hours for today...

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Friday, April 18, 2014 4:44 PM

You know, I always wonder who buys tickets at the gate anymore, but this was apparently the line for tickets at Kings Island today. Who are these people?

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Friday, April 18, 2014 4:50 PM

My impression from overhearing people talking and asking questions was that there were a lot of people in that line ^ that were buying or processing season passes. Which also deserves a big "what the hell were you thinking?"

Last edited by RCMAC, Friday, April 18, 2014 4:59 PM
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Friday, April 18, 2014 4:50 PM

Not sure who these people are, but one of them seemed damn glad to meet you. Not bad considering your creepy looks!

~Rob

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Friday, April 18, 2014 4:52 PM

That's Greg.

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Friday, April 18, 2014 4:53 PM

Seems like Cedar Fair has really hit a groove with their additions over the past couple of years. I'm thinking about Gold Striker and Knott's upgrades (targeted towards very different demographics, yet both very successful).

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Friday, April 18, 2014 5:13 PM

Not my photo, Rob. Borrowed from the internets.

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Friday, April 18, 2014 5:15 PM

I think so too. ^^ I was talking to a couple of park men and they said, in addition to new attractions, a real priority is and will continue to be the appearance of the park(s). I was surprised to see the new hardscape in Action Zone.- the new central seating area and the new rear entrance to Festhaus with its elevated patio looked beautiful. The entrance mall way was also totally redone with new concrete, curbs, and grass down the middle. They said when a new attraction is added they'll also spruce up the surroundings.

Cedar Point seems to be heading that way and I'm particularly interested to see how Carowinds eventually transforms. That's one park that didn't fare well in the hands of Paramount.

Last edited by RCMAC, Friday, April 18, 2014 5:16 PM
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Friday, April 18, 2014 5:43 PM

^I agree. I am seeing obvious improvements in the overall "feel and looks" of the parks in most of the chain. I believe the change occurred when Mr. Quimet was brought as CEO, and I would call this a welcome change.

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Friday, April 18, 2014 7:24 PM

Here here. And not just with big coaster installs, either. With Pipe Scream and the Eagles flying in, the entire Gemini midway at Cedar Point is shaping up to look beautiful, completely transforming a relatively hideous (aesthetically) part of the park into a visually inviting area.

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Friday, April 18, 2014 9:13 PM

That line was for pass processing, which was entirely unnecessary, because you could enter the park on your voucher, apparently once, before processing. A different line was for general tickets, and it took my dad about 40 minutes.

Honestly, people seemed mostly pretty calm about the insane volume of people. I waited almost an hour with my kid for Woodstock, and in this case it was worth it because he loved it. Waited 75 minutes for Diamondback, and was not thrilled with that wait. Would have never done it if Diana had previously been on it.

Other notes: Food service was surprisingly competent, and I'm thrilled that they get the season pass discount right: 10% off all food and merchandise. No hunting around for locations or specific deals. Also cool: The souvenir cups are $10 for passholders. At a borderline insulting $4 for a 20 oz. soda, that was obviously worth it. (For context, a 20 oz. soda at WDW in most locations is only $2.69, and you expect to be taken advantage there.)

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 9:19 AM

I went with a fast lane yesterday, and boy, I'm sure glad I did. It was nice to see how packed the place was, and do the people watching that I normally do, but not wait in any of those insane lines.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 9:27 AM

If Diamondback was only 75 minutes in that insane crowd, I may not need to splurge for a FastLane in August, thankfully (although I'm curious, how far out of the queue was that line, it was typically no more than an hour with a full queue before FastLane).

Really looking forward to riding this when I go up in August.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:08 AM

The 75 minutes for DB was with a full queue. The Fastlane volume seemed moderate.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:23 AM

The park was packed. I have never seen crowds like that at any park.

My party and I had season passes, but we couldn't get into the front gate early enough to take advantage of early ride time. While waiting in the sea of people trying to get into the front gate we noticed that no one seemed to be moving forward. Our wait just to get into the front gate was about an hour, and we were pretty close to the front of the "line." As 11:30 early ride time drew closer, and I realize that we were not even going to be inside the front gate before then, I grew more and more disappointed.

After we finally got inside the front, we were able to get beyond the passholder "gate" inside the park at 11:50, but by that time, the line for banshee was all the way passed the Eiffel Tower. A little while later, I heard an employee say that the line was almost to Stunt Track. That's almost from the very back of the park to further than the very front of the park.

The line was a lot shorter when we entered around 4pm. It no longer spilled into the walkways like a few hours earlier. It was still just about three hours long, but we waited it out.

Video of the first half

Video of the second half

Last edited by LostKause, Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:24 AM
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Saturday, April 19, 2014 12:29 PM

I got in right as the main gate opened up, with everyone sprinting to Banshee while I headed to Diamond Back. It appeared everyone was let in at once, not just gold and platinum patrons. There was not early ride time on DB, didn't open until noon. Pathways were roped off behind Eiffel Tower. Standing at the rope separating Rivertown and Planet Snoopy, a large crowd eventually formed and led to a stampede when it dropped. Was there early ride time on anything yesterday?

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