So my mom decided she wanted to go on a coaster trip to Cedar Point because she hadn’t been since 2002. I figured it’d be a good chance to get to a couple other parks, so after doing some airfare and driving research, we decided to do Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, Kings Island, and two days at Cedar Point in that order. My mom wasn’t quite up for that many parks, so she flew in a day later and met us for the last three, skipping Kentucky Kingdom. So to kick off our trip, Kaley (my girlfriend) and I headed off to SFKK solo.
After hearing so many bad things about Kentucky Kingdom, I was pleasantly surprised. This park was landscaped much nicer than I had expected. The layout was a bit off, but it looked to me like that would only take some simple fixes to be greatly improved. I loved that they had a large ferris wheel (my first Vekoma wheel) and a classic (Denzel?) carousel that was in pretty good condition. The park didn’t open until 11, so it gave us some time to sleep in and arrive late. This helped us adjust to the time change. Having checked the weather, we knew that every day of this trip was going to be hot, and this day was no exception. Even though it was Sunday and much to our surprise everything was walk on.
The first thing we rode was Break Dance, since I have always been eluded by this type of ride (except for the crappy Spongebob one at Knott’s Great America). Kaley had been on a larger model at a fair a few years back and had nothing but praise to say. I have to agree. It was an excellent flat ride, and a great way to kick off the trip. I have to say the random quick spins reminded me of a crazy Tilt-A-Whirl.
Next we headed over to Road Runner Express. The line was only a couple groups in front of us, but you could tell that this ride was not operated with capacity in mind. Kaley LOVES wild mouse coasters, and this was a new layout to her, so she was excited. After our ride, however, we both decided it’s the worst we’ve been on. The switchbacks grind and the cars are really not very comfortable. There is one moment of airtime, but sadly that wasn’t enough to redeem the rest of it. Give me an Arrow mouse any day.
Greezed Lightnin’ was the next coaster on our list. It was a bit sad since I knew Greased Lightnin’ in Cali was salvaged to keep this coaster running. How interesting is it that the two Great America shuttle loops ended up becoming one in Kentucky. This was also my first ride on a weight drop model. We rode in the back seat and overall I really enjoyed it. There’s not a whole lot to it, especially lacking the more powerful launch and trip up the rear tower, but it is definitely a fun coaster. It’s especially great for kids and families not quite ready to ride some of the larger coasters.
So after these three rides, we headed over to the coaster I was anticipating the most (at this park), Thunder Run. I had experienced one of the Hurlers at its worst, and knew what a pile this ride was capable of being. Luckily this was not the case. We rode backseat and I really enjoyed it. Kaley was a bit freaked out by the ride. She said it felt a bit too out of control for her taste, and the turns at high speed were terrifying to her. I loved the second hill surprise in the backseat, and there were a couple other moments of airtime. The only part that really ruined the pacing was the long straight portion of track. We rode later in the front seat and that was even better. More airtime, and a great sense of speed throughout the ride. It was a bit short, but that didn’t disappoint me. For people that come here often, does the single train make wait time intolerable when the park is busy?
After Thunder Run, we moseyed on over to T2. The walk between the two rides is one of the weakest parts of the park. There is some abandoned dragster attraction and large fences on each side of the pathway. It doesn’t match up even close to the entrance area and needs some work. They should put a pathway that heads from this side of Thunder Run over to the Twisted Twins area. So anyways, it was only 11:45 at this point, so we realized we’d be done with this park early. That was a good thing with the way it was heating up.
So… T2 looks pretty cool. That’s about it. Having lived with a Vekoma SLC at my home park, I knew what to expect. Also, this was one of the two old SLCs that had the little bit different first drop and final hill- and shorter trains. The trains appeared to have all new wheels, so I thought we might get lucky and have a not-so-bad ride. Nope. This was just so-bad. It was awful. I apologized to Kaley for taking her on it. Strangely enough the only smooth part of the ride was the two barrel rolls. It did keep up speed and pacing was faster than other SLCs, but who cares with a ride as painful and uncomfortable as this. The young guys behind us stayed on for a reride, so I guess the locals like it. Pure crap by my standards.
Chang was right there so we headed over for a ride. Personally, I don’t look at too many pictures or videos of coasters before I go on them. Having heard how this was a “mirror of Mantis with an extra cork” I was really surprised to see that only the first half was like Mantis. The second half was completely different. We rode in the backseat, and for a stand-up it was pretty good. No airtime on the first drop, but it was very smooth and fluid. It had more of a Riddler’s Revenge feel to it than Mantis in my opinion. Since this is the park’s star attraction, I think a floorless would probably have been better for the money. I prefer tight standups like Georgia Scorcher and even Vortex in Cali. So for being pretty good, it was a bit lackluster and not very memorable.
