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McSalsa last won the day on January 1 2019

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  1. It's been 5 years already? What the!?!? Is it just me or does time seem to go faster as you age? I miss Vortex more than any other coaster, probably partially due to the fact where it sat is still an empty field. Top Thrill Dragster transformed into Top Thrill 2, Wicked Twister was replaced by a huge restaurant, and Firehawk got replaced by Orion. All of those have something- not even new rides in all cases, but something- new already in their places. Vortex? An empty field sits there. It still feels awkward to ride The Beast, and pass that emptiness before heading for the first lift. Heck it also feels akward when you are near Backlot Stunt Coaster's entrance and turn that way, and see a huge field and can clearly spot The Beast's lift hill without Vortex blocking the view. The drone show is cool, but I feel like it could be moved elsewhere if a new attraction takes the spot. And that attraction- which probably will come, it's just taking forever it feels like- had better be something awesome, IMO.
  2. They stayed all day. If they had left, I probably wouldn't have needed to buy a few single use Fast Lanes at the end.
  3. I didn't mention it in the report, but yeah, it felt like 50%+ of the crowd yesterday was school groups. Remove them and it would have been walk-on city all day long. I was also tempted to marathon Orion at points as it didn't go past a 15 minute wait until much later in the day. Orion and Diamondback are both very re-rideable coasters, given their smoothness and high capacity, and if I had pushed harder or known about how single use Fast Lane worked sooner I probably could have gotten 2-3 more rides on each pretty easily.
  4. Hello everyone! I am still alive! I was at Kings Island yesterday, Friday, April 26th, 2024! Here is my trip report. I am gonna run through the rides I rode first, then food I ate, and finally any other notes I wanted to cover. Here we go... THE RIDES Flight of Fear (x1) My first ride of the day, I waited around 10 minutes. The outside que area has gotten some upgrades since I lasted waited in the standard que (I rode FOF last year during Haunt but used Fast Lane). It was running fairly normally- very intense with a bit of roughness. It was a good ride to start the day with. Orion (x3) Orion was up next. I got 3 rides total on the day- Orion was running fast and smooth, with very good airtime. On my first ride, the entire way up the lift hill, a ride operator was speaking over the intercom to tell someone in Row 2 to put their phone away. I was worried we would get stopped on the lift, but they apparently put it away. My 2nd ride had a much better situation- I was riding with a old couple. Good to see this ride, while big and fast, can still appeal to older people thanks to its amazing smoothness. The Racer (x1 Red, x1 Blue) Kings Island has been putting work in on The Racer for the past few years now, especially with the Gravity Group's recent work, and wow, is it paying off. The big upgrade for 2024 IMO? The removal of the trim brakes on the turnaround, for BOTH sides! No more slowly crawling through the ride's 2nd half, it now whips around the turns and the second half has just as much airtime as the first! Combine this with the smoothness of the recent track work, and Racer is running better than I have ever ridden it since I began visiting KI semi regularly in 2009. It's great to see a iconic classic running this well. One complaint, it took them forever to finally open up Blue Racer, so at one point the line for Red Racer was out of the building with numerous ques open. The Beast (x2) I got a daytime ride and a 90% (wasn't fully dark out) 'night' ride on The Beast as well. Beast was running a little rough, though I was sitting on wheel seats on both my rides, and nothing was too bad besides a pothole I noticed on the 'night' ride where the track switched from the gravity group retracked 1st turn into the old track ravine hill. The ride was running pretty fast, and of course the double helix was utter chaos on both rides. The ride crew was being slow in the morning, even going slow enough the 1st lift was running at normal speed (because the 2nd train had passed lift 2 before the 1st train reached lif 1- signs of a very slow dispatch) but by the evening things were going much better. I think this was a sign of a young ride crew that was still getting up to speed. Diamondback (x3) Diamondback was running very smoothly, no rattle whatsoever. The airtime was pretty good, on my first 2 rides, but for my 3rd ride, I requested and was granted back row. I have not ridden back row on Diamondback in a while, and HOLY COW I had forgotten how much better it was! The airtime went from good to INSANE, as I was forcefully getting yanked over every single hill, even the small camelbacks near the end! Even Orion's speed hill could not match this insane airtime. The back row ride on Diamondback was probably the best ride I got the entire day, and this was a day that had a almost-night-ride on Beast and multiple Orion rides! I did perfer my Orion rides to the other 2 rides on Diamondback though, so the ranking would go Diamondback Back Row>Orion>Diamondback other rows. Mystic Timbers (x2) I got 2 rides on Mystic Timbers, the 2nd one was a bit later in the day and felt a bit faster. The ride had pretty solid airtime and forces, especially on the 2nd ride. I got the "Turn Around" and Total Eclipse of the Heart songs, and Bats and Snakes in the shed. My 2nd ride had a very short wait because the ride re-opened after a breakdown. Not much more to say here, Mystic Timbers was just its usual fun self. Drop Tower (x1) I hadn't ridden this in a while (either it was down, too windy, or too busy), so I took another 264-foot drop on this day. I forgot how nerve-wracking going up can be! The view from the top was incredible, I ended up facing Great Wolf Lodge. The drop itself was intense and forceful. Banshee (x2) Probably the most intense coaster ride of the day, I got two rides in on Banshee. Both were fast and had great forces, the 2nd one did have the vest restraint dig into my shoulder a little bit though. Again, not too much new here- Banshee