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Everything posted by VortexBFForever

  1. Millennium Force (10) vs. Adventure Express (4)Top Thrill Dragster (10) vs. Blue Streak (5)Steel Vengeance (10) vs. Flight of Fear (1)Diamondback (10) vs. The Racer (4)The Beast (10) vs. Mystic Timbers (9)Magnum XL-200 (10) vs. Rougarou (3)Banshee (10) vs. Raptor (1)Vortex (4) vs. Maverick (10) You're welcome, @BeastForever.
  2. @IndyGuy4KI I'm not surprised. Maverick is one of my favorite rides at Cedar Point! -BFF, who had to wait only five minutes to ride Maverick during her Cedar Point excursion in September. Hooray for Early Entry!
  3. Millennium Force (3) vs. Adventure Express (3) Top Thrill Dragster (3) vs. Blue Streak (3) Steel Vengeance (5) vs. Flight of Fear (1) Diamondback (3) vs. The Racer (3) The Beast (3) vs. Mystic Timbers (3) Magnum XL-200 (5) vs. Rougarou (1) Banshee (6) vs. Raptor (0) Vortex (2) vs. Maverick (4)
  4. In that case... Millennium Force (10) vs. Great Pumpkin Coaster (3)Top Thrill Dragster (11) vs. Wilderness Run (1)Steel Vengeance (10) vs. Flying Ace Aerial Chase (2)Diamondback (11) vs. Woodstock Express CP (1)The Beast (10) vs. Woodstock Express KI (3)Magnum XL-200 (10) vs. Backlot Stunt Coaster (2)Banshee (10) vs. Cedar Creek Mine Ride (2)Valravn (6) vs. Adventure Express (10)GateKeeper (5) vs. Blue Streak (10)Vortex (10) vs. Iron Dragon (3)Maverick (10) vs. The Bat (2)Raptor (10) vs. Invertigo (5)Rougarou (10) vs. Corkscrew (4)Gemini (5) vs. Flight of Fear (10)Wicked Twister (6) vs. The Racer (10)Firehawk (4) vs. Mystic Timbers (10) Bring on Round 2! You're welcome. -BFF, who last voted 13 days ago.
  5. The KIC community has changed a lot over the six years I have been a member here. Lately I have really missed seeing my original KIC friends (namely @Beastie1980, @ohiocolts, @Fire-Beast-OF FEAR, @Princess Sparkles, @LoraX, @Original and a few others whom I'm probably forgetting at the moment) post on here. They used to post here a lot and now I hardly see them anymore. I miss them. Thankfully there ARE friends who DO continue to post here, and I definitely appreciate that! @IndyGuy4KI, thank you for posting about the feedback. I would agree about the negative stuff seen on here. KIC isn't perfect nor will it ever be, but I would hate for it to come across as unwelcoming to any new members. I greatly enjoy seeing all the different (and sometimes controversial) opinions expressed here and I hope we as a community continue to help facilitate an environment where all of us can express our honest opinions without the fear of being shot down. Also: I know all of us feel like complaining every now and then; I pity the members who have had negative experiences, whether on here or at the park, but it also tends to kill the mood. I have been guilty of complaining too and I am doing my best to avoid complaining on here as much as I can. I still enjoy KIC after six years, even with its ups and downs!
  6. I had fun seeing a few fellow KICers tonight! Congratulations to @XGatorHead 8904 for spotting me first! He said I could give my M&Ms to someone else, who turned out to be... @MDMC01! I also saw @DeltaFlyer and @Rallyomalley throughout the night. It was great to see you all again! I enjoyed my first Park Services shift! Even though I was in Rivertown all night, it felt great to walk nonstop around the big area that it is, and the simple task of using a pan and broom (and occasionally answering a guest’s question) offers a nice break from the more demanding ride operator job. I miss working at Train for Winterfest, but I enjoy Park Services too! Hopefully I can help at Train a couple of times. Not surprisingly, my favorite place to be tonight was on the connecting walkway in front of Vortex. Yes, there’s the obvious location-related reason, but I also found it to be a quiet, calm and relaxing place to take a break from the action over by Train and Mystic Timbers, all while still doing my job. The accompanying harp music in the area adds a lovely touch. My next time back won’t be until December 15 at the earliest, since I need all the time I can to prepare for my finals which are in just two weeks! But it’s comforting to know that this lovely winter wonderland will be waiting when I can finally return.
  7. My first shift of Winterfest is tonight, and I am excited! If any of my fellow KICers plan to attend tonight, they have their chance to be the first KICer to ever spot me working as a sweep and not a ride operator! Since I am in Park Services, I can be found on any walkway in the park. Are you up for the challenge? Even if you're not the first to find me, say hello anyway! I love seeing fellow KICers when I'm at work, whether it'd be at Vortex, WindSeeker, or anywhere else!
  8. That's me at Vortex! I have worked there there long enough to tell if a train miscatches on the lift or if a train arriving on the safety brakes either slows down or stops just by listening. I have also been able to suspect any possible abnormality on the trains (or at the very least, a noise slightly different from what I'm used to hearing) by listening to them when they are moving. This year I actually tried to tell which train was going up the lift by listening for any subtle differences in their anti-rollback noise, but I have yet to get to that point as the train I guessed would not match the train actually on the lift. If the trains have ANY differences whatsoever in how their anti-rollbacks sound on their 56-second ascent, one must have a highly sensitive, highly trained ear to even remotely notice them.
