Monday, May 14, 2001 8:35 PM
King’s Island – May 12, 2001
After the long drive down from Sandusky after a great day at Cedar Point, we encountered some heavy rains, even though we had ordered a nice day. Thankfully, the day turned out to be a beautiful day. If only the crowds had been as pleasant as they had been the day before at CP. We were pretty tired, and since we knew that the park was open until 10 that night, we took our time getting to the park. We got there at 11 and the park was already in full swing. Contrary to my advice, the group I was with headed for the first few rides we saw, primarily Face Off and SOB. After about an hour wait for F/O and a minor break down, I got my first taste of a Vekoma invert. I was pleasantly surprised. It packs quite a punch and is definitely a change of pace from the B&M’s I had ridden. I was particularly fond of the restraints, the added padding for headbanging was a nice touch.
After this ride, we eyed the Sky Coaster there in the action zone, and after a little prodding by my old college roommate, we decided to make our reservation to get a taste for what a sky coaster had to offer. We made sure to give us enough time to get through the SOB line and maybe more. We then headed over to the SOB line, and they were right on the money when they told us the wait was just over an hour. When we got to the station, I was slightly worried about the restraint system, primarily because of what I had read on this board about it’s incompatibility with larger folk. Aside from having to squeeze my legs together (and the fact I may never bear children now lol), the lap bar was actually pretty comfortable. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the ride, but I knew I was in for a ride all about power and brute force. I was right, it was not quite as rough as I had expected, but it sure did beat up on you pretty good. But what can you expect from a woodie that does 70 mph +? I agree with most, that woodies just weren’t meant to go that fast, and realized that I much prefer a smaller coaster with lots of air time over this…..but that was before I had my first experience with the Beast which I will talk about a little later.
Next we hit Top Gun before our date with death on the Sky Coaster. Not a bad suspended, in fact I went into it with little to no expectations, simply because Iron Dragon was as tame as it was. I was pleasantly surprised, this suspended is a lot of fun, even if it is on the short side. Fortunately, we only waited about 20 minutes to get on, any more and I wouldn’t mess with the effort of riding it.
Now for the Sky Coaster experience. In all honesty, this was the most terrified I had ever been over a thrill ride, and I am a major adrenaline junkie. Part of that fear was from the unknown, part was just watching the ride itself. But after talking with everyone who got off of it, and the excitement they had after experiencing it, I had subsided that fear with excitement. I had already told Kevin that he would have to pull the ripcord and after getting up there, I am glad I did, I really don’t think I would have been able to do it. Staring face down 150 feet to the ground is certainly un-nerving, but exciting all the same. I highly suggest that if you are looking for a major rush, check one of these out. I will do it again, probably this summer in Orlando. The only down side is the price of admission, so to speak, but we justified it at PKI because we got our tickets for $25 at the hotel we stayed at and just applied that $15 savings toward the Sky Coaster fee.
Now, here we were having spent almost 4 hours in the park, and still haven’t left Action zone! Like I said, the crowds were thick, but what else could you expect on a Saturday when the park isn’t even open on weekdays yet. We moseyed on toward the back of the park and hit Adventure Express. Not a bad mine train, but it is kind of anti-climactic with it ending on a lift hill.
I can’t forget the Racer. What a great classic coaster. We rode backwards first, and made sure to wait for the back (front) so that we could see the track as we rode. Talk about major airtime! What a great ride, too bad the forward side doesn’t have quite the same, which I can’t figure out, because they are the exact same track.
We then headed toward Flight of Fear. People on here weren’t kidding when they rag about the capacity of this ride! The wait was every bit of the hour and a half we were promised at the entrance. I had a little reservations going in because of the change over to the lap bars and my girth. But it wasn’t a problem and I have to say that I can see where the problems would have been with headbanging back in the “OTSR” days. It was definitely better as it is. The launch was pretty intense, but that was my first experience with a LIM or LSM, whichever it is. Overall a good ride, but not sure if it was worth 1 ½ hours, but I didn’t know when I would make it back to PKI, so we had to ride.
