TR: Paramount's Kings Island (4/14/02)

Associated parks:

Monday, April 15, 2002 10:10 AM

What a great thing rain is. Sure, it can be a very negative thing once in a while, but it can also provide a setting for a truly great day.

Yesterday morning I woke up to the sound of rain. I had heard the weather report for the day calling for rain in the morning, then clearing for a fantastic day. However, I live in Columbus. The weather for the Cincinnati area was calling for similar conditions, but you know how that goes.

At around 7:30AM, Neil Rupp, Jon Smith, and myself hopped into my car and started on our journey down I-71 to PKI. The drive down was somewhat exciting due to the MASSIVE amounts of rain fall. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I had driven in rainfall that heavy. Because of the rain, we saw a couple of serious looking accidents. One was so bad we couldn't tell if the vehicle was a car or truck.

Almost the entire way down it poured. I normally don't care if it rains at a park or not because unless things are closed, I usually have a great time. If I can ride something in the rain, I don't mind at all. After all, I think it sure beats just standing around.

We arrived at PKI right before 9:00AM. We met up with my mother who drove herself. She planned on leaving early so she didn't join in on our group. Once the gates opened, Jon and I went over to the season pass processing area so Jon could get his pass processed. Jon wasn't sure where it was so I showed him.

Once we got that taken care of, we noticed signs stating there was ERT in the Hanna Barbera area of the park for Gold Pass holders. Jon and I went over into that area and got two quick rides on Reptar before heading back to the front of the park.

We ended up meeting with Neil and my mother at the ACE Plaque and waited for the walk-back. It was there that I also met up with Larry Scott, Vince and his wife (sorry Vince, I forgot your last name), Adam Sandy, and a few others. Someone from marketing came by and asked us if we wanted to walk-back to Tomb Raider or Flight of Fear. Pretty much everyone agreed to go to Tomb Raider.

----Tomb Raider---

I was anxious to ride this again because I hadn't ridden it during a normal operating day. Plus, my mother and Jon Smith hadn't ridden it before. I did notice quite a few things different this time. The tarps that previously covered the majority of the line were gone. Once inside the cave, most of the worklights were on so a lot of the 'mood' of the attraction was gone. There was also a time when an employee from the third room kept on partially opening the large door to get the attention of another employee in the room we were standing in. This may have spoiled somethings for people.

Also, once we walked inside the main ride building, the worklights were on inside there also. Neil and I tried to explain to Jon and my mother that this wasn't the norm and it's much better with all the lights off.

Once the lights went out, the ride started as normal. I am not sure but it seemed like something was different to the ride program than before. There also seemed to be more flashes of lights (for the on-ride camera) than before. The lava pit looked much better than it did on the preview thanks to some added smoke and lights. The water still teases riders but it doesn't splash like it used to. I will agree with others that ending is rather odd, but I still enjoy that ride.

I got to finally see the on-ride photo also. I liked how they show you a small screen with all the riders on it and you just point to where you were sitting.

Next up was our first ride on the 'new' Beast.

----The Beast----

Say good-bye to the skids! As been reported elsewhere, The Beast no longer has the skid brakes that some people dislike. The ride has been retrofitted with magnetic trims and pinch brakes to stop the train. My first ride was in the front car (my favorite seat) to check out the new brakes.

The magnetic brakes are in the same areas where the skids used to be.......with the exception of the first drop. There are NO brakes on the first drop at this time. This results in a much faster trip down into the first tunnel. While the magnetic brakes are noticeable going up the second hill, they still don't detract a lot from the ride IMO.

The infamous 'shed' is now taken with much more speed than before. The trims at the end do slow the train down but the positive side to this is the quick trip before the train hits the trims. The rest of the course is taken at a quick pace with no trims. There are some odd 'brackets' along the track and in between then that I am not totally sure what they are there for, but they have no effect on the ride performance.

