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bert425

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Everything posted by bert425

  1. and finishing this up, since about to be offline for a couple of weeks! . . we got back into St. Louis around 8:15pm, and tho it had been an exhausting trip and I was pretty ready to crash at my airport hotel (a nice, reasonable hotel just across the street from the St. Louis Airport with a free shuttle to the terminal in the morning). . . Kim had suggested we eat dinner in St. Louis before dropping me off. she brought me to the "Italian" area of the city called "the Hill", full of very authentic restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries. it was meant to be, as we easily found a spot in the small parking lot available for several restaurants, and we went to a place called "Cunetto's House of Pasta" wow. . talk about "old skool" vibes. . . it was like being in a 70's film. . full of Italian Stereotypes. . . . lots and lots of wood paneling, back rooms with low ceilings, and no windows. but dang if it wasn't the best meal I've had in a long time . . I had the seafood linguini, and we shared Toasted Ravioli, and Calamari. with a fantastic fresh made Cannoli for desert (one of the last two available. . .luckily they had enough to make two, since the folks at the next table heard me ask about it and wanted one as well). the folks at the next table were kinda. . . stereotypes. . . but they were very nice, and other than attempting to chat thru the entire meal with us - about theme parks and rollercoasters - it was nice meeting them. and with that, it was close to 10:30 pm, and Kim & Joel dropped me at the hotel, we said our goodbyes, and i immediately checked in, went up to the room, and crashed hard. (I was so wiped out that it didnt' even bother me that my room was right across from the elevators, and the walls were super thin and I could hear the folks on either side of me - but hey, I'm not gonna complain about a $90 room at an airport hotel). and they had a pretty good breakfast selection the next morning too: easy peasy, I was on the next shuttle bus to the airport, and then on my way back home for an uneventful flight. . where my spouse picked me up, and I then spent the day doing laundry as I had to go to work the next day so glad Kim convinced me to try to do Coasterstock! again. Had such a fun time, and met some great new friends (Hi Danielle, Tom, and Jan!). hope we can do it again next year
  2. hadn't really planned to buy anything from KK, but the park *absolutely* charmed me. and when we found the main store - which yes, had majority "Patriotic" and 'Murica! themed things - had a huge rack of clearance/discount merch (that using Kim's new Season Pass to get further discounted came out to $3-$4 for most of what I liked)? I decided to pick up a few things. KK discount swag: Magnet: Kentucky Flyer shirt for Nick: park shirt for me: and then two baseball caps, with leather brim.. .for only $3 each! Nick took darker one, I kept lighter one for me
  3. I didn't realize it worked that way. . thought it went off "likes" really. Noted for the future tho. for my part, once I realized they were pleased with how they were acting (fairly quickly in), I just closed the youtube video.
  4. ^ yup. . and they are PROUD of acting like a-holes. . just look at the youtube post. the park should study that post, and ban them all.
  5. thanks for the report on Dutch Wonderland - I've been wondering about this park, as we didn't even have it on our itinerary for our trip thru Penn. years ago. while it absolutely is a kiddie park, looks like it would still be worth a visit just for the Jr. Woodie, the Carousel, and the tilt-a-whirl themed to Turtles (since my spouse and i have a running gag about turtle themed rides, ever since riding "the Turtle" at Kennywood way back when). the grounds look lovely too, with lots of picture opportunities. wow. .that's a heck of a gate price tho! if ever make it back to Pennsylvania to hit parks, I guess they are counting on most "walk ups" to just get a pass good for the other parks too. but thanks for sharing!
  6. Orion is a people eater. even a long line on that moves fast. do Diamondback, MT, and Beast first. (that's the order you'll get to them if you go right). if you go straight back behind the Tower, you'll hit Beast, MT, then DB in that order. there is a Skyline Chili near the front gate, that was good. the "Tom & Chee" (grilled cheese place) in front of Diamondback is really good too. I'd recommend both of those. the menu at the french restaurant near the tower looked great too, tho we didn't try it. yes, you can ride the train without getting off and going into the waterpark. dont' sleep on Adventure Express . a very fun mine train, or the Bat - never has much of a line, since it's such a walk to get to the station (it's near Banshee for entrance to the Bat queue) you should move heaven and earth to figure out a way to get FL+ tho. .. even if not too busy, FL+ will cut out a TON of the walking in the queuelines.
