Trip Report: Paramount's Kings Island
November 3, 2002
"Does it get any better than Coasters and Phlyers on your birthday?"
Well, today was significant for many reasons, but the most pertinent ones for this report were that it was my birthday and it was closing day for scores of seasonal amusement parks. I chose to spend the day at PKI. Aftersome initial confusion which I caused, I was soon in the Davemobile and we arrived at the park with precise timing. So precise that we no sooner parked the car, walked up to and entered the gate, dodged the keyhole photo person, and arrived at the ACE brick just as the ACE group was starting to proceed back to Beast.
Unfortunately Beast forgot to set his alarm clock, and thus after waiting until about 10:20 or 10:30 we decided to not take our morning walk back ride on Beast. While some chose to go ride Tomb Raider instead, we opted to get right down to business on the Flyers.
There was a very minimal wait for the Flying Eagles, and soon we were aboard. I put on gloved in anticipation of the cold, and grabbed that magic rudder. Flying Skooters are pretty infamous around here by now, but for those that haven't et been exposed to them, a little word of introduction. Flyers are a pretty old ride (1930's?) by Bisch Rocco, the ride experience is that it allegedly allows the rider to pretend to be a pilot. Which their 'aircraft' merely goes around in circles around the 'control tower' the pilot does have control of their 'aircraft' by means of a huge sail like rudder. In addition there is a fixed non-mobile rudder behind the pilot. The concept is to be like an interactive swing ride, and by slowly moving the rudder you can cause your 'aircraft' to gently raise up and down.
Gently? Well, that may be what was intended, but most coaster enthusiasts and a good number of the general public have decided that "Gentle is Boring", "Rough and Turbulent are the spices of life" So, through skilled use of the rudder, it has been discovered that you can make these things soar, pitch, and dive bomb at angles that would make an airplane pilot cringe with fear. The goal? The Snap. Each 'craft is suspended from the ride frame by two cables, the goal is to make at least one cable so slack, then to very suddenly cause the tub to manuever so as to put the full force of the tub on the slack cable causing it to "snap" fromslack to taut with a loud snapping noise, sometimes magnified by a bang caused by the tub. If you can set BOTH cables to go slack so you are in essense floating for a second then let the tub drop towards the ground you can make a real impressive KA-BAM! that will get you kicked off of most Skooters rides. I say most becuase PKI was being very !
liberal in letting us show off. How to snap? It's one of those skills I can't explain, but once you figure it out, it embeds itself in your inner psyche waiting to be released. Seriously as soon as my butt hits a Flyer seat, my alternate psychotic personality takes over and its all about seeing how much noise we can make.
We proceeded to take three action packed Flyer rides to get warmed up for the day, one of which ended in a rideop coming up and congratulating me on my 'flying ability'. Signs of a good flight: Loosing your spatial knowledge of where in the revolution you are, looking out to the side and seeing the ground, a gut-wrenching feeling of unnatural suuden loos of altitude, the moment of silent float right before you hear the KA-BAM, watching the shadows on the ground and seeing the cables go slack, and applause or loud cheering by those watching the ride after the loud Ka-BAM. Skilled pilots can even overcome a sudden change in flight pattern coming out of a snap caused by the skilled flyer behind you snapping. This is of course before you add in the International Flyer Fanatics Association judging card, some points of which are gained for snapping in the 'zone' (typically the spot on the ride closest to the waiting pilots) as well as points for each person you scare out of th!
e queue. Of course when the queue is full of jaded flyer fanatics, its harder to scare any out of line.
After about 3 rides the queue started getting long, so we headed to Flight of Fear. Flight of Fear was a near walk-on. The on-ride-photo is still closed, but what follows is one of the wildest, smoothest, intense coaster rides in the park. And its wonderful. I even think they are starting to add many more different colored lights in the bowl. We had a wonderful ride on Flight of Fear, and then others in our group opted on a quick lunch at the Stunt Crew Grill.
I merely enjoyed a cappucino and while eating we were 'entertained' by a group who sat down at a table, pulled out drum pads, and started drumming on the table. It might have been good if they had any sense of rhythm.
We endured the non-rythmic, very annoying 'drumming', then headed off towards Face/Off, we took one look at the queue for Face/Off and opted for Top Gun instead. The little drummer boys had gone from the drum pads and were starting to beat on the table top and benches. My, the live entertainmnet budget in this park has really gone down.
We passed two closed Intamin riders. (Congo Falls, and Drop Zone) before arriving at Top Gun. Top Gun had a bit of a wait due to the fact it only has one train for the time being. The line was just about back to the shortcut gate. After a bit of a wait we found ourselves in the front seat of the back car for a very fine fast, smooth Top Gun ride. The ride was excellent today, if it just wasn't so short.