The train no longer makes it up to the first 'platform' like it used to during rain soaked rides, but I didn't notice a whole lot of speed loss along the course. The first drop from the view of the top of the second lift looks different now with the absence of those trims.

The ride down the second large drop is taken with more speed than before. There are another set of trims about 1/4 the way down this drop but something cool happens after you pass through them. It almost feels like you get a small LIM boost due to gravity taking over again. You enter the last two tunnels with some insane speed. The train continues to fly through those tunnels as it has in the past. The final part of the ride consists of a small trip back to the brake run, past the old skids laying on the ground, and entering some new trims.

The final trims slow the train down to a crawl before passing over the new pinch brakes. The rest of the brake run is pinch brakes and can now easily hold two trains with ease.

I rode a second time in the back car. The trims are much more noticable while in the back, but they still don't take a way from the ride a whole lot IMO. I know others may disagree, but those are probably the same people that thing the ride was 'ruined' because of trims years ago. We also ran into Dave Althoff and David Bowers while in line.

While I was waiting for the rest of my friends to arrive at the exit, I went down into the nearby arcade and played a few games of Dance Dance Revolution. Because it was wet outside, the dance pad was slick due to my wet shoes. I almost fell twice. Larry had never seen the game played so I showed him. I have been playing for about 5 months now and am getting the hang out of doing most complex levels.

After a few games, we met up with everyone else and went over to the Flying Eagles. Since there was no line, the ride operators relaxed the 'no single rider' rule. The crew today was fantastic. Cheering us on to snap. Vince wasn't sure how to snap so we gave him a breif lesson and soon he was flying like a pro. Jon somehow ended up turning his tub totally backwards and flew that way for a while. We cracked up! Due to a violent snap I got, a small glob of grease from the cable above landed on my nice, white, SFMM X shirt. Oh well, it was worth it. We ended up riding abour 6 times that session before heading over to Vortex.

---- Vortex----

The ride has recently been re-painted and looks brand new. Jon, Larry, and Neil got on the ride before the rest of us. As they were going up the lift, a heavy downpour started. We knew they were not going to have a very pleasant ride but they came back into the station with smiles so they must have enjoyed it. Soon after the ride went down due to weather but we decided to wait it out.

The rest of the group decided to head on over to Flight of Fear while we waited the rain out. After about a 20 minute wait, Adam, the two Daves, and myself headed over to the Flight of Fear area. We stopped in one arcade on the way. David played a round of 'Ice Ball' before we ran to another arcade. This arcade had another DDR machine (3rd Mix once again). David Bowers said he didn't see the point in a machine. I decided to play a few games while we waited. I am not sure if he found the point of it or not, but I know Adam did. Adam was really getting into the game. This was his first time playing and he seemed to like it. The machine we were playing on wasn't the best but it did work.

The two Daves ended up going to ride Flight of Fear while Adam and myself spent about 8 bucks playing the game some more. We then decided to try and find everyone else. With no luck we headed on over to the Flyers to see if they were there.


We went over to Vortex to check there.

Nope. No one around. How about a ride?

New wheels have been installed so the ride is running much better than before. However, due to the lack of crowds, a full train was something that wasn't going to happen today. Vortex runs better with a full train IMO. It may seem rougher with less people but I think it was running better than before. After one ride we headed towards the Action Zone to see if we would run into others.

As we passed the new Sling Shot, Adam and I decided to check out the pricing. There was a sign stating "$25 per person". We decided to pass until the operator at the stand mentioned that we could get the great deal of $10 per person if one of us had a Gold Season pass. Since I had the pass, we quickly exchanged out money for a ticket on the brand new Sling Shot.

---Sling Shot---

This model is very similar to that found at other parks. This 'Spring Shot' may not be as tall as the one down in Orlando (250ft towers- 350 ft rise) but it sure looked fun. While we were standing in line waiting to ride, we met up with two employees who asked us if we had ridden the taller one we were talking about. We told them we had and they were amazed they had something taller out there.

