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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread

p. 792 - Camp Cedar campground to open in 2021!

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Since school in Ohio does not get out till June. Would week days be perfect to go still??

 

 

We went yesterday. Everything was walk on except for Firehawk at 10 minutes and Flight of Fear at 20 minutes. We even walked on front seat of Banshee.

 

Nice! Can't wait! I am trying to hit up KI many times!!

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We decided to spend Memorial Day weekend at Kings Island and had a great time. It was my first visit to the park in 10 years and my girlfriend's first visit to the park ever.

 

We left from work on Friday and drove 8 hours to a town right outside Columbus where we got a hotel and then finished the drive on Saturday morning... arriving right before opening. The park was packed on Saturday and they were telling people not to ride Banshee first to avoid the crowds. We took this advice and instead headed to Diamondback where we were greeted with a full queue.

 

We hadn't planned on it but it became apparent that we should spring for the Fastlane plus and it was a great decision. Banshee's line was back by Delirium, Delirium's line was full, Diamondback and Beast had full queues and Adventure Express and Vortex had lines spilling way beyond past entrances. Rather than go in chronological order for the sake of organization I'll break this trip report down by ride as we bounced around the park a lot in the 2 days we were there. We didn't get Fastlane the second day and had a much slower pace as we had already ridden everything the day before.

 

Diamondback - This was my first time on Diamondback and I have to say that I was really impressed. It has way more airtime than most other B&M hypers and has a very enjoyable layout. It does have a significant rattle in the back but the airtime more than makes up for it. We probably rode this 6 or 7 times over the course of 2 days.

 

Adventure Express - This is probably my favorite non-Disney mine train. The ending makes no sense but the ride is themed pretty well and has a fun, lengthy layout. It's hard not to love this ride.

 

Backlot Stunt Coaster - I've always enjoyed these coasters... especially with Fastlane. Some of the effects were working which was a nice surprise. This ride really packs a punch for it's small size.

 

Racer - This ride is a ton of fun. I enjoy this a lot more than Rebel Yell and Thunder Run (the similar Paramount / Cedar fair wood coasters), it's very well maintained and has some nice pops of air. The red train won every time though.

 

Firehawk - I love vekoma flying coasters... is that weird? There's not much to say about this ride as it's a clone, but it's a very good clone. Thank god for Fastlane Plus though as it turned a 2 hour wait into a 15 minute wait.

 

Invertigo - I guess it could have been worse, but I'd love to know why this thing had an hour wait.

 

Flight of Fear - I think I prefer the Kings Dominion version as it's a bit smoother, but this is still an awesome ride. I actually think these coasters are great and have always felt that they were underrated by the enthusiast community. Most "GP" seem to love them though as this ride had a 2 hour wait all weekend.

 

Vortex - I remember liking this as a kid... I guess I was a stupid kid. I generally like Arrow loopers as my height usually prevents headbanging but this is a horrible piece of crap. I'd rather ride Anaconda 10 times than ride this once. The ride looks great and always has a long line but it's really, really terrible.

 

The Bat - I think this is one of the best rides in the park but I've always loved Arrow suspended coasters more than most people. The ride is a little short but it's incredibly fast and has some very dramatic moments of swinging where the car feels like it's at a 90 degree angle (though I know it's not). We lost count of how many times we rode this. What a great ride!

 

Delirium - Even with Fastlane this ride had a 30 minute wait on Saturday and the regular queue was full bit it was well worth it. What a great ride.

 

Race for Your Life Charlie Brown - What is it about this little flume that gets you so incredibly soaked? This ride is a blast and we rode it a lot over the course of 2 days.

 

Windseeker - The world needs more of these. Not only is it a great ride but the enormous capacity gives you a nice break from standing in long lines.

 

Banshee - Obviously this was the main reason for our trip and it didn't disappoint. The area around the ride looks great with the dramatic lighting, headstones and great sign complete with fog effects. The Banshee scream is really cool and I love the projected logos in the queue line.

 

We lost count of how many times we rode this, especially on Saturday when we had Fastlane. Most of our rides were in the front but we had a few rides in the back and in the middle and it was great every time The crews were really fast and the ride had virtually no line at all with Fastlane even when the regular queue was totally full. On Sunday when we did wait in the normal line we were shocked at how quickly it moved. Kudos to B&M and the Kings Island staff for the awesome capacity on this ride.

