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June 4: Family Fun on a Day Off!

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Originally, I was supposed to spend this day at home doing (more) schoolwork. But on the night before, my cousin messaged me saying she would be at Kings Island with her family the next day and wanted to know if I was working. Of course, I was off on this day. When I told my parents, they wanted to go meet them at the park and spend the afternoon with them, since the only other time we see them is on Thanksgiving.

In other words, my day off would turn into another Kings Island trip...and a special one at that. And for once, I didn't have to talk my parents into it. I didn't even NEED to. That's definitely a first. :lol:

For the first time since the 2016 season, I entered the parking lot via the normal (guest) entrance. As much as I enjoy the associate lot, I loved driving up and seeing the huge parking entrance appear in front of me! Also, I was able to scan my pass at the kiosk in record time, compared to 2016 when it would take me forever! Glad they improved the kiosks so you don't have to hold your pass every which way just to scan it.

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My parents and I arrived at the park around 1:30, and we met my cousin, cousin-in-law, and their two sons (a.k.a. my nephews) in Action Zone by Chicken Shack and Delirium. One of my nephews is just above 36" tall and his younger brother is an infant, so we spent a lot of our time in Planet Snoopy. They had ridden a couple of rides before they met us, and we wanted to get some more rides in that my nephew would be able to ride. So we headed back to Planet Snoopy together, with me leading the way. Since it was my nephews' first trip to Kings Island, they had never ridden any of the rides, so any rides that my 36" nephew rode were his first times on each of them.

When we arrived at Planet Snoopy, we were in the mood for a water ride, and the perfect ride for that was nearby! So my first ride of the day was the Flume. I got to enjoy my nephew's first Flume ride with him and his dad (a.k.a. my cousin-in-law!)! We all had fun and got a little wet, of course. :D My nephew was giggling throughout the ride, so I knew he had a blast!

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In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he wanted to do it again. So we hopped back into the 10-minute line, this time with my cousin!

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While waiting in line, I managed to re-download the Kings Island app onto my phone so I could find the other rides that have a 36" minimum height requirement. One of those rides was Woodstock Gliders, which we rode next.

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We waited two full cycles before just making it onto the next cycle. My dad decided to ride with us, so he and I squeezed into one glider while my cousin-in-law and nephew rode in another. During the ride, I happened to almost snap my glider (I got as far as moving the fin at the right times for my glider to speed up and slow down in a way characteristic of snapping) but I was careful not to take it too far in case the 2015 snapping ban was still in effect. I apparently know how to snap now. :) And of course, my nephew loved his first flight on the Gliders (and my dad enjoyed his too. :D).

We took a brief restroom/snack break. My dad visited the Planet Snoopy Grill and bought some chicken tenders and French fries, which he shared with my mom and me. And yes, they were very good! After a few minutes I suggested riding the Kite Eating Tree, which was one of my favorite rides growing up. So my cousin-in-law, nephew and I got in line and waited three cycles before being the first people on the next cycle.

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For me, this ride on Kite Eating Tree (which to me will always be Plankton's Plunge :)) was a nice trip down memory lane, and for my nephew it was a really fun first ride!

Speaking of memory lane...Woodstock Express (a.k.a. the Fairly Odd Coaster) was nearby, and I was feeling rather nostalgic and wanted to revisit my first real roller coaster and take it for a spin.

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Since Woodstock Express' minimum height requirement is 40", my nephew couldn't ride it yet. So my cousin and I rode. I felt pretty much all the nostalgic feels possible as I walked through the familiar queue and joined the short line just outside the station. The only difference between this time and the others was that I rode in the very last row, unlike in 2007 where I rode exclusively in the middle (and my front seat ride in 2014 and the 2015 Last Rides ERT where I rode near/in the front!)!

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As expected, we got a lot of airtime in the back seat. The second drop surprised me as it had even more ejector air than the first! I had a great ride down memory lane (again)!

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And yes, my shirt was still wet from my two Flume rides. :)

At this point, my nephew needed a small break from the rides, and my cousin-in-law and I wanted to ride Vortex. So we started heading toward the other side of the park. As we headed out, the Holly Jolly Trolley from WinterFest (which was now the Peanuts trolley, decorated with Peanuts theming) stopped by Snoopy Boutique and the characters and their escorts got out and started dancing to the music. I joined in, and Sally came over and danced with me. We boogied together for a few moments as other kids joined in. I may have been the oldest guest who got into the dancing, but I didn't care. :lol: It was fun!

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Vortex is the favorite ride for both me and my cousin-in-law, so we were both excited to take it for a spin!!

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For some reason, no separator was present when we got there, even though the line went up to the bridge. Fortunately, our fellow guests did a good job separating themselves (the lines for each row were distinct), so it was easy for us to join the line for the front row.

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After waiting about 10 minutes from the time we joined the line, we stepped into the front seat on Train 3. It was my cousin-in-law's first time riding in nearly ten years, and it was my first time riding since...well, the previous day. :P Both of us greatly enjoyed our ride together on our favorite ride! "Still as great as I remember!" he said as the train hit the brakes.

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We wanted to ride WindSeeker, but we were running short on time and we still had not taken my nephew on Scrambler and the Carousel (which I kept mentioning), so after riding Vortex, we headed to Scrambler. We waited one full cycle and then some before boarding. My cousin and nephew rode in one car and my mom and I rode in another. As I much as I enjoy riding Scrambler by myself, it does not compare to riding it with another person. It was the first time my mom and I had ridden it together in nearly three years, so this ride was extra special!

Last, but certainly not least, was the Grand Carousel. We just barely missed boarding the current cycle so we waited that one cycle before being the first people onto the next one. My cousin-in-law, nephew, both my parents and I rode all together. The recorded music was still playing because the organ currently was not sounding too good at the moment, so the recorded music was playing to spare all of us our ears and a potentially cringe-worthy ride. :lol: Hopefully the organ will be back in service soon!!

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Taken before the ride, as always.

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In the roughly three hours we spent at the park, it was a pretty good day! I loved finally getting to see some relatives on a day besides Thanksgiving, and being able to just relax and hang out as a guest since I had the day off and didn't need to worry about working (as much as I love it). I'm glad to be a part of my nephews' first trip to Kings Island (and get to ride some of my previous favorite rides, with plenty of nostalgia on the side) and this was probably the best day off I've had in a while, if ever!

+Flume: 2

YTD: 4

Total: 14

+Woodstock Gliders: 1

Total: 2

+Kite Eating Tree: 1

Total: 4

+Woodstock Express: 1

Total: 15

+Vortex: 1

YTD: 34

Total: 527

+Scrambler: 1

YTD: 2

Total: 26

+Grand Carousel: 1

YTD: 2

Total: 38

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