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McSalsa's Coaster Adventures: A Epic Day at Kings Island (August 18th, 2017)


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Hello everyone! Get ready for another trip report, as I went to Kings Island yesterday (8-18-2017) with my sister and two friends. First up, for newbies who have never read one of my trip reports, my ride rating system...

8=Very Good
1=Super Garbage
0=Ultimate Garbage

Be warned- we were able to do a lot since crowds were light, and we spent the entire day at the park to boot. This is gonna be a long trip report. Me, My Sister, and 2 of our friends arrived at the park at 9:45 AM and since we saw the parking lot was mostly empty, we decided to go straight to Mystic Timbers before it could build up a line. We looked around some of the shops before the rope drop, and then headed straight to Mystic Timbers.

Ride #1: Mystic Timbers
Wait: Under 5 Minutes
The ride has gotten a bit rougher, and is no longer glass smooth like it was one my visit in April (Still pretty smooth though). However, I kind of liked it better that way- it felt like the ride had a bit more of a "edge". The airtime and forcefulness also felt a bit stronger. The shed is actually better when you ride a 2nd time, as you know what to expect a bit more and can look around for the cool hidden secrets. We got the Snakes ending this time, and it played "Maneater" as the song. Mystic Timbers improves from 9/10 on my first ride on it to a full 10/10! It was also my sister's friends first big roller coaster. He was actually OK on it and did want to ride more...
Score: 10/10

After Mystic Timbers, we decided to hit 3 more coasters before the crowds could build up, knowing they were all low capacity...

Ride #2+3: Backlot Stunt Coaster
Wait: Walk-On
We walked onto Backlot Stunt Coaster, and got a ride where NOTHING WAS WORKING. The ride still has some fun forces and elements, but it loses a bit of charm when everything is off. On a positive note, the emergency lights in the tunnel were on so we got to see the actual track in there. It's not as crazy as it seems when the lights are off. We then sat on the brake run for a good 10 minutes as a mechanic...fixed the effects. We got off and as it was still a walk-on, we rode it again with the effects on and they were all working the 2nd time. The lights in the tunnel were still on though.
Score: 7/10 no effects, 8/10 with effects

After Backlot, we headed to X-Base, to ride its "Big Brother"...

Ride #4: Flight of Fear
Wait: Walk-On
This was the classic, a bit rough and super forceful and intense ride I have come to expect from Flight of Fear. All of the effects in the que and on the ride itself (the lights basically) were working. The UFO in the que going dark was creepy and awesome. The alien dude they put sitting at the end of the ride got me to chuckle as we headed out of the ride. Also the MCBR was back on, unlike my last ride in 2016. Our friend, who was just getting into coasters, didn't like this one at all as he thought it was too intense.
Score: 9/10

After FOF, we headed to its next door neighbor...which I have not ridden since 2012...

Ride #5: Firehawk
Wait: 10 Minutes (1 Train- not much of a line though so we waited it out...)
As we got on and boarded, we laid back...and we heard the lift hill going. Turns out, they decided to set up and send out the other train for test runs. Afterwards we were sent out and got our ride. The sun was in our faces as we climbed the lift hill, which provides a great view of the park if you look to the right (I did just that to avoid looking at the Sun). The ride packed a bit more force than I remember (then again it has been 5 years) especially in the loop which was awesome. A fun ride I don't get to ride very often due to its usually crazy long lines.
Score: 8/10

After Firehawk, our friend who has just starting to get into coasters started to become sick, and he revealed he has a weak stomach and gets sick easily if spun around/flipped, so the 2 inverting coasters we just rode (FOF+Firehawk) were too much. He was still happy to come with us though and carry our stuff when we rode stuff that needed lockers. My sister wanted to head to the waterpark at noon, and eat now (it was like 11:30 AM) but she was OK with me leaving on my own to ride 2 rides solo...