 

As far as the ride itself I'd definitely rank it as one of my favorite inverts with only Raptor, Alpengeist, Montu and maybe Afterburn at Carowinds ahead of it. It really packs a punch and has some very intense moments (especially after the zero g roll). My favorite part of the ride is probably the loop after the Batwing element which is very tight and forceful as well as the tight turn immediately after it. The final barrel roll is incredibly fun too.

 

The first drop also surprised me, it really yanks the train down the drop with a lot of force which is really refreshing to see on a modern B&M ride. The first 2 elements are great and the first zero g roll is fun (though it's probably the weakest zero g roll I've experienced on an invert). This ride is all about the second half though. The ride makes such great use of the terrain that on a few of our rides there were noticeable temperature changes at the bottom of each element on the second half of the ride. That was a great experience.

 

Banshee was definitely worth the trip and gave me a lot of optimism that maybe B&M is going to be a force to be reckoned with again. It's really forceful and even has a few snappy turns. I can't wait to get back to Kings Island and ride it again!

 

The Beast - When I rode the Beast 10 years ago I thought it was a middle of the road wood coaster. It didn't have any airtime to speak and and it was pretty rough but the unique layout still made it fun. I tried to prepare my girlfriend for the ride and let her know that it was rough and didn't have any airtime but it was a classic. I figured if she went in with low expectations she might enjoy it.

 

I'm happy to report though that the ride is running a lot smoother now than it used to. We rode it on Saturday morning and we both got off the ride pleasantly surprised and while it still wasn't anywhere near my favorite wood coaster I definitely had a more positive opinion of the ride than I did before.

 

Let me set the scene for what happened later...

 

We were using our awesome wristbands to marathon Banshee and were planning on doing that for the rest of the night. Banshee was clearly the star attraction in the park and we knew that the next day we'd have to wait in a huge line to ride it. After one of our rides I mentioned in passing that everyone said the Beast was a great night ride (I had never ridden it at night before). Neither of us really wanted to stop riding Banshee to ride a coaster that clearly wasn't as good but we decided that we should give it a try just to see for ourselves.

 

When we got near the Beast we noticed a huge crowd of people heading for the ride which now had a line spilling out of the entrance. It was obvious that the Beast was the place to be.

 

We walked up near the station with our wristbands and they told us that the ride was closed for the nightly fireworks show since they shoot the fireworks off near the tracks but it would re-open once the show was over. This was a blessing in disguise for 2 reasons. Not only did it give it the opportunity to get completely dark out (it gets dark really late in Ohio this time of year since the days are so long and it's so close to Central time while still being in Eastern time) but we also had a great spot to watch the fireworks as we were standing right outside the station.

 

Once the ride re-opened the operators were really pumping up the crowd, asking every train if they were ready for the "best night ride in the world". Every train left the station screaming and cheering and every train returned screaming and cheering even louder. The Beast station had a real party atmosphere as people in the station were even cheering and at one point singing (the ops were trying to fill an empty row but gave up and one of them made the mistake of saying "let it go" over the mic in reference to the train... you can imagine what happened next).

 

When we finally sat down in the front seat we were really excited. They dispatched the train and we headed for the lift which shines bright lights at you to make sure you won't be able to see anything during your ride and plays dramatic music which is really awesome when combined with the sound of the chain lift.

 

Once we got to the bottom of the drop and exited the tunnel we were shocked at how dark it was. Obviously we've been on a lot of coasters at night but because of it's use of the terrain and it's close proximity to the trees, not even the moonlight reached the tracks. There is nothing like the Beast at night. The feeling of racing through the forest with no idea where you're going and going through tunnels that you only know you're going through because of the roar of the train (it's just as dark outside the tunnels as it is inside the tunnels) is unmatched. Not only is this the best night ride in the world, I can honestly say that the Beast at night in the front is the single best experience I've ever had on any coaster EVER. If you're reading this and you haven't ridden the Beast at night, stop reading this and go book a flight and a hotel so you can go ride it. I'm serious... it's that good. There are plenty of coasters that are great night rides, many of them (like Nitro for example) are far from the rest of the park and are very dark but you can still sort of make out the track and you have an idea of where you're going. The Beast is nothing like that... you literally have absolutely no idea where you're going and it makes the ride feel completely out of control. We came for Banshee, but the Beast stole the show.

