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Photo TR: Jahan's Awesome TPR-Midwest Trip Report!


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^It's okay Robb. He's emo, he doesn't know how to take a joke!


I was going to ask for an official definition, but found this so I think I'm good....




Genre of softcore punk music that integrates unenthusiastic melodramatic 17 year olds who dont smile, high pitched overwrought lyrics and inaudible guitar rifts with tight wool sweaters, tighter jeans, itchy scarfs (even in the summer), ripped chucks with favorite bands signature, black square rimmed glasses, and ebony greasy unwashed hair that is required to cover at least 3/5 ths of the face at an angle.


If these people really exist, they probably need to be hit in the face hard a few times to be brought back to life. And people say the '80s were bad.



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I found a park similar to Beach Bend (fair-like park with a few major coaster installments)


It's fine to not like Kennywood, but the comparison to Beech Bend is flat out wrong. Beech Bend is indeed set up like a fair with cheesy portable fencing surrounding many attractions, while Kennywood installs their rides in a more permanent way.

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I do seem to recall the ride operator harassing one of the guys in my row because he didn’t have the proper posture for a stand up. I mean, this chick was rude! She contorted us into the most uncomfortable position, which was really off-putting for me. I’ve been on stand ups all my life! I've operated one! I don’t need to be coached on how to stand on one!


Comfort is just as important to safety as posture is. Bitch.

Just a bit of curiosity. Did that Mantis Ride Operator look anything like this?


Just wondering.

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It's fine to not like Kennywood, but the comparison to Beech Bend is flat out wrong. Beech Bend is indeed set up like a fair with cheesy portable fencing surrounding many attractions, while Kennywood installs their rides in a more permanent way.

I don't understand that. I'm not arguing the type of park Kennywood is or saying their attractions were falling apart and mediocre, such as a fair would be. I felt there was no atmosphere whatsoever. The Northwest side of the park from Thunderbolt over, with the exception of Racer and Jack Rabbit, was very bland. I found no atmosphere and the place did not interest me.


Along with the fact that I had heard so much about their coasters...Phantom's Revenge has been on my list of coasters to ride since I've been an enthusiast. And once I did ride I was underwhelmed. I might add that I'm not the type of enthusiast that only cares for coasters, but only the coasters seemed to interest me and even then I didn't care for them.


I'm not asking anyone to agree with me, just asking that you understand that I can look back and say I hated the park. Maybe I was worn out after so many parks, or maybe I hyped it up too much. Whatever the reason, I still don't ever want to go again.


*End of what will probably be called a retarded emo rant*

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Hearing a smashing collection of ‘hit music’ from the nearby flat ride, Wes and Ryan got down. Right after this was taken, they turned their dancing attention to me.




…Yes, I was assaulted.



Ahhh yes, moment forever immortalized in my sketchbook. Good times. Can't listen to Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" without remembering that.



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I can't believe you couldn't find atmosphere at Kennywood-at least compare to the plethora of corporate and wanna-be corporate parks that litter the Mid-West.


The only thing I think is wrong about the place is that none of the woodens are really epic, and they haven't added anything coaster-wise for quite a while.


Anyway, the old school arcades, awesome looking entrance, classic looking ride stations, fantastic use of ravines, and the fantastic view of the general Pittsburgh area are things you can't find at most parks. They clearly make Kennywood a unique and nostalgic experience.

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I'll echo TJ's very last statement...I don't particularly know why, but when I look back at Kennywood, I really didn't like it. I think Noah's Ark and Phantom's Revenge were two of the few things I liked about the park. I had the park way hyped up in my head. I think I set myself up for disappointment.


Regardless, great KW TR Jahan!

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*End of what will probably be called a retarded emo rant*

If you weren't carrying such an obnoxious attitude on how you are presenting your opinions I don't think people would be taking as much issue about it as they are.