  7. Sunday morning, we got up - with the sad realization that Coasterstock! was over. but we'd had a great time, and we still had one more park on our agenda before the adventure was open. Another brand new park to me: Kentucky Kingdom. so we packed up the car, ate a quick bite at hotel breakfast, and headed out on the road. I didn't really have any expectations about Kentucky Kingdom. I had heard that it was a bit "janky" and I knew it had sat abandoned for several years (Joel filled me in that when it was a Six Flags park is when it had the infamous drop-tower accident, and Six Flags just shuttered it shortly after that). I will say that my low/no expectations were completely shattered, and I absolutely adored this funky, WTF park. I mean, it looks like it's in the middle of a shut down shopping mall parking lot! and the main entrance road cuts right thru the center of the park! Funky and weird. and I loved it, and absolutely want to go back in the future. Kim had told me that Herschend (the folks that run Silver Dollar City & Dollywood) had fairly recently purchased KK, and she was curious to see what changes they had made to the park since she had been there last. it really is in kind of a funky location. . . in the Convention Center complex (the area that looks like an abandoned shopping mall), and right next to the airport - so a steady stream of FedEx & UPS planes flying overhead. here's the first view of the park proper you get when approaching the area - Storm Chaser (which is way at the BACK of the park) once we took the road down the center of the theme park, and pulled into a spot, we got to the actual entrance of the park. you can tell they never get much of a crowd here - tho granted we were here before the water park area opened for the season (missed it by one week). They did not have a lot of entry gates, so they must not ever deal with overwhelming crowds. Kim figured out a great deal, in that she purchased a Season Pass, which got her two bring a friend free passes. . . which she was able to use the same day as activating her card for myself and Joel. So dividing the cost of the pass 3 ways got all of us entry. Very smart! (of course, she had confirmed this was OK to do before we arrived at the park). cute little entrance - facing the Convention Center buildings.. so really did feel like in a mall parking lot. we bypassed the thrill rides in the front section of the park - never did go back to ride the next gen Enterprise they have, but since I've ridden Catwoman at SFOG, Supergirl at SFStL, and the one at SFOT (even tho that's a double seater), I've ridden these before and they are fun) - and headed all the way back, across the street, to Storm Chaser. it was really fairly dead here today - a Sunday, early, and before waterpark open. . . but wow, what a lovely park, with a lot of space to drop flats, and other rides in, even in the locked amount of space they have avail. : as noted the water park section wasn't open yet. . but oddly, neither of the water rides were either! not for one more week. they had some nice theming tho. this was the main reason we stopped in tho.. . to allow me to ride this one, as well as Lightning Run. yeah.. no one really back here. One train ops, and was running with lots of empty seats. have to imagine that's mainly due to it's placement way back in the park. with no wait? we went for the front row. and the ride ops were very interested in my shirt, and started quizzing me about my favorite roller coasters. . LOL. VERY nice ride ops tho. . found that to be true thruout the park. . tho all were pretty laid back. one of them even offered to take a pic of us in the front row. one of many, many planes we saw taking off while back here at Storm Chaser. . so..what did I think? yeah. . not a fan of the RMC "bunny hop" ejector air.. especially not in the trains designed like this. the Ejector air, I find more painful than fun. .but really my biggest issue with this coaster was that I do NOT like not having something to hold on to. That one handle on the side, just doesn't cut it for me. oh well. . it was fun, and I loved the diving first drop, and certain elements of it, but it's just not the type of coaster I really love (ie: ones with more floater air, which Storm Runner *does* have some of). and kudos to the park, for installing something this unique, and interesting despite the height restrictions they are under from being so close to the airport. So I rode it twice, and we were ready to move on to other rides in the park. not before taking a few more pics tho. we moved on to Thunder Run, the parks big Woodie. . . now, I had been warned this was a really rough ride. (this and T3 were the ones I was most wary of at KK). . but I love wooden coasters, so was gonna ride regardless. One thing we noticed while walking up to the station, was just how much new wood there appeared to be on the structure. so I guess Herschend really