TR: PKI & LeSourdsville Lake (6/21) (VERY long)

Associated parks:

Saturday, June 22, 2002 9:21 PM

Ever have one of those days? ………one of those days where everything seemed to go better than planned but had just the right amount of mixture of ‘strange’ in it that made it less perfect? Today was one of those days. I woke at 6:30AM and got ready to head to a park or two in southern Ohio. The main goal for today was to establish a live contact with someone from LeSourdsville Lake. I have been talking with a few people for a couple of months now about doing some kind of event there in the future, however, I had not the time to go down to visit the park since it has been re-opened.

Since I was going to do be down in the area, I decided to make my way to Paramount’s Kings Island to do the ACE walk-back. I get to the park at 9:00AM and see some words on the large sign out front that reminded me to leave the park as early as possible. The words shown were:

-O-Town! Tonight! Tickets still available-

My musical tastes vary. I don’t care much for rap or country music. I also don’t care much for pop music. To me, pop music is too……..I don’t know…..plastic or manufactured. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few songs out there on the radio now that I do like, but most of the stuff I hear nowdays doesn’t have mood, texture, or substance. It’s simply made to sell records. Thus, the reason I don’t listen to the radio much.

Having said that, you may now understand why I am not a large fan of O-Town. To tell you the truth, I can’t even name a song title from them or what their names are even though I will admit to sitting through a few minutes of the “Making the Band” show on MTV a while back. I have nothing personal against the guys in O-Town, but their music isn’t my cup of tea.

Sure enough, as soon as I walked into the park, I saw TONS of O-town fans with their airbrushed shirts, and pony tails. Some were singing their favorite O-town song while some were just randomly screaming at the thought that O-Town could very well be near them at any moment.

While I can take this kind of behavior for a hour or so, spending an entire day at a park with people singing a few songs from some group I don’t care much for, over and over again, is a easy way to make the day less fun for me. Yes, I understand that those folks were having fun in their own way, but so do smokers in line and I can’t stand them. Perhaps I am being too harsh? I decided to make the best out of my time at the park regardless of the amount of loud teenie-boppers.

There was an early ride time on Reptar and Scooby Doo’s Ghoster Coaster for gold season pass holders so I took a quick ride on both. This is one of the few times I will ride Scooby considering the line can get very long in a very short period of time. Taxi Jam was also running but I didn’t feel like asking around for a kid so could ride the coaster. Plus, I have ridden it enough in the past.

I then walked up at the former site of the ACE Brick. The park has removed the brick and has plans on installing it somewhere else. I sat on one of the benches near the former site and waited for the walk-back. At around 9:45AM, Christopher from marketing came by and walked us back to Tomb Raider. There were only 5 of us that were doing the walk-back this day.

On the way, I met up with two brothers, James and Jeff, who were excited about riding Tomb Raider again. They love the ride as much as I do and think the same way about it in regards to it being a very unique ride. We didn’t wait long before our first ride. They didn’t waste anytime getting us on the ride. For some reason there wasn’t a mad dash of folks running to Tomb Raider (or any ride for that matter) at 10:00 so there were only about 20 people for our first ride.

Despite some of the things I have read and heard, I didn’t see any signs of neglect. Everything looked as it did on opening day. The ride itself seems to have been changed again, but I am not for certain. Out of the 15 or so times I have ridden it, I always notice something different about it.

After our ride, Jeff, James, and I went for a quick ride on The Beast. By this time the temparature was rising quickly. We were already sweating heavily. We knew that due to the temperature, The Beast would probably give us one hell of a ride. Sure enough, we were not dissapointed. We were also surprised at the nice massive boost of airtime we got on the second hill before the magnetic trims hit while sitting in the front car. Wow!!!

After our fantastic ride on The Beast, we walked over to the Flying Eagles for a ride. James hadn’t ridden this ride in a long, long, time. I told him the Eagles were one of my favorite non-coaster rides ever. He asked me why. I told him I had to show him. There wasn’t much a line for the ride at this point so they were allowing single riders. James sat in the tub behind me while his brother Jeff sat in the tub behind him. I game them a very basic crash course descrption on how to snap.