I have no idea why are you choosing to present yourself this way, but on this particular subject you sound a lot more like 16-year old RCPro TJ instead of the more mature "BannedKid" TJ we've seen the last couple of years. Your "opinion" reads more like you're purposely trying to annoy people and start a debate.


That's just my take on it, maybe I'm just reading too much into it...



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EMO is the new goth, you know.


I loved Kennywood myself. I guess there are two types of people. Those that prefer the big corporate feeling parks, and those (like me) who prefer the atmosphere in the more family-run feeling parks. Then there are total nuts that love both.


BannedKid, do you have the face on? Youre a little touchy just now over on the CoasterDynamix forums as well. Chill dude.


Ive been quiet in this thread so far, but I am loving this TR.

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Hey everybody!


Ok, so here we are. The final installment of my super awesome Midwest trip report! Hope you enjoy it!




Day 11: Kings Island (and Stricker’s Grove)



Today, we were off to Kings Island. We stayed at a hotel across the street and were there within five minutes. On the way, Elissa gave a warning about Kings Island—telling about the long lines, ride downtime, and numerous visits it took for her to get all of her credits. So going into this park, we were all bracing ourselves for the worst! There was a bonus park as well (Strickers Grove), but at this point, many people budgeted all of their time at Kings Island, finding it necessary to make time for one more ride.


That would change.





So we were in the park before opening and went to a “hold point”. As do several parks I’ve been in, they open the gates before “park opening” and “hold” the guests at a certain point within the gate so that they can instantly rush to the ride of their choice. I’ve never really seen the appeal unless there’s a pre-show to the operating day, of which there was not.


I swear I’m not taking pictures of little girls!


After much debate, the decision was made that after the rope-drop, we would rush back to Firehawk. And we did. I remember running and running and running, thinking “Where the hell is this thing?!” Ladies and Gentlemen, Jahan is NOT a natural-born runner! But I held myself well enough, and finally we were there.


Firehawk < Flight Deck




As much as you couldn’t get around the fact that Firehawk was just a relocated Vekoma Flying Dutchman, I was actually really excited for it! It was my first Vekoma flyer! Way back when Stealth opened in Great America, we went up there only to find a 3.5 hour line and we decided not to wait. Ever since that moment, being a kid and seeing a flyer but not being able to ride it, I’ve always wanted to get my chance. Two B&M flyers later, I finally had my chance at a Vekoma one.



As “less cool” it is to begin the lie position and then convert to fly after the lift, the effect was actually pretty cool.


Pretzel loop > vertical loop



Firehawk was actually really fun! Now granted, I’m saying this having only had to wait about 5 minutes for it and don’t know how I would have felt had I been stuck in a switchback in the sun! But as a ride itself, I had no complaints. It was still smooth and had some really neat transitions. I still like Tatsu better, but would probably put Firehawk before S:UF on my amazingly short list of flying credits.



*rolls eyes*




The next coaster was the one adjacent to Firehawk—Flight of Fear. I think the coolest part of this ride would have to be the queue and station! This is for two reasons.


One, the queue and station were rather well themed. A story is almost established as you progress from a military base to a UFO storage room, to the UFO itself. The alien bodies in the station was a neat idea. Oh—and I got the Laura boob credit, as well. (I’m pretty sure there’s a photo of a petrified Jahan getting the credit somewhere out there).


Two, the ride itself wasn’t all that great! I seem to recall getting thrashed around, a block brake that completely stopped the ride (not unlike Goliath), and overall unexcited ness. Apparently the ride used to be really good back in the day, but now it was just “meh”.



After FOF, we headed over to the Italian Job: Stunt Track. I was actually very intrigued to see what kind of ride IJ:ST was like, as there’s like a million of them these days! I was told by some that they were lackluster, I was told by others that they were a great family ride, so I was ready to get an impression for myself.



You have never seen this image before!




Confused by IJ:ST’s blatant dismissal of DaCOC.



Italian Job had a short line when we got there. We waited less than five minutes, and honestly, could have waited longer because our group was so into singing along to “Zombie Nation”, which was playing in the station for whatever random reason!