  9. My favorite place to watch the tree lighting is from Snowflake Lake. I would skate during Session 1 just for this purpose. During the countdown and until the end of the song, the colored lights shine all around the rink too and it's really cool (given it doesn't throw off my balance! ). I cannot wait to experience that again this Winterfest!
  10. As much as I loved Nickelodeon Universe, I enjoy Planet Snoopy too! Peanuts was a part of my childhood, as I had a few comic books that I read quite frequently, and I still have a VHS tape with “It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown” lying around somewhere that I used to watch all the time (even when it wasn’t Christmas!). I don’t think Snoopy or the Peanuts gang is leaving KI anytime soon.
  11. With the arrival of Kings Mills Antique Autos, I am really hoping that Racer and Vortex get repainted. Both of them need it. The last time Vortex got new paint was nearly ten years ago (2009) and I have absolutely no idea when Racer was last painted. I was actually looking at Vortex pictures from 2003-2004 (not long after its 2001 repaint) in the KIC photo gallery and it looked amazing compared to today where the orange rails are pretty much yellow! I also noticed the blue paint on several supports was starting to peel while riding Vortex on Closing Day.
  12. Millennium Force (2) vs. Great Pumpkin Coaster (1) Top Thrill Dragster (2) vs. Wilderness Run (1) Steel Vengeance (3) vs. Flying Ace Aerial Chase (0) Diamondback (3) vs. Woodstock Express CP (0) The Beast (2) vs. Woodstock Express KI (1) Magnum XL-200 (2) vs. Backlot Stunt Coaster (1) Banshee (2) vs. Cedar Creek Mine Ride (1) Valravn (1) vs. Adventure Express (2) GateKeeper (1) vs. Blue Streak (2) Vortex (3) vs. Iron Dragon (0) Maverick (2) vs. The Bat (1) Raptor (1) vs. Invertigo (2) Rougarou (1) vs. Corkscrew (2) Gemini (1) vs. Flight of Fear (2) Wicked Twister (1) vs. The Racer (2) Firehawk (1) vs. Mystic Timbers (2)
  13. It looks like they were removed, because at the beginning all six of them are there and not long into the video, the two closest to the bandstand "disappear." So there are in fact only four of the pedestals present on the finished rink. I'm glad those last two were removed as I found that area of the rink quite cramped to skate through last year. especially during the session's peak when the most people were skating. Also, since it has not been mentioned yet: remember the benched area at the front end where we put on/took off our skates? I noticed that is no longer there and that the second benched area at the back end by the bandstand will be used this year. I'm liking these changes as it improves the look of the rink as you walk in the front gate, plus even more space in which to skate! For reference, here's a pic of the rink from last year, where all six pedestals and the benches at the front were present:
  14. @kingsislandfan1972 Sandwiched between the associate lot and the handicapped lot is a little mini-lot with two rows marked by signs saying "VIP Parking". I walk right by it every time I'm walking in to work. It is right in the front of the parking lot and it is as close, if not closer, to the front gate than Preferred Parking!
  15. I am so glad to hear the Train is running both engines on the weekends! I know from my experience last year that not everyone was willing to wait ~45 minutes just to ride the train. Fun times
  16. Now that the season’s over... ...how many rides did Vortex give this year? (It’s okay if you prefer not to say it this early... I can wait )
  17. So many memories from this season...where do I even begin? For those of you who prefer not to read longer posts, I will condense my many moments the best I can. (It's a long list though...so please bear with me. ) April 8: Training Day (albeit for WindSeeker only since it was only 44 degrees i.e. too cold for Vortex) where I got to clean two of Vortex's trains and get retrained at Op-2 and Op-3. April 12: Vortex Training Day - sunny with a high of 75! Now you're talking! Got to hang out with my crew at Vortex and get retrained at every position except Drive due to the limited time for which we had the ride. April 14: OPENING DAY YAY!!! Got retrained at Drive and picked up on my work as if Closing Day 2017 was the previous week. Also my first guest visit of the season was that same day! Most of May, June, July, and half of August: Working and dealing with the many different things happening each day, from cleaning up the occasional protein spills at both rides to riding out numerous summer thunderstorms. Nothing like seeing those dark clouds in the western sky and knowing that at any minute your ride will be called to close for inclement weather... Also, I got trained at Racer sometime in May or June, but I don't recall which day at the moment. May 4: 500th ride on Vortex at long last!! May 16: I got trained to drive WindSeeker! While it is not as fast-paced as driving Vortex, it's still pretty fun! May 18: I got to work during Coasterstock ERT (for which Vortex was open). It was fun meeting a lot of fellow coaster enthusiasts, as well as engaging in my crewmates' slap-happy shenanigans while waiting for riders. May 19: Got trained at Monster, Scrambler, and Dodgem this fine morning. My favorite part about working those rides is getting to see the riders' faces as they ride. It's so much fun to watch them having fun! May 20: First of my few shifts at Firehawk! I had fun learning how to work another of my favorite rides. This day also brought the first of many beautiful rainbows that I would see over the course of this season appeared in the sky following one of the first of many summer thunderstorms. May 26: I got re-Trained at Train, my Winterfest ride! I saw a lot of my crewmates from Winterfest, and got to meet a few people from other rides who had come by to help