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Countdown to Opening Day for the 2021 Season: May 15th 11:00 AM!

Kings Island is now open for 2021.

First Family Vist to PKI


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Opening weekend at King's Island...

I was personally very excited about this trip, as I had never been to the park. So, whatever I rode would be brand new. My wife had first visited the park before it took the name Paramount. Back when The Beast was hidden almost alone in the bowels of the park, but not since 95. We live near, and regularly visit Carowinds, so I was anxious to visit another park. It's probably about an 8 or 8 and 1/2 hour drive, but I was so determined, I think we made it in about 7 hours from Hendersonville, NC. My son is 7 and is also becoming a coaster fanatic. So, just imagine what it would be like to walk in and see those fountains going on a beautiful Friday morning for the very first time.

We were expecting low turnout, and it was a lot lower than I thought it would be. Short wait times are always a good thing. The only day I thought ride wait times were getting up there were later on Saturday.

But for whatever reason, that also seems to mean that some rides won't be operating, or the bugs get worked out. We weren't treated to Son of Beast or Delerium. (meaning, I need to make another trip up to ride those!) Though I did hear about some lucky enough to get a ride on Delerium Friday.

Face Off was also out for most of the weekend into Monday, but we managed one ride on Saturday, and only had to wait about 20 minutes. It was closed when the park first opened Saturday morning, so we went up and rode Top Gun (also a short wait), by the time we came out, Face Off was running. I had never ridden a shuttle type coaster like that, and I have to say it was a big treat. One of the scariest coasters I have ridden so far. (I know, stuff like Alpengeist and other inverts are much higher...)

I was used to the Top Gun at Carowinds, but had ridden the Big Bad Wolf in Williamsburg, so I wasn't really expecting much from Top Gun, but I was really impressed. That thing is a good ride! A lot of fun, and we got in about 15 rides in over the weekend. The ride Saturday morning gave us rain and made the ride feel about 10 mph faster. I thought the themeing was much better than the other Top Gun, too.

The Beast. What can I say. I had been waiting to ride this thing for years, and was not disappointed. Front, back, middle, second....I rode in as many cars as I could. I think we all together came out with 13 or 14 by the time it was said and done...not bad for a married couple and a 7 yr old. The Beast seemed to run faster and faster by the end of the weekend. I'm not sure if it was just me, but the first few rides on Friday were alot slower than Sunday night for me.

I also wasn't completely blown away by, but really enjoyed FOF, IJST, and TRTR...all great rides, and I actually got to see all of the themeing working for Flight of Fear on Monday, but unfortunately the ride was not. Good thing I rode it Sunday, Saturday, and oh...Friday too! The themeing really makes that ride, but I found that if I kept my sunglasses on it made it darker, and a little better after the launch, lol.

We enjoyed the Nick zone, and I thought that it seemed a little nicer than ours. However...the Phantom Flyers aren't the cool metal wings that Carowinds and PKD have, which was kind of a bummer. So I watched our little one from the sidelines on that one. Was siked to ride Reptar, too, cause the Carowinds version is smooth but was sorely disappointed in the PKI Reptar. The track looks identical, but the ride is not. Probably the roughest inverted coaster I have ever ridden. We were pleased to see one of the old rides converted to the Scooby Haunted House. Things like that and,the fountains, the tower, and the Festhaus really add to the old school feel of the park. I hope little details like that never change when and if the parks change hands.

My sons favorite ride, and probably mine was Vortex. what a classic great steel coaster. The Cyclone can't really compare in Carowinds, but, does have a better helix at the end, lol. I think we might have ridden that ride probnably 20 times, and it is in good thanks to the crew there. They had that ting running great, and I only saw stacked trains one time, and only saw the ride closed twice. By the way...does anyone have a Vortex sticker for my guitar case?

As far as weather, it wasn't bad at all. There was some really bad rain Monday morning, but all in all it was a really great weekend. Maybe a little chilly Sunday and Monday, but not bad. I was surprised to hear people complaining about trash. I didn't see it. I have seen some trashed parks, and this wasn't one of them. I thought the staff also did a great job. Everyone we dealt with was friendly and seemed to know what they are doing. By comparison, I once asked a Carowinds employee where first aid was. The answer was "First Aid?...uhhh".

thanks again to PKI central for the pre trip help

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Nice trip report! Interestingly, I visited Carowinds for the very first time this year, while I have visited PKI yearly for a long time. I really enjoyed Carowinds and wish intensely that Kings Island had the B&M Top Gun that you have!

The Phatom Flyers that you have at Carowinds actually had been at Kings Island previously as the Flying Eagles. We really miss that ride, and I enjoyed riding it when I visited Carowinds!

Also I found the Runaway Reptar at Carowinds to be rougher than PKI's...

All in all though, Carowinds is really impressive and I look forward to coming back.

Thanks again for your great trip report. Glad you enjoyed PKI!

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Excellent trip report! I`m glad you and your family had a fun first visit to PKI! Son of Beast as you probably noted while you were at the park, is down until the end of spring as the park is doing some pretty major rehab work on it to try and make it a smoother ride. (There was a crane by the bottom of the lifthill this past weekend).

I was not fortunate enough to grab a ride on Delirium before it closed (I saw it testing on Saturday without any riders). Apparantely this ride is still having some issues. The manufacturer, HUSS, was apparantly out at the park over the Winter trying to get the ride running like it was back in 2003 when it opened. It suffered serious downtime last season, and when it reopened was featuring a less intense and thrilling program, before they closed it down early for the season in the fall.

Face Off was having issues when I was at the park on Saturday. (Mostly related to the lift "miscatching" the train at the conclusion of the ride.) I would have liked to ride it on Sunday, but it was down most of Sunday. Action Zone seemed to be lacking, well Action this past weekend. LOL.

Hopefully, you return to PKI and get to experience Delirium and Son of Beast. They are both fun rides. Although one has a bad reputation for being rough.

I`ve never made it down to Carowinds since our Eagles were sent there last year. (I have visited in 2001 and 2003). The best ride in the park is Top Gun The Jet Coaster. I could ride that ride all day. Ok, I`ve written enough, LOL.

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I'm glad that you had a great time and enjoyed the park. I haven't ridden Reptar since it opened and I thought it was way smooth when I did, has it really gotten that bad?

But anyways nice trip report and once again I'm glad you had a great time and hopefully you get to return when all of the rides are open.

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I've never been to any other park besides PKI, but I would love to go down to Carrowinds to ride the B&M Top Gun, because ours for me, is getting a little repedative since this is the only park that I've been too. I'm glad you had a great time all weekend, I was at Top Gun on saturday and sunday working. Wish i knew what you looked like so I could look around and point you out, but Its good. Once again im glad you had a good time and hope you get to come back and ride all the rides that you didnt get to experience on opening weekend.

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