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Rai Fox

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About Rai Fox

  • Birthday 09/01/1982

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    Rhode Island
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  1. It's really hard to plan how anything is going to go, the last couple years; nothing is "normal" or predictable and everything has to come with a mountain of salt and moderated expectations. That said I hit HW on a Wednesday last summer, first week in August. Raven was a 90 minute wait, Legend was two hours. The flume was around 90 minutes too. The Voyage was about 10 minutes. No, doesn't make sense to me either. Food at the goblin burger stand was 45 minutes (but good for a theme park burger, at least) In six hours you can PROBABLY get all of the coasters, flume etc, but it's hard to say definitely, and the water park, that seems unlikely if it's anything like last year. Of course, you could get there on a day when nothing has more than a five minute line too. I miss parks being mostly easy to plan. If it's an important stop on your trip and you really want to get everything in though, it might be better to try to plan more time so you're not disappointed, you're definitely gambling a little otherwise.
  2. Just came across this, haven't seen it posted here yet, so... https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/cbs2-gets-exclusive-look-at-in-progress-135-million-renovation-of-playland-park/ $135 million will go a long way towards turning that place around. I'm pretty interested in seeing what it looks like by the end of next summer.
  3. As far as I can remember that first post from 2018 was specifically in regards to the theories that it would be removed to make room for Orion, when it turned out to be Firehawk on the chopping block. Different situation there. Vortex also had very little ridership, while Kumba still draws a crowd just fine.
  4. I was able to do that back in August as well. Absolutely do it if you can, even if it means taking a little time out of the rest of the park; it's an amazing cave tour.
  5. He applied for a demolition permit after the fire (and tearing half of it down). So no, he didn't have one beforehand. Best I can guess is with the ride's historic status, there was still something keeping him from just tearing it down, so... "oops."
  6. It's in a PA facebook group someone I know is watching now, with photos so it appears to be true, and if so will probably be in other news soon. Apparently Blue Streak is currently on fire. Supposedly a "controlled burn" at the park that isn't so well controlled and several fire departments coming in. Nothing like a little arson and insurance fraud, huh?
  7. Which is even stranger when you consider that Lightning Rod was designed by the same person as the Arrow across the park...
  8. 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... The rest of it looks great, definitely want to try to get there next year for Fury and Copperhead at least!
  9. Just got back from the first night of Fright Fest at SFNE. A bit too tired after driving back for a long report, but...Given how difficult a year 2021 has been all around, I was pretty impressed with them. It was basically the same event as 2019; same haunts and events, but I don't blame them for not having time to rework the event entirely; I was just grateful to be able to go at all this year. The only significant rides not running were Fireball (still down from storm damage, I guess) and Houdini, which gets turned into a haunt for the season. The actual haunts were staffed well enough (I know people always comment on their being few actors in them, but I really didn't get that sense at all...no worse than any other haunts I've been through), and maybe just because it's the first night, or maybe people are just eager to be able to do these things again, but the actors seemed to be getting pretty into their roles. Ops were good; all the coasters were running with minimal stacking, apart from the occasional troublesome guest, even on WC, which is an impressive feat. Wicked Cylone , Superman (red train) and Batman were all running great; Riddler's Revenge was...well...Riddler's Revenge. Brisket at JB's was pretty great for Six Flags food. The Hell's Belles show (cheesy, but I have a soft spot for it) was definitely better than 2019; new ending makes a bit more sense, and the performers were definitely better than I remember. Crowds were very low, too; I had my skip the line passes from the VIP membership, but didn't need them for anything except Harley Quinn; every other ride was a walk-on all night; same for the haunts I still wish they were open more than 5 hours; I could have used more time just to enjoy the atmosphere, after missing Halloween almost entirely last year, but...great start to the season. SFNE is still doing an impressive job of keeping things mostly normal this year.
  10. ...I miss conventions so much right now. Crossing my fingers that Atlanta is in my future again this spring. If it is, I'm putting the Vortex on my must-do list! I need that Hell's Fury burger. Nice pics and it looks like a great time, I can't wait to see more!
