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Posts posted by cdubbs727

  1. My sister's stayed at Camp Cedar a few times, and her experiences were largely positive. Said it's clean and the cabins are nice, although didn't care for the food that much. 

    But isn't this place kind of notorious for trouble? I seem to recall hearing about a lot of fights (stabbings?) in the two years it's been opened, and there was a whole thing last year where someone drove a car into the pool. Wonder if CF just decided it's not worth having their names linked with a place in the news for so much trouble (when, after all, KI is already in the news in the spring sometimes for its own altercations). 

    • Like 1
  2. As a Detroiter, I always thought it was cool when I went to CP or KI and they had CFA because we didn't have any in Michigan. In recent years, that's started to change and we have them all over (by year's end, I'll have two within five miles of me). So, it feels less special when I see it and I'm less likely to eat at the Kings Island CFA (also, the fact that the lines are always super long is another deterrent). When I go to the parks, I enjoy the local fare, but I'll pass on something I can get so close to my home. 

    I do wonder if the reason we're seeing (right now) a park-to-park discontinuation of CFAs has anything to do with losing revenue by having a food venue closed on Sundays. I'm not sure of the food offerings at other Cedar Fair parks -- if they don't have as interesting a food lineup as Kings Island or Cedar Point (which is opening a huge restaurant next year), can they afford to have one of their major venues closed during a weekend day? Or, it could have to do with when each park's location opened; maybe Kings Island's CFA is operating under a contract that lasts a bit longer. I'm sure there are people on this forum who are much more knowledgeable about this than I am. 

    • Like 1
  3. That whole side of the park has always felt a bit haphazard to me because the theme areas on that side really don't have the distinct boundaries or feels of, say, Rivertown and Planet Snoopy (or even IS). Action Zone just kind of tumbles into Oktoberfest, which sort of feels part of Coney unless you're sitting right outside Festhaus. Adventure Port should help with that, giving it a clearer distinction; hopefully they can focus on theming for Action Zone down the line, too. 

    As for Coney, I agree; I feel like what I think of as Coney Mall is just that stretch alongside Racer back to WindSeeker. The path along Backlot to The Beast always feels like it's own separate, almost backstage area (when The Vortex was there, I think it felt more like a part of the park. But with the fencing and empty field behind it, it just feels like an annex area).  

    • Like 1
  4. On 10/20/2022 at 8:56 AM, johnjniehaus said:

    I can see where it would feel that way. For example it felt more like one section before Antique Autos took out the left side of.the midway and when Vortex was still around. To me Stunt Cars have never felt like they were in Coney Mall but they technically are. I honestly associate Stunt Cars with International Street because it's right behind the Tower however the entrance is clearly a Branch off of Coney Mall because Rivertown doesn't start til you get to the Laroses pizza

    Never thought about this before, but I wonder if it technically was considered part of International Street when it was the ITALLIAN Job (yes, yes, I'm sure maps place it in Coney; but I agree, it doesn't feel like a fit). 

  5. Honestly, the more I think about this, the happier it makes me. It builds off two commitments I think KI has been really good about in recent years: creating new experiences for families, not just thrill-seekers, and respecting its history. 

    My kids are on the cusp of late-preteen/early middle school age, and we hop on AE a lot. This gives them two new flat rides to get their feet wet one and means we don't have to treat AE as an out-of-the-way trip, because now there's also a good place to stop, rest and eat, as well as several rides around there. 

    And I love that the two new flat rides are throwbacks to things like Skylab and Der Spinning Keggers. I think this area is going to really give KI a personality boost. I'd love to see them forgo adding a new giant roller coaster in The Vortex area and do another themed land there, but my hunch is that now that there's Adventure Port, they will focus on putting a coaster there (which is fine, too, so long as they commit to making it as photogenic as Vortex). 

    • Like 7
  6. 2 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

    So is Oktoberfest no more?

    Is Festhaus still going to be “Festhaus”?

    What about the glockenspiel?

    It doesn't say for sure, but my guess is Oktoberfest and Festhaus are both still there. Festhaus is too big of a people collector. I think it's that the beer gardens/Hank's are going to be rethemed to the Mercado/Enrique's. 

    I love this addition. It clears up that transition area between Coney Mall and Action Zone nicely AND it creates an area where Adventure Express is the anchor attraction, which should dispel any of those rumors of it disappearing any time soon (as someone with young kids, AE is a ride we hit several times each visit). 