 

On Sunday we managed another night ride, this time we were lucky enough to be in the front seat on the last train of the night with the train mostly full of employees from throughout the park that came over to get a night ride on the Beast, and who could blame them? I can't believe I'm speaking so highly of coaster I always considered mediocre but this ride is a different animal at night.

 

Overall we had a great weekend at the park. It's improved a lot since the last time I was there and they've added some great rides. Banshee is awesome, Diamondback is awesome but the Beast at night is an experience I'll never forget.

Edited by coasterbill
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We stopped at KI on the way to and from Dollywood this past weekend (so on Friday mid-day and Monday mid-day).

 

Friday did not appear to busy... We only walked to/from Banshee, so I can't tell you how other rides were. But the parking lot appeared pretty light.

 

Banshee was quite short... We rode 3x in one hour (2x front, 1x back). Ride had a slight increase in vibration, but nothing significant. Did not take away from the ride at all IMO. Speed wise, it did not seem any faster than opening weekend.

 

On Monday, the parking lot was packed. Was worried that we would not get our rides in on our little pit-stop, but the line was only about 20-25min wait. Got another 2x front seat in about an hour. This day, the ride did feel to be going a bit faster (was also about 15F warmer or so than Friday). Running awesome!

 

A few notes:

 

On both days, they were running it very well (loading times). They have 8 or more ride-ops checking bars, which was nice to see.

 

The dried puke from media day / opening weekend on the bottom of the control panel is STILL there. You think they would have power-washed that by now...

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I am possibly going to visit Kings Island on Father's Day Weekend. Any recommendations for a hotel? We are looking for something within 5 minutes of the park, in the $70-80 range, and clean.

 

There is an area less than 5 minutes from the park with several hotels in that price range, I'd check those. There's a microtel that has been nice in the past within that area that I've gotten for as low as $60 a night. The closest hotel is going to be the Great Wolf Lodge (walking distance to the park), but is probably higher than what you would want to pay.

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I am possibly going to visit Kings Island on Father's Day Weekend. Any recommendations for a hotel? We are looking for something within 5 minutes of the park, in the $70-80 range, and clean.

 

Via Priceline, you may be able to get something above average at a reasonable price. I've scored the Hyatt Place in Mason less than ten minutes away twice for about $60 for a base price. The Towneplace Suites Cinci North is also pretty good, but paying base rate I doubt it is below $80.

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I am possibly going to visit Kings Island on Father's Day Weekend. Any recommendations for a hotel? We are looking for something within 5 minutes of the park, in the $70-80 range, and clean.
We stayed at Comfort Suits and loved it super comfortable bed nice hotel. Less than 10 minutes away from the park. We could see Banshee running from our room. $80 range but worth it.
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I can vouch for Hyatt Place. We always stay with Hyatt when we get a chance and it's always worth it. Being a cop and knowing what people do in cheaper hotels, I'm very picky about where I stay. I've never had a bad experience with Hyatt. Check on Expedia, hotels.com, etc. and you should be able to find something around the price range you were looking for.

 

I think the Hyatt place in Mason is also close to a Greeters, if I remember right. It was nice to relax and grab a scoop after the park last year.

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I can vouch for Hyatt Place. We always stay with Hyatt when we get a chance and it's always worth it. Being a cop and knowing what people do in cheaper hotels, I'm very picky about where I stay. I've never had a bad experience with Hyatt. Check on Expedia, hotels.com, etc. and you should be able to find something around the price range you were looking for.

 

I think the Hyatt place in Mason is also close to a Greeters, if I remember right. It was nice to relax and grab a scoop after the park last year.

People do the same thing in expensive hotels, I have a friend who works at a high end hotel in Beverly Hills the stories I've heard. People with money are no less trashy

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No offense, but I'm sorry to disagree with you from personal experience, as opposed to hearsay from a friend. You're far more likely to be around shady activities and shady people if you go with a cheap hotel as opposed to a more expensive hotel. The town I work in is very diverse and we have several hotels. The difference between call types and 'clientele' between the $50 and below price range and $80 plus price range is night and day.

 

A good example of a fun statistic in my town might be to compare the number of Heroin overdoses in our $50/night (hotel A) as compared to our $100/night (Hotel B). I can personally think of at least five heroin overdoses in the past year that I've been to at Hotel A as opposed to zero at Hotel B. There's something about seeing hidden used heroin needles, fresh hepatitis c blood, green vomit, and dead people brought back to life that really makes me want to pay a little extra for a better chance of a clean room and a peaceful stay. Will there still be a chance that I might have to hear a drunken domestic battery or witness a "dope rip" at the nicer hotel? Absolutely. However, in my experiences, these chances are far less.