  11. Alright, Indiana Beach! So, I'm looking past the flying bobs out over the water, at the jetskis darting around the bigger boats. To one side, there's the bang of an old dark ride car coming through the crash doors, next to the skull that leers down at the midway, just beneath the multicolored chairlift... Wait, I'm supposed to be doing a TR on Indiana Beach, not going on about childhood memories of Rocky Point. I don't know how many people, if anyone, around this place remember Rocky Point Park, and given that they're both small parks, there probably isn't a big cross section of people who've been to both it and Indiana Beach, but Rocky Point was a small park in Warwick RI, the second oldest running amusement park in the US, until it closed in 1996 after the board of directors embezzled all of its money away. Rocky Point was one of the best parts of my childhood, it's almost solely responsible for my being such a fan of amusement parks, and I have so many memories of it. Indiana Beach ended up being something unexpectedly special for me because of how much it brought those memories back, more than any park I've been to since Rocky Point closed down. It looks so much the same, right on the water even if it's a lake instead of the ocean, they use the same simple old style park decor, even the same colors, it shares so many of the same rides, they run the rides the same way...Indiana Beach was like going back in a time a quarter of a century for me. But you're here for the photos and all. So, the day didn't start off looking like it was going to be particularly good that morning. In fact, the day didn't start out looking like I was going to even make it to an amusement park at all. I was seriously doubting my GPS right up until I saw the entrance to the park. If you've been to Indiana Beach, you probably know what I mean; if not, well... Thiiiiiis is what it looks like 30 miles from the park. Oh look, corn. ...And 20 miles from the park... ...and ten miles from the park... ...Five miles from the park, and we still have corn... And this is less than a mile from the park. I don't know about you but I was growing a bit concerned at this point. Just beyond those trees in the distance though, it turns out Indiana is hiding a lovely lakeside resort area. Huh. Unfortunately a fair number of rides weren't running that day, including the park's biggest coaster, and their flyers. A bit disappointing. The entrance to the park is picturesque, though, nearly cinematic with how it appears from nowhere, in the middle of these fields... ...and over a big, swinging and bouncing suspension bridge. The park isn't quite on an island, connected to the rest of the shore at the far end, but you could be forgiven for missing that from here, and this is quite a way to head to the main gate. I'd gotten an early start and got through the gate while most of the park was still waking up; the skyride wasn't running yet. It might have been nice to get the layout of the park from the air before anything else, but there would be time for this later. Like so much else at this park, the multicolored, open air chairlift style ride across the midway immediately brought back memories for me. As did the Flying Bobs down near the water. I always love these rides but this was on the "not running" list for the day. Too bad. The ferris wheel did run, but not quite yet. I forgot to get back to it later, and wish I had; it probably would have been a nice view down by the water. Not even down the entrance ramp into the park itself and they're already trying to make me hungry. Apparently these "pronto pups" aren't actually corn dogs but a sort of pancake battered dog that predates normal corn dogs? Meant to try them but didn't. Only a few people in the park so far, and the first rides just starting up along the midway. I've never seen a view quite like this at a park before; it's not quite like any boardwalk I've been to; halfway between the craziness of most of them and the more laid back classic feel of, dare I go as far as say Knoebels? I noticed a few little projects like this, with new bricks and materials going in, scattered around the park. From what I've heard the park's previous owners didn't take particularly good care of it, but the current one seems to be putting some work into getting things back in shape. Some parts of it still look a little dingy now, though not terribly so, but I'm curious to see how it'll look in a year or two now. No Wave Swinger at this park, but a classic Chance Yo-Yo instead. I don't know if I can really say I like the Yo-Yo better, but it's comparatively rare enough to be much more exciting to see one. Also one of the first "adult" rides I ever got on at Rocky Point... This one hadn't opened yet but would soon. Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain was running, and I could barely stop myself from sprinting to it. It had been ages since I'd seen the first pictures and video of that bizarre coaster, and it felt sort of surreal that I was actually going to get on it, especially after hearing about IB's "closing forever." Pretty much everyone already in the park was in line here, and with the coaster's rather pitiful capacity it was a good 45 minute wait. I didn't really mind, given that it was the last 45 minutes of a decade plus long wait. The skyride started up while I was waiting here. I was going to have to get that view of the park at some point! Almost there! So, Lost Coaster of Superstition mountain is...it's really difficult to think of a word other than "unique." The hydraulic vertical lift is definitely not something I've seen before. Neither are the cars, which are a bit cramped but reasonably comfortable, even riding backwards like I ended up. The ride is deceptive though; it's not big and it doesn't hit any real high speeds but it feels a lot faster riding it. The twisty, bumpy course throws you around quite a lot as it winds around and inside the mountain, especially when you can't see the elements coming, but it's not harsh and no overly restrictive restraints to bounce off of, so the constant bounces and twists manage to be more fun than they look from off ride, without