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Posts posted by Shaggy

  1. Whenever I think of Vortex, let alone walk by the empty plot, I feel like I lost an old friend.  I've mourned the loss of that coaster way more than I thought I would.

    Knowing what BGW did with Loch Ness for this season, it makes me especially sad to think of Vortex's demise.  KI has been on a major nostalgia/history kick for several years now... a re-launch of a refurb'd Vortex could have been a home run for them.

    While I understand the reasons for its removal, to me the park still seems "off" without it.  It was a landmark ride - mostly because it was so many peoples first "big" coaster.  As others have said - not only is there a visual void, but also an audio void.  When I walk by that area, its weird to not hear the sound of the metal catwalks rattling coupled with the jingling of the lift and the bell as a train was dispatched.

    I also still stand by my opinion that Vortex's first drop was the best tummy tickler at the park.

    Whatever goes there MUST be a landmark and visual masterpiece worthy of the hallowed land it will reside on.

    • Like 7
  2. Doubt it.

    For posterity - I believe only the front half of the park will be utilized for the event.  At least the first season.

    It will be a nice event that will draw locals.  Louisville needs something like this.  But does their pumpkin event hurt KI?  Not really.

    • Like 3
  3. One of the WORST parts of being a ride op was having to check seats for wallets, cell phones and (in the day - late '90's) pagers. People lost them constantly.  When they did, you'd have to run your hand all around the edges, under the seats, between the seat and sidewall of train etc.  I was never able to hide my disdain for doing that.  The trains were notoriously gross.  However, one such situation gave me one of my best "Working at KI" stories. 

    I had to "swipe" the seat on Beast looking for a lost pager... I reached under the seat, felt something, pulled it out... and in my hand there was a...

    T u r d 

    The people waiting to board the train, and myself, let out a collective gasp and "EWWWWWWWWWWW." I immediately threw it in the trash and demanded a "6", and went promptly to the restroom to scour my hands.  Ecology was called in the meantime... 

    Well, after their inspection - it turned out it wasn't p o o. 

    It was a foam carrot from a prize stuffed animal that had gotten soggy/wet and turned brown from all the grease and dirt. 

    After that, I refused to do the seat swipes anymore.  True story.


    P.S. - We didn't find their pager.

    • Like 2
    • Haha 1
  4. Great find...  the thing that jumped out to me was the fact that the directional mural on top of Enchanted Voyage was in the midst of being painted.  I knew it was added mid-1972, but this captured it in progress.  


    • Like 4
  5. 3 hours ago, KIghostguy said:

    Apparently, this used to be a nice sit-down restaurant. It's such a beautiful building with a great overlook over the safari area. What a waste to use it as just a (former) passholder lounge and a (terrible) counter-service pizza place.

    I was lucky enough to eat there around 2000 or so when it was the original Crown Colony House.  It was a very nice, relaxing sit-down full service restaurant.  Tables had linens, waiters were in formal attire, full bar, high-end menu. (If I recall I believe I had filet mignon) Here's a couple pics I took on one visit there back in the day...




    • Like 4
  6. 3 hours ago, jbeast said:

    I still remember the last day and evening Flying the Eagles at KI. By the end of that night, it was a very somber and heartfelt feeling for so many people there.  I, as well as many, many others absolutely loved that ride. It had a following to say the least. It was by far my favorite flat ride ever. I just could not believe KI was losing that ride at the time. The wild, out of control feeling you could get on the original Eagles was a pure joy! And, along with the bumper cars, every single ride was different in some way. Which made it even more of a cherished ride.  One of my most hopeful wishes is that they would bring them back from Carowinds. 

    I appreciate KI installing another version, but it pales in comparison to the original. Even after all these years passed, I still despise that basketball game in the place of such an incredible ride.


    To his credit, Mr Koontz has tried season after season to get the flyers back from Carowinds.  Once they were installed this last time, it pretty much sealed the option of them being transferred anytime in the near future.

    • Like 4
  7. I saw the new version of the Hatbox Ghost the week it premiered at Disneyland - and I loved it.  Now although I'm excited to see it added to the WDW attraction, I am in the camp of people that has an issue with this version.

    At DL, the Hatbox Ghost appears just as you exit the attic and head into the cemetery "Grim Grinning Ghosts" 2nd act of the ride.  This immediately follows the "Constance Hatchaway" bride subtext where her grooms all lost their heads.  Perfect placement for the Hatbox figure.

