Kings Island Opening Day

Saturday, April 19, 2014 12:48 PM
LostKause's avatar

The little kid working at the Coke stand told me that Banshee, Delieium, and The Bat were open for early ride time. Way to spread out the crowds, Kings Island. lol

I was very disappointed with how the park handled the crowds yesterday and how they left early ERT pass holders high and dry. They shouldn't make promises that they can't keep.

I will say that even though I only got a few rides in yesterday, I still had a very good time at the park. My only complaints are the one I just made, and how slow the LaRosa's Pizza line was. We waited about an hour, and the line was not that long at all. I got my Pizza 20 minutes before I paid for it, ad it was very cold by the time I got to eat it.

Last edited by LostKause, Saturday, April 19, 2014 7:13 PM
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Saturday, April 19, 2014 4:05 PM
Jeff's avatar

Sorry dude, but I can't sympathize. There isn't anything the park could have done differently short of clone itself several times. KI is known for having ridiculous opening days, and yesterday was no different. They had every entrance lane open, every ticket window, and for the most part all rides and food locations were open.

Despite the insane crowds, we had a pretty good time. I was actually kind of surprised at how pleasant employees were in the general sense, like Disney pleasant even. I haven't been to the park since maybe '08, but the difference was very obvious. I thought the general capability of the park has improved lightyears beyond what it was several years ago.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 6:34 PM

Speaking of polite employees, during the ceremony on media day I moved into the Action Zone store to get a better view of my phone, then started poking around at some merch and I was practically attacked by friendly, helpful employees. "Hello, sir? How are you? Are you enjoying your day?"... "Hi, sir, can I help you find anything?"... "Hi, my name is Jennifer, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help"... "Hello again, sir, still doing ok?"...

I finally looked around as if I must be in some kind of dream and said "Where AM I, like,...The Gap??"

Maybe they were really trying to shine for the folks on media day, but my hope is the park is trying to step it up as far as customer focus is concerned. Truly, everyone I met that day was super nice, from ride hosts, counter service employees, and naturally, the public relations people. It sounds like it carried over to the next day, which I didn't have the time or patience to endure. Let's hope it lasts through the summer and everyone's bright, helpful attitudes don't wear thin as the crowds continue to come!

I'm not surprised if they went ahead and forgot about the pass people for that crowded noon opening. Cedar Point has the advantage of a huge midway they can divide and designate half for pass holders. But the size of KI's entrance combined with the location of Banshee makes that difficult. A fix for that would be to take that small entrance gate next to the ticket building (which used to be a passholders entrance) and designate that for gold and plat pass holders only and send them to Banshee straight off. The have-nots can use the main gate and wait at the ropes. That may not be possible as the new terminals aren't installed at that little gate, but it's just a thought that might work. It's what I'd do.

Btw, I checked with some park police officers and they said early entry this year will only include Banshee and select Action Zone attractions. Later they plan to add some in Planet Snoopy for the kids. As far as DB and/or The Beast their only comment was "No,... Not yet, anyway".

Last edited by RCMAC, Saturday, April 19, 2014 7:29 PM
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Saturday, April 19, 2014 8:00 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Nope, they kept it up all day yesterday and today, too. Every store we walked into, we were greeted immediately, and sled if there was anything special we were looking for. If they didn't have that particular thing in the store, they would get a supervisor to help find it.

The whole park just seemed very Disney-like to me, especially today with the New Orleans style roaming jazz band up in the front, the weather, the Starbucks, and the wonderful employees.

Very impressed, and I'll be visiting way more often this season.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 8:01 PM
LostKause's avatar

I was actually looking for a season pass holder-only entrance. With that kind of crowd, I just expected it. I was asking myself what they were doing to be able to accommodate pass holders in such a situation. Also, they could have easily decided to open the gates early once they saw the kind of crowds that were forming. I even suspect that they already knew that it was going to be that busy, by looking at online sales, so they could have prepared a little better.

Why was the park scheduled to open later than usual anyways?

