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McSalsa's Coaster Adventures: Still More Island Fun! (KI August 5th, 2018)

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Hi everyone! Well, after having to go to Holiday World instead last month due to bad weather, we were finally able to go back to Kings Island again last Sunday. Before we get into the meat of this Trip Report, as usual, the ride (and food/show) rating system:

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- Epic. 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. 

Note: If you wanna take this as a 1-10 system, S=10, A=9, B=8, C=7, D=6, and F=5 or worse.

We missed a exit on the way to KI (I noticed but didn't realize our driver didn't until it was too late), so we arrived around 9:45AM, thus we kinda missed ERT. We decided we would just line up and go to X-Base to begin the day. Firehawk was still doing morning testing and wasn't ready to open, so for our first ride, we did the other major coaster in X-Base.

Ride #1: Flight of Fear

Wait: 1 Train (>5 Minutes)

As we did not get to ride this on in June, this was my first ride on FOF since April. We rode in the very back car, as that seat had no wait. It felt like your typical FOF ride: a little rough, very forceful, and fun. Being in the back kinda made it feel a bit slower though since you could see the elements coming by looking at the cars ahead of you on the train, so the 2nd half of the ride was a bit more predictable. Still a solid ride though, and a nice way to start the day.

Rating: B

After FOF, Firehawk had finished testing and had opened, so we headed to that next.

Ride #2: Firehawk

Wait: 1 Train (>5 Minutes)

I love getting to X-Base early when there are no waits. It has been a while since I had last ridden Firehawk, as this was my first ride in 2018. I had forgotten how loose the restraints feel, it is actually a bit unnerving. The ride was still fun though, the loop may be the best loop in the park due to the flying coaster nature and I didn't realize how close you get to some of the trees near the ride. A fun ride.

Rating: C

While riding Firehawk, I saw Vortex running either empty or near-empty trains, and wanted to go ride that since I had to miss it due to a hurt shoulder last time. My friends/sister went off to smoke, and I rode Vortex.

Ride #3: Vortex

Wait: 1 Train (>5 Minutes)

I decided I wanted maximum airtime, so 7-1 it was. And I got what I wanted- first drop had some nice air. The ride, for Vortex standards, was pretty smooth but there was a slight wobble on the drop into the 2 loops. I did not get headbanged at all, though I realize this is probably because my head goes well above the restraints, and my neck has a good 3-4 inches or so on each side to move before it bumps them. As usual the ride had nice forces and fun inversions. A fun ride overall.

Rating: B

While climbing Vortex's lift, I noticed Beast had a very short, if any, wait. I returned to my friends and we discussed it, and decided to head that way since waits were apparently short around the park. Before Beast, however, we decided to ride...

Ride #4: Backlot Stunt Coaster

Wait: 5-10 Minutes

There was a short wait for BLSC, but nothing enough to deter us from riding it. We boarded, and got another fun ride on the small-but-spunky coaster. All the remaining effects seemed to be working too. It did feel like it was running a wee bit slow due to it being early morning still, though. Also, on exit, I noticed the audio for the exit has been edited- there is a gap when he says "Enjoy the rest of your day at...Kings Island!" Hmm, wonder what was cut out. :P

Rating: C

After BLSC, it was onto the park's 1979 wooden monster.

Ride #5: The Beast

Wait: 20-25 Minutes

The wait should have been like 5-10 minutes tops, but there was a barf train, so we had to wait more. However soon after that train was cleaned up, we waited a few cyles and were on. We rode in the very back car since I had a good experience with it last time (it was a back wheel seat ride in the 2nd car that hurt my shoulder, not the rear car). The ride was good fun, but it wasn't quite running at the blazing speeds it was back in June, even though it was kinda hot already. Plus I had ridden Voyage a few weeks ago, and Beast is not very crazy at all compared to that, save for the helix. Still a very fun ride though.

Rating: A

After The Beast, we headed further into Rivertown. I had heard Mystic Timbers was down to 2 trains, but I did a quick visual check and found all 3 were running now, so whatever had been the problem was fixed. We found the wait didn't look too bad either, so Mystic was our next ride.

