Lost Kause does VIP at Kings Island 9-4-10

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

Sunday, September 12, 2010 12:54 PM

"I'm glad that not everyone is cutting in front of everyone else. That would be CHAOS" I exclaimed to our tour guide while we walked up the exit to The Beast once again.

...

My 16-year-old cousin, Chase, and I had been very excited for weeks, looking forward to our VIP tour of the park. I had won it by raising money for the fundraiser "Coasting For Kids", which benefited Give Kids The World.

I received the e-mail a few weeks prior, telling me that my date for the VIP tour was approved, and that my tour guide was very excited to meet my cousin and I.

We left on Saturday morning around 5am, from a meeting point in Hamlin, WV. It was between both of our homes. Chases step-mom, my aunt, made us some egg and cheese sandwiches, and packed us a cooler full of soda pop, to make the three-and-a-half hour drive more bearable.

We arrived at the park at ten after nine. I stopped at the security gate leading toward the VIP parking area. The guard at the gate didn't have my name on the list, so he made a phone call to clear us for entry.

The VIP parking lot was small and very close to the front gate, and felt exclusive. A short walk took us to the park entrance, where we entered the Guest Service office.

I had to explain, in too much detail, who I was and why Chase and I were there. The lady at the desk made a phone call, which took longer than expected, and then told us that everything was fine, and that out guide would be there shortly.

We met Zack a few minutes later. He was a friendly, professional looking, young man, about 20, wearing a red and blue rides uniform. He handed us our coupons while introducing himself. I quickly looked through the coupons to try and recall what our day had in store. All you can eat buffet lunch, free blue ice cream cone, Beast walk back tour, Free ride photo of our choice, they were all there. But there was something esle there too, which surprised me. I said, "Wow, Zack! Where can we spend these Beagle Bucks? Five-ten-fifteen, twen- There's 25 dollars here!"

"You can spend them anywhere in the park except for vending machines", he replied. He put "free all-day soft drinks" wristbands around our arms and we then made our way outside.

Early in the day I asked Zack how many VIP tours were in the park today. He didn't know and said that he would find out and get back to us...

Zack told us that since it was only 9:30, only Beast and Diamondback were open. He led us through the park, and up the exit of both coasters, and allowed us to pick our seats. For those two rides, the queue was only two or three cycles, because they were only allowing Season Passholders to ride.

Diamondback - Awesome airtime in the very back seat. Being pulled over the crests of the hills makes the ride an extra exciting experience.

Beast - Runs slower in the morning than further in the day, but still so much fun. We rode front seat, which I had never done before. Amazing ride!

By the time we were finished with the two best coasters in the park (in my opinion), it was nearly 10-o'clock. The blockades were opening up, and park guests were filling the midways, further into the park.

By 11am, we had rode:

Stunt Track - Small, but really fun, because of the scenery and tunnels. The launch is not as intense as other launch coasters, but still fun, for what it is.

Vortex - Smooth track, but the rough transitions cause heads to bash into the over-the-shoulder restraints. Probably the worst coaster in the park, presently.

Firehawk - I still get freaked out on this ride. It's the only coaster that I am scared to ride, which provides me with less thrill, and more panic. I know that it's probably the safest ride at the park, but when I ride these flying coasters, I can't help but to ask "what if"...

Flight of Fear - I had a hoot on this one, like always. It was extra dark this ride, with only a few small colored lights on inside the building.

We rode front seat on Flight of Fear. I apologized to the group waiting for the seat that we just took as we lowered out seat belts.

Just after the launch, Chase seriously said, "I think that I'm going to be sick." When the ride was over, he struggled to get his seat belt unfastened, ran to the nearest trash can on the unload platform, and hurled. Zack and I watched, with a slight grin on both of our faces. I was concerned, of course, but sometimes throwing up is funny.

Chase and I have an understanding when we go to parks together. The sicker we get, the more fun we realize we are having.

We decided to take it easy for a little while. Zack suggested that we ride the ride that he works at, Boo Blasters, and the train. As we made our way to the other side of the park, we rode the elevator up the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower - Zack pointed to places on interest to me from the top of the tower. Boneyards and maintenance sheds were part of the discussion, but the best discussion that we had was about the location of next year's new ride, Windseeker.

As we looked at the back of the park from almost 300 feet in the sky, Zack said that he had heard that Windseeker will be built behind one of Racer's turnarounds, and that a new plaza will be built, with shops and more, to lead to the new ride. I suggested that it may be a great section of the park to put the old auto ride that was replaced by Stunt Track, and that two dead ends, from Firehawk to Vortex, could be connected.

Boo Blasters - I never rode this ride with the 3-D glasses. I thought that it was just a gimmick, and not really important to the experience. Boy, was I wrong. Get the glasses. I didn't know that it used the ChromaDepth 3-D technology. It is really awesome. The cool colors fall into the background, and the warmer colors pop out.