as well! I got to help out twice more at Train during the summer, including one shift where I ended up staying at the Soak City station for a couple of hours due to the Train closing for weather, during which I danced to the on-board music. Now that's how one spends a weather downtime while working! May 27: Visited with some school friends after work, which included us seeing Gravity for the first time and attempting to play "I Spy" while riding Vortex. That was interesting to say the least. It was also our first time eating at Coney Bar-B-Que, and all of us thought it was really good! June 4: Visited as a guest with my parents, cousins and nephews, including parking in the guest parking lot for the first time since 2016. I got to relive some of my early Kings Island memories by riding a few of my first favorite rides, including the Fairly Odd Coaster (Woodstock Express) and Plankton's Plunge (Kite Eating Tree). Also very nearly snapped my glider while riding Woodstock Gliders, but didn't go for a full-out snap out of fear of being yelled at. I don't know if that 2015 snapping ban is still in effect. June 6: Got trained at Race For Your Life Charlie Brown (a.k.a. Flume) which would become my "second home ride" this season as I would pick up several shifts to help the crew when they were low on numbers. I also got trained to drive Linus' Launcher! June 12: Made a quality drawing of an angry Snoopy at the Peanuts Sketch School, and rode Diamondback, The Beast, Shake Rattle & Roll, and Vortex in the rain. My last ride (also my 537th ride) on Vortex was in a torrential downpour and I got COMPLETELY soaked. It's a good thing I enjoy the rain! June 19: Three momentous occasions happened on this day: my incomplete 547th ride/my 1/3 ride on Vortex occurred (and I did get to take my 547th complete ride later, in the same seat as my 1/3 ride!); a (double?) rainbow appeared after a late afternoon storm, and I got a fireworks ride on Vortex that same night! June 27: My first ever DOUBLE RAINBOW RIDE on Vortex, with a couple of my crewmates! The rainbow was beautiful to watch in between inversions. June 29: Got trained at Flight of Fear! Thankfully, my back didn't ache too much from having to bend over to check bars Also I got to go to Flume later in the day to help out. Long story short, working at Flume is a lot of fun when both stations are open. I even got my first night ride on Flume and watched the fireworks from the queue bridge (which actually offers a really nice view of both the Tower and the fireworks!). July 4: Worked all day, which included getting to see the park's Fourth of July fireworks for the first time. I had always wanted to see Kings Island's Fourth of July fireworks spectacular, even if it meant not seeing the fireworks at home (which I had seen every year since childhood). Vortex and WindSeeker were closed for the fireworks, so my crewmates and I got to watch the fireworks with the guests! Also in honor of my very first time driving Vortex (on July 4, 2017), one of my drive hours was the 3:00 hour, which was when I drove for the very first time last year! July 6: That morning, I got to see one of Vortex's trains in the train storage shed (which is a rare sight since 99% of the time all the trains are out) which was definitely a huge #geekmoment to experience! Part of that #geekmoment also included getting to watch Vortex operate in maintenance mode! Also later that day I got trained at Adventure Express! July 12: I got trained to run Vortex's startup tests! I would do those on a number of mornings more throughout the rest of the season. One more reason to love the opening shift! Also it was the Build-A-Bear "Pay Your Age" day and that night I met a new riding buddy who had his own Toothless plush; we enjoyed a few rides together on Vortex! July 14: Work day at Firehawk! Also watched the fireworks from International Street for the first time! July 20: A strong thunderstorm (plus the threat of more) forced the park to close at 5pm. It sure made for an interesting work day! July 23: Eight year anniversary of the first ride that started it all, celebrating by working half the day and then riding it eight times afterward. July 25-26, and some of 24: Darien Lake! I had not been back in five years so it was great to back again and be able to stay the ENTIRE DAY (for two days!) this time. I really want to write a report about this; I just need the time! July 28: After a fun (and busy) work day, I enjoyed some park time as a guest until 10:30, including watching the fireworks from a prime spot in front of the fountains! July 30: 600th *complete* ride on Vortex with @whengodsaysgo! Also my third (and my last ) time seeing Gravity. Earlier, I went with one of my crewmates to Build-A-Bear, where she got a plush cat and @Beastie1980 restuffed Toothless for me! August 5: Watched the fireworks from the top of the Eiffel Tower! August 15: Went with one of my crewmates as guests and spent the whole day together, including my first time binge-riding Flight of Fear, which we rode seven times! We also rode Xtreme Skyflyer for the first time (and I ended up riding a second time as well!)