Ride #6: Mystic Timbers

Wait: 15-20 Minutes

The line had a decent amount of people in it, but it moved pretty fast too since the dispatches were frequent. We arrived at the station, and I saw a sign above the ride exit: "Outpost 5". LOL, apparently Outpost 5 has been moved to Mystic Timbers. We were assigned row 11, near the very back of the train (this was becoming a theme for me). We could barely hear the security guard going up the lift from this seat, but it didn't matter much because this seat gave lots of airtime on every hill, more than I have become used to on Mystic Timbers. We went into the shed, and got the snakes ending. Oddly, no music played, though. WHO BROKE THE RADIO!?!?

Rating: A

The snakes ending on MT was fitting, as we were trying to get our friend who is overcoming his fear of big coasters to try Diamondback. Apparently Mystic Timbers agreed with us by giving us that ending. He survived Voyage, we figured he could handle DB if he could get over the height, and he did do Magnum XL-200 which isn't too much shorter. We got him to cave, and thus, we got in line for Diamondback.

Ride #7: Diamondback

Wait: 10-15 Minutes

The ride crew was doing a good job dispatching trains, so the line moved fast. We rode around the middle of the train, got seated, and climbed 230 feet into the air. Solid floater air on a lot of the drops, and a very fun ride. But did our friend like it?

Yes. He loved it actually, and wanted us to come back to this coaster later! We would try to do just that. We are proud of him.

Rating: A

After Diamondback, we headed onto I-Street, planning to go to our car to begin waterpark adventures. But we got distratced, as we saw the Stunt Show begin. We did not see the entire show but the Motorcycle part was very cool. We were a little hungry/thirsty, so we went into...

Food: Starbucks

Wait: 10 Minutes (for food- it was empty)

My sister got herself some coffee and a banana bread for me and her to split. However they at first forgot our bread, but they gave her a free lemon bread to make up for it. That was nice of them! It was pretty good, too.

Rating: B

Ride #8: The Bat

Wait: 5 Minutes

The wait was not very bad at all, which I have come to expect from this ride. The Bat was running pretty well, a little rough but it also had some weak airtime at points, which surprised me. Alas, the ride was also as usual pretty short. Fun though.

Rating: B

After The Bat, we headed up the path, and decided to do Banshee since we were in the area.

Ride #9: Banshee

Wait: 10-15 Minutes

Our friend may be overcoming his fear of coasters, but he cannot do inversions, they make him sick, so he saved us locker money here (and at Firehawk/FOF, so we only need lockers at Mystic Timbers). This was the typical fast, forceful ride I have come to expect from Banshee. My friends keep thinking it is faster every time for some reason though, I guess they forget how fast it truly is. Also, saw the former gift shop turned into claw machines. Ugh, that is kinda sad, even if that gift shop was not selling much merch.

Rating: A

After Banshee, we decided to stop in Chicken Shack to get some sodas, but we were also hungry so we caved and got some food.

Food: Chicken Shack
Wait: 5-10 Minutes (for food to arrive)

My sister and I decided to split a Chicken Wrap, since it looked share-able. It was huge, so yeah, 100% share-able. And wow, it was delicious! Probably a challenger for one of the best tasting food items I have eaten at an amusement park (it's main rival would be the Pulled Pork BBQ Fries at Cedar Point near Steel Vengeance). The chicken was 100% white meat and cooked well, and the lettuce and veggies were fresh. It also had bacon bites in it, which is almost always a plus IMO. And it recharged me, I was feeling a bit drained before I ate it but after, I was energized!

Rating: S

After eating that delicious and amazing food, we headed out to our car and grabbed our waterpark stuff, and headed back into the park, since we wanted to take the train. On the way, I saw a rare sight: THE TRAIN Coke FREESTYLE WAS OPEN! I should have took a picture for proof. :P It was closed when we returned, though.

Ride #10 (Part 1): Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad

Wait: Walk-On (Train was right there as we showed up!)

