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Smurfy Opening Day Trip Report (Plus Color Me Pink 5K)


LongLiveTheSmurfRide
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Hello. This year the wife (Laura) and I decided not to get season passes so that we could focus our budget on going to some other parks like Cedar Point and Holiday World. At first our plan was to wait until they start selling 2014 passes then use the complimentary 2013 ticket to go to the park once, but when I saw the deal for the Color Me Pink 5K I couldn't resist ($29.99 to run through the park before it opens AND get a ticket. Can't beat it!)

I joined up with the KICentral Ta Ta team so that I could meet a couple people from the site for the first time. I was a little apprehensive about meeting people who I've only communicated with through a forum. I mean, sure, we share a love for Kings Island, but what if I come across as a total tool and my reputation as an awesome fantasy footballer on here is ruined?! But I've been on this site for like...ever! Since 2002 (and whatever it was called before that), so it was about time for me to meet someone.

Needless to say, I was a little nervous when I arrived. And cold. Man, it was cold.

Well, we got parked at 6:40ish, turned in our tickets and got stamped. I looked around at the crowd of people all wearing white and saw no sign of anything KICentral related. So then I thought, well, maybe I should have tried to coordinate with someone earlier. While waiting near the front of the crowd I saw who I thought may be Jcgobel3 (Jonathan). I only knew what he looked like based on previous trip reports and he looked like he was searching for....something. Or....someone. So I approached him and said, "Hey! Are you from KICentral?"

He said "yeah", and so then I spit in his face and stepped on his foot.

No, I introduced myself and my wife. I was relieved that I'd finally met someone from KIC. I thought, this isn't so bad, Jonathan seems like a good guy. Then he texted Avatar (Jesse) and we were told that they were back near the stage.

Again, nervous, I followed Jonathan and then I saw Jesse (recognized from trip reports) with a group of others. I introduced myself to Jesse and met a couple other people. I'm sorry if I don't remember everyone's names, but there was Jason and 2 fellows who said they were fans but didn't post and 2 ladies who I didn't really get introduced to. Then Ryan showed up. We all moved to the staging section and we were going to be part of the last group to go.

I guess I should get with some pictures now. I'm sorry if some of these are not great. To keep from permanently dying my phone, I had it in a zip lock bag for the run.

This is us prior to the run:

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This is actually stolen from Jesse's Facebook post (sorry), but it's the KICentral Ta Ta team prior to action (What are the chances we all picked the same shirt to wear?):

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We got lined up and we were off. Laura and I decided early that we were running this thing for pride, for country, and to burn some calories so that we could have some blue ice cream later.

When we hit the first mile marker, I was a little skeptical that this was actually a full 5K. It seemed to come up pretty early, but it doesn't matter, we were running inside Kings Island!

Running under Invertigo:

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The path took us around Invertigo and into Action Zone (this is where we were first hit with color). Then we went down the Coney Mall strip to WindSeeker then back through Coney Mall and around Tower Gardens (I think, it was all kind of a blur). I do know that near the end of the Coney Mall section we saw Jesse and Jonathan running into Coney Mall and I yelled at them and they waved as they were trying to catch us (yeah right, we were like the wind....slow, sweaty wind).

We went over near The Beast and went down a service road under Diamondback, which was pretty sweet. There was a very steep downhill and then uphill under Diamondback.

Here's a shot of me under DB:

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It would have been cooler if DB was running at the time. Heck, we were running, why wasn't lazy old Diamondback running!? Then we took some more back roads and before we knew it we were in Soak City and at the finish line where we were given our own bag of color to throw at each other. Laura got me pretty good.

In the end, here is what we looked like:

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I'd say we made it out relatively clean compared to these nuts:

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Look at that. Kids rolling around. It's like pandemonium.

Mixed in the picture above is Don Helbig (Red shirt, tie and khakis). I met him shortly after and shook his hand. Told him I appreciated his posts on KIC. I asked how hard it would be to clean all this up and he said it was pretty easy with a power washer.

We met up with the KICentral crew when they were done and some of them were a mess. Good job guys!

Eventually we got out to the car and got cleaned up and changed so that we could start our day in the park. (Continued later)

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(Continued....)

After getting cleaned up we went back to the Soak City entrance and since the train wasn't there yet we walked down the connector path and found that the entrance to Planet Snoopy was still blocked from ERT opening. There was a small crowd gathered and I saw the KIC'ers again so we joined back up with them. When the rope dropped we made our way to Diamondback. Laura and I were concerned about riding behind Ryan or Jesse because they were caked in the magic 5K powder and we figured we'd be wearing that stuff on our nice clean clothes after the first hill. They went to the back of the train and we were a couple rows ahead, but then some kids were looking for some awesome couple, like super heroes, to swoop in and ride before them so that they could ride with their friends. We were that couple, so we swooped in.

There were still some people in the front of the train with the magic dust on them (including Jason), so when we went down the first hill there was a small red cloud that we passed through. Diamondback was amazing though and while I felt that mysterious vibration that has been creeping in, it wasn't as bad or distracting as it's been in the past.

Afterwards we waited at the exit to watch the other KIC'ers go down the hill to see if we could spot the instance when Ryan and Jesse crop dusted everyone, but we didn't see the cloud. But we did see the results from the girls that sat behind them after they returned, which was pretty funny.

At that point we separated from the group. They were going off to clean up and we were heading to The Beast. I have to say; I'm glad we met up. Jonathan, Jesse, Ryan and Jason were all cool and fun to talk to. Wish we could have hung out a little more because we didn't get much time to get to know each other, but maybe we'll be able to meet up again sometime in the future. Unfortunately, I didn't check the meet up post to see where and when everyone else was meeting later, so I didn't get to experience that, but maybe it can happen next year.