Italian Job was a “meh” ride to me. I can see how it is an enjoyable family attraction. But for me, it didn’t do much. After the ride, we headed over to….


*cues drumroll*







The Son of Beast was one of those rides that everybody was talking about the entire trip, like Voyage, Maverick, so on and so forth. Except in SOB’s case, for all of the wrong reasons!


SOB was clearly one of those rides that just was a bad idea. The idea was apparently to make a hypercoaster woodie. And why not throw in a loop. Literally. Well, a year ago some beam apparently snapped and injured a whole train of passengers. So they closed down the ride, removed the loop, restructured some stuff, and reopened it with modified Gerstlauer trains. It’s notorious for being one of the more painful coaster experiences.


I know! Sounds like an great ride!




Very few rides actually look scary from the outside, as this one does!



Son of Beast wasn’t quite as painful as it was pointless. Don’t get me wrong—it wasn’t comfortable! But being battle-hardened by Psyclone, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for me. I fact, I would consider it to be like Psyclone’s bigger brother. Pointless and painful. What I mean by pointless is that it sort of meandered around. I never really found it terribly exciting. Just goes over here. Then over there. A huge waste of space and lumber. I’m not much of a tree-hugger, but I say Save a Tree—Destroy a SOB.



After SOB, I had to wake up and reenergize with some Arrow love.


For some reason this is my only photo “of” Top Gun!


Top Gun was an Arrow suspended coaster, and thus, was actually lots of fun. I’d probably say that Ninja is better, but that being said, it was probably one of my favorite coasters at Kings Island. Oh, and one lift hill is a plus as well!



It took this picture with a thumbs up because they were setting out free water, due to the heat. I should have taken it with a thumbs down, for not having Frozen Coke!



At this point in the day, we realized that we were progressing through the park VERY quickly. At least much more quickly than I had ever imagined! So we were able to take it a bit more easily, as we had the whole day ahead of us. We changed our minds and decided to go to Stricker’s Grove, if nothing but for the air conditioner on the bus, so I figured why not! But not before getting one more credit on the way out.



…we had NO idea.



Ok, so I got in line for Adventure Express not knowing what it was at all. I’m marching up this covered deck and all of a sudden hear a tune that is very familiar to me.



“Wait…what is that?! Is that?....the Indiana Jones theme?!?!


Yeah, so for whatever reason, they were playing the Indy music. The ride itself would prove to be a very unique Arrow mine train. It was actually pretty neat! You dispatch into a lush area with jungle noises, only to emerge into an open grassy area. You ride around for a bit, going through a few tunnels, and finish with this amazingly anticlimactic finale! LOL. You enter this final tunnel and begin to proceed up the lift hill. There are like, tiki-drummers on both sides of the train as you travel up towards a giant idol, with red eyes. Anticipation grows with the beat of the drums and curiosity grows as to what is beyond the idol. It feels like there’s going to be something big after such a scene, such as with Splash Mountain’s last lift. You get to the top, turn to the right, and hit the brakes.


The ride is over.








With the amazing Adventure Express under our belts, we were ready to head out and go check out Stricker’s Grove. And trust me, that bus A/C was sooooooooo nice!


For those who are unfamiliar with Stricker’s Grove, it’s a small park whose sole purpose is to rent out to private parties and events. In fact, it’s only open to the public two days out of the year, one of which was this very particular day.


Talk about great timing!



Awwwww…that ride has to be like, 200 feet shorter than SOB.


…and sure enough, it was 200 times better!



Casey and Chris decided to hug Ryan and well…..Ryan is no more. Poor little bugger squished to death.




(Editor’s Note: For the rest of the PTR, Ryan’s part will in fact be played by his twin brother, Bryan. Killing off one of the main characters at the end of the show—never saw that, did you?!)




When we got in the park, the first thing we did was head over to the Tornado, the bigger, red and white woodie that you saw in photo 334.


