I live about 45 minutes drive from PKI, which pretty much makes it my home park. I was there in '72 for the opening season, and have made it at least once a season since then. It saddens me to have seen it slowly decay, and then be outright abused under Paramount management. Be prepared for a lenghthy rant, with some SOB slapping at the end for good measure.
Here's the stuff I don't like, in no particular order, in some cases contrasted with fond memory of a better time:
1. Preferred parking
Parking fees at a park not accessible other than by car are bogus to begin with, but I expect that sort of thing. Making the close parking restricted to those willing to pay extra adds insult to injury.
2. Random openings/closings
So the park is open till 8, or 9, or 10. Fine - but don't expect to actually do anything close to either opening or closing time, because food, shops, and some rides operate at times unknown. On 5/21 (park open till 9) the Stunt Show Grill was closed by 7:45. Sunglass shops were not open at all on 6/7, and SOB was scheduled to open at 1:00 pm. Likewise, for a scheduled 8 PM park close, the SOB line closed just after we entered at 7 pm. These are the things I observed directly - I wouldn't be surprised if there were more. I really, Really miss that last funnel cake by the fountain after the rides close.
3. Genericised food and shops
When KI opened, International Street was pretty serious about it. Touristy junk, yes, but actually from the coutries represented - and the Hummel Shop and International Restauraunt attracted visitors who had no interest in the park otherwise. One could actually eat and do things in the park that were otherwise unavailable.
