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Closing Day, October 30, 2016: Commitment Pays Off

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And you thought I wouldn't have a Closing Day trip report up this year. :P Senior year of high school has been so busy that I have not had ample time to write this until Thanksgiving weekend. I also hope to write about my October 29 Point excursion (and actually follow through on these words!) If I don't get to my other trip reports this weekend, there's hope that Christmas break will allow more time...

 

That being said, I will now tell you about the most time-constrained Closing Day trip I've ever had (and hopefully ever will have)! And by time-constrained I mean literally leaving my house at 6, making the 50-minute drive and arriving at the park at 6:50, 10 minutes before closing! I was unable to come earlier due to church in the morning and Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (DPYO) rehearsal from 1:30-4:30. But a brief visit to the beloved Island was much better than nothing, especially if it wouldn't open again until April!

 

Prior to arrival, my mom had renewed my Platinum Pass online, though she had not yet renewed hers because she had a regular-rate pass instead of a senior-rate pass. So when we arrived (and agreed to meet back up later), she went to Guest Services to ask if she could "upgrade" to a senior-rate pass, while I went to the Season Pass Processing Center to get my picture taken for my newly renewed 2017 Platinum Pass.

 

I literally was in and out of the Season Pass Processing Center in 30 seconds. I walked in where one other guest was being helped, to Station 8 (the same station where my original Platinum Pass photo was taken!), told the lady I needed my picture taken for my renewed pass, and she took my picture and I was good to go. After thanking her, I headed right out the exit and toward the Front Gate, eager to scan my 2017 Platinum Pass for the first time as a 2017 pass and the last time in the 2016 season, after which I began speedwalking toward the back of the park in the hopes to catch the last ride of the season on a certain favorite ride. At this time, it was 6:55.

 

Passing throngs of guests heading toward the exit, I skedaddled up into Coney Mall. Eventually, Vortex's open entrance came into view as I fast approached. I checked the time - then 6:58 - as I drew closer. Finally, I reached the entrance, out of breath from my brisk walk. My legs were tired and my throat was dry, but I had made it!!

 

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I kept repeating "I made it!" under my breath as I strode into the station for the last time this season. I decided to take a breather before I rode, so I stood by the side of the station first, watching trains come and go. A few minutes later, as it was now 7:00, the crew announced, "This is the last train. If you're not on this train, then you don't ride," as the gates opened. I sprung into action, joining the other ~16-18 riders as we all scrambled to different seats on the train. Since my preferred cars (first, second, sixth, and seventh) were already occupied, I collapsed into 3-1, relieved that after all that had happened today I had made the last train of the season! And yes, the ride was well worth it, including hearing "Enjoy the last ride of the season on Vortex!" and "Thank you for making Vortex your last ride of the season. See you next year!" My fellow riders on board Train #1 (yes, the same train that took me on my 300th ride last year was also the last train to carry riders this year!!) had a grand ole' time as well. It was great!

 

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As I disembarked, WindSeeker finished its last cycle of the season. Mom and I agreed via text to meet at the front gate at 8:00.

 

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On the way to Diamondback, I stood in front of Vortex, taking in the iconic view one last time before the six month wait would begin. After a few moments, I said goodbye and continued to Rivertown, as Diamondback was calling my name and I didn't want to miss the ERT!

 

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When I got to Diamondback, the line extended to below the lift hill, which only shortened as I would later have a station wait for my second and third rides. I hopped in line for Row 14, where I saw a group of four - one of whom was Brendan Carey, who has over 3,000 rides on Banshee (and a discussion topic about him here on KIC! ;))! I got to meet him! I congratulated him as he and his group boarded the Brown Train, to which he of course said thanks.

 

Right before I boarded the Green Train, I received a text from Beastie1980. Voice to text (a.k.a. "diction" on iPhone) came in handy as I replied to her text and walked aboard at the exact same time! It probably goes without saying, but the ride was AWESOME, especially since the last time I rode Diamondback at night was at last year's renewal ERT on November 1, 2015! And yes, I remembered the "Diamondback Dive," as Beastie1980 taught me last year! :D Like last year, it got pretty cold in those back woods!