Within a minute or so of our ride, I was snapping as well as James. Everytime I heard a snap behind me, it would be followed by a large laugh from James. After our ride, James thanked me for showing him how to do that and said he was already addicted to these rides.

Ha! Welcome to the club dude!

Jeff on the other hand didn’t know how to snap so we rode again. Soon after our second ride, Jeff was snapping like a pro.

PKI’s flyers are probably the easiest to train people how to snap on. Like everyone else I know that can snap on these rides, once you start, you can’t stop. It’s that addicting.

Flight of Fear was calling our name. Our front seat ride provided us with another great ride thanks to the modifications the park did last year. My ride this time was also much faster than the one I got two weeks ago. I don’t know what they did to it but it seemed a lot faster. We simply flew over the smal hump after the first three inversions. Great ride!

We ended up walking to the front of the park and getting a ride on Son of Beast. James and Jeff said they had never ridden in the back car before and has hesitations about it. I told them that I found the back car, second seat to be the most reridable seat in the whole train. I even decided to ride in front of them to see how they would like it. While I was bouncing up and down a lot more than they were, the both agreed that the back was fun. They couldn’t believe how different the loop felt while riding in the back.

As we were exiting the ride, we took a look at the new Sling Shot (Spring Shot) ride and decided to give it a ride if the park was running a deal on it for those with gold season passes. Sure enough, the park was offering $10 per person if one person in the group had a gold pass. We took advantage of this. James ended up riding with his brother, then with me. The sun was glaring down on us so bright, that once we were tilted on our backs, we couldn’t see a thing. It kind of reminded me of a ride on X-Flight while leaving the station on your back and being blinded by the sun.

I suggested to James and Jeff that they put one foot above the other on the vertical bar directly in front of us. This provides the riders with more flips while riding somehow. I learned this while riding the 350-foot Orlando version a few months ago. It worked. They both were amazed at how my times they flipped.

After our rides on Sling Shot, I split ways with James and Jeff. James had to go to work so he left. I headed towards Coney Mall to play a game of DDR in the nearby arcade. Once in the arcade, I was bummed to see that the DDR machine wasn’t working. Luckily they have another machine located in the arcade near The Beast. As I was walking back there, I thought to myself that playing this game while it is so hot out probably wasn’t a good idea but none the less I played a couple of games. For some reason, this version now only plays 3 songs even though I passed them all, where two week ago it let me play 5 songs. Go figure.

I then left PKI had headed towards to LeSourdsville Lake. I was out of the PKI lot at 2:00PM and inside LeSourdsville at around 2:30PM. Apon arival I noticed the lack of cars in the lot. While this could be a good thing because of the lack of lines, it could also be what could cause the park to close again. The park was expecting a very large crown on Saturday so hopefully things worked out for them.

---LeSourdsville Lake---

From talking with a few other enthusiasts who went to the park the week before, I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard many things about the park that were both good and bad. Some said it was still an awesome park while some others said it was trashy and contained many rude operators and closed rides all over the place.

Just from walking towards the ticket booths I could tell that things have been drastically improved. There was more color than before. People seemed to be smiling more, and I could hear the faint screams of people riding the Screechin’ Eagle. All of this before I even entered the park. I decided to purchase a wristband. Admission and a wristband cost $18. No too shabby if you ask me. I had spent most of my cash at PKI so I charged my admission and wristband fee with the notion of going to an ATM somewhere inside the park later in the day.

After getting set up at the ticket booths, I walked across the infamous railroad tracks, complete with certified crossings, before going through the main gate. This park is still the only park that I can think of that has an actual major train crossing before you enter the park. Seeing a train go past the park is pretty neat to see.

Once in the park I noticed right off the bat the new additions. To the left was a Zipper, and even further down was a Himalaya. The Serpent coaster looked to be having some problems. The train was stuck in the brakes before the first drop. Maintence was working hard to release it. I walked around a bit and took it all in. The park has LOADS more color than it used to. Everything looks so fun. Other new rides included a Tip Top, and a car-themed walk-thru fun house named Infernal Combustion. While I didn’t ride the fun house or Tip Top, they did look like fun.