There was an effect that wasn't working when I rode Boo Blasters last time I was at the park. An image of "Boocifer" is projected onto a screen of controlled smoke, and the ride vehicle goes right through it. It's a really cool effect, and in 3-D, as well. Zack told us that the effect was not working lately, but was fixed a few days ago. He said that a new smokescreen is on property that will replace the older one for next season, and that it will look even better.

After a re-ride, without getting off, Zack showed us the control room, where ride hosts watch the ride form cameras distributed throughout the ride. He pointed out that the newest camera was installed in the skeleton room, which is very dark. The camera came from the Sling Shot ride, which was recently replaced, and could see in the dark.

Train - I asked Zack if he was able to ride the train with us, and narrate some of the ride. It was a nice trip, and we discussed the park.

After the train, Chase was feeling much better, but hungry, so we ate some delicious fries at the food stand near The Crypt. We spend some of our Beagle Bucks, $5 each.

The Crypt was not open. Zack told us that it was in need of some serious repairs, as it had been out of service for a while now. I didn't really want to ride it anyways. It's the biggest disappointment in the park, in my opinion.

We then proceeded to ride everything else in the park, all of the big rides anyways. We were done with all the rides by about 2:30.

Racer - The red side is just so fast and full of airtime now. I't no Diamondback, but really fun.

Adventure Express - I still love this ride. The old arrow transitions still cause some uncomfortable moments, but it's still exciting.

Delirium - we skipped, because we didn't was to throw up at that time of our visit. I really don't like it much. It really messes me up, and Chase didn't think that he could handle it.

Flight Deck - I hate the name, but this short ride is so fast. I consider it one of the best rides in the park. I was very surprised at how long the line was. I had never seen it this long before. It was probably halfway up towards the rides entrance (the entrance near Drop Tower).

Drop Tower - Once again, I hate the name, but it's really fun.

Invertigo - We rode the front seat. I love the front seat of this ride. Chase complained of slight back and beck pain afterward, understandably.

It was about 2:30, and we decided that it was about time to eat our all-you-can-eat lunch. Zack left us to take his lunch break at this time, as well.

We enjoyed relaxing at Rivertown Junction Dining Hall. The selection was great, and the food was decent.

Zack met with us around 4pm, and we made our way to The Beast for our walkback tour of the ride. We waited about 20 minutes for Don Helbig to arrive, who was going to take us back, after Zack made a few phone calls. Chase and I were the only ones who arrived for the tour. It was very interesting. Don showed us and told us some of how the ride worked. I didn't bring a camera, so Don took some photos of Chase and I near the track. He said that he would e-mail the photos to me, but I have yet to receive them. When I do, I will post a link.

After the walkback tour, we rode Beast again. We then rerode rides that we enjoyed, and did some of the smaller rides, like Surf Dog (formerly Avatar:The last Airbender), and Viking Fury.

Close to 7, out VIP tour was almost over. Zack took us up the exit of Diamondback one last time. After that, we said goodbie to our amazing tour guide. He was friendly, informative, and accommodating.

We decided to spend out blue ice cream coupon. We would have been better off just to throw the coupon away.

Chase sat at a table while I stood in line. I picked the shortest line, but later I noticed that it moved slower tan the rest. After about 15 minutes, I got to the counter. The girl told me that I was going to have to get in another line; that her line was closed. I explained that I waited in line for 15 minutes already, but she didn't care. I waited in line for about 10 minutes in another line. When I got to the counter again, I asked for two Waffle Cones. The girl told me that they were out of Waffle Cones, and I would have to get a regular cone, but I saw people leaving the counter with Waffle Cones, and afterwords I saw people eating Waffle Cones. She still did not want to give me a Waffle Cone, even though people before me and after me got them. GRR...

The ice cream was tasty though.

Chase and I then did some shopping. We brought a lot of extra spending money, and we still had $20 each in Beagle Bucks. Our shopping experience was not a good one...

Attitudes, in Coney Mall, employed a girl with an attitude. Chase found a t-shirt that he really wanted, but only found one in his size, without a price tag. The girl at the counter said that she couldn't help, because there was no price.

I asked her if we could speak to the manager, that maybe he could find the price. She told us that he was in the back, "counting people", and could not be bothered. I had to come up with a solution. I asked her if we could come back in about an hour to buy the shirt, and when the manager was available, could she ask about the shirt.

Then we went to On Location, near Drop Tower. I had seen a shirt there earlier in the day, an awesome batman shirt that said, "WWBD?" with a batman logo. I wanted it really bad, but my size was not there now. I asked if there were more in the back, and was told that they didn't have anything in the back. :(

We then looked for a gift for a friend at Emporium in International Street. I found a suitable gift, then I asked a girl working there if they had any WWBD shirts there. She said no, but made a few phone calls to try and track one down, with no luck. I appreciated her efforts.

We then went back to Attitudes. The girl was really nice now, smiling. She found the number, and sold us the shirt.

We then went back to On location to buy another Batman shirt instead. :(

We walked through the summer lights to get to our last ride of the night. The light were awesome, but I've seen it all before during Christmas. The music was awesome!