We were downright starving at this point. Over by the ferris wheel there was a place we grabbed some grub. The pathway between Chang and there was not very good. It felt paved over, with ugly midway games. This part and the path between Thunder Run and T2 were easily the worst parts of the park. I guess the rest of the park was probably done earlier in time before Six Flags got to it?
So after picking between fried food and… fried food, we had a relaxing breakfast/lunch and decided to digest on the Giant Wheel. I love ferris wheels and the bigger the better. This one could really use new paint and better colors, and the station platform is bizarre and ugly, but the views were great. They gave us a nice length ride cycle as well most due to the fooling around ride ops.
That brings me to another point. Most of the ride ops were pretty good, especially the older ones. I’ve never seen so many middle-aged ride ops at a park. Some of the young ones were fooling around and acting inappropriately, but they were the minority.
So now that we had some time to sit, we headed back to Twisted Twins stopping by Roller Skater on the way. Roller Skater was your standard Vekoma kiddy coaster, although it would have been nice to get two laps instead of one. The trees and water underneath were very nice.
Poor Twisted Twins. It is all alone in the very, very back of the park. You have to make an effort to get back there to ride it. People without a map would probably not realize it is there. There is also a Country Music show back there, but there were literally no people watching it. Back to Twisted Twins, I don’t know which one is Stella and which is Lola. Anyways, we rode front seat on the Pink. The ride was actually much better than I expected! I always heard people talking about it like there were really no redeeming qualities, but this was hardly the case. The first drop was cool, heading right toward the other train, but the dueling pretty much stops there. There wasn’t a whole lot of airtime, but the ride tracked well and had some good lateral moments. There is one turn that looked a little impossible for the speed we were traveling at. Very fun, and not really uncomfortable at all in the Gerstlauers. The ride ops were letting people stay on so we jumped in the backseat of the Teal train. Oh my god, that first drop was insane. There is a nice ejector pop of air that is terrifying. I’m not sure if it’s just the way the track has worn or what, but I loved it. There is also nice out of control point with laterals and a strong pop of air (I think it was on the third hill). Backseat was great on teal, and when I say great, I mean a decent ride. This coaster is nice length, but just doesn’t deliver at most parts. So although it might sound like I’m praising it a lot, it’s really for the one or two moments each side had. Pacing is way off, and I wouldn’t want to wait too long to ride, but they both surpassed my expectations. We did ride pink in back to compare, but it didn't have the lateral pop, so Teal is better.
We started to head out of the park since we had really accomplished and experienced everything we wanted to. On the way out we rode the Carousel, just because it was so beautiful. Everything on this carousel moved, and it seemed to be in pretty good condition. It’s also in a great European themed portion of the park. Too bad none of the horses had any tails!
That was it for our day. We stretched it out to 3pm, and were done. Although the park is overall pretty good, it does feel a bit empty at the end of the day. There is really nothing that sets it apart from other parks. The waterpark looked okay, but not amazing. I saw barely any cars use the road that separates the two sides, so if they could get it rerouted and then fill in the space in between, that would also greatly improve the park. Also the choice of music was a bit too specific. ALL they played was country music. It was just too much. I don’t like to just hear music throughout the park, it would be nicer if they would maybe just have a background type soundtrack that was a bit different for each section of the park. Unless I’m in the area or they add something amazing we probably won’t be back anytime soon, but having said that the park exceeded my expectations.
One last thing that we both thought was pretty funny is that people in the park kept saying “big city rides.” Like one dad said to his son (who was afraid of Road Runner Express), “We paid for you to get in, so you’re gonna hafta ride these big city rides.” Then when we were at dinner, we heard some people talking about big city folk. It was pretty amusing. Oh, and the people of Louisville were not nearly as friendly as we thought they would be. In fact, most seemed like they were having a bad day or something. Maybe they were just angry about the heat…
I hope you enjoyed reading. I’ll have Holiday World, Kings Island and Cedar Point coming soon.
*** Edited 8/5/2007 10:47:59 PM UTC by GoliathKills***
That area by the now defunct dragster ride used to have an accessway to go from there over to Twisted Twins. I guess until they re-do that area with a kids area as has been said will happen, the current layout does kind of suck.
