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Everything posted by cdubbs727

  1. I was kind of leery about this. It seemed like it might be pandering, and bringing in some easy iconography to get people feeling nostalgic while papering over the fact that it was a slap-dash, silly show. But I've seen the photos and the video on YouTube, and it all seems really impressive, and done with a lot of love. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a passion project for someone who probably grew up at the park riding PT and was finally given an opportunity to indulge all that nostalgia. We'll be going to the park the last week it's there, and I'm really excited to see this. As a kid, the live entertainment was one of my favorite things about KI. I grew up in the days where they did all the Hanna Barbara shows (I remember "Scooby Doo and the Raiders of the Lost Bark" in International Showcase pretty vividly), and we wouldn't miss any of it. Even the Paramount era had some good shows -- the ice skating show in Festhaus -- the weird "Cheers" show and "Game On" after that. There was even a pretty good laser show in the first Paramount year. Whether it's just growing up or a true decline in quality, I haven't stopped to watch a full show in years, aside from the BMX show they did in Kings Island Theater a few years back (my son loved it). Really glad to see this was done with so much care, and I hope it's just a taste of things to come after the 50th anniversary.
  2. 100% agree. I think bringing PT back would only disappoint many. There's no way they would (or even could) just remake the same ride as was, with all the animatronics and visual effects. It would probably either be a just a re-skin of Boo Blasters or some sort of screen-based thing. I'd rather they update BB to something new; after all, the PT demand is based on nostalgia. I'd rather give today's kids something new that, in 20 years, they'll be telling their kids about. I'm not a big fan of shooting rides. But I will say, we visited Universal Orlando earlier this year and did the MiB Alien Encounter -- and that's how you do a ride like that (not that KI can redo the BB track or have the elaborate effects/spinning that MiB has).
  3. Can't say I'm saddened by this. I was always too leery of these to ride anyway. And, honestly, these upcharge attractions just look cheap and ugly to me; if it's an attraction you could see while walking along the boardwalk in Vegas, I don't really love it as an addition to the park. Honestly, I kind of feel the same way about EXtreme Skyflyer; they feel like cheap, tourist attraction-type places, not well-thought out, themed enhancements to the park.
  4. When I was younger, we'd travel from Detroit to do Spirit Song every year (I was in my twenties and could handle three days of amusement parks and concerts). It was great; we'd camp at the Kings Island campground for a few days, and alternate between roller coaster and concerts. It was the best of all both worlds. I listen to much less Christian music these days, and the idea of spending three sweltering days at an amusement park with church youth groups doesn't really sound all too appealing anymore (although my wife and I had discussed maybe taking our kids one day). Plus, as others have said, it's kind of a waste of a venue to have it standing for just one music festival each summer -- tear Timberwolf down if it's not going to get use. Michigan's Adventure makes good use of their wave pool for similar events in the fall, and I know Cedar Point has built a stage for concerts. KI could look into that. That said, it has a nostalgic pull for me, so I'd still be sad to hear it was canceled (even if I don't know 99% of the groups anymore).
  5. I'm pretty sure the picture was a joke...I would hate to see them turn it into some monochromatic, gray monstrosity, no matter what the theming suggests. Amusement parks need color; would love a new post to be about how DB is receiving a fresh coat of paint (original colors).
  6. Definitely would love to see a complete overhaul of Festhaus. The streamers were a nice touch back in the day. There was also the sense that the entertainment there was supposedly the best in the park; the ice show in particular was always a highlight. Now it feels like whatever show is in there is just something tossed off to play in the background while people eat. Would love a really good bit of entertainment in there. Also, I know this has been mentioned before, but I'd really like them to rethink the food options. The pizza is always among the worst in the park, and the selections aren't anything special (and Panda Express just seems odd in a German-themed building). Would love if it was rethought to an international-style restaurant, with offerings from around the world. Maybe a bit of BBQ, German food (obviously), Mexican...and you could keep Panda Express. When I was a kid, going to Festhaus was a highlight of the day; now it's just "that place we go when it's too hot or rainy." But please bring back the Blue Ice Cream beer.