Next up was Vortex. This was only the second “big” Arrow I have ridden, the other being Shockwave at SFGAm. Pretty cool ride, the bat wing was new for me on an Arrow. It was certainly rough, but I expect that from an Arrow and am always prepared to deal with it.
By now it was starting to get a little late, and we were getting tired, so we walked over to check out The 7th Portal. Pretty cool little show, but again, disappointed with the time it took to get in. Guess I just got spoiled the day before with the lack of waiting at CP.
Well, there was no way I was going to leave the park without at least one ride on the Beast. It had been over 20 years since I was at PKI last, and then I was too chicken to even walk near the Beast’s entrance, but now I have no fear! LoL I also wanted to experience a night ride, so needless to say, my first ever ride on the Beast was a night ride. I can’t even put into words how amazing this was. Completely and utterly out of control! We made sure to get in the second row (virtually the same effect as the front but without the wait), and I am glad we did. Flying through the dark, not knowing where you were going to go was awesome! It’s truly amazing to see how much a crowd can get worked up over a coaster after 20+ years of operation! The design is awesome, i.e. the train starting up the lift hill and being able to see and yell in excitement to the people just returning from their trip on the final brake run. I hope that was by design, but either way I find it a stroke of genius. That and being able to see the second train cresting the second lift hill as you crest the first is an awesome design as well. This is now my #1 coaster of all time, perhaps it was the intensity of riding at night, but in all honesty, I think that the design is what makes the Beast what it is. Not being able to see ANY of the layout, even from higher points in the park, all you can see is the two lift hills and some of the helix, other than that, it is a mystery. Remember: The Beast is lurking in ambush! LOL we got a kick out of that sign in the station, and kept yelling to all to beware since the beast is LURKING! Hahahaha, anyway, we managed 3 rides in under an hour just before closing, we were on the second to last train of the night, and it was the best way to close out another coaster trip.
Stay tuned for more reports throughout the summer, planning on hitting all three SF parks in Texas as well as IOA, Sea World, Universal and BGT in June! See you all on the midways!
Tuesday, May 15, 2001 7:18 AM
"You call that long?"
What is going on with the time of your post? It says 12:15 yet right now it is only 11:15 on the east coast. Is the time based on the timezone of the poster or of coasterbuzz?
*** This post was edited by jdancisin on 5/15/2001. ***
Wednesday, May 30, 2001 7:42 PM
You mention concern over your GIRTH. As a larger person myself, I have found that Ohio parks have looser restraints than others.
At the risk of being crass, just how do you describe your GIRTH? I will be visiting PKI,CP, and SFWoA in 2+ weeks and want to make sure I can enjoy myself.
Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:46 PM
Beast has got to be my favorite woddie
Son of beast has gotta be the worst woodie
Blue Streak Laps : 490 ~~ 85 in one day
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 5:47 AM
My first of many trips of 2001 was at Paramount's Kings Island. I drove 21 hour straigh through. From Minnesota. When I got to Red Roof Inn, in Hamlton Ohio it was 3:00am. I woke up at 8:30am on Saturday morning it was 70 degrees a very warm welcome. I arrived at Kings Island at 9:00am there was already a waiting line to enter the park. My first desire was to ride the famous Beast, it was excellent, for those of you who haven't expereniced it, ride it but night is more funer you will see why. Next stop was Son Of Beast, I didn't like it to much because it was to jerky and rough I recomend riding it only 1 time. After that I went on Face OFF was ok, Racer was decent and Outer Limits was decent. My opion on Kings Island wasn't impressed with it. On the way back we stopped at Six Flags Great America wich was more enjoyable 2 thumbs up for 6 flags! On June 16-20 of this year I will be going to Cedar Point for the 1st time and many time through out the 2001 season, #1 park in America. I will aslo be making visits to Kennywood Park, Six Flags Ohio during the 2001 season.