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McSalsa's Coaster Adventures: Memorial Weekend Madness (KI May 26th, 2019)


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Hi everyone! Welcome to the 3rd McSalsa Trip Report of 2019, for Sunday May 26th 2019. If this feels like it came a bit outta nowhere, it kinda did- we planned this trip a mere 2 days in advance! And I went on a new ride I had never been on before at KI, so thus the ride rating system must be mentioned:

RIDE RATING SYSTEM (For New Un-ridden rides or major updates only)
9=I Adore This Ride
8=I Really Like This Ride
7=This Ride is Fun, I Like It
6=It's OK Enough, Will Ride Again
5=Meh, No Feelings Either Way for Various Reasons
4=Ehh, Kinda Bad
3=Yuck, Bad

Anyhow, let's begin the trip report itself! I was with my sister and the one friend who we have been helping get over his fear of roller coasters the last 2 years, the other friend who is usually with us may have broken his toe a few days ago (he is not 100% sure if it is or not- he has a appointment with a doctor in a few days) so he skipped this trip. We left our house (which we just moved into) at around 7:30AM, but we didn't get to the park until 9:50AM, so no time for Beast ERT. So instead we (me and my sister, our friend as you may know cannot do inversions) went and rode Banshee, as seeing it test from I-Street made it look tempting. There was not wait either, and we rode in the very back. Banshee was running great, especially for so early in the morning. Smooth (other than the usual slight vibration Banshee seems to get), fast, and forceful. A great first ride choice. Next, we headed over to The Bat, which was fun but did feel a bit like it had the early morning sluggishness as it didn't feel as fast as usual. Still, beats having it closed all day like it was opening day.

After The Bat, we headed into Oktoberfest/Coney Mall, as our friend wanted to ride Viking Fury. The Festhaus went off right as we showed up, so we watched it for a bit- I was glad to see it fully working, as I had watched CoasterBob62's Coasterstock video from this year not long before this trip and noticed the lady on the left of the 2 guests drinking beer was not working in that video, but here she (and everything else) was working fine. We then rode Viking Fury, which was fun but I didn't find it very intense- then again I have ridden and compare it, possibly unfairly, to Skyhawk and Wicked Twister and stuff. And Viking Fury my sister and our friend wanted to smoke, so I went over and rode Red Racer (Blue was not running). It was running pretty rough (I was even on a non-wheel seat), but had very good airtime. Also it appears they are getting ready to start pouring the footers for Project X (Aka 2020 Coaster). After riding, I headed back to the group, and we rode Adventure Express. This was one of the smoothest feeling rides I have ever gotten on AE, and the spear effects in the 2nd tunnel were working. AE probably could benefit from a good restoration though. Then we went and rode Red Racer again- and there was a barf train. Uck. I rode in a different train, but same seat, and I think the roughness I felt on the 1st ride was due to that train- this one felt a LOT smoother but still had the solid airtime.

After Red Racer (2nd ride) we headed over and me and my sister rode Flight of Fear (our friend again sat it out- he can't do loops unless they are super few and fast like on Maverick). I was a bit shocked to find the ride a near walk-on given FOF is pretty popular usually- I thought Memorial Day weekend was supposed to be packed! FOF was running pretty crazy- this feels like the 2nd most intense FOF ride I have ever had, behind only the time during Haunt 2016 when I rode it with the MCBR off! It was super forceful and violent. And fun. We got off FOF and headed back into Coney Mall, where my friend and sister wanted to smoke so I rode Vortex which neither of them did. I missed not being able to ride this one a lot on opening weekend, and it was running great. I rode from 7-1, and while there was some headbanging, I didn't find it too much and loved the airtime on the drop, the forcefulness of the inversions, and the general twisty insanity. After I got off and met back up, my sister had talked our friend into trying WindSeeker of all things. We boarded the ride, and he actually was OK with it! I also got a great look at the 2020 construction. It was a fun trip 270 feet in the air (I heard the ride ops say 250, but based on how the tower is 301, I think 270 is more accurate for how high you go). Our friend did need to smoke again afterwards so I went and rode Vortex again. Hey, might as well, I didn't get to ride it once on opening weekend- even took 7-1 again. I found the left side of the train was smoother versus the right, at least for me. I also saw even Beast and Diamondback had short lines while riding Vortex. Once again...isn't Memorial Day weekend supposed to be CROWDED? Guess not, at least this time. Which is a great thing for me!