was running pretty normally too. Adventure Express (x1) I got in a ride on Adventure Express too. I love how much they have added to the que line and the surrounding area, with tons of cool small details. I love that since Mystic Timbers opened in 2017, more rides have gotten some love like this. All of the effects were working on the ride itself, and the ride wasn't being too jerky either. I have a few choice words for the station master however, HE KEEPS SENDING US DOWN THE WRONG TRACK! I WANT TO RIDE TRACK 1! The Bat (x1) I got one ride on The Bat, but I went down the path to go to it three times because it broke at least twice! Not a good day for it. I did finally get on, and had a fun, swoopy ride though I did bump my knee because I rode in the back of a car. Didn't hurt too much though. Still fun. Grand Carousel (x1) I rode this with a large group of friends and family we met up with at the park. It was a good, calm ride to relax on. The ride is showing some minor wear and tear but that is probably to be expected of a ride that is nearly 100 years old. The organ was working great though. THE FOOD I purchased a All-Day Dining Premium plan, and I think I got my money's worth from it. Here is everything I ate. Tom+Chee I activated my all day dining here, because most other places were slammed. I got the BBQ Grilled Cheese sandwich and it was delicious and flavorful. The chips that it came with were nice and crispy, too. A good start on the food for the day. Planet Snoopy Ice Cream I have a confession. In the past 15 years, I have had a decent number of visits to the park, and yet...I have never had the Blue Ice Cream. Until yesterday! It wasn't on the dining plan but I just ate the extra $8 to get a waffle cone. It was worth it, and delicious! The red cream soda I got with it was horribly flat though. I love red cream, but Kings Island just never seems to have good red cream in stock! Thankfully the Ice Cream made up for it. Service here was also very fast, there was a decently big line but I only had to wait a few minutes to get my ice cream. Miami River Brewhouse Around 6pm, there was a small rain threat, and there was no line for the Brewhouse as I walked past and I was kinda hungry so I stopped in and got a burger. It appeared a little overcooked, but I took a bite and it still tasted great. I couldn't stop chowing down on the potato kegs, either. I did have to wait a little bit to place my order because the family in front of me- they were literally the only ones in line though- had some sort of issue because their passes were from Cedar Point, not Kings Island. Once I ordered though and found a place to sit my burger was ready. I am a bit upset the chicken sandwich has been having issues, I was really looking forward to that one. Coney BBQ This was my first time ever getting food here, and...I got the side platter, because I was sharing my food with the 2 young kids (my nephew and his half-brother) who had come with us. I did take the hush puppy for myself becasue neither kid wanted it, it was a great hush puppy. The Mac N' Cheese also eventually got denied, which confused me because I thought it was delicious but, ehh, kids. The service here was also very fast, the line moved very quick. Gonna eat here again in the future, and actually get BBQ next time. OTHER STUFF Single Use Fast Lane This was added last year, and we tried to look it up this year- it confused the heck out of us, and even staff had no idea how to get it until we finally found out it was on the Kings Island app! Once we found it though, we tried it out to get some extra rides in on the last hour. I got rides in on Orion, Diamondback, and The Beast within the final hour because of this. We had a small issue at Diamondback, I bought 2 Fast Lanes so a friend could ride with me, and the first one scanned fine, then the 2nd one refused to scan! The ride op saw everything though and let us go. The passes scanned up the 2 other times however. Park Cleanliness/Atmosphere The park was super clean yesterday! I also saw lots of staff going around doing cleaning work. The atmosphere was very nice. It felt great just to walk around because of this. Tower Gardens I finally got a chance to walk through this, and it's a fun little time waster. You get to learn about the history of the park and see special Mini Eiffel Towers themed to some of the top rides in the park. I had no idea Invertigo was a top ride, LOL. I also love how they planned ahead and had several blank stones, so this will get updates in the future! Crowds & Operations The park was not too crowded, especially early on. It never got to insane levels, and we only purchased a few single fast lanes later just to crunch in a few rides quickly (and because of the lower crowds these were not super expensive). Operations were slow at the start of the day for most rides save Orion and Diamondback, but seemed to speed up as it went on and by the end everything seemed to be going much better though it got more crowded. There were some breakdowns, BLSC was down for ages and probably valleyed during morning tests, Bat went down a few times, Delirium went down and had the floor stuck open for a bit, and the Eiffel Tower never opened. I chalk all this up to the fact it is only Week 2, and a lot of the staff is still getting the hang of things. It should improve by summertime. Camp Snoopy Didn't ride anything here, but Camp Snoopy looks great. The kids are gonna love this when it opens up! Soap Box Racers is a lot bigger in person than I was expecting. The new paint and theming looks very nice. Merch Kings Island has some very nice merch this year. I didn't buy too much, but I got a pack of the new trading cards, a Orion fridge magnet, and a Banshee I Rode It Pin. I got the 3 commons I really wanted from the trading card pack- Beast, Banshee and Diamondback- and I got King Cobra as my rare. Cool stuff, I hope this gets expanded and comes to more parks. (If the Six Flags merger goes through and this expands to every park in the huge super chain, there will be a LOT of cards to collect!) And...that's everything I think! I hope you enjoyed reading this trip report. Questions and comments welcome as always. Oh, I didn't take many pictures as last time I had issues uploading them so they might come in another post.