Ride #6: The Beast
Wait: Walk-On
This was my first time solo on The Beast, and my 20th ride overall on it. I accidently chose a wheel seat in the back of a car because I didn't notice the arrows in the station at first. The ride was a bit rougher because of this, but it wasn't horrible. The ride also packed a good amount of speed, and good forcefulness and intensity. However it was also hot out, and for whatever reason it didn't feel quite as good as some of my other Beast rides- I think it was the heat, warm air does not feel as fun to go through fast as cooler air to me. Because of this I think I got better daytime rides on Mystic Timbers instead of Beast. But...well, read on.
Score: 9/10

After a slightly rough-but-fun old ride, I decided before I met back up with my group to hit the waterpark, the perfect ride to compliment it would be something huge, modern, and smooth...

Ride #7: Diamondback
Wait: Under 5 Minutes
I took the back car once again since I love the airtime from that car, and I rode with a nice old lady and her grandkids. She had never been on the ride, so I warned her of the airtime that was to come. Sure enough, Diamondback offered up a buffet of airtime as usual. I loved it once again. The lady, however, looked spooked. She calmed down by the time we returned to the station but she'd had enough for one day she said. Her grandkids loved it though, and were trying to get her to go on Banshee next. As for me, I had to meet up with my group again...
Score: 10/10

We all met up, grabbed our stuff, and headed towards the main exit (we had to get our waterpark gear). But our now non-coaster riding friend wanted to quickly ride the Eiffel Tower, so we did so.

Ride #8: Eiffel Tower
Wait: Walk-On
The view from atop the Eiffel Tower was amazing as usual. I noticed a tall electrical tower I had seen in Google Maps off in the distance, as well as what looked to be hundreds of water towers. A ride-op asked me how many trees, I said hundreds of thousands if not millions. I may be in the ballpark...
Score: 8/10

After the Tower, we exited the park got our waterpark gear ready, and came back in. We decided to ride the train to the waterpark...

Ride #9: Kings Island & MV RR
Wait: 10 Minutes (Train took a while to arrive as only 1 was running)
The train was its usual self for the most part, save us only riding it halfway. Does it still count as a full ride if you get off at the waterpark and never get back on though?
Score: 7/10

We arrived at the waterpark, fully changed into our swimsuits, and headed out to find...half the waterpark was closed. Apparently there was not enough staff, which I guess is because KI employs a ton of school kids and it was a weekday. However, we found Tidal Wave Bay was open, so we hit it up. I really didn't mind much as I just wanted to get wet and this would do...

Ride #10: Tidal Wave Bay
Wait: N/A
This giant wave pool has some pretty freakin' strong waves! It was slightly annoying at first, but I found if you don't resist and go with the waves, it becomes pretty fun. Pool was pretty packed. I eventually managed to get a floating ring thing and it became even more fun to get carried by the waves. I enjoyed this attraction.
Score: 8/10

After the refreshing TWB, we decided to ride Tropical Plunge, since it was one of the few waterslides open that looked interesting.

Ride #11: Tropical Plunge (Blue Drop Slide)
Wait: 10-15 Minutes
I chose the Blue slide, since from atop, it looked like a good layout. I boarded the "coffin", and the eerie lady voice counted down 3...2..1...DROP! The drop itself was not that bad, kinda like Drop Tower's is to me. However, what became annoying as all heck is that the entire way down, water was snorting its way up my nose and I could not see anything because of it. I only knew the ride was ending when it went dark towards the end. Still fun, but if there was some way to ride it without getting water constantly shot in my face, I'd do that instead.
Score: 7/10

After taking "Da Plunge", we were hungry and decided to hit one of the main things we came to the waterpark to try...

Food #1: Island Smokehouse
Wait: None
Island Smokehouse was pretty dead, only a few people were inside. Kind of surprising. I saw the chicken fingers in person, and had to try them as they looked great, and they were. The ribbon cut fries they came with were also very good. I also tried some of my sister's food, she got the chicken wings and mac n' cheese, both of those were also excellent. I got so full I didn't even really need to eat more the rest of the day! Kings Island has a great new restraunt here, and I hope the rumors it is coming to the dry park in 2018 are true.
Score: 10/10

After we ate, I sat out a 2nd trip to the wave pool (I was a little water hesitant after Tropical Plunge) and waited while the others swam a bit more. We then headed back to the changing stations, and switched back to our dry gear. We then headed to the car (long walk, may have been a mistake) and dropped off our wet gear. We then headed back into the main park, and into Action Zone. There were still no lines, but when my sister had us hand all our stuff to our friend who didn't wanna do coasters anymore, I knew we were gonna ride...