! Most weekends in September and October: working! Best study break if you ask me. September 23: Cedar Point for the first time in two years! I revisited my old favorites including Magnum, Gemini, Maverick, Top Thrill Dragster, and Corkscrew, and I got to ride Steel Vengeance!! October 12: Visited Haunt with one of my school friends (I wrote a trip report about this) including three failed attempts to ride Firehawk. No worries though, as we had fun on Xtreme Skyflyer, The Bat, Drop Tower, Invertigo, and Vortex -- all in 40-something degree weather and a drizzle! October 19: Visited Haunt with two more friends (I hope to get that report written soon!). I used my complimentary Fast Lane Plus (from renewing my Platinum Pass) and bought two more for my friends, so we got a lot of rides in including two Firehawk flights! October 20: My last time working for the regular season. I was at Vortex for much of the day (especially since WindSeeker was closed) and helped out at Firehawk at the beginning and end of the day, including getting to test-ride it! I loved my last "shift" at Firehawk and it was so much fun! October 21: A fellow Arrow fan and I rode Vortex 32 times (plus WindSeeker twice) between 2pm and 7pm! I managed to grab the first train of the day on Vortex (as it was just opening at 2 since it had gotten warm enough) and rode in the back row with @MDMC01! Nothing like a great Vortex binge to ride the day away, if you ask me. October 28: Ninth Closing Day in a row which I have attended! I brought along two friends (@Daisy1380# and the friend whom I brought on October 12) and enjoyed one last Firehawk flight with them (and for them it was their first flight as well) as well as two more rides later after catching Vortex's third-to-last train of the season with @Hampshire24. That day showed me that even if I end up changing all the plans which I had planned weeks ahead, it still makes for a very fun day! I could not have asked for a better way to end the 2018 regular season. WINTERFEST, HERE WE COME! 20 days! I can't wait to see what memories I make at Winterfest...and the list that will come from that!
  18. Closing Day, October 28, 2018, may very well be the weirdest/abnormal Closing Day I have experienced. Don't worry, as this makes for quite a memorable day at that! Having attended every Closing Day since the 2010 season, I had my routines and traditions well established and adapted them to whatever new things I implemented each season, such as last year when it was my first time working on Closing Day. Weeks in advance, I had planned to work part of Closing Day (but had not yet committed to it) and then use the remaining time to binge-ride Vortex and Firehawk as a guest. However, I ended up changing those plans just two days before the 28th so two friends of mine (who had never ridden Firehawk) could get their first/last flights. Sunday was their only chance. As much as I wanted to go through with my original plans (as my inner Aspie enjoys plans and routines), I did not want to look back on this day and realize that my two friends never got to ride Firehawk due to my depriving them of their only remaining chance. So on Sunday, instead of committing to my original plans to pick up one last shift with my Windex fam before the 5.5 month offseason would begin, I headed to Kings Island as a guest with Macy, one of my friends from school. We arrived at the park around noon, where we met @Daisy1380#, the other of my aforementioned two friends, at the front gate. Left to right: Drew (Daisy1380#), me, and Macy. Like many others who visited on this chilly, windy day, our main priority was to ride Firehawk together at least once. Macy and I had already tried before, on Friday the 12th, but that night's three attempts had failed. For Drew, it was his first time ever at Kings Island, so this day was his first and only chance to ride Firehawk. We knew from looking (and feeling the wind) that Drop Tower, Eiffel Tower and WindSeeker barely stood a chance (if any) of opening today, so those choices were out. Xtreme Skyflyer and SlingShot, two of the rides we wanted to ride most, were also down due to high winds by the time we arrived. The upside of this was that the wind narrowed down our options. We headed straight to Firehawk...to find it closed. Now before you tell me, I did not look at the displays at the front gate, which had apparently told that Firehawk would (most likely) not open. In fact, I did not find out until AFTER the trip that it was first assumed that Firehawk would not open for the last day. And since I tend to not check social media much if at all during trips, that also contributed to my not knowing until after the day was done. With Skyflyer and SlingShot down for high winds, and with Firehawk closed at the moment, we had one more ride we wanted to make absolutely sure we rode...and if you guessed Vortex, then ding ding ding! An empty station awaited us (as the train in the station had just loaded) and we made our way to the front. Drew and I got in the first row while Macy got in the second after Train #1 arrived. But right after we boarded, Vortex went down due to inclement weather in the area! So we got off the train and back into the queue behind the gates. The other guests who had joined us in line left almost immediately, but I elected that the three of us stay, so we could talk with my crewmates as well as stay dry from the impending rain, which arrived just moments after we had to get off. I pulled out my phone to check the radar, which showed a rather large storm cell just north of us, with some rain where we were. The tail end of the storm was straight north of us, so I knew it wouldn't be too long before Vortex would go back up. I guessed it would go up in 15 minutes, if not 30 minutes at most. Surely enough, about 10-15 minutes later, the phone rang telling my crew that Vortex had the green light to reopen! After cycling each train twice, we finally got to board...again. This time, we were on Train 3 instead of 1. We had our own train for Drew's first ride on Vortex. I told him what he needed to know during the 56-second ascent up the lift hill before we plummeted down what was the world's tallest drop in 1987. The ride was fairly smooth (especially since it had just rained) and we all enjoyed it! Drew enjoyed his first ride on Vortex. While riding Vortex, we saw Firehawk cycling. It was still closed when we went back there, but it would continue to cycle for the next hour. I had already began renting a locker, so here's to hoping we would ride it in the next two