PKI Season Pass Preview Day AKA: Bring Your Own Sled

Associated parks:

Trip: Paramount’s Kings Island Season Pass Preview Day
Date: Sunday, April 4, 2004
Weather: Morning-SNOWING, 20-30mph Wind Gusts…and FEAKN’ COLD!!!
Afternoon- Partly Cloudy, and A LOT Warmer

Hello Coaster Fans Who Were Debating Over The Weekend On Sled Riding Or Coaster Riding,

This past Sunday (April 5th) PKI had their Season Pass PREVIEW day. I stress preview day VERY heavily…you’ll see why.

Shawna (my Wife) and I left Akron, OH around Sat. evening. In Akron there was already 1 in. of snow. On the way down to PKI we hit EVERY form of weather possible. Snow, Rain, Hail, Sun, and 50mph winds according to Cincinnati Weather. We stayed at Kings Island Resort…which had some HUGE dog show going on and staying at the hotel. They were actually pretty quiet at night so it wasn’t bad.

Shawna and I woke up around 9:30am and got to the park around 9:32am (hey, it’s right across the street.) NEW FOR 2004 (at least I don’t remember this from last year): They had this girl greeting people with a VERY loud microphone in a little booth right at the tram turnaround. She was pretty funny and kept making fun of people on Drop Zone. Shawna and I had about 5 layers of clothes, and added gloves, and hats. Temp. was below freezing according to PKI and it was SNOWING! We went to get Shawna’s season pass since she didn’t get one with me last year.

New this year is a season pass processing center! Yes, they actually built one this year! You enter the far left side of where you buy your season passes. It’s set up to look like a VIP entrance. You enter and a person tells you to go straight of down (there is a first floor and a bottom floor.) Now this is where is starts to become PREVIEW DAY. Employees have A LOT of stuff to work on for this week. Mainly DON’T ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER! One told us to go down, so we did but I guess since we had an online season pass we had to come back up (insert employee battle.) We came back up. It was quite chaotic in this room…NOTHING like past years were it was smooth. There is just WAYYyy to many people in such a small room. Then they were printing everyone’s passes without GOLD members so they had to redo them (Insert employee battle.) I’m sure it’ll work out though. We weren’t upset. Hey, I was just happy to get into a park this early in Ohio :)

Next up metal detectors. They did a VERY good search of everyone’s bag. Into the park we went. They FINALLY removed the huge dirt mound in front of the fountain, it looks a 1000 times better! New this year (I think) are the camera’s the employee’s use to take your picture. It’s the exact same camera I used last year Canon S50. Good luck with those!! The battery life was awful! I usually take around 500 pictures per day with my job…that camera lasted for around 30 on it’s highest setting and at 5mp. And I know they are going to take a lot more than 30 pictures (though it probably won’t be at it’s highest setting). This year I’m shooting with the BRAND NEW Canon Pro1; which is an unbelievable digital camera!!

We headed for our first ride on Delirium. Everyone was really bundled up so it was hard for employees to get everyone locked in. It wasn’t helping the fact that they were giving some people the same seat number either (insert a small employee battle.) I love this flat ride! This is just so much fun for everyone. Better yet, it was a walk on ride! We headed over to Drop Zone. Shawna wasn’t about to ride that knowing how cold it was going to be at the top. Me and 5 other people hopped on. Very nice ride ops over here. We made our way to the top (of which Shawna did all the picture taking of us FREEZING.) Good views as always, but never can remember how high this ride really goes…then the drop! I felt like I was parachuting due to all the layers I had on today :) Great free fall! Ripcord was offering $10 rides but we passed. ALL other Action Zone attractions were closed, including ALL roller coasters :( Congo Falls was testing.

All games and carnival rides were open all throughout the park, with everyone doing there best to get you to play. PKI does have some nice prizes to start the year. I did notice a few games that have been removed, and placed with newer more up to date games. Most of the newer ones are around the FoF and Racer.

We hopped on Adventure Express for our first Ohio coaster ride of the year (Shawna and I had a good laugh at this one)! This is still my favorite mine ride coaster outside of WDW. And get this the effects were working! I actually saw arrows come out of the walls at my head and heard audible voices! WOW! AE was running great for just coming out of the off season. Racer was only running the forward train. We walked on to the second car, middle seat. What’s this? NEW SEAT BELTS…THAT RETRACT?! WHAHOO!! This ride was SMOOTH as glass today! No air or anything, but it was very very smooth. Nice out and back today. I prefer backwards though.

FoF has a GREAT crew this year…very fast and friendly. They had 3 employees trying to get this guy to fit into the seat, and they were all VERY nice about it. This ride was running awesome! Today they had the multi colored lights on in the track building.

Next up Sponge Bob Square Pants 3-D…now those who went with me last year know of all the times I have tried to see this (even though I’m not a big fan of sponge bob square pants) I had tried 5 times last year and every time it broke down! Not this year…I finally got a walk on ride on this. I actually really enjoyed it, very nicely timed motion, fun all the way through, and quite comical. Fun, for everyone! The other theater has showing some wannabe Indian Jones movie (which was not open today.)

Vortex wasn’t running so we TRIED to get on The Beast. Right when we got up in line it broke down they cleared out the whole que line. Bummer. We then TRIED to go over to Tomb Raider the ride, since I knew they had worked on all the effects in the off seaon. We made into tomb 2 (the same place we spent over 2 ½ hours for the video shoot.) Now this is where it got REAL ugly with employees. Some how Tomb 2’s door opened into the Main Chamber before it was suppose to. This caused havoc (of course.) Riders then couldn’t get out of their seats. Next up this is what happened: Tomb 1 opens up with all doors opened. “Close tomb 1! Close Tomb 2. Open Tomb 2. Close Tomb 2 Open Tomb 1. Close Tomb 1...Close Tomb 1…I said close tomb 1…I SAID CLOSE TOMB 1!” Then some guy from tomb 1 came over to tomb 2 and wasn’t too happy. They couldn’t get the riders off of the ride so after 15min. Shawna and left the line.

I wanted to ride the train, but they were doing some scheduled afternoon maintenance on it. So we headed up to Nickelodeon Central. They had a few rides running…Reptar wasn’t running, but Beastie was. Enough rides to make people happy. We walked onto Scooby Doo’s Haunted castle. I love this ride! Tons of fun! I like it so much, I dragged Shawna back on it where I got my highest score ever of 2180 points…as Shaggy would say, “Like WOW!” Shawna lost, so she had to buy me dinner. :)

It was around 2pm and Shawna and I just walked around to check out all the shops. They don’t have much new stuff yet, but you can DEFINETLY tell the marketing/stores department is going for a “Rustic/Rough/Outback/Worn” look this year with all the styles…all most to much for my liking.

Things I noticed on the new PKI map are the parade route leads from Tomb Raider to the Eiffel Tower to the Beastie. Boomerang Bay doesn’t look like it includes all the new stuff? I mean I see it, but unless I have all the new stuff on the PKI site to look at it doesn’t look like it has everything. Until I see it in person, the map still looks like a lot of cement and not much shade, which as we know to be different.

By now the sun was starting to come out, which helped out the temp. dramatically! We had a little ride back home, so we decided to head out. In all for a preview day I can’t complain, because it was a preview day. Like all preview days, there are always problems, but it was just so much fun to be back in a park!

Next week is the IX Indoor Amusement Park’s Opening Day and PKI’s Opening Day. I’m looking forward to coming back down next week :)

"The Future of Roller Coasters"
*** Edited 4/5/2004 2:36:33 PM UTC by RollerCoasterGod***

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