Midwest Coaster Adventure- Part 3- PKI

Associated parks:

Friday, July 4, 2003 12:01 PM
Part 1: Cedar Point


Part 2: SFWoA and KW


Part 3: PKI (5/18/03)

After surviving the horror of being lost in Pittsburgh, we somehow managed to wake up and make the trek to Paramount’s Kings Island. Both Josh and I drove, and at some points both of us were nearly falling asleep at the wheel. We were very tired, but we successfully arrived at the park a little after 9 AM.

We had decided to arrive at the park early to participate in the ACE walkback to one of the park’s signature rides. We bought our tickets and walked in. Wow. What an amazing looking entry area. The fountains and the Eiffel Tower… very picturesque!

A short while later, we met up with Sean Flaharty, who would be our honorary tour guide. I think having him to show us around the park and explain some of the stories and background of the park made the day much better!

I really appreciated it! We met a PKI guest relations employee who took us and a few others back to the Beast. This was a coaster I was really looking forward to, as it seems to have a nearly legendary reputation. We were on the first ride of the morning, in the front seat. I have to say that while I liked it, it wasn’t really as intense or relentless as I was expecting. I understand the need for the trims, so I won’t say anything about that other than the fact that I can’t imagine how insane this ride would be without them! Still a good ride, but at this point, its not the wonder that some pronounce it.

We walked next door to Tomb Raider, only to find it closed. Oh well. We’d save it for later.

So we headed over to the flyers instead. I’d never been on one of these rides (I guess they are more of an east coast phenomenon). Sean instructed us how to snap the flyers, and with some practice I started to get the hang of it. We ended up reriding this ride. Very fun stuff, I can see why enthusiasts have so much fun with these things!

Next up was another anticipated ride of mine, Flight of Fear. Wow. The theming on this ride was far better than I expected. Very well done. We breezed through most of it, but later on we had to wait for the ride, and I got to see the whole preshow video. Very well done! And the ride was no less disappointing! This would be my first ever Premier coaster, and I have to say I’m very impressed. First off, they had the lights off inside. This felt like a more insane version of Space Mountain, in the way that you REALLY feel like you are going to smash into the supports. The sensation of the inversions with lapbars is awesome! This was a GREAT ride, and really lived up to (and surpassed) my expectations.

We walked over to the Racer next. And wow, it was racing! We started with the backwards side. Very fun, great out of control feel while going backwards. We did the forwards side next, though this time we did not race. It was a good ride, nothing great, but still good fun.

Right next door was Adventure Express. Interesting, but very cheesy theming. I applaud the effort, but it just didn’t work. Sean told me to prepare for a large jolt after the tunneled lift, jokingly. I didn’t think anything happened after that lift, but nevertheless I believed him. So it was kind of funny when we crested the lift, only to hit the brakes. Very funny…

We went in the arcade next and sat in awe of Sean’s DDR skills. Better him than me.

Next up was the Action Zone, starting with Son of Beast. Considering that very rarely something good is said about this ride, I didn’t go into it with high expectations. The structure of the ride is amazing. Its just wrong to see a wooden coaster that big. I mean, its not just tall, its wide. Lots of wood. Anyway, the ride itself was alright. Not good, but not horrible. I just don’t see a reason to build wooden coasters this big, as I would come to understand better after visiting Holiday World and Indiana beach. So yeah, the ride was rough, but its not unridable by any means.

Right near Son of Beast was Top Gun. Josh had nothing but good things to say about this ride, so I was hoping it could live up to his praise. It was indeed very good, but far too short. The banking on this ride was extreme. Josh wouldn’t want to hear this, but I think I still prefer Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Being the methodical people that we are, we went to Drop Zone next. I was VERY nervous for this ride. I will be honest and say that drop rides, more than any other still tend to freak me out. I’m more than used to Supreme Scream at Knott’s, but aside from that, my drop ride experience was very limited. So we waited and laughed at the woosh of air as the ride hits the magnetic brakes at the base of the tower. Finally it was our turn. Strapping myself in, I became more nervous. And there we went, slowly rotating. Great view, but I wasn’t too concerned about that. I never questioned my desire to ride this ride, and I love a ride that can make me nervous, but when you are stopped at the top, it just makes you think…. Hanging on tight, we dropped. I love that ride. Easily the best drop ride I’ve ever been on.

It was time for lunch now. I don’t remember the name of the place, but it was in a big warehouse kind of building next to the action zone area. I had pizza, which was quite good.

Next up was one of the rides I was really looking forward to: Delirium. A 15 minute wait, and we were on. One word: wow! This ride is amazing. I love the regular Frisbees, so this ride was a huge treat for me. Powerful positive G’s and wonderful negative G’s. I cannot stress enough how much fun this ride is. Not even too nauseating either. Just good.