Most of the people that were at the park were swimming in the pool so I virtually had the park to myself with the exception of some kids running back and forth between rides. I ended up taking a ride on the skyride. This ride moves slow enough to give you a nice break. You don’t have to worry about getting off at the other end because it comes right back to where you started. As I was riding, I took some pictures of the Eagle running as well as some of the other new attractinos. As soon as I got off the ride, I felt this odd pull inside. At first, I thougth it was the pretzel I had snacked on at PKI a hour or so earlier, but it wasn’t. The pull was coming from a ride basically telling me to give it a ride.

How could I pass up a ride on the Flying Scooters?

I had heard from a few people that the Flying Scooters at LL were awesome but you had to have a bit more skill to snap them. Back when the park was known as Americana, I tried riding these things a few times and found out that they used to move to slow to snap. Unless they somehow sped them up, there was no way I was going to snap them.

Boy was I surprised!!!

From the start of the ride, I could tell about the increased speed. Having done the PKI flyers a couple of hours before, I was expecting to get away with a good ride by following the same control tactics. The LL Flying Eagles are a bit more different. Because the tubs are bulkier, and the ride is faster, you have to make your moves a bit earlier. For example, when you feel your ‘grove’ hit to take you up, the second you feel that, move the fin the other way to start to bring you down. The second you feel yourself going down, turn it back the other way. It’s kind of confusing at first but once you get the hang of it, you will be snapping like the other versions that provide insane snaps.

I also was able to get my tub up really high. I looked down at one point and noiced another ride close by that was under construction. It looks to be a Sea Dragon type ride. I found out later that is indeed what it will be.

Since there were no lines for this ride, and the ride op was being entertained at the snapping, I stayed on for quite a while. I tried different tubs. The ride op told me that the dark blue tub was the best one. However, after trying that tub, I beg to differ. I didn’t get a single snap while in that tub. Perhaps it was the increase in wind or something? Who knows? It was still a blast to ride. Perhaps it requires more skill than the other tubs?

Next up was a ride on the Sceechin’ Eagle. This coaster was always a weird one for me. The first couple of years I was an enthusiasts, I never understood why so many people consider this coaster the best wooden coaster in the state. The last year the park was open I enjoyed the ride a lot more and could easily see how people consider that as well as they do. It’s a very fun ride.

While sitting in the front, I remember being ejected out of my seat on the third hill. I took a front seat ride again this time and sure enough, the air is still there as is everything else. The new track work is great. There might not be anymore wood on the anti-rollback strip, but the entire lift seems to have been retracked as well as other sections.

By this time I thought I should ride a few more things before trying to find the person I was supposed to meet. The Zipper was down when I entered but was soon running. Since they don’t allow single riders, I ended up riding with a small kid. He had ridden it 3 times in a row and couldn’t wait to ride again. I hadn’t ridden a Zipper since I rode one at the IX center with Dan Haverlock in 1998. I totally forgot how insane these rides can get. We were flipping all over the place. Not only that, but the ride cycle consisted of two directions. Halfway through the ride, the ride direction was changed so we went backwards. Very comfortable cars provided a nice ride.

I also walked all the way to the back of the park and watch the flume run for a while. I still believe this to be the wettest flume out of any one I have done. It looks to be as crazy as it was a few years back. Instead of walking to the front of the park, I opted for ride on the slow train that goes back towards the front. This was a nice break from walking. I noticed the Serpent testing as soon as my ride on the train was finished. Wih no line, I had to give it a ride.

The cars look like they have been re-painted as well as the rest of the coaster. While talking with one of the ride operators, I found out that since it was so hot out, the brakes were “gumming up” and stopping the train. If we were to be stopped, they would get us moving again soon. While we didn’t stop during the ride, I was surprised to see the ending as fast as it was. Trimming was light if at all. The end has a very sharp turn that was taken at high speed. Talk about your latterals!

I walked down the exit ramp and almost ran directly into a tall bald mad. I was told that the person I was looking for was walking around the park, was bald, and tall. This man didn’t have a name tag but I asked him who he was.

“Excuse me. Are you Mike Mefford?”

“Yes I am?”

We introduced each other and I soon spent some time walking with him behind the Flying Eagls on our way to his office. As we were walking, a train passed on the tracks. He was intrested in hearing about what ACE is about so I spent some time explaining to him what makes this club so great. He was very intrested in hearing opinions on the park from me as well as others.