is starting to invest in this park. . . as this coaster? running *amazing*. it was easily my favorite coaster in the park, and was so good, we circled back around to ride it again (sitting in back car!) before we left later in the afternoon. running really well. .I loved this coaster. ooooo. .what's this? a flying dutchman? HAHAHAHAHA.. how stupid. . I *must* ride it! and again, the operator was happy to take a picture of me in my shoe. . . she cycled it with just myself and Joel riding. and at the end of the ride, when she got on the speaker and asked for everyone to "stay in your shoe, until the heel has safely touched the ground" . . I burst out laughing. told her she made my day. what a fun, stupid, ride! as a Carousel freak, I was so excited to see this lovely carousel. and it really is GORGEOUS. . but wow, it needs some love badly. You can tell that it had been sitting out in the elements for several years without anyone maintaining it, as much of the wood is chipping, a lot of paint is peeling, and there is moldy spots all over it. it made me very sad. . . *but*. . . everything mechanical is working! the horses gallop, the cups were spinning (automatically), and the Chariots were rocking. Even the Organ was working. So some love has been put into this - by Herschend ? - and I really hope they start to focus on the appearance next. but wow. . huge, huge kudos for the Carousel being in such fine working order, even if it looks pretty unloved. as noted. . Carousel freak, so lots of pics: just lovely, but you start to see the chipping and mold as you get closer. the adult jokes write themselves! this spun while the carousel operated. and the chariots rocked. .so cool to see these in working order. . now just repaint and clean up please! I hadn't planned on riding the roller skater, but it was right next to the Carousel, and I noticed some adults on it. and the setting is among the nicest I've seen for a kiddie coaster, so Joel and I went ahead and took a ride. Pretty fun, if not super exciting as noted, the water rides weren't up yet. . but the theming on the Rapids ride was interesting. abandoned water treatment plant??? and right next to it is T3. . which, because I didnt' want to ruin the rest of the day? we skipped. . but went near to take pictures of it. not a fan of SLCs, but those riding seemed to be having fun this theater/space seemed to be in the process of being built. . looks like perhaps a live animal/bird show? so must be something new that Herschend is adding to the park. we then made it over to the Kentucky Flyer. . the only coaster in the park with two train ops.. tho really, didn't need it here either. oh wow.. loved the design of these trains. and the restraints are super comfortable too.. same restraints used on Switchback Railway here in Texas at ZDTs. it's a fun, if short, out and back woodie, that has some pretty strong laterals, I thought, and some fun pops of air. as we made our way back towards the front section of the park - this time using the pedestrian bridge to cross the street, instead of the crossing guard - of course have to stop for a photo op! some pics of the not yet open waterpark section, as we walked up the ramp for the pedestrian bridge to cross the street that bisects the park. is this Universal? there's that street that cuts thru the park.. and what's that on the other side? oooo. . Lightning Run, the only coaster of it's kind on the planet. I would have loved to have taken a ride on the giant wheel, but it was down with a sign noting they were awaiting a motor from overseas, and so were impacted by Covid shipping issues. It's a nice, large, wheel tho! Lightning Run had the longest wait of the day (maybe 20 minutes) - it too was running only 1 train, but I think it's just so popular as it's at the front of the park. nice view of some other closeby rides from the station. oooo. the antique cars run what looks to be a very pretty course right next to the coaster? yeah, we have to ride those today. oooo.. lots of bunny hill pops of air again.. hope the restraints are decent . . . nope. . similar to the RMC. Darn. still rode it, and still enjoyed it.. but after 4 days of riding coasters, my thighs were a little sore, and not too happy with so much ejector air on this coaster. but it's a fun coaster, and recommended in the park. after our ride on Lightning Run, we needed to grab something light to eat. We had planned to eat back in St. Louis later, but stomachs were growling for . . something. oooo..what's this? oh yes, Herschend has brought Cinnamon Bread to Kentucky Kingdom! (along with a lot of Country-ish music played thuout the park. . . several of the tunes Dolly herself). ooooo.. ok, now, was it as "fresh baked" as advertised? yeah, I dont' think so. .but I think that completely falls on the fact it was a bit slow today. I can imagine once the waterpark section opens and the crowds show, that they'll go thru the batches