hours. In the meantime, we got a picture by the Firehawk sign, Macy and I rode Flight of Fear (as Drew doesn't do dark rides), and we met a group of fellow Koaster Kids fans, including Logan and his dad! That was pretty cool. I also saw Josh and a few other FYE Coasters people. I am definitely looking forward to riding Flight of Fear during Winterfest! Since we already had a locker, we decided to ride Banshee next. I saw another one of my school friends, Emma, who was working! There was no line and no separator, so we got to pick our own row! We chose Row 2 since Row 1 actually had a line. We enjoyed Banshee! Smooth and fun as always, complete with the slight difficulty breathing with the vest restraints. They are comfortable though. The Bat was right next door, so we decided to ride it. Macy sat out on this one because she rode it two weeks ago when she and I were here last, so just Drew and I rode. And like the other rides, The Bat was fun for both of us! We wanted to ride Invertigo, but it too was closed for wind. So we enjoyed a fun ride on Delirium instead! By this time it was almost 3, which meant my locker rental would expire soon. We headed back to Firehawk, which had finally opened! We saw the line, and I wanted to extend the rental on my locker, but I was unable to because it had not yet expired. I would later learn that it would cost me $9 to extend the rental. Now I know for the future that ending the rental on the current locker and paying another $2 to rent a different one would end up costing less than what I had to pay to extend the rental on an expired locker. We joined Firehawk's line, determined to ride it. I knew it would be worth it, especially for Macy and Drew since it would be their first flight. Even though the FunTV said Firehawk had a two hour wait, we waited only 35 minutes, during which I took the liberty of snapping many pictures (I won't post all of them; just the better ones )! My bee and Vortex beanie were able to ride, since they fit in my rain jacket's zippered pockets! Finally, we reached the separator, who sent us to Station 1 (the side closest to the rest of the ride, where the Red train loads/unloads). The 35-minute wait reminded me of my #FirehawkFirstFlight on August 17, 2010, when I had to wait a similar length of time to fly...it gave me plenty of time to watch the ride that would join Vortex, Diamondback, and Flight of Fear in my group of favorites! At last, we stepped aboard the Red train. Our flight went with no problems; it was only thrills as we sped down the first drop at 51 mph facedown and soared through each element. Drew and Macy had finally ridden Firehawk, and both of them loved it (and I did too of course!)! Drew would later declare it his favorite ride. Mission accomplished. We checked SlingShot again since Drew really wanted to ride it, but it was still closed. So we rode Adventure Express and Red Racer instead (it was actually just Macy and me, since Drew is iffy about wooden/hybrid coasters) and then all three of us rode Dodgems. During that time, we also ran into the KIC group by the Coke Freestyle station (which was open ) between Express and Racer. We got a group picture with them and enjoyed talking about Kings Island stuff before we continued on our merry way. We started to head toward Diamondback since Macy and I really wanted to ride it, but Drew realized he had to leave soon. When given choices, he said he would rather ride Vortex again, so we headed back there. When we did get back there though, Drew had to leave. Macy wanted a little break from the rides, so I rode Vortex again by myself. Closing Day: the only day of the season where one can capture an operational Vortex and an Eiffel Tower Christmas tree in the same picture. I chose to ride in the back this time, as I was in the mood for airtime! And boy was it fun! The cold definitely adds to the experience, as did the wind. I believe my Vortex rides on this particular day were my windiest yet! It was roughly 5:00 at this point. Macy wanted to ride The Beast, Diamondback, and maybe Firehawk again, and I had just started to crave a small Vortex binge. I concluded that we would have enough time to hit those three rides and then use the remaining time to ride Vortex as many times as I could before 7pm. We decided to hit The Beast first, since it was on the way from Vortex to Diamondback. We rode in Row 17, my new favorite row on The Beast. Even though I don't ride The Beast very often, I have noticed my appreciation for it has been growing, especially this year when I got to ride it in the rain, as well as during Haunt. Even though I vastly prefer inversions and large hills, I really do enjoy The Beast for what it is. I enjoy every coaster how it is, because each is thrilling in its own unique way. I will try to make sure I ride The Beast more often in future seasons, namely when it rains or there's enough time after dark to ride it as well as Vortex and WindSeeker and my other favorite night rides. I definitely kept that in mind during our cold, raging ride through the woods and over the hills! We started to head toward Diamondback, but I noticed that it was cycling off and had just closed. We went to Firehawk and were just about to rent another locker when I noticed the people who had just boarded the train in the station were now being told to get off. Firehawk was closing for wind/weather as well! I saw Vortex doing the same as we walked back toward it. Fortunately, it made for the perfect time to eat, since both of us were hungry. We went to Juke Box Diner (just before a rush too, so we ended up at the front of a line that would form in the otherwise empty place) and we each got a bacon cheeseburger. We sat over by Vortex's entrance and ate. I enjoyed my first Juke Box Diner food since 2010, but not as much as I enjoy Coney Bar-B-Que. Not long later, Vortex