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cdubbs727

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Everything posted by cdubbs727

  1. What's going on with Diamondback and Valravn?
  2. Must have been a rushed article...I noticed the writer kept an editorial note in there :-)
  3. For the 50th, I think a year-long celebration of the park's history would be great. KI has really leaned into nostalgia in recent years (bringing back Antique Cars, redoing International Street). The recommendation about small exhibits commemorating old rides and attractions would be a great addition -- or, transform Tower Gardens into a walk-through Kings Island museum (similar to the exhibits when it had the Paramount Story, but KI-centric). I remember there was talk about a KI documentary (not produced by the park) being in the works and debuting about the same time -- it would be great to have that playing somewhere, maybe in the Kings Island Theater at certain times or just on a loop in Festhaus (and if that doc isn't produced, maybe that's something for KI to do). A really spectacular evening show would be great to close the park with. And maybe the theme is that 2022 is all about celebrating the park's past, and if there IS some big project coming in 2023, maybe build up to that announcement all summer long, teasing the park's future.
  4. I had the opposite problem. In 2019, I was eating out every day because I was in an office. Being home for a year and a half encouraged me to eat a bit better and get some of that excess poundage off.
  5. I think anyone who road it with the OTSRs back in the day can attest that FoF could be much rougher. I don't think I've noticed it running rough. I think I'm always just surprised at its speed. Easy to forget how nonstop that ride is.
  6. I aged out of Vortex, but I fatted out of Flight of Fear (one year; slimmed back down enough to squeeze in the next year).
  7. I had a love/hate relationship with Vortex. I remember when it was built. I was about 8, and thought "there is no way I will ever ride that." It was a challenge all through my childhood, and I was so proud when I finally could say I rode it. It was one of the park's great thrill rides for a long time, and I still think that its first drop was one of the best in the park, and the weightlessness in the barrel rolls always gave me a good scare. But, as others have said, it didn't age well. It turned very rough. Sometimes I can handle that on a coaster -- The Beast is rough, but it never feels like the roughness outweighs the fun. With The Vortex, the headbanging was really bad. I'd smack my ear against the headrests every ride, and sometimes I'd leave with a headache. I took a few years off it. In 2019, we visited the park just a few weeks before it was announced the ride would be closed. I rode it again and that love/hate relationship was back. That first drop? Still great. Those barrel rolls? Still freaked me out. But when we got off, my ears hurt, my neck hurt, my back hurt. I got off and told my wife, "I think I've aged out of that one. Don't know if I'll ride it again." And the park made the decision for me. But I'm still sad it's gone. I think it was the most photogenic coaster in the park.
  8. I never pull out the maps when I get them (I've been going to KI all my life, so I don't need it; there are also electronic maps everywhere). For me, it's what KIghostguy said. It's about collecting; it's a nostalgic thing. When I was a kid, the first thing I did when we got to the park was grab the map and unfold it to look for showtimes, find where the new ride was, etc. I like the idea that I can still do that, and I love that now my kids get just as excited about it. They may be inessential, but for some it's a big part of the experience.
  9. I love the idea of more outdoor entertainment scattered throughout the park. I always like the idea of seeing a show at KI, but logistically it never works out. We have to plan time to be at a specific venue, watch the show and eat up about an hour of time we could be doing other things. The idea of stumbling upon music while walking to another attraction, taking five minutes to stand and watch, and then moving on sounds nice, and I think it will contribute to the atmosphere. I do think it's going to make lines for a nighttime ride on Orion a real pain, though. Unrelated, but a tangent: Does anyone remember when CP used to have live DJs in some of their queues? This was probably 15-20 years ago. I remember Millennium Force had one, Magnum had one, and Raptor always tended to have the best. My guess is paying for the staff for it became too cost-prohibitive, but I always thought that would be fun to have at more parks (and bring back to CP).
  10. Vacant Tomb Raider - Keelboats (although that would likely impact Diamondback, but this is fantasy anyway) Boo Blasters - Smurfs Enchanted Voyage Woodstock Express - paint it yellow, put back in the tunnel and rename it Beastie
  11. We went last year, and the masks did not bother me one bit. If we got tired, they had the no-mask areas, but the only time I ever really found it an inconvenience was on one of the more intense roller coasters, like Orion, where I had to find a way to hold onto it for fear of it flying off. KI was one of the first places we ventured back to in the pandemic and I felt safe the entire time. Wearing a 1/2-inch fabric cloth doesn't really bother me, especially when it helps others. That said, I'm glad to see them pulling back on the requirement outdoors. We're fully vaccinated, so we're starting to breathe a bit easier about everything, and it will be nice just to see less masks from a relaxation standpoint. And I think it's absolutely possible to use the midways and walking areas at KI and maintain six-foot distance with others (plus, I'd reckon there's a greater risk with sustained contact, not merely passing by someone while walking outdoors). Queues are the only area where I would think it might be an issue, but I imagine they'll keep the placeholders to remind people to be distant. We're not planning to go until August (we love going that last week of operation, when the crowds are much lower). I assume that by then we'll see more of an impact from the vaccines and you'll start to see more restrictions pulled back.
