PKI is the third Paramount Park that I have visited with PKD being second and Carowinds being my home park. I had originally planned to go to SFA and PKD...mainly for Flight of Fear, but I scrapped that in favor of PKI knowing that they also had a FOF and I had never been to that park. My group consisted of me and two of my coworkers who also enjoy rollercoasters. We visited the park on August 16th and 17th which is a Monday and Tuesday. I'm not going to make this as detailed as most other TR's but I just want to state my main opinions about PKI.
My first impressions of the park were of course good. I love their skyline (as well as the chili :) ). PKI is a very beautiful park much like PKD and it doesn't have a very confusing layout. The theming of the rides in the park is incredible, IMO surpassing those at PC but on par with PKD. One thing that I thought was super cool while walking through the park are the scrolling signs througout the park. Those are just neat-o!
I always like to see the differences in operations at different parks that I visit. I also did this when I went to PKD. Since we now have a rides manager that transferred to PC from PKI, I can see some of the things that were adopted by PC from up north. The "all clear" spiel is one of them. I've heard talk of those little height check stations making their way down here some time in the future. Oh and this is one of my favorites...the cute lil' kiddie pens in some of the coaster stations. No one is allowed in the station when a train is in motion. Some parents don't like for their kids to have to wait outside the exit gate while they ride, so PKI has little pens inside the station. I've never seen these before. But anyway, here's my input about the rides.
Face-Off: We spent a full day and a half at PKI. This was the only coaster that I didn't have a desire to ride twice the second day. Having been on Deja Vu, I guess I was spoiled to it. Face-Off kinda beat me up a little because there is virtually no space between my ears and those awful Vekoma harnesses. Maybe it's just me, but every Vekoma harness (save Stealth/Borg) either look funny, fit wierd, or both. We waited about 40 minutes for it. I liked the bright color scheme.
Top Gun: Although we only rode this once, I loved this ride. We rode in the next to last car. This was my first suspended coaster of that type. It was very swift and kinda intense and the swinging motion added to the enjoyment. This was nearly a walk-on once SOB opened up.
Vortex: One of those "anticipointment" rides. I'm a sucker for huge drops on coasters so I went straight for the back seat. The first drop was good but the rest of the ride kinda reminded me of Ninja at SFOG. Going into the first corkscrew and the batwing/boomerang element was kind of uncomfortable. Overall, I did like it but it wasn't what I had expected. The wait for this was maybe about 10-15 minutes.
Adventure Express: Greatly themed mine train. Theming adds to the whole ride experience. You gotta love those coasters where the layout is pretty much hidden from view and you ride it for the first time. We got a good laugh right after that last lift hill. We waited for about 10 minutes for this one.
Son of Beast: Our first day, we planned to hit this as soon as the ropes dropped, but it didn't open until some time late in the afternoon. I had been waiting to see a train crest the lift for what seemed like an eternity. I thought the trains looked quite unattractive for a wooden coaster like that one. They'd go better on the Racer. My very first ride was in the middle row of the first car. I've never ridden an official hyper, so this is my first coaster over 200 feet so I was excited about it. The ride has plenty of speed, something I love in roller coasters, but for some reason something seemed to be missing. I can't quite pinpoint what exactly it is. My second and last ride was in the back row of the next to last car. He was BRUTAL. During both rides, that awful lapbar clicked down one more notch jabbing into my stomach. The second time is what got me though. That combined with me not being in a middle row and the roughness was not good. Next time I'll know how to position the restraint. Overall, the ride is alright, the roughness of it doesn't bother me, but I'll now how to brace myself in the future. Both times the lines were no longer than a ten minute wait.
The Racer: The ride is fun but is not as tall or steep as Thunder Road. Also, I'd prefer the tracks not to separate after the big bunny hop, but it's a cool view for those waiting to ride Sponge Bob. Lines for both sides were no longer than 10 minutes.
The Beast: Once seated, I could not believe that I was actually sitting on the world famous Beast, train #3, last car. This is now my favorite wooden coaster replacing Grizzly at PKD. We had originally planned to go to PKI to experience the Beast at night, since I've heard so much about night rides on Beast. We are talking about going up during Fear Fest to do just that. Grizzly night rides will just have to wait. The latest that we got to ride it was at 8:05. That was the best we could do. My first backseat ride was great, but the front seat is even better. This is one of the few coasters where I'd prefer a front seat ride over the back. What I like about the Beast is its maintained speed, hidden layout, it's not uncomfortably rough, and that the ride is long and well worth the wait. The only think that really irks me about the Beast is the slow first lift hill. On a little side note, while watching "chili vision" in the Beast's station, I noticed a fellow buzzer, Mister Sean Flaherty himself giving his interesting commentary on the Beast. Just thought I'd mention that.
Flight Of Fear: This is still my favorite steel coaster of all time. I fell in love with the one at PKD. I just love its all out theming, speed, intensity, and disorientation.
Delirium: Now this is a true flat ride. I've never seen anything like this in person. It just looks unreal. Heck, I was even a bit scared to get on it the first time. It's not as scary as it looks and is a very fun and wild ride.
Drop Zone: This thing is literally about as tall as our very own Carolina Skytower. To date, drop towers are the only flat rides that scare me. I often get off trembling. The slow ascent to the top is what I don't like about it. Not that I'm scared of the height, it's just that it makes the wait time that much longer while standing down there in line.
Tomb Raider: This is another one of the themed rides that I just absolutely loved. Everything is executed beautifully leading up to the ride. I especially like the sliding doors and the statue where you view the movie.
Overall we all enjoyed our two day visit to the park. I would more than love to do this again some time, hopefully soon if we do decide to go and do FearFest.
*** Edited 8/18/2004 8:42:22 PM UTC by The_Anomaly***
Glad ya had fun and hope ya visit the park again next year to ride Italian Job. Another great themed addition to the park. Also glad you enjoyed my favorite ride Delirium. I remember my first ride on Media Day, I think they lengthened the time of it to get good shots for the media, but who knows; it felt like an eternity compared to the ride times today.
From the video footage I have from media day, it looks like Delirium was running the exact same program as it does now.
The video shoot that took place a few days before was indeed running a different program as the spinning was the other way around.
I love Tomb Raider but I still wish it had a little more punch at the end.
Hope you get to try out the new ride next year...I can't wait!
Having just read StephenG's first time PKI TR, I noticed that we both shared the exact same feelings and reactions to alot of things at the park. So StephenG, I'm not deliberately trying to be a copycat.
Great Trip Report!
It is really astounding how freaking good the The Beast is. It really lived up to all of my expectations.
I was one of the "performers" as well. How embarassing was that? LOL.
Oh, and thanks for sharing the trip report Anomaly.
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