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johnjniehaus

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johnjniehaus last won the day on December 14 2022

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    Male
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    Harrison, OH
  • Interests
    Rollercoasters, Exotic Plants, Baking, Autograph Collecting, 1960s Music,

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  1. Last year I did an eastern trip hitting Lakemont Park, Knoebles, Six Flags Great Adventure (NJ), Hershey Park, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. (Originally planned to go to Six Flags America but didn't work out). I'm wanting to get back to that side of the country and tack on Carowinds, Dorney, and SFA. The only park mentioned above that I can give advice on is Busch Gardens Williamsburg. First, if they are offering the rollercoaster insider tour when you are going (given you are into that sort of thing) you should definitely take advantage of it. I wasn't sure how "good" it would be but I had a great time and the cost was not bad (included the tour, parking, and 2 skip the line opportunities on all 4 coasters featured on the tour) My guides Dori and Ethan were very informative, took their time with the group, made sure to get to know everyone, and shared some very good information on the mechanics of the rides/history of the park and the attractions. I would definitely do it again if I had the opportunity. In my experience, the food offerings were good and themed to each area of the park. Other information to keep in mind is that Loch Ness Monster is often the first coaster to open in the morning while Verboten is usually the last to open so running straight to the back of the park probably isn't the best idea. Whenever I was there in Aug 2022, Loch Ness Monster closed an hour before the rest of the park (not sure if that's normal or was just that day type of deal but they should have a sign posted if a ride is closing early) Also, if you ride the Skyride, keep in mind that you must exit at the next station (there are 3) and you will have to wait in line again to proceed to the next stop (many guests seemed to be arguing with staff that they wanted to ride "roundtrip" because they had left family members, strollers, wheelchairs, etc at the station they came from) Hope you have a great time and make sure to give us all a full report on KICentral.
  2. This looks awesome! Dorney Park definitely seems like it gets forgotten by Cedar Fair quite a bit. Unfortunately, I was planning on going this year so I might have to rethink my travel plans....
  3. Unfortunately, the older Schwarzkopf coasters are disappearing. Not sure what type of condition this one is in or what repairs it might need but I hope that it's in good enough shape to be relocated rather than scrapped. Thankfully a few have become ACE Coaster Landmarks through the years but it seems that the majority of the preferred ones are still unprotected. I'm going to be crying the day that Shockwave at Six Flags Over TX bites the dust.
  4. Regardless of how you judge it, for the amount of rides/rollercoasters the Cedar Fair parks have, they are very affordable. I traveled a bit over last summer and here's what I found - Kings Island: I have a pass but my extended family doesn't. They paid $20 to park and about $45 per ticket. Not bad at all for a large scale park. Food is average in price Cedar Point: usually about $30ish to park I think but they sometimes have a deal. Tickets usually range from $45-$55 whenever I've bought them. Food is very expensive here in My opinion Busch Gardens Williamsburg/Tampa: $30 parking and tickets can be over $100 if they aren't running a deal. Even the deals are around $60 for entry. Food is expensive Knoebles Amusement Park: Free Parking but I dropped $60+ on tickets for 4 hours and never came close to riding everything...I think an all day ride pass (sold during the week) is around $40. Food is very affordable here I think! Kennywood: free parking if you want to walk a longer distance. Was about $50 a person when my sister and I went last year. Food was normal pricing Six Flags Parks: Usually anywhere from $20-$30 parking, since price increases tickets have been high $50-$70 for 1 day depending on park. Food is also average to a bit expensive I think. Universal Studios: $30 parking and for 1 day to 1 park it's a minimum of $109 and if you want to go to both is a minimum of $164. Food is kinda high too I think.... this place is clearly expensive That's just a few examples. So while there are probably "cheaper" parks than KI, for what you are paying for and the amount of attractions you get, KI is very affordable.
  5. Not sure what to say on this one other than Disney consistently misses opportunities to make money....why didn't they package up some splash mountain water and have Iger sign the certificate and sell it for souvenirs? I mean Cedar Fair sold off Vortex super quick and I'm pretty sure wicked Twister didn't last too awful long either. We still have Kings Island offering cool collectables like racer and beast wood, Eiffel Tower paint chips, And Railroad Spikes or something like that. Don't forget about the vintage Coney island books too! The reason Disney missed out on this golden opportunity to make a bunch of cash off of the remaining splash mountain fans (which according to fan petitions are up around 100k) is the same reason they refuse to release the theatrical versions of Star Wars (unless there's a secret deal with George that prohibits it). I'm just saying that Disney consistently misses opportunities to make some money and instead does stupid stuff like axing magical express, and fast pass, and raising prices.... Guess this is why I'm not in the financial industry or marketing industry because the whole pay more for less motto numerous companies have adopted doesn't make sense to me. I will say it right here right now Thank You Cedar Fair for the Free Year of Gold Passes (2021) and thank you for not raising prices drastically, and thank you for still delivering great new attractions and for maintaining some of the older ones too! So lucky to have KI as my home park!
