Rather Empty Kings Island 5/19/11

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:24 AM

After a five-hour trip including stopping, from Erie, we arrived at KI to asphalt desert with a few cars and buses in it. The weather was relatively cloudy and cool (60s), with the potential for rain (green light for coaster enthusiasts). I was surprised with the lack of school groups considering how a Tuesday in May at Cedar Point a couple years ago was yielding July-esque wait times.

Aside from the white elephant lurking in the corner, Kings Island was looking good. Gardens may have not been completed yet, but the fountains were stunning as usual, and rides/buildings looked fresh.

Onto the rides:

Best of the rest. Adventure Express is my favorite mine-train, but it's still a mine-train (6/10). The Crypt was looking fantastic, but riding tame (3/10). Junior SLC and Woodstock Express are great kiddie options (4/10). Drop Tower at KI is better than KD by a mile (7/10). Invertigo was running very smooth (8/10). Delirium is still an amazing flat (8/10).

The iconic Beast gave me mixed feelings on all three laps (1:1, 6:2, 6:3). On a positive note, track work seemed decent with the only area of concern being the first turn, but it was nothing painful. The helix finale was the best in years with the trim barely grabbing and being fierce, yet comfortable. However, the first part leaves a lot to be desired. I can handle having a mid-course break run, but it comes after a significant hold on the first drop, followed by a heavy hold on the hill after the first turn. I'd even settle for the set on the second drop eliminated. With the great finale, and unique setting The Beast is still a favorite, but a favorite that could achieve elite status (8/10).

Racer was running excellent. Floating airtime was a plenty, and the word rough could not be applied. Only one side was running (Blue), but with walk-ons into the front seat, who could blame KI? Great job keeping a classic running hot (7/10)!

What separates Vortex from the rest of other Arrow creations is its beginning, and its finale. It's a nice change to have a first drop with airtime followed by a hill and descending turn before getting into the inversions. The batwing finale is unique for its neat use of terrain. Overall, above average looper with a good layout, decently smooth ride, and a nice color scheme (7/10).

Flight of Fear sealed the deal with assessing the crowd. First ride in the morning had a line starting at the beginning of the UFO, but the second ride was a walk-on. Never seen a walk-on on FoF. Interestingly, the complete stop midcourse didn't hurt the finale much to speak of. This ride is simply awesome with the minimal light, the twisted layout, and, of course, the powerful corkscrew finale (9/10).

Firehawk opened late, and had the longest wait being just under 30 minutes. Only one side of the station was running most likely due to be large amount of staffing needed for loading compared to the sparse attendance. The ride itself was a lot more forceful than I remember. The transitions from lie-to-fly and fly-to-lie are very disorienting, along with a great vertical loop made for an intense ride. If only the ear-bleeding anti-rollbacks could be tuned down! (8.5/10).

Backlot Stunt Coaster was running well. Fire effects and Helicopter were working nicely. The launch into an ascending helix combined with the second launch into twisted darkness make this a fun coaster that's not too intense for some of the younger enthusiasts and families (7/10).

Flight Deck gets no love. True, it's not an elite coaster. True, it's rather short. Most importantly, it's a lot of fun. The use of the sloping terrain combined with the near-miss of the white elephant make for a unique experience. The fun part was the looks I generated from other patrons when I loudly and sarcastically acknowledged to my friends how no one wants to ride that giant coaster with no name next to Flight Deck. On the other hand, the new track paint looks sharp (7/10).

Diamondback is rising into an elite coaster in my opinion. This ride has one great attribute, Airtime. Not just a couple pops, but nice sustained air on almost every drop. Backseat is the place, get ejector throughout the ride, and can feel the mist of the water splash finale. Only downside being the couple of puking episodes within almost five minutes of each other (Teal was interesting, TMI). Best ride hands down (10/10).

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better day. I'll take walk-ons for almost every coaster over an operating Windseeker (It looked great in its location by the way). Even the log flume incident in which four grown guys stacked into one log caused the nose to dip slightly pouring tons of water onto my lap was worth a couple laughs. And not to forget one of my friends realizing that the pouches on The Crypt move with the ride, therefore, they should be zipped so phones don't fall out (It still worked amazingly despite a cracked screen). And I cannot close without my slip-up of the day. Being very tired out in line for check-in, I saw the hotel had a hot tub, so I proudly exclaimed in front of other patrons and the desk worker how I wanted to "Take a dump in the hot tub." Yeah I felt as if the whole world stopped after that one (smacks forehead).

Last edited by AJFelice, Tuesday, May 24, 2011 6:20 PM
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:42 AM

Great TR, AJ. How long was your wait for Diamondback throughout the day? Was it walk-on all day?

I wish I wasn't unemployed right now. I miss Kings Island. :(

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 7:29 AM

There's a white elephant on Flight Deck? How could I have ridden it so many times and missed this? ;)

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:30 AM

AJFelice said:

Racer was running excellent. Floating airtime was a plenty, and the word rough could not be applied. Only one side was running (Blue), but with walk-ons into the front seat, who could blame KI? Great job keeping a classic running hot (7/10)!

The ride is called "Racer." I can blame them. Same deal at Kings Dominion... one train on one side. A surge of guests and you have a nice obnoxiously long wait for a ride that was meant to 'race'.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:53 AM

I tend to think that maybe when rides like this are racing, they can actually attract more riders. Rides like this are people eaters. At least run one train per side, and race them.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:35 PM

Diamondback was a 1-2 train wait for all seats except the front. Ran three trains until the final hour when red train was removed. The only other coaster with reduced capacity was Vortex having two instead of three trains.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4:32 PM

Or run two trains on one side if you have to. At least then you don't need to increase staffing.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4:36 PM

With walk-ons to the front seat, I can't fault them for running one train. Why would they run any more?

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:46 PM

CoasterDemon said:
The ride is called "Racer." I can blame them. Same deal at Kings Dominion... one train on one side. A surge of guests and you have a nice obnoxiously long wait for a ride that was meant to 'race'.

My daughter and I were at CP today, and we got a rather bland ride on Monomini. (And, no, it's not in Wisconsin. ;))

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