Paramount’s Kings Island - July 02, 2005

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, August 25, 2005 12:56 PM
July 02? Yikes this took a long time. This is the first of four possible trip reports from our midwest coaster trip written by myself and my girlfriend Monica.

Cross posted on my site with photos.

We started the day early and got to the park about 45 minutes before opening so we could participate in the ACE walk back. After a touch of confusion about the ACE discount, and a crowded wait to get in the park we were in. While we were waiting, we met another Pittsburgh area ACEr, Brian, from the North Hills. Another guy and a family showed up for the walk back and we all decided as a group that we wanted to ride the Italian Job rather than The Beast as the first ride. When we got back to the Italian Job, the ride operator informed us that the ride would not open on time, but we were free to wait. The group decided to take the first ride on The Beast. I think we accidentally stole Brian’s first seat ride and for that we apologize.

The ACE walk back is a really nice thing the park does every day of the season, I can't belive how lucky we were to get a good discount and a nice perk such as the first ride of the day.

We wanted to ride Tomb Raider as the second ride, but it was closed and the ride operators had no idea when it would open. We would have to check back later in the day. It was a hot and busy day and we were there until the park closed. It was Monica’s decision to go up front and ride Scooby Doo rather than the rides in the rear of the park…it had the same long line it would have all day, and Brian later on said he was treated to an exit ride on Flight of Fear and a quick ride on Italian Job. We would wait over an hour each later in the day. Crap!


Overall Thoughts

I hadn’t been to Kings Island since I was about 16 and was looking forward to getting back to ride The Beast and their newest ride The Italian Job Stunt Track. The day as a whole was a good one, but I don’t feel the need to rush back like I do with Cedar Point. Their coasters are good, slightly better than average, but not one of them steps over the line into being great and the constant advertising really got my nerves. We saw the same five bands, video clips and ads the whole day.

Monica: I was really looking forward to visiting PKI. I saw it on the episode of the Brady Bunch where Jan swaps her cartoon poster with Mike’s architecture plans. I was looking forward to seeing the themed rides that came about after Paramount’s acquisition of the park. I was somewhat let down by the movie aspect of the park and I don’t think it compares to the Florida parks, but they are in a league of their own. I had a great time and would visit again if I were in the area, but I am not aching to go back next summer.


The Beast

Our first and only ride was the first ride of the day in the front seat. After waiting at the start of the queue with no notification we could head back an operator walked up, gave us a funny look and nodded that we could head on. We entered the station to see the crew standing around twiddling their thumbs with all the lap bars down, they made no effort to aid anyone on board and never really acknowledged anyone was boarding their ride. Oh well.

Well, mark me down as one of the ones that doesn’t get it. The ride is fun, but after the first couple of drops and turns it just doesn’t do anything. The double helix was cool, but I don’t like that there is an entire lift hill just for that purpose and nothing but a brake run after it. I don't see it as a top ten ride, but I never criticize anyone for having it ranked that high. We never got the night ride we were planning on since they closed the lines at 8pm for the fireworks.

Monica: I am not really a fan of wooden coaster built after 1940. The Beast was a nice long ride through the woods, and I wasn’t thrown around as much as I thought I would be. We only rode in the front seat so I may have thought differently had we sat further back in the train. We didn’t get a chance to ride it again, but given the chance, I would.


Racer

The Racer was sweet, well cared for and a blast to ride. We only got on the reverse side since we ran out of time in the day. Monica: I really liked this ride. It was the type of ride that raced, but one car was forwards and the other one backwards. It was the first time I had ever ridden backwards on a roller coaster. It was an interesting feeling.


Flight of Fear

I thought this would be more than just a coaster in the dark, the thematic elements of the queue sure made it seem that way. We were treated to a great launch and a really disorienting ride, but I can’t help think there should be more to it.


Top Gun

The theme of this ride makes it seem outdated and lame, including the 80s soundtrack, but the ride packs a serious punch. I only wish it were about twice as long. Great ride!


