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Everything posted by BB1

  1. It seems as if most of our qualms stem from Kings Island not having enough when it comes to value for Haunt. Whether it be due to administrative reasons, or corporate, making it a separately ticketed event would give the park more revenue for the event to be fleshed out more and could bring more revenue to pay for more scaractors. It would also in my opinion drastically decrease the families and increase adult/teen groups who come to get scared and not get photos taken with every character they see. This would be in line with parks like Knotts and Kings Dominion who have stepped up their game in years past. My proposal would be a similar model to what Universal has: One free night per haunt season, with the capacity to get discounted tickets for the remainder of the season. What do you think about separating park admission for something like this?
  2. Some good points here, some things change, others didn’t. I would seriously look at what people were saying last year and what people were saying this year and use that as a bench mark. Some points fellow members discussed were used for Haunt this year whether or not that means people are reading this is up in the air but at least there was some form of progression while overall we saw some recession. ”if you don’t learn from the past you’re doomed to repeat it” or something like that
  3. BB1

    Don Helbig

    So maybe I’m not in the know but where did you get this information? Is there a bonafide source with reference we could see that these claims are true? I’m upset Don’s stone is removed as well but I’m not privy to all of the information out there nor am I about to start a rumor mill about a man’s abrupt career change. In my eyes Don is a private individual who had a private separation from Cedar Fair with professionalism and respect for parties involved. Which out of respect to Don I’m not delving into anything much more than that when it comes to the stone. That’s really it without stirring the pot any longer. He’s going to be missed, I’ve met the man twice at the park and he went above and beyond from what I’ve seen at the park. He has a legacy, he is practically a part of the KI legendarium. He’s the benchmark for PR professionalism and interactivity and the park won’t be the same without him. The fact he put up with a fanboy site about the park he worked at day in and day out is a testament to his dedication to the fans of the park.
  4. Alright rounding out our #1 spots are Last of Us, Dueling Dragons & Yeti Campground Kills. I can't put any above any others as they all have open sets, they all have fantastic scares and they do not let up & they have arguably the best theming in the event. Starting with The Last Of Us, it felt like you were transported into the game and you were a character in the world itself. It had character, it had the scares, it was an amazing haunt that told the story and gave you the scares you crave. For anyone who grew up coming to Islands of Adventure in the 2000's, you might remember Merlin Wood and the Dueling Dragons. I was actually surprised to see that HHN was doing a Dueling Dragons themed haunt but I was excited to see what they had to offer. The last house to look at is Yeti Campground Kills, still on par with the other two haunts prior but it's still arguably one of my favorites. Wrapping up my report I wanted to highlight a few things of note The FEDRA food rations aka a ravioli can with fried enoki mushrooms were amazing. I had no complaints and I kept the can to use as a planter at home The pizza skulls are amazing, you can't tell me they aren't. Surfer Boy Tropical Dream Punch was pretty good, although I will probably keep to my Ghoul Juice as I love the flavor more. Death Eaters were amazing, I loved their set up and the experience was different the 2 times I went back to watch the opening show. Dead Coconut Club 23 felt like something straight out of a 50's sci fi flick. There were some amazing sets and it was a very nice reprieve after doing HHN or starting up the night. The scarezones were somewhat mid for me. I loved the Vamp area, as the woodstock vibe with vampires felt right for some reason for me. It had some amazing sets, amazing music (for once 70's music was used for ambience to make it more believable that the vampires took over a music festival) and the scares were pretty solid. Everything else besides the Jungle area somewhat fell flat but were still good zones nevertheless, The tribute store was amazing, I loved the Earl references and the comic book shop concept actually worked very well for what they did. 10/10 and I probably bought too much merchandise but at least I got that sweet sweet USOAP discount. Overall this year was a roaring success for me. I have minor complaints and one house fell flat in terms of scares but delivered on the theme, which I can't be too upset over. I will be coming back two more weekends in October so I'm excited to get back and return to the campground and Merlinwood once more. Thanks for reading my trip report! Feel free to comment any thoughts you had about HHN this year or ask me anything about the event that I didn't cover here!
  5. Come one come all to arguably the most interesting trip report I've made in a few years.....primarily because I just haven't posted one in awhile. Being a Premier annual passholder, I've been down to USO and IOA a lot in the past few years however the advent of the one free HHN ticket is why I renew every year. This year I decided to do something different, I took my traditional 4 day weekend in Orlando, but I did the regular lines on Thursday, Express on Friday and standard again on Saturday. I'll be breaking down the changes, and why you may want to look at doing something like this if you're coming down later. I want to caveat this by saying I go to various haunted attractions every year, Halloweekends, Knotts Scary Farm, HHN Orlando/Hollywood and so much more. I am in no means a halloween expert, but I would like to think I probably have more skin in the game than most. That being said, historically speaking I rank events as #1 HHN Orlando, #2 Knotts Scary, #3 Halloweekends as each are extremely unique and have experiences that make them worth it for me. HHN Orlando has historically been an excellently ran program, which I will always say it's the best in the nation, from past performance and even this year. I started coming religiously in 19 which in my opinion was the best year YTD. I absolutely loved all of the houses, but Yukon Yeti is arguably my favorite house ever at HHN. Fast forward to this year, with speculation maps showing a possible "bigfoot" house, then the announcement of Yeti Campground Kills I was thrilled to come out to the event and see what Universal whipped up for us this year. I was able to start on Thursday last week with a few friends of mine and we did the standard line with the houses. Noticeably a lot of vacancies in the scares that I could see should have been there. Nevertheless, Friday and Saturday saw alot of those holes filled, which weren't that many to begin with. That being said, we're going to go from my least favorite houses to my favorites (as I have a 3 way tie for my #1 house this year) with some major spoilers so I'll start with the spoiler free spot, then dive into the spoilers 10 : Stranger Things - This should have been a hit for me, as I love the Stranger Things series and I actually watched the last few episodes of the last season in preparation for the event. The theming was amazing, however the scares were not. 9. Chucky Ultimate Kill Count - I'm actually really upset with this house, as many of my FL friends are as well. The scares are great, but it felt like it was more or less the actions and less of the scares like they did in the past. I don't feel like I have to go too deep in spoilers here but it just didn't feel like what the Chucky house should have been. Still overall a great house, far better than Stranger Things but not as good as the next houses. 