PKI 05/30 and 31, CP 06/01 and 02

Associated parks:

Friday, June 3, 2005 7:19 PM
We first went to PKI for a couple of days. I gotta tell ya, that park really does absolutely nothing for me. For Paramount's "flagship park", there's just really nothing "stand-out" about it. THe layout is basic, the rides are mostly things you can find at any other park, and the coasters are nothing special.

Plus, practically everything was closed on Tuesday, which really, really came off as bush league bullsh-- to me. I understand being understaffed, but how hard is it to employ people on part-time contracts? In fact, I have firsthand experience with this, since I'm employed for weekdays between May and June at PCW, and will be let go when the high schoolers finish and can work. Is it REALLY that hard to staff for weekdays? This really pissed me off and pretty much ruined the entire opinion of the park for me. Terrible.

Onto the coasters:

Son of Beast was a horribly painful experience. The first time, it was bearable, however when we went on the next day, it was absolutely terrible. Never will go on that again. THe lay-out is also not very imaginative, and nowhere near as good as the Beast.

Top Gun was a very good suspended, albeit WAAAY too short. The location could have been improved - ie: adding water, a bit more trees, however that was purely aesthetic and the ride still kicked ass. I prefer PCW's Vortex, however, since it's located over a lake and the swoops through a makeshift forest and the massive station fly-by are done a bit better.

Vortex looked huge from outside of the park, but looking at all of the space between the ride and the ground leaves me wishing for something more. THe mid-course brake was horribly overdone, even with the hangtime created on the corkscrews. Ride was good, though, with little roughness. I did cut my knee flying up in the air on that second hill, though, but I found that more rewarding than painful.

Outer Limits seemed like it could have been so much more. The layout didn't feel nearly twisted enough. I felt as though I should be upside down and thrown around a lot more than I was. Mid-course brake ruined this one, too, which was a running thing at the park.

THe Racer was bumpy and a bit rough while sitting on wheels, however provided a lot of fun while sitting in the middle of the car. Both sides were enjoyable, and the forward side even provided a moment or two of floater air.

Face/Off was a waste of forty-five minutes. We thought it might be a nice experience, but no, same boomerangy crap.

Adventure Express was the gem of the trip, I think. I expected nothing and was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. From the pre-lift hill shenanigans to the teasing finale, and the rock 'em sock 'em statues.. the entire ride was just a lot of fun and provided great laughs and a new running gag.

Runaway Reptar was good for what it was, as was the Beastie. Ghoster Coaster was a way too long wait for something that I'm not even sure qualifies as a coaster. My girlfriend liked it, though, so it was worth it.

The Beast was certainly something to behold. The layout was amazing, and while the ride was rough as hell, it was still a lot of fun. For the first time riders, the layout really keeps you guessing. Even with the brakes on heavily, it still is a FAST ride through the forest, definately a good thing.

Italian Job is the same as the one at Wonderland, which is nothing special. A good family ride, but if you're in it for the thrills, this is probably not the best ride. I do like the launch into the helix and that drop, but otherwise, forgettable, even with the theming. I also hate the "Okay, let's get this in one shot!" thing for it. Same as Drop Zone - and still stupid as hell. Yes, let's drop from a tower and use it in a movie. No, I think not. Theming is one thing, but this.. isn't it.

We also went on Drop Zone [which was okay, nothing special], Delerium [which I love], and uh.. I think that's all the flats we experienced. Oh, and Eiffel Tower, which had a great view and a nice breeze.

Just one more note about PKI, if you're ever in the area, stay at the Homestead Suites in Blue Ash. They had GREAT rates [$58US per night, plus a $10 discount for signing up to their newsletter]. Really good rooms, well-kept. Do check it out if you're ever in the area.

Okay, onto CP.

Sure, I was at the park 05/16 -> 05/18, but my girlfriend and I figured that we should go back because we were bored, and so here we went. Keep in mind, we're both from Toronto, so it's not exactly a hop, skip and a jump away.

Top Thrill's "TTD WILL NOT OPEN TODAY" sign was out when we got there, however they began testing shortly thereafter. We decided to hold off on it for now and hit the other stuff first.

Millenium Force was bad ass, as usual, as were Raptor, Blue Streak, and Maggie. We waited 25 minutes for Disaster Transport, which was a lot bumpier this time than last. I assume that's because we were sitting above the wheels? Wicked Twister was good times, and we busted out the Sprint Along with the ride.

Hmm.. also went on Chaos, which is always fun. If I hear correctly, and CP's Chaos is vastly inferior to other parks', then DAMN, I have to go hunt these other ones down and give 'em a spin. Also hit up Power Tower's Turbo Drop, which is a fun experience for sure.

