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Everything posted by timfreeman

  1. Big Thunder Refurb? I just noticed it's scheduled to be down for almost 6 months starting in January. Did a search and couldn't find anything here. Anyone know what the plans are? I wouldn't think normal maintenance would be that long.
  2. Events Sounds like the picnic area is still open but all the candy distro is at the dinosaurs with a $5 fee.
  3. Which is why I said they do a good job getting people through the ride. Maybe I've just landed on days with good operators, but a hold before station was quick the days I've been. Certainly quicker than the wait would have been if 2 trains were running. My wife and kids were there today and said the park was empty so hopefully the people on the Bash had a great time.
  4. Didn't realize the group was at KI today. I was hoping to stop in when you guys were here to meet some people. Oh well, have a great time.
  5. If Diamondback has all it's trains running, the line can be out the normal queue and still take less than 30 minutes. They actually do a good job getting people through on that ride. When people see the line out the door, most turn away as they think it's a hour+ wait.
  6. I never said they were evil, I said I expected it years ago. I never said they were right or wrong for how they've handled the park. I do think they could cater to both crowds fairly easily. I visit the park mainly in the spring and fall, so I get my money's worth out of the passes. I don't think the fast passes will affect my visits as the crowds are normally sparse during those periods anyway. There are 2 crowds in the conversation every time it comes up for every park. The first is the casual or one time visitors that love the fast pass idea. I'm actually happy for those attending the TPR trip hitting up KI and being able to get more out of their time in the park. The second is the local or younger crowds that these decisions affect more. Normally, I don't really care either way. In reality, most of the time the lines at Kings Island aren't due to extreme crowds, but of how the park is ran. Being a limited time and rides, I will not form an opinion until I can see the affects of the new passes. The only place I used to frequent that sells them is Universal, and I went there so often, the prices seemed outrageous for me. People need to quit being defensive and dramatic around here and take the post for what it's worth.
  7. It seems the decisions for this year have been to try and draw new crowds, not play to the passholders. First the lame Dinosaurs that most wouldn't pay $5 a person to see again. Now it's the line skipping. I honestly expected it more rapidly from the execs after Cedar Fair purchased the park. I'm surprised to hear it's not been busy as every time I pass the parking lot, it seems packed. Maybe everyone is hitting Boomerang Bay.
  8. All depends on your activity. We used to go at least once a year for 10 days. Then the visits increased twice a year. When Disney cut out the great discounts and free dining, we could have either cut down on the visits or purchase passes and stay off site. The passes are less than 2-10 day visits, so we decided to try it out a year to see how it goes. Now that we have annual passes, we go south every chance we get. It doesn't always have to be for 10 days or during specific off seasons now. We don't fly anymore and we don't stay on site. I think we ended up visiting 5 times. We do what we want when we want with no worries about times or schedules. If a park is packed, we go to another. If all are packed, we go to a pool. It's now more fun and less stressful. We renewed our passes on Saturday and I'm contemplating upgrading to the Premier Passport because we just got an offer in the mail to upgrade for $50 more than our renewal price. That would give us a reason to make plans to visit DL and DCA. If flights weren't so expensive, it'd be a done deal.
  9. I had a 4 page reply and my son hit something on the keyboard that changed the web page and lost it all..... Bottom line is look at the number of people visiting the attractions at JP versus those visiting attractions in LC. Not the ones walking through to WWOHP, but the ones actually at the attractions. Replace Sinbad with a Quidditch Arena and replace PF with a wizard duel (sewer scene in the second movie would be perfect). Take the land between FJ and River Adventure and use it for additional theming. Not the DC, the land north of it.
  10. Not sure how I missed that post, that's more like your photo TRs.
  11. I was expecting more pictures of the M&G from jedi with all the little hidden items. We were there when it was empty, so while Mickey and Minnie were showing the kids around all the stuff and the photographer and I were talking about all the references. By far, this was my favorite as it's from my favorite movie:
  12. But past the theme, what is there to do? Once you walk through and look at it, it's just filler to get to WWOHP. My kids aren't going to wait 30 minutes for Sinbad or Poseidon. On the other hand, JP has Discovery Center, River Adventure, Camp Jurrasic, and the flyer. Since JP is a bit spread out, there isn't a good way to expand WWHOP without getting rid of a major piece of it. They can expand to the path between Forbidden Journey and the Discovery Center, but that's not going to buy them much. Don't get me wrong, I would be sad to see LC go away. However, I would hope that it would be incorporated into WWOHP before JP.