  7. Like others have said, this reminds me of the Six Flags offer from a few years back that was made for more. I feel like Sea World has been on shaky footing for the last decade or so and is just starting to get itself out of the "Blackfish" mess...this feels like a desperate stab at keeping a hold in the market. I doubt Cedar Fair would take them up on it, and from my few times going to Sea World (back in Ohio, years ago), I remember it always feeling like a letdown compared to KI or CP. I feel like it would almost make more sense for CF to buy SW, as they'd get a toe hold in the Orlando market. But I feel like they want to stay out of that, as it's way too competitive there and they have a nice little thing going by having parks where other chains don't.
  8. Congo Falls was a big deal when it opened, I remember (as Amazon Falls). As a kid, I remember its drop terrified me, and it was guaranteed you'd get soaked. The theming also fit well with the Animal Habitat. In recent years, it feels more like an afterthought. The theming doesn't fit Action Zone (although AZ itself is overdue for a major retheme) and I never see much of a line. It's been visually neglected -- it no longer has that jungle feel to it; it just looks like an ugly piece of steel standing out by itself. And the last few times I rode it, I don't recall getting very wet. I've tried to get my kid to ride it (he's 10) and he seems bored by the idea -- he can still get plenty wet on WWC and Race for Your Life Charlie Brown, and they both take fun routes through the woods. Congo Falls feels like a relic. And if you cleared out Invertigo, Congo Falls and Timberwolf (which basically only exists for Spirit Song these days), you could do something really cool in that area.
  9. I know it's likely inevitable that another coaster will go in the former Vortex spot, but I'd love to see KI think outside the box and really make that area into a special investment. I'm not saying a big roller coaster wouldn't look good there (Vortex was one of the most photogenic coasters in the park) or wouldn't be fun. But I kind of like having that stretch of land reserved for something unique and exciting. Ideally, I'd love to see if they could create some sort of themed mini-area there, but I'm sure space and infrastructure would be an issue (I would love it if CF found some less-expensive bit of IP to make a themed area to, but that's probably a loooong way off). What I'd love is a giant themed water ride. Maybe a larger resurrection of the Keelboats, with trees, indoor features, a great view and a good drop. Make use of The Crypt building if you can. Roller coasters are great, but the older I get, the more I appreciate a really imaginative approach to these areas.
  10. Good to hear! Yeah, International Showplace needs some TLC. Honestly, if the 50th anniversary brought a revamped Festhaus, a great show in International Showplace, and the return of the International Restaurant, I'd be very happy.
  11. I like @medford's idea of an international-themed restaurant. That way, you could keep Panda Express (which some people do like...my wife is one of them) and even, I guess, the pizza (although I've found that the pizza at Festhaus tends to be the worst in the entire park; not sure why). Add a taco bar, some German food...change the burrito shack to a place that serves grilled brats and sauerkraut. Festhaus used to feel special. That was where they had the most elaborate shows (the ice show was in there for a bit) and it was a really cool deal to head in, get a meal and take a break for a bit. Now it feels like an afterthought; the food is usually subpar, the shows have to compete with the arcade (do they even dim the lights for the shows anymore?). I'd love to see them really focus on Festhaus. Put a standout show in there, get rid of the arcade games and TV screens (make it a live entertainment destination). Get good, unique food in there. And move in a good bar with a dozen taps and other options. It's so tossed off right now, but it could be as big a destination as anyplace in the park, especially for families with young kids or older visitors who aren't riders.