being rough on riders. The theming inside the mountain isn't exactly Thunder Mountain, but it's enough to be fun, and give the ride at least a bit of an (admittedly mostly incomprehensible) story. It's not something I could call a must ride, but it's definitely a step above your average small coaster or wild mouse, and there's really nothing else like it that I'm aware of. Different enough that I wasn't disappointed after waiting so long to get on it, at least! Most of the rides down the midway still hadn't started up yet. But the antique cars had, and there wasn't much of a wait, so why not? These have an interesting layout with quite a lot of track packed into a very small area, twisting over itself something like three times. I can't imagine fitting more track into one little plot than they did. Unfortunately it only had something like three cars on the track, with most of the rest half-disassembled to server as "scenery." Not too much of a problem today but hopefully in a better year they can have more running. The "road" sneaks in under Lost Coaster, then runs alongside Cornball Express. Taco Time? It was still barely past breakfast time, but...that doesn't mean it can't be taco time...made a note to stop for one as soon as I got off the cars. Up close to Cornball Express here. I did stop by the taco stand but decided on just grabbing a travelling taco for a quick stack and to compare to Knoebels version (basically the same thing). Quite a few of the flats are built on platforms out over the water. I wanted to see if that made them feel any different, but they were mostly scheduled to open at 2. Cornball Express was supposed to be running, but wasn't yet...wait, no... First train of the day. I was going to have to head over that way soon. But since I was right here and the Scrambler had just started running, it wasn't going to hurt to make time for it. This one didn't run as fast as the Scarecrow Scrambler at Holiday World, but the breeze off the lake made for a wonderfully relaxing ride, and it seemed to run forever. Despite not being one of the faster ones I've been on, I think this has to be one of my favorites just for location. Being over the water does make a different, it turns out. The shooting gallery built into the bottom of Dr Frankenstein's Haunted Castle shares its theme but looks a tiny bit out of place on the colorful midway. There's also an arcade underneath the castle with...Bump N Jump and Mr. Do? Okay, as if I hadn't already been getting "back in time" vibes from this park... For some reason my camera managed to make it look like this one wasn't working, but it was; everything in the arcade appeared to be despite its age. I'll take this stuff over a Six Flags redemption arcade any day! Dr Frankenstein looking down on the midway. Rats! I assumed this meant I could expect my ankles to be tickled somewhere in the castle... The Haunted Castle itself is really something spectacular though. It's a slight upcharge, a few dollars to get in, but it's absolutely worth it, and I can't encourage anyone who gets to Indiana Beach enough to make sure they do this. It's an old style walk through dark attraction but it's kept up very well with all the props and scenes in good shape as far as I could tell, and it goes on absolutely forever, using up every bit of three stories of an expansive building. I didn't take pictures inside since I wasn't sure it was allowed, and I wouldn't want to ruin some of the surprises anyway, but there are some great ones, including a room of doors that I got lost in for an embarrassingly long time. In my defense, there's more to getting out of it than just checking all the doors...the actual exit is even better hidden. Eventually there's sunlight ahead... But you come out up here, a couple stories above the midway and looking down on Sea Dragon, with nowhere to go but back into the maze, where it winds on for quite a while longer somehow. Okay, I did take one picture; this area inside the tower was bright enough to get a shot without needing to use a flash, and silly enough that I had to get a picture of it. It really is a surprisingly big attraction, absolutely worth the extra cost. Out back here, Air Crow. Probably not as good as the Knoebels flyers but I imagine if you catch a good breeze off the lake you can get a good ride on this one if they run at any decent speed. Not going to find out today though. Everything is packed in wherever they can fit it at Indiana Beach. Kiddieland is stuck in underneath the coasters here. And Tig'rr is on top of a restaurant. I'd never been on a classic Jet Star before; it looked like a slightly bigger version of the Flitzer that had been at Morey's Piers until recently, but it's a far more intense ride, and there were no brakes at all on this one. It doesn't look like much but that first banked turn feels more like Intimidator 305 than a family coaster! Definitely a deceptive ride, and one I hope stays at the park for a long time, old or not. ...Also, unlike Flitzer, you don't need three separate harnesses to mummify you into the cars; there's practically nothing for restraints at all, which for this kind of ride is far more comfortable. I would not have wanted to have to evac from this one though. That is one very sketchy walkway. Maybe at least fix the completely missing boards, IB? Turning around from Tig'rr, you take the stairs right up into the mess of structure of the two coasters above to get to Cornball Express' station. Which I apparently failed to take any pictures of. Cornball Express is a pretty middling coaster though. It seems a little unsure of what it wants to do with itself; there's a bit of airtime, a few laterals, some modest speed, but it doesn't really do anything well enough to really stand out, and it's definitely on the rougher side ; probably the roughest coaster of my week that wasn't at Six Flags St Louis. Not unrideable, but not great either. Hoosier Hurricane at least looked like it might be better, but wasn't running. This tiny kiddie ferris wheel stuck right under the coaster where it barely fit in got a laugh out of me. Anywhere they can fit things at this park. Fascination wasn't