pretty quickly. as is, it was still very good, but you could tell it had been baked at least a few hours earlier and had been kept under heat lamps. still... Cinammon Bread! with a Kentucky Bourbon sauce to spread on top. yum!! probably should have ridden BEFORE eating something. . but oh well. . they have a Breakdance. I wanna ride it! I hope it runs a good cycle - only one person operating it today, so took a while to load, since she had to lock each restraint in place. oh yes, REALLY good cycle. the Breakdance dun broke me. . LOL! to the point that I took a break to ride "Bench the ride" with Kim, while Joel took a ride on the flying skooters. can get some lovely pics of the rides from over here in the picnic table area. we had done a loop of the whole park ,but weren't quite ready to leave yet, as was enjoying the park. so took another loop around to re-ride a few things, and to check out areas we hadn't gone into when passing by earlier. oh. OH.... . what is this! and can an adult ride it? I mean. . look at her! I MUST ride this if it's giving so much joy! oh, holy hell yes! the operator just shrugged and said sure, when I asked if adults could ride! OMG. . so stupid cool! should i ride a french horn? the theming on this thing. Musical note rooftop keyboard floors! and interior music notes. . .and stupidly, this carousel? had no music! The operator insisted it had music, and was just playing "low". .but I didn't hear anything. added to the stupid fun of it yeah, I'm gonna ride a tuba. yee-haww! and I almost fell on my ass, as she started up the ride, right as i rocked back to get the pic - much to Kim's amusement. not quite sure exactly what the theming is over here.. but it was kinda/sorta the kids section, but with some adult rides mixed in. oh. .and thrones. I do love me some thrones. big: and small: they had this ride over here that looked like Blimps. I loved the look of it, so even tho it didn't appear to do much, I got Joel to ride it with me. ok then! not only does it spin fairly fast, but at the top of the central pole? it then tilts, giving some really intense forces to match the speed. really fun ride, to NOT miss when you go to KK. It runs so much funner than it looks like it's going to. Whee!! even got an almost/sorta smile out of Joel Like I said, when it tilts? it gets more intense than one would expect! we then popped into the store that's attached to the 4D show - didn't appear to be running, so maybe hadn't started yet for the season? seemed to be tied to the Ice Age films. Some good discounts in there, so bought some old KK swag. .and then we headed back towards Thunder Run. . . but first I wanted pics, so Joel went and rode Storm Chaser a couple more times, while I waited for Thunder Run to cycle so I could snap some pics. some really nice theming here in the center of the park. not many places to eat were open today, and I assume this particular place is open when the waterpark is. does this "swamp" ever fill up with water? looks like it should have some water in there. park map, as we made our way back over the pedestrian bridge again..we were headed to the antique taxis. such a nice job on this one.. lovely setting, and well maintained. It didnt' have much of a line, but everyone wanted their own car, so that added to the wait a bit. we just all 3 piled into 1 car, as I wanted to take pictures anyways. meant to go on this drop tower, which supposedly is really good, even tho fairly short. but was getting worn out, so after this car ride, we headed out. such a great course tho.. you get so close to some of the rides over here. I've had such a good time here today! and yet. . my view remained the same as it had been for the hours prior, and the upcoming hours in the car all in all? really lliked the park, and absolutely would go again in a heartbeat if the opportunity presents itself. (all that's left on this trip is KK swag, and dinner this night in St. Louis. . so one small wrap up post coming soon). hope y'all have enjoyed.
  8. ^ yeah. but they have to staff the more popular stuff. looper never seems all that full, when I've been there.
  9. ^ I tend not to take them seriously, but it kinda is a feather in their cap. . . especially since Tripadvisor awards aren't based on voting/popularity, but rather the % of good reviews on the site (at least that's how I read the info in the article). as we all know, angry people are way more likely to post something negative. . so kinda cool to see them recognized for something positive
  10. https://fox17.com/news/local/dollywood-named-1-theme-park-in-us-by-tripadvosor?fbclid=IwAR1S3Hn6ctlmBuSzAKo5n3EbUbs8ALjGReTVIdy3dYClVhd4MMtDy2UcV3w Congrats to Dollywood. I find the rest of the list for USA a bit odd, but can see it. . .tho the worldwide list is a bit . . . questionable. no TokyoDisneySea? or other big parks that I've always heard raves about? but Dollywood even ranked on the International list.
