Any ways, last Sunday I was at PKI for the first time in over 10 years. I should mention that I live in Ohio and I go to Cedar Point several times each year. (I went to Kings Island simply because Cedar Point was becoming a little too predictable.) Because it was a Sunday, and because bad storms were moving in, the park was near dead. I waited 10 minutes for the front seat on the Beast, a ride which- I hesitate to say- was better than the Millennium Force.
Maybe it's because I'm spoiled by Cedar Point, but I couldn't help but notice the extremely low efficiency in all of the 'new' rides (those that weren't there 10 years ago.) On rides like Delirium (sic) and Tomb Raider, it took longer to load the ride than the actual ride time itself!
I am hoping that maybe someone here who frequents PKI can help me out.... was the obnoxiously slow loading and unloading times a function of the ride designs, or the fact that we visited on a Sunday which wasn't crowded and therefore they cut back on the park staff. (They had 2 people operating Tomb Raider) Like I said, the Beast and other older Roller Coasters were running at perfect efficiency.
On a side note, after spending 10 years exclusively at Cedar Point, it really changed my perspective on Kings Island. The park was VERY clean and it looked great, but it didn't have that 'complete' feeling that Cedar Point has. I'm not talking about variety, because PKI wins in that catagory. Maybe it's all the open space that makes the park feel sparse. But my advise to the management of Kings Island is that they need to figure out what niche they want to pursue. On one had, they tried to go for the 'theme' park a la Disney, but on the other hand they were trying to go for the coaster park feel a la Cedar Point. Like I said, it was an overall great experience, but it didn't have the heart warming feel that Disney provides, nor does it have the impressive 'holy sh*t' experience that Cedar Point has to offer. So that's how you end up with a park that is 'between'
The Vortex crew were pumping the trains out and with 3 trains going. The Flight of Fear crew were taking their sweet time launching trains.
The rest of the coasters were average efficiency IMO. I did love PKI though and will say that I thought it was an overall better park than CP(but I still like CP so dont tear me a new one) :).
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PKI feels incomplete to me due to the lack of a major non-looping steel coaster (CP has 4). CP feels incomplete to me due to the lack of major indoor rides (PKI has 4). Both parks are extremely clean, have excellent food, and are two of the best run parks in the world. PKI tries to go over the top with its theming and variety. CP tries to go over the top with its steel record breakers and resort atmosphere. I don't know what's not to love about having both of these parks only 4 hours apart. I would say they're both easily and equally the best seasonal parks I've been to (tied with BGW), but one is my personal favorite.
On PKI in particular, the Delirium crew is sooo good every time I pass by and wait for it. I don't ride TRTR any longer, but it does seem to take excessively long from the time people board until they get off. I agree that the Vortex crew knows what they're doing, but one guest going a little slow or having to check extra things can stack all three trains rather quickly. Of all the coaster crews, The Racer has been my least favorite for a long time for many reasons. Like you said, FOF can take a little too much time loading as well sometimes. Even though I don't share your enthusiasm about The Beast itself, the crew is phenomenal.
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*** This post was edited by PLayerPunk 8/4/2003 10:47:35 PM ***
With the exception of SoB, I found the rides, and their operations to be very good overall. Having never visited PKI before, I can honestly say that not only did The Beast live up to all the hype, but the ride was amazing, even with all the trims. I can only imagine how great the Beast must be untamed.
The food was not bad, though if I remember right, the prices seemed a little high. The employees though, I thought were great. Most were on par with Cedar Point, and they greatly contributed to my fun that day. I think the people help to make or break a park, and the people at PKI were great!
Overall, I felt PKI was a great park, and I loved Beast, Delirium, and FoF. I now know Ohio has 2 really great parks, and one with potential if the people improve (SFWoA). Kings Island is a fun park, and I think it is a great place, and I plan to try to visit again!
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As for Coasters, Beast, SOB, Racer, Vortex, Adventure Express almost always operate at full capasity unless they project a low turnout (Rare).
He fails to mention new rides like Scooby that even in the longest line it ever had was a mere 25 minute wait. Delirium seems to be never more than a hour wait (I still wish the cycle was about 30 seconds longer)
PKI was for a while a park that was getting real old, real fast with them taking out rides at a 3 to 1 ratio but has come around with some new rides and more capasity.
Chuck, who also don't get the leaving areas with rides removed bare for years or replacing a ride with Pay extra attractions.
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I completely agree with you about taking out the rides and then leaving the area blank. Or even worse. Pay extra. A little interesting fact: PKI has the most Pay Extra Attractions of any park!
I would have to say PKI does an awesome job on lines except for TR:TR. Although, there's nothing you can really do about that ride. The size, and the amount of seats it holds pretty much causes the long loading times. Everytime I've ridden it, yes, it had slow times, but I know that the crew was working their butt of to get it going! You gotta give them credit.
I also wanna applaud PKI on the fact that some rides, they could run more trains, but the extra train would cause stacking. So, they run two instead of three and run the same rate. (See SoB for example!) But on rides where they can run all three, without stacking, they do it efficiently and very quickly. (See Vortex for example!)
IMO, PKI is a much better park that CP because...
1) Kids Area. Best in the world. Hands Down
2) They've done great theming in recent years and I don't see it coming to an end. CP just started doing some with TTD.
3) Wider variety of rides. Including new flats (and the world's best)
PKI and CP are on the same level of food, cleanliness, and line effeciency. I've said it once; we've all said it once; and I'll say it again; you don't need record breaking rides every year to have an AMAZING park.
Drop Zone, on the other hand, is a different story. The ride inherently has low capacity, but the crappy crew doesn't help much either. The same can be said for Face/Off. Tomb Raider: The Ride is a little different. With 77 guests per cycle, it should be a people-eater, but for some reason the middle row is no longer used and stupid guests + mediocre crew = Long waits.
All other rides have pretty much good to great capacity. Top Gun and Son of Beast really don't get high enough ridership to have long lines; Vortex and Adventure Express move people like there's no tomorrow; Flight of Fear and Racer are about average ( even though I still say a better crew could get three trains going on FOF ) and because of the constant loading of Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle lines may look long, but they never are.
Food prices are good if you know where to look. Madarin Cuisine, Bubba Gump's Shrimp Shack and Wings have the best food for the best prices in my opinion. Like people have mentioned in other threads, they get you with the drinks. If you just get the free ice water, meals are usally about $3 more than usual. Get the soda/pop, and the meals are probably about $6-$8 more than you would find outside the park.
In my opinion, the employees at PKI are above-average, but not as good as Cedar Point's. As far as ride selection goes, Paramount's Kings Island has GREAT variety, while CP has the GREAT coasters. Neither is better than the other, IMO.
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It's funny that you mentioned the PA system, because I was thinking about that when I visited the park. The only ride that used PA system was Delirium and that was just to tell riders not to forget their number.
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