open, but I don't think I would have wanted to spend much time there alone anyway. Besides, I was going to Knoebels not long after this, with friends, so... Pretty standard flume, out and back with a bit of twisting on the way and a middling drop. An average log flume is still a good ride in my book though! Could have done without the chewed-gum covered tunnel though. There's a food stand offering all sorts of take-a-year-off-your-life treats nearby, but the prices are a bit much. I had to go for one anyway, of course. I hoped for $7 this would be at least a king size snickers; it wasn't, just an ordinary size candy bar. Definitely tasty but not worth that much. Further back, a Music Express. As someone else pointed out in a recent report here, this is far from the best looking music express out there in that rather half-assed building. Don't let that keep you from riding though! This may have been the fastest one I've ever been on...at least since I was a kid at Rocky Point (again, I know, but really)...and it runs a very long cycle...and then backwards at full speed too. Who cares what the building looks like from outside when it runs like this!? Behind that, Steel Hawg, the El Loco, which was a new experience for me. Was not a fan of : The shoulder-crushing restraints, which reminded me far too much of the long gone and not missed Viper at SFGAdv. Was a fan of: Everything else about this thing. I don't know whose idea this coaster was but it's a great way to fit all sorts of new experiences into a very small areas. The far-beyond-vertical drop, outside banked corners, extended hang time upside down...this thing just keeps throwing crazy things at you until you're back in the station. I can't think of much else you could fit into a plot like this bigger than a wild mouse and I'll take this over one of those any day. Out behind it, Triple Loop being set up. Not in time for this summer though, pretty obviously. I'm always a little bit uncomfortable with chairlift style skyrides, I admit, and this one was a bit sketchier than most, but I wasn't going to miss out on the views. At the far end of the skyride, back near the main entrance ramp, is a...maybe surprisingly classy sort of gift shop. Cute anyway. Bumper boats! Fun but they had a pretty good line; I wasn't interested enough to wait long for them. Picture came out awful in the sun, but the Yo-yo running, apart from the waterfall effect around the platform that I believe is usually there...which makes no different on the ride itself. Unlike some I've been on in the last few years, this one still has its tilt mechanism working and all. These do feel a little more "exciting" than Wave Swingers for some reason, maybe just the way they often feel like the seats are going to crash into each other. A nice change from the usual wave swingers anyway! After that I figured I'd get on the paddle wheeler and get some views of the lake. The boat could use a little TLC and paint but still made for a nice relaxing ride. And some great views of the park and surrounding areas. I don't remember if the (small) Double Shot drop tower was running or not but it was missing its topper, which with its sort height just sort of made it look like it was cut off halfway, like some sadistic RCT player was planning to launch riders into the sky off of it. Not that I ever did anything like that... Another view of Triple Loop being rebuilt. These cottages can be rented by the week. You can also rent boats etc on the lake here. That may be in my future for some summer soon, I think... It must be nice to be wealthy enough for a lake house. This area is kinda hilarious though. It's such a nice little lakeside resort area, but those trees there...that's the end of it. Beyond that double row of trees...yeah. It's corn. Corn for miles. Ended up being a nice ride, and longer than I thought. Unfortunately on the way back to the dock some asshole on a jetski decided to try to cut in front of the boat. Paddlewheelers, it turns out, aren't particularly maneuverable, and having to make emergency maneuvers in them doesn't end well. We ended up hitting the corner of the dock and doing some pretty visible damage to it and the side of the boat. If you're on a jetski, you can turn a hell of a lot more easily than a big old paddlewheeler. Don't be a dick =/ Apparently the boat has been around quite a while By time I was back on shore (especially since it took a while to circle back into the lake and line up for a second try at docking) I was getting pretty hungry...and heading down the midway to see what I could find, I smelled pizza. Apparently Earl's Pizza is a new addition to the park this year, so I stuck my head in, expecting typical amusement park pizza. Instead, they were making pizzas, personal or full size, from scratch in an open kitchen, and it smelled fantastic. All, Cesari's is no longer the best amusement park pizza. This wasn't just the best pizza I've had at a park, this was up there was the best I've had anywhere. Definitely give this a shot if you're visiting Indiana beach. Awesome, amazingly thick crust, great sauce, tons of cheese...the only thing I'd like to see is more available toppings. SO good though! ...I'm eating a salad at my desk while I write this and now I'm just sort of sad. And hungry. Next up was Den of Lost Thieves. This is an old, classic dark ride, updated with guns, since every park seems to want a shooting dark ride these days. In this case, they pulled it off pretty well; the addition of the shooting gallery doesn't really take much away from the classic feel of the ride. The guns don't even look terribly out of place on the cars. This was a pretty top tier dark ride; everything was in good shape and working well from the props and sets to the guns and targets. Nice job melding old and new with this one! Nearby on the midway, the carp feeding station. I thought this was going to be some sort of midway game. Nope...it's...a carp feeding station. The carp are clearly a fan of this one. If only carp were better eating... Across from there, a classic Polyp ride. I'd wondered since I saw this on the Indiana Beach website why this one had that ugly fish face