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jcgoble3

The Beach 8/22/13 TR

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I left Xenia at about 9:30 and pulled into the Beach's parking lot at 10:15. After paying the $8 to park, I headed for the season pass office and bought a 2014 Adventure Pass and got my parking refunded (since the Adventure Pass includes parking). Entering the park, I rented a locker to put my stuff in. Why does Kings Island need to charge $12 to $15 for a locker? The Beach charges just $5 plus a $5 key deposit. Much more reasonable. Anyway, I walked around until I found what I was looking for: sand. I love sand. I plopped down in the sand and started scooping up the largest handfuls of sand I could get and covered myself almost from head to toe with it. I then got up and wandered around a bit, getting a feel for the layout before making my way to the wave pool, where I submerged myself to rinse off the sand.

Here I found the first two changes made by the new ownership. First, under the old owners, the free life jackets were Type II, which are the boxy bright orange ones that do not go around your back except for a strap. I hated those because they would restrict my arm movement, so in 2011 (the last time I had a Beach season pass) I bought a Type III lifejacket—the kind that come in various colors, go around both your front and back, and are designed to allow full arm movement—from Dick's Sporting Goods for use at the Beach. This year, however, the Beach has Type III lifejackets, which I like better. However, I did not need a lifejacket at all because of the other change. In 2011, the wave pool was 10' 6" deep at the deep end. This year, the "deep end" is only 4' 6" deep, so I can comfortably touch bottom at the deepest part when the waves are not on.

After frolicking in the wave pool for a few minutes, I made my way to Hang Ten. Here, you sit (not lay) on a flat mat with no handles while you go through an enclosed dark slide. I found it to be surprisingly fun. Cowabunga Curl was the next place I went; I rode the orange and yellow slides with no wait at all, then the green slide after waiting a couple of minutes. I like the yellow slide best of the three, as it's a little faster and more intense. The green slide had me oscillating from one side of the flume to the other down the final straight into the splash pool, which was a bit of a wild ride.

Next up was Banzai Blast. If you've never ridden Banzai Blast, it is a pair of high-speed triple drop racing slides and one of the most intense rides in the park. You get going so fast that when you go over the third drop, you actually go airborne for about a second. Today was no exception to that, and it was just as fun as it was in 2011 with only a one-minute wait. I then hiked all the way back up the stairs to the Cliff. Now, the website claims that you get "three full seconds of pure air". I'd like to dispute that, because this was my second ever ride on the Cliff, and like the first time, I got no airtime at all. Maybe I'm just not getting a fast enough start, and if that's the case, I don't know how to start faster. Whatever the case, I was in contact with the slide all the way down. It was still fun, but considering the five-minute wait on a slow day that will almost certainly be longer on a beautiful mid-summer day next year, Banzai Blast is a better use of my time.

At this point it was nearing 11:30, and I was waiting on the back half of the park to open (it opens at noon). To kill time, I went up to the front of the park and rode Kamikaze with no wait. At first I thought that this was the same slide that was called Volcanic Panic under the previous owners, but it is in fact a different slide. It's faster and more fun than what it replaced, and it exited out into Paradise Cove, where I spent a few minutes relaxing. After that, I took two laps in the lazy river and then waited for the gates to the back half of the park to open. When they did, I went into the High Tide Hoops pool and shot some hoops with a father and son for about 15 minutes. I knew I sucked at basketball on the court, but I suck even more in the water. :P At least I managed to not throw the ball over the fence out of the pool like someone else did.

After I got tired of shooting airballs, I grabbed a tube and headed up to Maui Wowie (I can't help but laugh at that name), which had a ten-minute wait. This is an extra-wide slide with three gradual drops, but it's a bit more intense than it looks from the bottom. Pipeline Plunge (the body slide next to Maui Wowie) appeared to be closed despite having water running through it, as there was no lifeguard at the top.

At this point, I began to make my way over to the water coaster, Big Kahuna, in hopes of being able to pair up with somebody, but just as I began to make my way there, an announcement came over the PA system that all rides were shutting down due to an approaching thunderstorm. A few seconds later, I heard lifeguard whistles everywhere closely followed by a bolt of lightning and a clap of thunder only a couple seconds later. I went to my locker and got my phone and money out and got in line to get something to eat; it was about 12:30. Checking radar, I discovered that a thunderstorm had literally just popped up out of nowhere almost right on top of us; it looked like it might be pouring down rain at Kings Island, it was that close. There was very little behind this pop-up storm, so I felt confident that they would get everything reopened before too long.

I bought a large cheese coney ($3.99, but about twice the size of the Skyline cheese coneys you get at KI) and a 24 oz. Mello Yello ($2.99). With my 10% season pass discount, the total came to $6 and some odd change. I kept checking the radar as I ate and was dismayed to see more storms developing and growing behind us (though it wasn't raining at the Beach yet). After a while, I moseyed into the arcade and blew $10 in tokens, winning 390 tickets. After discovering that like most amusement park arcades they had no prizes of interest to adults, I just gave my ticket counter receipt to the worker at the redemption counter and told him to give it to the next person that came up.