As far as not knowing that Beast and Diamondback were not open for early ride time, I take the blame for just assuming that they were and not taking the time to find out. Apparently a whole lot of people thought that Diamondback and Beast would be open, because of the confusion at the rope drop near Diamondback. Again though, the park should have been ready for the crowds and opened them early anyways to take some of the heat away from Banshee.

The line to get into the front gate moved so slowly that I was not aware when they started letting people in. It didn't really seem to start moving until 11:30. It took us 20 minutes to get in, and we were very close to the entrance compared to some people.

Opening procedures was really the only complaint I have though, except for the hour-long, short LaRosa's Pizza line. There was a very obnoxious lady behind me who was yelling at everyone behind the counter. She lost it, and she was telling everyone behind the counter how to do their job. That's not how you handle a situation like that, but I didn't want to make the situation worse, so I didn't want to tell her to be quiet and that she was not helping. I had to listen to her bitch for 20 minutes, and she was making everything worse.

The employees working behind the counter were doing the best that they could do, and they kept their cool. They were only using one register, and had another one sitting there empty. If they would have opened it, my standing in line for an hour would have been reduced by half, which would have been very nice. I could not wait to get away from that lady.

It appeared that it was making drinks that was slowing the line down, so maybe opening the second register wouldn't have helped. I don't know. They have had crowds like this before, I suspect, so they should have known how to handle it better.

About the friendly employees, I noticed that. At the end of the night, I went into the '80s store to see if this time around they would have a Skeletor t-shirt in my size. Once again they didn't, just like last year, but that didn't stop the guy helping me from calling every other store that might carry the shirt to find out where one may be available. No success this time either, sadly. I guess even at the beginning of the season, they think that all He-Man fans are skinny little guys or something. I'm just about to find me one online instead. Great service though, even if he didn't find it for me, he tried.

The Eiffel Tower girls were very friendly too, as they should be. Come to think of it, every single employee I came into contact with was exceptionally friendly except for one...

There was a kid of about 11 years old getting the people in line to shout at the people walking up the "fast pass" line at the end of the night on Diamondback. He started it and kept it going. "NO MORE FAST PASS! (CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP)" It was funny, because he got about a hundred people to chant with him. When he reached the station, the grouper yelled at him. He had had enough of that. He angrily said to the boy with his finger pointed at him, "If you don't stop that, you are not going to ride!" The kid shut up quickly. Everyone chanting saw him get yelled at because he was the ringleader.

The Diamondback line at the end of the night was really fun though. Everyone slapping five to each other and woo-hooing at the trains as they left the station. We were all having a party. It was a hoot.

Overall, a great day, despite the crowds. I just wish that I didn't miss out on getting in early like I had planned. Actually, that is why I buy the season pass in the first place, as I only visit the park a few times a year with it being almost four hours away.

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, April 20, 2014 1:30 AM
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Saturday, April 19, 2014 9:27 PM

One word to sum up opening day: TERRIBLE!!!

Never ever do that again. I'm a Platinum Pass Member for Cedar Point and went last year for opening day for the Gatekeeper and it was nothing even close to this disaster.

45 min wait just to get into the park, that tells me one thing, they had NO CLUE. They we so un-prepared, if you couldn't get people in to the park what the heck....

One major thing I noticed was the line waits. At all Cedar Point rides when you wait in any line it always moves. Kings Island lines moved at a snails pace. They had no clue how to handle Fast Pass. Just let the entire fast pass line go then let the general public people go. Do it like Cedar Point and blend in the fast pass people, they only wait a mear fraction of what everyone else waits and will get their money's worth still.

Very disappointed, they need to take a page from Cedar Point. I will say this Cedar Point has their act together, it's no wonder why they are the best amusement park int he world year after year after year....they know how to do do it. I just can't understand why every Cedar Fair park being under the same umbrella can't all be trained and on the same page.

Opening day grade for Kings Island 2014: Big Fat F.

Five hours in the park and a whopping two (2) rides, the Beast and Diamond back. Even had to wait 25 min just for drinks.

