July 19, 2004

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    We started off by visiting Wendy's before we went to the park. We decided to sleep in because yesterday was tiring.

    We arrived at the park around 2 p.m. and headed straight to Scooby- Doo and the Haunted Castle, the Sally dark ride. This interactive dark ride takes us through a haunted castle where Scooby and the gang drive the mystery mobile around shooting ghosts and ghouls. It's OK. It's a slow-moving attraction much like Men in Black: Alien Attack at Universal Studios Orlando. We shoot at targets along the course, and our scores are added up on our guns.

    I'm not too good at these types of games/rides. I don't remember what my score was, but Kristi's brother beat her dad and me. Kristi rode with her mom.

    Then we went to Beastie. I wanted to show Kristi that a little coaster could pack a punch, and she wanted to raise her count. While waiting in the slowly-moving line, I saw a kid in the cage. This kid was pretty upset and crying, so after the train was dispatched, one of the ride hosts talked to him. I heard her tell another ride host that if a kid was upset in the cage, she'd let them dispatch the train. Great. Now I feel safe.

    This coaster is pretty fun, but just like its older cousin, The Beast, it's got trim brakes. Seriously, what's up with that? There's a brake at the beginning of the second turnaround. Still, the lap bars provide room for some slight airtime.

    We walked past Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster and scoped out the line for Top Cat's Taxi Jam. I didn't want to try to raise my count, in fear that they wouldn't let me ride it. Plus, it's pretty dorky to ride such a kiddy coaster.

    Next was Rugrats Runaway Reptar. Kristi's brother did not want to ride it because he thought he'd be wasting his time. He skipped Beastie because he thought it'd be boring. We convinced him to ride with us. It's pretty good for its size. It shakes around a little, but that's because the wheels don't all touch the track. Thanks, Vekoma. The first drop spirals around, and the ride has some nifty turns and helices. The last part of the ride comes pretty close to the ground. It's fun, but the capacity isn't too great. I rode in the back row.

    Kristi wanted a Care Bears stuffed animal, so we stopped at another water-shooting game. Kristi's brother had the lead, but her dad had other plans. Toward the end of the game, her dad covered her brother's eyes and Kristi won.

    I took another snapping lap on Flying Eagles, while the gang rested.

    Kristi's brother and I rode Vortex. I took a picture of the transfer table shed to show the notches above the track where The Bat's track went.

    Kristi's brother and I rode Delirium. I can't get enough of this ride. When I sat in the seat, the ride host noticed my ACE shirt. He smiled and said, "ACE? Hmmm." He rubbed his chin. That was funny.

    We headed to Drop Zone next. It didn't exist on my first visit in 1993, it was closed both days I visited in 2000, 2002 was too crowded to even consider waiting in line, and we skipped it yesterday. Today I was going to ride the drop zone with the longest drop I've ever ridden. This ride is tall and goes fast. Kristi's dad was a little too big to ride, so he had to leave the platform after they couldn't buckle his seatbelt. Intamin really only designs rides for skinny Europeans. The climb to the top takes a while, and it's fairly nerve-wracking. We keep going up and up and up for around two minutes. We finally stop at the top and get a good look at the world around. Kristi was a bit scared. I stared down and tried to find her dad. Nope. Then we dropped. It's exhilarating! We rapidly accelerate to the maximum speed, and just before it seems like we'll fall straight to the ground, we run into the magnetic brakes. The coolest part of this ride was that after we stop, the wind from our fall hits us. I had never ridden a drop ride where you feel the wind from the vehicle after you stop! It's great! 9/10.

    We walked over to Tomb Raider to see if it was open. Yes! The ride host at the entrance looked at the line and told us the wait was about 45 minutes. After walking through the outside queue line, we entered the inside portion. There were props from the movie in here and a long path leading to the main door. Forty-five minutes later, we were in the pre-stage room. A screen on the wall next to me rose out from behind some rocks, and a video played informing us of our journey. The big door opened and there it was. Holy crap, this thing's huge. When they call it a Giant Top Spin, they're not kidding! It can carry 77 passengers in three rows.

    It was a bit of a disappointment. I'd ridden one other Top Spin before this, and it was a blast. We spun around and around in free-rotate for a long time. Tomb Raider was cool, but it didn't have very much free rotating. Most of the ride was controlled and fixed spins that threw us at crazy angles that made my head hurt. There was one point when I did not know what direction I was facing. That was pretty cool. Other than that, it was OK. It seemed short. It did turn us upside-down five times, like the ride host in the pre-stage room told me, but it left a little to be desired. 6/10.

    We stopped at LaRosa's Rivertown Pizza and bought dinner.

    After dinner, I got another ride on Flying Eagles, complete with snapping action.

    Kristi's dad wanted to ride Son of Beast again, so I decided to give it another shot. We walked over there and only waited about 15 minutes to get in the station. The line was not long at all. It only started where the ramps leading to the station started. I rode in the next-to-last car and got the crap beat out of me. This ride made me remember why I didn't like it. I was pleading inside my head to stop in the block brakes. They were a welcome relief because it was a straightaway and deceleration point. The loop was nice, as usual, but the rest of the ride tried to tenderize me. I was in quite a bit of pain. I'm not riding this ride again until they get new lap bars or trains.

    We wanted to make the most of our last hour or so there, so we headed over to get another night ride on The Beast. Kristi's father really enjoyed it. Everyone else decided to sit out, so I hopped in the back seat with him. This was going to be our last ride, so we had to get in a back seat, night ride. As we got to the top of the slow first lift hill, the nightly fireworks show started. Every time we rode out of a ravine we could see fireworks in the distance. It was amazing. The brakes still killed the ride, but the fireworks going off made it somewhat magical. The coolest part of the ride was exiting the first tunnel in the helix finale. Once we exited that tunnel a huge green firework exploded right in our line of vision. That was incredible.

    Paramount's Kings Island is a great park with some outstanding rides. I can't wait to make another visit. 8/10.

    Click here for yesterday's trip report.

More fun pictures:

Kristi's dad loves the first drop on The Beast Vortex's high corkscrews Vortex's helix finale
Delirium in full swing Delirium high above the midway A sign in the station of The Beast
Scrambler at night Delirium swinging out* The Eiffel Tower and fountains

* 1600 x 1200 resolution

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