Ride #12: Banshee
Wait: Walk-On
Banshee has been an amazing B&M Invert since Day 1 in 2014, and there was nothing different here. Great speed, strong g-forces, and smooth elements and transitions. There was still a bit of a rattle but it was not as bad as it was in April. I also noticed (or at least think I did) the never-used trim before the pretzel/heart loop was gone. Banshee: dishin' out epic rides since 2014.
Score: 10/10

After Banshee, we tried to get our friend to ride The Bat with us since it lacked inversions and we thought it would be OK for him, but he dumped on us halfway through and we didn't even notice until it was too late. We then rode The Bat ourselves.

Ride #13: The Bat
Wait: Walk-On
I had heard the ride was broken a few days ago, so I am glad The Bat was open for us when we visited yesterday. The ride was the normal fun, swinging coaster that sadly always ends way too soon I love. It may have been a good thing our other friend didn't ride, as we noticed that last swing on the brake run is pretty intense and could have further upset his stomach.
Score: 8/10

After The Bat, we planned to start heading down Coney Mall and hitting the coasters there we had yet to ride. However, the others decided to stop and smoke, while I am a non-smoker. I said "OK so we are doing Adventure Express, The Racer, and Vortex next?"

"The other 2 sure, but, Uhh, we really aren't down for Vortex right now."

I asked if I could ride Vortex by myself while they smoked, they said yes. I headed down Coney Mall, and reached Vortex for said ride.

Ride #14: Vortex
Wait: Walk-On
I rode in 5-1 yet again since it is one of my favorite seats (I debated 7-1 but it would have had a short wait). Vortex was rougher than I recall it being, because in addition to the normal stuff, there seemed to be a occasional awkward shuffle near the start of the ride (first few turns- by the end of the ride it was back to "normal" though). The ride itself also felt faster and more intense though as well. I wasn't in any physical pain afterwards, so all in all I enjoyed the ride. I also for the first time in person saw The Vortex "smile". I cannot unsee it now. Thanks, VortexBFFForever...who may or may not have been working Vortex, I dunno. I rode around 5:30PM...
Score: 8.5/10

I met back up with the group, who had finished smoking, and we headed for the other 2 rides they were down for. First up, Adventure Express!

Ride #15: Adventure Express
Wait: Walk-On
I just realized that I rode all 3 of KI's Arrow coasters back-to-back. LOL. Our friend sat this one out as well, even though to be honest it would probably have been fine since AE isn't the most intense or craziest coaster out there. It is good fun though, and ALL the effects on the final tunnel were working for once!
Score: 8/10

We then hit up Racer which was next door, which oddly was running both sides even though it only needed to do 1 due to the crowd levels. So much for my "Both Sides Only Run on Busy Days" theory...

Ride #16: Red Racer
Wait: Walk-On
My friend who was doing coasters and sister wanted to do Blue Racer, so when we boarded, just for fun, I hopped onto the same car on Red, 1 seat back because they were on a wheel and I didn't want to do that. I might have been fine though, because Racer was running pretty smoothly. Good amounts of airtime, and the trains were racing (though they started Red out a little ahead for some reason). I taunted my friends on the other train as we headed up the lift hills. It backfired however- even though my train was cheatin', somehow the Blue Racer still won. D'OH!
Score: 8.5/10

After Racer, my sister and friend wanted to ride Beast (I already had) and Diamondback next, but took another smoking break beforehand. While sitting with them, I noticed we were VERY near Zephyr, a ride I had not ridden in 17 years. Rather than smoke...

Ride #17: Zephyr
Wait: Walk-On
...I swung! This ride has a lot of very pretty artwork on it. I do think I slightly perfer Holiday World's Hollowswings but Zephyr is still a fun Wave Swinger ride.
Score: 8/10

After Zephyr, we continued with the plan. Next up was The Beast...for me, again...

