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Buckeye Brad

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Everything posted by Buckeye Brad

  1. I rode KD Grizzly this past summer for the first time. Got 5 rides in various seats, and I really dug it despite the obvious need for TLC. I have no doubt that a Gravity Group rehab like KI Racer and Beast would make Grizzly an outstanding destination wooden coaster. That quick headchopping dip into the tunnel is fantastic, and the secluded forest setting enhances the experience.
  2. 1. It's not a "show", but I recommend taking the time to walk through the tower gardens. There are timeline tiles for every year since 1972, and neat photo displays along the way that chronicle the history of the park. 2. Nearby the tower gardens is the Grand Carousel. Yeah, it's just merry go round, but its 96 years old and just had a major renovation this past winter. It looks beautiful, and the Wurlitzer organ is a great original touch and sounds fantastic. If you are like me and appreciate rare historic amusement park things, with a ridiculous amount of ornate detail and love, take a ride. 3. As mentioned above, I strongly recommend Phantom Theater Encore. Get there 20+ minutes before showtime. If you are not familiar with the original ride, watch this official POV from KI before you see the show. Plan to spend a few minutes after the show checking out the cool display on the theater lobby that includes some cool models. 4. The fireworks show at 10PM is well worth your time. This year it celebrates 50 years of KI, and includes lasers, drones, and original music. We enjoyed our view from right inside the front entrance.
  3. I rode it last week. Fun, though my body struggles with the backwards run. I appreciated the Banshee style shoulder restraints (not sure if they are new). The tunnel even had changing scents as you zoomed through. It was all very well done, and a perfect fit for an amusement park that’s all about candy. This ride has a somewhat prominent placement in the park so the redecoration has an even bigger payoff than say Invertigo might.
  4. Shaggy, I also rode SDL last Saturday (my first ever HP visit). You will be pleased to know that it ran just fine. I appreciate these oldies and had a great ride. The smiling riders on my train did too. It almost looks like a toy with it’s tiny track and little orange trains snaking around a spaghetti maze of huge B&M track, log flume troughs, and pathways, and feels like an oversized Junior coaster in a fantasy RCT land. I’m glad it’s still here. Great visuals and a refreshing break from the crazy coasters. :^) My son and I had fun imagining the board meeting to name this ride a name in the ‘70s. I personally would have vetoed “Superdooperlooper” in a heartbeat for something more fierce sounding, but now I’m glad that this name won the day. It’s perfectly ridiculous, honest, and charming.
  5. I was there last Saturday, and expected Hershey to be packed. There were lots of guests in the front half of the park, but that back section with Wildcat and Lightning Racer seemed very desolate all day. I rode both of those coasters in the late morning and early evening, and it was always a zero-one train wait.
  6. Racer 75 So this is an interesting experience. I love how KIs Racer towers over all of Coney Mall down its full length. It’s beautiful and defines the area nicely. The queue house is simple and short, leading right to the station. KDs is the opposite. The hill is barely visible from the Candy Apple Grove midway or anywhere else (unless I missed it?). And the line, what a needless Dr.Suess MCEscher maze of ridiculous proportions. Even the exit seemed like the work of a crazy person. Why was this designed like this when KIs was a perfect template? At KI I can reride Racer with the shortest of walks. At KD I’m walking a twisted pointless mile. Anyway, KD also lose points for not racing the trains on my day (I thought they upgraded their system for optimal racing?). They also get penalized for the paint on the coaster looking terrible. The ride however was decent. KI Racer has this split in the middle, where KD Racer stays adjacent all the way back. KD felt a little faster actually, since I feel that KI Racer struggles a bit with the transitions as it gets back to “parallel “. The speed off the turnaround definitely felt faster and reminded me of KI Racer rides from the 80s. I was also delighted to have the final dip (KI Racer’s was sadly removed for a path to FOF). It was as good as I remember and really gives a great little finale that I miss. So while KI Racer surpasses KD Racer in almost every way (especially after the recent TLC), KD Racer is still worth a ride. As with Grizzly, please give this some love. To be continued…
  7. Finally made it to KD at age 48. I’ve been oddly fascinated by this park ever since as a kid in the 80s I learned that there was “another Kings Island” in Virginia. Rather than a full day trip report, here are some thoughts and comparisons to KI. International Street It’s such a weird feeling to see our identical Eiffel Tower standing at the end of a similar but different International Street. The trees here are big and full and really obscure the view. I liked it, but I also like the new cleaned up look at KI. The trees are a good preview of much of KD. The fountain was again similar, but different. It is darker and looks deeper, looking more like a natural lake. I really wanted to go up in the Eiffel Tower and compare views, but it was closed the 3 times I tried. Old Virginia I really like these themed areas. Very similar to Rivertown, and overall consistent and well done. The Shenandoah River log flume was solid. Every bit as fun at KIs. Props to KD for keeping theirs around since I miss the flume at CP and CW. White Water Canyon also fun. It has this interesting feature of dispatching 3 boats at a time, and at one point we all collected and bumped in a mid course brake area of