Now the trend is much more mall-like; one can't even get deep-fried mushrooms or swiss cheese on a stick, and the de regeure giant fries are flabby and available in only one location. Burgers and chicken sandwiches abound. They are bucking that trend in at氀攀愀猀琀 琀眀漀 瀀氀愀挀攀猀Ⰰ 琀栀漀甀最栀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 搀攀猀攀爀瘀攀 挀爀攀搀椀琀 ⴀ 䴀漀渀琀最漀洀攀爀礀 䤀渀渀 爀椀戀猀 椀渀 刀椀瘀攀爀琀漀眀渀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 琀栀攀 伀欀琀漀戀攀爀昀攀猀琀 瀀愀琀椀漀✀猀 瀀爀攀琀琀礀 搀攀挀攀渀琀 猀愀甀猀愀最攀猀 ⠀ 琀栀漀甀最栀 渀漀琀 渀攀愀爀氀礀 愀猀 最漀漀搀Ⰰ 漀爀 愀猀 洀甀挀栀 昀甀渀Ⰰ 愀猀 琀栀攀 漀渀攀猀 琀栀攀礀 甀猀攀搀 琀漀 洀愀欀攀 漀渀ⴀ猀椀琀攀 愀渀搀 氀攀琀 礀漀甀 眀愀琀挀栀⤀⸀ 䄀渀礀漀渀攀 攀氀猀攀 洀椀猀猀 匀愀甀爀欀爀愀甀琀 戀愀氀氀猀㼀㰀戀爀㸀㐀⸀ 刀攀瀀氀愀挀椀渀最 倀愀椀搀ⴀ昀漀爀 倀愀爀欀 爀椀搀攀猀 眀椀琀栀 昀漀爀ⴀ瀀愀礀 䴀愀氀氀 愀琀琀爀愀挀琀椀漀渀猀㰀戀爀㸀伀欀Ⰰ 愀 匀欀礀挀漀愀猀琀攀爀 䤀 挀愀渀 猀攀攀 ⴀ 愀渀搀 椀琀✀猀 瘀攀爀礀 氀漀眀 琀栀爀漀甀最栀瀀甀琀 爀攀焀甀椀爀攀猀 猀漀洀攀 猀漀爀琀 漀昀 氀椀洀椀琀愀琀椀漀渀 漀渀 栀漀眀 洀愀渀礀 爀椀搀攀Ⰰ 猀漀 挀栀愀爀最攀 洀愀欀攀猀 猀攀渀猀攀⸀ 吀爀愀搀椀渀最 椀渀 琀栀攀 䔀渀琀攀爀瀀爀椀猀攀 昀漀爀 愀 ␀㘀 挀氀椀洀戀椀渀最 眀愀氀氀㼀 䘀氀椀最栀琀 䌀漀洀洀愀渀搀攀爀 昀漀爀 ␀㠀 䈀甀渀最攀攀 吀爀愀洀瀀漀氀椀渀攀猀㼀 䐀愀礀猀 漀昀 琀栀甀渀搀攀爀 䜀漀ⴀ䬀愀爀琀猀㼀 䰀愀稀攀爀吀愀最㼀 匀攀瀀愀爀愀琀攀 挀栀愀爀最攀搀 ⠀ 愀渀搀 椀渀搀攀瀀攀渀搀愀渀琀氀礀 漀眀渀攀搀⤀ 洀漀琀椀漀渀 猀椀洀甀氀愀琀漀爀猀㼀 圀椀氀氀 漀甀爀 栀椀猀琀漀爀礀 爀攀愀搀㨀 䘀爀攀攀 愀搀洀椀猀猀椀漀渀 愀渀搀 戀爀椀渀最 愀 瀀椀挀渀椀挀Ⰰ 瀀愀礀 昀漀爀 爀椀搀攀猀 ⴀⴀ 倀愀礀 昀漀爀 愀搀洀椀猀猀椀漀渀Ⰰ 戀爀椀渀最 愀 瀀椀挀渀椀挀Ⰰ 昀爀攀攀 爀椀搀攀猀 ⴀⴀ 瀀愀礀 昀漀爀 愀搀洀椀猀猀椀漀渀Ⰰ 渀漀 漀甀琀猀椀搀攀 昀漀漀搀 漀爀 搀爀椀渀欀Ⰰ 昀爀攀攀 爀椀搀攀猀 ⴀⴀ 倀愀礀 昀漀爀 愀搀洀椀猀猀椀漀渀Ⰰ 倀愀礀 昀漀爀 昀漀漀搀Ⰰ 倀愀礀 昀漀爀 爀椀搀攀猀㼀㰀戀爀㸀㔀⸀ 刀攀氀攀渀琀氀攀猀猀 瀀爀漀洀漀琀椀漀渀㰀戀爀㸀䘀爀漀洀 琀栀攀 䜀愀爀搀攀渀 漀昀 倀愀爀愀洀漀甀渀琀 匀栀愀洀攀氀攀猀猀 瀀爀漀洀漀琀椀漀渀 琀漀 琀栀攀 琀爀愀椀渀 爀椀搀攀 漀昀 倀愀爀愀洀漀甀渀琀 匀栀愀洀攀氀攀猀猀 瀀爀漀洀漀琀椀漀渀 琀漀 琀栀攀 ⨀⌀☀⨀␀ 吀嘀猀 椀渀 攀瘀攀爀礀 ⤀⠀⌀☀␀⤀ 氀椀渀攀 戀氀愀猀琀椀渀最 琀栀攀 猀愀洀攀 ⨀⌀☀␀ 䌀爀愀瀀Ⰰ 琀栀攀爀攀 椀猀 渀漀 攀猀挀愀瀀攀⸀ 䠀攀礀℀ 䤀 倀䄀䤀䐀 夀伀唀 䄀䰀刀䔀䄀䐀夀⸀ 匀吀伀倀 匀䔀䰀䰀䤀一䜀 䴀䔀 匀吀唀䘀䘀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㘀⸀ 唀最氀礀 爀椀搀攀猀⸀㰀戀爀㸀䄀渀礀漀渀攀 攀氀猀攀 爀攀洀攀洀戀攀爀 愀洀甀猀攀洀攀渀琀 瀀愀爀欀 爀椀搀攀猀 瀀愀椀渀琀攀搀 椀渀 戀爀椀最栀琀 挀漀氀漀爀猀 愀渀搀 氀椀琀 眀椀琀栀 瀀愀琀琀攀爀渀猀 琀栀愀琀 挀漀甀氀搀 椀渀搀甀挀攀 猀椀攀稀甀爀攀 椀渀 渀漀渀ⴀ攀瀀椀氀攀瀀琀椀挀猀㼀 圀栀攀爀攀 搀漀攀猀 倀䬀䤀 最攀琀 琀栀椀猀 瀀攀渀挀栀愀渀琀 