began showing signs of life again, starting with Train 2 going into the train storage shed. I got to watch maintenance do their thing, which was pretty cool! And of course I enjoyed talking with a few of my crewmates who were within earshot. I peeked through the fence at the Antique Autos site, as well as where the holders for Vortex's cars were waiting for the next day, where the cars would be removed from the track and taken to the shop for winter maintenance. Vortex kept cycling its remaining two trains, 1 and 3, before reopening not too long later. Needless to say, I was as excited as a kid in a candy store. Macy was still eating and was willing to wait while I rode Vortex to my heart's content. It was around 6:15-6:20 at this point. I managed to get three more rides on Vortex, all in the cold and sprinkling rain with 30-40 mph wind! The third ride happened to be with a fellow KICer @Hampshire24 and we had fun together! The third of those three rides also happened to be my last ride of the season on Vortex. It was 6:45 and I had just gotten off when the ride went down again due to the other train stopping on the lift hill. When the ride restarted minutes later, the train on the lift happened to be Vortex's second to last train of the season. One of my fellow Vortex fan friends was on that train and he said ot was quite cold up there. In the meantime, I was wanting to be up there, even though I had been up there before, back in June! Vortex eventually began cycling again, and then the guests still in line got to ride. They got to be Vortex's last riders of the 2018 season. Since I was not in that line and the queue was never reopened, I would be unable to ride on that last train. Needless to say, it upset me and #shamelessplug, I cried. Since I have Asperger's syndrome, it's very difficult for me to deal with sudden changes and disrupted plans, and the sudden rush of emotion that comes with such changes overwhelms me greatly, especially if a change determines that your last ride of the season on your favorite ride happened fifteen minutes ago. My crewmates apologized since there was nothing more they could do, and I told them not to worry since I had already got to ride five times, including on what happened to be the third-to-last train of the season. Even though I was upset, I could not and did not complain. There was simply no reason to do so. My plans may have had to change on a whim, but that in no way meant my day was ruined. Not even close. I came around to the exit to say goodbye to Vortex until next spring. The fun of peeking through the closed storage bay doors at the train in there cheered me up a little. And of course I had to get one last picture with my crew (at least those who were present) before we all would go our separate ways until next spring... BUT, my night did not end there. I still had one more thing to do... ...I took my two final flights on Firehawk (one on each train ). Now THAT cheered me up getting to be among the last people to say goodbye to one of my other favorite rides! I will miss Firehawk. I loved facing the ground half the time and going through a vertical loop on my back. It's definitely an unconventional experience, and one which I don't know if or when I will experience again, since I currently don't have any plans to go to Carowinds or Six Flags America anytime soon... And in case you're wondering why I have wings, it's because for this whole day I was wearing a Toothless costume which I had bought off of Etsy, and I enjoyed wearing it to the park thanks to the new rule allowing adults to wear costumes (provided they meet the specified guidelines) on Sundays during The Great Pumpkin Fest! This also meant that I got to literally spread my wings on my last three Firehawk flights ever. For a Closing Day that was definitely abnormal for me, it was still one of the best! I got to see our 'hawk fly for the final time, got one of the last trains on Vortex, and best of all spent the day with two great friends! Speaking of Macy and Drew, they had a lot of fun as well. Drew loved his first trip ever to Kings Island, and Macy loved that she finally got to ride Firehawk after our failed attempts back on the 12th. I loved that they got to ride Firehawk for their first (and last) time! Giving up the opportunity to work (as well as my shot at getting to 700 rides on Vortex by the end of this season) on Closing Day was worth it solely for this reason! Overall this fall I had brought a total of four friends to the park, just so they could experience Firehawk at least one last time. That reminds me, I still gotta write a report about the 19th...another fun night with two other friends! Farewell, Firehawk. It was fun flying with you for eight years out of the eleven you were here at Kings Island: First Flight on August 17, 2010 Final Flight on October 28, 2018 As for Vortex, WindSeeker and the other rides not open for Winterfest: see you next spring in just over 20 weeks! +Vortex: 5 YTD: 192 1/3 Total: 685 1/3 +Flight of Fear: 1 YTD: 11 Total: 27 +Banshee: 1 YTD: 5 Total: 30 +The Bat: 1 YTD: 8 Total: 108 +Delirium: 1 YTD: 4 Total: 36 +Firehawk: 3 YTD: 10 Total: 27 +Adventure Express: 1 YTD: 8 Total: 63 +Red Racer: 1 YTD: 5 Total: 26 +Dodgem: 1 YTD: 3 Total: 12 +The Beast: 1 YTD: 4 Total: 20
  19. She loves roller coasters too, so she loves Kings Island!
  20. While I was there yesterday with two of my friends (one of whom is blind), the crews at all the rides we rode (which were Vortex, Flight of Fear, Delirium, Banshee, The Bat, Adventure Express, Firehawk, Dodgems, and The Beast) were patient and helpful with ensuring my friend boarded the rides safely. Yesterday was so fun! And yes, props to KI for eventually getting Firehawk open! Otherwise, my friend and @Daisy1380# would have not had the chance to experience their first (and last) Firehawk flight.