sorts. Even a themed tunnel room at the end with some animatronic saw blades. Grizzly Very quirky location as you enter (and exit) through the gift shop. Could be very easily missed. I admit that this is my absolute favorite genre of coaster: wooden coaster in the woods. My first ride during the day was in the front, and pretty horribly rough. I felt bad that we got The awesome Beast and KD folks got this piece of junk. However, come sunset, I got 4 consecutive rides (second to last seat), and it clicked for me. Sure, it still badly needs work. The mostly empty train and profanity from the other riders confirm that. And the first turnaround is awkwardly slow after a nice drop. But after that turnaround it really let’s loose. The crazy head chopper drop into the tunnel is a 5 star moment. The rest is not long, but I’m telling you it is still a solid wood coaster with just enough mayhem. I bet in the 80s with buzz bars the Grizzly was almost Holiday World level woodie fun. I’d love to see Gravity Group work their magic on this. They could even put a little swoop on that first turnaround and really make this ride roar all the way through. Grizzly deserves it. Even in its rickety condition, those sunset rides were my favorite coaster rides of the day. No need for RMC, just TLC. Please restore this coaster, KD! Ivy Tunnel Kings Dominion earns 100 bonus points for still having their ivy tunnel, with rocking chairs even. It’s long and really dark. I really miss KIs. To be continued…
  8. I was just at Carowinds last weekend, and can verify that Vortex is not there. However, The Vortex train bodies were indeed repainted and run on the Carolina Cyclone, so these kids are not entirely wrong. I did ride KI’s old Flying Eagles, currently called “Mountain Gliders”. An imaginative and well executed theme in my opinion. I’d rather have them at home, but glad to see they are being treated well. Finally, it was a strange feeling to see all the old Firehawk trains stored on the ground under Fury’s lift hill. Who knows if they will fly again?
  9. Great info, thanks. I’ve wondered about the B&M giga lift hills too. Back in the ‘90s, I recall reading that there were engineering challenges with long chains. This was seemingly backed up by reading about chain failures on Magnum, the innovation of the cable lift on Millennium Force, and the separate chains on Steel Dragon. Then in 2012 B&M unveiled Leviathan with what appeared to be a regular giga length chain, that’s almost as fast as the cable lift to boot. I still have not figured out how they solved the problem using a long chain. Maybe the hidden trough has something to do with it? It is certainly more elegant than the traditional chain return gutter far below the hill.
  10. Good point, and for many employees, this is the first day of their first paid job of any kind (with customers). I wonder what percentage of employees today are returning to the same position as last year. Many have switched stations, switched departments, or are now 1st time supervisors. It would not surprise me if over 50% of positions are employees new to that particular position.
  11. The YouTuber and Vlogger theory is interesting. I imagine that even Holiday World would admit that they don’t need any more publicity for this event. Additionally, do they need more YouTube publicity for the park in general? My finger is not on the Youtube HW pulse too closely, but seems like they are pretty well loved on YouTube. Even if it’s true that HW gave extra preference to YouTubers, are we really talking about more than 30-50 spots? I admit I’m way behind the times on this stuff so I’ll admit if I’m way off. In any case, as a 5 time attendee going back to 2002, I’m surprised to not be invited. The funny part is that the lines for Raven and Legend are nonexistent during ERT, so I’d be happy with a “no-Voyage” ticket. I’m weird in that Legend is my favorite.
  12. If that is indeed what happened (sliding out through the (larger than intended) gap, a seat belt between the legs to connect the harness to the seat would theoretically be the needed positive stop (albeit uncomfortably and assuming it does not fail). Ever since my ride on Falcon's Fury I've wondered why the abrupt "untilting" before the brakes. Now I wonder if that was intentional (as a redundant safety measure) to prevent this type of accident. When you think about it, on KI Drop Tower or similar, there should never be any force to eject a rider even if the harness is at a higher angle. Hitting the brakes at the tilted angle introduces a new design consideration. I know very little about ride testing, but it's hard to believe this was not caught during testing.
  13. A few years ago I rode Falcon's Fury (Intamin) at Busch Gardens. It has a similar tilting feature. Something I noticed while riding Falcon's Fury that right around (or possibly just before) the ride hits the magnetic brakes to decelerate, the seats quickly tilt back upright. The result is that as the carriage slows (and your body does not), the forces slowing you down are felt through your bottom. This seems logical, and felt comfortable. In mechanical engineering, its called a "positive stop". Watching video of the Icon Park FreeFall, it appears the seats stay tilted all the way past the brakes, to the bottom. This would likely result in the positive downward forces to your body being felt at a more awkward angle, and if one's harness was high enough, there could be a gap large enough to slip through as the brakes slow down the carriage. The molded part of the seat between your legs might help, but not necessarily. Other differences: Falcon's Fury also has vest restraints, and "seat belts" to assure that the restraints are down far enough. FreeFall has typical hard shoulder harnesses, and no "seat belts". These are just my observations as I try to understand the mechanics of this tragedy. Hopefully design lessons will be learned so no other family will have to endure this horrible loss.
