Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom (6/24/2006)

Associated parks:

What: "Lower Midwest Coaster Vacation - Park 3"

Where: Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, Louisville KY

When: Saturday, June 24. 6pm - 9pm (Closing)

Who: Myself

Weather: Hot and Humid

Crowd: Light

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Arrival: Having returned to Louisville late in the afternoon and having dinner, we kicked around the idea of going to SFKK for a bit that evening. Michele suggested that I go there that night (while she stayed at the hotel swimming pool) and get done what I could and then she would go with me if I needed to return the next day. So I struck out on my own. Since the parking is regulated by the Expo Center and not Six Flags, it was nice to only pay $5 to park at a Six Flags park. After travelling through the maze of the parking lot and finding out where the entrance to the park was, I flashed my season pass at the front gate and was in.

Greezed Lightnin': 2 rides. I knew this was going to be a whirl wind tour, so I headed left after I entered the park. Road Runner Express was lined up (I don't wait for wild mice if I can help it) so I grabbed a walk on ride on Greazed Lightning. This was my first ride on a Schwarzkopf shuttle loop and truthfully I wasn't expecting much from the look of it. I was surprised.The loop after the fast launch was border line intense, and the trip up the spike was fun. The great part was going backward through that loop. A very rare (for me) stomach flipping feeling. I was quite impressed by this ride.

T2: 1 ride. I passed up Chang. The line was kind of long and besides, I didn't feel like having everything empty out of my pockets (I should have worn my shorts with zipper pockets), so I next went to T2. Nothing much to say here... you typical Vekoma SLC. I will say that this was not as brutal on the ears as some (like SFA's). Odd Queue placement though. You have to walk through the coaster footprint to the back side of it to enter the queue. And there is nothing else back there except this entrance. Other than that it is a dead end.

Thunder Run (almost) and Flash Pass: I got in line for Thunder run... and the line looked to be the longest of any of the coasters. As I was standing there, at least three groups of people came in saying "our friends are up front" and people let them in. It was about 15 people total! I said to myself "Enough of this [crap]" and I got out of line. I knew SFKK offered the coupon version of Flash Pass, so I walked back across the park (via the only bridge connecting the two halfs of the park) to Guest Relations. When I returned back across the bridge, I had my 5 Flash Pass tickets with me (cost $10).

Twisted Twins: 2 rides each side (4 total). Prepared to use a Flash Pass ticket, I found the stations relatively empty, so I went into the regular line. Truth be told... the Dueling aspect of these two coasters is minimal. Only on the fly by at the bottom of the first trop and at one other point are you aware that there is another coaster running. In their own rights however, the coaster that loads nearest the road (not sure which one it is) is probably my favorite of the two. Two things could improve this coaster. 1) Get rid of the Gerstlauer trains and put some real trains on it! and 2) do some land scaping, or at least some mowing, around it. It was looking particularly run down.

Roller Skater: 1 ride. It was there, I rode it, one for the count. Nothing more, nothing less. However I will say this... why only give one circuit on it? Don't most parks with coasters this size send them through the course twice?

Thunder Run (again): 2 rides total. Long line... so out came the Flash Pass ticket strip. Walked up the exit ramp and got the one op's attention. Before the next train loaded, he motioned me in. I asked "Anywhere or in a particular seat." He said "Anywhere", so I hopped into the front seat (and tried not to make eye contact with the people waiting in line). However, in this case it made no difference since the person waiting for the front seat was a single rider so she just filled in the empty seat in the first row.

This was the surprise of SFKK. Having ridden the near duplicates of this coaster at Kings Dominion and Carowinds, I wasn't expecting all that much. However I was quite impressed. Fast and relatively smooth, it had lots of little pops of air. Definately my favorite coaster at SFKK.

Chang: 1 ride. I was there, so I had to ride it. Securing all valuables (wallet, car keys, cell phone) the best I could in my pockets, I headed into the queue. It was a near walk on for the front seat, so I waited. I know, I had the Flash Pass... but I was using them in "emergency situations" only (i.e. long waits). I wasn't going to use them for an other wise walk on.Loading into the car, I was asking myself "what the hell am I doing?" I don't like stand ups... never have, never will. Only ever rode two before this, but that was two too many. But as I said... I was there, it was there, so I had to ride it.The first parts of the ride were not bad... smooth, graceful... but something happened in the latter parts of the ride that made my knees go weak. I got off of it, thanked God that I survived, and said "Been there, Done That". One thing I will say, this was probably the most comfortable Stand Up I have ridden. CP's Mantis felt like it was trying to tear my ears off. Kings Dominion's Shock Wave felt like it was trying to tear off other parts of my body which I can not mention in mixed company. Chang was not painful at all. Still... I can help but wondering why SFKK went with B&M stand up instead of a Floorless.

It was at this point that I went back and grabbed my second rides on Thunder Run and Greezed Lightnin'.

Road Runner Express: 1 ride. With the 9pm closing nearing, I got in line for RRE. It's a wild mouse, what more can I say. Add one to the count.

After Road Runner Express, I headed back to Greezed Lightnin' only to find that they had shut the queue down since it was a few minutes past nine. So, tired out after my whirl wind tour, I headed for the exit and to the car. Nearing the exits I don't know how many employes were standing there waving to people and saying "have a good night"... "hope you had a good day"... etc etc etc. With all of the coasters ridden at SFKK, Michele and I decided that we wouldn't go back on Sunday, but instead continue west on our journey.

Wrap Up: Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom is an odd park. Not sure if the fact that it sits in the middle of the fairground / expo center helps it or hurts it. SF doesn't have to own the land, but they are are also land locked. Also, its layout is strange with that road cutting through the center of the park with only one foot bridge connnecting the two halfs. They could use at least one more bridge. Park operations seemed to be good, with all coasters that could running two trains. Employees were friendly, and things were clean... a pleasant surprise from what we have come to expect from Six Flags in the past few years.

The crowd however was a bit on the rude side... but that is not the fault of Six Flags.It's a good little park, with a solid, if not spectacular, coaster line up. It did appear to have plenty of flat rides as well, and I noticed that all of them seemed to be staffed and running.

However, its location being inside of the fair grounds, and with parking issues, I wonder if someday it will meet the same fate as Six Flags Astro World.

[Edited for paragraph formatting] *** Edited 7/6/2006 2:11:06 AM UTC by SLFAKE***

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
Thunder Run really is the best of the three "clones", and as I always say one of the most overlooked woodies anywhere. Evidently Shapiro likes SFKK, so it's not going bye bye anytime soon. Now I just wonder what's going in the old Dragsters section for '07.

*** Edited 7/8/2006 9:24:11 PM UTC by thrillerman1***

There's a very easy answer as to why Chang is a standup and not a floorless--the floorless didn't exist yet. Change was built in 97'. Medusa (the first floorless) at Gadv. didn't get build until 99'.

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