TJ made such good friends with the ride op, that his new black-eyed, one-armed friend rode with him!



You see that little drop, on the on the middle-left? That = amazing.



You think I’m joking too! I’m NOT. So here we are, getting on a really small woodie, next to a woodie called the “Teddy Bear”. We go down the first few drops and turns, just sort of joking around, shouting “Weeeeee” and whatnot. All of a sudden, we drop down after that little dip and get this bout of airtime out of nowhere! WTF?!?! I mean, we’re not talking Cyclops status, but still enough to write home about. I was totally amazed. To be honest, in my opinion, I’d probably rate it one of the top 10 wood coasters on the trip!


A neat little pocket coaster. Well, probably too big to be a pocket coaster. It’s more like a cargo-pocket coaster.




After Tornado, we headed over to the only other credit in Stricker’s Grove, the one….the only….the Teddy Bear.



Yeah. Not the most exciting first drop.



The Teddy Bear wasn’t all that amazing, but it wasn’t supposed to be, so that’s alright. I’m sure when I was a kid, I would have loved it.


Bryan seems to be a little *too* excited, considering.





At that point, we were pretty much done with Stricker’s Grove. We rode the train ride, got a free root beer, and then headed out. The bus ride back was, well…interesting. I was inducted into the Midwest sect of the Back Of The Bus crew, but that’s a story for another time.




When we arrived back at Kings Island, we jumped right back into rounding up our credits. We first headed towards the back to get a ride on the Racer. The Racer was alright. Fun at times, a bit painful at times. It just all and all was meh.




At this point, Kings Island had pretty much solidified itself as the greatest theme park evar to Wes.




We made a quick stop-by Firehawk to get some more video and photos. As much as it was some whatever relocated Vekoma, I liked the ride.


The ride looked really nice, even just plopped down.


This photo is sooooooooooo unnecessary.



Up next was Vortex, the Arrow multi-looping coaster.






I’ve always seen pictures of Vortex and was actually rather excited to ride it. I have to be honest, you can tell that the ride has seen better days. It really just seemed to shuffle a bit more than a ride like Viper, which was disappointing for an Arrow-fan-man like myself. That being said, it was enjoyable enough. I just wasn’t jumping back in line to ride again.



That’s an AWESOME Arrow transition for you.



With Vortex done, it was late enough to head over to our last group meal.



Awwww…Robb gave one of his last trip speeches.


*no comment*


After our meal, it was time to prove ourselves as the real whores that we were—we made our kiddie-credit round.



Bryan and Joe doing their best Reptar impressions.


The kid-inverted Vekoma ride was a Vekoma ride—it shuffled back and forth and wasn’t too special.


We rode this.



I’ve decided that I’m not all crazy about shooting dark rides (much too lazy…prefer a more passive experience), but this one was decent.




After we spent a little too much time hanging around the children’s area, we ventured back to the other side of the park to finish up our credits and ride a few other rides. And by, “a few other rides”, I meant Drop Zone, the Intamin gyro drop.






Again, I’m not too keen on drop towers and one with a giant target painted on the ground wasn’t much different! That being said, the ride was very cool! Almost a more social experience than a typical drop tower as everybody rides together in a circle. So that was cool.



Finally was Face Off, the Vekoma inverted boomerang with the coaches where passengers face each other. It was pretty much the same as any other Vekoma boomerang. This one even kept overshooting the station and breaking down! Right after we rode, it overshot stranding several TPR members on the ride!


Casey broke the ride!!!


As a matter of fact, once Face Off broke down after we rode it, it never reopened! Some trip-goers never got their ride on it!


With our ride on Face Off, the sun had set. We decided to take some time to check out the observation tower, which was pretty cool to see the park glimmering at night.






So I’m sure you may be wondering, “Wait Jahan—how come you havn’t even mentioned Kings Island’s one real signature attraction?!” Well that, dear reader, is because we decided to save it for last (actually, I did ride it during the day, but shhh! Go along with me).


