Hello and welcome to my latest trip report! I went to Kings Island yesterday- July 13th- and this what happened. I didn't ride any new rides or anything that I have not before so the ride rating system is kinda pointless. Also, I have my own phone now (finally) so I was able to take pictures! (Update: Pictures for some reason not working, so I am removing them and will probably share a few in a manner I know works if requested)
We left the house later than usual, since this was a midnight close, at 11am. We had 5 people with us, me, my sister, and our one friend who was overcoming his fear of coasters from our usual group plus one of my sister's longtime friends and another guy I don't know as well.
Upon entering the park, we headed for Diamondback as they were getting trains out very fast (as seen from the parking lot). We arrived to find a 30-minute wait, which was mostly due to a Fast Lane clog, it would probably have been 15 otherwise. Still considering this was a July Saturday I was expecting even longer, but it was also over 90 degrees outside so I imagine most were at the waterpark. The ride crew was also getting trains out very fast, so that also helped. My sister's friend didn't ride, as she is pretty large and doesn't fit on Diamondback, though she was nice enough to stand in line and wait with us (she is pretty nice). We ended up riding in the back car, with me and our main friend riding in the very back row. Going up the lift and looking around made me think even if KI's Giga is not the biggest, a 300 foot drop is still gonna be plenty intimidating. Got some great floater air, and a little wet from the splashdown but considering the temperatures it wasn't bad at all.
After Diamondback, we headed over to Mystic Timbers to find it with a 20 minute wait and much less Fast Lane clog. My sister's friend fit fine on Mystic, and it was a enjoyable ride- though not too much airtime, oddly. We got the rare tree ending, which is only my 2nd time getting it in nearly 20 rides on the coaster. After Mystic Timbers, my companions went to smoke so I decided to go check Beast, only to find it broken down at the moment. Splitting from my group, I instead went to...
...Vortex! It had a 25 minute wait, but with most other coasters having lines as well or being down (BLSC was 45!) I sucked it up and waited. And it was worth the wait- I rode in 7-1, and got some great ejector on the first drop, nice g's in the loops, hangtime in the corkscrews, and it all ended with a fun forceful helix. A little rough, but not too bad- there was a old man riding behind me and he also enjoyed his ride.
While climbing Vortex's 148 foot lift hill, I saw Beast doing test runs, so I checked it again on the way back. Turns out, it was back open! I messaged my friends and got in line, and waited 1 cycle for 6-2. Beast was running great on this day, sometimes it can feel a bit sluggish in the day but this time that was not the case as it had great speed to it, and it was pretty much the right amount of roughness from 6-2 (a bit bumpy to make it feel more out-of-control but nowhere near painful). However, when my train returned to the station, the line had swollen up to at least a 15-20 minute wait already! YIKES.
After Beast, I found my group, and together we headed of to ride another woodie at KI, Blue Racer. It was also running great- rougher than Beast, but it actually had very good airtime, more-so than Mystic Timbers did earlier! Also looked over at the 2020 Giga Construction, it seems coming along nicely, and footers are clearly visible. It is gonna be kinda cool to see a massive near-300 foot lift hill from this ride next year.
After Blue Racer, we headed into Action Zone. As my friends smoked, I checked the lines- all looked to be around a half hour, so I didn't ride anything and came back. We were hungry, so we went to Chicken Shack and got some food. It was served fast, and we ate. I just got some chicken tenders, which filled me up pretty well. The chicken was nice and moist, with good breading, it could have used a bit more flavor but dipping sauces easily fixed that problem. My sister also got some BBQ Wings and Fries, and gave me half her bread and a wing. The wings were good too, and the bread was great. I have eaten at Chicken Shack a few times now, and it has been a good choice every time. I still miss the Chicken Wraps though.