We exited Top Gun, and our group decided not to wait for Son of Beast, with its line almost to the season pass billboard, and instead headed towards Adventure Express. Adventure Expresses line was about ahlfway through the enclosed section of the queue. We waited it out and took seats in the front car. Adventure Express was also runnning well, (when doesn't it?) though I miss the strobes and fog in the third tunnel. In fact most of the special effects seemed to be off except for the drummers (who had much better rhythm).
We were starting to have a great day, and we saw a train full of happy Racer riders heading up the lift hill. Racer was a near walk on at this point, and we opted for seats towards the back of the train. The ride up the lift was fine, and the out leg was fast but a bit rough with a couple small airtime moments, the ride started going to heck when on the small hill right before the turnaround the person in the seat next to me started using obscene language. The return leg was also rough, with no airtime. By the time time we hit the brake run we had one rider in my seat in pain, and one laughing heartily. Rideman received his usual case of torque lock, which was only resolved when John Peck STOOD on Rideman's lapbar with Rideman still under it. Why does it only happen to you Dave?
From Racer we cruised on back to Vortex, and on the way noted the ney Grill setup in the middle of Coney, and noticed that Canada is still tangled with the lightpost. The queue for Vortex was just to the bottom of the midway stairs, and it did have two trains on, so it wasn't a bad wait at all. The back seat float trick worked its usual charm, and all in all it wasn't a bad ride on Vortex.
After Vortex we noticed the Troika was closed, and started to enter the Flying Eagles queue but when we saw how full the Eagles queue was we headed towards Beast instead.
Beast has awoke by this point, and we decided to take a ride even though it was only running two trains, and the line was back to the pop machines. John Peck told some jokes in line that were so bad, the only laughter heard was coming from John Peck. Soon we were boarding the last car of Beast. Another less than optimal Beast ride took place, a bit rough, a lot a bit braked, but hey it's Beast.
After Beast we took a look at the Tomb Raider line and decided that we really didn't want to wait that long as it was all the way out of the tomb, wrapped around the front, and into the outdoor queues. Continuing on we skipped the train ride and noted that both Canyon and Thornberries were closed. After a short break, we wentered Nickelodeon Central and noted that Reptar and Scooby's Ghoster Coaster were both closed.
We noted the water maze was closed with a sign to see the Atom Ant's operator for the location of the nearest "wet ride". (Wet in quotes on the sign as well). We didn't find anyone in our group daring enough to ask the Atom Ant's operator for fear they mighty toss you on Atom Ant's Airways, start it up, then spray water from a garden hose at you. :)
With 2 of the 4 kiddie coasters closed, we were not surprised to find Beastie with a long linestretching back onto the midway, we were disapointed to learn Beastue was only running 1 train, so we decided to skip it. We pauded to reflect/remember on Phantom theater before heading to the Candy Store.
We went into the Candy Store to warm up, we did not expect the 50 cents per 1/4 lb. special on bulk candy. We purchased some bulk candy and killed time looking at the blown glass. From the window of the gift shop we could see a long line forming for the Dippin Dots stand.
Dippin Dot's Stand, in 40 degree weather? This required some investigation, where yes we did see some people buying ice cream, but many more people buying the hot chocolate he also had for sale. We didn't see anyobyd purchase rumours. It was at this point that we met up with Sean's group, and headed up to the top of the 1/3 Scale Replica of the Eiffel Tower, as seen in Paris, France. We actually had to wait as the Tower's queue area was full, but we were surprised when it seemed warmer at the top of Tower then it did on the bottom. We mostly looked at the octagonal Pit which of couse must be built before any Pendulum, noted the crowded parking lot with more cars streaming in, and this was at 3:30! On a cold day! We looked at some other stuff, then headed back down to the ground, where some headed to a DDR machine, and the rest of us headed to the FlyerFest. Oh, there was a large group gathered outside the Flyers but that queue was not looking nice. Wepassed up on Flye!
r Fest after wasting a deal of time, met up with the DDR players, then wound up parting ways anyway. After much ado we joined the Son of Beast line, which was back into the tunnel. On the way into Son of Beast there is a billboard advertising season passes with the phrase "Feel it all year long with a season pass" atop a photo of Son of Beast. Are they reffering to the pain inflicted by SOB, do they really want to stress this?
