The trip’s participants had changed many times until the final day. The participants were: me, Keenan (Foreman of Acrophobia at SFoG), Tyler (Former Foreman of Bugs Bunny World), and Dan (Foreman of Carousel Hill-the Carousel, Hanson Cars, and Dodge City Bumper Cars). Because of class we set out around 4pm on Friday, but didn’t actually get on the road till 5. All 4 of us were packed in a Toyota Paseo. If any of you don’t know what this type of car looks like, look up a picture so you can feel our pain. I, of course, was the driver for the entire trip.
Our first stop would be Paramount’s Kings Island. After a huge drive through the night fighting Labor Day weekend traffic, we arrived in Ohio around 1:30ish in the morning. Luckily, we had used an internet hotel service, and got a great deal on a very nice hotel only about a mile or two from the park. It felt good to finally get out of the car, and we slept the night away. The next morning we got up bright and early (about 7:30ish) and got to PKI around 8:30am. Entering the park, we noticed it was cheer day, which meant longer lines, and idiotic cheerleaders doing chants in line. We walked around the main part of the park watching rides test. Delirium looked amazing as it completed its morning test cycles. Once they dropped the ropes, our first stop was Beast. The ride was running exceptionally good, especially since it had rained the night before. I give it an 8/10. This ride never ceases to amaze me. I don’t see why it gets so bad feedback from enthusiasts. It may not have air, but it’s good for what it was made for. Our next ride was a spin on Tomb Raider. The ride was great as usual, but it could use a new, longer ride program. Also, not all the effects were working, so I’ll give it a 6/10. Next was Flight of Fear. The ride was still bumpy, but a whole lot better without having a shoulder harness to bang into. The theming was nice. After riding dragster, the launch was nothing, but good nonetheless. I give the ride a 6/10. We decided to skip past Racer and go over to Adventure Express. We got our friend Keenan really good with the whole “just you wait for the finale after this final lift-then the ride turns into the station” trick. It is still a very good mine ride, so it gets a 5/10. Next on our agenda was Son of Beast. Wow, I don’t remember having this bad of a time last time I rode it. The ride was utter crap. The layout is great, but the trains don’t ride good at all on it. The people in the seat behind us were laughing their heads off as we yell every time we are tossed from side to side or rattled down into the seat further in the turns and drops. This ride gets a 3/10 just because its over 200 feet. Next stop was Top Gun. It was decent, as usual. Nothing special here, except some good views of Son of Beast. 5/10 for it. By this time, the park was getting a little more crowded. We decided to go ahead and wait for Delirium. This ride is absolutely amazing. The ride program is a little short, but it still delivers. I give it a 7/10.
By this time, it was time to eat. We decided to give Bubba Gump a try. I really like the movie, so the theming was great. One thing I kept noticing is that there are some kids here at PKI working that look really, really young. The guys who served me my fish looked twelve. Oh well, back to rides. Our next stop was Scooby Doo and the Haunted Mansion. This ride was a great Sally dark ride, except that my gun did not work as well as I had hoped. We laughed a lot at the giant pic of Legendary they had blown up on the back wall of the photo booth. It’s really funny that they have other pics of people trying to imitate him. I give the ride a 6/10 just because I really enjoy Sally dark rides. Our next stop was Beastie. I absolutely love these rides. Airtime on a kiddie wooden coaster is great. The ride gets a 5/10 for the air, but a lower number because its not very intense (which it shouldn’t be!). Everything else in the park was getting more crowded, so we took another spin on Beast, then headed toward Racer. We all rode backwards, since Keenan hadn’t ever rode a backwards wooden coaster. I enjoyed it, but it gets only a 5/10 because the ops weren’t racing. Our next stop was Drop Zone. Right before we got on, one of the proximity limits on the catch arm went out and had to be replaced. Here is my only gripe about this park. It took the mechanics well over 20 minutes to even get to the ride and another 30 to fix it. I don’t mind the fixing time, but its just ridiculous for it to take the mechanics that long to come over to the ride, especially with as many people waiting as there were. Finally, when it was fixed, we boarded. I will not lie, I was scared out of my mind while going up on this thing. The way down was a whole different story though. Acrophobia at SFoG is much more thrilling. The ride only gets a 5/10 in my book because it made me nervous looking at it. By now it was getting late, so we decided to go give Tomb Raider and Beast one last spin each. Tomb Raider experienced some major tech difficulties while we were waiting, and had to close for over an hour. We gave up on it, and went and got one last night ride on the Beast. Night time is the absolute best time to ride this ride. I absolutely love it. It was about 9ish at this time, so we left and started driving toward Sandusky…
We got on the road around 10 and didn’t arrive in Sandusky till 2ish because of rain. We had free tickets to Cedar Point, so we got to the park around 8:30am. We waited an hour outside the gates and watched Dragster test. At 9:30 the gates were opened, and we began our Drag race over to Dragster. About the time I was passing the Cobra Roll of Raptor, I got a horrible cramp in my leg, so we had to slow down to a brisk walk. Luckily most people had tired themselves out by here, so we were still close to the front of the pack. When we got to the ride, there was about a 20 minute line already because of Joe Cool people going to it. The ride was running exceptionally reliable. I didn’t hear of or see any major breakdowns all day. After about 45 min, we were on Dragster. I decided to go for a front seat. This ride never ceases to amaze me. It truly is the best 15 seconds spent on a coaster IMO. I give the ride a 10/10. Our next ride would be Millennium Force. The line was a bit long, and the freeway line was insanely long! We decided to just go ahead and wait for it. After about an hour had passed, we got on in the front row. I love sitting on the left side of the train and seeing nothing below you as you ascend the mammoth 310 ft. lift. This ride is still number two in my book behind Dragster, and it also gets a 10/10. The day was really crowded here at CP.
