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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/23/17 in all areas

  1. 30 points

    Engaged at Kings Island!

    So Friday I proposed to my beautiful girlfriend at the entrance thanks for everyone's help. Btw she said yes! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. 25 points

    "The Bat's" complete history

    There's a TON of myths, questions, rumors and mis-information about Kings Island's most notorious ride "The Bat." In honor of the 37th anniversary (to the day) of it's announcement, my latest blog is live on Kings Island's website. A true labor of love for me to write, click here if you'd like to read the true, fascinating story of the legendary, original suspended coaster... "The Bat." Happy Halloween! https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2017/october/the-sporadic-erratic-flight-of-the-bat
  3. 21 points

    Beast cars

    Of course eveyone know's I am, and always will be a Beast fan... But, I am personally of the opinion that Beast needs it's trains replaced. The existing trains are considered the "originals" but they have been chopped, altered, padded, divided, dissected, renovated, changed, updated, downgraded, upgraded, conformed, and manipulated to the point that they are not remotely the same trains it started with... I'd actually go as far to say that in reality on about 10% or less of the trains is still "original." Just think about it... they were immediately altered after opening (interior hand-stitched tufted padding was taken out, the headlamp removed and replaced with the logo), then they were cut down from 4-benchers to 3 within a few years of operation, and in the subsequent 30 seasons had the buzz bars removed, headrests added, seat dividers extended, accessible strapping added, extra padding added, seat belts added, skids removed for fins etc etc etc. I don't at all think it would be some horrible thing to replace the trains completely. Frankly, a switch to a different type of train from the EXTREMELY dated PTC's would help re-invigorate the ride IMO - allowing for more rider comfort and also allowing for more guests to ride (let's face it... people are fat these days - so everything from cars, to airlines to movie theaters are having to address this.) It would be nice if PTC had an updated version of the trains to offer. But as far as I know, PTC continues to produce the same archaic trains they were making 100 years ago. I understand they do a good business for those that want new trains identical to the older ones - but they have virtually NO other options as far as styling or articulation, just wooden boxes on wheels. Heck - one of the main reasons The Beasts elements are so far apart is because the longer PTC trains couldn't articulate directional changes abruptly. The only option PTC gives it's customers for tighter elements is shorter cars yet still non-articulating. If The Beast changed trains, it would be a necessary advancement. The originals, or AN original, could be kept for display. If I was given a magic wand, I'd probably wave it at The Beast and orchestrate a complete station, theme element and train overhaul. The water, mining Co, Beast warning sign, tc would all be updated/brought back. And it would get a test seat - which it has needed desperately for decades. Of course it's very easy for me to be a keyboard critic and think that it would be that easy - it would likely take at least a million dollars to make that happen - alterations, permits, inspections, insurance adjustments etc etc etc. And why buy the Mercedes if the Cadillac is working just fine? No matter - I still love it ;-)
  4. 19 points