They need to get their act together.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 9:31 PM
Fun's avatar

LostKause said:

I was actually looking for a season pass holder-only entrance. With that kind of crowd, I just expected it. I was asking myself what they were doing to be able to accommodate pass holders in such a situation. Also, they could have easily decided to open the gates early once they saw the kind of crowds that were forming. I even suspect that they already knew that it was going to be that busy, by looking at online sales, so they could have prepared a little better.

That place is a season pass dominant park. And that's why it looked like everyone was going in through the early entry checkpoint- it's because everyone was a pass holder. You would have waited twice as long if they gave you a special lane to go in to the park.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:00 PM

Went to opening day last year for Cedar Point and Gatekeeper and got into the park in 5 minutes.

Went to opening day yesterday for Kings Island for Banshee and got into the park in 45 minutes.

WHAT A JOKE.....

Cedar Point is a CLASS ACT and no wonder they are the #1 Amusement Park int he world!!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:40 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

No body goes to Kings Island on opening day anymore. It's too busy.


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Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:53 PM

I will say that I was shocked at the crowds on Friday. The drive from the hotel that took 10 minutes for Media Day took well over an hour on Friday. It didn't help that I got immediately into the right lane on King Mills Rd, and kept getting cut off by people in the left lane that would drive right up to Kings Island Drive, then cut over to the right lane.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:08 PM
SHIVERINGTIMBERS's avatar

LostKause said:

Their was a kid of about 11 years old getting the people in line to shout at the people walking up the "fast pass" line at the end of the night on Diamondback. He started it and kept it going. "NO MORE FAST PASS! (CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP)" It was funny, because he got about a hundred people to chant with him. When he reached the station, the grouper yelled at him. He had had enough of that. He angrily said to the boy with his finger pointed at him, "If you don't stop that, you are not going to ride!" The kid shut up quickly. Everyone chanting saw him get yelled at because he was the ringleader.

The Diamondback line at the end of the night was really fun though. Everyone slapping five to each other and woo-hooing at the trains as they left the station. We were all having a party. It was a hoot.



I was in line for Diamondback during both of those events. Not quite to the stairs when the kid got hollered at. Did the high five thing to. Got my last ride just after the fireworks.


My name is Mike, and I'm a coasterholic.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:16 PM
SHIVERINGTIMBERS's avatar

One big thing I noticed was the large number of empty seats both on banshee and Diamondback. Others in line by me noticed it to. Seemed like 3-4 per train. Do not recall hearing any call outs for single riders at all.


My name is Mike, and I'm a coasterholic.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:26 PM
TTD 120mph's avatar

I and my group were in line as well when they started the chant. Didn't see the kid getting the talk, but we got some serious stink eye and had a few derogatory terms thrown at us for using the fast lane.

Staaber, you do realize that there are sooo many things to factor in as to why the crowds were so heavy yesterday......right?

Good friday, Easter Weekend, new coaster, great weather......all stuff that made for one ridiculously busy opening day. Not to mention that KI's local market is way more populated compared to Cedar Point. It's not Kings Island's fault for how busy it ended up being.

Comparing how things went down last year at CP and what happend yesterday is not a fair comparison and just a childish way to express your distress over the crowds.


-Adam G-

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:56 PM
Jeff's avatar

Seriously, how was the park unprepared? What would you expect them to do? The physical constraints of the park are what they are, and if that many people show up there isn't much more they can do. Clearly they took a step in the right direction having signage indicating you could use your pass voucher without processing it.

And by the way, Cedar Point doesn't have the season pass sales that Kings Island has. The customer mix is totally different given the proximity to a major metro, and it has a massive passholder base, all anxious to start using those passes. CP will never have that.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Sunday, April 20, 2014 1:04 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Christ, both parks are the same company. They probably have much of the same procedure in place for operations. That alone should tip you off that it's the circumstances that were unusual.

SHIVERINGTIMBERS said:

One big thing I noticed was the large number of empty seats both on banshee and Diamondback. Others in line by me noticed it to. Seemed like 3-4 per train. Do not recall hearing any call outs for single riders at all.

