My sister and I ventured off to Kings Island for the first time together in 12-14 years this past Saturday. Weather was pretty gray and cool, which is nice weather for a theme-park I think!
This is the first time this has ever happened to me at the gate-- but I had purchased our tickets for her birthday on December 27th from my local Kroger. I've done this before with no issues, and this time we were denied entry to the park because my tickets were from last season. The lady kindly explained that the tickets were purchased last year, and I would have to buy new ones at the gate if I wanted to go have the best day ever. Well, luckily we had the spare money to do that this time-- but I was pretty disappointed. I think the tickets should have been taken down from Kroger once the park was technically closed for the year. Winterfest wasn't included on the normal single day pass to the parks! So buyers beware-- don't buy a ticket off season at Kroger in hopes of using it once the new season begins! On a positive note, we tried VIP parking for the first time on this trip and I honestly don't think I can go back. That was so worth the extra 10 dollars.
Anyways, we made it into the park and I always make a beeline through Planet Snoopy. I had told my sister I always had to ride Boo Blasters just to see if any work was done on the ride since last season and truthfully I was pretty impressed with this run! First, are there new blue lights in the queue line (around the boarded up Phantom Theater busts) or did I just dream it? Some of the targets weren't working-- but during our ride, all of the effects and animatronics were working! I swear I thought I heard some new sound effects too that I didn't remember from before! Honestly, the ride looked the best it has in years! Doesn't mean it doesn't need an overhaul, but overall it was nice! We also took a quick ride on Surf Dog just because I am a big chicken and needed to get warmed up.
We were pretty surprised and disappointed to see that MANY rides were down for hours at a time in the park. We were able to squeeze in a ride on almost everything we wanted, but we had to backtrack some throughout the day to do it. Mystic Timbers is just as good this season as it was last! I also think there was some new effects in the shed (red eyeballs and more sound effects?) but maybe I was in such a daze last season that I didn't remember it. Adventure Express was HORRIBLE this trip. It was the roughest ride that day, even compared to The Beast! The Beast was phenomenal as always, and we got a great view of people getting evacuated from the very top of the lift hill on Vortex. Vortex is sounding rougher every year, and it didn't have a long wait at all on Saturday. My sister (who is a huge fan of Vortex and has ridden it religiously over the years) even commented at how bad it was squeaking and roaring.
I think the most proud part of my day was me manning up and riding Delirium for the first time. OMG! What a great ride! I'm sure I've talked about it on here some, but I have horrible anxiety disorder and have not ridden several rides in the park because I am so afraid that I will feel afraid on the ride! Over the past few years, I have tried to ride one new ride a season so it's not sensory overload and so far it's been working very well! Delirium was this year's pick, because I figured I love the Pirate's Ship and Surf Dog-- and Delirium is kind of the grown up version of those rides! If anyone who is kind of nervous and hasn't ridden yet reads this-- take it from me-- the seats are completely secure feeling! I got some airtime at the highest point of the ride, but overall I did not shift much in my seat! I had to keep my eyes closed for a portion of it, and if I was recommending the ride to someone (which I am)-- I would say to either keep your eyes closed until you've slowed down or keep them open! I made the mistake of opening my eyes once and I happened to be at the highest point of the ride. I got a little spooked and disoriented and immediately closed my eyes again! If you're riding it for the first time, I also didn't feel any effects from the ride spinning-- so don't be intimidated by that!
Anyways, overall it was a wonderful day in the parks despite a few hiccups! I was afraid of crowds with the Harlem Globetrotters being in the park, but that really didn't affect the lines too much. There was also the choir/band day at the park for many middle school and high school age children, and I was impressed with their behavior! I never witnessed any line skipping! I only had one experience where I had to speak up to some young teenage boys for making very loud and obscene jokes behind us in line for The Bat. They were just plain annoying at first, but when they began to make racial comments about African Americans, I had to get a little snotty. They had some classmates directly in front of me in line too that kept turning around to laugh at their obnoxious friends-- and I very sternly suggested that we switched places in line so they could ride with their friends. Suddenly nobody wanted to joke and play in line anymore and I was able to get on the ride without losing my mind! Haha! (Apparently 24 is the age where you become impatient with teenagers!)