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cdubbs727

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Everything posted by cdubbs727

  1. On the one hand, this surprises me, because, as I've said before, Firehawk always felt like it didn't fit organically into Kings Island. . . but if it was originally going to go to KI and was designed to be build on the land owned by KC, would it have felt like a more organic fit to the park? Does it feel like an unnatural fit to its location because that location was never ideal in the first place? Interesting post.
  2. Glad The Vortex is safe -- when we got down to KI this summer, it was the one coaster I didn't get a chance to ride, so I can get it next year. Firehawk was unique and I was glad to have ridden it, but I won't miss it. It was uncomfortable and, honestly, it was the one ride I never felt safe on. I always felt like I was going to fall out (I know I wasn't going to...it just felt that way). I also think it never truly felt like a part of KI, probably because it got its start elsewhere. It seemed just tossed into X-Base, and never had the character I feel from most other KI coasters (Invertigo feels the same way for me). The best Kings Island coasters feel organic to the park. This felt like an unnatural fit. Excited to see what comes next.
  3. The original Vortex logo is so cool, but I kind of resent the fact that it made me think Vortex meant "giant robot" for so much of my life.
  4. I feel like Vortex is a vital piece of Kings Island's identity. It's got a history stretching over 30 years, it's a major part of the park's skyline, it was a record-breaker, and it provides great visuals. After The Beast, it was probably the biggest deal in the park for many years. Not to say it won't ever be removed -- or that it won't be removed sooner rather than later -- but I feel like if it was a last year for The Vortex, KI would have given it a season-long send off, not one month when pretty much only locals are attending the park (at least that's the perspective of someone who lives four hours outside the park). True, there was similar notice when Cedar Point got rid of the Mean Streak -- but honestly, there was very little time where MS was seen as anything other than a headache-inducer. Few were sad to see it go (and it sorta never did). Firehawk has always felt like a minor addition to the park. It's tucked away in a low-traffic area. It came from another park and, honestly, doesn't seem to fit the character of other KI rides (similar to Invertigo). It seems to have countless maintenance problems, and IMO it's not a great ride (though, of course, my opinion has no bearing on this aside from my wishful thinking). It's too short, the harnesses are uncomfortable and I always feel like I'm going to fall out. Not saying it won't be Vortex (although I would prefer it to be Invertigo or The Bat), but I feel like Firehawk is the better candidate.
  5. Thanks. That makes sense about the 2-Day/All-Day.
  6. Took our annual family trip from Detroit to KI this past week with my wife and kids (ages 6 and 2, respectively). It was a bittersweet trip this year. Kings Island was a family childhood tradition for me, dating back nearly 40 years with my grandparents and aunts. My grandmother and one of my aunts who used to make this trip with us both passed away this summer, so there was a sense that this trip was in their memory. We'd initially planned on going to the park Wednesday and Thursday, but rain in the forecast caused us to split the days between Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday was a great day. Light lines, nice weather, only a short rainstorm halfway through the day. My kids love Planet Snoopy. Our "home" park would technically be Cedar Point, but I've never cared much for its kids offerings. My son is hesitant to try most of anything that's too intense, but he loves Boo Blasters, the bumper cars, the flight of the Red Baron and the Kite Eating Tree. He also tried the Scrambler this year. Next hear, hopefully we can move him up to Woodstock Express (which will always be The Beastie to me). I was surprised how much my daughter could do. She's just under 36 inches but there was a lot she could ride with adults. She loved (to my chagrin) the Whirlybirds, which I think we did three times and which had the longest lines we encountered all week (and even that was 20 minutes). The kids loved it, which warmed my heart. I want to thank Cedar Fair for instituting parent-swap, which means my wife and I could take turns on roller coasters while the other parent sat out with the kids. On Wednesday, it saved us some moderate waits on Mystic Timbers. Pretty much everything else was a walk-on. The Best is still the best, but Diamondback and Banshee are quickly becoming favorites as well. Mystic Timbers is already a classic. A lot of people like to focus on the anticlimactic shed, but that's a shame. The ride itself is fantastic; wild and fast, it's a good stepping stone for kids before they're ready for The Beast. Friday looked like it was going to be a wash-out. We were gassing up before heading to the park and it was like a monsoon came down. Rain was going sideways, there was thunder and lightning. But it cleared up just after park opening. The forecast seemed to show that we'd get a few hours of sunshine before the rain came in again. But, in reality, the rain never returned and the sun even made an appearance. The crowds stayed away, so everything was a walk-on. We'd ridden everything by mid-afternoon. The park is still gorgeous, one of the most relaxing and beautifully designed parks I've been to (Cedar Point's layout is too busy and hectic). With a deal through our insurance, 2-day admission, parking and All-Day eating for two days didn't cost too much. The food at KI is miles ahead of CP's; I particularly liked the new Coney Bar-B-Que, and I'll always love La Rosa's. I even had my first Skyline coney in about a decade; it was great (although the heartburn that came with it...not so great). The kids loved the Peanuts Block Party, and I thought Gravity was a fantastic addition to the park lineup. If there was one complaint, it's with staffing. Many of the workers on the rides (particularly in Planet Snoopy) seemed bored and disinterested. Maybe that's an end-of-season thing, but still. The food service pretty much everywhere was really rough. Many workers seemed baffled by our 2-Day pass for All-Day Dining, and the supervisor at Red's didn't seem to have a handle on their menu or cash register system. That seems very odd at the end of the season. Their confusion over the dining passes was really odd...that's a huge selling point, I'm sure, but few people seemed to know how to activate it or what it was. You'd think after an entire summer, they'd have a handle on it. The front gate workers (elderly women for the most part) were also odd, with one openly wondering why we chose to come to the park on Friday since "it's gonna rain all day and everything's going to be closed" and another ordering my 2-year-old daughter around brusquely when she got her return stamp. That said, there was a worker on the Whirlybirds who was engaged and fun, and I have to say that the staff at the "Big Ticket" attractions (Beast, Diamondback, Banshee) always seem like they're having a great time. KI is a beautiful park with good entertainment, great rides, and good food. If they can, perhaps, Disney-fie their customer service, it will complete the experience.
