Stark Raven....Sad - '03

Associated parks:
None

Monday, June 2, 2003 11:30 AM
Let me begin by saying that I had a fantastic weekend. The friends, staff and rides made for yet another great SRM (I'd put SRS but with the SARS scare and all....lol). It was difficult at times for various reasons, with the incident Saturday night completely rerouting everyone's emotions and thoughts. I've heard more than one alteration to the event's name over the years, based on things that make each one unique. But this year left us in disbelief that such a thing could have happened, thus my title above. You can read my reaction to all of this in Paul's thread HERE. Now, onto a quick review of my visit, using 'Playa's handy dandy system.....

ARRIVED: Friday evening, just in time for ERT to begin (thanks to Rideman for playing taxi for us central Ohioans!). I had time to mingle and catch up with everyone before the madness began, and I even got to see some of the auction this time. :)

LEFT: After an exhilarating ERT session on Friday, an entire block of fudge, skipping the waterpark ERT, numerous rides on the coasters, a nice but cloudy photo walkback, learning of a tragedy that I hope never repeats itself, a brief and frightening visit to the campground (there are some VERY dark areas on that road!), and surviving 2 nights at a motel in Tell City, we departed Sunday noon, but not before attending the morning service at St. Nicholas Church. It was nice to help support the community, and though only a few park employees were able to attend, I know many had been up all night taking care of things.

PARK APPEARANCE/ATMOSPHERE: Clean and friendly as always. And SRM has an atmosphere all its own. It is so great to see so many people come together for a park.....regardless of our own top 10 lists, and individual opinions on whether or not Santa Claus is real (I did shake his hand!), we all share a common ground and will travel far and wide for an event like this.

RIDE QUEUE TIMES: As many pointed out, this event grows each year, and with it approaching 900 guests, it would seem that something needs to be done to handle that. I wouldn't say the waits are unreasonable, but in time a decision will need to be made about either capping the number of attendees, or adding yet another high capacity attraction (no I do not think a 12 inversion B&M is the answer just yet LOL). HW isn't a giant park, and that's a good thing. But the number of people that love and support the event will continue to grow.

BEST EXPERIENCE: Being with the enthusiast and park family that I have grown close to, and seeing us all pull together to not only make another event a memorable one, but also coming together to support each other during a time when the unthinkable happened.

WORST EXPERIENCE: Nothing needs said here that hasn't already been addressed.

MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE: I had visited earlier in May with my bro B&M Guy.....yes we have quite the sibling rivalry over coasters LOL. I had already ridden the new flats, but it was a treat to see my friends' reaction to them, as well as their overall enjoyment of the event as a whole. This event is really a chance to socialize, and the chance to see newbies reacting to the park and its rides was worth the trip alone.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Kings Island not having enough staff to run the Flyers Friday on our way to SRM! What can I say? HW is never disappointing.

COASTER RANKINGS: As most of you know, Legend will probably always remain my #1, regardless of what comes from the ingenious team at Gravity Group. :) And Raven, after a winter of painstaking trackwork by Mr. Hammersley, still holds strong in my top 5. I couldn't have asked these rides to perform any better than they were Friday night.

REALLY QUITE GOOD: The new flats are a great addition, and I am very pleased to see everything running.

JUST PLAIN AWFUL: Does this category really apply to HW? Sure the bumper barnyard (dodgems themed to cattle and horses and such) is kinda slow, but I won't hold it against em. Where's the Teddy Roosevelt car? :D

MAJOR NON-COASTER ACTIVITIES: Everyone enjoyed EFT (extended fudge time...I chose peanut butter this year), the picnic, the campground, and most of all, the walkback. Thanks to those who made it possible, and for being patient with those of us who took our time to video and photograph.

BEST NON-COASTER RIDE: Hmmmm....the Seahorses? Hallowswings? Riding with Rob, Kristin, Chris, Kara and Jess (all in a single Cavalier) in the parking lot? You decide.....good thing those trunk releases work consistently!

OTHER COMMENTS: To everyone I know and ride with, thank you for being the fun and supportive people you are. I know our love and support for the park has already helped them a great deal. We know the park was not at fault for anything, but it will still take some time for them to recover emotionally.

I'll close by adding that a stop was made at SFKK Sunday afternoon for a few rides. What gets me is the Kings Island and Holiday World billboards that surround the park. KI's is quite humorous with Spongebob yelling "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease come see my new 3D movie!" Though Greezed Viper Wave didn't open til almost 8pm (yes, 8pm!), RideMan was able to get a few rides on it, as well as some video. Thunder Run was still kicking butt, and the "Sistas" we're slightly less than powerful, but still fun. A nice way to round out this year's SRM, but I still envy those who stopped by IB on Sunday! Not sure if I'll get the chance to see LoCo's theming (then again, that means I'd have to ride it to see it, right?)......Ride on peeps! I'll see everyone at BeastBuzz.