Once it was our turn, Adam and I entered the capsule and made ourselves at ease thanks to the comfortable restraint system. It was odd hearing the 'rules' before riding because the other version I rode didn't have any audible rules. Since the crew was in training, it was rather humorus to hear their lead explaining the correct way of doing things. The crew was friendly and even let us put our feet on the bar in front of us. This is a small trick the manufacture told me about while riding the Orlando version during IAAPA. By doing this, the capsule will flip more during the ride. At this point, I was becoming nervous. I knew what to expect but the anticpation was killing me. It was great! =:^)

The ride consist of a large 'box-o-springs' that expands and pulls a series of wires. As they wires expand, the capsule rotates riders on their backs looking straight up at the V-shaped towers above. After hearing the crew say, "Clear", a small click from below is heard and away we went.

The ride up is VERY quick. The towers you saw a second ago rocket out of view. Once at the top (220 feet), you rotate face-down and get a AWESOME view of the park. The Eiffel Tower is directly ahead. To the left, The Racer and Coney Mall. To the right, Face/Off. As we rotated we got a great view of Son of Beast while upside down. After a few more flips and bounces, we were slowly brought down and let out of the capsule.

I highly recommend this attraction to anyone that wants to spend the extra cash in riding. It's a VERY smooth ride and gives a spectacular view of the park while flipping. The flipping is very smooth and I honestly don't see anyone getting sick from it.

We also found the rest of our group watching us ride. After we rejoined them, we headed over to get a quick ride on the tallestt wooden coaster in the world.

--- Son Of Beast---

To some, this coaster may not offer much. To me, it offers plenty. It all depends on how you look at it. I LOVE the loop. I LOVE the drops. I LOVE the speed. I am not a large fan of the trains, but Son Of Beast offers me plenty to be thrilled. It wasn't running all that bad either. Much better than the past.

The rest of our day was spent riding various rides with no waits. Here is a quick run down on what we did for the rest of the day.

---Drop Zone---

This was a walk-on! We ended up getting a few rides on this before moving on. I showed Jon, Adam, and Neil a trick I do while riding and they got a HUGE kick out of it. Basically, at the top you sit totally limp. Sit relaxed as much as possible. Right before you drop, let as much air out of your lungs as possible. This results is a much more drop sensation. Give it a try and see if it works for you. We also tried this with our eyes closed the entire trip up and down.

--- Face/Off---

This ride was also a walk-on but due to a minor mechanical issue, it was about a 20 minute way. Larry and I rode in the front seat (first seat to go through the first inversion). This seat provides the strongest sensation on the entire train in my opinion while going backwards during the last half of the ride.

---Top Gun---

Running totally out of control again. Seemed much faster than before but that was probably due to the fact that I hadn't ridden it in a while. Adam and I got stuck in the final brakes for about 20 minutes while one train was on the lift. Plenty of park people came by and talked with us while we were waiting. They also told us the park was closing at 6:00PM due to the light crowds. I counted around 5 partially filled rows of cars in the main lot from the top of Drop Zone so I understood their choice.

From the looks of things, the delay was a dirty photo cell that e-stopped the train. The crew said they were sorry for the delay and thanked us for waiting.

--- Adventure Express---

This was running great. The entire end sequence was running great but the side door was open so light was pouring in. Dave Althoff later made the comment that this ride wasn't a family ride do to the statues 'beating off' at the end. =:^)

We then went back to the Flyers for some more rides. We had about 10 people so we totally took over once again. Everyone was snapping great! We even had a crowd watching us from outside the line. We did make a lot of noise and right now, as I type this, my back is feeling it. It was worth it though. We also ran into Dan Haverlock out of all people. I don't know what it is about that ride but we always end up running into people we know at the time we least expect it. Dan looked like he was having fun also flying while his girlfriend, Maria, sat by and watched.