  7. I'm a big-time movie nerd, so I loved the Paramount era (I was also in my teens for much of it and was easily impressed by thrills and flash). Some things were really cool: I liked Tomb Raider when it was fully themed. There was a cool laser show they did in the Kings Island Theater themed to Paramount movies. There was actually a purpose to the garden area off the Eiffel Tower instead of just being a sad smoking area. I feel like CF has been kind of a best-of-times/worst-of-times thing (I'm from Detroit, so I only get to go once a year). I think there's been a lot of TLC given to bring more coasters and thrill rides to the park; Diamondback, Banshee and Mystic Timbers are all world-class coasters. But I feel like customer service has taken a dive and the food offerings don't feel as special. But that might also just be 40-year-old me being more particular than 20-year-old me.
  8. I understand the comparison ... both are rather anti-climactic. I like the animatronics in AE. I find the build-up to the screens in MT fun, but the overall effect is kind of silly, plus the timing has often been slightly off when I've gone on. But MT is still a fantastic ride.
  9. When AE came out in 1991, I was 12 years old and just starting to warm up to roller coasters, so it was perfect. Loved the theming (the only other 'themed' coaster I'd been on at that time was Disaster Transport, which still had most its effects working), loved that it wasn't too scary. As a teen and twenty-something, I started skipping it because it wasn't thrilling enough. As an adult, I appreciate it as a fun, fast little ride, and it's a perfect way to introduce my nephews/nieces and eventually my kids (who are still scared to ride Woodstock Express) to coasters.
  10. This is a great read! I'm glad you brought up the derailment, simply because it's something that I remember hearing about from several sources as a child but always as an urban legend. I live in Detroit, and I've found it humorous how the legend grows. When I was a kid, I heard from several people that the King Cobra had derailed in the 1980s and killed 8 people; I remember as a kid, we even thought the small cemetery out front of Kings Island was for the King Cobra victims (nevermind that that makes no sense at all). When I got older, I figured the deaths were an urban legend but always wondered where the derailment came from -- I'd heard it from too many people to think it was just a story, but I never was able to find out what happened. So your post answered a lifelong mystery for me! Thanks!
  11. The random empty chair there is kind of creepy.
  12. Nothing more miserable than being at an amusement park in the cold and rain. As someone who's spent a day in 45-degree temps and steady showers at Cedar Point, I can attest they made the right choice.
  13. This was one I remember from my childhood -- and realizing it was the opening year for Vortex, 30 years ago, it makes me feel really old.
  14. Given that The Vortex has been sinking for about 30 years and is, of course, the next ride to be removed, I think this was a nice gesture.