After we ate, the next show for Gravity was about to begin, so we went and saw it. They added some extra jokes to this show that I did not see last time, and there were less goof-ups as well (though there was one, one of the guys on a bike fell over on their 2nd scene with them, they made a joke of it and continued though). Afterwards, as we didn't see the last show for once, we did the meet and greet, and I got to let the actors know how awesome I thought this show was. Gravity is leaving KI forever on August 18th this year, and will be replaced by a new show for 2020- if you have not seen it yet, do not wait much longer.
After Gravity, we headed down International Street (saw the awesome and expensive Beast model on the way) and then went up the Eiffel Tower for the views...I took a barrage of pics. (Sadly for some reason I cannot link them from the site I am hosting them on)
Afterwards, my group wanted to smoke again, so I went off to ride Banshee. Only had to wait 10 minutes- the line moved very fast! I hope the 2020 Giga line moves this fast as well! The ride was pretty forceful and intense, with great speed and strong g-forces in the inversions. After Banshee, I headed down to The Bat to find it a 1-cycle wait. It was also running pretty good, fast and smooth.
After I got off Bat I found my friends wanted to meet back up, so I headed their way hearing they were now riding Banshee. But the one friend who I still don't know to well lost his phone to her (he wasn't using zipper pockets and was putting it in a loose one) but didn't quite realize it at first so we went and looked all over for it. After a wild goose chase and the eventual realization of what happened, we ended up riding Adventure Express.
The wait was only 10 minutes or so, but I got a wheel seat, and ouch- this was one of the most painful rides I have ever gotten on Adventure Express. I was thrown around in the turns pretty violently, and left the ride with a minor headache. Our friends 1 row ahead though were 100% fine and thought it was smooth! Seat selection matters. However, there was good news for me from this ride- most of the theming was working, and the 3rd tunnel had its "lava glow" effect working!
After AE, we went over to check Beast to see a big line, about 45 minutes worth- we were gonna do a night ride later so we skipped it for now (and I had rode earlier). My sister got some dippin' dots on the way, and I got a soda refill (Red Cream- no matter the stand though, for some reason, KI's Red Cream Sodas were ALL tasting kinda flat!). My friends then decided to ride White Water Canyon, which I figured would have a big wait since it was hot, and wanting to stay dry I went and rode Mystic Timbers since Diamondback appeared to be having issues. It should have been a 35 minute wait, but there was a "phone idiot" 1 train before mine and they briefly had to stop the ride and that added 10 minutes. I boarded Mystic Timbers, and got the very back row. The ride was fast and gave much better airtime this time, but there was a little roughness. Also my riding companion (a random I was paired with as a single rider) kept screaming at the top of his lungs and bumping me- he was clearly forced to ride and not a fan of big roller coasters. I got off missing my usual riding companions as they don't do that stuff. Mystic Timbers itself was running good IMO though.
Speaking of them, I headed over to the White Water Canyon exit to wait for them- the waits for both WWC and Mystic Timbers ended up being about the same, with WWC being just a bit longer so I beat them off. My group met back up after WWC, and we headed towards WindSeeker- I didn't realize it until later, but they wanted to try to get a "Fireworks" WindSeeker ride. Also, we decided to ride Vortex, minus our one friend who cannot do loops and the mere sight of Vortex's twisted track still scares him. It was only a 10 minute wait. Me and my sister's friend rode in 7-1 again, while my sister and the newer guy rode in 6-2. We all got great airtime on the 1st drop again, but while our ride in 7-1 was decently smooth, I did see my friends in 6-2 get thrown around a bit in the 2nd half, especially my sister who is short, and especially in the final helix. She got a minor headache, but it went away a few minutes later. We then all grabbed some drinks, and our friend who didn't ride Vortex got cheese fries from Juke Box Diner and shared them with everyone. They were actually pretty good too!