One Vortex ride later, seeing a short line for Beast was making me crave it, but first we hit up Backlot Stunt Coaster as it was right there. BLSC was running pretty fast, as it seemed the rides had all broken in at this point. The 1st helix actually made me a little queasy! After BLSC, my cravings were satisfied as we rode The Beast next. It was the usual bumpy, fast journey through the woods of Ohio. I could clearly see the clearing for Project 2020 though, so I do fear that is gonna affect Beast rides as I am pretty sure you are gonna be able to easily see it, especially if it has a big light on it (which will really affect night rides if the light bleeds over). After Beast, we headed over and got a locker to ride Mystic Timbers. Mystic was also running pretty fast and had good airtime. In The Shed, I got the Cars+Snakes combo. After Mystic Timbers, we got on Diamondback, riding from near the back of the train as usual. LOTS of airtime, and pretty strong airtime too! Maybe not as crazy as at the end of Opening Day, but not far off. After DB, we headed into Planet Snoopy, where I was reminded of something. There is a coaster credit at KI I have never claimed...

NEW RIDE: Flying Ace Aerial Chase
Yep, in all my visits to KI since 2009, I have never ridden this coaster. Until now. And...I think it's pretty bad. I know it's a kids coaster, so I could forgive the lack of intensity, but WHY IS THIS SO ROUGH? There was almost non-stop shuffling. Vortex is buttery smooth in comparison. At least the restraints were very comfortable so no headbanging or pain. Still, if this is how a Vekoma kiddie invert is, I dread to see what the big SLC's are like...
Rating: 4/10

After riding that shockingly rough coaster, we headed into the petting zoo. It doesn't have as many animals as Cedar Point's, but this is still a fun attraction for anyone who loves animals. Then we rode Surf Dog, which was fun. Coaster or not, I will ride that 1000x over Flying Ace. Then we returned to the locker, got our stuff, and my sister and friend wanted to smoke again so I went and rode Diamondback again since Mystic Timbers had a line. It was about the same as earlier, but I did wait a bit longer as a slight line had built up and the dispacthes were a bit slower too. Then we went out to the car, as we had brought our swimming gear to visit the waterpark. Also, the time at this point? 1PM! I HAD BEEN ON NEARLY EVERY BIG RIDE AND IT WAS NOT EVEN LATE AFTERNOON YET!

Swim trunks in bag (in hand), I returned to the park and we headed to the waterpark via the KI & MV Railroad. I went into the changing rooms and got changed, came out, and when we put our stuff in our locker we heard...Meowing? And it sounded like it was from inside a locker! I hunted down a security guard, and we analysed the situation and...the cat was just a stray who lived at Kings Island. S/He wasn't in the lockers, but behind them. Never got to see the cat though. Also, our friend opened our locker and my sister's phone was in there and not secure...and it fell and crakced. Thankfully, she has insurance on it, but it'll be a week before the tech guy comes. Ouch. And then, at the same time, some storms begin to roll in and everything in the waterpark shut down for a good 10-15 minutes. My sister and friend got in line for Mondo Monsoon, the huge funnel, when they began prepping it to re-open but I forgot my glasses strap so I had to run back and grab it. Then it re-opened right as I got back and the line was too long at that point, so I went to the observation area and just watched my friends ride it. We then headed into the Older Wave Pool for a bit, and then headed for the Lazy River. We got in line for it and...it shut down again due to another storm coming. My sister thinks these storms could have been a big reason for the low crowds, and she could have been right. We gave up on the waterpark, changed again, and headed back to the dry park and then our car (once again using the train). We discussed some stuff, and seeing rides in Action Zone running, we decided to go there. We talked our friend into trying Drop Tower...and he backed out. I tried to ride it by myself, and was ready to ride the next cycle and...weather closes everything again. We split up for a bit, I stayed near Drop Tower to see if it would re-open, while they decided to check AE (which was also closed).

We were pretty hungry at this point (we did snack in the car) so when I found out my group had gone to Skyline Chilli I-Street, I went over and met them and got a single Chilli Dog. It was good and much needed at this point. Afterwards, I headed back towards Action Zone and...Banshee TESTING! I called my sister who also saw it, and we met up again. Drop Tower was also prepping to re-open but needed a mechanic to come and reset the ride (Intaminitis strikes again! All other rides re-opened almost instantly), then we watched a test cycle and then we boarded the ride. A minute or so later, we were nearly 300 feet in the air, facing the park (I got seat #8 again which IMO has a amazing view) and then we dropped. Our friend survived it and would ride again, but his heart rate was over 140! After Drop Tower, they went and smoked for a bit, and then we watched Gravity. It was pretty much the same as I remember it being in 2018, but that's not a bad thing: this show is awesome! There was a botch of two (by one person), but I can forgive that- the feats they are doing aren't easy. If you have not seen Gravity (it is in the Kings Island theatre in front of Invertigo for any one who needs to know), go see it on your next KI visit if at all possible!