昀漀爀 愀氀眀愀礀猀ⴀ漀渀 眀栀椀琀攀 昀氀漀漀搀氀椀最栀琀椀渀最 愀渀搀 攀愀爀琀栀 琀漀渀攀猀㼀 吀栀攀 䈀攀愀猀琀 洀愀欀攀猀 猀攀渀猀攀㬀 椀琀猀 琀栀攀洀攀搀 愀猀 愀渀 愀戀愀渀搀漀渀攀搀 洀椀渀攀⸀ 䘀愀挀攀⼀伀昀昀Ⰰ 嘀漀爀琀攀砀Ⰰ 䬀椀渀最 䌀漀戀爀愀Ⰰ 䐀爀漀瀀 娀漀渀攀 ⴀ 琀栀攀猀攀 琀栀椀渀最猀 猀栀漀甀氀搀 瀀甀琀 搀椀猀挀漀猀 琀漀 猀栀愀洀攀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 琀栀攀礀 氀漀漀欀 氀椀欀攀 椀渀搀甀猀琀爀椀愀氀 攀焀甀椀瀀洀攀渀琀 椀渀 愀 瀀愀爀欀椀渀最 氀漀琀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㜀⸀ 匀甀爀氀礀Ⰰ 椀渀挀漀洀瀀攀琀愀渀琀 爀椀搀攀 漀瀀猀⸀㰀戀爀㸀一漀琀 攀瘀攀爀礀漀渀攀Ⰰ 漀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀 ⴀ 䤀昀 礀漀甀 愀爀攀 愀 爀椀搀攀 漀瀀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 礀漀甀 愀爀攀 搀漀椀渀最 最漀漀搀 眀漀爀欀Ⰰ 䤀✀洀 猀漀爀爀礀 愀渀搀 䤀 欀渀漀眀 礀漀甀 愀爀攀 漀甀琀 琀栀攀爀攀⸀ 䠀漀眀攀瘀攀爀Ⰰ 洀漀猀琀 漀昀 眀栀愀琀 䤀 猀攀攀 椀猀 渀漀琀 愀琀 愀氀氀 愀瀀瀀爀漀瀀爀椀愀琀攀⸀ 伀渀攀 攀砀琀爀攀洀攀 攀砀愀洀瀀氀攀Ⰰ 昀漀爀 愀 琀愀猀琀攀㨀 漀渀 㔀⼀㈀Ⰰ 爀椀搀椀渀最 琀栀攀 嘀椀欀椀渀最 䘀甀爀礀 ⠀ 䄀 䠀甀猀猀 倀椀爀愀琀⤀ 洀礀 瀀愀爀琀礀 漀昀 㐀 愀渀搀 愀 瀀愀爀琀礀 漀昀 ㈀ 昀椀氀攀搀 椀渀琀漀 愀 猀攀愀琀 氀椀猀琀攀搀 愀猀 栀漀氀搀椀渀最 㐀ⴀ㘀 爀椀搀攀爀猀⸀ 吀栀攀爀攀 愀爀攀 琀眀漀 氀愀瀀 bars, and one of my party had a leg under each. The Ride op walked by, slapped a release, and opened the bars, told my friend "You have to be under one bar", and kept walking. We could not fit under one bar, nor was there any division of the two parties that would allow us to fit. Ride op returns: " I told you to get under one bar or the other." My friend ( and whole party) "We don't fit. Just can't do it." Op replies, "Well, I can't do anything about that." and walks away. An obvious solution leaps to my mind - let the party of two, who boarded last, back into the queue to wait for the next ride. The gates are closed, though, and we have clearly exhausted the op's patience, as he leans on the fence staring at us. Out of consideration for the other riders, my friend gives up her seat and ride.
8. Son of Beast
I have to be fair, so I have split into two sections:
a) The ride itself.
