June 3, 2012
Kings Mills OH
My first visit to Kings Island was in 1994 on a disastrous school trip that caused me to miss riding both The Beast and Vortex. My 2nd visit was a decade later. While it was much better, I walked away that evening in pain because I’d walked and stood so much. I’d tried to get back to Kings Island a couple of times, once on a trip in which I ended up in the hospital in Columbus due to kidney stones and a bruised kidney (thanks Magnum). Since I was going to Holiwood Nights I figured this would be the closest I’d be to the park for a while, so why not?
Sunday morning I woke up after everyone else and got ready. Since we all drove separately I left 2nd and was about 30 minutes behind Rob. Thankfully Rob called and texted me and the others about parts of I71 North being closed off for construction. I was able to tell him the detour and a couple of hours later we met up at a park and ride near the park, since Rob didn’t have a Platinum Pass and I did, so that no one had to pay for parking.
The parking lot was quite full and people were pouring in by the minute. I asked the gate attendant where season pass parking was and she told me to go left and I would see it. Eventually I saw the preferred parking lot, so I pulled in and asked if my pass covered that and the gentleman at the gate let me in. We were just a few steps from the entrance. I love Platinum Passes, especially the last 2 weeks with Kings Dominion and Kings Island letting me park so close.
Rob texted Lisa who was there with her brother and a few friends and we decided to meet up at Windseeker. Kings Island is such a charming park. People complain, but over the last nearly 20 years I feel the park had actually gotten nicer, with the exception of the placement of Backlot Stunt Coaster. I wish the antique cars were still there, and that they had put Backlot closer to the kid’s section since it was a family ride. We arrived at Windseeker and met up with Lisa & Co. After hugs and introductions we headed immediately to Diamondback, since we knew it would be down the rest of the week and there was a shot it could close early. Both Rob and I needed the credit. The wait wasn’t that long, maybe 30 minutes in line.
Diamondback-I’d been looking forward to this one as I’d heard it was better than Intimidator at Carowinds and I like that ride. We sat in the very back row. To be honest, my first ride was not the best but it got MUCH better later. The first drop was great in the back row and there was decent floaty airtime on the first couple of hills. The trim brake actually throws you up at the top of the hill it’s on, so I didn’t mind it. The ride felt solid, but I wasn’t as blown away on my first ride, though I knew I’d be riding lots more later.
As we exited the ride Rob and I purchased Fast Lane passes at the Diamondback gift shop. We had run into Ethan who had his Fast Lane already. Up next was a spin on Delirium. I love these rides and was excited to get back on.
Delirium-The restraints sucked, but I’d lost weight so it wasn’t as painful as previous rides. Delirium was so much fun. We didn’t get any swings where we were facing directly outward, but it’s so disorienting. I wish these were more reliable as I really wanted one at Carowinds.
We met up with Kris and Eric at the exit of Delirium and then walked Lisa and her brother to the front gate. She said a quick goodbye to her 2 other friends. When we got to the front we met up with Matt and Mark who had finally arrived. As Lisa and her brother left, we made plans to do some riding. Matt, Mark, Kris, and Eric were going to get in line for Diamondback since they weren’t going to get Fast Lanes. Rob, Ethan, and I initially went to ride The Beast, but we got sidetracked by Racer instead.
Racer (Right)-I was so used to Thunder Road and Rebel Yell that the slight difference in Racer caught me off guard. They were actually racing the trains this time. The outbound course had some nice airtime, and then you turn, hit another hill, and then go up into the turn around. That really confused me as I wasn’t used to it. The race back was almost as fun. Racer was actually running very well.
We went to Flight of Fear and walked right into the station with our Fastlane. After a couple of minutes the lights in the launch tunnel came on, and the workers kind of started walking around not knowing what was going on. They announced a delay. We left and planned to go back, but as we were leaving the building, management and first aid was arriving. Still not sure what happened, but I hope nothing major.
