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Zand

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Posts posted by Zand

  1. You definitely lucked out with Beast. When I got to it at 9:30ish last Saturday, the FL line was all the way back onto the exit ramp before the split. The line crawled too (probably due to a bit more priority being put into moving the ~3 hr standby line) and took 35 minutes or so. But then again, I got walk ons for Banshee, Windseeker, and Mystic Timbers right before and after that so guess you just have to hit it right (and hope the grouper is moving the FL line along if you don't). 

    I'm glad dealing with the mask BS is over in the parks (except in California maybe? lol) and was happy to have mine put away the whole trip to Ohio minus the airport/flight. I keep one in my pocket as I usually put it on out of respect if someone wants to speak to me and they have one on, but didn't have to worry about that in Ohio like I occasionally do here in MA. I did get pissed off at one security guy at Hershey last year. Was sitting on a bench by myself with a drink next to me and he went out of his way to come yell at me because I wasn't putting it up between sips. Meanwhile hordes of people were walking by with theirs down. Definitely don't miss the 2020 hysteria. 

    • Like 2
  2. 16 hours ago, prozach626 said:

    We were also at the park on Saturday. I've never been to any park that crowded, before. This is a long disorganized TR. The whole day was kind of a blur.

    I feel like we had identical experiences one week apart but you touched on a few things I meant to but didn't remember to while writing my report.

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    -We were the only people in Beast FL line. We were assigned the middle row of the back car. The Beast rode pretty rough for us in the summer, but this time we had one of the smoothest rides we'd ever had on it.

    -It was about 11:40 when we went to get our night ride on The Beast to close out our kinda fun day. We were the only people in the FL queue and we were directed to the only available row, which happened to be a wheel seat in one of the last cars. It beat the absolute ever living shit out of us, start to finish, and was the most miserable ride on any coaster I can remember having since T3.

    It can't be stated enough how much of a difference it is between a wheel seat and middle seat. The total difference in tone for these two reports is spot on.

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    Everything was a wait. Wait to get beer. Wait to go to the bathroom. Wait to get a beer again. Walk around elbow-elbow. Smell peoples' vapes and cigarettes. Have kids, patrons, and even an unapologetic scare actor bump into you and spill your beer here, there, everywhere, all throughout the night.

    We took advantage of night rides, but we didn't have a chance to do that much, since despite the FL lanes not being terrible, you had to wait for everything else and walk at a snail's pace moving around the park. Walking the pathways was like moving through jello. 

    This was the biggest eye opener for me. I expected lines to be 2+ hours and FP+ to have some lines built up, but I truly could not believe just how many people in general were walking around at any given time. I'm a fast walker (which annoys the shit out of my 5'0" wife lol) and it drove me nuts how many groups have to walk 10 wide down a path, but it almost became moot when there were so many people that it was just one big mass of people on any given midway. The worst spots were the stretch from Hank's pretty much all the way down to the Diner (especially when they had a giant maze line set up right in the middle of the midway where the games are) and then that hanging pumpkin section between Troika and Beast.

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    However, the problem was we'd had several beers and no additional food. We circled the park, only to find that every food line looked 45 minutes to an hour, with many places closed. There were only 3-4 food trucks this time around, to help with the chaos. However, after waiting in line for one that had a noticeably short line, I saw a small sign that said "cash only" in a cashless park............... So much for that.

    I hate to say it and it's too late now obviously, but maybe the parks shouldn't have given up on reservations this year. Not for Covid reasons, but just for guest experience reasons. When you have all these food places closed (as well as drink stations closed, and the few that were open had mile long lines) it creates a really negative experience for people. I kind of expected it going in, but I feel like a lot of people would never go back because they think they'll have to wait over an hour for food and 30 minutes just to get a drink on a hot day.

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    The grouper really sucked at her job. The two people in front of us, and Emily and I, asked for the front. She said that would be OK, but we would have to hold up for a few minutes. No big deal. However, apparently this threw a huge wrench in her thought process, combined with some priority riders boarding at the exit.

    The grouper was trying to scramble to fill the rows and left several rows empty on two trains, despite an hour plus standby queue line, and probably 30 minute FL queue. After waiting for several minutes, she told us we'd have to go in row two... Why not just tell us this from the start?