While I was in the arcade, it started raining. No, strike that: it started pouring. As I was getting ready to walk out of the arcade at about 1:30, another announcement was made over the PA system that due to the inclement weather, the park would be closing at 2:00. So much for a whole day at the waterpark. I waited for about 15 minutes for the rain to let up, then went to my locker, got my stuff out, returned my key and got my deposit back, and left, hitting Bob Evans on the way out for a little bit more to eat. Since I didn't come equipped for coaster riding and knew that things would also be shut down at KI for a while anyway, I decided to just head home from there.

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Nice trip report, the Beach really seems to be a nice water park, much nicer than Soak City than from what I red.

Also, who manages the park now?

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Nice trip report! I had hoped to make it to The Beach this year, but next year will have to do - glad to hear the park is still a lot of fun. Sorry your day had to end early, though.

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How were the crowds? I know your day was cut short, so that would factor in, don't know what day you went either but here is why I ask.

I drive north on 71 from work at least 5 days a week, past KI on the right, past the Beach on the left. A few years ago, seems like there was always a little line for the Big Red slide near the interstate, and I'd usually catch a rider coming down. This year, I've only seen a few people up on the platform, I've yet to see anyone actually coming down the slide. Limited opportunity I know, but its adds up over the coarse of a season. Similar stories on the other slides in that area, the lines don't appear to be as long as I remember from seasons past.

I'd like to see the park succeed, the new owners put in a good chunk of money, but from my observations, it doesn't look like crowds are what they used to be. With that said, its been a terrible year for waterparks. The weather has been pretty mild, how many days have we had in the 70s or low 80s? I'm not even sure if we've crawled much above 90. Last year we had several days of 100 or near 100 degree heat, many days of 90+, days that are perfect for a waterpark.

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I went to The Beach about a month ago and I STILL haven't finished my TR. I'll have to get to it soon.

On another note: When I rode The Cliff, I actually caught some air for a couple seconds. I though it was fun! Maybe it's because I started the ride sitting up? (I usually go faster on body slides if I sit up)

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Thanks for the replies!

Nice trip report, the Beach really seems to be a nice water park, much nicer than Soak City than from what I red.

Also, who manages the park now?

Adventure Landing. http://www.adventurelanding.com/ (the Beach is under the "other fun centers" link)

You don't have much luck with waterparks, do you? First Florida, now this! Thanks for the report.

LOL! For those that are newer, last August I spent three weeks in Orlando doing all of the major parks down there. I tried to do Wet 'n Wild (Universal's waterpark) the day that Tropical Storm Isaac moved through the area (we were far enough inland that we were just getting a steady rain with no wind, so I figured that I was going to get wet anyway at a waterpark). However, they shut down after just one hour because they didn't have the minimum required number of guests (50) enter the park in the first hour.

How were the crowds? I know your day was cut short, so that would factor in, don't know what day you went either but here is why I ask.

I drive north on 71 from work at least 5 days a week, past KI on the right, past the Beach on the left. A few years ago, seems like there was always a little line for the Big Red slide near the interstate, and I'd usually catch a rider coming down. This year, I've only seen a few people up on the platform, I've yet to see anyone actually coming down the slide. Limited opportunity I know, but its adds up over the coarse of a season. Similar stories on the other slides in that area, the lines don't appear to be as long as I remember from seasons past.

I'd like to see the park succeed, the new owners put in a good chunk of money, but from my observations, it doesn't look like crowds are what they used to be. With that said, its been a terrible year for waterparks. The weather has been pretty mild, how many days have we had in the 70s or low 80s? I'm not even sure if we've crawled much above 90. Last year we had several days of 100 or near 100 degree heat, many days of 90+, days that are perfect for a waterpark.

The line for the Cliff (the big red slide that you refer to) was at the top of the stairs when I rode it, about a five-minute wait. The crowds were very light yesterday, but consider that 1) kids are already going back to school in some places, 2) this week was when they began shortening their hours, which is an indication of expecting small crowds, and 3) the forecast of thunderstorms likely kept a relatively large number of people away. Given those factors, I don't think we can judge the health of the park on yesterday's crowds. The crowd level on a hot July Saturday next year will be more of an indication of how well the place is doing.

I went to The Beach about a month ago and I STILL haven't finished my TR. I'll have to get to it soon.

On another note: When I rode The Cliff, I actually caught some air for a couple seconds. I though it was fun! Maybe it's because I started the ride sitting up? (I usually go faster on body slides if I sit up)

I'm interested to see your report!

I started sitting up as well, so that's not it. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. (Actually, I think you go slower on body slides when you sit up because it greatly increases the air resistance.)

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Were life jackets required in the wave pool by everyone when it was 10' deep?

No, they weren't, only for non-swimmers and possibly children under a certain height (I don't recall exactly). Back then, the pool floor gradually sloped down to the 3' line halfway between the shore and the wave machines, then the floor changed color (as a warning) and quickly dropped down to 10' 6". So there was plenty of room in the shallow end even back then, and keep in mind that I think the Beach's wave pool is larger than either of the ones at KI's Soak City.

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The Beach is far from the best waterpark, but it's totally a great 90's waterpark. It doesn't have any newer tech slides, but it's got the best of the best from the old days. And I the only speed slides in Ohio from what I know.

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And I the only speed slides in Ohio from what I know.

I think CP's Soak City has a couple, but I'm not sure on that.

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No, they don't unfortunately. The Beach has the Cliff and the Bonsai

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great trip report, to many years of success for the beach;

Thanks for the comment!

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