theme. Now, looking back at the carp feeding station right there, it made sense! Cute. I'd always thought these rides looked like an inferior knock-off to a proper Spider or Octopus, without spinning cars or anything, but that was because I never saw one in motion. The difference here is the vertical motion; it's not a slow up and down like an Octopus, but a sharp jerk into the air. This one is more like someone bred one of those rides with Downdraft at Knoebels; far more fun than I ever thought it would be. Definitely changed my opinion of these quickly. I like the little detail with the ride's history here. Gene Staples has commented on liking older rides better than new ones, something I can frequently agree with, and seeing details like this with them is pretty nice. The paratrooper was running by now. Like with the Scrambler, the breeze from the lake was nice, but it was running pretty lazily otherwise. Plummeting towards the lake might have been somewhat different than the usual here too, if it was running. Since it wasn't, I didn't have to make excuses not to find out! I wonder if this runs as fast as the Music Express. I wish I could have found out. I'm not one to pass up a train ride...even if I'm the only one on it. It's a short track, by necessity at such a tiny park, but scenic. ...at least, a scenic view of the undersides of some of the coasters. Could use a little touch up here. Tig'rr, again. From here you can see how it's built onto a roof. Whatever fits! The train also goes through Frankenstein's castle, with the inside of the tunnel featuring on animatronic diorama to try to lure people into the walk-through. Tried to get a picture of that but you're past it too quickly for my phone to want to adjust from sunlight to the darkness in the short tunnel, and it didn't come out at all. I made a few rounds for repeat rides on some flats here, before heading out a bit early. Indiana Beach has a few warts here and there, some no doubt just from 2021 being what it is, and others like some of the neglected paint and such probably remnants of the last owners. From the maintenance projects visible here and there, that's hopefully something that will be improved on soon. I hope Cornball Express gets a bit of work too. As is right now the classic flats and the location are the stars of this park (and the pizza!) but that and the nostalgia were more than enough to make me love the place. The oddball unique layout with everything packed in on top of each other is sort of fun too, and for the most part the staff was better than most of the parks I saw this week; not quite WoF or SDC but definitely beating the rest. I definitely want to get back here in a less difficult year, and I'd love to take other people with me, especially other people who have the same memories of Rocky Point that I do for this place to bring back. Not my absolute all time favorite park, but one that definitely had something special to offer me, and I'm already looking forward to next time. It's all the more special after seeing it "close", so all I can say is a huge thank you to Gene Staples for this one. I'm hoping for a very bright future for this park now. On the way to my hotel for the night, I was thinking the day probably couldn't get a lot better, but... ...oh. OH. YESSSSSS. If you haven't had Albanese Gummy Bears, they absolutely earn their "world's best" label. A factory outlet? I had no idea this existed but I was not missing that. Gimme... So much amazing candy! I want it all! Yes, I'm six years old, why do you ask? If you see these anywhere, grab them. They are the ultimate gummy bears. Unlike a lot of these kind of things they really do all taste like what they're supposed to. Blood orange, mango, and black currant ones are just....mmph. Yeah, this salad isn't cutting it right now, but these are one of the reasons why I have to eat salads for the next few weeks after my trips >.> These? Pass. Ugh. I love anything hot. I'll happily just nibble habaneros. These are just not good though. The jalapeno is decent, but the sriracha just tastes like ass, the cayenne and habanero have no flavor, just heat, and the reaper...well, that was too much even for me. So much pain. Maybe good to try to get other people to try if you're evil though. Party trays of Albanese gummy candy. Okay with me. Yeah, I bought so much here that I had to pay overweight baggage fees on the way home... In my defense it was mostly gifts....mostly... Stayed at the Country Inn and Suites in Merrillville, IN...like everywhere else I'd stayed at so far (is that so far hanging heavily enough for you? There's only one more hotel after this, right...?) it was comfy, and the staff was exceptionally friendly. No problems recommending this one either
  12. Alright...week at Knoebels down. A few years back I put up a report here on a week at a cottage there. I did the same thing this year with mostly the same group, so I'm not going to be bother with a full report again, as it was mostly the same, only not quite as good, because 2021 is just rough everywhere, but still a fun time. Penn's Cave is still a great way to spend an afternoon. Camel Beach was an absolute dumpster fire; they happily let us all in at full price before letting us know that a part of the park was closed because of storm damage, and they have absolutely the worst fast pass system I've seen anywhere (no separate entrances, no management; an "expresspass" armband just entitles you to shove your way up the stairs past everyone else. Three hour lines for one waterslide... Dorney Park was Dorney as usual, which for 2021 was not a bad thing...operations were pretty much normal for most of the day, with all but a couple flat rides and food stands open, almost no lines, and coasters running well. Knoebels...is having a rough time of things, with about half the park actually open, but they're doing their best with what they have, and Twister is running the best I've seen in something like fifteen years going there now. Also, we discovered Marley's, 20 minutes from Knoebels, which...I suppose I'll have to make a post in the Knoebels thread for that one later! But we're here for the midwest