    I know many of these people were just hired recently and are probably doing their best with how little I'm sure they were trained, but it was pretty ridiculous a few times. I actually asked for the back row on Orion on one of my rides, but the grouper insisted I join a group of 3 in row 5. When it became clear that she was never going to get the last two rows filled before the gates opened, I tried walking back there and she actually came over and told me to go sit in row 5 to keep the train as full as possible. I figured maybe there were exit passes going to the back two rows, but nope they went empty.

    I don't understand why some groupers are so against letting people request rows, especially the front/back on coasters that have giant extra spaces to accommodate longer lines for those rows. Since the groupers suck so bad at actually filling a train, just let people pick their rows and when all the rows fill up, stop letting people in. If a row is empty, call two people forward that want to ride the next train. It's such a simple concept. The worst is the grouper that had a Cedar Fair Supervisor jacket on that was working Diamondback...I asked to wait for the front and she was like "Do you really need to go to the front that bad?" I had to try really hard to not just say f*ck off, but was just like "I mean...I would prefer to, yes.". There were literally two pairs of people in a line with the space to hold 15 pairs of people.

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    It's important for newcomers to know consistent thing about the Haunt is your FL+ is garbage from about 4-7pm. However, once it gets dark, The Haunt kicks in full swing and the lines die down, because people go to the haunted houses.

    Ehh...I kind of disagree with that. They kind of level off at 7:00 but so many people are flooding into the park at that time that they don't really get any shorter either. Orion, Diamondback, Beast, and Flight of Fear were all full for FL+ at 9:30 last Saturday (and all had 2-3+ hr standby lines). Maybe by 10:30-11:00 you'll start catching some short lines but it takes a while.

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    One thing I noticed this trip was for most of our rides, there was at least one delay for ride operators having to try to force the restraints down on overweight riders, sometimes resulting in walks-of-shame. This would cause stacking every time. It gets worse every year, and I could hear other people getting frustrated with it, as well.

    Whether for walks of shame of general slowness, the stacking got kind of insane. Orion, Mystic Timbers, and Banshee shouldn't be running 3 trains anyway, but there wasn't a single time where the third train didn't sit for almost a minute, just to pull forward and sit again for 3 more minutes. Even Diamondback with its longer ride time was stacking quite a bit. If the Nitro ops at Great Adventure ever let the third train stack that much, they'd be relegated to Bugs Bunny Land. I will say the Beast crew was hauling ass each time I rode it, usually they were waiting for the train to clear the lift to send the next one. The same grouper was there both nights I was there (tall, younger, and quite the booming voice) and did an excellent job both honoring requests and getting every train out full.

    • Thanks 1
  3. 14 hours ago, Rai Fox said:

    What is it with wasps this year?  All the other problems with parks...yeah, I get it, I know why staffing and parts shortages and all these things are a problem, and I don't want to hold them against any parks.  Wasps though...2/3s of the parks I've been to this year have been absolutely invested with them.  Twice this year, (Raven@Holiday World and Thunderhawk@Dorney) I've been stuck on a brake run with wasps crawling over me while I was stuck in the restraints.  I do not do well with wasps.  Never had that happen before this year...

    I noticed this at KI this weekend as well. Couldn't sit down at a table or bench or anything outside without 20 yellow jackets sitting down with you. All over the outside soda fountains as well, although not quite as bad as Lake Compounce used to get during the free soda days. Thankfully no issues with bees on brake runs.

    That reminds me of one time probably 15 years ago at the Big E in MA, they had a drop tower called (I believe) Drop of Fear which had a big top section on top of the tower. One year apparently a bunch of bees set up shop right where the car stopped when it got to the top, underneath the big top section. The ride op had the ability to estop the ride right at the top for dramatic effect and we were screaming for him to let us drop because we were getting SWARMED while we were sitting there. Definitely the worst bee/wasp experience I've ever had on a ride lol.

  4. No presents from being stuck on Mystic Timbers...was kinda hoping for a one use Fastlane but no dice. Guess 15 minutes wasn't quite enough lol.

    Two of my Beast rides were middle rows (8 and 14 I think) and they were great rides, no discomfort at all. Then I ended up in row 15 (last row available for that load...guess I should've held out for the front) on the last ride and every turn felt like it was going to jar my bones apart. The first half was so bad that I was dreading being alive the whole drop into the helix but that section ended up not being so bad lol. The general public still loves the ride and it still draws big lines so who knows if it will get any work. But a nice retracking would be great and really make it rerideable in any row.

