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Shaggy

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Shaggy last won the day on April 25

Shaggy had the most liked content!

About Shaggy

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    KIC Star Member
  • Birthday 12/22/71

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    Male
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    Louisville, KY

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  1. I would suspect... Winterfest prep.
  2. Got it. Yes, the single lift on KCKC used two belts. It's also worth noting that for at least the last few years of operation only one drop chute was operational.
  3. Nope, just one lift.
  4. Actually... The Screamin Demon got relocated to Camden (where it became "Thunderbolt Express") when a deal with Indiana's Fun Spot Owner (Berkley Roberts) fell through. In June of 1987, Roberts blabbed to the press that KI was "planning to build a log flume" and and he had bought the coaster. This irritated KI officials who then denied to the press that the coaster was sold and clarified that Roberts had only entered a verbal "intent" to buy it. In reality, he had made a down payment, but was ultimately unable to finalize a deal to purchase it. Once the deal fell through, the owners of Camden Park stepped in and were able to purchase the ride. To my knowledge, there was no "tie-in" between KI and Camden other than they sold it to them as a business deal. Roberts didn't give up when the Demon deal fell through... he instead purchased the proto-type Arrow launched looper "Zoomerang" from Boardwalk and Baseball (Originally Circus World) in Orlando. The park closed abruptly in 1990, immediately sold the rides and land, and the identical Zoomerang was purchased by, and installed at, Fun Spot. It operated there from 1991 until 2008 as "Afterburner." The coaster that became the Fun Spot Afterburner was the first launched looper Arrow ever built. It was used to develop and test the attraction at their plant. "Zoomerang", "Black Widow" (Riverside Park - now Six Flags New England) and "Screamin Demon" (KI) were the first 3 of these types to operate at any parks. But the Screamin Demon was the first to open to the public. There were 5 more Arrow launched loopers built following, and currently only 3 remain in operation. Thunderbolt Express operated sporadically at it's time at Camden. In it's later years, the launch cable mechanism failed and the park was unable to replace it. (Word on the street was they didn't have the few thousand it would have cost.) The coaster sat idle with the park "intending" to fix it. It was in desperate need of a paint job (it had only been painted once - the year it was installed there) but ultimately they ignored it and rust took over. In it's final years, you could actually see through holes in the running rails. I paid a visit to Camden in 2000, specifically to see (and photograph) the former KI coaster. That was the last time I ever saw it in person. It never re-opened and was demolished in 2004. I've not been back since. Only the one visit. It was such a turnoff, that I have never wanted to go back. Shaggy
  5. I believe, in a separate post, someone was questioning his whereabouts. Mr Harsley is a legend of Cincinnati's Coney Island and early Kings Island. He is to be thanked and congratulated on all the hard work and dedication he showed in the design and creation of so many facets of the parks and attractions. Shaggy
  6. Did you know the Eiffel Tower "Tree Topper" from the one and only Paramount's Kings Island Winterfest is still in use? It's located on the exterior of the Entertrainment Junction building facing I-75.
  7. No amount will ever replace their son. I feel awful for this family. I cannot imagine their grief.
  8. I believe these to be stock photos of KI's first day of public operation - 1972
  9. Oh I could see KI adding one... Cedar Point did. IMO, if KI were to "re-invent" Octoberfest, Adventure Express would be ripe for a total re-theme. It could very easily be altered to a Bavarian theme - which it should have been back in 1991. I'm not sure what will become of Octoberfest. I hope for a huge re-do eventually. For years, the signs have pointed to it going away completely - yet it manages to cling to life season after season. It has always been the most neglected area of the park - long before Cedar Fair, Paramount or even KECO. Fact is, when the park opened Lion Country Safari (now Action Zone) in 1974, it completely land-locked Octoberfest. For 43 years it's been sandwiched between two large, and more interesting areas - that limitation greatly affected how it's stagnated for so long. I personally love Bavarian theming - so I hope it remains and becomes a more viable themed area in the future.
  10. FYI, A lot of you are very interested in Kings Island's history. This season, I'm honored to be blogging for the park on their website about the origins of the park all the way up through all the current rides. The first full installment was posted today. Here's the direct link: https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2017/april/a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-rides
