We woke up and were out just before nine on Sunday morning. Breakfast was had from Duncan Donuts, and because we were in an AirBnB south of Cedar Point, our drive to Kings Island was only around 3 hours. After getting close to the park we stopped at Burger King for Blake and Isaac to get some food. We were all hungry, but I had a meal plan so was planning on getting lunch in the park. I did cheat a bit and get a small hamburger though.
Pulling up to the park I immediately noticed that the parking lot wasn’t really full. This would be my first visit to Kings Island on a holiday weekend and I didn’t know how it would be. This was a good sign. We arrived just around 1pm and headed to the front gate. After getting thru the front gate I suggested we head straight back to Mystic Timbers in case the line was long, so we went straight back. To my delight and surprise, the line was short, maybe about 15 minutes, so after putting our stuff in a locker we got in line.
Mystic Timbers–I have to admit, when it was being built, I wasn’t impressed with the ride, but as people started to ride it last year it became clear that Mystic Timbers was a hit. I started to get excited about finding out for myself. And it definitely is a hit. The first drop reminds me of Thunderhead. There is airtime on the hill over the lift. Then the ride really hits its stride as you head out in to the woods with massive amounts of GCI airtime. It isn’t severe ejector air, but it is really good. Then you have the turnaround and tunnel which is also a lot of fun. The return trip is just as insane, and then of course you hit the shed. Now, I knew what was in the shed, obviously, and had heard mostly negative comments about how it just wasn’t what people expected. I honestly thought it was a clever trick for stopping on the brakes at the end of the ride, and wish more rides would do something like that. Overall, though Mystic Timbers is an amazing creation by GCI.
Sunday morning was gloomy, with rain and clouds. I checked the forecast, realized that the rain that was being called for in Cincy was likely to come and stay for a bit, then drifted off back to sleep as Isaac went down for breakfast, a shower, and a bunch of other stuff before I finally woke up to discuss what we were going to do. The original plan was go to Kings Island and stay in the Cincy area and then do Coney Island and Strickers Grove on Monday before coming home. But this weather was not cooperating.
I don’t really remember what time I finally woke up, but it was still morning. We got ready, I headed down and did the breakfast thing as well, we checked out, and after having discussed options, we headed to Kings Island after all. I figured that a light rain would keep people away and as long as there was no thunder storms, which weren’t on the forecast until maybe one around 1pm, or 4pm, or 6pm we should be fine for a couple of hours.
We did stop at a Kmart that just happened to be going out of business because although both of us had considered bringing a hoody, neither of us did. Thank goodness for 60% off at the closing Kmart. I even got a decent pair of new work shoes for cheap. Score!
We arrived at Kings Island around 1 PM. Isaac had forgot to bring his Platinum Pass, so we headed to guest services, then to the nearly empty season pass office for him to get a pass for the day. The parking lot was not far from empty, the clouds and a light rain would come in and out for most of the day. We headed in to the park hoping for a light attendance day.
Hungry for lunch, we ate at Skyline Chili on Main Street. It was my first time. Meh. I don’t get it. My Icee was good, though! Our first ride of the day? Banshee!
Banshee–I hadn’t seen it run, but finally we saw a train on the course as we headed over. Would it live up to the hype? We got in line for the front with only a 3 train wait and they were running, and stacking, all three. I figure they planned on a busy day, but for the rain. I love the new trains. The restraints are great. That lift is steep and fast. And that drop! Inversion! Loop! Zero G! Inversions! Sloooowwwww Inversion! Snappy snap up to the brakes! Oh! My! Gawsh! I loved it! Banshee is a winner from drop to brakes, and my new favorite inverted coaster. The lack of midcourse brakes really made a difference, and even though I could ride it all day, it was intense, but not draining. We ran around and got a back seat ride. Another thing I like about the new trains is that if you’re on the outside seat, you have a barely obstructed view. And, surprisingly, the best seat on Banshee was not the front as is the case for most inverts, but the back! We rode once more later in the day in the front, but several more in the back. I loved it. The slowdown in the back during elements was great. Amazing. Fantastic. Five Stars!