    The one missing piece for Kings Island is for RMC to show up and build Grandson of Beast 😆

  5. 22 hours ago, prozach626 said:

    Do they still have food trucks in front of the tower, at night? They did last time we were there.

    They have 4 of them there. Of course I totally forgot about them Saturday night when searching for food. Instead I walked by Miami River Brewhouse which had a line past Mystic Timbers, then by Hanks which had a line across the midway, then tried Panda Express but there was a line AROUND the outside of Festhaus to get in, and finally settled on Chicken Shack which also had a big line but I was done soul searching lol.

    Anyway, Sunday report which ended up being the day of the woodies. No, I didnt fly out to Dennis Hof's mansion, but I did take the side trip out to Strickers Grove which was really cool and I recommend to anyone who is in thr area on a day they are open. I didn't experience any wild ejector on Tornado, but its still a solid smaller wooden coaster that looks great. Teddy Bear was adorable and ran really well. I would've loved to have reridden Tornado a few times but Strickers drew a huge crowd sunday, with most rides having lines of 20-30 minutes! I didn't end up checking out any flats but they have a pretty solid lineup of old school flats. But $15 for rides, mini golf, free soda, cotton candy, popcorn, and slushies was really awesome. The grill food was great and inexpensive as well. Like I said, check it out if you're ever at KI and they're open. It's only 30 minutes away and worth the admission just for the 2 classic coasters alone.

    Anyway, we had such a great time at Strickers that it was almost 5 by the time we got back to KI. The park was busy again Sunday, and my main goal was to close the day out on Beast and just hit whatever I came to before that. After grabbing a beer at the Festhaus and watching a couple shows, we got in line for Mystic Timbers. Only 35 minutes, but wouldve been shorter if it werent for the lousy grouper who was very slow loading rows and routinely sending 2-3 rows out empty. Encountered a few of these this weekend and I know a lot of these people are new, but damn. Anyway, the ride was great until the ride broke down while we were stuck in the shed. Lights came on and the ride ops came around to "keep everyone company". It was quite hot in there and it was nice when we finally pulled out.

    After the shed experience we grabbed a couple beers at the Brewhouse and sat on the deck in the Adirondack chairs, such an awesome spot! By then it was pushing 6:30 so I went to check out the Diamondback line which was over an hour. Checked the app and saw Orion had just reopened from a breakdown so went over there to check that out. Only 6 switchbacks were full so I got in even though I didnt have long before I had to head to Beast. After 20 minutes we had made it through 2 switchbacks. I was thinking to myself that if we were at Great Adventure that line would never stop moving, but here they were stacking the 3rd train like it was going out of style. At 7:30 I finally gave up and headed for Beast.

    Turned out to be a great idea as even though the app said an hour wait, it ended up being 15 minutes and I got 2 rides! The 2nd was in a wheel seat near the back and damn was that brutal. Night and day compared to the middle seats. But still an awesome way to wrap up the weekend. 

    Unfortunately the trip was over as for some reason KI closed at 8 the day before a holiday (GADV was open till midnight and even Cedar Point, who couldn't even stay open earlier in the summer, was open till 10). Despite the crowds it was a terrific weekend and looking forward to returning hopefully next year.

     

    Here's a few Saturday crowd pics.

    1009212040.thumb.jpg.94dbef58c41e165ab9a06743f79cb4a4.jpg

    1009212146.thumb.jpg.3553fe0ac83025e9dada484ee2fd1fc7.jpg

  6. Fastlane saved the night tonight for sure. I couldn't believe how crowded the park got...most midways were so full of people you couldn't move. After dinner I hit Banshee which had a pretty full line but walked right up fastlane and right to the front row. I love this thing...my favorite invert and the night ride was even more insane. Feeling the temp changes was really neat.

    Around 8:30 I started a loop around the park as most major coasters were showing 2-3 hr standby lines. First up was Orion, which had both the fastlane and standby lines full to the entrance. Fastlane took 30 minutes, greeter was telling people 3:15 for standby. Ended up in row 2. Real fun at night. Love that speed hill and the 2nd to last airtime hill. Just wish it was longer, no brake run should be 100 feet high.

    Headed back to Windseeker which had a standby line stretching back almost to Troika but not a soul in the fastlane line. Awesome view and I feel like this one spins faster than others at the top.