  5. Hey dudes! Yes I am still alive, just been very busy with work and stuff as of late. How busy? Well, I went to Kings Island 11 days ago (October 14th) and am just now posting the trip report. On the flip side, said busy job gave me the money to come in the first place, and since I just had a good check, I was able to buy a Fast Lane so I would not have to worry that much about the giant crowds I was expecting from Haunt. We had 2 kids with us, a 6 year old and my 1 year old baby nephew, and for most of the day I was by myself chilling. We arrived around noon, I got my Fast Lane, and I headed for my first ride. 1. The Bat Knowing this ride didn't use Fast Lane, I decided to ride it early. It already had about a 15 minute wait just a hour into the day, a sign of how huge the crowds were gonna become- if Bat gets a wait it's gonna be bad. I rode in the 2nd car, and Bat gave a fun and fast swingy ride through the tree tops. 2. Banshee After The Bat, I headed to Banshee to use my Fast Lane for the first time. The standby line looked to be about a half hour to 45 minutes already, so the Fast Lane was already looking like a great investment. No major vibrations at all this time like my first ride in July, and great G-forces and intensity. Banshee is great fun 99% of the time (the 1% is when it has bad wheel rattle). 3. Delirium My final ride in Action Zone since Drop Tower and Invertigo were both down. I actually got seat #1, even though that means nothing on this ride. Good fun swinging action. Also weird, the ride felt longer when I was on it versus when watching it for some reason. All 3 open rides in Action Zone done, I headed to Oktoberfest to do the next section of the park. I hit up one of the new-for-2023 rides at last. 4. Sol Spin I have ridden Witches Wheel at Cedar Point in the past before it was removed, and this felt similar, save instead of a cage I was in a open seat. The restraints feel very secure, and being able to see it felt very disorienting to see Orion and The Racer from upside down, but it wasn't very scary or intense. I think I liked Sol Spin a bit better than Witches Wheel just from the fact I could see what was going on. A fun addition to the Kings Island lineup. 5. Adventure Express NOW I MUST PAY! Adventure Express was running well from the middle of car #2. Lots of twists, turns, and out-of-control mine train goodness. Sadly most of the effects and music were not working, except the final tunnel and the last bit of audio at the end. I did notice a few new easter eggs I had missed on my last ride, too, such as "Arrow Cargo Company" in the station. I then headed out of Oktoberfest and into Coney Mall. 6. Blue Racer Racer is now a must-ride for me since the Gravity Group retracked it a few years ago and it got its repaint. It has gone from a beat-up looking old wooden coaster that beats you up (especially the Blue side here) and turned into a goregous classic with great floater air. And the wait time didn't look too bad even without Fast Lane, as both sides were running. We lost by a hair, BTW. 7. Orion I tried to ride Flight of Fear next, but it had a stupidly long wait even with Fast Lane, so Orion it was which had a much faster moving line thanks to the way higher capacity. I sat on the far right side, and I discovered that on this side of the train, you actually get great floater air on the wave turn! Suddenly that element is becoming one of my favorites, even if I still do perfer the one on Steel Vengeance. Orion may not be as long as Millennium Force, but it has no dead spots- every element at the very least does something. And I didn't hear anyone complaining about the ride when we hit the brake run. After Orion, my group wanted to ride Adventure Express. The kids were not tall enough so we met up at the entrance and I watched the kids while my sister and her boyfriend rode. My baby nephew tried to break her phone so many times (it was playing a video for him) and the older kid gave me some Reese's Pieces he had gotten doing Trick-or-Treating over in Planet Snoopy. That was nice, but it and the smell of Burritos nearby made me hungry. Food: Enrique's Burrito I didn't realize you had to buy the Premium Dining Plan online, which meant I ended up standing to the side and using my fairly-new phone (my phone from the July trip got a cracked screen so I got a newer one) and buying one on that. With it purchased, I got myself a Chicken Burrito and drink, and ate my lunch. The Burrito was delicious and huge, so it was worth the slight minor hassle. After eating, I went back to Flight of Fear since now I needed to wait in line to digest anyway. 