    • Like 7
  7. 38 minutes ago, medford said:

    I think most of the thought process behind removing timberwolf was that it was a big, largely unused plot of land.  At least that was my thinking, until it was used this season.  While I didn't attend any of the concerts there, if they could semi-regularly fill timberwolf with acts that people would want to come see, then I'm all for keeping it and upgrading it.  Congo falls, I love and my kids love.  I'd be sad to see it go, but realize it is much closer to the end of its service life than the start.  While I don't love Invertigo, I'd imagine the same could be said for that coaster as well.  I'm not sure what the level of ridership is for those things, Congo falls never seems to have lines.  When people start speculating where the next major investments in the park can/will be, there are 2 very logical spots, the first is the old Vortex plot of land, the 2nd is/was the Timberwolf/Congo Falls/Invertigo plot of land.

    Agree. If all Timberwolf was going to be used for was a three-day Christian concert that was on its way out, I was find to get rid of it. But this year seems to show there's still life left there, and if they can use it as a regular venue throughout the season, I think that's great. 

    I could take or leave Congo Falls. Kids like to ride it and get wet. In my opinion, I have more fun with White Water Canyon and Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, and I'd rather see CF go before those. It's just, to me, a bit of an eyesore. But if it still serves a purpose, awesome. Same with Invertigo. I honestly forget it's there most the time. And I'd rather see the park focus on bringing non-coaster improvements instead of trying to cram in the latest thrill rides. Atmosphere matters so much more. 

    • Like 6
  8. Yeah, that wording is very telling that TTD will still be there in some iteration, and my guess is the change will likely not alter too much of the ride experience. 

    Years back, CP announced Mantis was closing and then a few months later announced the changes coming and its new name Rougarou (god, I hate that name). They did something similar with Mean Streak; announced the ride closing and even had a funeral for it. A year later, they announced the Steel Vengeance remake. 

    I think if there were major alterations that would make it a completely different ride, you'd see them announce that TTD was going away and then an announcement about the "new" ride shortly after. This seems to say that "TTD will be back," but it will be different, and I wouldn't hold my breath about it coming back in time for the 2023 season. 

    • Like 2
  9. Due to some changes in my work situation, we had to re-schedule our previously planned trip from mid-August (the last week of weekday operations) to Labor Day weekend. We were coming from Detroit, so we planned accordingly. Bought gold passes so we could come in for the weekend, maybe come back at Halloween and WinterFest, and already have next year's tickets taken care of. Knowing it would likely be busy, we purchased Fast Lane a week out for Saturday. And...it was a mixed bag. 

    Saturday was shaping up to be a disaster. As soon as we got to the park, we were stuck in torrential downpours all morning. We got in one ride on Woodstock Express and Boo Blasters and then booked it to Rivertown to hide out in Brewhouse for an hour or so. While we were there, a ceiling tile collapsed and water started leaking in. Amazingly, several of the coasters were still going; I can't imagine a ride on Diamondback was much fun in the downpour. When the rain started to slow, we decided to head over to Shake, Rattle and Roll for our kids while we waited for more coasters to come up. I waited off so I could hold our stuff while my wife and kids rode. While they were in line, the rains went from a steady sprinkle to an outright downpour, and my kids rode the ride with water flying out onto the midway. My wife was soaked and it was only 1:30 p.m. She'd had enough and decided to head back to the hotel with our youngest to change. Because we'd already paid for Fast Lane, my son and I stayed back just in case anything opened back up. As soon as she left the park...dry skies and even a bit of sun for three hours. Was able to use Fast Lane to do Racer (so smooth now!), Adventure Express (fun, but rough), The Bat (better than I remembered), Banshee (so good), Orion (front row), Mystic Timbers and Diamondback (all great). I tried three times to get on The Beast, but it kept breaking down. 

    Met my wife at Festhaus at 5 p.m. I got there a bit early and enjoyed a blue ice cream beer (so sue me; it's pretty good). As soon as my wife returned, so did the rain. But it was more of an annoying rain, not the torrents of before. We did Race for Your Life Charlie Brown, my wife got on The Beast (I stayed off with the kids and then when I went to go on...it broke down again). We did another round of Boo Blasters then went to the front. Caught the firework show, which was great, but the drones weren't working (guessing because of the rain). 

    Sunday, the weather had been calling for rain all day, but we only had a brief shower in the middle of the day. It was busier and hotter, and we didn't have Fast Lane (but we did have parent swap). My son got his first ride on The Beast, which he loved (and I love the work the retrack has done). But throughout the day, nearly every roller coaster went down at least once (Diamondback was down all day; ironic, since it was the only one that didn't seem to close before the previous day). I've actually never seen it like this -- at one time, Orion, Racer, Beast, Banshee, Diamondback and Flight of Fear were all down. And it didn't seem to be weather -- other large rides were going, and they kept doing test cycles. I'm not complaining; my guess is  it's the end of the year and maintenance crews/parts/whatever are down. We still had a good day -- was just odd. 