8. Exorcist - This house was set up with a good blend of telling the story, but also giving the scare..... considering that I haven't even seen the film yet I don't really know how to truly feel about the house. The original OST being played was an EXCELLENT move by the park, the scares were decent, the story was decent. For just being a house it isn't as good as the best of the best but still a solid house overall. 7. Darkest Deal - For being the first in house haunt making my list, it's a solid story with solid scares. I don't have much to say when it comes to spoilers, but the theming was amazing, the use of new technology was out of this world with some amazing scares and use of the set designs. This house focused more on the story being the scare, which is what I love about HHN. It was definitely more of a close quarters style house like Oddfellow's but still packed a punch. 6. Bloodmoon - So from what I understand this house went under a midway change from Roanoke to being a nondescript pilgrim village but it was still a really solid house. 5. Universal's Monsters - This house, is arguably one of the most interesting takes on the Universal Monster franchise at HHN. The Invisible Man, Jekyll and Hyde, Phantom of the Opera and the Hunch back of Notre Dame all in one house all after you. 4. Dr Oddfellow - Ahhh yes the man who created Jack, the man who orchestrates nightmares from his carnival of oddities. This house was what I want every haunted event to have, a circus themed haunt with close quarters and everything you would expect in a haunt. Now for the final three, I can't put either one above each other as they are all respectfully so good, I'll leave that for my next post but every house besides Stranger Things hits hard up till now and I can't stress enough how amazing HHN is with these haunts.
  6. Pro: love the new scare zone, it delivers more and gives a different direction with the flow of crowds. Also love what they did with Pumpkin Eater although it is super small. Con: I’ve been coming to haunt for decades now, and every year it somehow gets worse. The dj’s in Action Zone and Coney Maul zapped the haunt ambience. I’m sorry, but the Macarena or pop is not something I want in what’s supposed to be the best haunted event. Something like this would be GREAT for a children’s event in PS or maybe the waterpark but not the main park. Way too many kids, for an event that used to state publicly that it was not designed for individuals below 13. The chaperone policy is not being enforced and there were as there always is a horde of children running around bumping into my group. The event just feels different from what it used to be. Even looking back 10 years ago it was so much more than what it is now. If you want a family event create a day event that’s at the waterpark, give them that experience like what they used to. Theming is hard to quantify but in some parts it was really good, others it just felt cheap. The park used to use old PT props in coney for the coney maul, we used to have a lot of interesting toxic/alien props which i wonder what happened to them. I’m actually shocked we didn’t get anything in the adventure port area as I thought the park was gung-ho for dia de muertros in the past few years. I’m not going to harp too much on the scaractors as I know there have been shake ups in the past few years and it’s the first night but I really hope the park invests in the event overall as I feel like it’s just a husk of what it used to be. I think my biggest irk is the fact that the park used to have unique attractions like Tombstone, Trail of Terror & Carnevil and they’re long gone. It’s upsetting which I know times change I know the park can’t have certain attractions anymore due to recent additions but I feel like we lost something along the way.
  7. You have to remember that the Golden Tickets are voted on by people who typically have very extreme biases. I know/know of several who have very very strong tendencies to vote a certain wooden coaster off of one night a year instead of the whole year in aggregate. If you can look at me dead in the eyes and say that Guardians is a superior coaster to Diamondback, which I rank well above Orion by the way, you have to be daft. Point is that I personally see these awards as a glorified ACE poll that is skewed as not everyone is going to make it out to every park. I take every poll with a grain of salt, everyone has their own views, but when you have The Beast at 6 and Ghostrider at 9 I question if Knotts were to do a coaster event if their rankings would rise.
  8. I'll say I was not sold on the Adventure Port concept when it was announced. Even going into the park I wish that Oktoberfest was expanded upon. That being said, it's been growing on me with Enrique's; the food is actually not that bad and you get so much value in a burrito bowl. Couple it with the back porch dining area next to the lake and it has quickly become one of my favorite places to eat in the park. The steak burrito bowl with the verde, pico, and the lime alone sets it above most of the in-park food as Grain and Grill hasn't been sitting too well in the past few visits.
  9. Who's ready to ride the 2024 additions only weeks before they announce the 2025 additions?! (I kid I kid) Capital investment is always welcomed in my opinion. While from a chain perspective we're getting a lot of TLC that hopefully will be maintained, I know I'm not the target audience for most of the additions. The biggest move for me was The Bobcat, for a chain that was known to kill off wooden coasters for Iron Horses, this is a change I hope goes to more parks as it's something several parks are lacking.
  10. To be honest I don’t even check online fb groups for tips and tricks. I’m still out of the loop on the new passes even as I’ve been focusing on work and my USO AP. In other news the chef’s special is actually pretty good in light of how small the portions are.
  11. The park is insanely packed for a Tuesday in august. Mainly families, I thought that local schools started this week?
  12. BB1