Went on Witches Wheel, which I've now fallen in love with, since it's a perfect ride for cuddling couples [ie: myself and my girlfriend].

I beat my girlfriend's ass on Gemini twice again, bringing our running series to 5-2-1 in my favour. Sorry, hunny, you just can't beat me anymore.

Oh yeah, we eventually got back to TTD, and after a 45 minute wait, we were on. Amazing feeling, this ride. We were praying for a rollback, but alas did not get one. We managed to hit it up again on Thursday morning, and waited 55 minutes for a front seat ride, and it was, again, amazing.

We ate at TGI Friday's on .. Thursday, and the food was not very good. My steak was about 3/4 gristle and fat, so they offered to take it back and give me another one [which was only 1/2 gristle and fat!] and give me half off my meal. Very nice of them, although it still wasn't very good. I'd probably avoid it if I were you. Which I'm not, fortunately.

Not a lot else happened this time, but it was still mostly enjoyable. We'll definately be back in September for our fourth trip and a hopefully-deserted weekend!

-- Jer.

Friday, June 3, 2005 8:33 PM
One is not a "moron" for having a different opinion than you. (What's with people here lately?)

Nice TR, grind your soul. Sorry your PKI visit wasn't so great. I love PKI, so I agree about Beast and AE. AE is a gem.

Also agree about FO and SOB. Face Off has no place in a park like PKI, imho.

Friday, June 3, 2005 8:43 PM
Ride of Steel's avatar He's absolutely not a moron. He gave examples of how he didn't like PKI, whats wrong with that?

At least you had a good time at CP. I'm glad to hear TTD is cooperating, that's a good sign.

How was the MF line? Still slow moving?

Friday, June 3, 2005 8:48 PM
Do you really believe that pkidelirium? Yikes.

You know, it's crap like this that keeps me from bothering anymore.

Rich Genthner / PTC99
Friday, June 3, 2005 8:58 PM
MF had between 45 minutes and an hour and a half waits for most of the time we were there. We got lucky twice, waited about 45 minutes, but on our one front seat attempt, a train got stuck on the lift and caused us a 15 minute extra delay, and a one hour total.

My first impression of PKI wasn't that I hated it. Two days of being there gave me that impression.

Nice to know opinions are welcome around here. :P

Friday, June 3, 2005 9:09 PM
Ok, taking the conflict down a notch...

I agree that AE is a great ride. In fact, it's one of the few things that I make sure I ride on EVERY visit to PKI. (Other than the Beast, I think that's the only attraction I can say that about...)

What's kind of ironic is that I've always considered the Carl Linder ownership years somewhat as the park's "dark ages", yet two of the best attractions of PKI's history were introduced during that time...Adventure Express and Phantom Theater.

Now, in defense of my "home" park...I would say that PKI's "stand out" feature is the fact that (last year at least) it was the top attended seasonal park in the country--up against much larger MSAs (including NYC, Chicago, Toronto, DFW, and San Francisco), so love it or hate it--they must be doing something right. I agree that the layout is basic...obviously based on the "hub & spoke" ripped off the Disneyland model. Of course, Taft/KECO liked that design so much that they also used it in a few "copies" of Kings Island...namely Kings Dominion and Canada's Wonderland.

But, all that said...PKI is still only my 5th favorite park :-)


*** Edited 6/4/2005 1:20:41 AM UTC by JZarley*** *** Edited 6/4/2005 1:22:19 AM UTC by JZarley*** *** Edited 6/4/2005 1:25:04 AM UTC by JZarley***

Friday, June 3, 2005 9:22 PM
Isn't it strange to see a TR that comes out of PKI where the gem of the park is AE? (no sarcasm there, just making note) I agree that face-off is a waste of 45 minutes for sure. You have to catch that ride first thing in the morning (from my limited experiences going to PKI) to get any kind of short line. Good TR all and all I believe.
This ain't no book you can close, when the big light hits your eyes. Cropduster-Riot Act-Pearl Jam
Friday, June 3, 2005 10:48 PM
Posts deleted, I was too harsh.

You visited the park on a Limited Operation Day - Not a good time. Pay another visit during the full summer season, and everything will be fine.

Saturday, June 4, 2005 2:11 PM

UBRhino said:

My favorite ride there is WT. A lot of people look at the coaster as just "mediocre". I really think it's under-rated though. What about maXair? Did you get a ride on that?

Great TR!

I love WT, but I enjoyed Steel Venom at Geauge Lake more - just for that wicked half-second brake on the back spike.

I didn't get a chance to go on maXair this time, but I went on it a few weeks ago when I was at the park, and I found it to be awesome. I think Delerium was slightly better due to being closer to trees and thus more "near miss" objects, whereas maX is built in the middle of a walkway. However, both rides are awesome, and the waits are usually deceptively short, making it all the more sweet.

