Hi all! This is going to be my first attempt at writing a trip report so bear with me if the writing is a little less than desirable. I'll be the first to confess I'm no creative writing expert nor a picture taker but here we go anyway. This was going to be our first visit to KI in close to 7 years.
Our family; myself, my wife, and our two children (son age 6 and daughter age 2) made the 600+ mile trek from Kansas City to Cincinnati for a family reunion and planned a day at KI with family and friends for Friday, 9/3. Once we confirmed that we would be visiting the park we began telling our 6 year old son all the wonderful things there are to do at the park. His first question was, "How tall do I have to be to ride the big rides?" He had a blast at Disney this summer and has had a few good experiences at Worlds of Fun, however he was not quite tall enough to ride the "Big Kid Rides". So it was with much excitement that we were able to tell him that he had reached the magical height of 48"!!! Regardless of knowing that he was tall enough he insisted on being measured at least two times a week just to make sure. I can't begin to tell you the emotions that run through a parent seeing your child so excited about something regardless of what it is.
When we awoke Friday morning my wife and I were less than thrilled to see that the skies were grey and there was a light rain coming down. However, knowing that the forecast called for the wet weather to leave the area around noon we got the kids dressed and loaded up with breakfast before heading out the door. Of course the fact that we had already purchased our tickets and this was the only day we had free to go to the park also helped in the decision to go J
We headed out the door around 11:30 to make a stop at Meijer to purchase rain jackets for the day just in case the forecast was wrong, not that weather people are ever wrong of course. As I sat in the car with the kids in the Meijer parking lot while my wife was in purchasing the rain gear I literally watched the last of the rain leave the area and the blue skies appear. I think at this point I was smiling ear to ear as the stars seemed to be aligning for us.
After meeting the rest of our group at McDonalds we arrived at the park shortly after noon as the park didn't open until 12:00 on this day, to find a nearly deserted parking lot. As we proceeded to the entrance I noticed that there was only one security person working at the metal detectors, which appeared to be non-functioning. There were also only two admissions folks working at the entrance gate so I could tell that they were staffed for a very light day, and oh how this thought would prove to be true.
Since we had both of our kids with us and knew that our 2 year old wouldn't be getting a nap that day we had all intentions of getting as much done as we could in about 5 or 6 hours and then calling it a day. With that in mind we immediately headed to Planet Snoopy for some fun with the kids while the rest of the group took off toward Action Zone.
Our first stop was BBoBH. I'll be honest and say that I went to this ride a bit skeptical based on some of the reviews that I've read on here. However, I'm happy to say that any bad feelings I had about the ride were blown away. As far as I know the majority of, if not all of, the effects were functioning, including the fog screen with the image shown on it, what a cool effect that is. Our son had a blast on the ride, no pun intended, but told us at the end that he wasn't sure he wanted to do it again.
The next stop was Charlie Brown's Wind Up so both kids could have some fun. As parents aren't allowed on this ride I can only judge the fun factor from the kids' reactions. Simply put our 2 year old loved it. She was grinning from ear to ear the entire length of the ride. After the swings we made our way to Woodstock's Whirlybirds. Although this isn't a thrill ride it is a great way to get some perspective on Planet Snoopy. Both kids had fun and it was our son's goal to try and "catch" the helicopter in front of us until he realized that no matter how fast you pedal you don't move any faster. After that it became a sightseeing trip for him. This was another proud dad moment where I just watched him sitting back and taking it all in and seeing the pure joy on his face of what the day had in store for him.
At this point we split up into Mom and daughter and Dad and son groups so we could hit some of the "bigger" rides in Planet Snoopy. Well that venture was short lived as once we rode Flying Ace Aerial Chase I knew that the plan of riding "Big Kid Rides" was over. As we were heading up the lift hill on the Ace all I hear from the seat next to me is "Why did I do this? Why did I do this?" Things did get better as the ride went on but once we got off the ride our son promptly informed that he would NOT be riding any big roller coasters. Not a problem in my book as I just wanted the kids to have a good time. We met back up with Mom and daughter and hit up a few more "little" rides in Planet Snoopy. After a few of those rides, all of which left our daughter in pure joy, my wife was able to get our son to ride Woodstock Express. Let's just say the look of fear in his on ride photo sealed the deal that he'd be sticking to smaller rides throughout the park for the day.
It was now around 2:30 so we called Grandma and Grandpa to come meet us in Planet Snoopy to hang with the kids so Mom and I could go hit up the other areas of the park. Well, our daughter was having no part of hanging out with G'ma and G'pa so we all took off out of Planet Snoopy and immediately ran into the other 7 people who had come to the park with us. It made for such a fun afternoon going throughout the park with people we hadn't seen in years!