After a few more rides, we ended up going back to the car to grab our jackets. Neil and my mother decided to leave. Jon and I headed back into the park and decided to play a few games of DDR back by The Beast. John had only played the home version I had and wanted to try the arcade version. He did pretty well considering this was his first arcade version.

During my last game, I was starting to get into the song I was playing ( Paranoia 180) when all of the sudden the screen froze, but the music was still playing. I looked over at Jon. He was as puzzled as I was. An employee who was watching us came over. I asked him what had happend. He said he had never seen this happen before.

"Did I brake it?"

" I think you did I don't know how this could happen."

The all of the sudden, the screen started moving again and I jumped back on and tried to play some more but the arrows were't being registered so I failed. =:^(

That was enough to make me quit for the day so we ended up going back over to the Flyers for a few more rides. Once again, we were flying like mad. Easily the best snaps I have gotten in a few years. We had time for one last ride. Dan said he wanted to close out on The Beast so we decided to ride it again.

Once in the front and once in the back. Still a great ride and a nice way to end the rather soggy day. As we were riding, it started to rain a bit, then the sun came out soon after.

I had one of the best days ever at the park today. It rained on and off for most of the day, but like I said in the beginning, rain can be a positive thing. It kept the crowds low, but the spirits were high. I want to thank all of those folks that I had fun with today. I did see a couple of people with Coasterbuzz shirts walking around but didnt' run into them at a ride so forgive me for not chatting wtih you.

As I type this, my back is sore from snapping, my feet are sore from DDR on a wet pad, and I slept WAY too much last night, but everything we well worth it. I don't expect the park to be that empty next Sunday, but that park has surprised me many times so you never know.

Thanks for reading,

- Sean F.

*** This post was edited by Sean F. on 4/15/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by Sean F. on 4/15/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by Sean F. on 4/15/2002. ***

Monday, April 15, 2002 12:40 PM
I rode, and LOVED, the Orlando Sling Shot, and can't wait to try this version. Thanks for the report on the view! :)

"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
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Monday, April 15, 2002 2:55 PM


I am sure you will love the PKI version then. It seemed to flip us more than that Orlando version, had a better view, and looks decent where it sits IMO.


Monday, April 15, 2002 4:43 PM

I was a little upset to find that the park closed at 6, but we got in for $21 each so it wasn't too bad. I got three rides on the Beast, which I thought was running great. 4 rides on the Flyers (which I will admit that I SUCK at snapping and some year I will get it down) and we rode TG, AE, DZ, SOB, RRR, and TR;TR once.

Hopfeully I will be able to make it down there one more time this year. Maria got sick partly from not eating all day and from all of the lemon drops she did the night before, and she wants to go back and ride everything we missed.

Danny J
magnum count :2166

Monday, April 15, 2002 7:24 PM
Great TR! It seems like your flyers are great! I think I am going to do somthing I never thought I would, and that is get into Dance Dance Reveloution. I see alot of other enthuisast doing it, and I think it will be cool to do at home, then go to the acrade and show off :)

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Monday, April 15, 2002 8:41 PM
Dan, how did you get in for $21?
Tuesday, April 16, 2002 6:10 AM
I think thats what they were charging becasuse they knew they were going to close the park early.

Danny J
magnum count :2166

Tuesday, April 16, 2002 6:52 AM

Sounds like Beast is running well, Sean! Good choice I think for us at the CoasterBuzzCon ERT!

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -,
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

Tuesday, April 16, 2002 1:45 PM


Thanks! PKI's Flyers are easily the best I have ridden at this time. My back is still sore. =:^)

As far as trying out Dance Dance Revolution, give it a try. When I first saw this game for the first time, I said to myself that there was NO way I was going to make a fool out of myself hoping around on those pads to music I honestly don't care much for.

I tried the 'home' version twice before I saw it could be fun. I still didn't want to play the arcade version. I mean, face it, people playing that game look goofy at times.

