PKI 6/6/04 - Worst Trip Ever!!!

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Monday, June 7, 2004 11:54 AM
Without having been to PKI in a month or so, I figured this weekend would have been a great one to try out the new waterpark. Also, by being on a second-shift schedule, its that much harder to get up in the morning so I was happy when I awoke at 7:00am refreshed and alert.

Boarding my beautiful two-tone 171,280 mile 1989 Honda Accord LXi with power windows, AC, Moonroof, Cruise Control, reclining seats, carpet, tinted windows and AM/FM Stereo with factory cassette deck, the little woman and I made our way to PKI. I couldn't wait to get there! I was really looking forward to some intense flyers rides, a spin on Scooby-Doo and a few swings on Delerium and maybe a coaster ride or two.

We pulled into the lot around 9:40, not a bad drive from here in Columbus, but its just a boring drive. We pulled up to the Toll gates and my jaw dropped.

A big, red sign reading "CLOSED FOR PRIVATE EVENT TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND SEASON PASS HOLDERS" glared me right in the face.

"Oh no"!!!!!!

I asked the attendant if there were any options on what to do and he told me to go to guest relations. I proceeded to hand him my parking pass and he said "We don't charge parking for private events"

Now wait a minute.

If they are not charging for parking at the private events, who picks up that $9.00? Is it waived for the buyout or does the company pick it up? That thought pondered me for a minute, but I was more worried about getting into the park itself.

We headed over to Guest relations where we told them we drove all the way from Columbus. Unfortunatly, there is a 200-mile rule (ID proof required) that they try to stick by and wound up turning away several people. CRAP! She suggested several places to see including Coney Island, but I've already been there. At least I got to "see" Vortex. So at 10:00 we are off to make the I-71 trip home, we filled up at $1.83 which is not bad for right now, pathetic in general, but not bad currently, and headed North.

The annoying thing is that gas is so damn high, it really felt like a wasted trip. I said to the little woman: "Little woman, how'd you like to take a detour over to LeSourdesville?" "Okay" she relied and we headed west.

Lesourdsville is still looking bright and fresh as it did two years ago, we coudn't see much, but the pirate ship is still there and the Serpent, Eagle and flyers. We drove past the park and into the parking lot, but it was chained off on the road to the toll booths, we went into the Couches Campers lot and could see less. We decided to not leave the car, so we proceed back to 75N avoiding 71N all together.

The day wasen't a complete waste, we hung out at Wyandot lake for a few hours and then petted bunny rabbits at a pet store. A little brown one nipped the little woman on the finger, but not hard.

That night we watched Freaky Friday (1977) with Barbra Harris and Jodi Foster, had a T-Bone Steak dinner and played tetris. we were too tired from not much sleep the night before so we went to bed early, so I didn't get any lovin'... buy maybe tonight!!!!!!


John P's Final Thought:
Perhaps I should have looked at the schedule of operation, but I know PKI closes for 3 weeks in September due to buyouts, so yesterday i didn't even think about it.

Oh well

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Monday, June 7, 2004 12:08 PM
Oh man, that sucks, I would of been so mad in your case. A 200 mile radius is their rule, that is still a 3 hour trip, and a complete waste of gas to find out they are closed!

Anyway, I've gotten in the good habit of calling the day before the trip to check on reservations for my hotel or campsite, and make sure there are no issues going on at the park, like in your instance!

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Monday, June 7, 2004 12:41 PM
I am sorry that happened man. The buyout always happens on the 1st june sunday. every season. I beleve its GE or some big bank day. *** Edited 6/7/2004 4:44:02 PM UTC by PKIEMPSOB***
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Monday, June 7, 2004 12:55 PM
WoW that bad of a trip eh? I never ever go to PKI on weekends its a Nuthouse on the weekends!
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Monday, June 7, 2004 1:49 PM
This is why I put a online calendar up.

Sucks for you John!

*** Edited 6/8/2004 12:34:52 AM UTC by Dane186***

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Monday, June 7, 2004 2:05 PM
Sorry... no sympathy...

A check of the calendar on the PKI web site shows June 6 clearly marked in grey... wich means "Closed". I would have checked on that before making the drive.

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Monday, June 7, 2004 2:08 PM
I was there yesterday..I had lots of fun. The park was packed, but lines weren't bad at all. The longest I wasited was 30min for Tomb Raider the Ride. Which waste because it was really bad.(First ride ever..and last) Delirium was great, but short. Beast was the best like always. I got 10 rides and a night ride. Totally awesome trip. Sorry you missed out.

Oh! the park was open to The Limited Corp.(Clothing company) employees and it was open to Lexmark(Printer's) company. I think another company was there, but Ican't remeber. *** Edited 6/7/2004 6:11:05 PM UTC by Alizabeth***

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Monday, June 7, 2004 2:11 PM
He gets sympathy from me. It's not like one would expect a park to be closed on a Sunday. I would not have checked first.