We boarded the Green Train, and set off for Soak City. Diamondback dropped as soon as we began to leave, so we got to see it run its entire course, which was cool. When we got near all the fake stores/houses and stuff, the train ride op pointed out one of the most amazing things I have ever seen at Kings Island: there was a freakin' deer! It was a young deer, looked almost full grown in size but had its young markings still, so I assume it was a teenager. It wasn't far from the train, either, so we all got a good look at it. Before this I have ever only seen a wild deer ONCE, and it was from far away. So for me, this was very cool. A few minutes later, we arrived at Soak City and departed.

Rating: B

We arrived at the waterpark and changed into our swimsuits, and then headed to the wave pools. Ironically, the older one had a big crowd in it, so we headed to the new one, which had less crowds because it was further away.

Ride #11: Tidal Wave Bay

Wait: None Because Wave Pool

Ahh! Since it was pretty hot- over 90 degrees- this wave pool felt very good to relax and chill in for a while. In fact, I lost track of time- we ended up staying in or around it for a whole hour. It cooled me off well though, so it did its job.

Rating: B

After a whole hour of Wave Pool, we exited and got some drinks, my friends and sister smoked for a bit, and then we hit up the "Lazy" River. Also, I was looking at the park's scenery and flowers a lot this trip and will point it out here- they did a GREAT job on that this season, there was a lot of sections of the park that look very pretty.

Ride #12: Splash River
Wait: 2-3 Minutes

Much like at Holiday World a few weeks ago, the waterpark was so crowded even the Lazy River had a wait! At least it was not a bad one at all, only a few minutes. Also my eyes were not sore this time, so I could enjoy this better. There are a LOT more water elements on this lazy river versus Holiday World's, even though I am pretty sure this river is much older. I went around twice- also, I would try to avoid the waterfall with the Soak City logo, it is pretty fierce. Another fun wet relaxing ride.

Rating: B

After Splash River, we toyed around with the river's interactive "soak people" features for a bit. I checked out some nearby flowers and found a big bee was having a field day with them, he was kinda fun to watch. Then my sister and friends did 2 sets of Water Slides (Pineapple Pipeline and the body slides of Tropical Plunge- I was already wet enough, I felt). In spite of only doing a few things, we ended up spending about 4 hours in the waterpark this time, and I had fun and was relaxed. However, it was time for some more roller coasters. We boarded the train again, since that would get us back to our car faster.

Ride #10 (Part 2- Gotta go all the way around for it to count, LOL!): Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad

Wait: 5 Minutes (for train to arrive)

The ride op on this train gave us the "corny bad jokes" version of the train ride. Some of them were a bit funny, at least. Also we saw...MORE DEER! This time, it was a Momma and her baby. The ride op said these deer actually like the train tracks for some reason and come around quite a bit. Cool to see more deer, though.

Rating: B

After the RR got us back to the park, we headed out to the car, and dropped off our stuff. Then we headed back into the dry park, headed for Oktoberfest. We were gonna ride Adventure Express, but we saw no wait for...

Ride #13: Viking Fury

Wait: Walk-On

Viking Fury was fun, but once you have ridden Skyhawk or Wicked Twister, this isn't nearly as scary as it once was. Also I should mention I could not start or do any chants, because I had caught a cold my sister had and did not realize it until a few hours before this ride, and my voice began to go out. (I took some medicine and it is coming back though now)

Rating: C

After Viking Fury, we hit up the ride we had come for...

Ride #14: Adventure Express

Wait: Walk-On

I rode on a rear wheel seat, because the friend I was riding with picked it not paying attention and with my voice out I couldn't say anything. It was a bit rough, but nothing crazy, though when we connected to the first 1 lift there was a THUNK that even our friends on a non-wheel seat felt. The ride was still quite fun though, it was running at a good speed and the tunnels were very dark with the sun going down.

Rating: B

After AE, we headed for the last big coaster we usually ride, The Racer. Me and a friend went Red, and our sister and other friend went for Blue. We both rode in 4-2, the middle seat of the 4th car.