Hurt me such that today (6/9) my shoulder is still aching, and every member of my party of four was hurt in some way - I'm the only one who isn't bruised. The latter portion of the ride ( as I rode it) is composed mostly of sustained powerful + Gs and rapid lateral shaking, broken by a very cool loop. The sustained +G was just very uncomfortable, and the opposite of the air time I like best. The shaking is what hurt my shoulder and upper back, almost like whiplash. It is hard to be objectiuve about things like this, but for reference, I consider the Beast a smooth ride, Mean Streak at CP to be rough but enjoyable, and SOB to be not worth riding again, joining Steel Phantom in that category. In fairness, both the first (out of the station surprise) and tallest drop are very nicely done, and the speed is very cool.
b) PKI's handling of the opening problems.
I think only "Incompetant" can cover it. Misinformation, disinformation, misdirection - anything but telling us what is going on. It took a lot of work and time to make a short, rough section of track smoo栀攀爀 ⴀ 椀猀 琀栀愀琀 愀氀氀 琀栀攀礀 搀椀搀㼀 䤀 搀漀渀✀琀 琀栀椀渀欀 猀漀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 䤀 搀漀渀✀琀 琀栀椀渀欀 椀琀 漀瀀攀渀攀搀 愀昀琀攀爀 瀀洀 漀渀 㘀⼀㤀 戀攀挀愀甀猀攀 琀栀椀攀爀 猀琀愀昀昀 眀愀猀 椀渀 猀挀栀漀漀氀 ⠀愀猀 爀攀瀀漀爀琀攀搀 琀漀 甀猀 漀渀 琀栀攀 椀渀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀 氀椀渀攀⤀⸀ 圀栀愀琀 栀愀瀀瀀攀渀攀搀 琀漀 洀礀 倀愀猀猀栀漀氀搀攀爀✀猀 倀爀攀瘀椀攀眀㼀 䤀 甀渀搀攀爀猀琀愀渀搀 搀攀氀愀礀猀 椀渀 漀瀀攀渀椀渀最Ⰰ 戀甀琀 栀漀眀 愀戀漀甀琀 猀漀洀攀 䔀刀吀 愀昀琀攀爀 挀氀漀猀攀Ⰰ 漀爀 猀漀洀攀 洀漀渀攀礀 戀愀挀欀㼀 䤀 搀漀渀✀琀 挀漀渀猀椀搀攀爀 琀栀攀 瀀漀猀猀椀戀椀氀椀琀礀 漀昀 焀甀攀椀渀最 甀瀀 戀攀昀漀爀攀 爀椀搀攀 漀瀀攀渀椀渀最 猀甀昀昀椀挀椀攀渀琀Ⰰ 攀猀瀀攀挀椀愀氀氀礀 椀昀 椀琀 椀猀渀✀琀 爀甀渀渀椀渀最 愀琀 琀栀攀 琀椀洀攀 漀昀 爀椀搀攀 漀瀀攀渀椀渀最⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䜀攀琀 礀漀甀爀 琀栀甀洀戀猀 漀甀琀Ⰰ 倀䬀䤀⸀ 䤀 眀愀渀琀 洀礀 栀漀洀攀 瀀愀爀欀 戀愀挀欀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀倀愀琀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀ⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀ㰀戀爀㸀䨀甀猀琀 最椀瘀攀 洀攀 䔀刀吀 漀渀 愀 最爀攀愀琀 挀漀愀猀琀攀爀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 礀漀甀 挀愀渀 欀攀攀瀀 琀栀攀 爀攀猀琀⸀
Ouch! Harsh review, but I'm not one bit surprised. The ongoing SOB thing has no end in sight, and I think it will get worse before it gets better. I too have a season pass, but I have no intention of returning until late in the year.
Amusement parks are starting to be like Web hosting companies... Get your money and leave you out to dry. Paramount and Six Flags have done a nice job this year pissing me off so far (four parks between them). There will have to be a shake down that eventually causes people to save their money and go to places like Islands of Adventure, the Busch Parks and Cedar Point.