  15. Took a trip to the park last week with my wife, son (he's 4) and my sister and her sons (8 and 5). We tried doing KI with our son last year, but he was a tad too young (and my wife too pregnant with our second) for it to be a great trip. This year, we left the baby with grandparents and the three of us drove from Detroit to the Kings Island area. We stayed at the Shaker Inn, which I kind of hate mentioning, if only because I don't want anyone else to find out about it. You can't beat the price, it's clean and quiet, and we had the pool all to ourselves when we checked in. Great little location, and it feels like our own little secret. It was hot as blazes both days, which I think kept the crowds down. Planet Snoopy was packed early in the day both days, but the longest wait we had was about 20 minutes for Diamondback. My wife and I used parent swap or we took turns watching the kids, so we were able to ride pretty much all of our favorites. I've been riding The Beast since I was 10, and it's so great that it still holds up nearly 30 years later. Banshee's quickly becoming one of my favorites at the park and I don't think you can beat the airtime on Vortex (well, maybe with Diamondback). As a parent, I'm simply amazed how great Kings Island's kids area is. We obviously spent a lot of time there and I never felt like it was drudgery. Sure, there were things we had to sit and wait for our kids to ride, but we had fun shooting ghosts with our kid on Boo Blasters. I took the boy on the Great Pumpkin, which he loved. I also as able to get him on Woodstock Express (which I'll still always call The Beastie). He got done and just said, "that was fast," but wouldn't go on again. Still, no tears, so that's good (but I couldn't get him on Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown). My wife and I did each did the $30 meal option the first day, which was a lifesaver. We thought the food options we had were great and it kept us full without breaking the bank. The only thing that I would count as a negative is that whenever we had to deal with non-ride employees, like at stores or food stations, there always seemed to be an issue. Sometimes they would appear to be spacing out a bit. Other times, they were a bit rude. Sometimes they didn't seem to know what they were selling or how to deal with the offers that came in through the app (I had a heck of a time trying to redeem 40% off an Icee). But that's kind of par for the course when dealing with high school and college help, whether at an amusement park or elsewhere. I will note, however, that so many of the ride attendants -- particularly in Planet Snoopy -- were extremely friendly, funny and outgoing. The only other negative was totally our fault; when it came time for the fireworks, we gathered on the side of International Street closest to Planet Snoopy (where we had been), but close to the Eiffel Tower and the fireworks were obscured behind a tree. Bummer. But it was also the shortest firework show I can remember. Although Cedar Point is our "local" park (still about 2.5 hours from us), Kings Island has always felt more like home to me. My grandparents started taking me and my cousins when I was about 4, and it was a yearly tradition until my late teens. In my twenties, I'd grab friends and go to Spirit Song and power through three days of riding and music until we were exhausted. I met my wife seven years ago and we started going together the next year after we got engaged, and we've tried to make it into an annual tradition, just like I had growing up. It's amazing how much nostalgia can be had just from glimpsing the Eiffel Tower on the freeway, standing alongside the Royal Fountain, or even smelling the lumber on The Beast on a hot day. Kings Island's a different park than when I was a kid, but not that different. So much of it has remained unchanged. And it's very moving to see my son get excited about the same things I loved as a kid and even try to rationalize himself to get on rides as I did. It's a special place for me, and I'm kind of glad I only get to come once a year, so that it stays that way.
  16. Does anyone else remember when the path to get to The Beast's entrance had yellow "paw" prints stretching about from where Backlot Stunt Coaster is today? I can definitely remember that. But for some reason, I'm also remembering something similar for The Vortex, like the iron glove holding tracks. Does anyone else remember this, or am I mis-remembering? Was there something similar with any other rides? I vaguely seem to recall something else, but I'm blanking on what it was.
  17. I remember it well from childhood, because I'd always be listening for whenever the Smurf/Scooby Doo/Flintstone show would start. From what I remember, they still do it before certain shows. That makes me think of some of the other sounds I miss. I remember when International Street's music was an orchestral-type music, not radio hits (or, in the Paramount Days, movie themes). I remember it really added to the charm of the area.
  18. Multiple rides don't really bother me, but I've learned as I grow older that I can't do the sustained pace I used to keep in parks. In my teens and twenties, I'd be nonstop, hopping from ride to ride for 2-3 days. A few years back, my wife and I went to Spirit Song and did 3 days at the park; by the end of it, we were literally crawling to our campsite. Now I have a kid, so we spend a lot of time in Planet Snoopy anyway. But as long as I hit all my favorites at least once, I'm good. I've come to enjoy just sitting by the fountains on International Street eating a pizza and taking in the sites. Oh wait...getting older means the pizza angries up the blood!
  19. I live in the Detroit area, about two hours from Cedar Point. When I was a kid, our big trip each summer was to Kings Island, something we've started doing with my own son in recent years (he's 4). So I've been going to both parks for more than three decades. All of this is subjective, as people have said, and I have fond memories at both parks, as well as a lot of love for them. But at the end of the day, Kings Island is the better park experience, in my opinion. Cedar Point's a great park for thrills. Really, it's roller coaster collection can't be beat on pure thrills. TTD, Maverick, Millennium Force, Magnum. Classics. But Kings Island is a prettier park, hands down. It doesn't have the lake like Cedar Point, but everything feels more spread out and roomy, with more attention paid to its landscaping, themes and layout. Cedar Point is handsome and clean, but it's basically Frontier Town and then a collection of midways. Which is fine...but at Kings Island, you have a fantastic kid section, a thrill section, an old Coney Island, Rivertown and International Street (which, as I get older, becomes my favorite place in the park). Kings Island is the park I want to spend days at. I can take my kid, who isn't tall enough to ride the big rides, and still feel like I've had a full, enjoyable day. If we can't hit rides, there are great shows, great food and fantastic sight-seeing. And while CP tops Kings Island in number of record-breaking thrill rides, Kings Island has so much more variety and beauty to them. I'll take swooping through the valleys on Vortex over the Corkscrew or Rougarou any day. Diamondback isn't quite as thrilling as Millennium Force, but it's no slouch, and that first drop is incredible. There's simply nothing like The Beast anywhere else. Sure, CP has a dive coaster and a wing coaster. Kings Island has one of the best indoor coasters, best mine rides, best flying coaster, and a great suspended coaster. Also Banshee > Raptor. I'm happy to go back to Cedar Point this summer for day. But in two weeks, we're driving down to the Shaker Inn for a few days and hitting Kings Island for a family vacation, and I know which one I'm more excited about.
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