Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA
This was by far the most disappointing visit I have ever made to an amusement park. In the past couple of months I have travelled to Busch Gardens, Kings Island, Six Flags New England, Michigan's Adventure and Hershey Park to get new material for my roller coaster blog. At most of these parks I have managed to get in multiple rides - e.g., 7 on Apollo's Chariot, 2 on Griffon and 1 on Alpengeist at Busch Gardens, 6 on Bizarro at Six Flags New England, etc. At Kings Island the ride lines were so long that in nearly 5 hours at the park I managed to get in only two rides. Before I even got to the ride lines, I had to deal with the parking situation, which was a nightmare. It took me a good 25 minutes of driving around the lot in order to find a parking space. And then I had to deal with long lines for food. Finally, I was in a position to go for a roller coaster ride. And unfortunately, I had to stand in line for 2 hours to get on Diamondback and after that, for 2 hours and 15 minutes to get on The Beast. After spending the money to fly from Philadelphia to Dayton and rent a car to drive from Dayton to Kings Island plus spending the money to stay in a motel, I was not a happy camper to have gone all that distance just to get two roller coaster rides! It would have been a colossal waste of time and money except for the fact that I did take some good photographs of Diamondback, got two new coasters to review on my blog and can now at least say that I've ridden them. Although Kings Island does sell Fast Lane passes, they're expensive at $55 a pop, and considering what I paid for airfare, car rental, park admission and lodging, I could see no justification for spendng the extra money. Kings Island is probably the last park to which I would ever want to return.
But did you enjoy it?
I find it fascinating that we're (and I do this too) willing to spend hundreds and maybe close to a thousand dollars to GET to a park, but not $55 dollars to enjoy that park.
I will give you $55 to use paragraphs.
I second what Andy said. Round trip tickets from Philly to Dayton, rental car, hotels, admission. But then you have a crappy day because you don't want to spend the extra $55.
You are the person that fastlane was created for. Not at the park very often, and end up there on a busy day.
I would spend the $55 to enjoy myself.
Lol! It was an adventure. Diamondback was a great ride and The Beast was a lot of fun, even with the trim brakes.
To be honest, for me it's still much more of a "matter of principle" (which, at this point is admittedly colossally stupid) than an actually matter of value. I feel like I *should* (and that's a challenge to myself, not a judgement on the park) be able to get what I want to get done in the time I have without paying more.
That said, given how little time I'm spending in not-home parks these days (given that most of my trips happen driving to or from other appointments) and how much I can squeeze out of so little time from knowledge of park behavior, the value proposition usually doesn't pan out.
Case in point - went to Hershey for 4 hours a few weeks ago. Only line longer than 20 minutes (except for a Sky Rush breakdown) was Fahrenheit at 45 minutes. Ended up getting 1 Wildcat, 1 SDL, 3 Skyrush, 2 Storm Runner. I maybe could have gotten a ride on Bear and an extra ride on Storm Runner or Lightning Racer in the time I would have saved by buying the VIP coaster pass, but $50 for two rides on coasters I've ridden multiple times before? Nah. If I'm at a park for longer than 4 or 5 hours, I usually plan enough and know enough to get what I want to get done without dying in lines anyway, so then the value proposition is still in the red.
I think at this point the only park I'd consider getting it at would be Cedar Point if we went with the whole family. I'd gladly pay $100 to not have to make the family wait for me while I ride things and to not have to trap the kids in the park all day and skip their nap time.
Edit: Oh, or Canada's Wonderland which is the only >10 coaster park in N. America that I haven't ever been to.Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, July 3, 2012 5:47 PM
Really? Actually, your point is well-taken. I may revise my blog and put things in paragraphs to make it more readable.
And Andy's point is well-taken. I agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend the time, money and effort to get to a park and then not fork out something extra to get into the fast lane and have a good time. I did spend the $55 at Michigan's Adventure due to time constraints - had only 3 hours to spend at the park before driving back to Grand Rapids to catch a flight to Detroit - as there was no other reasonable option. You're right; I'm the sort of person for whom the fast lane was created.
For me it has largely been a matter of principle as well but am definitely going to get a Fast Lane pass at Cedar Point next week. Went there last October and waited 2 1/2 hrs. to get on Millennium Force; never again will I do that.
Screwed up at Hershey Park weekend before last by not buying Fast Lane pass. Got 2 rides on Skyrush, 1 on Lightning Racer and 1 on Wildcat; that was it. A mistake not to buy Fast Lane pass b/c I got into the park so cheaply. Hershey is the only park where I qualify for the senior rate; have to wait another year and 1 month to get the senior rate at other parks.
I don't get that you paid the $55 dollars MiA, which is a park you can easily ride their less than stellar roller coaster line up in your time constraints. Even if you had to park mid-timbers, I would like too add. But, that you didn't at Kings Island makes no sense to me.
I don't quite get what the price you paid to get in has to do with anything. Once you're in, you have X hours and Y dollars and you can convert some of your dollars into hours.
Edit: Also, if I understand the Hershey pass correctly, it didn't seem like a great value. It doesn't include Skyrush, right? And you only get one ride on each of the included coasters, right? If that's the case, the only coasters with a semblance of a line that it would apply to when I was there were Fahrenheit (45 minutes), Bear (30 minutes) and SR (20 minutes).Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, July 3, 2012 7:05 PM
There was a reason for spending $55 at Michigan's Adventure. I fell in love with Shivering Timbers the 1st time I saw a video of it and when I got to the park, it wasn't running! So I had to ride a less interesting coaster and there was a long line. I wanted to make certain that once ST was up and running, I could ride it over and over in the short time I had. Hershey Park's Fast Lane doesn't include Skyrush??? That was the primary purpose of my visit.
Bobbie, the new "Fastpass" thing for Hershey does not include Skyrush OR Fahrenheit, it only allows you to ride each participating coaster once, and it is 50 bucks. Rip off.
When I went, there were rows on Fahrenheit roped off (thank God they were filling the train when the rows went unused. That row is more than 15% of your capacity). I assumed it was for line cutters. Is that not the case?
See, Andy, that's the thing: they weren't roping off Fahrenheit when I was there, so maybe the ride list changes? I don't know. All I know is Fahrenheit was NOT on their list when I went. The two newest rides did not have a FastLane type pass available. I thought it was weird.
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