  14. Holiday World sent the first (and possibly only) round of invites today. My first HW event was 2002, and I did not receive an invite. I thought I would qualify as a grizzled veteran with enough history, but apparently I’m just a newbie. ;^) Did anyone here receive an invite?
  15. The length change is an interesting question. Since The Beast is the wooden coaster record holder, every inch matters. :^) I did some quick “eyeball sketching” on my CAD program of the first drop, using the known heights and angles, and some guesses. My guess is that the new curved first drop will add around 4-5 feet. Maybe a couple more, maybe only 2 or 3. I don’t expect the other changes to impact more than couple of feet. The Beast needs only 775’ to beat Steel Dragon 2000 for world’s longest coaster, so this particular Beast upgrade won’t get that done unfortunately.
  16. I can’t speak for the logistics of making this happen successfully, but a well run public transit like this would be amazing. I lived in Germany for a year at age 16, in a typical suburb. I loved the freedom of being able to get anywhere in the city, and country, via an easy-on easy-off rail trip. If anything, a rail system like this would help attract workers and guests to KI from all over town. As a teen season pass holder I would have loved taking the train to KI. I can’t imagine the logistics and displacements of trying to shoehorn a rail system like this today, and as Bodda mentioned, running it properly would be another monumental challenge.
  17. My impression from the podcast (and the KI blogs) is that the track path/profile will not change, only the supports. More specifically, the lower track (that takes you into the tunnel for lap #1) will have its own supports, and the upper track (lap #2) will have its own. They will achieve this using a mix of wood and steel supports that would have been difficult in 1979. Currently there is “shared structure”, which struggles because the banking and directional forces are different on the upper and lower tracks. The new supports will be distinct and optimized for the individual tracks and forces. Since those 2 entries to the tunnel are 2 of my favorite coaster elements ever, I’m encouraged that Brian Kosmac and GG appreciate the “flavor” of The Beast and are intentionally doing their best to preserve it for our great grandkids.
  18. I attended in 2002, 2006, 2015, 2020, and 2021. Every time has been a fantastic event, however the last 2 have felt so much more crowded. Voyage lines were 40 + minutes as Hendricks mentioned, and the “running of the bulls” after the Saturday dinner was one trip away from a serious incident in my opinion. On the other hand, while my son and nephew waited an hour for a Saturday night Voyage ride, I casually got 3 Raven and 4 Legend rides, some without leaving my seat. Those coasters were “ghost towns”. I appreciate Holiday World trying to tweak and improve this beloved event. Some sacrifices will be made, but hopefully the result will be a safe, enduring, special event for years to come.
  19. I’d love something similar to frozen Butterbeer at Universal. Or really, any frozen non-dairy slush type beverage. I’ve found that when it’s hot, cold treats with dairy don’t get along with my stomach. But frozen Butterbeer and similar, I can do all day long. I miss the Stawberry and Pineapple Congo Coolers they used to sell back by the Screamin Demon. if there is something similar today, please let me know as I’m not as familiar with the current offerings.
  20. There appears to be plenty of room in front and left of the front gate for some coaster track. This would be more like Leviathan at CW than GateKeeper CP. In my opinion this is a better option because it retains the feel of the existing entrance plaza, but still creates a fun dynamic of bringing a coaster “outside” of the park. When I visited CW, the “parking lot” elements of Leviathan did create a fun effect.
  21. We arrived very early this morning and just left the late night portion. A fantastic day as always, albeit very crowded. No additional information shared about the tragic fatality beyond the park’s statement and local news coverage. It’s always very sobering when a fatality (or even serious injury) occurs at an amusement park, regardless of cause. I just rode Raven in the back seat a few hours ago. EVERY time I ride and get to that 5th drop, I think about the 2003 fatality. It’s sobering and terrifying. Be smart, and be a protector to your loved ones.
  22. I believe 98% of the hate is the result of the head banging, uncomfortable hard seats, and (in my opinion) a claustrophobic feeling in the trains. I loved it though. Regarding the comparisons to Cedar Point Corkscrew and BG Loch Ness Monster…Vortex was built at a very high elevation compared to those two. Except for the final elements, everything was very high off the ground, which required more steel supports, which were more expensive to maintain. That height made Vortex all the more impressive visually, but I believe contributed to its shorter life.
  23. I scored 2 rides on Friday night…front seat and second from back. In my opinion, these rides were slightly better than my 3 rides last year. Can’t put my finger on any one aspect that was significantly different, just felt solid all the way through. Also, the trim brake did not feel as strong. The first drop is still magnificent. :^)
  24. I was fortunate enough to take a ride on Racer tonight at the friends and family event. Blue side, second seat. Best Racer ride for me in years. The new outbound stretch was whipped cream smooth and the entire ride was great. Great job to KI and GG for all the TLC on Racer. I’d still love a backwords ride, but short of that, I’m thankful that Racer is running fantastic again.
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