  12. Soak City is gross (tbf, I feel this way about most waterparks).
  13. My book arrived this week. Probably going to save it to read on vacation next month, but two big surprises: 1.) This is a good-sized book. I anticipated maybe a short, 100-page quick read. This is fairly hefty, and browsing through it, it's comprehensive and very well written. Which led to my second surprise... 2.) @KIghostguyis super young! I always assumed he was someone who was around my age, who'd been involved with the park for decades. But he's a kid! And he wrote a good-sized book! I have a master's in communication and toiled over a 100-page thesis last year; he has a nearly 400-page history on Kings Island! I'm impressed! Major kudos, and I look forward to reading this!
  14. For many people, Orion will be a new ride this year, and I agree with others who believe next year will be a 50th anniversary celebration. My guess is they won't announce a coaster for that; I'd imagine they follow something similar to what Cedar Point previously announced (and is doing this year). I'd love to see them do some sort of commemorative photo book like CP did (although I've also pre-ordered A RIDE THROUGH TIME, so if they don't, I'm pretty set on history). KI seems to do a better job with nostalgia than CP does, so I'd imagine they'll really lean into it for next year. For this year, I think it's just going to be a typical year, focused on getting back to normal-ish. I know right now seems to be an iffy time, with spikes in cases around the country. But I know there's optimism that as more people are vaccinated, cases will dramatically drop and this summer will be fairly normal. Just a year of powering through, followed by an announcement for the anniversary year, will be good enough for me.
  15. Just placed an order! Can't wait to read this!
  16. Yes! Cinema 180 was where Antique Cars is now. I think it might have been closed down to make way for Flight Commander, but I'm not 100% sure; my memory is fuzzy and I think I remember seeing the structure standing with FC, so take it with a grain of salt. I remember doing it once and not liking it. It was very claustrophobic sitting on the floor with so many people in that dark room and the big screen was overwhelming (I was a small child at the time). I also remember we went in just as a storm was approaching and had to be evacuated because the metal supports could pose a hazard.
  17. We live out of state, so I can't speak to what was going on in the local KI community. But I remember when we heard about it, we were pretty excited. It was a "sequel" to the park's biggest, baddest and most famous roller coaster. I was still in my teens, so I was all about wanting to try the biggest and most extreme thing. And it fit in with the Paramount mindset of making every ride an event. I waited for hours to ride it the year it opened and I remember looking at the giant structure hulking over the Action Zone midway thinking "that seems like a lot." The actual experience was mixed. It definitely had thrills. It was big and fast, and it was the speed and height more than the loop that made it so memorable (although the loop was fun). But it might also be the only roller coaster I've ridden where I thought the designers were trying to kill me (and I've ridden Mean Streak!). I had bruises on my arms, and the Rose Bowl section was excruciating. I regularly left the ride with a splitting headache; one year, it ruined my entire afternoon at the park. I started buying Tylenol before we rode it. By the time they finally closed it down and took out the loop, I was hitting my late 20s and had stopped going to the park for a few years. It wasn't until I hit 30 and started going with my now-wife that I saw it in SBNO mode, which might have been the saddest sight of all (I was so glad they took Vortex down quickly so we didn't have to endure that). I miss it from a sheerly nostalgic perspective, in the sense that I can pull up video and tell my son "yeah, I rode that." But honestly, once you got past the novelty the ride was too painful to be fun. I don't miss it, but I do appreciate the big swing they took in building it.
  18. Interesting! I don't have any pictures, but man do I remember when going to the Festhaus for lunch and a show was an event. I remember when they had the ice-skating show in there for a bit. That was pretty cool and it really did feel like it was a centerpiece for entertainment. So many weird shows there during the Paramount era - not just the ice show, but also a "Cheers" musical (!) and really silly game show that I loved as a kid. These days, it just feels kind of like an afterthought. The shows are fine, but I don't get the feeling that anyone's particularly excited to rush in and see it (that also might just be me getting older; maybe no one was ever excited for this but kids!).
  19. I noticed this last summer, too. It seems they did some rehab on this and everything seemed to work better, the animatronics were working and it just was an all-around better ride. My kids (ages 9 & 5) still love it; it's probably the ride they go on most at KI each year, and I enjoy the game. I grew up with Smurf's Enchanted Voyage, and it was a really great little dark boat ride. I still remember it vividly. And I thought Phantom Theater was a lot of fun. But truth is, a lot of my love for those rides probably stems from the age I was when I rode them anyway. I'm not the target audience for this one anymore; but if kids love it, and KI wants to keep it around, that's fine.
  20. I feel like a redo of the attraction using modern technology would be fun. I don't think a slavish re-creation (same rooms/scenes) would be that great, as chances are the ride and its effects were likely much better in your memory than in reality (although it was a fun ride). But there was some clever IP to use and it holds a place in visitors' hearts. I think what was described above, a total redo of that building and installation of a new ride system (or, better yet, use something like the Crypt's building) that uses the IP to create a whole new experience might be fun. And KI has shown a willingness to celebrate its history and lean on nostalgia. A new, reimagined Phantom Theater isn't totally out of the question, particularly if you use projection mapping or something other than expensive animatronics. I don't think it will happen, but I don't think it's totally out of the question.