parks, and Thursday of my week at them was Kentucky Kingdom. This wasn't a park I'd originally even thought to add to my itinerary, but was suggested to me here, and I decided it was definitely worth checking out. As it turned out...Kentucky Kingdom is an...interesting little park. Kentucky Kingdom is literally set up in the middle of the Kentucky State Fairgrounds, almost entirely surrounded by the parking lot and fairgrounds (mostly the former). Just getting to the park was a challenge the day I visited, since there was a major event (National Hot Rod Association finals, apparently), going on at the fairgrounds, and traffic was being diverted with some entrances closed, which left my GPS rather unhappy with me. I was able to my way in, past a gate attendant who commented on how crazy a day it was with so many confused drivers, and parked up in back, where I could get a decent view of Kentucky Flyer. I also had an interesting view on the path around the back of the park to the gate (a bit of a walk, really)... Separated from the fairground by just a chain link fence, I walked past an almost endless lot of classic cars. If I didn't have plenty to focus on at the park, I definitely could have spent a lot of time on the other side of that fence too... But I had this view of Lighting Run to keep my attention where it belonged on the other side. I got to the (surprisingly small) gate just as they were opening, without too many people in front of me. I was most interested in Lightning Run, but almost everyone headed left toward it, and having perhaps learned my lesson at Holiday World, I went the other way this time. About five other people did. Looked like I'd have some time without lines here. The first thing in this direction turned out to be kiddieland. It...took me a bit to figure out why it was "King Louie's" playland. Sometimes I'm just not very smart with all that word stuff, I guess. The first adult ride, a Reverchon (I believe) Himalaya. No line at all made it worth stopping for, but sadly it's not a great one. Very plain, and the rather abused looking wooden floors of the cars seemed a little concerning. It didn't move particularly fast, either. Next door to it is the "Movie Store" advertising 4d movies, but at the time I had no real interest in the Kentucky Show or Yogi Bear. T Scream Extreme was a bit more my speed. A solid ride, but a very short cycle; it barely reached vertical before we were coming back down. The ops here also made it clear they could not care less about being at the park, just ignoring the guests and looking straight ahead with thousand yard stares. This was about fifteen minutes into the day... This turned out to be the case with most rides and staff here. Some sort of show pavilion here, but I didn't put too much effort into checking it out in the morning. One of the more...unique things with Kentucky Kingdom is that it's build on two sides of a significant road. Towards the center of the park, there's one bridge to cross, but at this end, it's just a crosswalk with two guards. The back half of the park starts to look nicer than the front half though. I know, this place isn't a big fan of ACE, but this was slightly interesting. Lots of little points of interests at other parks but this one has a general coaster timeline going on. Oh hi Flying Turns! Mile High Falls had water running but wasn't open yet. Too bad; I love big shoot the chute rides and this is definitely one of the biggest ones I've seen. At least the back half of the park has some shade. ....aaaaand RMC track! Yes please, heading that way now. Storm Chaser is anything but big, but it does everything it can to make up for its size, with an intense inverting first drop and enough ejector air to make Phoenix feel self-conscious. Aaaand since everyone else had gone towards Lightning Run at the start, I was going to have no trouble at all getting on it as many times as I wanted here. There's as much air as it looks like right about there. And this hill, while small, will make you REALLY grateful for secure restraints, because the train wants you off of it here. On top of the air, Storm Chaser never seems to lose any speed until the final brakes, and there's not a bump or rattle on the entire track. Not a big coaster, not my favorite RMC, but definitely still a fantastic ride, especially for its size. Heading back towards the center of the park, and towards a bit more classic wooden coaster. I was a little nervous about Thunder Run given that it's not a new ride now, and my back had not appreciated the Legend the day before, but I wasn't going to just skip it either. At the time being, I didn't realize this was basically the same coaster as Hurler, and it's probably as good thing that I didn't, since I might have passed on riding it entirely. Thunder Run, despite being the original that Hurler is a mirrored version of, has one major difference from the later copies; it doesn't suck. I can't say what's so different about this one compared to Hurler (at least the one at King's Dominion), which, every time I rode it managed to be pathetically slow, incredibly rough, or both at once, but Thunder Run is actually a solid coaster. It held a lot more speed than I can remember ever getting from Hurler, and it did it without beating me up at all; even with an already sore back I didn't find any painful spots here. It's not a terrifically creative layout and isn't going to knock any coasters off my top ten list, but it's not a bad one by any means either, and I could definitely enjoy a few laps around it. Heading back in that direction anyway, I stuck my head head into the carousel pavillion to take a look at it, and...I'm not sure what to make of this carousel. It wasn't running to start with, but the sort of stained and discolored brassy look makes it look like it's on its way to becoming a horror movie prop at some dilapidated park where half the characters won't make it out alive. It's also called the Bella Musica carousel, but the music it was playing was horrifically unpleasant, again like it should have been in a horror movie or at least running as a halloween attraction. Very strange... Kentucky Kingdom strikes