Midwest Coaster Trip Part I: SFKK & Beech Bend

Associated parks:

This is my first real multi-park coaster trip. The only reason it is happening is because I have to go to Dallas for some annual training. Most people fly down to Dallas but I decided to drive and do a little Midwest Coaster trip.

After spending most of Memorial Day weekend in Willow Grove, PA and getting my first trip to SFGAdv (most of you read how that went over like a pregnant pole-vaulter), I was excited to start this little trip. I got back from Willow Grove on Sunday night and had all day Monday to relax with the family and pack up for the trip to Dallas.

Tuesday morning I hit the road around 6:45 am from Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. The first stop would be at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. I arrived in the parking lot about an hour and fifteen minutes early and the parking people weren’t even there to charge me. So I drove right up to the front, parked, and took a little nap.

I got right in when the park opened and went straight to Road Runner Express. I was second on this ride and it was a nice mouse with some good turns and drops. The trims were pretty light and made for a good ride.

On to Greezed Lightnin. It wasn’t working so I made my way around the maze to the back of the park and found Chang waiting for me. Chang was a fun stand-up with some nice turns. It was a good ride but no Riddler’s Revenge.

On to the hang-n-bang. T2 from the front seat in the station looks awesome. It has tons of foliage and vines growing all over the place as you initially climb out. The rest of the ride was all about keeping my head up and back against the head rest. This ride has some great inversions but you know the rest of the story.

Time for some wood. Twisted Twins: I was really looking forward to the twins and I tried Lola first. I thought these two coasters were mirror images but they definitely are not. Lola seems to always arrive back at the station first and she gives a nice ride. I took one ride in the front and one in the back. I like the back. Nice floater air all the way down the drop and over the first hill. Stella I also took one ride in the front and one in the back. Again I liked the back better. Overall I liked the Stella side more than the Lola side. Even though Lola always finished first I thought Stella gave a more out of control feeling.

Thunder Run: The biggest surprise of the day! This ride is exceptional! The first drop into a huge turn around provides for some fantastic forces and the right after that was a nice hill that banked off to the right with some huge ejector air in the front and in the back. I imagine you get it in every seat. Some more powerful turn arounds and this ride made me grin from ear to ear.

Roller Skater: yep I did it for the credit…moving on.

Went back by Greezed Lightnin to see if it had opened yet. I saw an empty train launch earlier but it was still closed and they didn’t know when it would be open. I couldn’t stick around all day so off I went to head on down to Bowling Green.

Beech Bend

This park is nestled back in the woods and hills of Bowling Green. It looks like a fair that decided they found a permanent spot to set-up shop. Besides the water park and the new wild mouse I don’t think any of the other rides are permanent. I was hoping the mouse would be open but it still needed a couple more weeks until it would be up and running.

I only wanted to ride the two coasters in the park so with the gate fee and the ride tickets it cost me 11$ for the two coasters. Oh well. I started with the Dragon. What can I say? It is a kiddie coaster with some pretty good forces. I was the only one on it and it probably looked pretty funny.

On to the Looping Star. First of all just taking one look at this thing and I can’t believe it still operates. I have no problems getting on TTD or anything big and crazy but some of these really old coasters sometimes make me think twice about what I am doing, but of course I always get on. From the Looping Star I got a good look at all the footers for the new GCI coaster. It is being built right next to the Looping Star and will be a monument in the park when it is finished. The footers looked like a figure eight layout. I would imagine that vertical construction will start real soon. Back to the Looping Star. All I can remember is praying that we stayed on the track and the loop was quick and a lot of fun. It is a good ride but the park is going to be excellent for its location with the addition of the two new coasters.

After Beech Bend I headed on toward Little Rock. I had plans to go to Libertyland but it is still only opens on weekends so I drove right through Memphis and on to Little Rock for a night of R&R.

Part II will be Magic Spings and Crystal Falls!


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