  21. Gemini's still a good ride, and it's a great intermediate ride for kids who aren't ready for the big stuff yet. It's a signature CP coaster, and it anchors an entire midway. I think it'll stay around for a bit. Cedar Creek Mine Train is the one I wouldn't mind seeing them lose; even as an intermediate coaster, it's one that I've seen kids roll their eyes at.
  22. My guess is many protocols will still be in place, particularly masks and social distancing. The vaccine will likely only just be getting mass distribution by spring and summer, so I wouldn't expect a return to anything resembling normalcy until fall at the earliest. Masks and social distancing have been proven to reduce the spread of the virus (we live in Michigan and recently were able to decrease our daily case load from 8,000 a day in November to about 1,000 a day this month just by mask protocols and shutting down again -- we're now slowly reopening, so we'll see what happens). Personally, I thought these were two areas where KI did a great job last year; wearing masks never felt like too much of an issue (we just quickly learned to wear lightweight cloth ones) and I think the park was set up really well for social distancing. We felt safe and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there has been a mass outbreak connected to a theme park. What I think you might see a pullback on are some of the other measures. For instance, now that the virus has been shown not to live on surfaces for a long time, I wonder if you'll see less of the shutting down for cleaning. Since KI stopped the reservation system in mid summer, my guess is you won't see that again, and hopefully they'll be back to normal operating hours (the biggest letdown for us last year was having to get everything done to be out of the park by closing time, which was like 7 or 8; I can't remember which). You may even see Soak City open back up. My guess is temperature checks will still remain, but I remember that was a quick nonissue last year. The park really handled it all well. My hope is that we'll see a park that runs like normal (normal hours, a standard calendar) but with the safety protocols of masks and social distancing. It's not "back to normal," but I think it will be a big step in the right direction.
  23. Oh, those are definitely two good ones. I would recommend just tearing down both, although I wouldn't object to putting a good, new dark ride in either one. But keeping them up is just a waste of good spaces. Festhaus, 100%. It should be one of their prime locations -- that should be where some of their biggest and most spectacular shows play (it used to be, at least). Now the shows (at least, pre-COVID, when shows were a bigger staple) in there feel like afterthoughts. And the food is really disappointing. Panda Express just isn't something I want in a theme park, but that's just me. While I love the LaRosa's Pizza in other locations, I've noticed that the Festhaus' pizza is consistently lower quality than there. Here's what I'd love for Festhaus: Clear out the arcade games and all that crap. Get a good bar in there, not just the beer cart. Install some more serving areas and make it a Taste of KI-type thing, where every eatery in the park has at least one selection -- maybe a BBQ pork sandwich, a burrito bowl, a burger, LaRosa's, Skyline, etc. Maybe have the Brewhouse staff operate the bar. I'm sure there are contracts and logistics that might complicate that, but it needs some variety. Or, just make it the park's high-end eating establishment (particularly if they aren't going to bring back International Restaurant). And get a great show in there, not just some country filler or something with lame songs. I remember the days when Festhaus was home to an ice skating show, and it was packed. Do that. Or make the stage space smaller and book local acts from across the area to come. Or get a KI house band established. Right now, it just feels like a catch all.
  24. I'm sure there are things that can be criticized, but I don't know if they are specific to KI only. You could talk about some staff (I've always found that while ride, shop and maintenance crews are always very friendly at KI, their food services staff often is kind of lacking), but that's probably a situation wherever you have lower-paid, young, hourly employees. At least with CP, you could criticize how they have so many rides but you can only ride like a handful of them in a given day because of lines. Or you could poke fun at how all their new rides have so much downtime. Or that it's a park that satisfies thrill-seekers and bores the heck out of little kids. KI is really well balanced and well operated. You could, though, poke a little fun at KI's proclivity to hype up a bold new attraction -- and then it's a family ride. They do that quite a bit (but the joke doesn't really work well when their "family rides" are top-notch -- and Mystic Timbers is a solid coaster, whether or not it can be ridden by the whole family).
  25. I think Orion gets the edge from me, but it's a slight one. I just think more thought went into the queue. Both rides have good theming outside the queues, with the news truck at Orion and pickup at Mystic Timbers. The queue theming at Orion is fun and well-thought out, and I'll give it extra points for all the KI history within it. Mystic Timber's queue just has grainy videos, and it doesn't do as well at establishing a story for the ride. True, Mystic Timbers has "the shed," but that's a neutral for me -- I like the attempt, but it's more of a head-scratcher than anything else. And I think the Area 72 really feeds into Orion's story and feeling; RiverTown is the same whether you have Mystic Timbers there or not. But still, it's a toss up. And to be honest, I like Mystic Timbers better than Orion as a ride. So, they equal out.
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