 

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If you think those two ladies in the foreground of this photo are DiamondAceExpress and Lucy (ohiocolts's sister), then you would be correct. I saw them as I queued for Row 16 for my third ride. (For my second ride, I rode near the front in Row 2.)

It was nice seeing you again! :) I obviously did not see my fellow KICers enough this season. Hopefully that changes next season!!

 

For my last ride of the season on Diamondback, I took in as much as I could. Going up the lift hill, I put my hands behind my head, closed my eyes, and totally relaxed, feeling the gentle upward pull and listening to the anti-rollback. Of course I also took some time to look around at the rest of the park, all (mostly) lit up, and the lift lights going by right beside the train. I looked over at the sleeping Vortex and wished it another good night before diving 215 feet into the darkness one last time. Do I even need to say that that was another amazing ride??!??! And it was cold!?!??! Since I was in the back I stuck my arm out during the splashdown and felt the cool water, and while in the brake run I stared at the gargantuan lift hill in front of me, enjoying that view for the last time until spring.

 

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In the meantime, I had been keeping Beastie1980 updated on what I was up to, though I didn't receive another text from her during the trip. I did see her mom as I met my mom back at the front gate, as it was 8:00.

 

The line was nearly nonexistent when I exited. Maybe everyone else went to Banshee? :P

 

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As you can see from the photos, I made sure to get plenty of pictures of the Royal Fountains as I felt the mist, smelled the chlorine, and watched them illuminated in various vivid colors for the last time.

 

Upon arrival at the Front Gate, my mom and Beastie1980's mom talked for a little while, while I tried to accept that it was time to end this visit and that the 2016 season was finally over. As I walked back in toward the Fountains, The Script's "Superheroes" started playing with virtually perfect timing. I listened (and sang along), gradually gaining the gusto to confidently walk out of the gate knowing that I would be walking back in next April and/or May before knowing it! Of course I said goodbye to Beastie1980's mom first, telling her to say hello to Beastie1980 for me. ;)

 

"Superheroes" continued to play as we made our way to our car. It was Kings Island's own goodbye as it too bid farewell to the 2016 season. I, and many others, will most certainly be looking forward to next year! (after celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. first, that is!)

 

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See you in 2017, Kings Island!

 

As for my mom renewing her pass, she got her questions answered and she now has a 2017 senior-rate Platinum Pass, which she paid in full up front. My pass is on EasyPay, which makes for another way to count down to the next season. :P

 

+Vortex: 1

YTD: 17

Total: 317

 

+Diamondback: 3

YTD: 9

Total: 92 (Next year I'll take my 100th ride on Diamondback!!)

 

Notes:

-Crews on both Diamondback and Vortex were nice and engaging (which is very good!)

-Even with all the rushing at the beginning, I was still actively enjoying the park.

-One of last year's Closing Day Vortex crew members was here this time. She and I had a nice talk after closing. Hopefully next year I can see my friends more! :D

-Very thankful for what took place, and of course for Kings Island's willingness to keep five rides open for two more hours! That will always be appreciated!

-I didn't see many KICers this year, but a seeing a few is better than seeing no one at all!

-Hope to be able to meet up with many more KICers next year (and I'm planning on buying all-season FunPix so I won't miss a moment!)

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GREAT trip report. :)

 

Sorta wish I had seen you on Closing Day... oh well! 

 

We have next year!

 

Sorta weird that I had just stopped hanging out with Beastie1980 when you met her! I had to go and make a gift purchase at the KI 80s store so I had to leave her....

 

Thanks for the detailed trip report. :)

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Thanks for a great PTR! Sorry I did not get to see you on closing day. We had left earlier for I had a few children to pick up and get ready for school the next day. Hope to see you in 2017!

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Awesome trip report! 

 

Really enjoyed the photos of the Royal Fountain. There is something always special about seeing them lit up at end of the night. Especially on closing day!

 

Thanks for sharing!

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I was also on the last Vortex train of 2016. Didn't get to ride in my favorite row of 7-1 but got a ride in 5-1.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

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