If you have an SF pass with a parking pass, I hope you went to Guest Relations to get your 5 bucks back in parking. SF doesn't control the lot there.
Glad you had fun.
PS.,,,, T2 sucks and always will suck. :)
My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.
T2- TAER IT DOWN!!
Chang is definately the star of the park.
I thought that Thunder Run was one of the better Summmers & Dinns I've been on. You are right about the second hill surprise. Can't answer your question. It was a rainy day and a rather empty park. Two ride ops, one train. Can't expect too much from that.
The Twins to me need some attention. Neat look and good idea. Just not excecuted well.
T2 was my first SLC. I expected it to be rough and I can't say it wasn't. The front row threw me back and forth quite a bit. Is that the big issue? Back was much better. I had to give it a second chance for being my first SLC.
Credit question about Greased Lightning:
Rode it when it was Tidal Wave at SFGAm. Now you're saying it is "frankenstiened" with another Anton shuttle. How do you count that?
Otherwise the launch was not as strong as I remember all those years ago and doesn't go up the back spike like it used to. I was neat to do the loop without OSTRs though.
The planes flying in overhead the whole time was interesting.
Complaints I have:
There was no "background" music like you said. I don't recall country but it doesn't surprise me. What got me is all the different songs playing (blasting) at once when you first get inside. Just overbearing noise like a fair midway. The arcades sucked. Poor, confusing layout in the back half.
Nice place but just enough to say I was there and not have to go back. That's about it.
Was Superman operating? or is there any new news on that?
Thanks for another great season, VF!
I agree with you that the Twins could have been executed so much better. The track wasn't too bad, and I got two pops of air so I was actually surprised.
If it was cold and rainy when you rode T2, maybe it helped to slow it down. It wasn't just front to back, but also side to side. We rode second row from the back.
Superman was sitting there, not open. I heard once the investigation is over, they'll be removing it. I bet it'll find life in a new park.
Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers
Great TR! A few side notes, though:
That Carousel, hold on to your hat.... is a VEKOMA.
Matter of fact, we used to call it Six Flags Vekoma Kingdom!
It had Roller Skater, Quake (a Non Inverting Topspin), Vampire (Boomerang) Giant Wheel, Carousel, T2 and I think another Vekoma or two.
Also, the area on the way back to Twisted Twins used to have about 5 or 6 small rides back there. I think the Zepplin ride is still there, it used to be where Greased Lightnings entrance is.
Just to give you a little history lesson.
Wasnt SFKK supposed to get a water coaster or something called Deluge? I thought I saw a video for it on their website earlier in the year. Am I just imagining this?
Yes they did it is a 4seat raft that runs up hill with electric magnets and I thought was a excellent ride. I liked it better than Typhoon at SFNE except for the ending.
Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers
I saw the "water coaster" and it looked pretty nice. It was one of the few rides that had a line.
Manufacturers & Builders
130 E. Duval St.
EDIT: It looks like the National Carousel Association lists the carousel's manufacturer as Wood Designs. If this is the case, why is PTC on one of the scenery panels?
EDIT AGAIN: This page says: "This custom-designed carousel features animals that salute European and American carousel manufacturers who pioneered the craftsmanship of the world's greatest carousels."
I guess this explains why PTC is listed on a scenery panel. There were probably other manufacturers listed too but I just didn't notice them.
*** Edited 8/11/2007 2:59:21 PM UTC by person*** *** Edited 8/11/2007 3:12:21 PM UTC by person***
I went 8/5, 1 week after you. The parking lot was full but there was no one in the park, I believe there was a car show going on in the main parking area.
Greazed Lightning was amazing its opening year, but sadly it has slowed down. T2 sucks, but if you ride towards the back and continueously press your head back against the seat for the hold ride, its actually not TOO bad. ;)
Thunder Run needs some work, it has gotten alot rougher this year. Every hill on the coaster used to provide airtime....
Lola (pink twisted twin) was the only one running but if you ride in the back you can see the cars shuffling on the track, its a pretty unnerving sight! But i would agree that stella is MUCH better!
There used to be a fun bee ride back where the new country theatre is by TT, but it was removed in 2002.
Glad you had fun!
I finally rode the best SLC this summer. It's at Geauga Lake. Somehow, Cedar Fair figured out how to make one of these things be smooth without the new harnesses that I don't know if anyone's installed yet.
Thunder/Serial/Hawk/Thriller was pretty smooth when SF owned it.
My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.
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