After eating, we got in line for WindSeeker. We missed the Fireworks cycle by 1 cycle, which was annoying. But we did get a night ride on WindSeeker, which had some very pretty views of the park (though WindSeeker is one of those rides that still makes me nervous- I still have fun on it though). After WindSeeker, my friends wanted to smoke again, so I went and re-rode Vortex for a 3rd time and for my 1st night ride on it in a while. It was now only a 5 minute wait, yet for some reason now they were assigning seats? As such, I got 2-2 instead of 7-1 again, and remember how I said when I rode AE earlier seat selection matters? Yep- riding in a cramped seat in the front of Vortex was not very enjoyable, while riding in 7-1 is great. The first drop has no airtime from the front cars, and it throws you around a lot more for some reason. Ouch. I didn't really get head-banged because I am tall enough my head is over the OTSR's, but I did get shoulder-banged. One bright spot, there was a little kid who also rode Vortex 3 times this same day, and he rode in the car behind me and LOVED it. I think I am just gonna keep riding from 5-1, 6-1, and 7-1 from now on because those are much better seats than 2-2 (unless I am somehow forced to ride in a different seat). Even the dark "night ride boost" can't help overcome that.
After 1 bad ride on Vortex (thankfully also got 2 great rides same day) we met back up and headed to Action Zone, as Rivertown was packed and we wanted that to clear out a bit before we tried to ride Beast at Night. Action Zone was much better, but Banshee did have a 20-minute wait, and our friend who cannot do many inversions can't ride that, so we did The Bat at Night...which was a walk-on for nearly every seat! My friends rode in the very back, but I decided to ride in 1-2 instead. It was a very fun ride, and swinging around in the cool summer air at 50mph in darkness was awesome. My friends say the back was very crazy. We then headed back to Rivertown to find The Beast at a 45 minute wait, but Backlot Stunt Coaster was down to 10, so we rode that instead. BLSC was running great- smooth, had some airtime in a few spots, with the great forceful helix and dark tunnel both in full effect. After riding Backlot, we got in line for Beast as the ques had cleared up and now it was only a 20 minute wait! We waited for it, and got a epic night ride. Beast was HAULING through the woods, and in spite of a nearly-full moon it was very dark- the long tunnel mid ride was pitch black. We got off the ride at 11:55pm, and realized we probably didn't have time to get on anything else, so we got back in line for The Beast and ended up getting the last ride of the night! While we waited for the final train, I noticed a nearly-empty Vortex train with 1 person on it who appeared to be having fun go by- I think that may have been VortexBFForever, LOL. We boarded the final train, and then...ride ops joined us! It was cool to see that you get that perk when you work at Kings Island. Only 2-3 of them stayed off, just to run the coaster 1 more time, plus a mechanic showed up, probably to prepare to put trains up. We headed out into the woods of Ohio 1 more time, and got one more Beast night ride- it was about the same as the 1st one, but that is not a bad thing! Afterwards, we headed over to the front gate, where most of us waited for one of our friends and the newcomer to go try and see if anything could be done with the phone issue. The Royal Fountains were still on for some reason, but looked gorgeous at night with the new lighting package.
Also, I want to make a shout-out to the Kings Island ride crews: you guys were doing an AMAZING job on this day! Almost every ride in the park was getting great dispatches and running at 100% capacity, which really helped with the huge crowds, rarely did we see a line of 60 minutes or longer in spite of a nearly full parking lot.
And so, our friends came back having talked to KI Employees, and we left the park. And that does it for yet another McSalsa trip report! Now, Pros/Cons:
+Rides were running amazingly well (unless you got a bad seat on certain ones)
+Ride crews, as said a minute ago, were doing a epic job
+Gravity is still awesome, sadly it leaves soon
+The Park looked beautiful, especially after dark
-Vortex and Adventure Express both hurt a decent bit if ridden in "bad" seats (Vortex was very enjoyable from good seats though, didn't ride AE in a non-wheel seat...)
-Huge Crowds, Especially After Waterpark Closed, Not Park's Fault Though
And that does it for this trip report! MCSALSA AWAY!!! (As usual questions and comments welcome)
Edit: Could not get pictures to work for now, will link them in a 2nd post here if I can find a way.