TR: Kings Island - 7/5/04

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 9:49 AM
After a nice half-hour trip from downtown Cincinnati with my girlfriend Rebecca and friend Ryan to pick up his girlfriend Tara, we hopped ten minutes over to the park to begin an enjoyable monday at Kings Island. After a quick jaunt through the gates using our passes, we were off to the back of the park for a day-initiating ride on the Beast. For reasons unknown to us, the Beast was not open yet at 10:30 AM, so we went next door and rode Tomb Raider, which Ryan had not ridden yet. The ride was fun the first couple times I rode it, but now it's just getting old and feeling shorter every time. Anymore, when I ride it, I spend most of the time hoping that I'm not in a seat that gets blasted by the water jets midway through! Ryan gave it a so-so review as well.

The Beast was open when we got off, and a short wait later we were screaming through the woods. The ride wasn't too rough that day. About average for the Beast. The brakes were on very heavy though, which probably reduced a lot of the roughness. Those trims on the back stretch after the second drop absolutely neuter the ride, IMO!

After the Beast was a ho-hum ride on the Vortex (not too rough, not really smooth, just yer typical, middle-of-the-train Arrow multilooper experience), and a trip over to Flight of Fear. They're keeping the lights pretty dimmed this year in the main building (the part most of the coaster is in), which I believe really enhances the ride. The lap-bar restraints are also a God-send, and Ryan agreed that they made the ride MUCH better than the OTSR days.

It was agreed that lunch was required soon, so we headed toward the car for our packed picnic and hit Delirium along the way. While trying to describe Delirium to Ryan, all I could think to say is that what's going through my mind the whole ride is simply, "Weeee!". The queue line was pretty full, but it look less than a half hour to manage through. After a ride, Ryan agreed that the experience can be summed with simply, "Weeee!". The ride is smooth, while still being forceful and exhilarating. I could easily sit on it for a hour or more at full swing and simply enjoy the feeling in my stomach and the wonderful upside-down views of the park! ;) We then ate our picnic and I grabbed my camera to attempt some coaster and park shots. I always try to take shots that we haven't already seen 100 times on other coaster sites, so if anyone is interested in seeing my attempts, IM me @ CincyDJ. I'll be posting a few on my site eventually.

Ryan and Tara wanted an on-ride picture of the two of them on the log ride (where Tara works, typically), so they waiting in the expected 'long, hot, mid-day July, water-ride' line for a ride while Rebecca and I enjoyed sitting in the shade for a bit (neither of us are big water-ride fans). We then decided it was a good time (now that everyone else had mosied to the back of the park) to visit the Action Zone rides. There was about a half hour wait for Face-Off, which passed by quickly from just general chatting. Since there were four of us, we definately wanted to face one another and not bother with front or back seat seats. In the middle of the train, there was not actually much head banging. I think I'm just getting used to how to prepare for the cobra roll, but the ride seemed smoother than usual. Face-Off was followed by a lovely fall on Drop Zone (including an extraordinary view from a beautifully clear Ohio day!). The ride thrilled Ryan and I wonderfully. The gals simply put up with it because they refuse to chicken out of any rides. ;)

Now was the time for the infamous ride on Son of Beast. Would it be a wonderful glide through the sky on a mountain of wood, or would I require immediate surgery to realign my back after the ride repositions every bone in my body? I rode SOB earlier in May and was pleasantly surprised by its smoother ride than previous attempts (due to obvious retracking of the rosebowl), so I had high hopes for another good ride that day. No such luck. Son of Beast doesn't beat me up like a typical woodie does. Instead of a constant bone-jarring rattle that would give my head a bit of a shake-up by the end of the ride (such as Racer normally does), SOB instead gives a head-throbbing JERK every few seconds, giving your noggin the feeling that it is a boxer's punching bag. So instead of a typical wooden ride of 'ah-ah-ah-ah' up and down in your seat, you get 'ah-OW!-ah-OW!-OW!-ah'. My head hurt so bad that even our follow-up ride on Top Gun made it hurt more. Typically I could fall asleep on Top Gun and think nothing of it.