Whew. So we walked over and saw that Invertigo was closed. I figured it would be down all day, actually. Isaac ran out to the car to change shoes and I sat near the entrance. Next we went back and rode Diamondback. I love Diamondback. We rode in the front of the train and, as usual, it was a great ride. However, as we were on the brake run we were informed by the people behind us that Isaac’s keys had come unclipped from his shorts and went flying. This was a bit of a problem as he’d just got a new car, and his other key was back in NC…
We rode the ride again to see if we could see the keys around the 2nd hill which was where we we’re told they came out. Then we walked over and looked, then rode the train under the ride to look. While we didn’t see his keys, what I did see was clearing out for the new ride for 2017. We spent most of the rest of the train ride seeing what our options for getting a key were on a holiday weekend in Ohio. Unfortunately, and I’ll keep the boring parts short, everything was a dead end until Tuesday when every dealer’s parts department opened back up. Bummer. Isaac did what he could to report it and all, but they never found his keys. It was a damper for sure, but we went on about our day for the time being as we weren’t going to be able to leave the park anyway.
With no leads on getting a new key we went to back to the Beast. I always get lost going to the entrance the first time on every single visit. The ride was running well, but the trims were hitting pretty hard. What I love about Beast is the speed thru the woods and the out of control feeling. We rode in the front. Not the best Beast ride ever, but not a bad ride at all.
I think we rode Diamondback again after that, and then headed back up for more Banshee rides. We also hit up Delirium which seemed to have been running a very short cycle, but it was still great. We got more Banshee rides in as well. Then we went to The Bat. It looked much better with the new paint and name, and the logo was much better. The ride was still the same. Fun, but nothing amazing.
For the 2016 season Carowinds had debuted Cirque Imagine. I’d yet to catch the show at Carowinds but I knew it came from Kings Island, and this year they’d debuted Cirque Origin. I wanted to see it while we were here so we went to the 5 PM showing. It was a really good show. It was the perfect non-corny show for a large regional theme park. I was even more excited to see the show at Carowinds.
After the show we rode one side of Racer. It was running okay. We came back to the other side later, but not before heading to Flight of Fear and some other rides first. I have to say, after having been to Kings Dominion earlier in the year and riding both Flight of Fear & Stunt Track there, Kings Island keeps both in much better condition with most, if not all of the effects in working order. Also, Kings Dominion turned most of Flight of Fear’s queue into a haunt space, which is fine, but now it looks terrible, dusty, and old in the ride’s indoor queue and station. Kings Islands looked very nice.
Flight of Fear was running well. Sadly the MCBR was on full force. Last time I’d ridden it it was not. But still, the ride was a lot of fun. We were going to ride Firehawk, but the line was too long, so we skipped it.
I think this was when we hit up Stunt Track. It’s a fun coaster, but I kind of wish, because of the placement of it in Kings Island, that they’d removed the theming and re-theme it. Nothing spectacular, just remove all of those shipping containers and add in some rock work and landscaping maybe. It was still a fun family coaster. Its just that its so out of place now that the parks aren’t movie themed parks.
Next up was Vortex. I’d not ridden it in a few years, but was hopeful, as Anaconda was running really, really well earlier in the year. Vortex, though, was painful. Maybe new trains with better restraints would be a nice fit, but neither Isaac nor myself enjoyed the ride. Up next was Windseeker. After that, we sat around and rested for a bit. I didn’t realize the pad for Flight Commander was still there. I wish they had that ride still, but I understand why it is gone.
Evening was setting in. I think this was around the time we hit Racer’s other side before more Diamondback rides, where Isaac had been instructed to see if they’d found his keys during the 5 PM walk of the track. They didn’t, and we weren’t counting on it. At this point, it was starting to get dark so we headed over to The Beast for a really great night ride. I love the ride but, MAN! Those night rides are not to be missed!
I think we may have ridden Diamondback once more but I don’t remember. I do know we went and caught nite rides on Banshee, and that was as amazing as expected. Every ride, it cemented Banshee’s position as my new favorite invert, and a high place in my personal ranking.
We headed back up front and spoke to Lost and Found and Guest Services again. Previously, a girl at guest services said that they didn’t offer any services to break in to locked cars, but when we went back the first thing we were told was that security could break right in. It took a few attempts, but the girl in security did a great job and we got in the car to get our stuff.
We packed up and went to the pickup area to Uber over to the Marriott down the way from Kings Island. We woke up and had breakfast the next morning, then Ubered to the airport for Isaac to rent a car so that we could head home and he could pick up his extra car key, drive back to Ohio, get a few more rides in since, hey, his car was already at Kings Island, and then drive home.
We didn’t make it to Strickers or Coney, but I’ll get there one day.