  21. For the last few seasons, a few rides stayed open until 9:00 for passholders (namely those who had renewed) to ride on Closing Day. I’m bummed that isn’t happening this year but I am glad I got to enjoy it the last few years!
  22. From what I have been told, for Vortex (and presumably the other Arrows), it must be 45 to start up and 40 to continue operating, and on a Haunt night after running all day it can go to as low as 32. Vortex’s closure on Saturday night was mostly due to the wind (the ride itself can handle the wind fairly well, but the trees surrounding the ride may not ) and then later the temperature (which I heard was 32-34 degrees including the wind chill).
  23. After managing to actually catch up on my homework as well as attempt to conquer a Physics exam, I definitely felt ready to go to Haunt for the evening! Usually I go by myself, but this time was an exception as one of my school friends joined me for this trip. Needless to say, both of us were excited! We were originally planning to arrive at the park at 6, but we didn't arrive until 7 due to traffic. I did hear that President Trump was in the area, and that happened to be true in Lebanon when I (attempted) to head south on State Route 48 after turning off of U.S. 42. I didn't get too far before having to turn around, so I had to figure out an alternate route on the spot, using my fairly sharp sense of direction and my friend's phone's GPS to find a way around the road closure and reach 48 via another intersection farther south. Even though it took time away that we could have otherwise spent at Kings Island, we got to explore Lebanon a little, and it made the moment that much sweeter when we finally reached Kings Island. There was some traffic on 71 (since it was rush hour) but as usual, it moved quickly. Now I know that I should never take for granted the low traffic and lack of lane/road closures I face on 99% of my 45-minute, Kings-Island-bound trips. Upon arriving, I noticed long lines to enter the parking lot from both directions on Kings Island Drive. Fortunately, the associate parking lot had no wait. #perksofworkingatKI I wondered if we should invest in Fast Lane to make up for the lost time (there was even a line at the Fast Lane stand when we entered the park) but I decided to see how the ride lines were first, as we came for the rides and didn't care about doing any Haunts. Since it was cold and rainy, I hoped that the lines for the rides would remain short while most flocked to the Haunt attractions. I instead chose to spend my money on riding Xtreme Skyflyer, since both of us wanted to ride it (and I wanted a night rain ride on it for the experience!). The rate was only $10, but with my Platinum Pass discount it was only $9 each for the two of us! We got suited up for our dark, rainy, and COLD flight. After rising above the fog and watching the park shrink below us, we heard "3, 2, 1, Fly!" after which I pulled the ripcord and we free-fell for a solid 2-3 seconds before our harnesses caught us and we flew back and forth over Action Zone! It was still as fun as I remember from my two rides back in August! Even though riding Skyflyer first was my decision, I still thought we were crazy for making Kings Island's scariest ride (in my opinion) our first ride of the evening. I don't regret it though! While at Skyflyer, we saw that Drop Tower had no line! The Bat was next though since we were right by the entrance. Passing the long lines for Blackout and Wolf Pack, we made the scenic journey to The Bat's station, where we waited only one cycle to board. I say "cycle" because only one train was running (which I guess has to do with the rain, much like how a certain other Arrow runs 2 of its 3 trains in the rain). We rode in 4-2 because a group wanted us to go in front of them in line. For the record, it was my first time riding The Bat with one train operation. And of course it was great! The dark and the rain made the ride feel much faster than 51 mph. And like Skyflyer (and any ride we rode that night), it was COLD. Next we joined Drop Tower's nonexistent line, and we rode in seats 24 and 25. It had been a while since my last night ride on Drop Tower, so I was excited for this (and so was my friend, as she LOVES thrill rides like I do). Since it was raining, I got to feel the rain go "up" as we dropped (since we fell faster than the rain) much like on August 18, 2016, when I rode Drop Tower in a downpour! From Drop Tower, we saw Invertigo's short line so we decided to ride it next. The line looked like roughly a two cycle wait, but the separator was seeking out groups of two to fill in the few remaining empty rows. We were a group of two, so we got to get on the next cycle! We were sent to one of the end rows (which are my favorite seats!) and we rode on the backwards-first end on what I would say is Kings Island's most intense coaster! We had fun on another one of my favorite rides at Kings Island! After getting off Invertigo, I noticed it was already after 8:00. We decided to head into Coney Mall Maul. I knew Coney Maul was a scare zone so I kept my eye out for scareactors, of which I saw a good number of them scaring fellow guests (and me on one occasion ). I loved the atmosphere of Coney Maul and how it used the already present "classic midway" theme of Coney Mall to portray a haunted carnival of sorts. While we didn't get around to Pumpkin Eater, I have heard good things about it so I will make sure I can see it at some point between now and Closing Day! We approached X-Base to see if Firehawk was open...and it wasn't. My friend has never ridden Firehawk, so we hoped to ride it at some point since it would (attempt to) operate for only three more weekends including now. We decided to ride Vortex and then check back at Firehawk later. Vortex happened to be down as well, but it didn't look like it had been down for long and had actually started cycling as we approached. The line was still closed though, so we waited outside the entrance with a few people in front of us who ended up leaving after a minute, so we were the first ones in line. Other guests, upon seeing