Our first stop out of Planet Snoopy was…..Diamondback!! I have been waiting to ride this since I first began reading the construction updates on this site. As we entered the line I was amazed, yet again, to see how short the lines were for the day. The line did not begin until the steps leading under the lift hill. As we got to the top of the stairs to enter the station I told the ride op who was sorting that we had 11 people in our group and he started chatting with us right away, sorry but I can't recall what his name was. Someone in the line was talking about how they had already ridden Diamondback a few times and the ride op started in on how he had ridden 835 times or something like that. It was pretty funny to see the look on the other guest's face. I asked for a ride in an even numbered row as I wanted to experience riding "outside" the track. When my wife asked why the ride op simply said "because that's the best way to ride it". Thanks for backing me up dude!!! As we headed up the lift hill I was amazed at the steepness of the ascent and continued to be amazed throughout the entire ride. All I can say is WOW!!! I've read the stories about this coaster but now having experienced it myself I say Thank you Cedar Fair for adding this amazing ride!
From Diamondback we headed back to ride The Beast. What is there to say about a classic coaster? A fantastic ride on a great coaster. I know there has been much debate about whether The Beast is slower now than it previously was and I know that it's been a long time since I've been to the park but in my opinion the ride we had on this trip was similar to any ride I had on it previously. It beats you up a bit but it's a great ride.
On our way over to Vortex we stopped for a quick spin on Shake, Rattle, and Roll so our son could get a ride fix. Surprisingly I had never ridden this before and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I had no idea that it went as high as it did so I was somewhat nervous that our son would not enjoy it. However, when we got off the ride and he immediately expressed his desire to ride it again I knew my fears were unwarranted. Guess the little guy is starting to come around.
As I have had some rough rides on Vortex over the years I told my wife, who normally loves the front seat on rides, to sit in 5-1. Thanks to Terpy and all others who have recommended the magic seat as to my knowledge she had a great ride on it with no head banging. I was sitting in 5-2 and had a smooth ride there as well, much smoother than I recall from riding in the front seat with her before. Vortex is still a great looping coaster in my opinion and I'm glad that Cedar Fair continues to leave it at the park
After Vortex we made the short trip over to Firehawk and Flight of Fear. Our wait for Firehawk was no more than 15 minutes and I think the ride is great! However, I can see how the ride is not worth the long waits that I've heard about from others. Flight of Fear….where to begin. This is a good ride in my opinion but the wait was not worth it. I think the wait wound up being close to 45 minutes which was somewhat surprising to me given how light the crowds were on this day. I like the layout of the ride but it was the one ride on the day that gave me a headache!
As the majority of the adults rode Firehawk and Flight of Fear our son went on Zephyr with some of the older kids that were with us. He LOVED it!!! In the time it took us to ride those two coasters he went on Zephyr 5 or 6 times. Nothing like marathoning the swing! For all I care the kid could have ridden the swing all night as long as he was having fun.
Realizing it was now 6:00 my wife and I talked to each other and decided that we were going to stick it out longer at the park as both kids were doing great! Amazing how the energy level in the park can override the tired factor of a 2 year old that had not napped and had not slept all that well the night before. We went out to the parking lot with the group to grab a bite to eat, guess that's another thing I've learned by reading the posts on KIC over the years. After eating some of the group called it a day but there were about 7 of us that went back in to the park to enjoy the remainder of the evening.
Our immediate family headed back to Planet Snoopy for some night time fun with the kids. As the evening went on I was amazed that we actually had to put on the pullovers/sweatshirts that we had bought at Meijer earlier that morning due to how chilly it was getting. As the sun set I took our son for a night ride on Woodstock Express, I was impressed with the fact that he was willing to give it another try after not liking it earlier in the day. He told me that he had more fun the second time but he still wasn't ready to go on the big coasters.
After Woodstock Express, I and a few others headed over for a night ride on Diamondback, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!! We then went back over to The Racer midway to do some rides that we had told our son earlier in the day he could do. Nothing like wrapping up the day at KI with a ride on Monster!!! Again, he had a blast and it was a great way to finish the day.
Well, I guess not quite the perfect finish to the day as we did have to stop and buy a funnel cake on I-Street, delicious as ever!!!!
So how to sum up the day….FANTASTIC!!!! The weather was incredible and the crowds were virtually non-existent. We were able to do everything we wanted to do and then some throughout the 10 hours we spent at the park. My wife and I had fun and both kids had a blast, which is more important that any type of day that I had!