  12. Our big Christmas gift to our kids was tickets to Winterfest on NYE (we live in the Detroit area, so it was a big deal -- driving down, doing two nights in a hotel; they were pumped). I always wanted to do Winterfest, and I have to say my expectations were definitely met. I've heard some people criticize the decorations -- I don't know what they could have been in the past, but these were pretty great. I loved that every area of the park had its own look and feel in terms of lighting; my particular favorite was either International Street with all the blues and whites, or the gorgeous area by where BLSC is and Vortex used to be. The only area we didn't spend much time in was Action Zone, mainly because it was 10 pm by the time we got out there and everything was closing. A few of the pros/cons. Starting with the pros: Like I said, the decorations were great. I expected there would be entire areas of the park closed off or that we might just get some Christmas lights thrown willy-nilly around some of the lesser-traveled areas. But it's really impressive how many lights and displays there are, along with all the photo opportunities. Also loved the snow machines over Snowflake Lake (on a 60-degree night, it helped it feel wintry). The ride selection is really great in the winter. Adults can just walk and enjoy things, which is why I don't mind that only Flight of Fear and Mystic Timbers were open (due to lines, we didn't ride either). But for kids, it can be hard to go to one of their favorite places and not be able to ride anything. So I was glad that a lot of kids' rides and flats were open. My daughter loves Boo Blasters, so we got a good ride on that, and my son was thrilled that his personal favorite, Shake Rattle and Roll, was open. For me, I loved the Antique Cars with all the Christmas lights. I wanted to do the International Restaurant buffet, but that appeared to be switched over to a $100/person lounge event for NYE, so we didn't partake. I didn't realize they also had the buffet back in Rivertown, so we ate at the BBQ in Coney Mall instead. Great smoked turkey, brussel sprouts and biscuits. I still am holding out hope that maybe International Restaurant will get a seasonal reopening for the 50th. We'd purchased the souvenir mugs online, but they were all sold out by the time we went to get them (at least at Graeter's). But we still got unlimited hot cocoa through the night, and it was darn good hot chocolate. I was really impressed by the parade. I didn't expect so many floats, singers and dancers, and my daughter (6) was excited to be chosen to ring the jingle bells during one song. I really wish they'd do a parade all year, but I understand that maybe staffing doesn't allow that. But it was great. Staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, despite working a holiday night. As the night wound down, I saw many of them hugging each other goodbye, and I realized it was the last night of the year, and the last time working together for many of them. The camaraderie was good to see. We didn't see any shows, except for my wife and daughter stumbling onto the Mistletones, which they enjoyed. I liked the talking reindeer display in Rivertown. The train ride was fun. Nothing special, but a nice nighttime trip to take. If you have young kids, you really can't beat springing for preferred parking. Makes that end-of-the-night walk so much easier. I was a bit worried about walking around a park that just had vacant rides standing, reminding you of everything you couldn't do. The park does a great job of covering up any rides not in operation. I never felt like I was missing out on anything. Cons: We'd purchased ice skating tickets online, but the line was so long that we couldn't justify doing it. Really, only one. It was advertised that the rides would be closing at 10 p.m. However, I took that to mean the park's traditional rides would close at 10, not that pretty much all Winterfest attractions not on International Street would be closed (the tubing hill, crafts, any restaurants, etc.) Basically, they were funneling us all toward International Street or to the Festhaus. Which meant we were all being packed in tight quarters for two hours -- I get the idea of turning it into a party atmosphere, but at this time of the pandemic, it really felt irresponsible. Very few people were wearing masks and it just really felt like it had the potential to be a super-spreader event. Our kids were starting to crash and my wife and didn't like the idea of being packed in close with a bunch of mask-free strangers, so we peaced out around 10:30. I get wanting to get everyone to one area for crowd control and a celebratory feel, but I wish they'd had different areas throughout the park to do this and spread people out a bit. But that's the only real con. General question: I was trying to sneak a peak back at Timberwolf. Is it gone? It was dark, so I probably just couldn't see it. But I'd heard rumors here about it potentially going.
  13. I actually don't think the story has changed much since the beginning, and from what I recall, the man getting electrocuted has always been part of it. The story's always been the same: Some politician heads to a secret military base where they apparently have a UFO. Believing it to be a hoax, he invites the public in to see it for themselves (he believes it's just a hoax by a local amusement park, lol). He's pranked using an image from a sci-fi show, and then later gets electrocuted, at which point he sees other worlds. The major difference, if I remember correctly, is that the glimpses of other worlds were the same visually, but the narration included more of the original dialogue from the "Outer Limits" TV show. It also included the "we control the horizontal, we control the vertical" from that show. But over all, the story and the video hasn't been altered other than having those references cut. I'd really like to see them overhaul FOF's story and queue experience. Maybe link it in with the overarching Area 72 theme. I'd also love to see some sort of star projections in the spaghetti bowl or something similar.
  14. I'm curious about Flight of Cheer. My assumption is that it's just a holiday name for Flight of Fear...but do they do any theming to it (I know they only did it one year prior and didn't do it in 2019 because of Orion construction). Seems like it might be fun to have Christmas lights and trees in the queue and some sort of sci-fi Christmas theming, maybe lights throughout the spaghetti bowl.
  15. I haven't ridden it in over a decade, so maybe the experience has improved. Honestly, I never hated the ride itself. It just always felt like a cheap addition to KI. And it's too short for me to justify the usually long wait times.
