My wife and I were chaperones for the annual school music department trip to Kings Island. Fortunately we were only in charge of 2 groups of high school age kids that were required to check in with us periodically, so for us it was essentially a nice date.
I was worried about the weather in the morning but it turned out to be a beautiful day. I did not think the park was very crowded. Usually on these music days it is worse than what we experienced Saturday.
I have lost my desire to ride the big coasters, and I am kind of hesitant to point out what I rode, but I still had fun, and isn't that what it is all about?
After getting all of the kids and chaperones into the park, we had no particualr ride we wanted to go on so we just headed for Rivertown and a look at Diamondback. What strikes me about this ride is that it looks like a coaster on steroids. Everything about the ride is huge - the supports, the track, the trains, even the bolts. 20 years ago that would have been the first ride for me to go on, but I still enjoyed watching it throughout the day. As many have said, Cedar Fair did a nice job with the construction and lansdscaping in the area around Diamondback.
Our first ride was the Rugrats Runaway Reptar - we happened to be near it and there was no line at all so we said what the heck and got on.
Next we rode Avatar - yes it is in the 'kiddie" section but it really is a fun ride. Kings Island could use a few more rides that provide this much fun and not so much thrill.
We then rode Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle since it was quick to get on. I wonder how much time they spend making sure all of the guns work - the ride can be frustrating and not nearly as much fun if you shoot and don't score any points, especially for a kid.
We headed back to watch Diamondback and see if any of our school kids were riding. Then we rode Backlot Stunt Coaster (I'll still ride a semi-big coaster every now and then). I like this ride, it's fun but it is too short.
My wife loves to ride Vortex so we headed back there but the line was pretty long, so instead we did the SpongeBob 3D show. I don't think I will do that one anymore. It's even bumpier now than it has been it seems. And really - isn't time for a new movie? I wonder how much longer this 'ride' will last. It's a pretty long walk back and can get hot waiting in the sun.
Next came our obligatory stop for lunch at Larosa's near Rivertown. We would normally bring a lunch but since we were with the group we did not do this. The prices at this and other amusement parks are just beyond ridiculous now. Two pieces of pizza and a large Coke for $14-15 is just outrageous. But I continue to do it, so shame on me, I guess.
Our afternoon was spent riding Adventure Express, Flight Deck, Shake, Rattle, and Roll, the Scrambler, my wife rode Zephyr, the Carousel, a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Kings Island Railroad, and taking a walk back to watch people get wet (and get some of them wet) on Whitewater Canyon. We also took in the new country show in the FestHaus - it was good.
A couple of notes - Adventure Express - the figures at the end of the ride were not moving their arms and nothing else was working in that tunnel. But this really is a good mine train ride and we are lucky to have it here. Also - I miss the 'real' music on the Carousel. I wonder what it would take to get that fixed? I imagine a lot and there are probably not many people out there that can do it anymore. And the train ride - I have been wanting Kings Island to work on the theming on this ride for years but I guess it will never happen. It does not have to be cowboys and indians, but I can only wonder how a young child's eyes would light up if there were some animated animals along the ride, or some waterfalls or other features added. I have fond memories of the train when I was little and I think it would be nice if this ride got some extra attention.
One other note - there is great photo spot/opportunity on the exit path from Whitewater Canyon. We had a regular camera so I'll have to see how it turns out but we got the train crossing a trestle with Diamondback running in the background.
For dinner we ate at the new place near Diamondback and had a hot dog, a pretzel with cheese, and a regular Coke - there goes another $12. But the hot dog was pretty good.
One last thing - we did see the people that had to walk down the spiral staircase on the Diamondback MCBR. I never found out what caused it but I suspect a sensor or something caused the ride to stop. Better safe than sorry. Must have been quite an experience for those that had to walk donw those stairs, though.
All in all it was great day at Kings Island!