    Only complaint I had was that, given it's the end of the operating year, much of the staff seemed to be phoning it in. A clerk in the Snoopy Boutique clearly didn't want to be there and would just point us to the credit card machine. The clerks at the Starbucks were rough; one lady asked who a particular drink was for (wondering if it was her own) and the kid just shrugged and said "I don't know" and walked away. Probably end of the year malaise. 

    But still, despite the hiccups, a good trip with some good rides. Might come back down one weekend for Haunt and give it a try. We did NYE at Winterfest last year and are considering doing it again. 

    • Like 1
  10. 1 hour ago, brenthodge said:

    I’ve been raked over the coals for saying it, but I really wish The Vortex spot woujd become a lake/calm boat attraction that a new “Rivertown food hall” multi stand dining location (where the LaRosas is now) would overlook the lake with tiered outdoor dining. Home style “country sandwiches”, Bone in fried chicken, Even a great Tex-mex, burrito place that would free up the space where Hanjs is and get burritos out of German area. Agree about the water-there used yo be so much more. Waterfalls in tower gardens, waterfall in Rivertown, FestHaus fountain, coney fountains, adventure village waterfall, elephant fountain in Hanna-Barbara. 

    Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. 

    The older I get (and I'm getting plenty old), the less I care about parks adding giant thrill rides and the more I want them to just keep enhancing the experience. I love a good roller coaster -- but as much as I loved Velocicoaster and Hagrid's at Universal this year, I loved the experience of exploring all the themed areas and eating good, unique food just as much. Obviously, KI can't compete with Universal. But CP is investing in a giant shoreline restaurant next year (which is, admittedly, easier when you have an actual shoreline at your park). For KI to take that Vortex plot and make it into a place to relax and eat with unique, beautiful scenery would add a lot to the park. 

    • Like 6
  11. This might sound like a stupid question, so forgive me if it is. But before we make a 4-hour drive, I just want to confirm. 

    We're coming to KI Labor Day weekend, driving down from Detroit area. We're planning a two-day visit. As we considered the visit, plus thought of doing Winterfest, and know we'll go to KI again next year, it made sense to just purchase Gold Passes for our family (we also figured that by paying on the installment plan, we could use the money we'd originally budgeted for tickets this trip for Fast Lane Plus on one of the days, since the park will likely be busy). 

    Again, this might be a stupid question. But even though we purchased a 2023 Gold Pass, we can still use it for the remainder of 2022, correct? 

  12. Would really love it if KI announced a Planet Snoopy makeover and did something with BB (I like the idea of retheming it to Phantom Theater). My kids have a few years left where they'll still able to have fun in PS, and it would be great to have something for them to be excited about next year. Also, my continued plea to change Woodstock Express back to The Beastie. 

    • Like 6
  13. 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. 

    • Like 2
  14. 12 hours ago, FUN&ONLY! said:

    I feel like if Phantom Theater were brought back, it would be in the style of Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair. I think Cedar Fair would use a similar screen-based system. Also, Mike Koontz mentioned Toy Story Midway Mania which is a shooting dark ride very similar to Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair. I personally have not ridden Knott’s new dark ride, so I personally cannot express my opinion on it. However, I am inclined to think that a new Phantom Theater would be very similar to it.

    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). 

  15. 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. 

    • Like 6
  16. 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). 

  17. 9 hours ago, Cedar Fair Fanboy said:

    Honest to god this idea was in my mind, the idea is that Rivertown was to be owned by someone else that is not in this world. That will make sense giving Rivertown abandoned nature with Mystic Timbers/Diamondback/The Bat/The Beast taking over the woods with a creepy cavern (Crypt) in this town.

    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). 

    • Like 1
  18. 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. 

    • Like 3
  19. 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. 

  20. 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. 

  21. 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. 

    • Like 5
  22. 52 minutes ago, CoastersRZ said:

    I believe that they have removed all of the arcade games that used to reside in Festhause.  They were dimming the lights for Tinker`s Toy Factory this past Winterfest.  Hopefully, we see the return of a live show in the Festhaus during the summer months this season.  Same goes for International Showplace.

    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. 

    • Like 2
  23. 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. 

    • Like 3
  24. 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. 


    • 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. 

    • Like 4
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