Midwest Coaster Tour

kingdakacor's avatar

My friend April is posting her own account of this trip so I will not make it lenghty but will add my own insights to it from my viewpoint. Aside from Cedar Point, this was my first time at these parks.July 31st we drove out to Waldameer in Erie. Ravine Flyer II was amazing. I fully appreciate gravity group coasters after my first ride on it! Food tasted great and the park was not crowded. Aug 1st and 2nd were devoted to Cedar Point. The only problem here was on their website, it says with a season pass you can get on Maverick, M. Force and I forget the other ride....starting at 9:30am. So we go there and those rides opened up to the season pass holders around 9:45/9:50am. A little disappointing there. I did not like maverick. I found that Intamin shortened their seatbelt restraints and Maverick and M Force was even hard for me to buckle into but I managed. Saw a lot of people who were not really that large denied rides on these two coasters. I think Maverick's second half was rough due to the famous shoulder restraints Intamin makes with a lot of gap space in the shoulders. M. Force was great, Dragster took an hour in the evening and that marked my 100th roller coaster =) Mean Streak was painful and rough (too much brake) Mantis a little on the rough side for a B&M. Magnum was good, a little rough going through the tunnels but nice camelback hills. Aug 3rd was Indiana Beach. Cornball express and Hoosier Hurricane were really nice. Park was not croweded so a lot of re-ride time on these. The park had a really nice water show in the afternoon and nice gift shops. Food was good and very reasonable. Aug 4th was HolidayWorld. Staff were super super nice and the park was very clean., It hit 100 degrees that day so we went on wildabeast water coaster and that was so much fun. Pilgrims Plunge was down in the beginning (intamin...what do you expect) but the ride was good. There is not a lot of splash on the ride though. Voyage--amazing amazing enough said. Aug 5th was Kings Island back in Ohio. This was my fav park out of all of them. Diamondback was really great. The Beast was April's 150th coaster. We re-rode it again in the dark and got STUCK on the second lift hill in the woods. NIIIIICE =) We did finish the ride and did not have to walk off. Park was not crowded due to rain earlier in the day before we arrived there. Backlot was smoother than Dominion's verson and so was flight of fear for that matter. Vortex was a little painful but managable. Their fireworks show was nice but really short. Aug 6th was Kennywood Park. It was SOO crowded for a Friday. Thunderbolt and Phantom were my picks here. Got to ride thunderbolt in the dark which was awesome..esp that first drop. Went on the classic rides the turtle, and the kangaroo, Noah's ark was fun but the exterminator was very rough. Odd thing here was they did not want the guests to use the seatbelts on the ride. I can say that I got shuffled around a lot and had a very very rough ride. I think seatbelts would have solved that problem. All in all we did 48 coasters. All of them minus a few stuck trains on lift hills, ran fine. Crowds (except K.wood) were moderate and we got a flat tire changed in Kentucky! Great rides. Overall voyage, thunderbolt and beast my fav woodies and M Force, diamond back and Phantom my fav steelies. Again so many details left out but I have made this entry long enough.

KnoebelsGrandCarousel's avatar

I'll just post this here -

My friend Corey and I did a week long trip to six parks, Waldameer, CP, Indiana Beach, Holiday World, KI, and Kennywood. I'll hit highlights (and lowlights) of each park. I am not going to post a review of every coaster, but we rode them all except the kiddies you need a kid for.

Waldameer, Saturday, July 31
- The park was quite busy. I had been here last year on a Saturday and it wasn't this anywhere near this full. Whacky Shack had the longest line as usual and it was crawling.
- Ravine Flyer II was running great. We caught a daytime ride and one at night. Awesome ride in the dark.
- Steel Dragon was down till around 8 PM. When it finally opened there was around a half hour wait for it.
- We got one of those giant chocolate chip cookies from the Cookie House and it was the best large cookie I have ever had. It was fresh, hot, and delicious. They also sell glasses of milk here. It was nice to get something different than the usual funnel cake or ice cream at a park.