The middle of the day was really a blur, so pardon me if I get things out of order a little. We next went for some lunch at Midway Market. I really enjoyed my cheesecake. Since Raptor was next door, we went to it next. The line was about an hour long here too. The main reason was because the Raptor crew was moving insanely slow! This was a shock to me after what I had seen them do before. Where did the good Raptor crew go? Oh well, they were still not moving THAT bad. We ended up having to ride in row 3. The ride was good, but I wish they would have allowed me to wait for the front or back. It ride gets a 7/10, but the crew gets a 4/10. We next went and rode Chaos while waiting for our time on our Wicked Twister Freeway to come up. I still love Chaos, and its one of my favorite flat rides. 6/10 for it. We then took our ride on Wicked Twister. I absolutely love riding this ride in the back and getting the back spiral twist to its fullest extent. This ride gets an 8/10 for having a good ride, station setting, and music. We next went and rode Magnum. Still a good ride after all this time. 8/10 for it. We headed over to Mean Streak next, but it had a very long line, so we rode the train back over to Millennium Force. It was very crowded too, so we waited for Wildcat. By this time it had started to rain harder (it started to rain on our train ride over to Millennium). They closed Wildcat down for weather, so we left line. Blue Streak was next and didn’t have much of a wait. This is still a good, classic wooden coaster. It gets a 7/10 in my book. By now, the rain had stopped, so we went back over to Dragster. A lot of people had left line, and they started to test. When they finally let us in line, they warned us that the ride would be up and down the rest of the day for rain. We waited through one 30 min. delay for rain in line. Finally, after the ride reopened, and we waited, we got to the station and were the next ones to ride in the back car. Right about now, it started to rain harder. They shut the ride down again. After about 20 minutes, they backed the trains up and loaded us without running a test run. I had noticed that usually after the trains sit for a little bit and cool down, the chance for a rollback is much greater. We moved up to the launch, and after the mandatory yellow, yellow, yellow, green, we were off. As we approached the top, we were going really slowly. We balanced at the top for about a second before we barely made it over. It was about as close to a rollback as you can get. This made for a really fun ride on Dragster. The pull over the top in the back seat is really good. At this time it was about 9pm. We decided to go over to Millennium and get one last night ride on it. Right when we got in line, it REALLY started to rain. We, once again, had to wait an hour for it. When we got on in the back seat, it was still raining. This made for a very unique ride on Millie. The feeling of those raindrops at 93 mph will be etched into my memory for eternity. Sadly, by time we got off, it was 10:30 and time to leave America’s Roller Coast.
We headed back for Georgia at about 10am the next day. It was raining very hard on the way back home, and everyone was getting restless. When we passed into Kentucky, I saw the sign that indicated the interstate to Louisville. I jokingly said, “Let’s go to Kentucky Kingdom!”. To my surprise, everyone said okay, and we went. We got to the park around 4:45. This was a pure coaster credit stop, as we had only an hour in the park before it closed. The park was utterly dead, as everything was a walk on. We rode Greezed Lightnin’ first. It was way slower than when it was Viper. The new hangtime in the loop was fun though. The ride gets a 6/10 in my book. We rode Chang next. I didn’t really see anything special in this ride. I don’t like Mantis, and I don’t love Chang either. It gets a 5/10 in my book. T2 was next. This ride was the ultimate piece of crap coaster. It was the roughest of all SLC’s I had ever rode. It gets a 1/10. We rode Twisted Twins. First Stella, then Lola. I like Stella better. Stella gets a 6/10, Lola a 5/10. Thunder Run was next on our list, as the park closed in about 12 minutes. Thunder Run was good, but nothing special. I don’t see why it rated so high in the Golden Ticket Awards this year. I prefer Hurler at Carowinds over it. It gets a 5/10. By time we got off, the park was closing in about 3 minutes. We hopped on “The Quake” since it was right beside Thunder Run. After getting on, we noticed the plaque on the side of the ride said Vekoma. Why they would ever make a flat ride boggles my mind. The ride sucked really badly. Hedbanging on a flat ride is not good. This ride gets a 1/10 also.
We left SFKK at 6 and got back to Georgia around 1am. Overall, one of the best coaster trips I have ever had.
Best ride on the trip: TTD
Worst ride: Tie between T2 and “The Quake”.
SFoG Train Engineer since '03.
SFoG: Land of rides under 2 min.
*** This post was edited by Chris the Coaster Freak 9/2/2003 12:49:51 PM ***
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