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Monday, August 12, 2002 8:20 AM

Well we didn't spend as much time as I thought at Americana on Aug 3 so we decided to spend the evening at PKI and get some night rides on the Beast. We had reservations at the PKI campground to we set up camp and hit the park.

The park was open 5 more hours so we could do alot. First we hit SOB which had a 30 minute wait. At this point I will regress to what happened the last time I visited PKI and led to my 1 year boycott of the park. The year SOB opened I would call every time I was thinking about going to the park and riding it to make sure it was open. I always got the same run around about that it "should" be open. I waited till toward the end of the summer and ended up waiting over 4 hours for the ride. The ride then was smooth but the layout I thought was a big disappointment and everybody was pieved about the 1 train operation and long wait.

So this was it, my second chance at SOB was the first thing on the agenda. I will start with the good things. The ride is the coolest and most impressive ride to look at. The structure is huge and the loop is unique. The first hill is big and fast and thats all I can say good about the ride. After that it was jack hammer city. We were an axle seat in the next to last car and it was not very fun. I don't know if there is smoother seats but this one was bad. Plus, the trains are so uncomfortable to sit in with no leg room. I was willing to try it one more time to find a better seat but my girlfriend refused and said that she would not ride it again. We had been through this before on the CI cyclone where I talked her into rerides just because it was such a "legendary" coaster. She was right then and I agreed with her this time. No more rides on SOB this weekend, we didn't need a headache right off the bat.

So we headed back the Beast but hit the Racer first. It was running great and better than I remembered. It had nice air and was alot of fun. We did our favorite seat. The backseat going backwards, I just love it.

So off to the Beast.

It had about a 30 minute wait also and we hit it twice. WOW, this puppy was running great. I heard about the braking improvement but this was the best Beast riding I had ever experienced. There is actually airtime on the second hill in the back. If that brake was not there it would probably throw you right out. More on the Beast later.

We still had time till dark so we hit 2 of the kiddie coasters for count. We waited for about 15 minutes for the Reptar and about 45 for the Ghoster coaster. Both were OK but I was impressed with the kids area. PKI definitely deserved to be ranked #1 in their kids area.

We walked around to the Action Zone again to see if there was a line on Drop Zone and there was so we headed back towards the Beast but stopped at Adventure Express and the Racer. AE is awesome when it is dark. It was a walk on and we rode it 3 times. Then we hit Racer on both sides again.

When we got to the Beast we found it to have only about a 10 minute wait. I couldn't believe it. Saturday night and no wait? The park was only open 1 more hour but we got 5 rides that last hour. There is nothing better that night rides on the Beast. Going through the woods and darkness in the tunnels and helix is awesome. We hit the jack pot this evening!

Part 2

After a good nights sleep at the PKI campground, we made an early return to the park. We were at guest relations by 9 am to find out where to go to participate in the ACE walk back. Well the girl working the window didn't know so she asked somebody and they told us to wait near the glass blowing shop. So we went there and there was a sign about early rides for gold pass holders so we thought that was the place. So we waited and waited and waited. We were there 45 minutes and nobody showed. I thought "great PKI got us again". So we went back to guest relations and asked about what happened and the teenage girl said you were sent to the wrong place. She then said "to bad you missed your chance". We were getting pretty pieved at this point and asked to see her supervisor. She said the supervisor was on the walk back and was unavailable. So we asked for a comment card and began filling it out right there when another supervisor came up and ask us the problem and we explained and she was not happy with the 2 teenagers(1 that mis-directed us , 1 that wouldn't help us). She made the one give us a personal walk back to Tomb Raider.

Our personel walk back to TR took us in the back door so we never seen the "themeing" of the line. We started in the room before the ride. I was happy about how the problem with guest relations worked out and I was really anticipating a cool ride, but it really disappointed me. I had heard alot about the ride from the message boards, but I thought the ride would be like an I-MAX ride film except bigger. I thought it would have projections on the walls or whatever and be really 3 dimensional. Instead it just had 3(?) fixed scenes that you were shown that had no life what so-ever. An I-MaX ride film I can ride over and over but this is not that impressive. I don't see a draw for this to bring in people in the years to come. I would throw it in the pile of bad ride choices for PKI with Face/Off and SOB. I'm glad I didn't wait for it.

The whole walk back situation did not set well with me because I felt bad about complaining about a special ACE promotion that went wrong while at the same time the park employees did screw up. I mean we were already there at 9 am so we would have been near the front of the line for TR any way. I began to question the whole ACE thing again. It seems every time I try to use the ACE membership for some kind of special treatment or event it doesn't gain me anything. I think I may bring up the whole ACE thing in another post.

Well we hit the Beast next and it was a 5 minute wait. I couldn't believe it. An august weekend and no lines! I think TR was the draw and that left Beast open. Well we rode it 10 more times and every ride was awesome. Almost every ride was in the back car. The Beast was always my favorite woodie until CCI came along and it had moved down and down everytime a new CCI was built. Well now I can say that it moved back into my top 5 the way it was running this weekend. PKI is doing a good job taking care of it.

Well we decided to retire from the Beast before it killed us and we headed up to the Action Zone to check out the lines. The only thing we had left to that we wanted to ride was Drop Zone. The Quene was full and we didn't have the patience to wait. So we hit the Racer both ways again and AE (both were walk-ons) and called it a day. PKI is doing a great job taking care of Racer it was really fun to ride.

In case you wandered we skipped Vortex(Arrow looper-no thanks), F/O and FOF (not worth the waits) and TG(slow line). It seemed that if we avoided the low capacity rides everything else was a short wait, so thats what we did and I was real happy with the visit. The main reason I still go to PKI is for Beast and it really made my year.

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Shivering Timbers: "Simply the standard by which Air Time is measured"

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Monday, August 12, 2002 9:56 AM

We did the walkback to TR and it worked out fine but i heard from another site where too wait. I also wasnt impressed with TR but wish i could have rode it a second time. I rode the SOB 3 times in the second car and thought the ride was excellant and wasnt jarred at all, i loved the ride. But i am jealous that we went on a Wed.08/07/02 and had longer waits than you did for Beast. We rode FOF early in the morning and walked on twice and waited 2 cars the 3 rd time but when we went back later in the day the line was very long. And Vortex wasnt bad, it was smoother than Shockwave at SFGAM.

Nice report!!!

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