  16. I agree about how the low ceiling really helps sell the entry onto International Street and the grandeur of the Eiffel Tower. The front gates work well as they are, and the building is also home to offices, shops, restrooms and a restaurant, so they'd have a lot to replace if they tore it down. But a remodel to make it a little more festive-looking wouldn't hurt. Honestly, I'd just be happy if they went back to the nicely manicured shrubbery out front themed to whatever is new that year (starting with a 50th anniversary logo would be a good start). And I've beat this drum before, but I'd love to see them do more with the International Restaurant, especially during the season. It used to be such a great spot to go get a nice meal during the day. Maybe overhaul it a bit or make it a lounge/bar would be a good concept. Or just return it to a nice indoor dining experience.
  17. Eh, they're fine. But can be uncomfortable (especially for men). As a kid, I was terrified to ride King Cobra because I thought standing up and going upside down was probably the most terrifying thing ever. When I rode it...it was fine. Some good airtime, a unique experience, but it lost its novelty pretty quickly and the discomfort took over (the only ride I found more uncomfortable to ride was Firehawk...I always felt like I was five seconds from falling out). I also did Mantis at CP. Again....it was fine. Same discomfort, but the larger ride also seemed to put more pressure on my legs. It was fine if there was no line; no use waiting for it too long if you've already done it once.
  18. The Beast's second lift hill is just classic. First time I rode, about 30 years ago, it was completely unexpected. Day or night, lifting out of the woods and suddenly seeing the park come into view is still great. Honorable mention: Beast's 1st lift -- Someone mentioned the smell of grease; also the smell of the lumber. Plus I love how slow it goes, just building the dread. Magnum XL 200 -- I still remember it being the biggest coaster in the world, and you felt like you were climbing into the sky. Still a rush of nostalgia. Mystic Timbers -- I love the psychological game it plays, how the lift slows and speeds up on cue.
  19. Back when the International Restaurant was open during the summer, it was always a highlight of our trip. You took an hour or so out of the sun to take in a beautiful view and a nice, sit-down meal (I was only a kid, but I remember the steak being pretty good). My favorite area was actually the lobby, though, which had old news stories about the park framed and put on the wall (that's the first time I ever heard of The Bat's original form). I've always been bummed that it's closed. But it's definitely a smaller restaurant -- it would have to either be overhauled or placed on a reservation-only system. I would love to see it turned into kind of a nice lounge or bar area, where some of the grownups can take in a drink at the end of the day. Honestly, the best-case scenario would be an overhaul of the front gates that also accommodated a larger restaurant above that maintained the view but also expanded the capacity. But I'm torn on that because I really do love the front gates Kings Island has now...they feel like a legit entranceway and the way it's designed hides International Street until you get there, and that's always one of the great parts of any trip.
  20. I don't think you're crazy! I came here to say the same thing. We get to Kings Island once a year. Rode Orion in 2020 and I liked it, but didn't love it, and the reason why was because I didn't experience much airtime. Went last week and rode it twice. I don't want to say it felt like a different coaster, but it felt like it was achieving its full potential. The speed felt more pronounced and there were several airtime moments that I don't remember experiencing last year. I was wondering if the full trains made a difference as well. I think it's jumped past Diamondback for me.
  21. We were at the park last week, Thursday and Friday. I had coincidentally seen Green Day in concert in Detroit two days earlier. I thought it was "fun" that when I entered the park, the first thing I heard was an instrumental version of their song "Still Breathing." And then I heard it 20 more times between those two days and it was less fun. Same with Bohemian Rhapsody; fun song until it's stuck on near repeat. They have a nice mix of styles throughout the different areas of the park, but the they really need longer playlists. But I'm assuming rights issues play a huge role.
  22. I think people tend to forget how vital it is to have good family coasters instead of just thrill rides. Backlot Stunt Coaster is a great entry-level coaster for kids, particularly those who aren't ready for anything with too big of a hill yet (my son had an easier time acclimating to BLSC than to Woodstock Express because of this). It's a fun coaster and gives a good experience. I think it still has awhile left. The only big sticking point for me is location. I hate that it's smack-dab in the middle of the park; that's good real estate, and it's an unsightly mess behind the otherwise picturesque Eiffel Tower (the flames going off tend to ruin the romantic appeal of the tower). But it's gotta go somewhere, I guess.
  23. I hope so! We're doing our yearly trip there late next week! (We like to come that last week of the operating season, because the lines tend to be much shorter).
  24. #whatsinthegigashed is going to be such a letdown.
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