  11. Kings Island Swag was light, because I was there last year, and because I had already gotten a shirt for Coasterstock! I also tend to buy things from the KI online store. . so didn't have to schlepp things home. but here's what i picked up for myself: a great magnet: and anniversary Racer shirt. ' and this one.. that just caused me no end of agony. .as I loved the shirt. . but it's one of those "curated" brands, that are supplied by some outside vendor, and as a result are over $30 (think it was $34). i went back and forth on this one. . but in the end decided I liked it, so screw that I felt it was way overpriced and just bought it.
  12. HAHAHAH. . not at Six Flags, but too good not to share again, since it also happened at CP. this reminds me of the time in 2017 when @Nrthwnd and I went to Coastermania! at Cedar Point, and we were staying at Breakers, so were hanging outside at the bar/firepits getting our buzz on after a full day at the park. and this VERY drunk young man was in hysterics about some girl breaking up with him, crying and shrieking. . . . and Bill - who had had a number of cocktails himself - took it upon himself to try and go comfort the guy. Telling him things like, "you're young, you'll find someone, and it will be the right person". . .etc. And Bill then attempted to use himself as an example of how he'd experienced being dumped, but had been with his husband for decades now, because when it's right, it's right. I was watching this across the firepits, very amused, because intoxicated people are loud. . and the guy squinted at Bill, and said "How old ARE you?" and Bill told him. and the guy exclaimed at the top of his lungs: "MY GAWD, YOU'RE OLDER THAN BLUE STREAK" (hysterical). . . . .
  13. so Day 2, we got up and were eager to get to the park. not because we were super excited about what was on morning ERT (Banshee, Delirium, Drop Tower, Adventure Express, and the Bat) - although I was determined to do Delirium, since i had skipped it last year) - but because today we had Fast Lane + and was looking forwards to way more riding on Mystic Timbers! so we ate a light breakfast downstairs at the hotel (sending "proof of life" home to my Spouse) and we headed out to the park. FINALLY remembered to have my phone out to snap a pic of the KI sign - which just happened to be advertising Berlin, one of my favorite bands, as part of the Summer Concert series. huh. .it was super windy, but Drop Tower was running (confirmed with the ops, once we got there, they had opened it up just for Coasterstock ERT hour, but it would be up and down thruout the day - same true of Windseeker, and the Tower - due to wind & rain). Sadly, never made it up on the tower this visit, as the wind shut it down early, then the heavy storms moved in. . . Invertigo wasnt' showing any signs of life, and wasn't on ERT this year. . but it did eventually start to run at some point on Saturday. I rode it last year tho, so we didn't make the effort this time. once in the gates, we went directly to Delirium, so I could get my ride in. I really did enjoy it - it's not as intense as MaxAir was (the reason I skipped it last year), and although it was 1 and done? I did like it. by the time we got off, Danielle had joined us, and we headed over to Drop Tower for a ride. Still among my favorite drop towers (this one and the one at KD) followed by another ride on the Drop Tower when Tom met up with us (because we were expecting the wind to take it down as soon as ERT was over) We didn't head over to the Bat, as had ridden it yesterday, but did take a ride on front row of Banshee. (Danielle preferred to ride in back row, hence she's not in this pic) Kim doesn't do any Spinny or twisty rides. . so she mainly sat at a table and watched stuff for all of us, while we rode things in this section. We all skipped the "behind the scenes" at Banshee tour, as had done it last year. . but just before ERT finished up at 10, we headed over for one final ride on Drop Tower, before a quick ride on Adventure Express just before it opened to the public. we had a mission you see. . yes, we needed to pick up our FL+, but 10am was scheduled for "Enjoy first rides of the day on the refurbished Grand Carousel" - and for Carousel freaks like Danielle and myself? yeah. .a must do: here we are with Kings Island's own Don Helbig (also a big Carousel fan) and one with myself and Kings Islands Chad Showalter ! ooo. . who else did we see in queue for the Carousel? why Stacy Gretchen! (and John of the organizing of the Giant Chicken Dance on Day 1 - tho I cut him off in the pic. . sorry!) yeah . love me some carousel! especially refurbished ones. the refurbed organ sounds amazing too! so glad