After Gravity, we headed to Coney Mall and rode Blue Racer since it had opened. It was drizzling a bit, but not raining. On Blue Racer- I can see what people mean by the turnaround feeling weird. I would not call it rough- the car just vibrates oddly and makes a weird sound, it doesn't violently shake or anything. It does feel like maybe the wood they used for this "new" section is different or something. I would still perfer Blue Racer to Red this year though, it is not trimmed (Red still is) and thus you get much more airtime on the return run. After Blue Racer, we went over to The Beast and got a sunset ride, and on the way saw a huge rainbow that went from Racer/Zephyr to WindSeeker! It faded by the time we reached WindSeeker though- would have been awesome to ride WindSeeker and see a rainbow. So we headed over and rode The Beast, and took front row (I sat behind my group in 1-2). As it had just drizzled, you could really smell the woods, even when the ride was going full speed. And the moist cool air felt awesome to blast through. Beast may be a coaster with a lot of straight track and not too many elements, but it really is more of a "sensory" coaster. I can't think of another ride I have been on where the SMELLS of the ride made it better. Yet ANOTHER awesome ride on a KI Classic. No night ride this trip though as we had other plans (hence why we took a Sunset ride- at least that is still different from a day ride).

After Beast, we took and 2nd ride on BLSC. It was even crazier than earlier in the day! I wasn't hungry this time so no queasiness, but it was even more forceful and I even got a good amount of airtime on a few of the drops! BLSC may not be a huge monster coaster, but it can still pack a punch. After BLSC, we headed towards the Eiffel Tower but saw the elevator get stuck for a minute near the top, so we said nope and continued on to International Street, and rested for a bit watching a show (I grabbed a quick soda). Then we went to Sweet Spot, and got the fudge ice cream cone candies- I ate one, it was very good, and for the price I can easily reccomend it. Then we headed to Action Zone to kill some time before the fireworks show. My friends wanted to smoke one last time, so I rode Delirium. It was a fun ride as usual, swinging and spinning. It being dark out also made it even better. Then me and my sister rode Banshee at night (very back once again), and while it was already running good in the morning, now it was HAULING. The cool air in my face, the intensity, the inversions, the tombstones along the ride...it was all awesome. Then, for our last ride, we grabbed our friend again and rode The Bat. This is a really underrated night ride, it is very dark in this area and thus it really feels like you are a bat swinging and flying among the trees, looking for bugs to eat. And with that...a record is broken! 27 rides in 1 day is the best I have ever done, beating out a day last April where I rode 25 in 1 day.

With our riding done, we headed back to I-Street for the fireworks show. I thought it was great- I like how the updated fountains sync up with it now, and the lights on them are very nice (the big lights above now only light the buildings). There were some sections of the show where they did nothing though, so I wonder if there are still technical issues they are working out as these fountains are technically still pretty new. The new song was good, though TBH I am gonna miss "The Greatest Show". Also there is a new "park is closing spiel", sounds like the same guy who is "The Undertaker" during Haunt does it.

And with that, we left the park and headed home. Once again, Kings Island was AWESOME and provided tons of fun. Now for my usual Pros/Cons...:

+Light Crowds All Day...uhh, aren't holiday weekends supposed to be bad? I broke a personal record!
+Many rides were running great
+Dispatches were also pretty good all day, which may have also helped keep lines down
+Gravity was still awesome the 2nd time (even with some minor botches)
+The park looks beautiful with nice landscaping and scenery

-Storms during the afternoon that shut rides down but didn't even touch the park (not park's fault)
-A few dirty bathrooms
-Flying Ace Aerial Chase is a bad ride IMO

And that does it for yet another McSalsa Trip Report! As usual, comments and questions welcome. My next trip is probably gonna be KI again, in 3-5 weeks, for the upcoming Grand Carnivale. MCSALSA AWAY! (Transforms into a bat and flies away, only to smack into a brick wall) Ouch!

PS: I am glad I decided to change my TR style and not do sections for every ride- this trip report would take a billion hours to make/read I feel if I did that!


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