Vortex

This is probably the only Arrow looper I would consider riding again. It still offers a thrill while giving only a slight neck thrashing. The crew was a bit of a disaster though, there was a kid that may or may not have been tall enough to ride. So rather than dispatch the train while measuring him, they spent about five minutes with three trains parked debating weather or not he was big enough. He was finally allowed on, but they dispatched our train without him anyway! So the waiting was for nothing.

Monica: I really don’t remember this one, but Ryan said that I didn’t like it. Not memorable = not good in my book.


Italian Job Stunt Track

What a great ride, after hearing the lackluster review I was shocked at the pep it had. The launch was so intense I knocked my elbow on the side of the car. The ride by itself was a blast, but the theme is what made it great. We would have only waited an hour for it, but break downs made the wait much longer.

Monica: This ride was a lot of fun. As a fan of theme parks and over-the-top theatrical rides, I thought this ride had a lot of great elements. I liked the mini cooper trains and the theme of the police chase. The ride was rather short and the line was very long, but it was worth the wait for the first-time ride. If I ever ride it again, I will wait until an off-peak time.


Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle

Monica: I really like this ride. I am a huge fan of dark rides. This was similar to Men in Black at Universal, but not as big of a production. It was cute. I made Ryan go on it in the morning, I think he would have skipped it if I weren’t there (Not true, I loved it and beat you! – Ryan). Even though there were a lot of kids in line, I would still recommend it. It was neat to walk through their children’s area. It was nice to see the themed areas representing all the Hanna Barbara cartoons that I watched when I was a young.


Drop Zone

Monica doesn’t do drop rides, so after waiting in the hour long line she took the camera and waited for me. Man this thing is big! I was facing the old campground and couldn’t get over how high we were…and how freaking long we were sitting…ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, and so on through the longest free fall I have ever experienced. What a rush.


Boomerang Bay Water Park

This water park was decent, certainly better than Sandcastle but lacked anything memorable. The lines were crazy, and some managed poorly where they split in two making the wait seem even longer since we had to stand around more. I agree that this park is better than Sandcastle in Pittsburgh, but that is not very difficult. I liked Snowy River Rampage a lot. We really lucked out; it broke down right after our turn. Food

Monica: Food at an amusement park is just as important as the rides. There was nothing special at PKI and nothing especially vegetarian friendly. We had fresh cut fries for lunch at a place near Tomb Raider and mediocre pizza in the Octoberfest building for dinner. There was no nice sit-down place to dine. We really enjoy a nice full service dinner at a park to take a break from the craziness and enjoy some A/C and some good conversation. We did stop at the Oktoberfest for a Michelob Amber Bock, our cheap beer of choice, but it was loud inside with the same advertisements that we saw in each of the lines. It did not compare to Busch Garden’s Oktoberfest experience.


Reasons to go back

-Drop Zone was ridiculous, Monica was too afraid to ride it.

-The wood coasters were in great shape and were really fun.

-The park was clean and easy to navigate.


Question marks

-Tomb Raider was closed all day

-Lines for all major rides except for Italian Job closed at 8pm, including The Beast which we planned our entire day around getting a night ride.

-Advertising all over the park and in every line with no variety. We heard the same five bands, video clips and ads the whole day.


Accommodation

TownePlace Suites Cincinnati Northeast
Monica: I would recommend this place. It was really homey and the price was reasonable. The pool featured adults-only swim from 10PM – 11PM on weekends at the adjacent SpringHill Suites which was an added bonus. The park was one exit away and it was a quick and easy drive which took us past Cracker Barrel where I was able to indulge in some pecan pancakes and real maple syrup.
*** Edited 8/25/2005 4:58:17 PM UTC by eightdotthree***

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 1:44 PM
One thing I would recommend about Scooby Doo is to do it during the Nickelodeon Parade. The kids are at the parade so the line is shorter, maybe 10 minutes. But DEFINITELY do this ride it is a blast. This from someone who lost cause his friend cheated and leaned out as far as he could which at 6'4"+ is a long way.