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Brad Sherman
The Frequent Flyers return to Kings Island June 7th!
Arrowed!
*** This post was edited by Arrow Guy 6/2/2003 3:35:07 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Arrow Guy 6/2/2003 4:38:24 PM ***

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Monday, June 2, 2003 12:08 PM
That's odd -- I was at SFKK early on Sunday, and Greezed Viper Wave was running around noon, when I grabbed the credit. I think it was still running when I left at 1:00pm.

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Mary Jane, don't you cry, you can give it a try, Again when the sequel comes out" -- Weird Al, Ode to a Superhero

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Monday, June 2, 2003 12:18 PM
Great TR, I might look into adopting this format myself for future TR's. I'm glad I'm not the only one here who's a Teen Girl Squad fan. I know I screamed "swooped!" and "it's over!" during several of my rides Friday night.

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Joe Cernelli
Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
Shedding off one more layer of skin, keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within.

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Monday, June 2, 2003 12:41 PM
Nice TR Brad. I will also try the BulletPoint TR. Nice meeting you by the way.

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-Sean Newman

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Monday, June 2, 2003 12:53 PM
Note: I'm sure I'll think of other things to add this week so I'll just post them instead of accumulating a list of edit messages!

Greg, we didn't get there until the afternoon, and since the first thing I saw was a mechanic with a crowbar working near the end of the launch track, I assumed it hadn't operated yet. The op guarding the entrance didn't think it had. All I gotta say is w00t, it's running! I'm sure the launch will be warmed up by the end of summer, though the hang time is kinda thrilling. Guess they need more "greeze". :)
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Brad Sherman
Fly with us June 7th at BeastBuzz!
Arrowed!

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Monday, June 2, 2003 1:16 PM
On my one ride, there was a maintenance man standing there, and I remember thinking to myself, "Self, I smell something burning". I know on Thursday they'd been having problems with the brakes. As nice as it is to see such a classic ride be given a new chance, I feel badly for the park that it's giving them so many problems.

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Mary Jane, don't you cry, you can give it a try, Again when the sequel comes out" -- Weird Al, Ode to a Superhero

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Monday, June 2, 2003 3:42 PM
The "burnt brake" smell seems common on those types of shuttles, and probably other Schwartzkopf coasters as well. They did have brake issues yesterday, because we could feel the fins slightly brush against them on launch. It was fun to ride the giant wheel and watch them tinker away from high above. Anyone else notice "Viper" on the control panel? And the harbor warning flags that fly near the waterpark, which resemble the one that was attached to the station in Gurnee? :)

Something I found outrageously funny was the headline on yesterday morning's paper in Dale. It read Rudolph Captured (referring to the bomber)........if only that had been the Santa Claus Gazette. ROFL
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Brad Sherman
Fly with us at BeastBuzz!
Arrowed!

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Monday, June 2, 2003 8:49 PM
I too rode Greezed Viper Wave--I want to say it was around 1:30pm. I'm not surprised to hear it was down, however, as I heard the air horn blowing constantly when I was driving out of the parking lot at 3pm.

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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk

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Monday, June 2, 2003 10:33 PM
In response to all Teen Girl Squad fans and Joe .... GRASPED !!!
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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 6:14 AM
GVW was down when I arrived at the park (around 11:20 am), but opened around 11:45 or so. On my ride, they were clearly having trouble with the station brakes; they continually locked as they attempted to launch.

Finally the launch was successful, and I got my first ride on the old girl since 1985, when she was still TW in Gurnee! She still rocks!

Also, I too, along with the whole ACBLuke family, was at SRM before my SFKK visit. We all pray for God's healing and comfort for all who have been affected by the tragedy. It was an eerie silence leaving the park Saturday night after Mrs. Koch's announcement. To see this group of people, normally so animated, depart in such subdued fashion was a more profound statement of their shock and horror than any words could have been.

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Projected count for 2003: 27 parks & 120 coasters. Actual as of 6/3/03: 8 parks & 20 coasters.
http://home.earthlink.net/~boyydz/index.html

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Wednesday, June 4, 2003 10:52 PM

Arrow Guy said:


Riding with Rob, Kristin, Chris, Kara and Jess (all in a single Cavalier) in the parking lot?
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I'm not sure everyone involved enjoyed that "ride" as much as some of us--especially with Rob driving in sadistic mode. Yeah, I agree with your comment about the trunk release handles!


- Chris

I put the "D" in DDR.


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