When I told him there are people from all over the country that want to come here and ride that coaster, he seemed floored.

“You know……I am actually glad you are here. I have a picture I want to show you. Perhaps you can tell me what coaster this is?”, says Mike.

He leaves the room and soon brings back a large IAAPA brochure with a great shot of Millennium Force on the cover. When I told him what coaster that was, he said,

“So THAT’S the Millennium Force? I have heard a lot about the ride”

He then proceeded to ask me a lot about it. As he was asking away, a man named Frank entered the room. Mike introduced me to him as “the ACE guy I have been talking with”. Frank was also intrested in the club and told me he used to work at PKI and helped build The Beast. He also asked me about MF. Seems that was a question that was bugging them for a few days. I am glad I helped them out. Frank was nice to chat with. Mike also remembered the days when the ACE walk-back first started but didn’t know much about the club. When Mike told Frank that I mentioned a lot of people conisder the Eagle to be the best coaster in the state, Frank said, “ Yea right. Like that is going to top my baby The Beast!”

I told him he would be surprised at what a lot of people think.

Mike gave me a few press items and we exchanged e-mails and phone numbers. I mentioned to him that I would LOVE to do an event here sometime soon. He then came up with a brilliant idea.

“Well, you know Sean, the Eagle is 75 years old this year. It would be kind of neat to have a birthday for it or something.”

‘Nuff said.

I told him that would be a perfect time to have an event and it could have a very high turnout because of the birthday factor alone. He seemed to be excited about this and we plan to discuss this more very soon. After our meeting, I left the park after another ride or two on the Flying Scooters.

As I was driving away from the park, I reflected back on my day and thought how cool it is to have two cool parks so close together, and how one of them basically came back from the dead to provide smiles once again.

Then things started to get strange…

As the heat continued to melt me away, I cranked the AC in my car. The top of head was soaked with sweat. I went to wipe off some sweat from my head then grabbed the steering wheel. I looked down at the wheel and noticed there was a huge glob of grease right where I was touching the wheel.

“Where did that come from?”

I touched my head again and then looked at my hand.

“WTF? Where is this coming from?”

My hand had a glob of grease in it. Somehow I managed to get pooped on by a “grease hawk” or……………

“AAAAAAA!!! The Flying Scooters!!"

I appeard that my last ride on the Scooters got me nice and greasy. I was snapping like I didn’t have a care in the world. So much so that I managed to jolt the cables so hard, that a glob of grease landed on my head and I didn’t notice. This happened once before at PKI and ironically, I was wearing the same exact shirt that was washed many times to finally get the stain out. This time I didn’t get any on the shirt but on my head.

I pulled into a gas station to get a paper towel to wipe off the rest of the grease. The funny thing was that you couldn’t tell I had a glob in my hair because my hair color almost matched that of the black grease. Still, I felt grimmy and wiped off as much as I could. Since I was at a gas station, I thought to myself that I might as well fill up for the hour and a half drive home. I usually like going to gas stations with the ‘pay at the pump’ option because it makes things so much easier. This was no exception.

I went to use my credit card but couldn’t find it. I recently got a new wallet and it has all kinds of slots for cards. It has hidden slots also and I figured I had just put it in one of those slots like I did once I paid for my admission at the park I had just left. I then found my other card and used it to get gas then went on my way.

After I made it home, I decided to look into my wallet to find my credit card. I took every single card and season pass out of my wallet until it was empty. No card left. Not even in the hidden slots.

“Oh great! Now what am I going to do?”

I looked in my car. I looked in my shorts. I even looked in my fridge for no reason………but hey!, I found a nice cool lemonade. My card was lost. I had never lost a credit card in my life. I called the company I had the card through and told them that I had lost the card. The put a temporary hold on the card just in case I found it. The last place I had it was at LeSourdsville and I rode quite a bit so my gusss was that it was lost for good.

However, I have been lucky in some odd cases before so I decided to try my luck and call the park.

“ Hello. LeSourdsville Lake.”

“Hello, yes, I was just in your park and I think I lost my credit card there. I am now about 100 miles away and can’t go back at this time to try and look for it. Is there anyone that can help me there?"