8. Flight of Fear I ended up waiting about 20 minutes even with Fast Lane, and I was told the main line was over 150. Yikes. Dispatches were a bit slow here- instead of trains coming straight in after a launch, there was a 20 second gap like they needed the launch to cool down or something. While on the ride itself, while it was not too rough and very violent and intense, a weird thing happened. The train SLAMMED into the midcourse break run HARD, and came to a dead stop for 2-3 seconds, and I could feel the whole brake run swaying. The ride did release and then continued on as normal. I thought that was weird. My rides in Coney Mall now done, I headed for Rivertown. And yes for some reason that includes... 9. Backlot Stunt Coaster ...this according to some park info. I hadn't ridden this in a while and almost forgot how punchy this little coaster could be. That first helix is pretty crazy. A fun ride, and it felt like it had way better capacity than its older big brother in spite of shorter trains due to way more launches per hour. 10. The Beast No trip to Kings Island is complete without a ride on this, IMO. I got a front wheel seat, and to be honest, it was pretty dang smooth- still a bit bumpy, but that's just The Beast doing Beast things, and nowhere close to painful. Gravity Group has worked wonders on KI's old woodies and I love it. The final helix is probably the best ride element in the entire park. And I was sure gonna come back for a night ride later. 11. Mystic Timbers Last time at KI, I never got to ride Mystic Timbers because a storm came in right as I was about to board the ride. This time, that didn't happen- I got my ride. Mystic Timbers is a pretty aggressive roller coaster- the airtime isn't as strong as some of the B&Ms, but it hits so suddenly and fast. I sat with a little girl who seemed a bit nervous, and told her I had been on Mystic Timbers 20+ times before which calmed her down. She loved the ride BTW. We got Bats in the shed, and the song played was "Cars". 12. Diamondback With Invertigo down, for what seemed like the whole day, Diamondback was the last open major roller coaster to hit up. I rode towards the middle and got some pretty good airtime, but TBH I remember my later ride on this coaster a LOT better than the daytime ride I had. My first lap around the park completed, I met up with my group and we talked for a bit before I began Lap 2 with... 13. Banshee (2) This was pretty much the same as earlier. Which was far from a bad thing. Good ol' Banshee was just giving great rides all day I assume. After this, though, I was hungry again so it was time to put my meal plan to use! Food: Chicken Shack Spicy Sandwich Chicken Shack didn't have much of a wait, so I ate there since it was also close and I have had good things in the past. This sandwich was pretty good, as were the fries it came with. Haunt began as I ate (it was 6pm) and the Pumpkin Eater music became a little annoying. The sandwich was a bit spicy but nothing crazy btw. After the sandwich, I headed to Area 72, wanting to snag some more Orion rides. I found the Fast Lane line was basically dead and even the standby was looking under 45 minutes- that Orion capacity was showing even on a slammed Haunt Saturday. 14. Orion (2) 15. Orion (3) Yep I rode it twice in a row since Fast Lane had no wait. I also took more notice of the posters on the Fast Lane side of the building- they were pretty cool. Orion felt like it was getting even better every time I rode it. Also, I kept looking at WindSeeker and feeling like it was saying "HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU COMING UP HERE!?!?" as I reached the top of the lift hill. After a double Orion, I decided to go back and re-ride Racer, this time hitting the other side. 16. Red Racer About the same as before on Blue, but a wee bit smoother still, so this is still my favorite side even post GG retrack. We also didn't race because something went wrong with Blue for a bit, though it reopened soon afterwards. After riding Racer, I decided to return to Rivertown, as it was now becoming dark and those rides are all epic night rides. First up was... 17. Diamondback (2) (Night) The sky was black and clouds ominously loomed above the park. A light misty drizzle began as I was in line, but it was not enough to close any rides. We boarded and began to climb the 230 foot lift hill. I think I saw Cincinatti in the distance. Then we plummeted into the darknes- I could not see any track up ahead after the first drop, it was so dark out. The airtime was also pretty strong. And the mist made it very chilly. This was just pure epicness, hence why I kinda forgot quite a bit about the earlier daytime ride. 18. Mystic Timbers (2) (Night) After Diamondback, Mystic Timbers was next. The drizzle had subsided a little bit, and I was assigned front row! Woohoo! I promised everyone I would drive safe. I proceeded to drive like a crazed madman going all over the woods, unable to see most things save the White Water Canyon station which was lit up. I then drove us to the Shed, where I stupidly parked us and let Bat monsters eat us up while Maneater played. 