a midpoint between free drinks at Holiday World and Lake Compounce and most other parks with overpriced drinks; soda is 99 cents, which is hard to complain about, but keeps people from dumping half finished cups all over the place, making a mess and attracting wasps. This might be the best approach, really. Out on the back edge of the park, the forest-y look disappears again and we're back at parking lot fairgrounds. I am not usually a fan of ring of fire rides but I clearly had all the time I was going to need today, so I figured I'd give this one a shot. Bleachers? Are these rides that much fun to watch? Who thought this was needed? As far as the Eye of the Storm...I'm still not a fan of it. There's nothing wrong with this one but anything with really quick repeated vertical loops, especially ones that stop short upside down, definitely leave me feeling off for a while after, every time. I'd been considering going back to my car to get my swim suit and tower, since I seemed to have plenty of time and the water park looked to have some good stuff, but the water coaster wasn't running, so...much less temptation there. A lot of water rides didn't seem to be running, sadly. This was going to have to be the first rapids ride I missed this week. Aaaaaand then we have T3. I knew what I was getting into here, but I had to know just how bad it really was. For anyone not familiar with it here...SLCs are infamously rough enough, yes, but T3 is not just an SLC. T3 is an SLC prototype. That can not be good news. It was well after 1:00 at this point. I really wanted to try this thing though, so I hung around for a bit. I wasn't the only one waiting for T3 by time it finally opened an hour and a half late. Some of us just don't have very well developed self-defense instincts, I guess. T3 has restraints I've never seen on anything else; it's almost like a 5 point harness, all belts, attached to a lap bar. It's strange and looks a bit awkward, but it's actually fairly secure and comfortable. As for the ride itself...it's an absolute piece of crap. It thunks and bangs its way around the track like the wheels are falling off, and I'm not even sure how it even makes it through the course with the way it gives these constant shudders like it's about to suddenly screech to a stop with something horribly broken. And yet...it's not actually painful at all with the newer restraints, so it's actually...sort of enjoyable? It's something along the lines of a coaster version of a so-bad-it's-good movie? There's no arguing that it's absolutely awful, but I can sort of enjoy it for that since it doesn't actively beat you up anymore. The only really bad part is that on the final brake run, the restraints slam down hard on your thighs enough to make Skyrush's restraints feel loose. My legs were going numb by time I actually got off. Other than that...I didn't bother riding it again, but I probably could have. Strange ride. Taking this picture, I was asked to leave the area by the staff of a nearby basketball game. I have no idea why, it's just a patch of open pavement between the ride queue and the game, with no signage and nothing there, but apparently standing here is forbidden? Kentucky Kingdom's layout is just plain strange, between the split over the road, and the way dry and water park rides are just tossed in next to each other. It's not difficult to get around or anything, but there's definitely sort of a "kid's first RCT park" vibe to it...or maybe just someone playing that one scenario you just want to finish and get over with to move on to the next. Just drop stuff in wherever it fits. Kentucky Kingdom isn't big on theming, but at least they made a bit of an attempt with Kentucky Flyer, and it's a theme I can definitely appreciate. Even the trains have a bit of extra detail to them. It's still just a family coaster, and you can't expect too much of it, but it does give a very smooth ride and some nice pops of airtime, more than you'd expect just looking at it. By this point I couldn't keep my eyes off the other side of the park's skyline though. I was going to need food first though, but my plans were shut down pretty quickly with yet another closed restaurant. With my original plans off the table, I decided to just get something healthy for the first time in the week and grabbed a salad. It was...fine. Just a prepackaged salad with range dressing, but the veggies with fresh enough, and decent, red tomatoes. Not bad! More waterpark in the middle of the dry park. Or vice versa? Good sized ferris wheel, not running... Aaand finally Lighting Run! Only...on the other side of the road. At least there's a bridge to get there at this end. And a pretty cute little antique car ride. I could see that there was no line at all for Lighting Run, so I let myself delay a bit more and get everything on the way to it, the cars included. This was one of the nicer looking parts of the park. Right, these things. The majority of the rides had recorded spiels about putting your belongings in the lockers, where they would be safely secured until the end of the ride. Not one ride actually has lockers as far as I saw. They all have yellow u-line bins. It's...an attempt, I guess, sort of. At least they put a little more effort into one of their cars. This was definitely one of the nicer looking antique cars out there, and was going to be mine, but the kid behind me in line was so excited by the flame paint job, I let him and his father go in front and take it. The ride is much more meant for kids anyway... Nice enough for anyone to enjoy though. SDC's Cinnamon Bread was already amazing. This place has it with bourbon glaze. And...I entirely forgot to come back for any on the way out. Not happy with myself. The Breakdance was opening up just as I got close to it, which was close enough to a sign for me. They're fun enough flats anyway, and this one ran a reasonably good, fast cycle. The flyers less so. These weren't moving fast enough to bother with. Especially not when I was a few weeks away from Knoebels... Swinging ships have to get a bit higher than this to interest me these days. And here we go, this is what I was waiting for. Lighting