PKI, HW, SFKK.....The Wood, The Bad And The Ugly

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004 3:17 AM
This is my first Trip Report. Please be gentle! ;)
After The Cure concert in Clarkston, MI my friend Paul and I dropped off a few of our inebriated friends at their hotel room and hopped on the highway headed for PKI and the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT the next morning. We left Clarkston around 12:30am and got to the Tylersville Rd. exit off of 75 around 5:00am. Paul slept most of the way which was fine by me, as I had my iPod pumping out my never ending Cure playlist for the entire ride. We grabbed some extremely early breakfast at the Waffle House(caffeine and grease, yum) and decided to drive on ahead to the park. We ended up sleeping in the car for a few hours in the Showcase Cinemas parking lot across the street from the entrance to PKI. I'm being generous saying a few hours, because when the sun came up I was up, period. I bet I got an hour of sleep tops. When I did wake up I had the mother of all kinks in my neck! I thought "Oh great, and I haven't even been on SoB yet.":)


I got my 2005 season pass processed and we got into the park around 9:30( Thursday 8-12) and into the line outside of the Paramount Theater. I won't bore you with details about the ride announcement as I am sure that you have read them all here already. The computer animation was awesome and the whole time I kept thinking "Who is building this?" "Is this Intamin or Premiere?" I thought that information, as well as other specific ride stats should have been included with the announcement. I mean come on, you're speaking to a roomful of enthusiasts! Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. At least PKI made an announcement, unlike CP and TDD. I did breathe a sigh of relief(thinking of TDD) when finally someone sitting next to me said that it was a Premiere ride. I'll be there in 2005 and can't wait to ride it. Now I have to go rent that movie too.

The last time I was at PKI was Easter weekend 2003 when a lot of the landscaping was incomplete most of the flowers were not in bloom. Seeing the place in mid August was a very different experience. It was gorgeous! When visiting a park, I might not pay attention to the shows and for the most part the flat rides, but I do pay attention to landscaping. Everything was beautiful!

By around 6 pm we had ridden almost all of the coasters and Paul decided he needed to sleep for a few hours in the car. I realized that the only two coasters left I needed to ride were Top Gun and Son of Beast. I hopped on Top Gun and loved it, even though it always feels like too short of a ride and not as good as "Big Bad Wolf" at BGW.

I had some serious reservations about "Sonny" because of my two rides on it last year, when I swore it was my worst coaster experience ever. Earlier in the day while waiting in line for "The Beast" another enthusiast told me that "SoB" was running great and what seat to sit in(non wheel of course). I ended up sitting in 1-2 by myself and the whole time we climbed the hill I was filled with dread. My neck was still hurting from sleeping on it the wrong way and this was the same coaster that beat the crap out of me the year before. I don't know if it was the retracking of the "Rosebowl" or me riding defensively a la Meanstreak(leaning forward slightly not letting my back touch the back of the seat) or a combination of both but I had an incredible ride! And my neck felt better! :) I was so jazzed that I hopped in line again and got a ride in the same seat. I couldn't believe it! I was loving this ride. Yes it was aggressive, but it was making me giggle like Magnum does during it's second half. Was I over tired from the long drive or did I really like this coaster? By this time I was a few minutes away from the designated time to meet Paul back at the entrance so I bought a few choice Beast/SoB clearance items and ran to the car, dragged him out and told him he had to ride SoB with me. He looked at me like I was crazy(he was there with me last year and didn't plan on riding it at all this year). I told him I didn't know why, but the ride was delivering in a big way. We ended up getting a night ride on it and he loved it too! He agreed with me and we had big dumb looking grins on our faces after the ride. We had conquered our fear of Son of Beast and loved it!

After SoB we ran to The Beast for our first ever night rides on it. What can I say? It was even better than I expected it to be. I've had my share of night rides on coasters, but wow! After our first ride we ran around and was surprised to see the entrance still open. After entering the queue we heard them announce "So and So, please close the line" so we had sneaked in under the radar. A bonus night ride on the last train of the night was a special treat indeed! The energy in the station was incredible. Thanks to the ride op with whom I had the conversation about "X" with( I was wearing my X sweatshirt).