    The new version at WDW has the Hatbox Ghost appearing just to the left of the endless hallway - very early in the 1st act of the ride - and long prior to the bride arc.

    The decision on his placement at WDW is obviously related to the recent movie storyline... where the Hatbox Ghost essentially walks/appears in the hallways. 

    However when it comes to the original attraction's storyline - this placement doesn't jive. 

    The general story/idea of the ride is that until you enter the seance room, and Madame Leota conjures the spirts to awaken, you do not physically see a ghost.  Sure, prior to Leota, you get "hints" of the ghosts (shadows... footsteps... rattling doors, a hand trying to escape a coffin etc.) but you never physically see one.

    At WDW, now you do.

    IMO, the placement of the Hatbox Ghost in the WDW attraction defies the original storyline of the attraction.  It just doesnt make sense.


    • Like 3
  8. The numbers seem tend to skew towards parks that not only launch new coasters, but to those that hold popular events.

    Dollywood was the primary host (and an excellent one at that) of the ACE Coaster Con (record-setting-attendance) in June.  Carowinds was secondary.  Seeing how many ballots are cast by ACE members, it seems logical they would fall towards Dollywood.

    Holiday World used to gobble up the GT awards... but since the unfortunate change of hands/management - the park has not catered to the ACE community like they one did.  Hence, the virtual shut out.

    I would suspect KI is banking on Camp Snoopy earning the "Best Kids Area" GT next year.  IMO -Ain't gonna happen.  Its not a large enough expansion, and outside of Coasterstock (for which a return remains to be seen - given recent developments), the park has avoided hosting a large ACE event.  They would need to overhaul the entire kids area to even begin to compete with Wildwood Grove.

    Just sayin'

    • Like 4
  9. My prediction for 2024. 

    Camp Snoopy.  Family coaster.  Amphitheater will remain.  Coaster to the left of it, interacting with flume.  I believe they may finally connect Planet Snoopy with Race for your Life via a path or midway behind Flying Aerial Chase.

    Although "Snoopy's Racing Railway" may be a shared name of the new family coaster, I do not think it will be a clone of the Canada's Wonderland GMBH. 

    If I had to guess, I'd say CF got a package deal on a pair of coasters for Knotts and KI.





    • Like 6
    • Thanks 1
  10. On 7/19/2023 at 11:46 PM, Shaggy said:

    I can already sense the potential for possible disappointment by all the CP fans when this announcement is made.  I think those that have their hopes up for this to have a 500', 600', 700' (etc etc etc) spike, or a drastic change to the layout are going to be upset.  All the speculation over this ride has really run the gamut - there's like a million Youtube videos on it.  LOL!

    In my opinion, its pretty clear as to what they are doing... and they probably don't need a spike any taller than the tophat in order to accomplish it.

    Also, the name is pretty synonymous with CP... so it may be a simple update like "Dragster 2.0" or such.


    TYS... ;-) LOL

  11. I wish they’d sell these online - at KI Gear.  Last year it seemed they were updating the site a couple times a week with new merchandise.  This year, there’s only been a handful of merch offerings online - all season.

    For an avid Pin/Merch collector- like myself - who can’t get to the park every week, it’s maddening to see things being sold only at the Emporium.  

    I wonder why they aren’t listing things online?

    • Like 1
  12. I can already sense the potential for possible disappointment by all the CP fans when this announcement is made.  I think those that have their hopes up for this to have a 500', 600', 700' (etc etc etc) spike, or a drastic change to the layout are going to be upset.  All the speculation over this ride has really run the gamut - there's like a million Youtube videos on it.  LOL!

    In my opinion, its pretty clear as to what they are doing... and they probably don't need a spike any taller than the tophat in order to accomplish it.

    Also, the name is pretty synonymous with CP... so it may be a simple update like "Dragster 2.0" or such.

    It will be interesting to see reactions online following the announcement.  I am glad CP is reinvesting in their signature attraction, but frankly, I simply want it to work - consistently and safely.  It doesn't need to break any records, it doesn't need to have a total re-theme, it just needs to function properly - the way it should have from the start.  Can you imagine if they go through all of this only to face another bevvy of issues that force extreme downtime all over again?

    Oy - Lets hope not.  I have my fingers crossed for them.


    • Like 4
  13. 51 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

    Would you have thought differently if we received, say, Dominator? It seems we were destined for a GL relocation in some form or another.