    Ban the single rider line

    I don't see anything wrong with a small group using the single rider line, provided they understand and agree that they will not get to sit together, and very likely not all be on the same train. My group of five used the single rider line last night and waited 5 to 10 minutes instead of 90 minutes. In doing so, we did not in any way make the wait time for those in the regular line longer, because we never took a seat that otherwise would have gone to someone in the regular line. Instead, we rode separately, filling seats that otherwise would have just been left empty. That's the core point: as long as groups are willing to split up and fill holes rather than ride together, it does not in any way impact the regular line. The only potential form of "abuse" would come from a group going through that line and then asking to ride together, but the solution to that is properly training the employee handling seat assignments to deny such requests. In short, the single rider line is not solely for people who are by themselves with no one else accompanying them. It is for anyone willing to be treated as a single rider for seat assignment purposes.
  5. 19 points
    Kings Island has hired a new Director of Communications, Chad Showalter. I have been in contact with Chad to get to know more about him and introduce him to KIC. Below is what Chad had to say about his new role at Kings Island. Don Helbig is still at Kings Island with the position of Area Manager, Digital Marketing. Don states, "My position has evolved into two distinctive different jobs between PR and social media. The majority of my time had become on the digital side since 2014, so it has made for a very easy transition for me." 1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I grew up in the Cincinnati area, and as a boy my family would visit Kings Island about once a year. My parents weren’t roller coaster riders, so my first major roller coaster was the Magnum XL 200 at Cedar Point when I was 11 years old, which I rode on a trip with friends. From that point on my theme park visits focused on thrill rides. In high school I worked at Rivertown Pizza for multiple seasons doing everything from working the line to grating cheese. During college I was the supervisor of the seasonal Human Resources team and managed the Group Volunteer Program. I have had a Kings Island season pass for nearly 20 years. These days I spend a lot of my time in Planet Snoopy with my family, but still find time to take in the coasters and other attractions. 2. How long have you been in Public Relations? I’ve worked in public relations, communications and marketing for nearly 20 years, from agencies to small and medium-sized businesses. Most recently I served as the Senior Marketing and Communications manager for Newport Aquarium, just across the river from downtown Cincinnati. 3. What drew you to apply for the director of communications position at Kings Island? The Kings Island marketing team has a reputation for being one of the best in the industry, and the chance to possibly join that team was a once-in-a-career opportunity I couldn’t pass up. 4. What are you most excited about in your new position at Kings Island? I’m most excited to help tell the stories of the people who experience this incredible park and what’s happening here. 5. How does it feel to go to work at Kings Island with coasters and rides outside your office? It’s incredible. Knowing that less than a hundred feet away from my office there are kids, families and thrill seekers entering the park for the first time, and others walking down International Street who have been coming to Kings Island for years, reminds me of how important our job is- to help them create memories together and make Kings Island a place they want to return for years to come. My office looks out at one of the employee behind-the-scenes paths, and on Fridays during Halloween Haunt I’ve enjoyed watching a parade of hundreds of scare-actors passing by my window on their way to work. 6. Are there certain types of rides you don't like? No. I always ride trying to understand the intention of the ride. Is it for Thrills? Family moments? Nostalgia? There are some rides I love because my kids like them and I love watching their reactions and sharing that experience with them. Other rides I love because I grew up riding them, and, of course, some because of the speed and thrills. If there’s one ride I don’t care to ride at Kings Island, it would be Boo Blasters- but only because my wife gets a higher score than me every single time. 7. What is your favorite ride at Kings Island? The Beast, but Mystic Timbers is a close second. Like so many others in this area, Flight of Fear was my first LIM launched coaster, so it’s also near the top of my list. 8. Before taking this position, did you visit or have an account on KICentral? Yes. KICentral welcomes Chad to Kings Island and we look forward to working with you in the future!
  6. 18 points

    Don OUT as PR

    Inside sources have confirmed that Don is no longer the Public Relations Area Manager at Kings Island. I want to be one of the first to congratulate Don on 10 years as the PR person at Kings Island. Career highlights include amazing world wide coverage of Robbie Knievel's record breaking jump at the park in 2008 and nation wide coverage of Mystic Timbers during its opening. I wish Don well on his future endeavors. Sources say that you will still see him around the park, though. He will be making sure you to still wish you a #KIBestDay. "If Don does half as good of a job on the mobile app as he did in PR then we're all in for a real treat." -Clark W Griswold
  7. 18 points
    As we were walking through Planet Snoopy with our boys this evening, we were approached by a staff member that said she likes to find families with kids that like Snoopy and we're given this! Very cool end to our day!!!!
  8. 17 points

    Oktoberfest Area Facelift?