2 epic rides in a row! After Mystic Timbers, I headed for The Beast, prepared for a epic night ride. I found a worker in the plaza guiding people, saying that while Slaugherhouse was open, Beast was having technical issues and was down. D'OH! I hoped it would re-open. I headed for Orion, aka "Plan O". I got in line and waited for a few minutes and it went down too. Double D'OH! I met back up with my group, and I watched the kids while they did the Alien Haunt nearby. I decided to grab a snack while I waited this time. Food: Meteor Canteen Pretzel Bites These were on the meal plan, and snackable, so I got some while I watched the kids. They were tasty and worked as a snack. While eating and watching, Orion began testing again and then re-opened. When the group reunited and I split off again, I knew what I was doing next. 19. Orion (4) (Night) Orion truly just got better with every ride. Since Orion has lights, unlike Diamondback I could sorta see the track up ahead but it was all "glowy" and stuff. And some sections were still very dark. 3 epic rides in a row! After Orion, I went to check if The Beast had re-opened... 20. The Beast (2) (Night) IT DID! This was my longest wait of the entire day with Fast Lane, at 30 minutes, but Beast at Night is worth it. Somehow, as epic as all the other night rides were, Beast surpassed them all with its crazy rampage in the dark forest. It was like the coaster was roaring as it rushed through the tunnels, and the final helix was utter mayhem. I was prepared to end my rides with this, it was so good, but...well there is more. After Beast, I rejoined the group ready to watch the kids so they could do some haunts, and I saw Invertigo had finally opened as we passed International Street. As our group wanted to hit up a haunt near it, we checked it out and found there was basically not much of a line- everyone had just gotten used to it being closed all day I assume. I was honestly a bit shocked to see the park work so hard to re-open it just for the last hour or so. My group went and rode it, and as they did, the 6-year-old began to randomly cry. I was confused why at first, as he can't really speak very well, but I soon discovered it was the stupid PUMPKIN EATER music again! When my sister and her boyfriend returned, they did a quick haunt, and I decided for the heck of it to ride... 21. Invertigo ...yep. I rode Invertigo just to get to claim that I have ridden all the adult coasters in a single day, and because it is the only coaster in the park I lack a night ride on. Invertigo was pretty shaky but I kept my head out so I would not get blended, and it was a fairly intense but short ride. TBH I ended the day with my worst coaster, LOL. After Invertigo, we headed to International Street to prepare for the closing ceremony. I didn't even realize there was a show when Haunt ended! I bought a Beast T-Shirt I found for a decent price, got a drink, and watched the closing Laser Show. It was epic, until the final song cut out in the middle of the show, and then for some reason the smoking section ad played. Tech Guy done goofed! It was then time to leave the park. I had an awesome day- Fast Lane was a butt saver, it allowed me to work at my own pace and still ride everything I wanted. The rides were all running great, save Invertigo's shakiness and Flight of Fear's odd midcourse wobbly action. The kids also had a great time, the 6 YO was only scared by the pumpkin eater music, the 1 YO was fearless. The food was also great, and I loved the Haunt atmosphere. And now, here are some pictures! The Eiffel Tower looms as we arrived at the park Big Snake hides in da treez LOL I have arrived! And these 2 random dudes walked in and photobombed me This saved my butte. My first ride was quite...Batty. LOL Good Ol' Banshee Yikes. That is scarier than any coaster or Haunt attraction! (Fast Lane was pretty needed IMO) I SPIN U! (With a Big Snake in background) One of the most legendary ride logos ever The legendary ride in question Big Snake, up close and in action! My chicken sandwich. It was delicious, but you must hear "PETER PETER PUMPKIN EATER" 1000x while eating for the full experience Diamondback as Night falls SO EVIL!!! This was another awesome trip to Kings Island. I hope you enjoyed this delayed Trip Report. See U guys later!