    Although I would have found Dominator to be a much more palatable choice, I still would have considered it a used, hand-me-down coaster. 

    It has obviously proven to be the better choice of the two.  It's still operating, still enjoyable, and still draws lines with little downtime.  Cant say that for Firehawk.

    Frankly, I prefer KI wait further between coaster installs if it means the outcome will continue to result in a custom design/layout each time.

  14. 2 hours ago, Tr0y said:

    I would’ve preferred a cloned Fury 325, compared to the “giga” we received. 

    I prefer Orion.

    I was expecting Fury to take my top spot when I rode... but it underwhelmed me.  Sure Orion is shorter, but its elements are much more intense, and better choreographed than Fury.  Orion's first drop, no matter the ridiculous debate of it's height, is far superior.

    3/4 of Fury is high speed, yet drawn-out elements.   I actually find Intimidator to be the more thrilling coaster at Carowinds.

    Now, if you took Fury's length and coupled it with Orion's intensity - you'd have a pretty close to perfect coaster.


    As to the topic at hand...

    I carry a chip on my shoulder when it comes to clones at KI. 

    Firehawk was an abysmal coaster - sorry, but it was.  It was beneath KI to install a second hand coaster that wasn't even good to start with.  Relocating that coaster to KI ranks up there with removing the original Antique cars as one of worst decisions ever made at KI.   If they had installed a custom B&M Flyer, it would still be there as a marquee attraction. 

    Invertigo is currently the worst coaster at KI.  There's zero novelty, and hasn't been an enjoyable ride for decades.  I assume its still there because of its "curb appeal,"  but it needs scrapped and the land put to better use. 

    For all intents and purposes, Top Gun/Flight Deck/The Bat was (is) a clone - and is the exception.  I think its location (which gets a lot of crap) is actually what makes it feel unique compared to its Canadian counterpart.

    If you look at the list of best coasters at KI - past and present - not one was/is a clone of a pre-existing ride.  The Racer, Beast, The Bat (original), King Cobra (later cloned), Vortex, Adventure Express, Diamondback, Banshee, Mystic Timbers and Orion are KI stars...  and each one of those was built uniquely for the park.

    • Like 4
    • Confused 1
  15. I'm hoping they will avoid the whole "blast/launched B&M Wing coaster out of Wonder Mountain."  I personally would prefer to see it left as is. 

    When Paramount installed Volcano at KD, the design team essentially crucified the structure of Lost World/Fantasy Mountain for what was (IMO) and underwhelming short gimmick coaster.  When the gimmick - and maintainability - of Volcano wore out,  they were left with no way to salvage what was one of the most unique and over-the-top theming elements ever created for any park (the mountain.) 

    Wonder Mountain is to Canada's Wonderland what Eiffel Tower is to KI and KD.  Imagine if CF suddenly decided to build a coaster that ran up the side and over the top of the Eiffel Tower.  It’s essentially the same idea....  and it’s just tacky.

    I'm in the GCI camp.  Wonderland needs a new woodie.  Its been 42 years since they had a new one.  Seems to me its time...

    • Like 4
  16. Took me a week or so to find the right words to post.  Here goes...

    I had seen Don around the park prior to meeting him.  Specifically. he'd come ride Beast when I was on crew and people would "whisper" about him being "The Racer Guy."

    I first officially met Don at the Son of Beast announcement media day waaaay back in spring of 1999.  I was introduced to him, and Jeff Siebert at the exact same time.  I still have the pic in my files.  

    After I met him,  I'd often see him at KI - specifically on media days - and I always marveled at his KI knowledge and stories.  He always has had a reserved, quiet demeanor.  But once I got to know him I realized what an really outgoing guy he is.

    I was ecstatic to find out that he was hired to oversee Marketing at KI and would carry the torch.  (He was mentored by the great Ruth Voss - and always speaks endearingly of those lessons she taught.)

    Don obviously brought with him a vast amount of ability, knowledge and know-how, but also he had the key ingredient - a passion.  Its getting more and more rare these days for a person in an executive level at any theme park to have the profound history, and love, that he has with/for KI.   Don is the epitome of someone that completely understood the effect that a place like KI has on peoples lives.

    In 2017, it was Don who single-handedly got behind the idea of what was to become "Kings Island: A Photographic Journey."  He was the project's biggest supporter and cheerleader, and without him it would have never happened.  He made a dream come true, just by saying "Yes." For that I will be forever grateful. 