You know, I've thought about this a little. The empty seat thing really is a recurring enthusiast complaint, but I wonder if the cost (in time) to find single riders, let them make their way to the front of the line and board, double check their restraint and send the train isn't the capacity equivalent of letting a seat (or three) go empty?

That is to say the efficiency of steady dispatches with X number of empty seats actually moves the line just as fast as the inefficiency of doing the dance to fill every last empty seat.

I don't know either way, but I suspect that at some point, working to fill an empty or three slows things down enough that it's the equivalent of just leaving the seat(s) empty and sending the trains quicker.


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Sunday, April 20, 2014 1:59 AM
rollergator's avatar

On Mummy, single riders hold up dispatches by a factor of absolutely zero. Same for Spiderman, Expedition Everest, Transformers, etc. It's fairly simple to pre-load and have rides running to capacity with no delays whatsoever. "Groupers" can be good eating, but they can also be employees who help keep lines moving.

Last edited by rollergator, Sunday, April 20, 2014 2:00 AM
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Sunday, April 20, 2014 2:04 AM
LostKause's avatar

Shivering Timbers, we were almost certainly on the same train then. I thought that I was going to get to see fireworks while going up te lift, but they ended the moment we were let out of the station. lol

The single seat issue always makes my brain hurt. I think if they have some single riders available, like a single rider line, then it is pretty easy to put them with a group of three. If they have to call out for a single rider, it could be a hindrance. It all depends on if the single rider can get in the seat on time, the way I see it.

Now that it has been mentioned, I did notice a lot of "Gold Passes" being presented in the stores and food stands. Employees kept asking, "Do you have a Gold Pass?" That tells me that it is common enough.

It makes even more sense that there would be a lot of pass holders because of the payment plan that they offer. They make it incredibly easy to pay for a pass nowadays.

I'm chalking the slow pizza line to first-day speed bumps. It's obvious to me that they will get faster after a few weeks of practice.

I will say that the ride ops were booking it on the major coasters.

Like I said, my visit was really fun, overall, despite the crowds. I can probably think of more than a dozen things they could have done differently to make opening smoother, but I had a great time anyways.


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Sunday, April 20, 2014 2:14 AM
LostKause's avatar

Sorry for the double post. I made a cute little video from footage of me waiting in line of Banshee. I'm not a professional videographer, but it might give people some perspective on the crowds and show some interesting perspectives of the new ride.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152438634059715&l=9219530889218740275


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Sunday, April 20, 2014 9:18 AM

Jeff said:

Clearly they took a step in the right direction having signage indicating you could use your pass voucher without processing it.

We had our passes renewed from the previous year so this wasn't the issue. It was just getting into the park that was a complete joke. I've never been to any park on any busy day and had to wait over 45 minutes just to get into the park. They were unprepared, you can't argue that. When I finally got to the entrance the girl looked and acted like she had no clue on what she was doing always asking her superior what to do. They were talking more then they were working.

My point is there is a reason why Cedar Point is the #1 amusement park int he world. Gatekeeper opening day wasn't this bad at all last year, we got into the park in normal time at opening time.

Plus Kings Island doesn't know how to use the fast pass system. If you notice Cedar Point blends in fast pass holders, they don't let the entire line that's there go in first then let a handful of general public people go in. No wonder the lines for major rides moved at a snails pace. My point being if they blend in fast pass like they should the fast pass holders will still only wait a fraction of the time everyone else does, way less time, but the line would keep moving like they do at Cedar Point.

One would think that this being a Cedar Fair park they would all be on the same page and work from the same play book, obviously not.

I will go back, never again on opening day though.

Cedar Point is the best park period, always will be, no one can compare. They have their act together, and it shows, their #1 and will continue to be year after year.....

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Sunday, April 20, 2014 11:04 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Hey Staaber. How would you rank Cedar Point among amusement parks in the world? I'm just curious.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, April 20, 2014 11:05 AM

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