The Best of Times, the Worst of Times (Part I)

Associated parks:
None

Monday, June 2, 2003 2:00 PM
or

'The world really does revolve around Nasai'

or

'You'd better take a piss and get something to eat, this is gonna take a while'

or

'Aw, heck, do we REALLY need another trip report for this?'

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SFKK, SRM, IB and back again. Part I : SFKK

I've always been a bit wary of coaster enthusiasts. Fueled by footage of enthusiasts on TV and experiences with them in parks, it's never been a group I cared to associate myself with. I preferred to enjoy my coasters when convenient, read about them when possible and otherwise get on with my life. Since discovering Coasterbuzz, however, I've learned there are people who actually defy the stereotype and both LOVE coasters AND carry on actual, interesting lives as normal people. Thus, I felt compelled to finally experience my first coaster event to both experience the thrill of this unique event and get to know the folks who were still just screen names and trip reports... SRM, baby, here we come!

After a restless 4 hours of sleep I woke up 10 minutes before my 4:30 alarm Friday morning and got moving. Had to finish packing the car and pick up Frank (Sparky697, who I'd never met) before getting from Chicago to Kentucky Kingdom as close to opening as possible. As a passholder he had a buy one get one free coupon for me to use, so my plan was to pay someone in line for a ticket $5 to use my coupon to get me a free ticket. After a long but quickly passing drive we got to the gate about 11:30 (Kentucky time) and found a problem. Frank forgot the coupon. I've dug through park trash cans to find discount bearing coke cans before, so I knew I could rise above this small challenge, as I was NOT paying full price for what I expected to be a total craphole of a park, mere foreplay before the real fun started at Holiday World. Soon I spotted a girl who'd just bought a season pass walking by looking at her calendar which held the coupons. After a little quick talking she surrendered one from her calendar, as it would expire before she'd use it anyway. Sweet.

Now, though, we found problem number two... there was NO ONE buying tickets to the place. Lots of pre-paid school groups and families with passes. It took a good 15 minutes before someone finally went up to the ticket booth to buy their pass. Some more quick talking, and I scored a $5 admission. Super sweet.

I expected the weird layout, so that was no surprise. I did speculate, though, that I'll bet some 10 percent of the patrons never figure out that there's a whole other side to the park, and just wander around with a thick Kentucky accent saying 'This playce SUHKS'.

I had one main goal today, which was to ride every single coaster in the park, adding 8 to my track record. Two weeks ago I took lunch at Safari Land in Addison, IL so that I could pad my TR with TIGER TERROR. Adding the 8 today would make my first ride at HolidayWorld become my 100th coaster. Several things stood in my way. Would Chang ever go to two train operation? Would Twisted Twins be dueling? Could I stand an hour wait just to ride a crappy Wild Mouse? Would I actually be able to stomach this crappy park long enough to ride all 8? And most importantly, would the currently dormant GREEZED LIGHTIN' (Or Greezed Viper Wave) even make it into operation today?

We met Nasai and Peabody (henceforth Rob and Jeff) who had just hit CHANG, which now had a long line due to 1 train operation. We decided we'd hit it later, so the four of us walked all the way around to

THUNDER RUN

I was looking forward to this one, as I enjoy Hurler at PKD and had heard the reports that TR was even better. On our way out of the station in 2.1 my lap bar actually POPPED UP. I had conflicting emotions about the impending 0 click ride, knowing by all rights I was crazy not to pull it back down. I decided it would be 'fun' to leave it up, even though I'd never ridden it before. This decision would haunt me all weekend, as on my 2nd ride on TR my seatbelt (airplane style) actually came undone without my notice. These coincidences were cause for much reflection later in the weekend.