Cedar Point, Sunday, August 1 & Monday, August 2
- We got to the park around 10 to 10 on Sunday and used our Platinum Pass to get right on Raptor. It's smoother than I remember. I was last at the Point in 2007 and remember thinking that Raptor was incredibly rough especially for a B&M invert. It still has that jerking fast stop but other than that I enjoyed it a lot this time around.
- Mantis also wasn't as bad as I remember but I think that's because this time I knew to brace and clench for the bad second half. It's still not good but I didn't leave with a headache.
- On Monday we got to the park at 9:30 and went to MF to do morning ERT. They didn't even open the queue until 9:45. We had to wait 45 minutes even with early morning ERT. I was under the impressions they actually started ERT at 9AM like it says on the website. We were extremely disappointed in this. They should state very clearly what the hell they mean on the website. None of the other early morning ERT rides started until 9:45 either and Iron Dragon was down all day. However, MF was still awesome and super smooth.
- Magnum was as good as I remember and had a pretty short line both days. Around 15 minutes on Sunday and less than 10 on Monday,
- In the 2 days we were there, we ate at 3 sit-down restaurants, Joe Cool Cafe, Game Day Grille, and the Red Garter Saloon (partially for the a-c). The fries and salad bar at Joe Cool Cafe were awesome but everything else was mediocre.
- Corey loved the 'Boneville' section of the train and even commented it was the best train ride he had ever been on.
- I spotted DaveStroem on Sunday at the water fountain by Town Hall but he was with his family so I didn't want to bother him.
- We got on Shoot the Rapids on Sunday. We were on the Frontier Trail and saw the boats cycling around dinnertime. It had been closed all day to this point. We got in line and probably waited about an hour before they opened the queue. A bunch of people left the line and we got on the second boat out. We got the front seat and they wouldn't let us switch, we got pretty drenched because of the water coming over the front of the boat. I would have enjoyed it more in a different seat but it was fun and I really enjoyed all the old school advertising signs they had on the ride. OMG, CP actually themed a ride and it works really, really well!

Indiana Beach, Tuesday, August 3
- Mouse coasters are my least favorite coasters but I really enjoyed Steel Hawg. It was kinda weird to be on that upside down section of track but it was fun and I can see more parks getting these, especially if they can't afford a big steel coaster.
- Cornball Express & Hoosier Hurricane were excellent! Very fun rides but Cornball was our favorite at IB with gobs of airtime.
- LoCoSuMo - Holy Roughness Batman! I thought it would be fun with the elevator lift and going through the mountain. I didn't expect to be thrashed around like a rag doll. This was a one and done for us.
- The sky ride's lap bar doesn't lock into place. How is this even legal? Anyone can lift it up and do something really stupid.
- Den of Lost Thieves and Frankenstein's Castle were both extremely good. Den of Lost Thieves might now be our favorite shooting ride and Frankenstein's Castle was so worth the extra $3.50. We were about halfway through and Corey said "it's already worth the $3.50." It's extremely long, probably around 15 minutes or so. It took us quite a while to get through the door room as I think we opened up the right one last.
- The flyers on the lake were a real treat. There is a no snapping sign on them but it was really cool to be on them out over the water.
- We finished with the park around 6 and got some dinner at a local diner. It would have been nice to see the park at night as I hear it's a great nighttime park but we really needed the rest at this point.
- Pine View Resort is about 3 minutes from the park and was the best hotel of the trip. It only cost us $87 and taxes for the night for a really nice clean room with a king bed and a jet tub. There was also a hot tub and sauna for use. If you are going to IB, I highly recommend this place.

DaveStroem's avatar

Rats, I am sorry that we didn't see you. Next time say hi.

I am glad you had a great trip and got on STR. We finally did that day too. I was not impressed at all. Neither were any of the GP that were on our boat.

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

I don't know either of you, but I was coincidentally at CP Monday and KI Thursday also. I wonder if I inadvertently saw you at some point during the day


Also, on that Monday I believe Millennium was broken down in the morning. That's what we heard when we walked in at 9, which would explain the late opening of the queue.


KnoebelsGrandCarousel's avatar

Dave, next time I will say hi if I see you.

Austin, we may have passed by you on one of those days, we actually talked to a lot of people at KI.

KnoebelsGrandCarousel's avatar

Continuation of trip report:

Holiday World, Wednesday, August 4
- Splashin Safari is the best waterpark I have ever been to. I had been to Aquatica and Wet&Wild in June and SS was better than Aquatica and completely blew Wet&Wild out of the water. You can tell the difference between the old section and the new but it was still fantastic. I had always thought how could one water park be better than another when they all have basically the same stuff. But somehow it was better, the theming was better and something intangible that I can't quite put my finger on.
- Wildebeast was incredible. Lots of airtime and super long. We used the single rider line and it only took around 25 minutes as opposed to the regular hour long wait.
- I'm pretty sure Holiday World has the only hills in the entire state of Indiana.
- Voyage was the coaster I was most looking forward to this trip and it did not disappoint. I loved how long the ride is, that you can't see most of it from the park, and the intensity of the ride. It was only about a 3-4 train wait as everyone was in the water park since it was stifling hot. I'm still not sure if I like this better or RFII.
- Pilgrim's Plunge is the only Shoot-the-Chutes not named Escape from Pompeii that I would actually re-ride. I liked the little log flume section at the beginning and the elevator was a trip. We asked the ride attendant if we could not sit in front and she had no problem moving us. The other riders didn't care as they were in their swimsuits from Splashin Safari.
- Gobbler Getaway was very cute. We got to meet Holidog in here as it was 100 degrees the day we were there with humidity somewhere around 110-115. It was the hottest day I can ever remember being outside all day. I enjoyed looking for the turkeys and 'saving' Thanksgiving. Cute theme on a ride that usually has ghosts as a theme.
- Neither of us really cared for Legend with all those laterals but we did enjoy Raven and got to walk right on to the back seat.
- Liberty Launch is the only double shot I have ever ridden. IB's was closed and I have never had the urge to ride the one at Lake Compounce. For a small drop tower it was MUCH better than I expected. On the second launch up my shoulders actually hit against the OTSR's. This was the surprise hit of the park for us.
- In the front of the park there is an Abe Lincoln museum, which I wasn't expecting but I love to see unique, surprising stuff like this at a park.
- There was a cooling station in the Christmas section; it looked like it was a theater for a show. It had air conditioning and an employee handing out cups of water. This was a welcome surprise and I think we stayed in there for a half hour just to get out of the oppressive heat.
- I knew HW was known for friendly employees but what I found most endearing was their genuineness. It was not a forced friendly but as if they actually cared about every single guest's day and wanted to make sure absolutely everyone was having a good time. HW must be extremely good to their employees, not one bad apple.

Kings Island, Thursday, August 5
- I decided to make Beast my 150th coaster. I had the option to choose Diamondback but I wanted Beast and am quite happy with my decision. This seems to be a love/hate kind of ride and I loved it. I didn't really know what to expect other than out in the woods and a second lift hill but I thought it was fun and not too rough and I came back to the station with a smile on my face.
- Diamondback was pretty fun, although I think I have gotten to the point where B&M hypers just don't do it for me anymore. Definitely a crowd pleaser though and a people eater.
- Flight Deck was extremely short. Maybe because there was no second lift hill? I enjoyed the ride though. Was the SoB entrance right next door to the FD entrance? I am not familiar enough with the park to know where the entrance was.
- How come KI (and KD) have no postcards? All other CF parks we have been to had them. Is this a former Paramount thing? We tend to not buy a lot of souvenirs from parks; we mostly buy postcards and magnets so this was quite a disappoint for us.
- Kids area was awesome, although part of me thinks it wins best kids area every year is because a lot of the rides aren't exactly kiddie rides, log flume, disco, Sally shooting ride.
- We didn't get to see Starlight Experience at CP but we did at KI and found it to be awesome. This combined with the fireworks and the laser show and fireworks we saw at Kennywood the next night makes me say that nighttime at parks is back my friends and I love that it is.
- At the end of the night around 9:30 we decided to get our night ride on Beast. It started out great, loved it in the dark and then we got stuck on the 2nd lift hill. We were out there for a good 15 minutes. Apparently they lost power again for the second time this season and 10 rides went down at once. Others that I know of were Delirium, Drop Tower, and FoF. Joe at guest services explained this to us as we were walking to the middle of the park to see the fireworks show. He was a really nice, genuine guy and I can tell a great employee. Is there somewhere on the KI website that I can leave a kudos for an employee?

Kennywood, Friday, August 6
- Kennywood is one of my favorite parks and I can't get enough of this place. I have made the 5-hour ride out there for the last three years and I feel like I could do it every year for the rest of my life. The park is that good and has enough unique to keep you entertained year after year. So if you haven't been there, get your butt out there!
- Sky Rocket was a fun ride, just not exhilarating as just about everyone else has said. The park was extremely crowded so we did get an individual pass for Sky Rocket but we waited in line for all the other coasters.
- I had the best ride I have ever gotten on Phantom's Revenge. The airtime was incredible. I think because this time I put my hands up for the whole ride and in turn i actually almost stood up twice. The lower end of the weird lap bar keeping me from completely standing up. That was an incredible ride.
- After the coasters, we focused on the unique rides and dark rides, as Corey had never been to the park. We got in the Turtle, Kangaroo, Bayern Kurve, and the 3 dark rides. We ran out of time for the Auto Race.
- As mentioned earlier, the laser show and fireworks were incredible. I was really a fan of the laser show as many parks have fireworks and the lasers were something different. Corey said it reminded him of Illuminations.

So ended our week long trip of fun. It was so much fun although there was a lot of driving involved I loved getting to see parts of the country I hadn't seen before. Seeing 'Roadside America' if you will. Including getting a nail in our tire and having to drive around Louisville, Kentucky to find a tire place open at 8AM. That was quite interesting but it makes for a great story! Thanks for reading! :)

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