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
This leads us back in time doesn't it? All of the crap that people criticized me for with PKI and PKD haven't changed. I feel sorry for people who have PKI as their home park, but will not make ONE excuse for PKI. I have YET to read a TR or a post, for that matter, that was positive about PKI and PKD. Just people making lame, very lame excuses for these parks. My boycott is still on from April and will last until next season. I just hope I have enough money to spend from noon until 4pm at PKI, if it's anything like you said. Sorry about your day, though, you deserve better.
The day they released the specs on SOB, I knew it would be a gimmick and have countless problems, but this is terrible. As revolutionary as it is, all the technical failures may push it the way of.... of... the BAT!! There, I said it...
That was one toxic trip report ... but I feel completely justified now in skipping PKI in our annual coaster tour, even though we drove right by it. (Slightly off topic - am I the only one who liked PKD? We went there this year on a Saturday in May, and I was expecting the worst, based on my previous experiences at Paramonut parks, an awful time the previous Saturday at a Six Flags, and it didn't help we were at BGW the day before - almost any park would suffer in comparison. But I was very surprised at the ride quality (esp. Hurler) and the enthusiasm of the employees. I dunno, maybe we just got lucky).
Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.
Pat, I'm geniunely sympathetic to your problems. Reading your trip report was rather like deja vu to me, particularly during the Eight Hour Wait for Sonny a few weeks back. We got treated to nearly a full working day's length of the misinformation/disinformation campaign. If you want more details, my own PKI trip report from a couple weeks back should still be around.
Personally, I think that the event that may trigger amusement parks getting their act together is an economic downturn. If people have far less income to spend on frivolity, and/or travel costs remain as exhorbitantly high as they are now, then people WILL be forced to choose. Can PKI survive on, essentially, Cincinnati residents and loyal ACErs only?
(Footnote: The ACEr cadre is pretty loyal to PKI for obvious reasons. I think the real canary-in-the-coal-mine test is when ACE, as a whole, starts getting as irritated with the park as we are)
*** This post was edited by ArchTeryx on 6/11/2000. ***
You know, hearing all of this crap about CP is really other people trying to distract our attention from their parks. I had no trouble at CP when I went. MF was running great. No I am afraid to go to PKI. I have never been there, so I think it will be worth it. Jeez, I didnt know it was THAT bad.
CoasterFreak, just read the last months TR on PKI and you'll wonder why everyone is so high on CP. People are looking for a proffessional, and right now PKI is barely an amateur. Again, I haven't read a positive trip report about PKI. I wish it was different.
I am so disapointed in this park. I don't feel like making a whole TR about my day today, but I agree with Pat Santucci's statements. The main thing that ticked me off today (6/14) was of course that SOB wasn't running. I know, I should have called, but my friend and I made the hour trip hoping to catch a ride on SOB and maybe Vortex and Beast and come back home. I knew that wasn't going to happen when I saw the sign at the parking gates.
Roping off the park: This just seams pointless to me. We were second in line for Beast (behind the rope) we waited 45 minutes until 10:00. At that time, the security guard led us to Beast, where Ride Ops sat on the wall and said it wasn't going to open this morning. Why couldn't they radio ahead and tell the security guard so we could do something else. The Ride Ops Response was "Security is stupid." All right then.
Rides not opening: At about 10:30 SOB, Vortex, Beast, Top Gun, Outer Limits, and Racer had not opened yet.
Don't take my picture: The people at the front gate are now armed with Kodak DC290s, and are ruthless in taking your picture. I don't want my freakin' picture taken. They even went as far as to come down to where we were waiting in line for Beast and ask us if we got our picture taken, and they still wanted to do it. Come on guys, let up.
There were various other things that ticked me off, unfortunately I keep comparing this park to Cedar Point. That's stupid, they're not even in the same category.
If I had paid for a day's admission (I somewhat did, I have a season pass) I would be severely ticked. We left about 12:30 when it was raining.
My friend and I are making shirts that say:
"Son of Beast Not Open Today
We apologize for any inconvenience"
so that they look just like the signs.