As for the ride itself, I really adored it. The first turnaround, bunny hop and slam to the side are first rate. Also, TR manages to keep much more speed that Hurler (Hurler was designed to accommodate a live show in the back turnaround, which never materialized. I think the extra distance really harms the ride). Turns out this would be just my first surprise at this perhaps not so crappy park. Next we headed back to

TWISTED TWINS

I wasn't expecting much from these two, and they didn't deliver much more than I expected. The layouts seem pretty uninspired, and many of the elements seem slower than they were meant to be. I think these are really 90 foot coasters at heart and would be better with more speed. The dueling element was especially lacking, as they only meet each other twice. Stella was first, and she had a little nice air and then a lot of meandering around. Lola does deliver some more punch, and I found I actually had a good time riding her. Not stunning, but both are better than being in the office. At the twins we met Rob Bob, Loriu and her husband Steve, and quite a few ACERS. This is where we first had the much repeated dialogue 'So you're headed to SRM then?' answer: 'Why else would I be in Kentucky?'

After notching my credit on the ROLLER SKATER (which had a nice location through trees) and meeting VACoaster Freak, MagnumForce and some others we walked around to the backside where CHANG had an hour plus line and was still stacking with 1 train operation but T2 was running 2 and was short, so we hit that. While in line a passing employee ACTUALLY forced a line-jumping kid to get out of line. Wow... this park was actually enforcing the rule. I was impressed. I wanted to ride towards the front but no one else wanted to wait the extra train, so I paid the kids in front of me a buck each to let me in front of them. Call me crazy, but I like SLC's and found this to be an enjoyable ride. There was a little shuffling back and forth in the front, but I find the layouts of SLCs great (Better even that B:TR layouts, IMHO) and there was minimal headbanging, so I call it a good ride.

We found out from Rob and Jeff that ROADRUNNER EXPRESS had nearly an hour wait, but also discovered that FastLane at SFKK is only $5 for 5 rides, works on all the coasters, and is transferrable. SO 5 riders can use the same $5 card on one ride. Score! We bought a bunch to split and headed for ROADRUNNER EXPRESS, where the op only check off one mark for each group of riders on a card, instead of one mark per rider. Double Score! Not much to say of the ride itself, but that the queue had a nice facade. At least they tried. Next we used our FastLane on

CHANG

I dislike every stand up I've ever been on, especially B&M's. I rode Mantis once and will never ride it again. Chang intrigued me, though, with its unique (to me) elements and relatively spread out layout. Plus I needed the credit. We bypassed the line and hopped onto the back. At this point they were running two trains and there was NO STACKING. Hmm. We even overhead an op say "We've got to move faster, we're gonna get in trouble." Huh? This couldn't be the same place I'd read all the negative reviews on. As for the ride, all I can say is Wow. This is a powerful coaster, but I enjoyed every second of it. It didn't kick my A** the way Mantis did, but it's no softy either. This ride is so out of place in this park it's not even funny. At this point, all I needed was Greezed Lightnin', which had tested once. We needed to leave by four-ish to get to Lake Rudolph and set up camp before ERT, and it was already 3:30. This was going to be tight. We wasted time riding the Enterprise and wandering around, until around 3:50 it was testing regularly. We'd been saving a fast lane for this one, but we wouldn't be needing it as there was barely a trainful in front of us. I would be riding with VaCoasterFreak, Tim, who like me had practically grown up at King's Dominion. He had missed being tall enough for King Kobra by a year, though, and had been looking forward to riding his first Schwarzkopf looper since then. As they let us into the queue 20 minutes later I described for him the view you saw from the platform of KK, how the lake stretched out beside you and straight ahead you were lined up with Rebel Yell's turnaround and how at night RY's chaser lights would reflect in the water. He actually got teary as we approached the station. We were the second to ride in the front car, and I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed. The return trip through the loop gave a great 'almost falling out' feeling, but they slammed the brakes hard through the station before the spike. It was a slightly dissapointing end to what turned out to be a very fun day in a well run, very decently coastered regional park.