  6. Yes I absolutely loved the Houdini themed Mad House at Six Flags Great Adventure and as far as I know there's only 3 or 4 in the USA so it would be a welcome ride to Kings Island that could have a great story mode to it. I'd like to see the building get a facelift with perhaps a mine/oil rig design but if that's too difficult or expensive at least paint it brown or something other than the "I'm screaming that I don't belong here white" color that it currently is. However, I think the madhouse is a great idea, great ride, and would also be something families can ride (lower height requirements) and is also an indoor ride that can operate in inclement weather and during winterfest! I'm all for it!
  7. Yes I meant the KI Theater...for some reason whenever I type Tinkers Toy Factory the Festhaus automatically feels natural to type next. (I've already had to correct another forum so thanks for catching me again) My favorite winterfest is probably 2017 or 2018 but Tinker's Toy Factory being in THE Kings Island THEATER (did I finally get it right? :p) was a highlight of the 2022 Winterfest.
  8. Busch Gardens Tampa was a very nice park with lots of shade which is very welcome in FL heat. The ques were also either shaded or indoors...the downside was the park was so busy that I only got one ride on everything I rode during the day. (Sheikra and Iron Gwazi were both closed for maintenance which was rather annoying seeing as I live 14hrs from the park and probably won't be back in the near future) Here's my thoughts on the rides I was able to experience Cheetah Hunt: Definitely the best coaster at this park. Comparable to Maverick at Cedar Point so it's definitely a top tier ride. Montu: Possibly my new favorite invert. I have always personally enjoyed Raptor at CP more than Banshee at KI but Montu was a very good layout and was also very smooth. It also has the old restraints (no tight vests like Banshee) Cobra's Curse: Best Spinning Coaster I've very ridden. Parts of ride are taken forward then backwards and then finally the finale is an out of control feeling of spinning but not to the degree of making anyone dizzy or nauseous. Kumba: Very impressive B&M looper however, I think it's showing some age with it's rattle and mild head banging. It rides very similar to Rougarou at CP which isn't the most pleasant ride experience but it's still full of terrific elements and speedy transitions within it's terrain focused layout. Scorpion: The weakest Schwarzkopf looper I've ridden but still very enjoyable. It's a rather short layout with only 1 vertical loop and and double helix figure 8 section. Surprisingly smooth for it's age and does pull some decent G-Force for a coaster it's size. Sand Serpent: The run of the mill Wild Mouse. Not much more to add. Was enjoyable but nothing to write home about. Stanley Falls Flume: Was a neat log ride that actually traveled the chute rather rapidly (much like Kings Mills Log Flume picks up a lot of speed). Good final hill and water splash too. Serengeti Express: Busch's super long train ride takes you from station to station around and through some wild animal habitats. Tigris: Not a personal fan of Skyrocket II models so opted not to ride this one.
  9. So Jan 2-3 I've been in FL to visit Sea World and Busch Gardens for the first time. Just finished Sea World today and I'll share my experience below. I'll be posting my thoughts on Busch Gardens (going tomorrow) later on. Sea World was definitely a good park with great animals and shows. Saw Orca, Dolphin, and Sea Lion shows. Good amount of shade at the park and beautiful landscaping. I didn't think it was very strong on themed areas (most of the park had the same landscape vibe) but the theming on the rides was definitely very prevalent. Going in I got to See the nearly completed Surf Coaster and it was actually smaller than I had thought it would be. (Shorter in height and length). I love Standup Coasters so hopefully this one will be awesome.... just not sure if I'll be back in FL at all in 2023 and if I am will I be at sea World? Ice Breaker also managed to have it's fair share of issues. First, it was experiencing a late opening due to technical difficulties and then once it opened it had a 2hr wait and then closed in the afternoon because of more technical delays and was announced around 5 that it wouldn't reopen at all. So I did not get to experience Ice Breaker either... On to the rides I did experience. First was the B&M flyer Manta which was absolutely beautiful. Definitely my second fav flyer after Tatsu at SFMM. Second, was the weird water coaster/splash boat ride Journey to Atlantis. Very good, never rode anything quite like it, and it had a short wait earlier in the morning. Was unable to get a second ride due to 90+ min lines rest of day. Third, was the B&M floorless Kraken. I've never got why people like Floorless Coasters and I still curse the day Cedar Point announced the Mantis Conversion to floorless. I personally think that floorless are less unique and often are rough rides (moderate head banging and B&M rattling). However, Kraken was flawless, smooth, forceful, had airtime, great elements, great