“Let me call security to see if they found one”

(puts me on hold)

“Sir, hello? I am sorry to say but………..(I hear a radio call in the background)

(radio call) “You were asking about a card? We found one just now”

“Sir. We have found a card but we don’t know if it is yours. I will go and check and call you back if it is yours”

“Sounds great!” I gave the woman my number and sat around the phone waiting for the call. Twenty minutes seems like hell when you are waiting for a call. Then the phone rang.


“Hello? This is Frank from LeSourdsville. I have this card here with your name on it.”

“Oh thank God. Woo Hoo!!!!”

To make a long story short, I jumped in my car at 8:00PM and headed back to the park to get my card. They said they would hold it but Saturday would probably not be a good day to retrieve it because they were so busy. And Sunday was not good for me. I just wanted that card back and didn’t think twice about going back.

As I got on I-270 to head to I-70, I was blown away by one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. Hot air baloons. Not just a few, but what looked like at least 50, floating over the Outerbelt. The town I live in was having a baloon festival and they all were crusing over the city at this time. I counted 35 before I decided to stop counting for safety reasons. All kinds of shapes, colors, and sizes I saw. I wish I had a camera to take a photo beause it was so surreal. Some were just about 100 feet from the road, while others were 2000 feet in the sky. It was incredible to see such a sight. The sunset made for a perfect backdrop.

The drive back to the park seemed to fly by thanks to a music selection from Fear Factory and Type-O-Negative, to Ty Tabor’s new solo CD and System of a Down’s new stuff.

I made the drive back to the park before they closed and went to the offices I was at a few hours ago and sure enough, they had my card. I thanked Frank for holding onto it and he made the comment about how strange it was that I was just talking with him in the office a few hours before, and he ended up being the one calling me back about my card even though he didn’t know at the time I was the same person. He then said he hopes I will return soon and pointed out the humorous fact that the park will accept my type credit card for payment.

He also explained that a guest found the card in the middle of the train tracks near the ticket booths. How that card fell out of my wallet and out of my pocket and onto the middle of the tracks remains a mystery to me. Not only that but he claimed two trains have went by (I saw one of them when talking with Mike) and the card remained to sit in the middle of the tracks without moving. I thanked them again and told them I would certainly be back and could not wait to work with this group of class act folks soon.

As I left, I heard a train horn as well as the rumble of the engines. Sure enough, another train was approaching on the same tracks I had lost my card on. I saw the crossing gates go down in front of me. I love to watch trains up close so this gave me a chance to see something I don’t get to see everyday. As the train made its way past the park, it slowed, then slowed, then slowed some more………until it stopped.

A lone security guard stood by telling everyone they had to stay put. Apparently the train operator thought the park was closed for the night and decided to stop the train where he did. Someone had to go down and tell him to move the train because we could not leave until he did so. Twenty minutes later the train moved and we were allowed to leave.

Funny how these things work out.

I go to ride coaster tracks. I lose my card on train tracks. I then am stopped by a train on those same tracks when trying to leave.

Coincidence? Well, yea. I guess so. However, it could just be a strange vibe telling me to go back to the park very soon. =:^)

What a day.

Thanks for reading,


*** This post was edited by Sean F. on 6/23/2002. ***

Saturday, June 22, 2002 9:59 PM
Great TR Sean, glad you had a good day and yes, that is a pretty strange coincidence.

Good Times!! Good Times!!

Saturday, June 22, 2002 10:18 PM
Sounds like a very interesting day. I am glad to hear that we might be having an event 7 miles from my home. I haven't been on their flyers yet, glad to hear they are snappable.

Holiday World, it's impossible not to have a good time

Saturday, June 22, 2002 10:34 PM

LOL, At least you got your card back :)

I don't know why, but at small parks like LL and HW, IB and others I can have as much fun as any corprate or large park. It may only have one big coaster but its a darn good one!

I hope people will visit. I also hope to celebrate the Eagles Birthday in style.

Anyway, Your TR sounded almost the same as my TR of two weeks ago. Glad you had fun and glad you got your card back, Perhaps it wasn't firmly in wallet after charging for tickets?