I got to get some pics of it in the daytime. And the Coasterstock folks really came out for the Carousel event. . I think it took more than 3 full cycles to go thru everyone in line once. we had a couple of hours before the next scheduled event on the Itinerary (Behinds the scenes tour of Racer & Orion), so we made use of that time to go pick up our FL+, ride Adventure Express and Racer (only Red was running, again, although they were working on getting Blue up), and then headed to Orion for multiple rides, before it was time to meet up in the plaza outside FoF for the backstage tour of Racer/Orion. Kim and I made sure to hydrate. . as tho it had gotten windy, it had also gotten very humid. hmm. . wasn't *supposed* to rain today. it was starting to look a bit overcast, but Windseeker had started operating, so that was a good sign. and then they opened the gates, and let Coasterstock attendees back behind the scenes for these coasters. still only red. . but a great angle for some pictures. oh wait.. here's Blue. But it's empty. Still, testing is a good sign. further down the access road, another spot for some good pictures of the "return" tho as we were on the "Blue" side, it was the empty train. . LOL still, in this area? able to take some amazing shots of Orion that one can't get from inside the park. here's Blue again. . but wait! with a Ride Op on it. . . perhaps it's about to open! I love that he waved to us. . LOL and here it comes again. . with a different Ride Op, so they were cycling both trains - a great sign. we really got to go way back, to the turnarounds for Racer. . . so Windseeker from the other side. and a little hard to see in this pic - I just wasn't fast enough - but an adorable, tiny baby deer, was hiding in this group of trees, and seemed terrified of all these people here. yeah, the noisy coasters didn't bother it, but the crowds of people seemed to have it very concerned. Got to wonder if momma was hiding out withing this batch of trees/shrubs here, where it disappeared into. very cool tho (we also spotted a skunk wandering the Racer Midway the prior night, as we were headed to Orion ERT. . so lots of animals on the KI grounds) one really does get awful close to Orion on this particular backstage tour. . and I recommend it if you ever go to Coasterstock. pretty close to Racer too perhaps my favorite picture from this day. . showing off my favorite element on Orion: the wave turn at the top of the hill after the first drop. It's awesome. what's this? YAY. . full Red & Blue racing again! we spent probably a good hour back here wandering around (tour was scheduled for 1 & 1/2), before we headed out to catch a ride on Windseeker, since it was operating (and had been down most of the day prior). And we knew it runs a really good cycle. Thank goodness for Fast Lane + as it got us on it really quickly (and some rain started falling during our cycle, and they shut it down pretty quickly after). . . we also made use of FL to take a ride on Kings Mills Antique Autos - as they did a spectacular job recreating a classic here. Yeah, it's just electric vehicles, but they did SUCH a beautiful job with the layout, and atmosphere. . well worth a ride. I was driving Miss Danielle while Joel drove Kim in the car in front of us See? look how lovely this is! Lunch was being served at 2:30, and tho we had to get across the park, of course we stopped for a ride on Beast as we passed by in front of it. Again, it's riding incredible (waited for Front Row this time, as they were honoring requests from FL+, and Kim was kind enough to snap pics for me) and then the rain started to come down a bit more than just a "drizzle".. so we headed over to the Picnic Pavilions, where thankfully they opened up a little early for us - as the moment we got under the pavilion cover? the sky just opened up, and it absolutely POURED. it was ok tho, as we had a meal - which was very good.. . actually better than the one the prior day. seriously, this park has WAY upped it's food game. Everything was delicious! i hadn't expected much when were told it was "Tex-Mex". .but this Texan was quite pleasantly surprised by the Enchiladas, the Burn Ends, and even the slightly spicy sausage. desert was cupcakes and cookies. . . and everyone was really a captive audience for the speakers (not that they weren't interesting), as it poured for at least an hour, and everything in the park shut down. I mean, it was serious rain. we discussed it, and by 4:30 pm, Kim asked if I were interested in heading back to the hotel for a bit. Danielle and Jan had already done so a while ago, while we waited to see if the rain would slow down. now, I hate leaving parks during a visit - even if