A note about the music at the park, overall.. I go to Kings Island all of the time, and over the last few years, I've noticed that the quality and coolness of the midway music has improved quite a lot.

We stood in line for a late-night Beast ride in-the-dark.

Beast in-the-dark - AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!!! This is what makes Beast one of my favorite rides of all time. It's a different ride at night. It's faster, you can't see, you can hear the trees whizzing by. The air in the nigh time feels and smells different than in the day, and you can hear the sound and see the lights of the park in the distance. AMAZING!!!

We left The Beast a little before 10. As we made our way towards the exit or the park, we stopped to watch the fireworks. They didn't reach high in the sky, so we only saw them through the treetops.

Before going to the car, we stopped at Guest service to complain about our ice cream experience, and complement Zack. We even complemented the girl at Attitudes, because in the end, she came through for us. It was a great way to end our visit, ending it where we began it.

Driving out of the parking lot was nice, as we didn't have to deal with the traffic that the rest of the visitors had to deal with.

Overall, it was awesome. I never got an answer to the question of how many VIP tours were going on that day, but I believe that ours may have been the only one, because no one else joined us for the Beast walkback.

I felt a little bad for the people waiting in the rows that we wanted. We mad them have to wait that much longer. I especially feel bad for those in the front rows that we took, although it wasn't often.

About cutting in line, this is exactly the way I like parks to deal with this. They make it expensive enough that not everyone uses it, limiting how many people cuts. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be able to do it. If I ever have the extra money, I would do this again. It was the best time I have ever had at Kings Island.

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, September 12, 2010 12:59 PM
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Sunday, September 12, 2010 9:55 PM

It almost sounds like that with the ice cream, the 2nd worker was acting like the free ice cream was coming out of their pocket personally. I notice that a lot when I go out deal hunting and get some amazing prices because of coupons or stacking offers and the cashiers act like they are the ones losing money on the sale.

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Monday, September 13, 2010 12:10 PM

Nice report. In the past I too have found the Beast is not much fun in the morning. The Beast is strange in that it really needs to be fast to be less rough. I think that's why night rides are so good. I'm sure you probably could tell a big difference between your morning and night rides.

I had not heard about The Crypt being down, but that's interesting. Last year PR was praising the amount of people that rode Crypt due to its new neutered cycle allowing more uptime. I guess that still isn't working out so great, huh? You have to think they are getting close to the breaking point on this one.

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Monday, September 13, 2010 10:11 PM

I wish that they would take The Crypt and melt it down. They could then build a Kings Dominion style mountain over the big box, and install a B&M inverted coaster to run through the mountain. It could resemble Blast Coaster, minus the launch.

I know, I know. I dream too much.

The most interesting part of the day was our discussion about where WindSeeker was going to be placed. As I mentioned before, Zack said that last he heard, it would be behind one of Racer's turnarounds, maybe even the furthest turnaround. I then told him that since that area was a dead end, maybe the park could connect it to Firehawk's dead end, and make a new circle. That would be an awesome area to lay a track to put the old car ride that they have in storage.

You hear that, KI. no dead ends! It would be awesome!

If they place WindSeeker that far back, a section of the Beast, near the break shed, would be closer to being exposed.

I heard through the grapevine that the park was doing some kind of soil tests in that area, behind Blue Racers turnaround. They were supposedly digging small, deep holes in that area to see if a the new ride could be safely anchored there.

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Monday, September 13, 2010 10:53 PM

LostKause said:

I felt a little bad for the people waiting in the rows that we wanted. We mad them have to wait that much longer. I especially feel bad for those in the front rows that we took, although it wasn't often.

About cutting in line, this is exactly the way I like parks to deal with this. They make it expensive enough that not everyone uses it, limiting how many people cuts. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be able to do it. If I ever have the extra money, I would do this again. It was the best time I have ever had at Kings Island.

Welcome to the dark side. We have been waiting for you.... :) ;)

Last edited by sws, Monday, September 13, 2010 10:54 PM
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Saturday, September 18, 2010 3:51 PM

Firehawk - I still get freaked out on this ride. It's the only coaster that I am scared to ride, which provides me with less thrill, and more panic. I know that it's probably the safest ride at the park, but when I ride these flying coasters, I can't help but to ask "what if"...

I no longer get freaked out on flyers, but it took a few years. I had severe psychological/anxiety issues on my first two, which were Batwing and X-Flight (now FireHawk) I had to sit and calm myself down after those rides, I was so agitated, shaken and disoriented. I was determined to get over it, so I forced myself to ride S:UF at Great Adventure five times in one day in late '06. Now I really like flyers a lot...just hate the long waits they tend to generate.

Enjoyed your report immensely, Travis!

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Saturday, September 18, 2010 7:03 PM

Thanks, Mike.

Ont thing that makes me feel so uncomfortable on Vekoma Flyers is that my arms are too long to be able to hold on to the handles at my side. I'll still ride them, if the wait is short enough, but I still don't enjoy them as much as I want to.

They are very interesting rides though.

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