Charles Nungester
Lesourdsville Lake, The great American amusement park opens the season June 6th Thurs-Sun every week. Park phone is (513)539-2193

Sunday, June 23, 2002 5:46 AM
Great TR Sean! Glad to hear you got some good ride on the Scooters and Eagle. Mike has to be one of the nicest guys I talked too out of any amusement park in the business. I ran into him opening day by accident not knowing anything about him. When I told him I drove 5 hours (heavy traffic) just for the Screehin' Eagle he was floored. Shawna and I had a fun time talking with him. Glad you enjoyed your trip(s). And see you around in Ohio!

"The Future of Roller Coasters"

Sunday, June 23, 2002 6:06 AM
Great Trip Report! Could someone tell me exactly what is an ACE walkback. Is it for members of ACE? I just got my ACE membership card. Also which parks do it? Thanks for the help in advance.

-Sean Newman
83 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC # 100 in July. Waiting for the 305 foot drop tower in 2003. Thank you PKD.

Sunday, June 23, 2002 8:55 AM

SFgadvMAN said:
Great Trip Report! Could someone tell me exactly what is an ACE walkback. Is it for members of ACE? I just got my ACE membership card. Also which parks do it? Thanks for the help in advance.

-Sean Newman
83 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC # 100 in July. Waiting for the 305 foot drop tower in 2003. Thank you PKD.

The ACE walkback is a long standing privelege at PKI and is done at some other parks. This is where ACERS meet to get first ride of the day for a certain ride/rides. It simply that they take you back before the park drops the ropes for first rides with no wait. I will not comment on other parks that have it but PKI meets at 9:30-9:45am at the ACE plaque. If you don't know where it is, ASK GR.

Chuck, Who says welcome to ACE

Charles Nungester
Lesourdsville Lake, The great American amusement park opens the season June 6th Thurs-Sun every week. Park phone is (513)539-2193

Sunday, June 23, 2002 11:18 AM


Thanks for the entertaining TR! Kinda bummed we didn't get to check out Lesourdesville Lake when we were up there a couple weekends ago, but we had a blast at PKI nonetheless.

Darn, looks like I'll have to come back up there later in the year then. What a tragedy, lol. I am glad the Zipper was all that, I really can't wait to ride that thing! Oh, and Eagle sounds entertaining as well. :)

Thanks again, and see ya in less than 18 days!

Joe, who thinks it was weird not seeing Sean this past weekend.

Whoa that was pretty cool." -- Reaction to first flip over on X-Flight

Sunday, June 23, 2002 1:39 PM

LL Sounds like it's getting dialed in pretty good these days. My friend Rick is a painter/fiberglass guy there. (He did the Tip Top). We'll be heading down there in 2 weeks to camp out, and take in PKI while we're there.

(BTW, nice choice of music for the trip, TON Rulz! Ever listen to Children of Bodom?)

Sunday, June 23, 2002 5:16 PM


Glad you liked it. Once again, I didn't realize how long this TR was until I looked at it this afternoon. As Jim Carey would say.... "Somebody stop me!"


Too bad I didn't run into you at the park. Did you end up going? We will have to meet up there sometime soon. Perhaps do a PKI/LL combo like I just did?


I did have a blast. Perhaps it was because I was by myself and took everything at a slow pace, but I can honestly say that was one of the most fun times I have had at a traditional park. I was only there for a couple of hours also.

The mystery about my card still haunts me. I don't know how it came out of my wallet AND my shorts. I wasn't jumping around or running.


Glad you had a great time there. Mike is one cool guy. The way upstairs to his office has old photos of what the park used to look like many, many years ago. I stopped and looked at most of them while he explained to me what i was looking at.


Chuck is correct about what the walk-back is. To the best of my knowledge, the only other park that does a walk-back (or did at one time) was PGA last year if I am not mistaken.


Why did I even doubt you would be thinking of coming back up here? I am sure sometime this year you will be back in my neck of the woods wanting to go to that park. Yea, it was strange not seeing you this weekend. Eighteen days? Dude, I still have LOADS of stuff to do. Thanks for reminding me.


Glad to hear of another Type O fan on here. There new stuff will be out soon! I haven't heard of the other band you mentioned but if they sound anything like Type O, my guess is they rock!



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