We got a few more rides on Diamondback. This time I wanted to ride in the 4th row, but ended up in the 2nd row. This was MUCH better than the back. It had pronounced flojector airtime (Floaty airtime with a side of ejector) which made this quickly shoot past Intimidator and a few other coasters on my track record rankings. Diamondback was great. I think maybe only Nitro at its best and Georgia’s Goliath are better as far as B&M Hyper coasters go. Then I rode in row 4 and it was even better.
Ethan was leaving to catch his delayed then on time then delayed then on time flight, so we parted ways at the Eiffel Tower and called the rest of the crew to meet us at the top so we could take some photos. Once we were done we headed over to Flight Deck. Matt, Kris, Eric, and Mark made a pit stop so Matt could get some food at Panda Express. Rob and I waited for a minute but then got in line for the back of Flight Deck.
Flight Deck-I’d never been impressed with this ride. I actually liked Iron Dragon better. It’s okay. It’s fast, and I like the swinging motion, but it just isn’t that exciting to me. The lift hill is slow, but the first drop was fun in the back. After that, it was just very Meh.
Mark, Rob, and I decided to go to the buffet for dinner. It was okay, and I got it cheaper with my platinum pass. After dinner we ran into the guys again and they had met back up with Ethan, who ended up having to miss his flight since his connecting flight was canceled. He decided to stay with us instead to get some more rides in. I wanted to ride the Disk-O Coaster that the park installed as I love Disk-O rides. We headed over to Planet Snoopy so Rob and I could get a ride.
Surf Dog-This was fun. You spin pretty smoothly, and the hump in the middle gave a nice pop of airtime. I love when you’re facing outward to get the full effect of the airtime and spinning. The ride before ours was a little more extreme, but we had a good spin as well.
We headed to get in line for Boo Blasters but the line was a bit long. The non-Fast Lane peeps didn’t want to wait so we got out of line and started to go ride something else, but Ethan, Rob, and I decided to give it a whirl. It’s no Phantom Theater, but it was better than the Scooby Doo ride that it used to be. The room with the skeletons didn’t work, but I got a good score, much better than at Holiday World the day before. We headed over to get a daytime Beast ride. I kind of wanted to ride the log flume, but we didn’t. I should have ridden the other side of Racer when we went past, but we skipped that too. Instead we walked up to The Beast.
The Beast-People complain about The Beast. Apparently it used to be quite amazing. I wonder if it was really as amazing as people seem to remember, or if it was just so good then because of what it was then, but has been surpassed now. Either way, I like The Beast for exactly what it is-a fast, wild ride thru the forest. The first drop is actually pretty good into the tunnel. Then you blast out of that, twist and turn, and even hit an airtime hill. There is one trim brake that I wish wasn’t there. You breeze thru the mid course brake smoothly, and then the ride just runs and rolls around the forest. I think its fun. It’s better than any mine train I’d ridden, that’s for sure. After the 2nd lift hill it gets really intense in the helix. I liked that only part of the helix is enclosed. After that there’s a drop, pop, and dash to the final brake run. There was a lot of new wood on the ride, and I think it ran nearly perfectly.
We made a pit stop and then headed back to the line for Diamondback for our own ‘private’ ERT session, thanks to Fast Lane. I think we rode it about 7 or 8 times consecutively. It was hitting the mark every time. I loved rows 2 and 4. We rode in a couple of other rows too, but those were the best. Diamondback really was a gem of a B&M Hyper.
As it got darker the rides only got better, but we wanted at least one nite ride on The Beast so at 15 minutes till park closing, we headed over there. Unfortunately, even though we could have gotten multiple re-rides in the dark, they had to temporarily shut The Beast down for the fire works. I saw a little of them but wasn’t interested. Finally we got a hold of Matt and they were close to the station. We all filled the back of Beast’s extremely long train for our one night ride. It ran really well, and The Beast must be ridden at nite to be fully appreciated. The helix was crazy at nite but, then, so was the rest of the ride. Now if they’d just get rid of that darn trim in the first half.
By the time we got our ride it was around 10:30 PM. We walked out together, said our goodbyes, and parted ways I had to take Rob back to his car then make my way towards home. I got a little ways past Columbus before I got sleepy and needed a room. On Monday morning I was up at 7:00 AM and ready to go. The ride home was long, but the weekend was totally worth it.