My son Tom came along round about 2005. He has grown up having plenty of fun with us on everything that California has to offer, and more recently, a few on our trip to Japan and Hong Kong last Winter. He had a gap in his busy summer schedule to fill and I knew it was time to splurge and sample some of the best of the best. My plan for the week was to fly to Cincinnati and spend a day at King's Island, head down to Holiday World to see what the big deal is with that place, and thence to America's Roller Coast for a bit of lakeside R&R.
I bought Fast Passes in advance for King's Island, thinking that it being a Friday in summer, the lines would be long. I didn't count on rain and thunder and lightning keeping away the crowds. Most rides were a walk on that day, and I never redeemed our passes. Next time I'll buy them closer to the actual day when I have a better sense of the forecast. No biggie. It was an epic day. The ride crews seemed to be firing on all cylinders despite the slow day. Kudos to them.
I won't bore you with the details, but Mystic Timbers was great, and only got better as the day progressed. I still love the Beast after all these years, and I think it ended up being Tom's favorite. Maybe I'm getting too old for steel, but the B&Ms, although fun, really turned my stomach in knots. Thank goodness for Dramamine.
I then made an executive decision to drive an extra 250 miles the next day to get in a couple hours at Indiana Beach before heading down to Santa Claus. I really wanted a credit on LoCoSuMo, but with single train operation, and only two hours to spare, we ditched it and got in a few laps on Cornball and Hoosier, both great rides if a bit rib breakingly rough, a lap on Tigg'R, and a grip of walking tacos. Wish I had been filming when we witnessed an upstanding citizen hock a lugie into the open mouth of one of the scores of hungry carp all vying for cat food at 25 cents a handful.
Next up, Holiday World. The wood here caused me to re-rank my entire coaster list. I would have come here just to ride Raven. What a nifty little kick in the ass that is. Legend wasn't open right off, so Voyage. Wow. Just Wow. What an intense ride. Ended up getting 13 laps (Tom got 15) thanks to walk on conditions all day. Thunderbird was one and done. And when Legend opened up, I was thinking it would be a swift little kick in the ass like Raven, but oh no. That thing rocked this 47-year-old body. I was not expecting that from Legend. Voyage? Yes. Legend, no. Maybe it's just me, but I think Legend is more intense than Voyage. Maybe it's that lack of banking on the helix. I had to pause before getting in line for Legend. No such problems with Voyage. Many people had their hands up on Voyage, not so many on Legend. And for Legend, I found that I had to anticipate my intake of air, knowing that for the next 20 seconds, I'd not be able to inhale or exhale. I had to learn how to ride the damn thing.
The next day was a long drive through Northern Kentucky and across Ohio with a detour to see my Dad's childhood home that he helped build when he was a kid just north of Canton. Cedar Point was closing when we checked into our lakeside cabin. The park looked beautiful. We slept hard. Woken up by thunder and rain. I'd planned two days just in case. What I hadn't planned was for rain to make my pre-purchased Fast Passes useless once again on account of rain. Lesson learned.
We beelined for Steel Vengeance. And wow. Just wow. Nothing really prepared me for it. Not even Twisted Colossus. A woman in front of me had a really young kid with her. I was wondering how he would do on it. I found out a couple minutes later, wondering how I wasn't flung to my death multiple times, when the kid was bawling hysterically. I'm pretty sure he's ruined for life. Me? In spite of my instincts, I rode again, and again, and again. What an incredible ride. Unrelenting. Mean. Smooth, yet crazy intense. I love it.
Over the next couple days we got on most of the rest of their coasters with the exception of Valvryn. The wait on our second day was over an hour and time was precious. We opted to get three rides on Magnum and two on Top Thrill Dragster instead of that oh so precious credit ;) I loved Dragster by the way, my eye sockets were flapping in the front row. Tom was partial to Magnum's ejector air. I loved Legend too, so I'm guessing he's a coaster masochist.
Anyway, it was a once in a lifetime trip for us with so many great memories and people watching opportunities. Southern Indiana is gorgeous. Lake Erie is beautiful. The wind was nice. I loved the rain. Getting a little old for the hobby, but whatever. King’s Island was fun, Indiana Beach was worth the extra drive, if a bit rough, Holiday World has amazing machines, and has been on my radar for a couple of decades, and Cedar Point was the perfect place to take my 13-year-old. Steel Vengeance blew my mind. Oh, and Waffle House and Domino's kept us well fed and I STILL managed to lose four pounds. ;) We had loads of fun. Thanks for letting me share with you.
I was at Kings Island that very day. Even though I live in Columbus it was my first visit of the season. Shame on me, but Steel Vengeance. :)
I drove late morning through driving rain, thinking if I caught nothing but the announcement and some late lunch/early supper it would be ok. It was rainy and windy when I got there, and then.... it wasn’t. Yay! I love a day like that when afternoon comes and those of us that stuck it out are treated to a park all to ourselves.
Too bad we didn’t know, we could’ve said hello.
I just tried to trace your trip on a map but I ran out of pencil. That’s a lot of criss cross driving and many miles, but it sounds like it was worth it.
And yeah... never, ever buy those FL’s till you get there.
Thanks for the report.
Thanks! Oh man, it was so dead that we MUST have seen each other anonymously. :) It was a lot of driving, but the planning was a little tricky due to it being late season and King's Island and Holiday World not being open on weekdays last week.
I was the old guy in a “vintage” KI tee (Homage repro) that had the Eiffel Tower in front of a rainbow. Just like the old days.
Come to think of it I spent most of the evening in Rivertown and Coney Mall. Ate chicken. I don’t think I went over to Banshee/Bat Land at all.
Here's one from my insta account:
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