Run looked smaller than I expected up close, but I wasn't going to let that kill my excitement. Still no line... Interesting trains, the looooong nose is a bit awkward. Comfortable though. S So, Lighting Run...is pretty great, really. It's an unusual hybrid of new and old, with it being designed as a newer coaster built to limited budgets; it seems to use a lot of older technology and construction style...tubular spine track, internal guide wheels on the trains...but built with modern computer aided design. The result feels sort of a classic arrow coaster, but with actual smooth transitions, and comfortable restraints. It has a wild feeling that's missing from a lot of newer coasters, but without the jostling or rough elements, and with comfortable trains and restraints, and a whole lot more grace and flow in the layout. I absolutely loved it, and I just can't see why this is the only coaster of it's type so far. I don't know if the rumors of Rye Playland looking into one still hold any water, but I hope that's still possible; I'd love to have one of these near me. Great, great ride, not even considering that it's meant to be a compact, budget ride. I wonder if there's any reason these aren't capable of inversions? I'd love to see something like a recreated Vortex from KI, with the smoother ride this kind of coaster has... Rode this one enough times to have lost count, loved it every time. I've been on a lot of frisbee type rides, but none completely inverting before, so Cyclos was a first. It's positively dimunitive compared to something like Harley Quinn or Black Widow, but it doesn't feel it as much as you'd think once you're on it, and the hangtime is surprisingly intense. Expected to be a little let down, but I actually really enjoyed this. Back at the front of the park I took at look at the show pavillion, where they were doing a seal and sea lion show. Didn't stop to watch; it was just too hot and I was really looking for air conditioning. Right...there was...the theater. Well, it was probably air conditioned! Not a Yogi Bear fan, so I headed in to see what the Kentucky Show was, expecting very little. ...and somehow got less. The Kentucky Show isn't actually a 5D attraction. It was...this...and it didn't actually play at the scheduled time either, probably because no one was there at all besides me, standing back here, enjoying the cool air. I did decide to go around and try the Yogi Bear 5D movie instead, as a friend mentioned that she'd heard some good things about the new Jellystone show on HBO and I thought there was some chance it might be connected to that. I should have known better...this was the worst motion theater ride I've ever experience. It uses the less-than-great system with two attached tilting chairs on each motion platform, like the old Days of Thunder ride at King's Dominion and all the versions that followed; not my favorite of the motion platforms. Much worse than that is the utterly awful actual movie, which...is not even in first person. It also has nothing to do with the new show; it's an uncanny valley CG thing that features a mostly nonsensical attempt from Yogi Bear to build and very briefly fly a makeshift plane, but it's in a normal movie third person viewpoint, making the chairs' motion feel completely disconnected, and more like just watching a terrible movie in the back of a car while someone drives off a cliff. Why does this thing even exist? I have no idea. Why would anyone want a motion theater movie that isn't even in a first person perspective, with a move that's more bad comedy than motion? Still no idea. Pass on this one. Please, everyone pass on this so they replace it with something worthwhile. Like a restroom or a food stand or just an empty room with air conditioning...wait they had that... I decided to head out at this point, but by time I drove past Storm Chaser on the way out I wished I'd gone back around for more rides on it. Maybe next year! Overall impressions...I'm really not sure what to make of Kentucky Kingdom. It's in a strange, awkward location, with a strange, awkward layout. The staff mostly seemed to hate their jobs, and several attractions seemed to be just taking up space. On the other hand, the coasters were mostly good, generally even better than I expected, and even T3 was enjoyable in its way. The place definitely has potential, and I'm more than likely going to visit again next time I get the chance, if only for Storm Chaser and Lighting Run, but I definitely hope the park's new owners can work on some of the rough spots...at least the ones that can be changed. I suppose they're pretty well stuck with the location and layout. Stayed overnight at the Best Western Edinburgh/Columbus. As with everywhere else so far, it was more than acceptable and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone traveling through. For the second time in a few days I had a hole-in-the-wall mexican place next door, Sabor De La Vida, and decided to go with that again for dinner. It worked out the first time... And did this time as well. One empenada, and one massive sandwich with everything you can think of on it, from steak to ham and eggs to cubed hot dogs...yeah, a bit weird, but I'd had similar at another mexican place years back and it had actually been really good, and was this time too. Cheap and tasty, would definitely do again. Tomorrow was, I hoped, going to be a good day...I'd been waiting so many years to get to Indiana Beach...
  13. Will finish this report in a week or so. Got other stuff to distract me this week!
  14. Was just on it last week; It still runs very well and the tilt still works unlike some of them but, but no tricks with slowing down. I wonder if that's up to the operator?
  15. Busch Gardens does have some of the best B&Ms around!. Montu is unbeatable, and Kumba is still fantastic and easily beats most of its bigger successors. Disappointing to see operations so terrible though. That definitely wasn't the case the last time I was there, but it's been a few years, and that obviously wasn't...well, 2021. Busch Gardens without quality food just seems sad.
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