We headed over to Face/Off next. I had been on PGA’s Invertigo, and thought that ride was great. Same thing here. I sat in the very back. Still a great ride, and I would take this one over a Déjà vu anytime!

It was time to go hit the kiddie area. I was excited to try Scooby Doo, as I think the Sally ghostblaster rides are very fun. So we boarded our doombuggy-esque vehicle, and the contest was on. And guess who won? Yes, surprisingly enough, I beat both Josh and Sean. The ride was just a lot of fun, and seems like it would appeal to just about anyone.

We did Beastie next. I had never been on a wooden kiddie coaster before. This ride was a lot of fun, and I’m sure its very popular with the kids. I ended up calling this ride Junior Ghostrider, for its turnaround that wraps around the lift (and some other reason that I don’t remember). It made sense at the time.

After that, we walked over to Rugrats Runaway Reptar. After a 15 minute wait, we walked into the back seat. This ride was well done. Everyone always says what a great kids area PKI has. I couldn’t agree more. I applaud them for having interesting kids rides, rather than the standard sitdown steel coaster.

Getting back to that area again, we walked over to Tomb Raider. After putting the cameras and stuff in the locker, we walked inside. The queue reminded me very much of Indiana Jones at Disneyland (that’s a compliment!). We progressed through the first two chambers, with the anticipation growing. The first room is interesting, with the music and light effects coming together as the door opens. The video provides a brief storyline for the ride. Nothing deep, but its something. And finally the big moment. Sean pointed out the giant arm for the Top Spin. I couldn’t believe how huge that was. And so we sat down, with restraints that were far superior to the regular top spins. And so in another Indiana Jones-like move, we upset the idol and move up to the peak of the ride. Strobes flash and we flip. Wow! That was amazing! Looking up, we get water dripped on us from the icy celing, then come down facefirst to look at the lava. Wow, did we get wet. It was a warm day, so I didn’t mind. All things said, Tomb Raider was very well done, with nice theming and an amazing ride. God bless Huss.

It was time for one more ride on the Beast, which felt better than the first, perhaps because it was so much later in the day.

From there we walked back to one of the last coasters in the park, Vortex. Sean told us to give ourselves room and prepare for some sick airtime. Isn’t that the truth! A sick pop of ejector air. Aside from that, the ride was rough and required lots of defensive riding. Some of the transitions were so bad, we could only laugh! Thank you, I prefer Viper at Magic Mountain.

I believe we hit Flight of Fear one more time, though this time the lights were on. It was still dark, but not nearly as much so as our morning ride. This ride is great. I wish we had one of these in California.

We hit Delirium again. Still a wonderful ride. At that point, Sean had to leave, so we said our goodbyes and thanked him for a great day at the park.

At that point, being the credit freak that I am (something I never knew about until this trip), I wanted to go ride Scooby’s Ghoster Coaster. Horrible capacity. But still only a 15 minute wait. Once again, I applaud PKI for installing a creative kiddie ride. The ride ops were rude here for some reason. This was the only bad experience we had all day with the ride ops, the rest were good. Oh well, every park has a few, and we know how long those types last. I had never done one of the Caripro suspendeds, so this was interesting. Ridiculously short, but I’m glad we did it.

It was getting late, and we went back and did Tomb Raider one more time, this time sitting on the opposite side of the ride platform.

Next we did Drop Zone once more, and finished up a great day at the park with Delirium. In conclusion, I have to say that PKI is a wonderful park, I’d certainly make it a part of my itinerary next time I end up in Ohio.

Next up is our 2nd day at Cedar Point (5/19)

The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

*** This post was edited by CoasterFanMatt 7/4/2003 4:06:04 PM ***

Friday, July 4, 2003 2:57 PM
I must be the opposite coaster enthusiast....

I thought that the Beast was the roughest coaster that I had ever been on. I was flung to my side so much, I started bleeding on my elbow. The Beast is my least favorite ride of all time. I must have sat in a bad seat or something.

Son of Beast is My # 1 coaster. I thought that the only real rough part was the first turn after the drop. I can see though how it hurts for people over six feet. Very bad footspace.

Drop Zone didn't scare me or make me nervous. I and my riding partners thought it was rather boring.

Vortex was great. Terrible transitions , but great. Not very much headbanging or defensive riding for me.

And out of PKI , I thought Kentucky Kingdom was Great.The only place where there was not trees was over near Chang and T2. Thunder Run and Greezed' Lightning are two great coasters.

I guess I'm just wierd like that.

This place would be be a nightmare for midgets.

Friday, July 4, 2003 5:18 PM
For some reason, I just now realized you had done these trip reports. Thanks for posting them Matt.

It was great getting to hang out with you and Josh. I am glad you had a good time.



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