    Although its very sad to know I wont see him in an official capacity at Kings Island, I also marvel at his tenure.  He is to be congratulated on a very long-term, successful run.  In an industry that tends to blow through marketing folks like water, its a testament to his ability and tenacity that he maintained the career at KI for so long.

    I am super excited to find out what his next chapter will be.  Helbig 2.0.  But I mostly look forward to taking many more spins around the park with my friend,  "The Racer Guy."

    Fly birdie fly - thank you for carrying that torch bud.

    • Like 23
  17. The Peanuts license was more or less "inherited" by CF once they took over Knotts Berry Farm in the late '90's  The Knotts Family had first secured the rights from Charles Schulz back in the early 1980's.  

    Prior to the buyout, Cedar Fairs "mascots" were the Berenstain Bears... which held some marketability.  After the Knotts purchase, they expanded the Peanuts license to extend to their other parks.  Peanuts is reliable, safe, steady, and Snoopy is a universally recognizable character. 

    The broad spectrum of HB characters had a much wider appeal in the 60's-early 1980s.  A big part of their success was that every year there were a barrage of new shows, characters etc.  They had their steady characters, but they also constantly introduced new serials to continue to draw in new themes and interests.  However as Hannah-Barbera aged, their empire did too - and by the 90's the creation of new content/characters ground to a halt.  HB productions ceased operation in the early 2000's - and Warned Bros (who bought the rights) had no interest in creating new content, just milking the tried and true goldmines like Scooby.  

    Also, there was a big shift in children's entertainment in the 1980's that changed the cartoon landscape.  Laws were changed that allowed toy manufacturers to create cartoons that served the primary purpose of selling toy lines.  You first saw it with Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony and GI Joe... and that immense success soon expanded to nearly every toy line.  That left a lot of the tried and true cartoon production companies in the dust.  HB had good taste of it with the Smurfs - which became a licensing juggernaut - but that's about it.  That trend continues today... Monster High, LOL dolls,  Transformers etc all have toy line tie ins.

    Kid's taste in entertainment is flighty.  One day Lambchop is the hot property, then within 6 months its Thomas the Train.  So for a park to attempt to ride the wave of what's hot with kids would be futile.  I assume that why CF sticks with the easier, broader Peanuts license. 

    Had HB Productions not ceased/sold out, and still created new content, coupled with successful toy lines, I suspect it might still be a theming staple at KI.

    • Like 3
  18. The key to a proper Camp Snoopy re-theme isn't so much the rides, its the atmosphere. 

    The better Camp Snoopy areas (Carowinds & Knotts - not to be confused with CP's lesser version) are very woodsy, densely tree-covered areas with a remote wilderness/log cabin like feel.

    If KI's plan is to "re-do" Planet Snoopy, they will need to gut the area and spend a great deal of the budget on installing more mature landscaping and tree covering.   Right now, the entire back half is a concrete jungle with a lot of very bold-colored rides.  

    Camp Snoopy and Intimidator at Carowinds : r/rollercoasters

    Hopefully Adventure Port is an indication of the kind of job they can do... but it needs to be top notch if they hope to re-gain the accolades the kids area once had.  

    Side note: Having recently visited Carowinds, the thing I took the most note of was the attention to modernization of restrooms.  In the newer areas they took the time to gut/remodel the bathrooms as well - and it made a huge difference in the enjoyment of a day at the park.  KI's restrooms are nearly something from the dark ages - antiquated and nasty.  Amenities such as a clean, fresh bathroom score a lot of points with guests.  They need to spend a good deal of capitol on that sort of basic infrastructure.


    • Like 8
  19. 7 minutes ago, MDMC01 said:

    How did that happen? Could it have been from force/pressure or weather related?

    Fury's track flexes quite a bit - so obviously that put a great deal of stress on the support that didn't have much give.  Its a stress break.  

    I would suspect a re-engineered support may be in store, not a simple replacement.

    I would also expect Orion to be closed pending a close inspection of similar supports.


    Glad it didn't happen last Friday, when I was there riding it...

    • Like 5
    • Thanks 1
  20. 5 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

    I like how Adventure Express is used to highlight the park’s past lore: Amazon Falls, SOB, King Cobra, etc. It makes sense that a coaster that features ancient ruins would have some metaphorical park ruins incorporated into the theme.

    Don't forget Flying Dutchman.  The Arches are now being called "Dutchman Arches"

    • Like 3
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