the ride cycling but still closed, either waited with us or walked away. Knowing Vortex, I knew that cycling trains makes an excellent indication of how soon it will go back up, especially since I saw the trains cycle with a few riders on board (the guests who had stayed in line for the time it was down). A few minutes passed before my fellow associate opened the line, and we went in. As I guessed, Vortex was running two trains because of the prevalent showers. Train 2 was on the transfer track while 1 and 3 were running. Since we were first in line, we of course took the opportunity to walk on to the front row. Train 3 waited in the station as we arrived. Now we already knew that riding in the rain on a cold night such as this would already make for a crazy experience like we had on Skyflyer, The Bat, Drop Tower, and Invertigo. But little did we know that Vortex would more than willingly kick it up a notch or even two. I already knew we were in for yet another crazy ride when we rolled out into the rain. The view was excellent as always for the 56 second ascent up the lift, after which we proceeded to get blasted in the face with cold rain and wind for the next two minutes! And let me tell you (and don't ignore this just because I'm a huge Vortex fan...I promise I am not sugarcoating! Please hear me out! ), the ride was absolutely HAULING. Not only was the train running quite smoothly (Seriously, it was pretty smooth! Fellow KICers who rode it last night: would you agree?) other than the snappy transitions of course, but it was FLYING through the elements and would not let up until reaching the brakes! It was absolutely crazy, especially since the temperature was only in the mid- to high-40's!! And also, on a side note, my Toothless hat I was wearing was spared, as it did not fly off; thank goodness. After that epic, wet, and COLD ride, we headed back to Firehawk. Surprise surprise, it was still closed. Either it had not reopened since the first time we checked, or it had gone back up only to go back down a short time after (we were not at Vortex for too long, 5-10 minutes tops). Flight of Fear was right next door but it had a big line... ...so we headed right back to Vortex and rode it a second time! This time we rode in the back for what would be our craziest ride yet. We thought our front seat adventure was crazy enough, but add in all the airtime and intensity of a back-seat Vortex ride...and that was just what we got! Another HAULING night ride complete with a 55 mph, 40 degree blast of wind and rain as Train 1 pulled us over each hill and through each inversion! It literally left me speechless as we disembarked; I was thinking, "WOW...what just happened? That was totally wicked!!" I think it's safe for me to say that aside from my downpour ride on June 12, that was the craziest ride I have ever experienced on Vortex to date! It was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! Both of us could hardly feel our faces after the ride, but we had SOOOO much fun. Back to Firehawk, for the third time...only this time it was OPEN! I got a locker for the few loose articles we had with us, and we got in line. However, the third time would not be a charm for long as it went down AGAIN...and we were only two trains away. Firehawk was actually running only one train (the red train) but at least the line was short. It was just before 9:30, and we had to leave the park by 10 since my dad wanted us back at my house by 11. I suggested riding Vortex a third time, but we were still recuperating from the crazy experience that was our previous ride, so we decided to stay and see if Firehawk would go back up before we had to leave. It started cycling at roughly 9:45, but had not reopened by 9:55 when we left the line, so we ended the night with our failed attempt to ride Firehawk. On our way out (after grabbing our stuff from my $2 locker), we decided that Friday the 26th would make a good backup date, and that hopefully we can go again then so my friend would have one last chance to ride Firehawk. We also wanted to ride WindSeeker, but it was down until it went up RIGHT AS WE WERE LEAVING. As for Vortex, it stayed up for the rest of the time we were there after its brief downtime just before our first ride. We got a total of six rides in the three hours we were there (we took our time ) so even though we didn't do EVERYTHING we wanted *cough*Firehawk*cough* we still had a blast! Quality over quantity! We loved the idea of getting a ride on The Beast (especially since Vortex was quite epic) but like Flight of Fear, it had a pretty long line, and we didn't get to Rivertown since we spent our time in Action Zone and Coney Maul. But hopefully we can come back together on the 26th and fix that (especially if it rains again ). It definitely was AMAZING in here at Kings Island, and we're glad most of the ride lines were short! I always underestimate how much I enjoy Haunt season, even though the fall season is my favorite part of the season! Getting the occasional fog cloud in the face, walking under the numerous spotlights and the other ambient elements, listening to the area-specific music (which of course fits extremely well), and watching my back for any scareactors in the vicinity nicely contributed to our experience. We'll be back! Fingers crossed that my friend can finally ride Firehawk on the 26th! My next time there will be next Friday night when I'll visit with another friend (who has gone with me before, in 2010 and 2013)! (and you may notice, I don't have any photos for this trip, other than one dark Firehawk photo I took while waiting in line. I forgot to charge the battery for my digital camera, and I didn't want to expose my phone to the rain for too long. ) +Xtreme Skyflyer: 1 YTD: 3 Total: 3 +The Bat: 1 YTD: 7 Total: 107 +Drop Tower: 1 YTD: 2 Total: 36 +Invertigo: 1 YTD: 7 Total: 31 +Vortex: 2 YTD: 154 1/3 Total: 647 1/3 +Firehawk: 0 YTD: 4 Total: 21
  24. That’s great news! That being said, don’t be surprised if you see me donning a Toothless costume on one of the Sundays I visit as a guest.
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