    The current state of the glockenspiel should be considered a crime. Edit: I'll be constructive instead of just complaining. I think the following could bring a much need facelift for Oktoberfest. 1. The Festhaus- Rip out the crappy, overpriced cafeteria food and replace it edible, overpriced German style cuisine. Have you ever been to the Hofbrauhaus in Newport, KY on a weekend? The place is packed and it's wonderful. A very entertaining and different experience featuring good beer, delicious food, and live German music. This could be the seemingly absent sit down restaurant in Kings Island's food lineup. This would require serious management and training in order for it to be successful. But with the current state of things... Eh. Who knows. Also, as noted above, give the building some TLC and restore the glockenspiel. Sheesh. Show a little pride. 2. Hanks Burrito Hack (err... Shack.)- One of the great mysteries of the universe is why Kings Island seems hell bent on dropping restaurants in Oktoberfest that have nothing to do with Oktoberfest. I mean you have Chinese, Mexican, and so forth. But no German food. It's like walking around the World Showcase at Epcot and except it's not because it's horrible. This would be a prime location for a nice German style bakery that could sell baked goods and pretzels that weren't warmed in a microwave earlier in the week and left in one of those spiny glass cases. 3. The *whoever sponsors it* Beir Garden- This wouldn't need too much of a change. Just keep a nice rotation of beers going with a nice menu of shareable German inspired appetizers and items from the above mentioned bakery. 4. Flat Ride Expansion - Time to say bye to the Slingshot and hello to a big ol' Ferris Wheel with an awe inspiring lighting package. On the chopping block next would be the ladder game. Replace that with a mild to medium, family friendly flat ride with a festive German theme. If this would requires sacrificing the Coney Mall Basketball Challenge, I won't lose sleep. 5. Adventure Express - I think AE is the most underrated coaster in the park. It deserves some love. As much as I enjoy the original ride concept (purely due to nostalgia) I'd be fine if the ride was re-themed and updated because it really needs it. It could be as simple as, "Black Forest Adventure Express." The existing architecture could be updated to reflect a more German/Barvarian feel as well as the tunnel theming. I don't think you'd have to go to crazy to make it work. It would just be nice to see the ride get some TLC and reflect its former glory. 6. Music and Atmosphere - Simple. German music and cool light packages, Maybe have some kind of interactive light show with the pond, fountain, and the (hypothetical) Ferris Wheel. Thats all, Folks!
  9. 17 points

    2018 Construction in Coney Mall

    A Ferris Wheel would most likely be circular
  10. 17 points
    I really missed the excess of foliage and scenery. When I was growing up, a lot of the park's interior was under developed and left untouched. Areas like swan lake and the mining building were nice because it was something to look at and it added to the charm of the park. Don't get me wrong, Diamondback is one of my favorite rides of all time but I miss the old mining company and the scenery it had. I love new rides and attractions but there are also times where I wish certain parts of the park were left untouched. Sometimes I like to feel like I'm not at a bustling amusement park, if that makes any sense http://kiextreme.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=79
  11. 17 points
    King Ding Dong

    What could 2018 bring KI

    Taking a year off from adding rides and focusing on food service would be my choice.
  12. 16 points
    I would be thrilled with a simple No Basketballs Day.
  13. 15 points
    I had always wanted to create a podcast for KIC when I ran the show. Never got the job done. I was listening to an unnamed coaster podcast that made me feel a little out of the loop. It has devolved away from discussions about the amusement industry and focuses more on immature bragging about drinking. This leaves a void in the market. KIC has a treasure trove of content that would be great for a monthly or weekly podcast. Topics on the forums could be discussed, as well as having guests, discussions through social or the forums, etc. I think the staff has it in them! What do you say, boys??
  14. 15 points

    Official: WinterFest 2017

    This was probably the most amazing atmosphere you could have imagined for Winterfest. It’s cold, snow on everything and still snowing. So glad I made the trip tonight.
  15. 15 points

    2018 Construction in Coney Mall

    Taken from RC Expedition.
  16. 15 points
    In October, Cincy Magazine reporter David Lyman called me to learn more about Winterfest. Although I did not have any experience with past Winterfest events, we had a good conversation about what KIC members have been posting and shaing on KIC. After about 30 minutes of being interviewed with David, he had enough info to write his story. It was nice for KIC to make it to Cincy Magazine. Here is a part of the artice and a link to the full article. http://www.cincymagazine.com/Main/Articles/WinterFest_Returns_5534.aspx This is just the part where we are mentioned. One of my own Winterfest pics.
  17. 15 points

    Ban the single rider line

    Did you join KIC just to complain about this? Having empty seats actually slows down operation more than full seats. Due to the operators having to wrapping the seatbelts around the empty restraints. So thank you single rider line for keeping all the seats full.
  18. 15 points

    Ban the single rider line

    I am not sure how this upsets anyone, and no one is cutting. Think of it this way. That group of 4 could have been in front of you in the regular queue. That may have caused you to wait another cycle before getting on. Instead they are filling in empty seats by not riding together. In turn actually saving you a cycle wait. Seems they may have saved you time, not hurt it!
  19. 15 points
    There is big fake boat in KY that might want to add to their collection of Dinosaurs. They do need two of every kind.
  20. 15 points

