PKI April 26 - Very Long

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, April 27, 2003 9:55 AM
Our day at Paramount's Kings Island began with a $9 parking fee at 2:00 PM. We received are notice that the park was now equipped with metal detectors, and a coupon for $5 off our next visit. My friend and I both have Gold Season Passes, so I'll just give my coupons to other friends. We found a parking spot in the Drop Zone section, and walked to the entrance. The metal detectors were no trouble at all, but it took about 15 minutes to enter the park. We waited in line once, only for them to tell us that Season Pass holders were to enter through the other line. A sign would have been nice, bt it wasn't a big deal. Hopefully though, a sign will be posted soon, because I see that becoming a problem later on in the season when it is very busy.

Delirium was our first ride of the day. The line was about 3/4 full, but it moved very quickly. The way they have riders move into position before the previous ride ends really helps move guests along. Once all the bugs are worked out with the arm and floor this ride will be a real people-eater. Delerium is one INCREDIBLE ride! The ride starts out with a feeling similar to a Scrambler, but then kicks up the intensity. The feelings of falling and weightlessness are AWESOME and the G forces at the bottom of the swing are extremely strong. One of the best rides in the park, without a doubt.

Top Gun was next. While in line, I noticed that some of the scenery looked like it had been painted. Also, some of the scenery in the line that is closed off was visible, as the mini "garage doors" that usually hide the themeing were open. Top Gun is back to two trains, and the new tubs are easily noticed. I love this ride, and it is my favorite suspened coaster. I love the airtime you get on the frist drop and the intense ending. Too short, but a very good ride. Hopefully, its original themeing will return in the next few years.

After Top Gun we headed to another Arrow ride, Adventure Express. I couldn't tell if they were running two or three trains, but the line moved very fast as usual. The music and spiels in the station were playing at full blast. I had NEVER, EVER heard the Adventure Express "soundtrack" before, and I'm glad PKI decided to bring it back. The music is pretty cool and the failed expeditions, closed tracks, and travel announcements are very amusing. The only themeing working was in the last tunnel, but I noticed that the first tunnel had been cleaned. Hopefully, a lot more work will be done, and Kings Island will keep the themeing working %100. This ride is wicked in the back seat! Airtime everywhere and it is very intense, but the roughness may be too much for little ones. Try riding up front for an easier ride. Another great Arrow at PKI.

By this time we were getting hungry, so we headed over to Mandarin Cuisine. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with smiling faces and several "Hellos." The man dishing the food was hard to understand, but eventually we got what we wanted and paid for the food, which is cheeper than other food in the park. Our meals were nice and hot and tasted very good. I recommend Mandarin to anyone who goes to Kings Island. The food is expensive ( Not as bad as the rest of the park, thats for sure. ) but definately worth it.

We headed over to Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle. The line was past the exit, but only lasted about 20 minutes. PKI did a GREAT job with this ride. There are already signs of General Public destruction, which is sad considering this ride has been open only a few days. I'll never understand why a few people feel the need to tear everything up. Anyway, I thought that the themeing in the queue could have been more elaborate, but the ride makes up for it. Shaggy and Scooby need to be louder because it is hard to hear them giving instructions. The ride itself is VERY cool and fun. I thought I would just sit back to take everything in for my first ride, but I couldn't help but grab one of those guns and start shooting. For my first score I got 1530 points, and later on the day when we went on SDATHC a second time I got 960 points. This is a great ride for everyone, and is a perfect replacement for Phantom Theater. I don't know which one I like better, because they are such different rides, but Scooby is a must-do on every PKI trip.

We decided on Vortex for our next ride. The line moved quickly like usual, and we were on in just a few minutes. Vortex is still a really good ride in my opinion. Plus, the new paint job looks great/ I understand why some people think it is rough, but I always enjoy it. Very intese in the loops and the final helix. One thing I noticed is that the brakes are very noisy, like metal against metal. I wonder if they will be replaced any time soon....

By this time, Tomb Raider: The Ride had opened up, so we took a quick spin. The flames outside the tomb weren't on, but the jewel at the beginning of the queue is back in its place. I think the queue had been cleaned, because it wasn't nearly as dirty as it was on our last trip. Only a few of the fake flames were on full blast once inside the tomb, and the lights that "unlock" the tomb didn't line up like they used to. I always think its funny when the tomb opens up with the dynamic music to see a ride op standing there to usher you in. Just something I find amusing. The pre-show worked fine, and we got on the ride. A few of the effects still aren't working like they used to but other than that TR:TR is the same as it was last season. I like this ride, but a new program every two or three rides would be nice.

Drop Zone. The new permanent queues are nice, and will hopefully keep that huge line from forming out in front of the ride. While in we were waiting in line, a large group of people cut through about 3 rows of the line. A man stood up on the rails and yelled to the ride-ops that those people were smoking and cut in line. After a few curse words and gestures, the ride ops had the people step out of the queue and onto the "loading station." People in the queue began yelling as the line-cutters tried to get on the ride. One of them went over to a ride-op and offered her money to let them ride. After 10 minutes of more cursing and attemted bribes, the group was sent on its way. Later, I saw the ride ops describing the group to security. Hopefully, they were thrown out of the park. Drop Zone was a lot of fun, with a lot of airtime. My friend and I noticed that the ring didn't go up as high as it usually does. Anyone know why?

We've finally figured out how to get a good ride on Son of Beast. Don't ride above the wheels! If you get a seat that ISN'T above the wheels, you'll get a great ride on this monster. By the way, SOB is back to two train operation! And you know what that means! ...Oh wait...no...there weren't new restraints. Don't know what happened, but they aren't there. Well, as long as I got a good ride, I didn't care.

Anyway, our day at Paramount's Kings Island was perfect. We got in all the rides we wanted to, and waits were short. The park was clean and the food was great. This season looks like its going to be very good. If the rumored improvements come this season, it will be even better.
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