We got to our hotel room in Covington KY had maybe one drink each and collapsed from exhaustion. Around 9am Paul was shaking me out of a dead sleep and asking me if I was ready for a special visitor. In my more than half asleep state all I could think of was that he had met The Cure in the lobbey and brought them up to our room! It turned out that he had met a co worker of ours in the lobbey getting coffee who was driving through the worlds's longest yard sale(not clear on the details, I think it was Kentucky through Michigan) and we didn't realize that we were staying in the same hotel. It was cool to have coffee with her, but it wasn't Robert Smith of The Cure! :)

After that unique encounter we headed to Holiday World(Friday 8-13). Neither one of us had been there before and all I knew about it was what I had read about here. All the employees were unbelievably nice and the place was immaculate. Being a "wanting to quit smoker" I appreciated the designated smoking areas. I didn't smoke as nearly as much as I do at other parks. We got 4 rides on Legend and 3 on Raven. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite but I would have to go with Legend, just because it is a longer ride. If I had one word of advice to anyone, it would be to go for the back of Legend, it was so much better than the front! There wasn't a bad seat on Raven in our 3 rides, but it did make a difference on Legend. I loved the reasonably priced food at "The Alamo"(sorry if I got the name wrong) and the frito pie was a nice bonus, as I am used to eating those only when I am out west. I have nothing negative to say about the park, but I am definitely coaster orientated and did nothing but run between the two awesome woodies there. We absolutely loved both coasters! The shelves and free lockers in the coaster stations were a really nice touch, not to mention the Pepsi Oasi(is that plural for oasis, lol). I ended up spending 32 bucks on shirts, coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets and postcards(man am I an emgee!) on our way out of the park.

After we found our hotel room in Louisville and got a good night's sleep we headed for SFKK(Saturday 8-14). Six Flags on a Saturday! This was our first trip there and we thoroughly enjoyed each and every coaster in the park. Twisted Twins was my first dueling coaster and I loved our 5 rides on it. Lola seemed to be running better than Stella that day and it was alot of fun. Chang was in need of paint but I loved the 2 rides we had on it. I love stand ups! Thunder Run(one train operation) had the longest line of the day at maybe 45 minutes(forgot my watch in the car) but the ride was great and the crew was awesome! I would have had many more rides on it if the line wouldn't have been so long. T2 was a very rough ride, even for a Vekoma. Paul was really bowled over by "Greezed Lightning"( I knew any Anton was gonna be good), especially the backwards loop so we rode that one 3 times.

I am an easy going guy and basically am happy as long as the coasters are running. However a few things at SFKK got under my skin. A SUPERVISOR at a beer stand saying "I am out of beer and I don't have a phone and I am stuck here" was probably truthful but not what we wanted to hear, as well as the two other food stands we approached that didn't have any food to sell us. Apparently the whole "No Smoking" in line thing doesn't apply in Lousiville. You could take any given coaster line in that park and the smoking in it was more than I've ever seen in all the CP queues for a year combined! I had to stop myself from joining in! I hate to sound like a cliche', but all kinds of garbage cans were overflowing as well. At one point my friend Paul remarked "The razor wire is on the fence to keep us in here." ;) A harsh comment, but I didn't make it.

I got a kick out of the Chang sweatshirt that I bought off of the clearance rack. On the back of the shirt it says "Seek The Long One"... ;) I'm sure that you wouldn't find that saying on a Cedar Fair shirt.

After another night's sleep we headed back through Cincinnatti(8-15) on our way home where I insisted we visit the Komodo Dragon exhibit/everything else at the zoo before heading home to Michigan. I have a soft spot for reptiles and the American Crocodile there just rules! What a beast! We got home around 1am(8-16) and I have worked double shifts on Monday and Tuesday but decided that I have to write this TR! Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004 4:10 AM
Living in Lexington I spose these 3 parks are now my 'home parks'. Glad you had fun, and I still plan on my first trip to Holiday World before classes start next Wednesday.