This has taken longer that I expected, so tune in next time (tomorrow?) to hear about what turned out to be the scariest ride of the trip (not a coaster) and how a terrain coaster lovin fool found heaven on 24 wheels.

End of Side A. Please turn the tape over.


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Maihama, Maihama Desu

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Monday, June 2, 2003 2:18 PM
Nice TR! I missed out on Greased' Lightnin as it was still down when I left. There is always next year...

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-Sean Newman

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Monday, June 2, 2003 3:14 PM

ThemeDesigner said:
Since discovering Coasterbuzz, however, I've learned there are people who actually defy the stereotype and both LOVE coasters AND carry on actual, interesting lives as normal people.

Wanna send those people my way?

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"Pray that your country undergoes recovery!" - KMFDM

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 3:47 AM
We like to stay in the shadows.

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tambo

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 5:21 AM
Why is it so important for enthusists to make a certain coaster their 100th/200th ect..? What makes your 100th coaster better than your 101st or 99th? For that matter, why even keep track? Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy watching a 6'2", 275lb, single, male riding the Lil' Phantom alone just as much as the next guy.

Bye the way, do you count Greezed Viper Wave as three coasters if you rode it at all three parks?

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 6:51 AM
jimster,

I'm not a track record whore like a lot of people, but I'd say that big milestones like #100 or #200 are kinda cool in the way that 50th birthdays or 10th anniversaries are. Not necessarily more special, but nonetheless worthy of note. I almost never ride something just to increase my track record. I have ridden a lot of kiddie coasters, but that's just cause I find them to be fun (like Taxi Jam at PKD... wheee!)

If I hadn't by chance noticed a few weeks ago when working on my Cbuzz track record that I was closing in on #100, it might have ended up happening on HW's Howler or the like. It's kind of fun manipulating the variables to make #100 be something special, something you've looked forward to for a LONG time.

The thing is, Legend may not really be my #100.... I only count the coasters I _remember_ riding. There may be several out there I've forgotten, but since I don't remember riding them I don't count them.

As for Greezed Viper Wave, I count it twice since I also rode it as Viper. It's a different installation with a completely different feel, so even though the RIDE is the same the experience is different. I would not count any single portable model coaster more than once, though.
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Maihama, Maihama Desu

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 7:19 AM
Who said a 100th coaster had to be special?

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The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 7:24 AM

ThemeDesigner said:

I had one main goal today, which was to ride every single coaster in the park, adding 8 to my track record. Two weeks ago I took lunch at Safari Land in Addison, IL so that I could pad my TR with TIGER TERROR. Adding the 8 today would make my first ride at HolidayWorld become my 100th coaster.

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Maihama, Maihama Desu


*** This post was edited by jimster03 6/3/2003 11:25:48 AM ***

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 7:29 AM
Cap'n Obvious sez:

Uhhhhhhhh.....wanna read 'Playa's signature?

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 7:36 AM
You got me CostaPlaya. I don't usually pay any attention to signatures.

By the way, the link in your sig. doesn't work!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 7:52 AM

jimster03 said:
Why is it so important for enthusists to make a certain coaster their 100th/200th ect..?
I wouldn't call it *important* in the grand scheme of things, but I guess it's fun for some of us...why does it concern you?

What makes your 100th coaster better than your 101st or 99th?
I think the CI Cyclone (#100) was just a smidgen more exciting than the Sea Serpent (#101) next door.

For that matter, why even keep track? Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy watching a 6'2", 275lb, single, male riding the Lil' Phantom alone just as much as the next guy.
I thought I was the only one.

Nice trip report, Brian. It was really nice meeting you this weekend. I look forward to hearing the rest of your TR (although I still think Legend's helix was spectacular ;) ).

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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk
*** This post was edited by Vater 6/3/2003 11:55:15 AM ***

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 8:06 AM
Vater:

I'm just trying to understand the reasonong behind it. That's why I asked. It's seems strange to me that someone would skip a coaster or go out of their way to ride a coaster just to make some other coaster ther 100th. If you had ridden the Sea Serpent first(or not ridden it at all), would the Cyclone have been less enjoyable?