  13. With kids, my thoughts are the exact opposite of Redrum's. The kids could spend all day in the discovery center and such in JP. They've never done anything in the existing LC other than eat at Mythos and talk to the fountain. The 2 shows are nothing to wait around for and the shops/games are passable. The best themed parts are already gone in Dueling Dragons and the Oak, so just wipe the rest of it. On a side note, our last visit solidified the fact that we would not be renewing our passes this year. The kids would rather stay at the house in the pool or Disney as Potterville is always packed. The last several trips, we'd walk around hitting all the rides normally with walk-ons (Hulk, Spidey, Doom, etc) as everyone is in WWOHP. I don't think we stepped foot into Universal other that to ride Rockit and Mummy. The last week we were down there, we hit IOA twice and the second time was because we knew we weren't going to renew. We got there at opening and went straight to the wand shop and the line was already 45 minutes. FB was already 35, I assume from on-site guests getting in early. The land is too small and the waits are too long for them to double the prices of the passes. The kids still enjoy the rides, but it's no longer a "must-do" so we'll take a year off and see how it goes.
  14. As a season pass holder, they will only see my money for this once. For a family of 5, that's $25 just to walk in. They already rip you off for $50 at the food stands and have 4 pay attractions. Really a shame as both my sons love dinos.
  15. The walls were down a couple days ago, but had bushes blocking the entrances so the kids couldn't play on anything. Overall, it looked interesting, but not much there for 50 kids in line. It all seemed to be close to the entrance and not much past the first little bit. It looks much better and anything is a welcome addition to entertain the kids. We forgot the camera at the house, so no pictures to post. It looks pretty much like the drawing. The tree right by the entrance, the Tigger bounce spot by the first curve, and a larger garden area across the fence (coming back from Tigger) with different items. I don't recall the second tree on the right. Between the fence and the log on the right is the fastpass entrance.
  16. I'm wondering of all the people banging on Lex, how many have actually been there? I know you said it's between the two, but figured I'd give my 2 cents anyway. Of the area (Lex/Hebron/Indy), Lex is more rural. I'd say it's night life is more college focused, the business side is more mid to upper class, and the outdoor activities are abundant. Hebron (area) is more middle of the road. No identity on it's own, but a more small town feel. However, it's minutes away from Cincinnati for all the "culture". Outdoor activities are also abundant. Both Lex and Hebron are a part of what I call the triangle (also including Louisville). Each city is about an hour from each other and have anything you can think of to do between the three and in between (including Kings Island and Holiday World). Indy is the largest of the three. If the city vibe is what you want, this would likely be the choice. However, the farther in town, the more expensive it will be. There was already a write up on it, so I'll leave it at that. I loved Lexington as I like that type of environment. I currently live in the Hebron area and have no issues. I can be in downtown Cincy in 15 minutes, but still have 15 acres of land with no neighbors. Weather for the 3 would be pretty similar. Still have all the seasons, but no the winter you are used to having. Phoenix would be way too hot for me, but not sure how important that is to you.
  17. T-Rex is probably our favorite restaurant down there at the moment. I didn't think it was expensive comparatively. If you have passes, you get 15% or so off dinners (not kids meals, appetizers, or desserts). We always go on a weekday before 4 and have never had to wait in line. The extinction desert is great, we have to get it every time we go.
  18. I actually had an incredible time at Last Tour--it ranks up there as my second favorite Disney-run event I've had the chance to have gone to (bested only by the 25th anniversary of Epcot, although I'm a bit biased on that one). It's not that we didn't have fun, it's just they didn't seem organized. I'm sure much of it was Disney trying to be secretive of things. We have passes, so we were already in the park by 1pm. We asked what we needed to do since we were already there and no one could answer the question. We found a worker in front of Star Tours around 3:30 answering questions and he told us that it wasn't a problem, just come back at 4, and they would give us a bracelet. We come back at 4 and the guy is no where and the people there had no clue about anything (it's after 4, quit acting ignorant). They called a manager who told us to go the info shack. We walk there and the workers won't give us a bracelet, they say our tickets need to be "activated" to get the bracelet. We go to the gate and the worker says he can't do it, we must go through the 1 line that has 200 people waiting in it (1 line, really?). Once though, they scan our passes, not the Tour tickets and give us the bracelets, we are good to go. We never pulled the tickets out again, so that was a complete waste of more than an hour. My son loves Star Wars and wanted to do 3 things, the "special" Jedi training if they had it, pictures with the characters in their costumes, and the Indy show. They are all long stories, but nothing worked out the first time we tried it. We missed Jedi Training due to the Raiders of the Lost Jedi being over an hour long, luckily there was 1 show still open. There was no line for the characters (except Jedi Mickey and R2-MK), it was a "dance party", so the Photopass people wouldn't take your picture unless you were dancing. That doesn't work as my son is very shy and doesn't dance. We ended up going back later that night after the fireworks and the place was empty so they took pictures with us. I wish I knew how the special Jedi Training worked. He's fought Vader 100's of times and it would have been nice to get him fighting the other characters, no big deal, my mistake for not researching. I made it a point not to complain about any of it in front of him as it would have ruined the night. We had fun, just wish the people were more informed.