Also, have you never been to Cedar Point? It seems as if Sandusky would be closer than southern Indiana/Ohio. Maybe you just forgot about Gemini.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004 4:44 PM
By definition, Gemini is a racer, not a dueler. GO CATS! ;)
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004 6:52 PM
Great TR. Sounds like Curiosa was every bit as great for you as it was for me here in Nashville. Weren't The Cure's visuals cool! Ranks up there with seeing U2, Radiohead, and Spiritualized for me.

I think you hit it on the head with SFKK. I thoroughly enjoy every coaster there (well T2 needs some TLC as we all know). I think it has some underrated coasters and generally gets a bad rap for a few small things. With some minor touches here and there (the ones you mentioned), this park would be on track.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004 7:35 PM
Very well written TR, especially for a first, thanks!


On the back of the shirt it says "Seek The Long One"... I'm sure that you wouldn't find that saying on a Cedar Fair shirt.


Think again. Can get Ghostrider shirts at KBF that say "Long Tall Woodie" ;o)

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004 11:59 PM
"Thunder Run(one train operation) had the longest line of the day at maybe 45 minutes(forgot my watch in the car) but the ride was great and the crew was awesome!"

Thunder is made for only 1 train.. that is why it is always 1 train operation ;-)

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 12:22 AM
Very nice TR. I'm glad someone is getting some good rides on SOB. That ride seems to have mood swings or maybe it's just me. Have fun watching The Italian Job. I think it is a pretty good movie, but the ride is going to be so much better!

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Friday, August 20, 2004 6:10 AM
Very good first TR. I think you had my same thoughts about both SFKK and PKI when I was there 2 weeks ago. Now if only I remember to go to HW next year...

SFKK has a great coaster line up(if they would keep both twins opened!), but the park could use some asthetic(sp?) help. Some paint here, a hammer there, and you'd have a great park.

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Friday, August 20, 2004 12:09 PM
Nicely done, MN. I especially appreciated your clever title. Even if you're a coaster guy, you really must make time for Splashin' Safari on your next visit to Holiday World, even if only for the two big Z's. :)
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Friday, August 20, 2004 12:15 PM
Don't forget about Jungle Racer! It has more airtime than The Raven.
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Friday, August 20, 2004 1:11 PM

macho nachos said:

I got a kick out of the Chang sweatshirt that I bought off of the clearance rack. On the back of the shirt it says "Seek The Long One"... I'm sure that you wouldn't find that saying on a Cedar Fair shirt.


You'd be surprised at what some of the Cedar Fair shirts have on them... I own a GhostRider shirt that has "Longest, Tallest, Woodie" on the front of it. The women really seem to like that shirt :D

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Saturday, August 21, 2004 5:03 AM
Now I have to go rent that movie too.

The sig says it all. ;)

Kyle says: Rental sales for the Italian Job will skyrocket during the offseason. *** Edited 8/21/2004 9:03:21 AM UTC by Kyle Fobe***

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Monday, August 23, 2004 6:32 AM
"Thunder Run(one train operation) had the longest line of the day at maybe 45 minutes(forgot my watch in the car) but the ride was great and the crew was awesome!"

That makes me so happy to here! As the Sr. Team Leader of that crew that day, I tried extra hard to make sure guests were having a really fun time on the ride by getting them to have screaming contests and things like that! It's good to here that we are actually being noticed for it!

Recently I got moved to Hellevator's crew and will no longer be running Thunder Run :(.

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Monday, August 23, 2004 7:29 PM
SFKKThunderRun I did notice all those things and it goes to show that it only takes a person or two to really make a difference. Good for you! I would have loved additional rides, but I had to hit every coaster there that day. I had on my stylin' MF shirt, did you see me? ;)
thrillerman1, The Cure show was amazing! The visuals were top notch and it was like they plucked the setlist directly from my brain. 4 songs from "The Head On The Door", 3 songs from "Pornography", 3 from "Disintegration", and "Shake Dog Shake" from "The Top". I was weak in the knees and trying not to cry for most of the night. Awesome! *** Edited 8/23/2004 11:38:42 PM UTC by macho nachos***
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