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 9:09 AM
Nope. But I suppose reserving a significant coaster for our 100th (or 50th, 150th, 200th, etc.) is kind of a reminder of a personal milestone for some of us. I had planned on making the Cyclone my 100th last April when my finacee and I went to NY for a wedding, but the rides were closed the day we went due to rain. I made a point to not ride another new coaster until we could make it back to Brooklyn, and we did so a little over a month later. Ridiculous? Extreme? Stupid? I'm sure some think so, including myself sometimes. But now I can say that the Cyclone was the 100th coaster I rode. Does anyone care? I seriously doubt it (and I'd probably be a bit worried if someone truly did care), but that's ok with me.

And for the record, that's probably the last time I do something like that. When it comes time for the next significant number such as #150 or #200, whatever coaster happens to be in front of me at the time--whether it's Top Thrill Dragster or Python Pit--will be that number. I've been there, done that for #100, so I don't feel the need to do it again.

But who knows? I may have a change of heart when that time comes... ;)

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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk
*** This post was edited by Vater 6/3/2003 1:13:36 PM ***

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 11:01 AM

jimster03 said:
You got me CostaPlaya...By the way, the link in your sig. doesn't work!

Okay FINE whatever. I never changed it because that would also mean I'd have to revise my links in my historic six-part epic TR.

But now I have...and since I've done that, now you are morally obligated to read the whole thing. Hope you're happy now. Click away.

-'Playa

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The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 1:31 PM
I find it interesting that you had already made up your mind that SFKK was a "crappy" or "craphole of a park" despite the fact that you had never been there. I love it when people hate parks they have not visited simply because someone else had a less than perfect day there. Nice to see you didn't dwell on the negative and had a good time.

-Soggy, who has never been to that craphole in Kentucky, but might go there someday.

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SCREAM with me... in 2003!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 5:52 PM
I don't think he thought it was a craphole. It's just that everyone always says that it sucks. So you just go there expecting it.

I thought the same thing when I went in April, but I had a great time there. Had just as good a time last weekend. It's like you said, no matter what anyone else says you have to keep an open mind going into a new park.

Frank- who's glad Brian is doing a trip report so I don't have to:)

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In my CD player: Centaur - In Streams
Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
Fu Manchu - California Crossing

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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 6:11 PM
Ah, Brian and Frank, my stalkers - hahahaha. Just kidding guys, it was great meeting you.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2003 9:07 PM
I went to Kentucky Kingdom in April expecting bad customer service and just an all around bad park. The worst thing? The park needs a nice coat of paint. Customer service was great, and the park was very clean. I was impressed with the park as a whole. Actually, I've heard nothing but good things about this park since day 1 this year.

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Don't ask me if I'm in a bad mood; I naturally look "mean." I don't ask if you're goofy because you have buck teeth.

AIM: Pritti Kittie

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Wednesday, June 4, 2003 6:13 AM
I found the employees at Kentucky Kingdom to be VERY friendly. A bit slow at times, but certainly always polite.

Even the poor single op on the Breakdance, who has to individually unlock every car with a key. I commented to him "You must be really tired of this ride by the end of the day." He smiled, and said, "Oh yeah, but it's ok. Have a good day, sir." Nice.

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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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Wednesday, June 4, 2003 7:02 AM
Frank's right, soggy. It wasn't that I had made up my mind that the park sucked, it's that everyone seems to think it sucks so I was going in on 'curious' mode, to make up my own mind (which obviously I did)

To add to GregLeg's comments on employee friendliness, upon exiting Greezed Viper Wave I thanked the maintenance guys, who'd been working on it all day (when we got there there wasn't even the cable drop's wheel on the first spike). Anyway, they nodded and just said 'Sorry it took so long'

This park is definitely trying hard.

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Maihama, Maihama Desu

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