  6. OMG MCSALSA LIVEZ!!! Hello everyone, yes I am not dead. I haven't posted anything here in a while but I have been lurking. I also finally managed to visit Kings Island for the first time since June 2021- yes I missed the entire 50th sadly- this past Wednesday. It was not a full day, so this trip report hopefully will not be too long. We didn't get to the park until 2pm, and I was shocked to see parking is now $30. Eek. Luckily, the ticket I had purchased included it. Our group consisted of me, my sister, her boyfriend, and two children- a young boy who was boyfriend's son from his first girlfriend, and my baby nephew who is 1 year old. (The baby is the main reason we didn't visit KI in 2022- he was born that year) For the most part I was allowed to fly solo, though we did group up a few times. They headed for the waterpark as soon as they arrived, and since I forgot my waterpark gear in the car (I really wanted to spend more time on the KI side anyhow) I headed for Orion. Orion had a 10 minute wait, in part thanks to its huge capacity, and the fact at this point the waterpark was slammed due to the 90+ degree temps. I got a great ride on Orion to start my day- there was some actual airtime on both the "wave turn" and turnaround, which kinda caught me off guard because I wasn't expecting much in those elements. I do wish the ride was a bit longer, but what it has is all great. After Orion, I headed to Rivertown to ride Diamondback for a comparison while Orion was fresh in mind, but saw The Beast had a short line and could not deny the legendary woodie- especially since it just got major track work done last year via Gravity Group. Was it still crazy rough like in 2021, or did Gravity Group overdo it and make it TOO smooth? Would it still even feel like The Beast? Turns out...Gravity Group nailed it. The coaster still feels like the same good ol' Beast, but now instead of being painfully rough, it is just bumpy fun rough. The tiny GCI-style bump before the 2nd tunnel don't have any airtime but it is a nice little quirky moment, and the double helix still packs a wallop and is still insane. Gravity Group did an amazing job here, and with quality upkeep like this, The Beast should keep thrilling guests for years to come. After The Beast, I made my way to Diamondback to find it apparently "broken down", so I got in line for Mystic Timbers. Right before I was about to get on Mystic, it too shut down as a huge thunderstorm was approaching. I guess Diamondback was not broken, and had just shut down sooner because it is so tall versus Mystic Timbers. I got this pic while waiting. After waiting a while, I gave up on the storm passing soon and went to get some food at Brewhouse. Brewhouse was slammed, but the lady running the left side of the line was moving people quick, so I got in and ordered a burger and tater tots. Given how packed the place was, I was expecting a huge wait for my burger, but it came out right as I found a open table. The Burger looked a bit black, and the tater tots were not golden brown, but everything ended up tasting pretty solid- especially the veggies on the burger which seemed super fresh- so I guess you cannot always judge food by how it looks. I was pretty hungry and the burger actually kept me full the rest of the day. After my meal, I bought a drink wristband, and as I drank a Coke a familiar voice came over the intercoms. It was...MAESTRO!!! Phantom Theater encore was going to begin soon, and since no rides were open, I speed-walked from Rivertown to the Kings Island Theater just as the show began. I caught a quick glimpse at the props before going in, they seemed pretty cool, but I had a show to catch. As I entered I got a message from my sister that they were at the same show. It seemed like a packed show- with the rides down for the storm, I could see why. Phantom Theater Encore was awesome. The songs were catchy as heck ("I would die for my life on the stage" is stuck in my head STILL!), and the jokes were funny. Sadly my sister had to drop out- my baby nephew decided to slam his head into her mouth for no reason, and broke one of her teeth (he was unharmed). It didn't hurt at all, and we stayed in the park, but she needs to see a dentist now. Ouch. After a quick bathroom break in Festhaus, we saw Viking Fury had re-opened, so me, boyfriend, and boyfriend's 1st kid went and rode it together. The kid went from bored to happy as heck as soon as the ship began to swing. That alone put a smile on my face. Afterwards, I saw Banshee and Drop Tower both re-open, so we split up again and I went to ride Banshee. It did have a decent looking line, but due to the ride's epic capacity, it only took about 15 minutes to get on. Banshee was running ROUGH. Great speed, great forces, but felt like square wheels. Oof. The constant shaking of the train really took away from the ride. I got off Banshee, and decided to go see how The Bat's wait looked. It was a walk-on, so I went ahead and rode that too. Bat was running MUCH smoother than Banshee, which I found a bit funny given it is 20 years older basically. Looking at the terrain under The Bat while in the line, I imagined it being built over a pool of Lava. That would be a epic coaster but it would also probably melt. The Bat was fun as usual. I next headed to Adventure Express to check out all its new bells and whistles, and it was...BROKEN DOWN. NOOOOO!!! So I went to The Racer instead, siding with the red train. The new paint on this coaster looks glorious, and thanks to the Gravity Group, it feels like its riding like 1972 again! Super smooth, and the airtime was actually on par with the big steel B&Ms in spots. I saw someone