    Next up was Beast which had a line spilling out the entrance and posted at 2:45. Even the fastlane was beyond the split with the exit line. Took over 30 minutes but still saved a lot of time. Rode in front and got my first night Beast ride in 14 years. Absolutely love it. The first half is like Blair Witch Project: The Ride. Then that damn helix is unreal at night when you can't see it and can't anticipate when you're going to slam into it.

    Headed over to the best standup coaster in the world...Mystic Timbers. Got two rides in 10 minutes as there was 0 line for the fastlane despite 1:30 for the standby line. The airtime on this thing is mental and some of the sharp turns catch you off guard at night. To have these two woodies in the same park as 3 top tier B&Ms should be illegal. Too much greatness in one park.

    Finished up with Diamondback and a front seat ride. Almost as good as Nightro, but nothing beats 20 degree rides on Nitro in January. This definitely has the better ejector air of the two, especially in front. The camelbacks just launch you into outer space.

    Was time to head out by then, but scored a Boo Blasters ride on the way by just before closing. This park is already pretty special as it is, but when the sun goes down it's just the best. Some parks have a designated night ride that you always need to finish the day on. This place has 6. And now that Boulder Dash sucks, the Beast can reclaim its crown as the best night coaster on earth.

    Only thing I didn't get to that I wanted to was Bat. Theres no fastlane access for it. I actually went to get in line for it as Queue Times said 45 minutes, but I knew it would be longer when I only had to walk 45 seconds to find the back of the line. 

    Heading to Strickers Grove tomorrow at 1 then coming back for a few hours. Only open till 8 so will only have time for one fully dark ride to wrap up the trip. There's only one candidate for which ride that will be.

    • Like 2
  7. This place is officially bullshit busy. Worst part is trying to get something to eat without standing in an hour line. Ended up breaking down and getting in the Chicken Shack line which is about 40 minutes.

    Wristbands have definitely helped, although even those haven't been without lines. Diamondback was 35 minutes with fastlane at 3:30 (standby was 2 hours). Mystic Timbers and Beast were a little quicker. Orion was down for a while but I caught the first train when it came back up. Grabbed rides on Racer, Adv Express, and Drop Tower as well. 

    Nightfall is here so will spend the next 4 hours riding as much as I can!

  8. Queue times said Beast opened around 11:20 and immediately pulled a 30 minute line. Glad there's nothing catastrophically wrong with it.

    Arrived at the crack of 11 to a mobbed but slowly emptying park. Have wristbands for tomorrow so figured I'd pop in tonight and ride a couple coasters. Hit Mystic Timbers with a 45 minute wait, then hit Diamondback with about a 5 minute wait on the way out. 

    It was my first time at a non Six Flags park (or Lake Compounce) for a Halloween event and...yeah what a difference. Great atmosphere in the park. Pumped for tomorrow.

  9. Thanks for the Strickers Grove recommendation, definitely considering popping in there! Haven't really heard much about their coaster but random ejector hill sounds good to me!

    Not really planning on hitting any Haunt stuff at KI, primarily there for the night rides on...well...almost everything. So haunts would cut into the night time riding. If I happen upon a short line for a haunt, sure, but otherwise I'm okay not hitting any of it. 

  10. Booked a KI trip for Columbus Day weekend. Flying from Hartford to (ironically) Columbus Friday night via Breeze Airlines for the first time. Not sure who in their right mind decided  scheduling flights between Hartford and Columbus was a good idea but they're cheap and I'm not complaining. Should be at the park in time for a couple night rides before the midnight closing. Have all day Sat and Sun. Will splurge for a FL+ on Saturday. $125 but I think I'm gonna need it (UNLESS...if anyone here can confidently tell me that the lines might die down after sunset due to people all heading for the haunted mazes). Sunday will be more leisurely, will probably watch football at the bars and hit short lines as I come to them. Then flying back on Monday.

    Feels weird to spend this much time and money to go to one park, especially one that I've already been to this year, but after the spring trip I've been dying to get back for night rides and I've heard their Haunt is one of the better ones.  Feels even weirder going to Ohio and not going to Cedar Point, but honestly I don't even care. Thought about maybe running down to Kentucky Kingdom on Sunday but unfortunately they close this weekend.