Ride #18: The Beast (2nd Ride)
Wait: 5 Minutes
For the first time ever, I finally got to ride in the very last car of Beast. I was in 6-2, the non wheel seat in said car. I wondered how much crazier this back car really would be. Turns out...a little bit, but not that much. I did get a nice weak pop of airtime on the 2nd drop, but other than that and a bit more intensity in the helix (and a smoother ride since it wasn't a wheel seat) it felt the same as earlier in the day. So...same rating.
Score: 9/10

We then headed over to check the line for Mystic Timbers, looked around 20 minutes or so. While that wasn't a huge wait, Diamondback had a even shorter line than that, so we rode it instead for right now.

Ride #19: Diamondback (2nd Ride)
Wait: 10 Minutes
Waterpark had likely closed by this point, hence why there were now some short lines instead of zero lines. However, Diamondback's crew was really working their butts off, so the wait was pretty short. I rode in the very back car again, though even further back now in the divided seats since my sister and other friend wanted to front seats. I got a little extra airtime from being a bit further back, but other than that and some mist from the final splashdown, same ride as before. Still very fun.
Score: 10/10

We went and checked on Mystic Timbers again, but it's line grew a little bit. I wanted to ride again, but my sister and her friends wanted to do White Water Canyon and the log flume (including the guy who didn't wanna do coasters since these were not coasters). So we split up...

Ride #20: Mystic Timbers (2nd Ride) (WOOHOO 20+ RIDES IN 1 DAY!)
Wait: 30 Minutes (Huge in comparison)
The ride itself was the same as before, until the shed at least, so I don't need to mention that again. However I noticed while in line how much mass appeal Mystic Timbers seems to have- Old people, kids, and coaster loving teens were all in line for this one. There was a dad and his 2 kids who were about to make this their first big coaster, or at least it seemed that way. Kings Island truly has found the sweet spot with this GCI wooden coaster. As for the shed, I got Bats for the 2nd time (1st was back in April on my first ride) but since it was sunset and darker out now, the little details really stood out more, like the hidden text and stuff. I also don't know what song was playing on this one, it was cheesy 80's pop but that's all I could recognize. I also was sitting in car #8, so I saw the entire finale video this time. They also put a huge fan in the shed due to the heat- hopefully at some later date AC will be added. Mystic Timbers seems to be a ride that gets better every time I ride it...
Score: 10/10

After Mystic Timbers, I met my group, who rode WWC and Surf Dog instead of Log Flume because the Log Flume had a long wait. WWC had also soaked them. My sister was hungry, so she used her meal plan (she had paid $75 for a ticket that included that, admission, parking, and a drink bottle) and got a BBQ sandwich from Tom+Chee. She ate half her sandwich and gave me the rest, so I guess...

Food #2: Tom+Chee
Wait: None
MMm...the sandwich was delicious and the perfect size for someone who was still somewhat full from the Island Smokehouse earlier. She also actually got her chips this time, which they had forgotten back in April. She gave them to another friend of our's though.
Score: 10/10

My sister then wanted to ride Boo Blasters, since she loves it. As we headed towards it, we saw Drop Tower running. One of our friends really wanted to ride that after Boo Blasters, but my sister was scared to death of it, and our other friend was reluctant as well due to what had occured with the coasters. But for now we decided to do Boo Blasters.

Ride #21: Boo Blasters on Boo Hill
Wait: Under 5 Minutes
Shockingly, I got some fun out of Boo Blasters, probably my best experience on this since it opened in 2010 besides my first ride! All the effects seemed to be working (including "Shaggy"), and apparently so was my gun because I got a personal best high score of 900! In fact, other than the issues on BLSC at the start, almost all the theming and effects related to rides was working. Good job on that Kings Island.
Score: 7/10

After BBOBH, we headed to Action Zone. My sister painic'ed at the mere prospect of riding Drop Tower, and her heart rate was skyrocketing on her fitbit, so we knew she was actually really scared and let her back out. Our other friend also backed out. So it was me and one friend, who in line revealed he actually had never ridden this himself because it was always broken or he was with friends who would not ride. So I got to do it with him.