I have a pass and I'll be back, mainly just to show off my cool shirt though.
*** This post was edited 礀 吀礀氀攀爀 漀渀 㘀⼀㐀⼀㈀ ⸀ ⨀⨀⨀
My god, is PKI really that bad? I have never been there but geez!! If this park was in lets say Montana would it get a fair shake? I am beginning to think that if a park isnt picture perfect in the state of Ohio it just wont do.
I don't know why everyone wants to jump on the anti-PKI bandwagon. Maybe it's because Ohio has three great parks and people feel the need to choose a 'winner.' Or, perhaps people only have enough time or resources to visit one park and want to bash another to ensure in their own mind that they aren't 'missing out on anything.' The negative response to the Son of Beast opening problems is counter-productive. Of course there are going to be problems, and I don't think PKI is intentionally trying to the frustrate those guests who go and look forward to riding it. The problem is, the way everyone reacts it would encourage me, if I were a park owner, to not develop any new technology or be innovative because, god forbid, if it doesn't work perfectly from the get-go these kids will scream. Let's just put in some clone that will work with three trains and all from day one and these coaster freaks will rave about it anyway.
I've had a great experience at PKI everytime I've gone. On some occasions, I've had the choice to goto Cedar Point or PKI, and I usually revert to PKI. Not that Cedar Point isn't great, but arguing over them is pointless. They're both great. Soon I plan to hit all three Ohio parks (SFO) and I won't be trying to decide which is best, I'll just be riding a lot of great coasters which all happen to be in one state. Some coasters may be down at any one those parks, but hey, that's life in the amusement park world.
I drove ten hours to visit PKI the last time, and I enjoyed Son of Beast several times. I wasn't sure if it would be running when I got there and if it hadn't been, sure, I would have been disappointed, but I wouldn't vent my frustration against the park; I would have enjoyed the other rides there I like so much and still have felt proud to contribute my admission fee to a park that has the guts to build a monstrosity like SOB.
I have enjoyed PKI each time I've been there. This year was disappointing because we went 5/20-21 and SOB was not open yet. Since we live 7 hours from there, we only nmake one trip per year. I won't get to ride SOB until next year. What I did enjoy about this trip is the childrens area. I took my almost 3 year old. He absolutely loved the beastie and the scooby doo ghoster coaster.
It's not that PKI is bad, it's that they do things differently from other parks. Some of the major differences being focused on extra pay-per attractions and over-marketing as opposed to ride capacity and operation efficiency. Don't get me wrong, I really like visiting PKI, but some things they do are really frustrating.
Regarding SOB, from what I can tell, the park is trying their darndest to get it running. Do we all think that they enjoy shutting it down or when it is running only using one train?
Personally, I think the problem with SOB is that too many people were involved with this project: designed by Stengel, built by RCCA, trains and loop by Premier, etc. I have to wonder if all the problems they're experiencing aren't caused by a lack of or error in communication. For example, maybe Premier made a major change to the train chassis, without telling anyone, that made Stengel's design Stengel incorrect for the circumstances. So after RCCA built it, they have to go in and correct the error. Unfortunately the ride has officially opened to the public, leaving PKI holding the bag and having to deal with irate customers complaining about long lines and/or a less than stellar ride and/or a inoperative ride. Just a theory. However, with a project of that size, I don't know how they could have done it without bringing in said firms to handle the appropriate portions.
Scott W. Short
*** This post was edited by ShiveringTim on 6/15/2000. ***
It's not a "bandwagon." I could actually live with SOB's constant closure if the rest of the park was operating at high standards.
For some, I'm sure it has something to do with "picking a winner," but for those of us who have been to a variety of parks (that aren't in Sandusky or Aurora), you get an appreciation for what's worth it and what's not. The two Paramount parks I've been to are poorly managed and not customer focused. Unless a coaster is especially exceptional, I won't return to the park to spend more of my money there if I find the experience to be less than enjoyable.
And Logan, if you find your posts getting deleted, you might want to consider your spelling and your SHOUTING.
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