I'm exhausted, I power thru. . .but the fact of the matter was: it was still raining (tho it had slowed down), radar showed more waves coming, we were leaving in the morning to head back to St Louis (after a stop at Kentucky Kingdom). . so I was ok with the suggestion, as it would give me a chance to pack. and we could stop at the front gate store and pick up the shirts/magnet I had scoped out the prior day and wanted so we headed back to the hotel around 4:45, and hung out there for a few hours. I packed, and Joel convinced me to come into their room and play Jackbox games on the tv (yeah, the techie loved that he could hook everything up to the Television so easily . . Tru is targeted at a younger crowd), and I even took a 40 minute nap. peeking out the window ~7:45, I saw drop tower running. . . so pinged Kim, and we decided to head back to the park. the rain had passed, although everything was a bit "moist". . and the crowd had thinned out considerably - what had been at least 40 buses in the lot earlier, was now 3. but EVERYTHING had opened back up. . we probably should have come back about an hour earlier, but oh well. .is what it is. with everything open, and no crowds? we headed straight over to Diamondback. Stopping first to look at all the geese babies that were going for the bugs that had been brought out by the heavy rain. (as I said, this park has a lot of Wildlife roaming around) We did several rides on Diamondback, and several also on Mystic Timbers (hey, the FL+ still cut out much of the queue, so my ankle was happy for the less walking) Kim was in the mood to eat something later, in particular she wanted Tom & Chee (right in front of Diamondback). . .so she asked them how late they serve? The response was right until park close, although I could tell from the way the counter lady said it, she wasn't thrilled someone was asking. So I spoke up and said: "we promise, we wont' come back at 10 till 10 and order. . we'll come back by ~9:40 so y'all won't get stuck late! (and the guy at the grill mouthed to us "thank you". so around 9:35, we finished our multiple rides on MT, and headed back over to Tom & Chee to get some Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. We wanted to grab one more ride on Diamondback before the park closed - even tho tonight's ERT was going to be Diamondback, Beast, Mystic Timbers, Orion, and Flight of Fear). . but we were just so thrilled that Diamondback was even open! - oh, I forgot to mention.. during that major storm a few hours earlier? Diamondback actually took a lightning strike. No. really. on the Coasterstock FB group, Don was even telling folks he wasn't sure if Diamondback would be available for ERT tonight. But when we got back to the park it was running. KUDOS to KI maintenance, and Safety folks, that they got this coaster back up and running, only a few hours after a lightning strike! anyways, that's why we were so excited to get another ride on it before the park closed to the GP. Kim's idea for Tom and Chee (Tomato & Cheese) was a good one, and everyone in our group ordered one (Danielle, Jan, Kim, me, Tom, Joel) before we headed onto Diamondback - leaving Kim to pick up everyone's orders. . . LOL and of course, even tho we had kept *our* promise and ordered at least 20 minutes before park close? they had a steady line of people ordering right up to - and slightly after - 10pm. I felt bad for them, but again, both the counter lady, and the guy on the grill told us they appreciated us trying to get them out at a decent time. another KI photo op, this one by Mystic Timbers. we used the 1/2 hour between park close and ERT to eat our food, browse the Diamondback gift shop, and eventually line up for the ERT. Since it was on the 4 big coasters, most were either Starting at Diamondback and working their way around, or starting at Orion and working the other way. so it was pretty busy for the 1st ride we got, but we decided we'd do two rides on each, then head on to the next, so we could get rides on all the ERT coasters. by the 2nd ride, the line had thinned, and Mystic Timbers was basically a walk on by the time we got there. it was so empty there, we did three rides on MT, before heading onto the Beast. Tom wanted to wait for front row, but Danielle, Kim, Jan, Joel and I just went for any open row - so I ended up in Row 2 to get on with a single rider, and I think Joel/Kim were in row 17 with a 1 train wait. while I was on my ride, I noticed lightning, and I commented on it. The person sitting next to me said "oh no, that's the camera from Mystic Timbers" . . so I thought, ok. But as we were pulling in the station, I saw it again. . .and my seat mate said, "well, that one is the