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McSalsa

McSalsa's Coaster Adventures: From Outta Nowhere (KI April 13th, 2018)

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Well, this trip to Kings Island came from seemingly nowhere. This year, due to our desire to return to Cedar Point (due to Steel Vengeance of course) in May and our now having friends who can reliably offer transportation, we decided to get passes for Kings Island for the first time since 2014, but this time, Platinum Passes. So we did so, however, I was not expecting to actually be able to come to the park until next week. Yesterday, my sister told me we were going to some park due to the amazing weather with a friend, and that I should come to get out for a while, so I got ready and all that, and then she said this park was really nice but was kinda along the same road that we take to go to Kings Island. I bought it, but I grew suspicious when we drove for over 45 minutes and had not reached the park. There are good parks near our house, why are we wasting gas and driving this far? Then, after we hit a rest stop for 5 minutes to use the bathrooms, she finally had to spill the beans. We were not going to the park (well, we were, sorta) at all. We were going to Passholder Preview Night at Kings Island! TBH this is the first time I ever went to any amusement park without knowing beforehand, so it was a new feeling. Usually, I have time to hype myself up for weeks or even months beforehand, but I thought I was gonna have 1 more week of off-season. I guess not.

Also: I have decided after some deliberation, to scrap my 1-10 rating system, as I have over this last offseason thought up something better for me (since I almost never used 0-4). I am also into video games, and was watching some stuff on Youtube, and have decided to switch to...Tier Lists! Basically, every ride I go on will get a letter. F is the worst, and it goes up to A/S for amazing rides. Here is a explanation of the full scale, from worst to best:

F- Garbage. I regret ever riding this and will not make the same mistake of ever riding it again!

D- Mediocre. A disappointing, or painful ride, though there might be a little fun here. I might give a D-Tier ride a second chance but it is gonna need to be a walk-on or something.

C- Average. A fun ride, but either there is enough roughness/pain to dilute it, or it just does not blow me away. Will still ride this if the wait is not too bad, though.

B- Good. A ride I enjoy, but it may have some flaws, but I will happily re-ride this unless the wait is pretty crazy.

A- Awesome. These rides leave me with a huge grin usually, and I will ride them over and over if there is a short wait. If there are long waits around the entire park, I may aim for these anyway, as if you are gonna wait, best to be for something worth it. Surpassed only by...

S- Zen. The best of the best. I am usually giddy and my happiness meter is maxed out after riding one of these. Tragically, these are not the most common rides out there, however.

BTW if you must use a 1-10 scale, consider S=10, A=9, B=8, C=7, D=6, F=5 or worse, etc. Anyhow, let's get into the actual trip report and see what Kings Island has to offer in 2018!

We arrived at the park around 4:30 PM, and headed to get our passes processed. This went by pretty quick, and I was the first platinum for the lady who did mine. We then headed in the park and I used the men's bathroom near the front gate, which seems to have been renovated this off-season. Our friend who took us was the one who was still scared of big coasters (though he managed to do Magnum XL-200 somehow), so for his sake, we made our first coaster of 2018...

RIDE #1: Adventure Express

AE was a walk-on, but we did not get first train of the year. They did have to take a little girl off for a second and re-measure her, as she was just BARELY tall enough to ride. She passed, and got her first ride on AE. Adventure Express was its usual, fun self with some minor rough spots but nothing unexpected for the coaster...save 1 thing. Indiana Jones skeleton is GONE from the 2nd tunnel! I mean, he was just sitting in there rotting away, so I guess the natives finally got sick of the stench and removed him. :P

UPDATE: My sister has informed me he is still in the tunnel, we just did not see him the first time. My bad.

Rating: C

Since he had ridden Magnum XL-200, our friend who was with us realized AE is far, far less intense and he had nothing to worry about. Next up, we hit another coaster in the area, one of Kings Island's OG classics.

RIDE #2: The Racer

Another walk-on, but we waited 1 cycle for front row on each side, as they grabbed Blue Racer and I took Red. And I have some great news- Racer was running great! Memories of May 2012 were re-ignited because Racer was running pretty darn smooth, with a solid amount of airtime to boot. Easily my best ride on Racer since that day. Also, I won, by at least a full train length, so Blue Racer may not be as smooth this year as red.

Rating: B

After Racer, we headed for The Bat, since our friend really liked Iron Dragon and wanted to ride the larger, more intense version at Kings Island. However, when we got back there, a water pipe or something had busted and was spraying water all over, so The Bat was closed. I split off from the group for a bit, as they wanted to ride Congo Falls and I was not really feeling getting wet, so we agreed to meet up at the old Dinosaurs Alive! area, since over there I could ride...

RIDE #3: Vortex

1 train wait, and since 5-1 and 7-1 both had the same wait, I actually went 7-1 since I always do 5-1, why not mix it up a bit? And this choice seems to have paid off: I got 2 nice pops of airtime, on the first drop and going into the corkscrews, and the ride was pretty smooth by Vortex standards (only 1 actual head-bang moment!). At least from my seat, the people behind me foolishly took a "2" seat and got pretty beat up. Though the guy behind me also did say as bad as he thought that was, he felt Son of Beast was worse. I can't imagine if I would have enjoyed that ride or not, but I never really had the chance for that one either.

Rating: B

After Vortex, I sat down and my group found me pretty quickly. I did get a chance to check the area out, no teaser posters here yet so I don't think we are getting a Giga Coaster next year, maybe 2020+. We then headed over and saw BLSC was also down (early season issues, early season issues everywhere!) so we headed to...