    Dufunctland: Son of Beast

    FYI, while the video is *dramatic*, and tells the basic tale, it barely scratches the surface as to what all went wrong with SOB. It doesn't mention the issues with the designer... a very famous one... that wouldn't ride it... and who himself forced the park into breaking the 200' barrier. It doesn't mention that the park was given two options via a scale graph paper model that allowed them to remove the loop if they wanted. It doesn't talk about the fiasco that was the announcement... for which the park and Montel were not prepared to make... which resulted in a complete dismissal of the PR/Marketing Team. It doesn't mention that it went through 2 logo and theme changes. It doesn't mention that it operated with riders first on Easter of 2000. It doesn't mention that it operated, unaltered, for a select few (your's truly included) before it opened to the general public - but was temporarily re-profiled before the public ever got on. It doesn't mention that in the first weeks of operation, wood coaster crew members were staffed at questionable parts of the ride all-day, every day, to monitor the structure in order to prevent any failures. It doesn't mention that PTC turned down the construction of the trains. It doesn't mention the addition of trim breaks in two areas of the course - or how kicker tires were added to prevent rollbacks. Finally, it doesn't mention that it operated over 4 times as long as "The Bat" which was riddled with issues yet is revered by so many. I wouldn't call it a failure, but I wouldn't call it a success either. I have a long, vested history with SOB. And it will likely go down as one of those (in)famous coasters that people will reminisce (good and bad) for eternity. Ultimately, my opinion is that SOB was waaaay ahead of it's time and technology. It single-handedly ushered in a new era of wooden coasters and could be credited as the modern-day genesis of inversions on "wooden" coasters. Was it one of my favorite coasters? No, not by a long shot. But I sure did enjoy all the hub-bub and excitement surrounding it. Frankly, the loss of the loop crippled the ride by removing it's best feature. The decision to add G-trains must have been made by someone that had never ridden in one... I could have saved them a lot of trouble by sending them to ride "The Boss" at SFSTL. Prior, SOB was rideable - but these severe and drastic knee-jerk alterations compromised how it was designed to operate and made it brutal. I rode it dozens (if not hundreds) of times prior to the change. (Why, I rode 21 consecutive times for Travel/History Channel filming with a camera mount beside and in-front of me with no issues.) However, I only rode it about 3 times after the loop loss and train switch... it was horrendously bad and intolerable... far too rough for me. I found it ironic that they actually made the complaints WORSE with the changes. My last ride was at night in Sep of 2008... and when I got off I knew I would never ride it again... so I said a quiet little goodbye then and there. Bittersweet... the coaster that never was what it should have been... I do wonder what RMC could have done with the ride - it would likely have been a top 10 for most. That's what happened with "Rattler" at Fiesta Texas - SOB's pre-curser that was plagued by the exact same structural and size issues and built by the same people that built SOB... RCCA (The video fails to mention that lawsuits were filed against them for that coaster too.) But truth is, the PR damage is what killed SOB and why it's not there anymore. There was no "converting it" when people would always associate it with sensationalistic news stories of horror rides... like this video. Finally, so much time and effort (not to mention $) had been sunk into it, the park just gave up on it... and traded the clunker for a brand-new Mercedes.
  21. 14 points

    Official: WinterFest 2017

    Here's two pictures of the Eiffel Tower I just took (all taken in legal locations). Seems the lights on the back of the tower are the only ones on as of now. They also have some lights on the poles leading up to the entrance. Also saw reindeer on the top of the entrance building.
  22. 14 points
    If we're still talking antique cars or
  23. 14 points
  24. 14 points
    Magenta Lizard

    Don OUT as PR

    I'm really sorry to hear about this. Few times have I known someone to embody a role quite as well as Don Helbig has done as the public face of Kings Island. Whoever will be the new PR Manager is going to have some big shoes to fill. I am glad to hear he won't be leaving the organization entirely. Best wishes in your new position, Don!
  25. 13 points

    Official: WinterFest 2017

    Drove by again due to having nothing else better to do. The big tree in front of the gate is now lit up:
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