Trip Report: Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom
May 20, 2007
Today was the day after HoliWood Nights, and it seems like more often than not, we find ourselves stopping off at Kentucky Kingdom on the way home. This was of course the case, so after having the hotel courtesy brekafast, we push check out time to the limit. I noted the hotel had a business center, which helped, since I am in the .1% of enthusiasts that don't have a Six Flags pass, and see no reason for one. I was able to save $5 by printing off an advanced sale E-Ticket. ($34.95) We then took the hour plus drive to Louisville.
We had no trouble getting to the park, and had a somewhat strange experience for a Six Flags park. We pulled up at the toll plaza, handed the guy a $20, and got $15 back in change. As you know, usually when you visit a Six Flags park, you hand the guy a $20 and he hands you $5 back in change. Benefits of the parking lot not being owned by Six Flags.
We drive around the lot and eventually find a space not too far from the gate, then proceed to walk up to the park and show various tickets and passes. Entry is delayed by the metal detectors they place right after the turnstiles which really slow things down. Once inside the park and past the strong security presence, we note the front gate plaza area to be filled with Looney Tunes characters. More interesting is they had to antique cars (from the ride) parked near the fountain in the front of the park.
We enter the park and head to the right, and stop at Hellevator (Intamin Giant Drop), uhm, scratch that, the park has gone PC, the ride is now Superman: Tower of Power and sports a new red, yellow and blue paint job. It also sports a new simplified control system. Its an Intamin Giant Drop, but it has nice long seat belts, go figure. It also had a very effective drop, much better than the tower almost twice as tall up at Kings Island.
Having enjoyed that ride we start to make our way around the park. We note the faded out tubs on the (Huss) Breakdance received a fresh coat of paint. We headed for Road Runner Express (Maurer Shoene Wild Mouse), but decided the line was a bit long, it was all the way out to the entrance using the short path. We instead find ourselves taking a back car ride on Greezed Lightning (Schwarzkopf Launch Loop). Greezed Lightning may be one of the best rides in the park at the current time, but that doesn't excuse it for braking the train as it goes backwards through the station, killing the unique back car float on the back spike.
We had to kill some time before meeting Mark and Pete, so we took a spin on the Tin Lizzies (Antique Cars). They made me drive the car while they rode. It's not a particularly interesting track just one long elongated oval. We next caught a few moments of the character show in the ampitheatre, the Looney Tunes characters were line dancing to "Sweet Home Alabama" After that Dave and I take a ride on the (Huss) Enterprise. Be afraid, be very afraid. This Enterprise vibrated and shook the entire ride, and made real nasty noises. Unusual for a ride that is usually so quiet. The (Huss) Rainbow was down for the day, and it looked like the (Reverchon) Himalayah got some new paint to the railings, yet again. Maybe this time they did it right.
By this time, it was time to meet the others at the front gate, and Mark needed to get a season pass processed. After all that was over with, the lot of us took another ride on Superman: Power of Tower and Greezed Lightnin (we skipped the mouse again, the line was about the same as it was before). We then headed across was has become unaffectionately known as "The Damned Bridge"
Once across the bridge that separates the nicely laid out old part of the park from the haphazardly laid out new part of the park. They really should figure out how to move that fairgrounds entrance road. We all take a ride on the Giant Wheel. The line was through one switchback, and they were using 10 of the 40 cars on the ride. The Ferris Wheel ride was nice and scenic as it should be. What made it interesting is the operator. We will give her the benefit of the doubt and say she is brand new at operating the wheel. Besides not being able to park the wheel without jogging it back and forth several times, she also was losing track of which cars had had a ride cycle. We watched one group ahead of us get essentially a double ride, then she wanted to unload us after only one trip around the wheel. Needless to say all 5 cars in our group started complaining, so we got our full ride.
We headed around the park and looked athe the food court at the entrance to Splashwater Kingdom (don't want to use Hurricane in the name, might offend some) though they still had hurricane flags up as theming. The water park is getting a big make over, and we could see workers working on the parks new watercoaster slide. The food court prices were horrendous, but to see the funnel cake stand trying to pass off prepackaged funnel cakes off to its marks as fresh funnel cakes is beyond the pale.
I was the only one who wanted to ride Chang (B&M Stand Up coaster), so I did, it was a one train wait for the back row. I took the back left position, which seems to have some signifigance on lots of B&M coasters as being the best spot on the train. Chang did not disappoint with an inversion filled intense ride, followed by mandatory walk through retail as the exit goes through a gift shop. At least its arranged so there is a mostly straight shot to dash out. Oh, I did have to struggle to get the belt fastened on Chang, but thats no surprise on a B&M for me.
At this point the pathway was blocked for waterpark construction, and the park continues to make sure the pathways are different every visit. Essentially we have to backtrack all the way back around to Thunder Run. On our way there, we note that Rollerskater (Vekoma junior coaster) got a new station roof including a cute new sign. Dave noted the International Carousel lost its seatbelts. We took a pause to rest here before getting in line for Thunder Run.
The line for Thunder Run was just to the bottom of the stairs, but with single train operation and that patented slow dispatch times the ride is known for, it took a lot longer than it should have to get aboard. For our part, we didn't help matters by all insisting on riding in the front seat. So after waiting entirely too long, it was time for a front seat ride on Thunder Run. First let me struggle with this entirely too short seatbelt. Ahh, good buckled in, then do not pull back on the lap bar, the ride operator will do that for you.
We depart the station, up the lift, so far so good, down and through the banked curve, and I am getting the feeling that while last year this ride was somebody's baby and was running very smooth, its starting to roughen up. Mind you when I say rough, this is better than a lot of parks "smooth" wooden coasters. At least the triple hill out passage delivers the airtime. So the ride is still above average, but is starting to get rough, and with the bad QRR (Queue To Ride Ratio) we were disappointed with it. QRR - the longer you have to wait for a ride, the more the ride has to deliver.
Well we finish up Thunder Run, only one more coaster back here, its time to head back that long long dead end known as the Northwest Territory to ride Twisted Twins (commonly referred to as Twisted Whatevers) The ride in the back seat of the green train was particularly good for its ejector air on the first two or three hills. Overall though the ride is still rough and just isn't one of CCI's better rides.
At this time we check our watches, it is almost 6PM, and we need to stop for food. Thats puts us back in Cincinnati at 9PM to drop me off, then Dave and April get back to Columbus around 11pm. Sadly, it is time to go. We grab some Taco Bell in downtown Lousiville, then head on home. A big thanks to Mark and/or Pete for phoning us to warn us about that bug traffic backup we were therefore able to avoid.
Next up: Firehawk at King's Island - May 28, 2007
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