Ride #15: Red Racer

Wait: Walk-On

Thank goodness we didn't sit on a wheel, because I feel this would have been a pretty rough ride from a wheel seat as it was quite bumpy. We did get a lot of airtime though. The trim brakes on the turnaround bit hard, we went around them pretty slow. We did win the race, though, and apparently Blue got no airtime and was just as bumpy if not more, so Red was the right choice. A bumpy (would have been rough if on wheel seat) but fun ride. I don't think the coaster needs a full RMC I-Box conversion based on this ride, it just needs smoothed out and the rumored re-tracking+new lighting package+restored paint job would fix a lot of its problems IMO.

Rating: B

After Red Racer, we headed towards Rivertown as our friend was still really wanting to ride Diamondback again, and we had time still so we figured sure, let's do it again. And that is what we did.

Ride #16: Diamondback (Night)

Wait: 25 Minutes

We decided to ride from the very back car, since it had the best airtime. By the time we got on, it was dark out, so this was gonna be a night ride. And wow, this was probably the best ride I have ever had on Diamondback...heck, this was the best ride I have had on anything B&M! We got YANKED off the top of the lift hill, and the airtime was very strong and maintained all the way down- it was almost ejector air! And this level of strong airtime was found on seemingly every hill. Add the darkness of night and the smooth ride, and you have a truly epic ride experience. PS: Our friend is so glad we talked him into riding this, though getting yanked over the lift was a bit scary to him.

Rating: S

After Diamondback, we headed over and got in line for The Beast. It was around 9:30, so we knew it would probably shut down for Fireworks before we were on, and it did. We also saw a Skunk go under the bridge we were waiting on, and it had some Pizza, LOL. At 10:00 the Fireworks went off (I saw some of them but not much) and some time later, they got the all-clear to re-open.

Ride #17: The Beast (Night)

Wait: 1 Hour (Due to Fireworks)

We rode in the last car again, but I was in the front this time, 6-1, so my sister would get a non-wheel seat. Our friend was a bit nervous on this, still, but we talked him into it. We headed out and climbed the 110 foot lift, and dropped into the tunnel that begins the epicness. Beast was hauling now, versus how it ran in the morning, and the darkness of night further added to the sense of speed. The tunnels were pitch black and really amped up the sensory experience with how LOUD they were. And then of course came the epic view of the park from the 2nd lift, and the insanity of the final helix at night. Diamondback was amazing at night, but Beast managed to beat it somehow. My sister loved the ride, but apparently she got tossed hard at some point because she got a bruise from her seat divider. Ouch, she got "The Beast Bite". She didn't even think it hurt bad until she went in a bathroom and saw it though.

Rating: S

After The Beast, we headed out of the park, with all other rides closed (we even saw the Mystic Timbers crew exit and leave the ride) and headed home after yet another epic day at Kings Island. This was my 4th time in 2018, a new personal record for most visits in a year. Now for the Pros/Cons of the trip:


+Amazing Rides. Almost everything we rode was fun. Though Beast and Diamondback at Night were the clear stars.

+Great park staff. Employees were friendly and were working hard.

+Beautiful scenery- there were lots of flower arrangements and the park was looking pretty good.

+Clean park- did not see any trash or anything laying around in the park.

+Short waits in the AM hours- granted they picked up a bit later on, but we had ridden almost everything by then!

+Chicken Shack Chicken Wrap was AMAZING.

+Wave Pool and Splash River were fun and helped us "Beat The Heat".


-Racer and Beast, while fun, could both use some re-tracking as both were kinda rough.

-Big crowds especially in the Waterpark, but that is still to be expected this time of year.

And that does it for another amazing Kings Island trip in 2018! This is really my best year ever at Amusement/Theme parks, and it is NOT over, as we are planning to return to Cedar Point later this month. Then you still have Haunt (looking forward to the night rides!) and Winterfest after that! Anyhow, questions and comments welcome. MCSALSA AWAY!!!


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