Italian Job was fun but the line looked like it never was shorter than 1.5 hours. Good thing the GR rep got us fast passes for it :) Since they didn't offer us a choice the day I was there for what the ACE walkback would be.

Tomb Raider is definitely worth the wait. It was the most entertaining ride at PKI to me.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:08 PM
Wood coasters in great shape? I guess Gramke was on vacation!

PKI and good wood coasters do not belong in the same sentense, unfortunetely. :(

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:18 PM
Well, they didn't ride Son of Beast (which I enjoy sometimes and hate sometimes), The Racer has been running really well whenever I've been, The Beast can give decent to amazing rides (night though) and was still voted Best Woodie in the CB awards this year, and Beastie's cute and fun. Everything except SOB at least runs fairly smoothly compared to Mean Streak and the three at GL for me. Certainly not as good as the three in Pittsburgh though. =p

+Danny

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:24 PM
I will say that I enjoyed my rides in early august on Racer (both sides) Beast and Beastie. Son was another story (rubs the faded bruises).

Now Mean Streak I say joins Son in the burn it down with a flamethrower category. Blue Streak on the other hand was enjoyable.

Kennywood I found all the wood enjoyable but the steel painful due to the train slamming down after nice air.

Why is that that some wood is so bad in parks that have decent wood? I think the answer is design. *** Edited 8/25/2005 6:25:31 PM UTC by dragonoffrost***

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:35 PM
I still think the main problem with SOB is the trains, but for something of that size, I would have loved for them to use the Intamin track instead. Not that I'd feel any safer with Intamin doing a looping woodie.. =p

Mean Streak, like other Summers-Dinn woodies, hasn't really aged well, the design isn't great although it does look beautiful, it has the brake on the first drop, and I don't know how much work CP puts into it either. None of the CF woodies.. as CF woodies have really blown me away or were particularly smooth. Even Ghostie was getting pretty rough at Solace this year and I couldn't ride more than a couple times.

+Danny *** Edited 8/25/2005 6:35:56 PM UTC by +Danny***

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:14 PM
We didn't go anywhere near SOB, even though it looked mighty tempting while waiting for Drop Zone. Racer and The Beast were the only two woodies we rode there, and they both ran great. I guess you could complain about Beast's trims, but other than those few squeezes the ride was fast and smooth. Compared to my first ride years ago when I blacked out and came off with a pounding headache.
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Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:30 PM
But, what about Adventure Express and Delirium? :-P

Cool TR. I usually don't visit PKI in the summer because of the heat and crowds. April is the BEST time to go, and although I won't be getting back this year the Halloween stuff is pretty decent, especially the "psycho trail" if they still have that.

I have had only one ride on Beast this year and it was probably the best ever.

Glad you guys had a good time!

-Tina

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Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:59 PM
We did ride Adventure Express, which was actually a big surprise. Lousy ending though, I was so excited for what was coming next, then we rolled into the station.

Delirium was down all month however.

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Friday, August 26, 2005 2:01 PM
Ahhhh, that's right. I didn't realize it was STILL down. :-)

I understand about the Adventure Express ending. I always thought it was odd that the "themed" lift hill in the tunnel was right at the end. lol.

It's still a very underrated ride though.

-Tina

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Friday, August 26, 2005 3:05 PM
Delirium was up and down the 2 days in august that I was there. It seems that the ride has been very tempermental since reopening.
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Friday, August 26, 2005 5:15 PM
It's making a nasty jolt since it came back up too. I hope the offseason gets it some TLC.
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Saturday, August 27, 2005 11:07 AM
One can make a decent argument that Adventure Express is the highest ROW (return on wait) ride in the park. It's always a walk-on, and it delivers a fun-filled ride with some great laterals.

And, I LIKE the ending. So there.

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