camera from Diamondback" well, we got into the station, and Tom was still waiting for front row - getting in the train I exited. And I said to him.. I see what I think is lightning, and got "shhhhhh" from several folks in line. (whatever, right? like the operators won't know there's lightning?). but I got off, and walked around to get back in queue, and as I was walking up the queue to the station? sky opened up and it started POURING. like, heavy, heavy rain. Kim and Joel had just gotten off the train after me, so they quickly got under the arcade overhang, but I figured, at least we were covered in the station. . tho Tom got soaked on his ride, with the rain hitting while they were on the helix. we waited about 10 minutes to see if it would slow down (it did NOT slow down. . at all.. we're talking Noah and the flood level of rain), and they made an announcement that they were shutting everything down for the night, sorry. (which I get, it was 11:30 by this point.. would make no sense to try to get Beast back up even if it stopped raining - which it clearly wasn't going to). . . BUT. . everyone had to leave the station. what? yeah. . they made everyone vacate the station, into the pouring rain/lightning (including those who had been sheltering under the overhang by the front ride entrance - were a very apologetic employee told Joel and Kim he was sorry, but everyone had to leave the ride area). so me.. forgetting I had a poncho in my pocket (believe it or not, it's NOT the first time I've done that).. sprinted - as well as I could with my ankle on slippery wood - down thru the Beast queue, and across to the arcade overhang where Danielle, Joel, Kim, and Jan were sheltering. Tom joined us shortly after, completely soaked as well. here we are, all happy, tho stranded in what was a massive downpour. at least by that point, i remembered I had a poncho. . so by the time it hit 11:50 and the rain was not stopping? I got to put on my "fashion" for the walk out to the car: a picture of what the night decided to do, that shut down ERT and ended Coaserstock: tho not quite, as they *DID* do the closing ceremonies, and handed out awards, under the covered front gate area. We saw that online later, as we were wet and ready to get back to the hotel and dry off. so Saturday was kinda a dud, BUT. . still had and incredibly wonderful time, had some really good food (the Grilled Cheese was fantastic too), and got to spend time with some great people. . so overall, was a very successful trip to Kings Island for Coasterstock! and I'm totally down to do it again next year. here are some random ride pics from our rides on Diamondback & Mystic Timbers after we got back in the park ~7:45 pm. LOL. . once I realized that Tom is one of those folks that likes to do different poses for the cameras, I tried not to sit directly next to him. . LOL
  14. wasn't gonna post any update, until Jeffrey had officially tweeted - which he's now done. attendees at Roller Coaster Rodeo yesterday, got a sneak peek at the theming, and ANIMATRONICS inside Dr. Diabolical's Lab, that's in the inside showbuilding portion of the queue line for Cliffhanger:
  15. if there's a ride to get stuck on, that's it tho. I mean, yeah, I LOVE the ride, and would gladly sit on a horse for a while anyways. . . but it's covered (out of the sun/rain), not high off the ground (the horses never really go up as high as a carousel anyways), and you have a great view of the midway
  16. I did *not* like the trains/restraints. (they land on my thighs, and there's no place to hold on securely - other than that one "rope" handle on the one side. So the bunny hops/ejector air hurt. The exact same issue I had on Twisted Timbers and why I don't ride that. so yeah. . just my opinion, but I didn't care for it. however, i will say, that diving 1st drop is incredible, and if the trains/restraints were different? I probably would have loved it.
  17. hands down my favorite there was Thunder Run. . it was amazing in the front row. but most will tell you Lightning Run, since it's the only one of it's kind on the planet.
  18. yup. .they announced it yesterday during day 1 of Roller Coaster Rodeo. from the presentation, and shared to me by a friend there: more announcements are supposed to happen this afternoon and tomorrow.
  19. baseball cap..that you stop and wet under the water fountain occasionally helps a lot too! oh, and don't forget to hydrate. Free cups of water at any service place, you just have to ask for them.
  20. the Roller Skater there is great, with a lovely setting. don't worry about being an adult riding it. . MANY adults ride it. including the TPR folks
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