  11. As much as I probably shouldn't be sad about the removal of a bad Arrow Corkscrew that I haven't bothered riding in probably 20 years, nostalgia wise it is kind of sad. I feel like for a lot of New Englanders that grew up riding coasters before 2000, this was their first looper (myself included) as it was pretty much just this and Black Widow at Riverside. I remember the line for this thing extending out to the midway back in the 90s. Now it's obsolete, even by Canobie standards. Waterpark expansion is the right thing for the park to do.

    Also...i haven't been to Canobie since the year Untamed opened, so not sure if i just dont remember Corkscrew being blue or if they hadnt painted it yet, but that blue is atrocious lol. The yellow and black always looked nice.

  12. Manhattan Express/Big Apple Coaster/That Pile of Togo Sh*t at New York New York.

    The new trains were better (although the comfort collars are useless just like on the other Premier trains that have them). There's a little less shuffling than the old trains. But some of the transitions are so god awful on that thing that you still get jarred a few times.

  13. ^I did try that Pierogie stand. Theyre pretty good! Not quite Knoebels good, but still worth stopping by if you like them.

    Glad I had a good-before-7 wristband when I went because it got me on the piers early before the lines started building up. When I stopped by Adventure Pier at 10:30 that night I couldn't believe how many people were riding the big money attractions (myself included admittedly). Place is definitely raking in the dollars this year!

  14. I can't see Cedar Point getting a Free Spin. Isn't like them to plop in a clone.

    Hopefully this is that possible "boardwalk" type section that was rumored to be coming at some point. Getting rid of Wicked Twister clears a lot of frontage along the beach.

    I'll miss it a bit, it was one of my favorite "unpopular" rides at CP and could always count on it being a walk on when other coasters had hour + waits. But I'm sure it will be more enjoyed at Michigan's Adventure or wherever it ends up and I know CP will do something good to replace it.

    • Like 1
  15. Few notes from my annual shore trip...

    Popped into Ocean City on the way down Sunday night. I was planning on hitting both Castaway Cove and Gillians but I was way behind due to traffic being awful most of the way. Only had time for 1 lap each on Gale Force and Wild Waves, both of which had 15 minute waits as the place was jam packed. Gale Force was running great, nice and smooth and as close to an RMC as you'll get on the shore. Wild Waves was a hoot as usual. Gillians will have to wait till next year as I didnt have time before they closed.

    Monday was Wildwood day. Had a wristband good through 7 pm. After drinking the midday away, hit Mariners around 3:30. Pretty dead over there and hit everything open in an hour or so. Pirates and Ghost Ship closed, but I think everything else was running. Sea Serpent was great with the new vest restraints! 

    Made my way down to Surfside at 5 for opening and was surprised to see a mad rush of people show up. Still got a good amount of riding in but had to wait in a couple decent lines. Flume was running the water but never opened. Nor'Easter was testing but never opened (before 7 anyway). Kangaroos and Gravitron were closed as well. Rode Runaway Tram for the first time. Great family coaster and even carries some surprising speed. Atmosfear was great as usual. Kong had some stricter ride ops and even has a prerecorded "if riders continue to allow the cables to loosen, we will stop the ride" that they played twice during the ride. "It" was running great...kind of 2 cycles in 1.

    Had dinner and more drinks once wristband time was over, then made my way over to Adventure Pier around 10:00. My goal was to buy enough tickets to ride Great White once and then head out, but I broke down and spent $50 to get Skyscraper, Screamin Swing, and Great White. Just couldn't help myself. Love the location of Skyscraper and the Swing. As for Great White, it's been a few years but I forgot how good it is. Has some fantastic laterals and a couple decent airtime moments. A little short but carries a tremendous pace the whole way and is pretty smooth throughout. Waited almost 20 minutes which is crazy as I used to walk on and sometimes ride it alone in the past. Good to see Moreys getting some business this year.

    Had a good time as usual and hoping next year they're back to normal with the wristband situation. Glad they at least had a partial day option this year, much better than nothing.

  16. Heading down for a couple days on Sunday. Noticed this morning that Morey's now has wristbands for $39 good through 7pm. Unfortunately it's Mariners only till 5, but it's still a good deal IMO.

    Has pretty much everything been open lately or have there been some holdouts? Also planning on stopping in Ocean City to check out Gillians for the first time and also grab a Gale Force ride or two. Any important news from either of those places?

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