on a app that measures ride forces say this, and I didn't believe it- looked like maybe it was a glitch. Nope, no glitch- Racer is actually pulling -0.8 G's in spots now! Oh, and Red won our race...by ONE INCH. Closest race I have ever had! As I exited The Racer, I saw Adventure Express doing test runs. I ran over to find it had just reopened! I boarded the Adventure Express, enjoying all the signs and easter eggs I could find while heading towards the train. I smiled at the Son of Beast one, because in a way, that was a nod back to the fact Son of Beast's whole "Outpost 5" theme was a nod to Adventure Express, so this was AE nodding back. That is the only new theming I will spoil, but I will say, I loved all the new tidbits all over the ride. I likely missed a bunch too, so I'm sure I'll notice even more next time I ride the Adventure Express. Hopefully we go down Track 1 next time. After Adventure Express, I had time for 1 more larger ride before I had to regroup with my party, and because I skipped it last time in favor of Mystic Timbers, I picked Diamondback. I still vividly remembered how Orion was earlier and wanted the head-to-head on the same day as well. The new paint job looks nice, though I almost forgot it got one until I was in line for Mystic Timbers earlier. I like the dark red track and brown supports, it's more subtle than the old red and yellow scheme. After a 25 minute wait, I got on Diamondback and rode it, and thus finally now have my direct comparison with it and the new blue B&M across the park. I think I like Orion a tiny bit more, but dang, is it close. Diamondback does have more total airtime and is longer, but it also has a worse turnaround (Orion's whoops the hammerhead IMO), the MCBR kills the pace a bit where Orion hauls from start to finish, and it is a bit more repetitive with almost nothing but camelback hills. Based on this, Orion has a slight edge, but on a tier chart they are still easily close enough I'd group them in the same group, and both are awesome, reliable, high capacity coasters that the GP love. Me too, GP, me too. After riding Diamondback, we regrouped and went up the Eiffel Tower. It has been a while since I was up there, and it was nice to go up again. It is nice to see Orion from high up, even if you technically are not as high (we were on the 265 foot deck and Orion is 287 feet tall). Behold, the blurry version of a famous view! Afterwards, I "babysat" the two kids while my group did some adult rides- The Racer, Adventure Express, and Banshee. When they did Banshee it was nearly the end of the night, so I asked if I could grab a quick night ride since it was right there and there was no wait. I was approved. I hoped it would be smoother than the day ride. It was, and it made a huge difference in the enjoyability of the ride. But that was not all. It was also a night ride...and we departed the station at 9:59pm. As we turned to begin the climb up the lift hill, the fireworks began to go off and the drone show began. I got a Banshee Fireworks/Drones Night Ride! And it was insane. Banshee was pulling some great forces, and with the roughness mostly gone from earlier, I could enjoy them this time! It was pretty crazy to watch fireworks from upside down, too. I love my Beast night rides, but because it shuts down for the fireworks, Banshee did something that was impossible for Beast. This particular ride would probably make my Top 10 best rides ever on any coaster list. It was a great way to end the night, and redemption for the crummy ride Banshee gave earlier. After this, we headed home. The kids had fun and got to ride lots of stuff, I had a blast, it was a good family trip. I hope you all enjoyed this trip report. Sorry it was delayed a little versus when I went- I have been a bit busy recently. Anyhow, questions and comments welcome as always. MCSALSA AWAY!!! (Crashes into Drones) OUCH WHERE DID THOSE COME FROM!?!?
  7. Hey, I rode Iron Dragon VR back in 2018. I thought it was pretty cool but not worth the very increased wait time (dispatches went from about 2 minutes per cycle to 10+) and on my 1st ride, my headset did not work at all. (The ride ops were super nice and put me in a empty seat to re-ride the next train though) That said a tamer smooth ride like Iron Dragon was probably the perfect choice for this: I would hate to ride something like Invertigo with VR.
  8. I voted "now" based on all the 2010s stuff stacking (aka still being around) while we still get new rides like Orion as well as the recent re-tracking of Racer and Beast (as well as the repaint of Racer). Kings Island has generally been building upwards- stuff is added faster than stuff gets removed, so naturally the park will have more to offer in a later year. But, if we are voting based on what was added that decade alone (and not counting older stuff that was still around- for example a TON of the 1970s stuff was still around in the 1980s) I would say the 1970s win due to having 2 of the most influential roller coasters of all time being built that decade- The Racer and Beast- as well as the park having very consistent theming and appearance back then (the park was- based on photos I have seen- very clean and pretty and none of the attractions felt out of place theme-wise). The late 80's (mainly around 1987) also seems like it was a great time for the park but I can't vote for it as I was not even born until 1990. PS: That logo is very cool, only 1 minor flaw- White Water Canyon is missing from the 80's attractions, those River Rapids rides were a HUGE deal in that time period and thus I would count it as a "major" addition- especially if Congo Falls counts as one.