  19. I didn't go to Celebration, but did hit the Last Tour. The line into the gift shop at times were 2 hours long. I didn't spend the money to stand in a merchandise line, so I skipped it. The t-shirts were sold out by the time I got in there. I did get the preview vehicle before the mob hit that night. Anthony Daniels was at the first showing of the Raiders of the Lost Jedi along with Warwick Davis, Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, and someone else who escapes me at the moment. All said, I was fairly disappointed in the disorganization.
  20. Many years back, I saw most of the tennis guys (Becker & Agassi come to mind) at KI when the ATP was in town. When I was younger, we had passes to Opryland, so I saw many country stars walking around (Lorrie Morgan, Clint Black I remember). At Universal I've seen Ellen (but she was taping a show, so it wasn't a normal sighting). I saw Ted Nugent at Downtown Disney in June, he was playing at the House of Blues that night. On the same trip, I also saw a bunch of basketball players at Downtown Disney. Also saw Juan Howard at Hollywood Studios. I wondered what they all were doing there, then found out the summer camp started a few days later.
  21. It estimates $294 for me. Probably not far off from the $400 if you include 2 weeks of driving back and forth to the parks.
  22. Yeah, $400 was a very high estimate in gas, but wanted to err on the high side and not get into a gas price war. Cincinnati is terrible on flights as Delta has a monopoly. When we started flying to Orlando about 8 years ago, it wasn't bad. Now, with the price increases, baggage fees, and 3 kids, it costs at least $1000. If you add the cost of a rental car to get to the other parks, the cost goes up more. We started driving this last year when the youngest turned 2. We drive through the night, so the kids aren't crying the whole way and get there in about 12-13 hours. After having our own car on Disney property, I'm not sure I can go back to the sardine buses.
  23. I like em both too. I didn't mention my passes to Universal and KI. Both of those are "mixed" parks in my book. Enough to do with both my older kids with coasters, but have decent amounts of activity for my 2 year old. I haven't been to Cedar Point in many years, not because I'm not a fan, but because there isn't enough there for the little ones to justify the trip. Once they get older, I'm sure my Kings Island pass will be upgraded to a Cedar Fair premium. On my last trip to Cali, I had 1 day to spend at a park and had to decide between them. Since I was solo, I chose Six Flags for the coasters. I'm still trying to figure out how to justify spending $2k on airfare plus lodging to take the family to Disneyland. I don't think it'll happen until they are old enough to visit all the parks and coasters.
  24. I don't' even think it's the internet. In this specific environment, people already have their minds made up. If they are thrill or coaster die-hards, young adults, or single, Disney may not be the first choice. For those not on the boards, most already have it in their heads that they paid too much and the significant other "made" me go. It's not something either side is really going to change the others minds. I can list pros and cons to both sides if I wanted. Neither side is wrong, just different place in life. Bottom line to me, my family and I enjoy Disney. I've been to WDW more this year than I've been to my local park (KI). People are listing prices, so I'll share what I've spent the last 2 trips. In June, we spent 2 weeks in Orlando. We drove, so gas round trip was $400. We save a ton of cash booking condos last minute. For that trip, we spent $500 total on lodging, $200 the first week and $300 the second. Food I don't really count as we have to eat whether we are home or not. We tend to eat only 1 counter service in the park, so it's not that much more. So for 2 weeks, we spent $900.....for a family of 5. I'm currently in Orlando, and we spent $450 for the week in a condo and $400 for gas, for a total of $850. The cost of the tickets is still up in the air, as we've only had the passes for 3 months. I'm guessing we'll be back down at least 2 more times before they expire. Now that we have the option of not having to buy tickets every trip, I'm guessing that number will be much higher.
  25. Not much to go on, but I don't think the Hulk and Dragons will be a major issue. The restraints don't seem the major problem in my eyes, it's the seat. They are designed to hold you in and for larger people, it's tight on the butt. You gotta wedge yourself in there, at least I do.
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