    KI Comms

    You don't know how many times I heard that working there. Ironically enough, I'm not personally surprised with how things are going. Great people make great programs/objectives, it doesn't take too much to ruin what was a great team at the park. As for the corporate criticism, it's corporate media that isn't often checked upon too often. Heck KI was promoting BB well into 2013 iirc. As for how things have been going and from what I've been hearing it's disappointing.
  13. The short and sweet is yes. Having worked as a lifeguard on Pipeline, being friends with regulars who frequented Pipeline often, I am deeply saddened to see it go. It's a classic that kept a decent line of people coming in and a dedicated crowd of surfer "bums" coming in. For everyone saying this is making room for expansion, I wouldn't hold my breath. If I've learned anything about KI as of late is that just because something is taken out, doesn't mean something is soon to come to the spot. We still have massive glaring holes in the waterpark that have yet to be addressed, this is now another one to add to the list. The positives is that the strain of lifeguard staffing is going to be drawn down because 4 positions will be opened up, but it will still be missed.
  14. A chaperone policy has been needed for the past 2 years. For the past few opening days/preview nights I’ve had a ton of issues with kids line jumping or just acting rowdy in line. Mind you I used to be a kid who went to KI religiously I never had an issue but things have definitely changed. At this point we had a major fight last year, and now this? Where does the park draw the line?
  15. Getting back on topic, I'm excited to be back for Preview day, I wasn't able to enjoy the full day last year so to be back to ride Banshee and Mystic will be a nice reason to take some PTO. I think for myself in particular I'm most interested to see how the food options have changed for the season; coupled with how Kings Island deals with merchandising as I would guess they still have a surplus of 50th anniversary merchandise.
  16. I'm going to put this here instead of making a new topic for it. Kings Island is seriously lacking in a good supporting or keynote launch coaster. From my weekend at Knotts's riding some Xcelerator, to my few days in Orlando this week riding Velocicoaster, it made me seriously consider the overall line up that we have at Kings Island. We have been lacking in a serious launched coaster for some time now, while FoF is a solid classic first, BLSC just doesn't do it for what I feel like the park is lacking. I'll say it once and I'll say it again, I think Orion is fun, but definitely not what the park needed. We have a good invert, with great inversions, but we're lacking a modern launch coaster that blends inversions with solid speed. I would love to see a reintroduction to Intamin if we could, but even if not that, a serious Mack that actually has the intensity a la Velocicoaster would be something I think the park is desperately lacking.
  17. At this point, I would much rather see the park give Backlot the axe more than anything else. It is not very "tall people friendly", it is almost a SIX style eye sore and just doesn't do much for me overall. I think the park would be wise in reinstalling what was previously there (which would give the park dupes to keep lines down) and would give some character back to a part of the park that has been lacking for decades now. I think this way adults (like yours truly) don't feel so weird about riding the scooters, as I along with most of my friends refused to ride after the inaugural year. and a way to flesh out what is currently a very bland part of the park. We could very easily see a modern launch coaster come to the old Vortex plot, AZ congo/Invertigo or backlot behind Banshee in the near/distant future so the lack of a 2000's premier isn't that hard on me.
  18. BB1