  9. This made my realize how few defunct Kings Island rides I have actually ridden. I think I can only list 6 so here those are from worst to best. My visits to the park so far have all come from 2000, and 2009-2021 (due to various reasons have not been able to make it out for the 50th yet, hope to rectify that ASAP). 6. The Crypt 5. Snoopy's Splash Dance 4. Dinosaurs Alive! 3. Antique Cars (Coney Mall Side- Les Taxis I think?) 2. Firehawk 1. Vortex I also personally saw Son of Beast (with and without loop), King Cobra, and Sling Shot in operation but never rode them.
  10. FYI if anyone is curious what this is, these are apparently brand new trains for Millennium Force. I am very curious to what these are gonna look like, what type of restraints they will have, etc. If I had to guess these new trains will be similar to the ones on say, Kondaa at Walibi Belgium. I also kinda think TTD's accident this past year may have had some influence on Cedar Fair deciding to go and retire the old trains and get brand-new ones. The trains on TTD did appear to have some of the same parts as the Millennium Force trains, so if what caused the TTD accident was a design flaw in the trains, Cedar Fair would probably want brand new ones with the flaw fixed for Millennium Force. Edit: OOPS! See below posts.
  11. According to Que Times (not 100% accurate but easy to access and I think they just use KI's app data), the longest wait in the park for a ride ATM is 20 minutes for Kings Mills Antique Autos. Longest coaster lines are Diamondback and Orion, both listed at 15 minutes. Given chad_1138 did 4 haunts and got food in the first hour, I'd say these wait times sound pretty accurate. Doesn't seem the park is very busy at all tonight. Edit: Just saw a post on Facebook from Cedar Point- Steel Vengeance, which normally has at least 90 minute wait times, is only 30 minutes tonight. If Cedar Point isn't busy at all, Kings Island probably isn't either.
  12. I can't really speak for Friday Nights, but the last time I went on Saturday (in 2018): fairly light crowds from open until around 1-2pm (aka pre haunt daytime), and then it started to get slammed. At peak on busy Saturdays major popular coasters like Orion, The Beast, Diamondback, Mystic Timbers, Banshee (to a lesser extent due to its capacity), and Flight of Fear can easily get hour plus waits, even 90 and 120 minute waits can happen if it gets really slammed (especially at The Beast after dark as people want their night rides). Backlot Stunt Coaster and Invertigo will also get long lines due to their lower capacity. Large flat rides like Drop Tower and Delirium can also hit a hour plus, WindSeeker tends to max out around 30 minutes though (due to high capacity and people seeing the que full). Even less popular but decent capacity coasters like The Racer, The Bat, and Adventure Express which can be walk-ons on normal days could see 30 minute waits. Even small flat rides like Monster will have decent lines. If you stay until near the very close though, it dies down. Last hour or so the park is open people begin to leave and that 90 minute wait for Beast, for example, might drop to a mere 30-45. On my 2018 visit I used this strategy and it worked pretty well: I took advantage of the lighter crowds earlier in the day to get rides in on all the most popular coasters (Diamondback, Mystic Timbers, The Beast, etc.) and when it started to pick up a little I switched to hitting the less popular rides (AE, Bat, Racer, Vortex- RIP) as the big coasters were getting lines now. Then pick 3 or 4 night rides, maybe you could do 5 if you pick less popular rides like Adventure Express or Bat but the big stuff is gonna each eat a big chunk of the 4-5 hours of darkness you have to work with. Or you can just shell out $100+ and get Fast Lane Plus, and ride like 10-15 rides at night alone.
  13. You never said it had to be the FIRST lift hill. Honorable Mentions: The Beast's 1st Lift Hill- Epic view of the woods, and first drop. Steel Vengeance- For reasons IndyGuy said, plus the loud anti rollbacks sounding fearsome. Magnum XL-200- Amazing views of Lake Erie and the waterpark. At night it seems you are going into a giant void! Millennium Force- Great views of the other side of the lake. Vortex (RIP)- Great views of Beast to the left, plus the park to the right, and a lotta twisty inversions below. Underrated AF Lift Hill: The Bat ('93) @ Kings Island- basically gives the opposite view of the park versus Beast's 2nd lift
  14. Paramount chopped it off in 1999 so that this would be the tallest ride in the park by 1 foot (Eiffel Tower w/chopped antenna is 314ft, this is 315):
  15. One thing about the 2021 Maps I found out from my last visit 2 days ago on the 8th- they have gone back to the folding style rather than the big sheet of paper that didn't fold up for the first time since around 2014-ish. I actually really appreciate this and have no idea why it was ever changed- the foldable ones are much easier to store, and for collectors like me having a stack of those is much easier. Also I noticed the shrunk Diamondback down to a more realistic scale to make the height difference between it and Orion more pronounced without having to make Orion ridiculous.
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