So moving on, we went to The Beast and the line was out of the entrance. Um...it was still ERT, right? Well, since it was only like 5 minutes until the rest of the park opened, we waited by LaRosa's and when the rope dropped we went to Back Lot Stunt Coaster.

Look who we saw in line:

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It's old Marty McFly!!! When their train took off I half expected to see flaming tire tracks left behind! Too bad BLSC doesn't hit 88 MPH.

We then headed for either FoF or Thunderhawk and both had crazy long lines already, so we went to The Racer. Line wasn't too long, but they were only running one side, so it took about 15 minutes. It was very smooth, which was nice. Off season work well done!

When we got out over half of The Racer's queue was full. Checked Adventure Express and it was out the entrance, so we walked around and checked out some shops for a while.

Me trying on what may be my future hat of choice:

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HOF Grill Experience...may be long, skip if not interested...

Then we headed to the Reds HOF Grill. It was early, but since we hardly ate anything before running, we were hungry. We walked in and were seated quickly since we were one of the early guests in. The food looked good and the prices looked decent on some things but not for others ($9.99 for a chili dog and chips?).

I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and Laura ordered chicken tenders (she ordered the fry upgrade). Then we waited. And waited. And walked around and checked the decor. Then came back and waited. And waited. Our waitress was great, checking in on us. The first people to be served (I heard their waiter tell them that they were the first) got their food eventually and it looked good, but we kept waiting. I overheard the first family make a complaint about not getting fries so they were waiting on that.

Eventually we got our food and they did not get Laura's fries, so the waitress said she'd get it ordered. The sandwich was okay. Not a ton of flavor, but the chips were good. Laura's tenders left a lot to be desired. It was 4 scrawny tenders on what looked like 2 big orders of chips. Perhaps the chips were supposed to make up for the lack of tenders, I don't know. Those also did not have a lot of flavor, so maybe the chicken dishes aren't the way to go there.

We finished our meals and the place had filled up. The first family was done, but there was a problem with their check which the manager came out to correct. The couple next to us were brought the wrong food and the same thing happened to the people next to them later. Our waitress told us Laura's fries were going to be a little while because they were backed up, but we told her she could just skip that since we'd filled on chips, so we were ready for our check. When we got the check she had still charged us for the fries, so we asked to have that corrected, which she did.

After we paid we got up (we left a nice tip for her doing as well as she could), we looked the place over a little more. It seemed pretty hectic. The place was full, but did not feel crowded with people. As I walked to the restroom which was by an entrance to the kitchen, I noticed that their soda dispenser in the kitchen is right next to the door so servers refilling drinks have to dodge people going in and out. It seemed like a really bad idea to have it there (it should probably be outside of the kitchen since it looked quite cramped as it was in there). I don't want to dog on it too much because it was the first day, so they have plenty of time to iron out the kinks.

The place itself was beautiful. Plenty of things to look at and memorabilia everywhere. With the sit down service it didn't even feel like we were in Kings Island anymore. Perhaps we'll check it out again the next time we're in the park and by then they should have everything going smoothly.

End of HOF Grill Experience.....

After that we checked back on The Beast. The line was even longer, so we decided to try Dinosaurs Alive for the first time ever. I have to say, I enjoyed it. The Dinos did not always work when we walked up and we'd have to wait on them for a while to move, but they almost all seemed to work. The new giant one was quite impressive.

Here's Laura and I in front of what is now one of the smaller guys:

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After Jurassic Park we checked out Action Zone and some blue ice cream. That's when I noticed the (now infamous) wall.

I pondered the signs and risked injury and or death and stuck my hand through a gate opening to snap a couple pictures:

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To get a better look, we went to the Eiffel Tower which had a 25 minute line. We waited and went up. It's always nice up there. Since I only had the iPhone I didn't take any pictures since they wouldn't be worth much from that high.

The Beast line looked long, but we decided to check it out again. We were tired so we knew that we were either going to ride this and leave or a couple flats. The line was past the arcade at that point, so we were off to Shake Rattle and Roll (a favorite flat of mine). We had to wait about 6 cycles to ride that, but it was fun.

Then we hit Dodgem. There was red dust on a lot of the straps.....Jesse? Ryan?

Then finally we hit the Grand Carousel. For the first time in, I don't know how long, we had to wait 2 cycles to ride (yeah it was that crowded).

One thing I noticed outside of the Carousel and I'm sure someone can enlighten me, but has this always been here? (The old timey saw in the tree):

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If it has, I've just never noticed it. If it's new (it's a clue!!!!)

Okay, that's it. After that ride we left.

Sorry for the lack of pictures of the park. I took a lot of the dinos, but those aren't too exciting. I think I had some of the food, but I don't have them with me at the moment (they're on my wife's phone) but I can add them later.

It was a good day. The 5K through the park is a great experience and I advise everyone to do it if they have it again next year. Meeting KIC'ers was also a great experience as well. This will probably be it for me from Kings Island until later in the year when a 2014 pass deal comes around (and we may have a new attraction announced!!!)

Thanks for reading!

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I don't ever recall seeing the saw in the downed tree. Very interesting!

I have the same Millennium Falcon shirt. I just need to get the tags off of it and actually wear it for once. :P

Thanks for the report!

It was actually in the RiverTown section last year, I liked it better there than where it is now personally. Thanks for your TR!

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