    New Job

    Pre-2016 KI was a peak time to work there, because I worked there . They changed the videos ever so often so it doesn't surprise me. Heck I remember Ouimet making his annual video back in the day about corporate success. I honestly wish that I picked up some more KI associate merch (that you kept), I still have every hat from each year of being a lifeguard. Fun fact the 50th Anniversary "field hat" is from the same brand KI gets Lifeguard hats from.
  19. BB1

    New Job

    They had it one year I believe for 2014 or 2015, the video was basically a customer service advert. (The above is an excerpt) Ironically enough that was one of the few corporate trainings besides the E&A training I remember vividly.
  20. BB1

    New Job

    I wonder if they still have the pickle video in orientation? (IYKYK) Honestly have fun! Working at the park is something that is very special and I've made countless friends/connections from my time there.
  21. Many lifeguards used to dine at the SC Subway often as it was close to the break room and it was an affordable lunch. If they get rid of it I'm sure the park has plans for renovating the space out for a new dining experience.
  22. I'm going to be real with you, with my one and only experience at WCO I can say that there needs to be a question gate. Having some guy complain about one employee just solidified my reasonings behind not being a big fan of Q&A. I think if you weed out the fanboys they can be enlightening, but with the fanboy questions it was a waste of time.
  23. Chick-Fil-A has officially been taken off of the park website, Subway, Panda Express, Skyline, Larosa's, Starbucks, Tom & Chee, Cinnabon, Auntie Anne's and ICEE are the last remaining outside food destinations in the park. Honestly a major shame as I loved getting a sweet tea on a Saturday afternoon from there. Would be interesting to see if this was a corporate or park decision (Maybe a question for those evergreen headache inducing Q&A sessions at Coasterstock for those who are going this year) as the restaurant was always packed whenever I went to the park.
  24. Mac Shack was an instant loss for me. I tried it a few times and I didn't think it was worth it at all; especially in comparison to losing Pinks. Chick Fil A leaving is a serious blow, they brought it back due to guest demand and it always had a line when I was there. I am extremely upset with the removal of the Juice stand as I only got it once, and ever since they never staffed it for me to get any more drinks. With everything considered, the "celebration" classic leaving is a major loss. Let's continue the pain with the loss of the Town Hall Museum, which I for one have been eagerly waiting for it's reopening from the "COVID" reason to the we are still working on it reason. For them to just up and say we're not continuing is a major blow as that was a great way for guests to get out of the heat and relax a little bit. No first rider event/passholder preview absolutely is a slap in the face to passholders who in the past got these benefits, now sit here waiting longer for the attraction. I loved the way CP did these functions, having been to a few media days and some charity events, they took it up another level. The only good thing I can see here is that Famous Dave's is coming back to the park proper. The turnip never did anything special for me and honestly just felt like a waste of space as it wasn't that crowded. Having another meat option in the park will seriously enhance the food options overall. However, this is all screaming budget cuts to me. The fact that they are cutting back on basically discretionary expenses really makes me wonder how this season is going to run. Which also begs the question, why is Chick Fil A leaving and Johnny Rockets still there? I don't doubt that the park will have some decent culinary options coming, but this is after Keat's becoming a taco joint, Pink's going the way of the dodo, and now the Juice being demo'd. Everything tied in with the lack of CP Nights which I was planning on attending for the first time this year really just sours the deal. The only ray of sunshine is that with Frontier being gutted means that the park maybe planning a new attraction in that part of the park. I'll say it once, I'll say it again, the park needs a modern GCI or MACK launch coaster, which would fit snug in that section of the park.
  25. IMO I would love to see a Farmhouse style restaurant come to Rivertown, perhaps where the Big Box-O-FUN currently is. I think adding something in the vein of country style cooking with a rustic view would be perfect for the park. I think adding a sit down with a nice view of a coaster or the woods would deliver something that the park is still lacking in; that is if they don't add a new log flume a la Kenton Cove.
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