pacing it was a GREAT ride and if every floorless was like Kraken I would be riding them a lot more than I do. Fourth, was the B&M hyper Mako. So with Mako I hear people saying it's better than Dback and frankly no it's not. Mako is a relaxing floater airtime machine that delivers a smooth ride with perfect airtime that lasts nearly 6 seconds over each camelback. However, after the midcourse breaks, Mako was really lackluster and boring in my opinion....lots of turns with no forces and no airtime. Diamondback is a better hyper from start to finish. Lastly I rode Infinity Falls which might be the best white water rafting ride I've ridden. The huge drop was amazing the actual flume channel was filled with surprises too! If I'm ranking the coasters I rode at Sea World Orlando here's my list - 1. Kraken (blew me away because I expected it to suck and it was phenomenal!) 2. Mako (great airtime but is a little over-hyped) 3. Manta (solid flyer second to only Tatsu, familiar but fun too) 4. Journey to Atlantis (if this counts, it was definitely interesting and fun but can't compete with other "real" coasters)
  10. I'm sorry I meant that Tinker needs to stay in the KI Theater. I can see why that was confusing. I meant to say KI Theater and somehow Festhaus got mixed up in there. I agree that it would be nice to see a show in International Showplace... I'm kinda surprised they don't find a way to use it. The Cincinnati Zoo has a sloped amphitheater they use for the puppet show thing. I also agree that the Festhaus is an odd showplace and that Tinker was always hard to hear in there because of all the talking and clamor of it also being a restaurant. However, Swinging Into Christmas was not very good. Sure it was loud enough but I didn't recognize any of the songs I heard (given I left after 3 songs) and frankly I just thought it was a boring/bizarre show with strange songs. I honestly was more interested in reading my Goodbye Coney Island book I bought tonight for $6.75 than whatever was going on with Swinging Into Christmas. On a different topic they need to keep those premium funnel cakes (creme brulee and peppermint) on the Winterfest menu....they were the best funnel cakes I've ever had.
  11. I still love the 2017 winterfest because it was all brand new and something I'd never seen at the park. (And their sweatshirt quality is impeccable! I've worn that shirt for 5 years and it still looks very new) however, I have enjoyed Tinker Toy Factory in the Festhaus immensely (saw it 3x in one night and many times thereafter) so that's a pro for 2022....
  12. Well I visited for the final time this year as I'll be heading south to FL at the end of the week. My dad got to play Scrooge in what the Dickens tonight which was fun. Got to sit with a guy who works in the entertainment at the park during the Tinkers Toy Factory Show and he was giving us the scoop on all the performers in the show this year. I think that show is the biggest success of the 2022 Winterfest. As always, Poindexter and Santa are awesome and of course my family has a favorite Tinker actor (I believe I was told his name was David, short guy in the blue hat). I finally saw the new Swinging Into Christmas and frankly I didn't stay past the 3rd song...Not sure what the show was trying to accomplish other than drown out the Festhaus noise. Didn't recognize any of the songs and while others may enjoy the show because it's different, I'm a traditionalist and want to hear the songs we all know and love. Give me some Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, Sinatra, Eartha Kitt, Frankie Valli, etc and I'll be happy. Also saw the Cool Yule Christmas which seemed to have a lot more "modern" songs as well. Anyway, one of the best things about winterfest is I guess there's something for everyone but if I had a wish for next year, it would be for a new indoor show with more traditional Christmas songs or even a show based off the movie White Christmas which includes many great dance numbers and songs. Just a thought. Regardless Tinker MUST stay in Festhaus (*edit: KI Theater) and hopefully most of the cast from this year returns for 2023 because I've enjoyed all of their performances. (I do want to see the original version return in 2023 instead of "Christmas Fever Edition")
  13. So according to one guest Flight of Fear was formerly Tomb Raider and his wife corrected him that Tomb Raider was actually at Universal....
  14. I thought gold would have been pretty cool for the 50th and obviously down the road repaint it back to green whenever the gold got worn out. However, the repaint of green was fine too. Just glad to see them giving some of the older rides some attention with new paint. The Racer was definitely my favorite one they repainted for the anniversary.
  15. Shoot! my eyes are so bad I thought the new color was this "brown" color on the track. This coaster really needs a paint job ... I'm thinking now all that is was the faded red that's been there the whole time? Can't say as I can see the support color change but again we've already established I need to get my vision checked!
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