RIDE #4: The Beast

Our friend who was overcoming his fear of coasters was nervous about this one. However, since he did conquer Magnum XL-200, we told him only the helix at the end was to worry about. This was our first real wait at around 20-25 minutes. We boarded, and due to my friend's seat choices, I had to sit in 1-3 and be on a rear wheel seat. And, it resulted in a rough ride. My gut kept smacking into the lap bar, creating the sensation Beast was punching me over and over. Thankfully not too hard, but I could feel it. However, the ride was also running very fast and intense, so I would still take this Beast ride over some smoother, but less fun Beast rides I have had in the past. I thought this ride was very good. However, I am gonna try not to get a rear-wheel seat again. Our friend was fine for the first part of the ride, but he did think the helix was crazy, as expected. Though he will still ride Beast again, but he is scared to do it at night, since he hates not seeing what is happening.

Rating: A

After The Beast, my sister was getting hungry, so we wandered around the park and looked for food and...EVERY SINGLE FOOD STAND HAD HUGE LINES. We spent 30 minutes looking for somewhere with at least a short line, but nope. So we gave up, and decided we would eat outside the park later. However, this trek eventually took us past Diamondback, where we saw a old friend: THE WHEEL O' Fast Lane! A lot of rides had built up big waits, so we decided to play the game a few times. We got...Adventure Express, Banshee, and Diamondback! Well, one of those is right here...our friend sat this one out, he does not like how open the trains are and DB is even bigger than Magnum XL-200. He might do it when he has more confidence later this year, though.
 

RIDE #5: Diamondback

We still ended up waiting 10 minutes, because there was a protein spill on one of the trains, and thus only 2 were taking passengers. We rode in the front row of the 2nd car, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much airtime we got, especially since this was not the back car! Diamondback, per usual, gave its super fun airtime filled ride I have come to expect since 2009. Also the new black seats look great. Oh, and when our train hit the brake run, the 3rd train got barfed on as well, so DB was effectively down to 1 train and people were already barfing all over the new black seats. Yuck.

Rating: A

After Diamondback, we cut across the park and my companions took a 2nd ride on Adventure Express. AE is fun, but you could only take 2 people with the Fast Lane Ticket thingies, and it looked like it had a 20 minute or so wait. After that, we saw Bat had re-opened, but when we went back there we found it with a 45-minute wait (for Bat that is HUGE, biggest wait I personally have ever seen it with) so we just turned around and spent our final Fast Lane ticket. Our friend cannot do loops or inversions, so he sat this one out as well. Also, it was night time by now!

RIDE #6: Banshee (Night)

Ahh, Banshee at night. The cool air in your face, your body going upside down 7 times, the strong G-Forces...what's not to like here? Also, the KI Phone App was horribly wrong on a lot of stuff all day, for example it claimed Banshee had a 15-minute wait but it was actually over an hour, as we saw when we walked up to the ride with our ticket.

Rating: A

After Banshee, we checked the wait time for Mystic Timbers and found it was 90 minutes. While we normally would have waited that out, my sister had to work today so we could not leave the park that late. Beast was a hour, and due to its fireworks shut-down adding 15-30 to that, was also a no-go. So instead we opted to do some smaller flat rides, then wait and watch the fireworks. We came across Zephyr, and decided to ride that.

RIDE #7: Zephyr (Night)

There was a 5 minute or so wait, it had to run a cycle before we went on due to there being a decent line. Thankfully, Zephyr has good capacity. Swinging around and going up and down is fun, but I was also swaying side to side, possibly because it was windy (yet somehow, WindSeeker was open!). I had fun, but the ride made my sister and our friend kinda sick- turns out, he can't do spinning or looping.

Rating: C

After Zephyr, we checked out the new Coney Island BBQ, but my sister did not like the prices so we ditched (the menu may have only had combo meals, I didn't get a good look at it myself) and headed for our final ride of the evening...

RIDE #8: Eiffel Tower (Night)
You could really feel the wind up here, in fact it was making the tower sway. Our friend was getting sick from it, so he had to bail and go back down. The views of Kings Island at night are amazing though, and we stayed for the fireworks, which we got a great view of (though WindSeeker ran during them, bet that was a even better view). Then of course, due to park close, we went down to ground level. A fun trip up KI's iconic tower.

Rating: B

Oh, I should mention it here, the new lights on International Street are gorgeous. I think they were added during Winterfest (must do that in 2018!) but I am not sure. Anyhow, after all that, we met our friend and left the park, but it took us 30 minutes to exit the parking lot. Ouch, my sister is probably super le tired at work today. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this trip report! Here is my final Pros/Cons...

PROS
+Rides were running great mostly! Vortex and Racer felt smoother than in 2017, Beast was rough but running fast.

+The park looks very pretty at night with the new lights

+Good fireworks show to end the night

CONS
-Huge...food...lines...ugh. I'd say I hope this improves, but this has been a issue for 3 years now. Next time, we will have food in the car, just in case.

-Huge crowds. People really want to go to KI after the offseason and it shows. Especially with nice weather.

-Lots of ride breakdowns. Not unexpected, they are just waking up after the offseason, but it still kinda sucks.

As usual, comments and questions welcome. Oh, and I'll be back...next week. Yeah, the trip next week was NOT cancelled, we are literally going 2 weeks in a row for the first time I can recall. And will probably be back more after that. YAY SEASON PASSES!!! B)

 

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