 

The types of situations I'm thinking about are things that most people have had the luxury of never realizing take place. To the fortunate untrained eye, most of the activity I'm talking about is unseen. Without trying to sound arrogant, I'm sure your friend has plenty of stories that would sound G rated to me.

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@Coasterbill - While the Beast gives mediocre rides at best during the day, there is a reason it has a "Famous Night Rides" sign in the control booth. I'm happy you got to experience it! The Beast does sometimes give "religious experience" night rides, it looks like you had one of those! It really depends on the weather and time of year. Try to catch one in October in the dark in the rain. It's not the most legendary wooden coaster in the world for nothing!

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Diamondback also gives great night rides, not legendary Beast type, but great rides nonetheless. I got my first night rides on it last October on a Friday night during Haunt. While you can still see the tracks it is still quite dark in the back parts of the ride. The bonus was the low-lying fog that was developing in the lower parts of the coaster, in particular around the bottom of the second drop/turn up into the mid-course brakes. I still have yet to ride Banshee but I can see something similar happen at Banshee when the nights get cooler in the lower sections of the ride.

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I went to the park on Memorial Day and spent 3 hours at the park on Tuesday before heading back home. I'll do a quick review on Banshee.

 

My first ride was in the back far right on the green train. I was surprised it was only a 20 minute wait for how crowded the park was on Monday. The first drop in the back is amazing and easily my favorite invert drop. The first inversion is taken fairly slow that you get some slight hang time in the back. And it is crazy how much speed the ride picks up after the zero g roll. I can see this topping a lot of lists for favorite invert because of the non stop pacing and taking all the elements in quick succession. Each ride I came back to the station dizzy. My only negative on the ride was how bad it rattled in the back right green train. It's not so much of a rattle, but more of a bouncy/jack hammer feeling. Anyone who experienced a rough ride on Gatekeeper should know the feeling. I'm just glad my other two rides in the very front and middle were silky smooth. Overall it's a great coaster and looking forward to taking more rides on it.

 

Diamondback was running great compared to when I rode it opening year. Hopefully it continues to produce great air my next trip.

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I am able to purchase a very cheap ticket to Kings Island, valid only Sunday, June 22. For you non-pass-holders out there, I am extending this offer. Kindly make a $25 donation to Give Kids the World through my Coasting for Kids donation page (click the banner below) and send me a PM with your address; I will send you an admission ticket that I believe comes with free parking. Please act quickly; this offer will expire at midnight tonight, Eastern Time. Thanks.

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^ I got one this season to try it out, and I can already see it paying for itself given how often I go. It's ultimately going to be cheaper to get Skyline in the park than drive over towards The Beach every time. I've also gotten the knockoff Raising Cane's a few times, and given that the four piece meal is normally around $13, it's a good deal. It would be nice if it included drinks, but I don't drink much pop anyway.

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Diamondback also gives great night rides, not legendary Beast type, but great rides nonetheless. I got my first night rides on it last October on a Friday night during Haunt. While you can still see the tracks it is still quite dark in the back parts of the ride. The bonus was the low-lying fog that was developing in the lower parts of the coaster, in particular around the bottom of the second drop/turn up into the mid-course brakes. I still have yet to ride Banshee but I can see something similar happen at Banshee when the nights get cooler in the lower sections of the ride.

 

This is a picture i captured off of the Kings Island webcam a while back with a good fog around Banshee!

image.thumb.jpg.ebabe155b8d54229065047b59f595b01.jpg

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Diamondback also gives great night rides, not legendary Beast type, but great rides nonetheless. I got my first night rides on it last October on a Friday night during Haunt. While you can still see the tracks it is still quite dark in the back parts of the ride. The bonus was the low-lying fog that was developing in the lower parts of the coaster, in particular around the bottom of the second drop/turn up into the mid-course brakes. I still have yet to ride Banshee but I can see something similar happen at Banshee when the nights get cooler in the lower sections of the ride.

 

This is a picture i captured off of the Kings Island webcam a while back with a good fog around Banshee!

That picture is simply amazing. The first half is slightly visible and intimidating, but then it drops off the zero-g into nothing. Round of applause to B&M for impressive use of the terrain and impressive execution of this entire project.

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