  11. Here's a fun memory I neglected to add to my above post... Without a doubt, the hardest ride to operate was the now-gone Boo Boo's Baggage Claim. It was a kiddie Turtle ride that required the op to time the stop so it landed perfectly in line with the load platform. Inevitably that thing would fall a foot short, or a foot long. I only managed to get that darn thing to stop in the right place about 1 out of 10 times. It was soooooo touchy. "Sit down kids... you're going around again!" Oh, and the attraction that everyone hated... and I mean HATED to be "sent" to was "Hand Carts" in HB Land. You spent all day chasing kids who left the vehicle or walking those stupid cars around that whole track when they stopped pedaling about 1/3 of the way through. They were about 2 inches off the ground, so you were bent over all day. If you were on shift on your home ride and you got told to go to "South Pie" to help - you were doomed - that meant Hand Carts. FYI... this attraction lasted as long as it did because the VP of Operations for years and years at KI, Don Miller, had ridden them as a kid at Coney island and they were his favorite memory. The ride everyone JUMPED at the chance to go to was WWC. Although it was very hot and hard walking on that platform, it meant you would get rotated to the tower where you got to squirt people. Some of the best laughs I have EVER had at KI... as an employee or guest... was working that tower. Man it was fun.
  12. There's also, typically, a hierarchy. When I was there... many moons ago... Each large ride typically had two leads, who if not promoted, maintain the "training up" of the crew. If the leads were promoted before, during or after a season, previous vested crew members could request to be promoted to lead of a ride. In terms of non-lead returning staff, they typically got to request on which attractions they'd like to work. New hires were then used to fill in the gaps left by non-returning employees or skeleton crews. Now, it's been nearly 20 years since I worked there, but I'll give you my experience. I took a PT job there on weekends, requested a position on a coaster and was immediately "placed" on the "Outer Limits: Flight of Fear" crew. (FYI, this was back when there were still official uniforms for the OLFOF crew - yes, I wore the beret!) I didnt begin working there until late summer - fall season only, so I was not fast-tracked to "drive." However I was trained and tested on driving the coaster late in my tenure that season. The following season, at the returning employee job fair, I requested "Beast." I was immediately placed there and it became my "home" ride. However as an experienced and dependable employee on what was (then) one of the best (and hardest working) crews in the park, I (along with many of The Beast crew members) was subsequently trained on about 20 other rides throughout the season. I would get "sent" to a ride if someone called in, or the crew fell short. They could easily train brand new in-coming rides employees, even on their first day, to check lap bars on Beast (or other major attractions.) This allowed seasoned ride ops to be "sent" to fill in on attractions that required them to be "signed off" to operate. The third season, I returned to the fair and made the request to be on "Son of Beast's" inaugural crew. I was informed part time employees would no longer be considered for crews of major rides. The Operations manager, at the time, had made a sweeping decision (which they ultimately reversed as the season got underway- but only after many seasoned part-timers declined to return.) and I was a casualty. Seeing the limitations, I made the decision to end my tenure there. In an ironic twist, that very summer, I left my full-time employer in Cincy to relocate to Louisville for a job with a company I have loved for 17 years now... so, in the end, I would have had to turn down the KI seasonal job anyway. I'll say that my time working as a ride op at KI was extremely fun, exciting, memorable - but also hot and hard work. It ultimately created great memories for me, and I am very appreciative of the experience I had there. Plus, it allowed me to check "Driving The Beast" off my bucket list.
  13. Thanks!
  14. It's hard to tell from the webcam, but does the MT queue go back next to the old Crypt building? It looks like it starts at the drink stand in-between Diamondback and Backlot, then heads back towards Beast, wrapping around the Diamondback fence line, then back to the non-public area behind/beside Beast and The Crypt. But then how does it get back out to the midway and down to MT's actual queue? Also, I thought the park opened at 10... the website indicated that. Did they open early?
  15. Giant crowds on passholder night is not something new. I recall the park being insanely crowded on SPH Previews for Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Outer Limits, Action Zone, Son of Beast... and more. Specifically, the line for OLFOF on SPH night in 1996 wrapped through every permanent outside queue, through temp queues that filled the plaza in front of it, then stretched out to Coney Mall, and all the way to Vortex... AND it had single train operation that night. Here's SOB during SPH night