Hanging out with Robb Alvey and Elissa White changed that for me last year. While at Magical Midway in Orlando, they somehow talked me into playing the arcade version for the first time (which can be seen in Robb's IAAPA video segment on his site). While it was fun, I still wasn't comfortable playing it.

I ended up purchasing the home pad and played a few more times. I met up with Robb and Elissa again in Florida a couple more months down the road and played a LOT with them during that trip. Finally I decided I enjoyed the game and didn't care if I looked goofy or not. It's a blast to play. It's also a great workout and a strong release. I now try and play the game at home at least 4 times a week for a workout.

I still feel odd playing in the arcade especially when a group of people are standing behind me watching, but I am more concentrated in the game than what people are thinking of me. Then again, we all pretty much look goofy riding coaster most of the time so this is just another version of that.

To show you how addicted I am getting to this game, I ended up spending close to $10 on DDR at PKI on Sunday, yet didn't spend a dime on food. Go figure.


Tuesday, April 16, 2002 1:59 PM

Sean, I use your trick but didn't know it was yours on Drop Zone, Just letting yourself go totally limp makes for a much more exciting ride :0)


Charles Nungester
Americana (Now called The great americana amusement park at Lesourdsville Lake) is opening in 2002. Indivdual visits are very improtant to the parks survival.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002 2:04 PM

d7droog52 said:
Dan, how did you get in for $21?

If you are a ACE member you get into PKI and Holiday World for half price, Kudos to these parks for apreciating us as much as we apreciate them.

Chuck who will take $10 for the advertisement :) just kidding

Charles Nungester
Americana (Now called The great americana amusement park at Lesourdsville Lake) is opening in 2002. Indivdual visits are very improtant to the parks survival.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002 4:41 PM


Actually, I am not sure if I would call it 'my' trick because I have been doing it since the media preview and didn't tell many people because I didn't think they would have the same results. I am sure others have done it just by experimenting.

As we were climbing the tower on Sunday, I mentioned it to the group I was with. After the ride they commented on how cool it felt and wondered why I never told them that before. We also tried this with our eyes closed the entire ride up and down. What a rush!

Tuesday, April 16, 2002 11:24 PM
Sean, you are one dancing fool. :) Maybe I can laugh at you when I see you playing that game.(LOL!) Looks like you are addicted to that game.

Too bad I didn't go to PKI this Sunday. I'll be there on April 28 though.

Bill Yost
"I never rode a B&M I didn't like.":)

Wednesday, April 17, 2002 8:10 AM


Yea, I am addicted. I don't think I will be at the park on the 28th so feel free to play DDR without me. =:^)


Wednesday, April 17, 2002 9:24 AM

Sean F. said:
"I don't think I will be at the park on the 28th so feel free to play DDR without me. =:^)


Darn! I was hoping you'd show me some killer moves. Great now I don't have a DDR partner. :( (LOL!)
Bill Yost
"I never rode a B&M I didn't like.":)

Wednesday, April 17, 2002 11:42 AM
Sean, Hows Sonny running is it running smoother at all compaired to last year when I rode it because I found it to be rough the 1st time hope to make more laps this year ;)Nice report.

Valleyair Security 2002! 8Years Working at Valleyfair :)!

Wednesday, April 17, 2002 12:27 PM
You all can play DDR, but I have my own addiction. It's called Police Trainer and they have one in the northeast corner of the Coney Mall arcade. Second-best shooting game only to Point Blank, which PKI has not a copy of. :(

He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002 2:25 PM
I didn't get in for $21 because of the ACE discount because I'm not an ACE member.

Danny J
magnum count :2166

Thursday, April 18, 2002 7:12 PM

The Beast,

Sonny was running pretty well. I still think the better rides are near the front, but that's just me. Also, try and remember to sit in the middle of a coach. It's a LOT smoother that way.


I have seen that game but haven't played it. For some reason, most of the times I have seen it, it's very near a DDR machine.

-Sean (Atlanta bound this weekend) F.


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