Sunday, June 5, 2005 12:27 AM

pkidelirium said:
Posts deleted, I was too harsh.

You visited the park on a Limited Operation Day - Not a good time. Pay another visit during the full summer season, and everything will be fine.

If parks have limited operation days shouldn't the admission price be less? I'm talking all parks, not just PKI. I've run into this many places and always thought a park might actually gain some customer points by cutting the admission a bit when they don't have the staffing to run the place. I know some places run coupons/can discounts but what about the average person? How about cutting them a break?

Granted most do post what is closed somewhere (if you can find it) so you have a choice of whether to pay to get in or not.

I suppose I'd have trouble convincing anyone in upper management that this might be a good customer service idea but if a park tried it I bet they wouldn't lose anything in the long run.

Great trip report, by the way. *** Edited 6/5/2005 4:28:20 AM UTC by Brad G***

"Heavily medicated for your safety!"

Sunday, June 5, 2005 10:49 AM
Outside of handing out cards after you pay for parking, there was also no advertisement of this, so people who DID pay full price were greeted with a list of OPEN rides [rather than a list of closed rides] after they paid for parking.

This is another reason which strikes me as being really terrible management. Had they been advertising "Limited Operation Only" somewhere other than on these little cards with the rides open list, I would be more forgiving. However, their schedule just lists the park as being open for operation on those days, with no words on limited availability of rides.

Sunday, June 5, 2005 12:00 PM
You can't just shift staffing around hither - different departments.

You can't close food joints and send their staffing to Tomb Raider. it just doesn't work that way. Someone in Food simply is not permitted nor is trained to work on rides. The rides require that their own crew be there to run them.

Would YOU want a fry cook from a food joint running a ride you are on? or checking your bars?

Oh yeah, if a park advertises a Limited Operation Day, that will reduce their attendance for that day, not help them. *** Edited 6/5/2005 4:28:59 PM UTC by pkidelirium***

Monday, June 6, 2005 12:53 AM

you actually got a card with the open rides list? We didn't. (We were there on Wednesday)

I am sorry. If I pay full price, I expect the park to be fully available. (I understand sometimes there are technical problems so don't flame me on that.)

But when Delerium, Racer backwards, Racer forwards only running one train, a bunch of food stands (including the park's only healthy option - Subway) TR:TR opens an hour late, IJST opens 90 minutes late (running only one train all day), food stands out of menu items at noon, stores not opening (Nickelodeon Store by the entrance- wanted to get my little girl Dora stuff)...etc, etc, etc. THAT is when I have an issue.

If they can't staff the park properly the then they shouldn't have the park open for daily operation. Simple as that. My dollar bills are as green as the people who go to the park in August, I should be able to ride all the rides, shop at all the shops and eat what _I_ want to eat - not a limited selection that the park deems willing to open.

Cards at the parking entrance is not enough, I drove over three hours and left a wonderfully staffed park (HW - where everything was running) to go there for the day - and I had no idea of the shutdowns until I got in the park after buying my tickets.

--George H

Monday, June 6, 2005 1:52 AM
UBRhino, You're allowed to like SOB, just don't say something like, "Anyone who doesn't like SOB is an assmonkey" lol. I respect your opinion, and highly disaggree.

Joey Stewart, I would call Beast a gem also, except everyone already knows about it. I think a gem is an unknown or underrated great. I would call TG a gem.

Pkidelirium, we are all entitled to have bad moods sometimes.

I've been hearing a few bad things about my favorite park lately. This makes dexter sad. :(

Monday, June 6, 2005 5:31 PM
I'm not saying you're not allowed to have bad moods. I'm just saying, with the late letouts for schools around here, it's hard to staff the park during the week in May and early June. They do the best they can, but it's tricky.l
Monday, June 6, 2005 6:23 PM
Just wanted to throw in a comment about Limited Operation Days.

I was at Geuaga Lake at the time you were at PKI, for thier first days of weekday operation. The park plainly admitted to being way understaffed, however all the rides were up and running all day.

On Wednesday morning we got to the Dominator station first, to ride the first train of the morning. While all the test runs had been complete, they were waiting for one more ride op to arrive before opeing to riders. We were talking with a ride op, who was filling us in. Another person arrived, and we watched her get a crash course in how to check restraints and fasten the belts. The ride op we were talking to said that only 3 of the 5 people on the platform were actual ride ops, the girl getting the training was from Admissions, and the other woman was "an office lady" in his own words. They were up and running in a few minutes.

Later in the day, the ride was running with the same three ops, and two guys from Maintenance. A little scary, but better than being closed!


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