In 2000, I made the drive from Columbus to PKI twice without going in. Each time, I asked at the parking gate if Son of Beast was open. Each time, it wasn't, so I turned around and went home (or went somewhere else).

Had I known what I was missing, I might not have cared that it was closed! :)

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Monday, June 7, 2004 3:22 PM

john peck said:


we were too tired from not much sleep the night before so we went to bed early, so I didn't get any lovin'...


Well shyt, that sux. I am perhaps more sympathetic to that misfortune! And what is this about $1.83 per gallon gas price. In San Francisco we are getting the royal shaft with an average of $2.35 per gallon. (and that is if you live in the Tenderloin) For Nob Hill and other boojie areas...upwards of $2.55!!

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Monday, June 7, 2004 4:26 PM
Yeah... gas here was $2.02 just a few days ago... yesterday I saw it for $1.87. Weird.

That royally blows, John. Who'd expect that a major corporate park would be closed to the public on a weekend in June? That's downright odd. We do buyouts like that at Kennywood, but it has to be after the normal operating season.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't even have checked the calendar myself. You just assume that they'd be open.

My parents and wife and I are planning a visit to the park in the end of July. It'll be the first time there for all four of us.

Of course, the burning question is... what was playing on that factory cassette deck? It's not a John Peck TR without it!

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Monday, June 7, 2004 4:40 PM
Oh! the park was open to The Limited Corp.(Clothing company) employees and it was open to Lexmark(Printer's) company. I think another company was there, but Ican't remeber. *** Edited 6/7/2004 6:11:05 PM UTC by Alizabeth***

The other company there was the United States Air Force. Well actually it was just Wright Patterson Air Force Base employees. I would have gone but I have a season pass and I didn't want to pay the extra 5 dollars or so just to go to the park with the rest of the base. They do it every year I guess. Sorry you couldn't get in.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 12:17 AM
The factory cassette deck no longer works! :(
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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 1:45 AM
Gas is about $1.94 - $2.06 in Downriver Detroit right now.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 7:13 AM
$1.99-$2.05 here in WV. >:-(

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 7:29 AM
Congrats on pulling the first Griswold of the season :)

"The moose out front should have told you"

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 9:41 AM
Thanks, Scott. I appreciate your compassion and sympathy.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 11:51 AM
That really sucks. I feel really bad for you, but oh well dont hate kings island for it.

Oh and by the way gas in western kentucky is $1.58, may not be a theme park in 200 miles but at least the gas is cheap.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 11:53 AM
I would be really surprised as well. Closed on a Sunday in June? That's pretty stupid. Why would you agree to a buy-out on a Sunday in June?

So am I understanding that you don't have a season pass, but if you did (or lived more than 200 miles away) you'd be allowed to enter?

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 12:42 PM
Season pass holders aren't allowed in either.

+Danny *** Edited 6/8/2004 4:43:57 PM UTC by +Danny***

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 5:23 PM
John...

Sorry about your experience. As a former PKI employee I can explain what the deal is behind the odd sell-out date... For those who have been around the amusement park world for a while, you probably recall that the first Sunday in June was typically referred to as "Red Shirt Day". This was the day that the gay and lesbian community typically chose to visit theme parks in large groups (although not necessarily as "group sales" type groups). I worked in the park information center for 4 seasons and I can tell you this unauthorized event was a nightmare for the park for many reasons.
Because the park cannot and will not discriminate against anyone wanting to buy a ticket into the park, their hands were tied as to how to approach this date. Unfortunately, the local "talk radio" types liked to cause a ruckus the week before by having this as a call in topic on their daily shows. Consequently, we would get calls all day long asking if the "event" was going to happen, and demanding to know why we didn't post this information in advance. This escalated up to and during the first Sunday in June, and ususually culminated with an ridiculous number of "complaint" calls (many fictional; people knew if they called and complained enough about what they supposedly "saw" the day before they would get free tickets for a return visit)on the day after what had come to be known as "Gay Day".
Because this was getting to be a PR nightmare, PKI finally offered the local gay and lesbian community the chance to "rent" the park for a private gathering on a Friday night in September. However, I don't think this went over very well, because this was, for some, the opportunity to make a statement. So, PKI chose to offer this date to one of their larger post-season sell-outs. This way, there could be no "Gay Day" held, officially or unofficially on that date.

I am sure this is considered controversial to some, but I can tell you, as an hourly employee, the kind of hatred and crazy talk we had listen to for 8-10 hours a day, for two solid weeks, was just ridiculous.

I think it sucks that the park felt it had to do this, but I can really understand why.

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