After a bit of a wait, we crammed ourselves in and contorted our bodies to fit into the SOB cars, then we did the quck dip out of the station, around the bend up the lift, then experienced some nice airtime on the big drop, then hit the horrid pain-filled, rough, shuffling, awful Rose Bowl Helix. Sharp eyed riders could spot a construction trailer sitting inside the helix. This was enough to get Ye Olde Rumour Mill going. We heard lots and lots of rumours about this ride: retracking, minor reprofiling, major reprofiling, wholesale drastic reprofiling, tunneling the helix, and so on. All the rumours had a commonality of saying something was going to happen to the Rose Bowl Helix, but they differed in the details of WHAT was going to happen to the helix. The facts of the case are there is a construction trailer in the helix. For all we know it could be spare parts, or parts for Dilirium.
Ah at least talking about the Helix rumours helped take my mind off of how rough and miserable the helix is, we hit the much welcomed brakes, then the airtime fille ddrop into the loop, then into another sucky helix, then the ride finally twists its way till it mercifully parks itself on the final brakes. What a waste of money this one was.
We hobbled out of the Son of Beast line, and saw Sean F. getting ready to have hit butt put into the sling. We continued to walk, took a ride in the back car of Adventure Express, after a bit of a wait, Sean moved up about three people in line for the Slingshot. We headed around to Racer and took another back car ride, but in different seats. The ride was still rough, still had mild doses of air, but this time the person sitting next to me seemed to enjoy the ride.
We looked at our watches and noted it was almost 6pm, so we headed back to the Flyers. The queue had gotten slightly shorter, to about 15 minutes. (20 if you count being loaded, taking the ride, unloading and walking back to the queue)
We managed three more insane Flyer rides, I got another attaboy from a ride op for a good flight. We made some seriously loud banging noises with real hard snaps.
At about 7 we quickly proceeded to Beast to join the large group gathered around Jeff Siebert. Next year we have got to get him a portable PA system as it was extremly hard to hear him from the back of the group. We chatted and generally killed time until they got all the GP through the queue, then we took that last official rides on Beast, which have been reserved for ACE the last few years.
Amazingly Beast seemed to be runnning better than it did in the afternoon, maybe it was the fact that the vast majority of the lights were off, maybe it was the effects of the misting rain we had had the last hour or so, but it was really a very good Beast ride to end the season on.
After the Beast ride we took a slow leisurely walk up to the front gate, said good-byes, yada, yada, a few got way to exicted seeing some merchanside people taking the clothes off the store window manikins while asuming, uhm, poses not suitable for a family park, or a family web site.
After that it was just more good byes, and a dinner at Bob Evans, and then coaster season 2002 was over.
Great TR! It really makes me miss PKI.
CBClub member #30 and #364 (renewal)
Great TR. Dave.
No Rideman isn't the only one who gets Torque Lock from those terrible ratcheting lapbars.
Beast was running bout probably what it will always run from now on. I do think the ride has become extremely rough this year for some reason and I thought it was track, The retracked from the end of the second tunnel to the second lift and the helix in aug. sometime and it is still bouncing like crazy, Specially the second turn after the second tunnel and on one of my two rides it banged us around at the top of the helix pretty daym good. I think the trains may be loosing their stiffness and flexing more than normal.
Flyers? We seen you guys just stand there and chat for about 40 minutes while we waited to ride, Heck, you could have chatted in line and got your ride in to, Which was THE PLAN! We took about 7 rides in the morning (Being very early walkback line exiters) and probably 15 between 4pm and 7:15pm. Thanks to the terrific Beast Crew and manager we got a bonus ride! It almost made us miss our final Beast ride but It wouldn't have mattered, Those night flyer rides were just as memoriable and as a extra bonus, We got to do both. THANKS BRIAN! And thanks for the 3 minute cycle compared to last years 2 minutes.
SOB, Im not trying to change you view of the ride at all. Just going to say it ran smoother and faster than ever IMO. The lapbars are the only problem I see with it.
I was only told by some reliable sources that Sonny was getting MAJOR work in the offseason. I only mentioned trains but there were a ton of rumors thrown about, The main one was Tunnel. If so, I hope they put a corregated steel roof on it.
As always, It was great to see you and everyone else.
BTW, Have you ever thought about writing some sort of documentary or something?
Is it about coasters or friends? I say both!
*** This post was edited by Charles Nungester on 11/6/2002. ***
Beast Crew 2002
Wow, Thanks again. Im glad I checked back here and seen this nice reply!
There are crews, and there are good crews. 2002 BEAST/Flyer CREW ROCKS!
Chuck, who has and does send compliments to the park.
Is it about coasters or friends? I say both!
*** This post was edited by Charles Nungester on 11/7/2002. ***
Nice TR David!
I had a great time on Sunday despte the chilly weather. It was good getting to see you also Brian although I missed out on those last Flyer rides, but I did get in a few throughout the day.
Women was god's second mistake.
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