We decided it was time to eat dinner and allow our heads to mend while munching. An over-priced meal at the Stunt Grill later, we were ready to face some more thrills. We hit some flat rides for a while (Scrambler, Monster, and Shake Rattle and Roll), and were very disappointed to find out that Days of Thunder, which had been showing previously in the season at the Action Theater again, was now not showing anymore! I am personally convinced that DOT was the best movie to ever show in the motion theatre, and was very thrilled to see they brought it back earlier this season, but now I'm not sure what the fate of the film is. I can only hope that it is taken down (signage and everything) for a short period.

It was beginning to get dark, so we decided to round out our day with a second ride on Delirium (why can't they just let it swing a little longer? Is that too much to ask? ;) ), a few moments watching the Sling Shot fire screaming patrons skyward, and a night ride on the Beast. The Beast ride operator was pumping up the crowd, and much to our exuberance, the fireworks began right as we pulled out of the station. We got to watch them go off the whole way up the hill! With the exception of the previously metioned trim brake neutering, the Beast proceeded to deliver all the goodness I come to expect out of a night ride through the dark Ohio woodland. It's a shame that they now brake you after going up the second lift hill before the final helix. It still SCREAMS through the double tunnel like no other ride does, but it's sad that some of the power is wasted to brakes.

We left the ride fully pumped, yet completely pooped out. We slowly made our way to the front for some UDF ice cream and to watch the beautiful fountains lit up at night for a bit. I went nuts with my camera (much to Rebecca's disdain, she was being ignored for the camera, but she got a long ride home with me, much to her approval :) ).

I get burned out on Kings Island pretty easily having grown up in Cincy, but the park delivered pretty well yesterday. Twas a good way to spend a paid day off work! ;) I'm looking forward to the upcoming 2005 addition, and am anxious for the park to release more details! We want to know! :D I hope everyone else had a great July 4th weekend!

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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 12:36 PM
The reason they dont run Delirium longer is because they would have more protein spills to clean up :) I rode the ride for my first time at BeastBuzz this year and I came off a little woozy. Don't get me wrong, I think it's one of the best flats I have ever riden, but it is not something I could ride twice in a row. Based on comments from a lot of other enthusiasts at the event, the feeling is mutual.

As for Son of Beast, I feel your pain, man. That thing really wrecked my shoulder. I'm still feeling the pain over a week later.

Interesting remarks on FaceOff. Maybe we both caught it on good days because I had an awesome ride on it and had absolutely no head-banging on it. In fact, I would say it was the best of the boomerang types of coasters I have riden (I have riden the standard boomerang, and the GIB, and now the Invertigo). I really like the face off style seats. That made the ride very interesting.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 2:34 PM
I'm surprised to hear that enthusiasts are getting somewhat dizzy from Delirium! Most of my friends (non-enthusiasts) who have tried it love it and agree with me that they could ride it much longer than the ride actually runs per cycle. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. ;) Being young (if 22 counts as young) probably helps too.

It really bothers me that SOB has given me good rides and bad rides in a seemingly random fashion. After a good ride, I get my hopes up that the ride's been 'fixed', only to get friends to ride it later claiming that it's a better ride now, and we all experience severe head trauma. My theory is this: Legend = $3 Million. SOB = $15 Million. Legend = much better. Let's deconstruct SOB and build 5 smaller woooden coasters with the same wood. :D I'm just dreaming, but I can hope.

Face/Off is tied with X-Flight for the smoothest Vekoma ride title in my book, but I still think they have ways to go before they can compete with the likes of Intamin or B&M. Unlike some who like their wood coasters a little smoother and their steel coasters a little rougher, I like to get off my steelies feeling like I just floated on air. :) Either way, Face/Off is much better than Mind Eraser or The Bat @ PCW (the only boomerangs I have ridden to date).

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