Ride #22: Drop Tower (Night)
Wait: 5 Minutes
While this ride, due to its sheer height and concept, still makes my nervous I have found ways to distract myself and enjoy it more. I looked at other rides, the highway, etc etc. It was night now so all the rides were lighting up and it was very pretty. Before I knew it, we were 30 stories up and then...KLUNK. The actual drop doesn't bother me, it feels reliving to me in fact. A fun ride overall, my friend enjoyed it as well and was happy I did it with him.
Score: 8/10

Since it was dark yet only 9:00PM (park closed at 10), we decided to ride Banshee, since it is a great night ride and was right there.

Ride #23: Banshee (Night)
Wait: 10 Minutes (Front Row)
We waited for Front Row since that is THE row for Inverts and night rides alike. Banshee is great at daytime, but wow, at night it gets even better. The air blowing in my face was cool now, which I liked a lot more, and the awesome lights and scenery around the coaster really popped. The best ride of the day until this point!
Score: 11/10!

After Banshee, I pitched that we go and ride The Beast, since it is such a awesome night ride and Mystic Timbers probably had a huge (by comparison) line still. It worked and we headed over, but my sister and non-riding friend ditched as we arrived, as they wanted to see the fireworks better. Me and our other friend went and rode Beast though.

Ride #24: The Beast
Wait: 45 Minutes (15 minutes but fireworks delay)
We still got a nice view of the Fireworks, but having recently seen the 4th of July ones from both my current home city and downtown Indianapolis, they underwhelmed a bit. But, where as now my sister and other friend were probably sitting in the car outside the park, me and my other friend got a Beast night ride. We also chatted with some other guests while waiting, and ended up entertaining them with my knowledge. Also encountered some other coaster enthusiasts who told me how awesome Cedar Point and Carowinds are, particullary Millennium Force and Fury 325. I did state I wanted to try both of those before deciding which I liked more. Then, the ride re-opened, and we rode The Beast.

And wow. Mystic Timbers may be a better ride on hot, muggy days...but at night, it'll have its work cut out for it. There was no moon, so it was super dark out, and to make it more eerie all the other rides (except Mystic Timbers) were closed already so Beast was the only ride still running. This led to a super zen ride. The speed, drops, turns, and tunnels all felt longer and more intense as you could not see anything. The cool air felt great blowing on my face. The final helix was pure insanity. For me, Beast @ Night is the ultimate coaster bliss. It is gonna take some monster ride to top it.
Score: 12/10!

Afterwards, as the park was closing obliously, we saw the last few trains head out and then left. We made our way to the car through a closed Planet Snoopy (TBH it is a bit creepy at night with no one in it) and exited the park. We found our friends, got in the Van, and headed home after a epic day.

I hope you all enjoyed this trip report. Here are my final pros+cons as usual...

+Incredible Roller Coasters. Kings Island has 11 "adult" coasters and I only think one of them is worse than "decent" (Invertigo- which I didn't do this trip) and the rest are all good or better.
+Great staff. Everyone I ran into was friendly and nice, and the ride crews were doing great today.
+Great food. What I ate was delicious, and service was fast, though there weren't any real lines to test the speed.
+All Theming Working outside first ride on BLSC. On rides like Adventure Express and Boo Blasters, this helps a lot.

-Half of Waterpark closed due to apparent lack of staff. Since it was my first time ever, not a great first impression.

And that'll do it. Another epic trip to Kings Island and I am very happy to have gone. Even the guy with us who didn't do much after Firehawk loved his time there hanging with us so much, he bought my sister a bottle of wine (she did pay for him to take us and bought his ticket though)! He does say next time he wants to try coasters again but no looping rides. I had a absolute blast myself. As usual, questions and comments welcome and thanks again for reading this HUGE trip report!


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Awesome! Looks like a lot more KICers were in the park yesterday than I thought. There was a decent-sized KIC group there most of the day; here's four of us around lunchtime:

I'm the one holding my wrist, second from viewer's left. Did you see us at any point yesterday?

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