July 19, 2008

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    After a day at Holiday World, Doug and I drove to Kings Island. We got there about noon, and since it was Saturday, it was busy. We got in with our Platinum Passes and started at the Eiffel Tower. The upper level was open, and this was the first time I'd been on that level. The view is great, and we got a good look at the construction of the new coaster.

    We got four passes with our season passes to get through the Gold Pass lines. These passes are good for Backlot Stunt Coaster, Drop Tower, Wild Thornberrys River Adventure and Delirium. So we started in the Speed Lane on Backlot Stunt Coaster. This is a fun coaster with some good, quick turns and decent theming. I like it, though I wouldn't wait in a long line for it.

    We went to the next ride on our Gold Pass Speed Lane tickets: Drop Tower. It was rotating on the way up, which was the first time I'd ever seen it do that. I've ridden this ride a few times, and it'd never once rotated. The rotation is cool because you can see the entire park and the valley. This ride is pretty good. I'm used to shorter drop rides, so after falling awhile, I expect to hit the brakes. Not on Drop Tower. I was surprised at the amount of speed we got and how long the actual free fall is. It's amazing. Waiting in line is fun too. A gust of wind blows people's hats off, and it felt good in the heat.

    Wild Thornberrys River Adventure was the next ticket, so we went there. It was down, but they said we could get in line when it's running again even though our passes gave us a 15-minute window. While waiting, we talked to Maggie at the entrance. She was fun. Doug went to a food stand and got a wristband and a drink for $6.99. With a Platinum Pass, you get a wristband that lets you get drinks for the rest of the day for free after the initial $6.99. It's great. We went back to the water ride and waited. It was down about an hour, but we just hung out there. Eventually it opened, and we got to the station.

    It's a fun ride. Some of the water runs a little low, so we bottomed out and ran on the wheels during part of the ride. The last drop is OK, but you barely get wet. The wettest part of the ride is when an elephant shoots water on the boat.

    We went to the Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad next. It's a nice, relaxing ride that passes by a ravine and stops at the water park. We stayed on the train while people exited and boarded at the water park. On the way back, we passed the other train.

    We went to The Crypt next. I had ridden this when it was Tomb Raider, and I wasn't really impressed with it then. The line was barely out of the inside part, so we waited. It was only about 30 minutes, and it's a good wait because of the air conditioning. The theming on the inside is a little odd, but it's better than just gutting all the Tomb Raider theming and leaving it. I wasn't too impressed again. There are no lighting, water or fog effects on the ride, and it only flips upside-down twice. It's over really quickly.

    Time for lunch! We went to International Street and stopped at Skyline Chili. I got two Coney Dogs, which are chili cheese dogs. I didn't have my wristband for the drink yet, and they didn't have them here. So they charged me for my meal and let me keep my drink. They told me to go to LaRosa's pizza across the fountains and get a wristband, so I did. Excellent. The Coney Dogs were great.

    After eating, we went to Adventure Express. I like this ride, but it's even better at night. It uses the terrain really well, it speeds through tunnels and turns down the side of a hill. I like it.

    Then we went to Racer and rode the former backward side, Red Racer. I shook my fist at Cedar Fair for making both sides forward. Red Racer is running really well. It feels like the entire track was retracked. There's not a bump on the ride. I loved it.

    We went to Vortex, which we skipped earlier because the line was pretty long. I really like Vortex. It's got nice forces and is pretty intense. The corkscrews are probably 70 feet off the ground, so it's a bit of a change from other Arrow coasters where the corkscrews are at ground level. All three trains were running, so the wait wasn't too bad.

    We stopped and got more free drinks.

    We walked to the other side of the park to ride Flight Deck. This is my second-favorite suspended coaster behind Big Bad Wolf. It's intense and picks up a lot of speed toward the end.

    We stopped at Drop Tower again. Man, I love this drop ride. It goes so insanely fast.

    Then we went to Racer to ride Blue Racer. I noticed a quarter glued to a rail before entering the station. Blue Racer is running terribly! Red Racer got the care it needed, but Blue Racer wasn't touched. It was not an enjoyable ride. Hopefully retracking Blue Racer is next season's project.

    We walked around the park a little. While walking by Vortex's batwing, we noticed a trash can with smoke coming out of it. I told a sweep, who found a supervisor to put it out. They poured a cooler of water in it and left to get a fire extinguisher.

    We walked over to Avatar, but the line was long, so we skipped it. We walked around by the fountains and went back up the Eiffel Tower. We went to Invertigo, but the line was long, so we skipped it. Doug wanted a night ride on Beast, and I wanted a night ride on Adventure Express, so we didn't wait at Invertigo.

    We went to Adventure Express and rode three times in a row. It was nearly night, and it was great. There's a tunnel in the ride that is totally dark, and it's got a surprising turn in it. I really like this coaster.

    Then we went to Beast. The line was down to the ramp leading up to the station, though a couple of queues in the station were full. They shut the ride down for the nightly fireworks show, which was a little annoying. They must have moved the location of the fireworks because I rode this in 2004 while the fireworks were going off. When they ended, the ride started, and we went to the back row. It was running better than the last time I rode it, though it still doesn't really impress me. Riding in the dark is fun because some tunnels are pitch black, and it runs faster. But the brakes are horrible. The brake in the shed is the worst. The finale is still pretty good and extremely intense. Doug had never ridden it at night, so he was satisfied.

    It was about 11 p.m., and the park had been closed for an hour. We left, and I got a final picture of the Eiffel Tower. While in the parking lot, we noticed that the Kings Island sign wasn't all lit up.

    Kings Island is an excellent park, and I wouldn't mind if it was my home park. It's got a feeling all its own, and the local flavors of Skyline Chili and LaRosa's Pizza are great.

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