The only photo I have of “The Beast”



The Beast is a ride that I had heard of for quite some time. I even remember being in the fifth grade, years before I could call myself a “coaster enthusiast”, and reading a fictional children’s novel based on the ride! But other than that, I knew nothing of the ride. I was told that it was best at night, so we waited for the fireworks to finish and then had the go-ahead to board.


The ride was pretty cool at night! As I said, I did take a gander at it during the day and didn’t think all too much of it. It was fun, at times, but was primarily a “whatever” ride for me. But those night time rides; I think it was just the energy involved with the whole thing. It was the last ride of the entire trip. Everybody would be departing the next day. To take up all three of the Beast trains and just marathon the crazy ride for about 2-3 times was just a lot of fun!


When it was time to get off the train, I think it was bittersweet for everybody. The trip was over, and we knew it.









And that’s all folks. The Midwest Trip was over. The next day we were dropped off at the airport. I want to personally thank Robb and Elissa Alvey for putting on such a great trip for us! This was seriously the biggest thing I’ve ever done…ever! I cant say I’ve ever had more fun in my life. So much so that I was like a different person coming back and therefore by definition, the trip was “life changing”. If you guys want to get a more in-depth view at the energy and excitement that was the Midwest Trip, be sure to check out TPR’s Coaster Expedition Volume 10, coming out soon. I’ve already seen a preview of the DVD at West Coast Bash and have to say that it REALLY captured the trip for me.


Finally, I’d like to thank all of you for actually reading this! It took forever to type, spanning exactly 70 pages in MS Word before being copied to the boards. That’s A LOT of Jahan! So THANK YOU for reading!


Until this year’s trip report….







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Nice photos, and wow, Kinzel must really be in love with himself... Naming the queue house after himself is probably one of the lamest things he has done/come up with recently.


Great trip report Jahan, and it was probably one of the funniest created in a while. The photos were good, and the narration and captions were great.


If possible, could you please upload a high-resolution of the night photo of the Racer?

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Very interesting TR of KI. I may be going to KI for the first time this June. I don't know if you got me excited or kinda "meh" about going! LOL... I'm still debating on passing KI up for my 2nd trip to CP!


Regardless it's cool to go to a park to hear the screams, the laughter, and seeing the smiling faces. Of course it is always good to have some thrills as well.

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Only 4 months til the TPR craziness happens all over again for me.


Another well observed trip report. One of my regrets was not riding Beast on a non-wheel seat, I hear it's much better, and those night rides flying through the forest were surreal. Back row Beast in the morning after the second lift just about shattered my spine. Agree Son Of Beast did bugger all, definitely not a top thrill.


On the whole I thought Kings Island had a very ordinary coaster collection, maybe that will improve in 2009 if the rumours are true.


Again, thanks for the trip reports Jahan.

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I know what you mean about a trip ending, Jahan. I'm both relieved to get home, yet bummed out because it's over.


But reliving it through a trip report is great (as was this one).

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"You think I’m joking too! I’m NOT. So here we are, getting on a really small woodie, next to a woodie called the “Teddy Bear”. We go down the first few drops and turns, just sort of joking around, shouting “Weeeeee” and whatnot. All of a sudden, we drop down after that little dip and get this bout of airtime out of nowhere! WTF?!?! I mean, we’re not talking Cyclops status, but still enough to write home about. I was totally amazed. To be honest, in my opinion, I’d probably rate it one of the top 10 wood coasters on the trip!" -Jahan


Dude, I'm so glad to hear more reviews like this! I was thinking the same after going there a year or two ago. It's a nice surprise!



Well, to every coaster at KI, you need to know where to set for an enjoyable ride. Vortex is the second to last car, SOB is random, ugh I can go on and on.


It was great to meet up with Casey and others I saw. Too bad everyone was scattered in KI. Gah, maybe next year


Thanks for the awesome midwest trip Jahan!



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