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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread

p. 832: Camp Snoopy announced for 2024!

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It really is like one nerd said drop track and everyone followed suit. Why the hell would you put a drop track at the end of the ride? If I had to guess anything it's some kind of mediocre show building. Even if for some reason it turns out to be a drop track, seems like a massive waste of money at the end of the ride which could have been used elsewhere in the ride or throughout the park. Who's really going to say "Wow that ride was OK, but when we hit that 15 foot drop track that made it amazing!"

 

The other surprise is probably a park related event. As someone else said, a Holiday event seems likely. That or some dumb parade, etc.

 

Now as for Adventure Express, if you don't like the finale then suck it. I enjoy the hell out of it, because it makes me laugh every time!

Edited by prozach626
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Now as for Adventure Express, if you don't like the finale then suck it. I enjoy the hell out of it, because it makes me laugh every time!

 

This is how I feel. Yeah, the ending is the epitome of lame, and anti-climactic, but that's also what makes it hilarious, and noteworthy! I love the coaster, and the ending is just a fitting capper to a fun ride!

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^It would seem like a huge waste to use VR on a terrain coaster like this where half of the experience is about actually flying through the woods. I'm expected some kind of "show scene" to take place in the shed at the ride, whether it be drop track or some kind of tilting/simulator track segment akin to what is found in Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida. I think it makes sense for the show element of the ride will be reserved to this indoor section.

That's why my first inclusion was AR (Augmented Reality) which would include the surroundings and overlay different effects to "change the ride experience" in some way other than flashing lights in a tunnel between the brakes and the station. Also, with the amount they've been testing VR on rides, I could see this being the first designed with VR in mind. That doesn't automatically assume every rider in every seat will be using VR, simply that it may be available from day 1.

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I don't know why they would bother to interact the ride over the water and add a tunnel if they had VR in mind. Although I respect your opinion, I don't think it's going to happen.

 

Right..can't think of any reason why this coaster would be the one designed for VR.

 

Maybe they'll plan one for Michigan's adventure since it's in the middle of a field, right?

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Sorry to disrupt from the discussion of the new ride (carry on around me), but here's a quick trip report from Sunday 7/31 and Monday 8/1 for anyone who's interested.

 

I planned to drive to Mason after a full day at Cedar Point, arriving just in time to crash out and start the day afresh. However, because I’d purchased a Platinum Pass and managed to break my Cedar Point visit up into a night / day affair, I was able to do the same thing at Kings Island, taking advantage of night rides on The Beast in the process. I left Cedar Point around 4pm and was on Diamondback by 7:30pm. Because I would be driving to Louisville the following night, this worked out perfectly and I mirrored the same approach that had worked well for me at Cedar Point.

 

I’m not sure how I let my expectations run so wild, but I’d always imagined Kings Island as one of the BIG, major parks of the US. I was surprised to find out just how small the place is compared to other parks, and how un-spectacular it seemed in general. That’s not to say there were any problems, but coming from Cedar Point, Kings Island felt muddled and confused (the grandiose Parisian entry; the weird, grassy mounds of Diamondback; the hilly forests of The Bat / The Beast; and the tacky, carnie-style midway by Adventure Express). I guess the place just wasn’t what I expected, and the rides were sort of a mixed bag too.

 

The Beast (x4)

 

I couldn’t have been more excited to ride this and, frankly, it could have beat me to death and I still would have loved it. It’s such an iconic, important piece of coaster history, and it still carries a punch as far as thrills goes. This is what an out-and-back should be — a trip way out into the woods and back. What surprised me the most is just how fast and out of control it still manages to feel despite the aggressive brakes spread around the circuit. I’d be interested in seeing how the topography plays into maintaining momentum as, even after the brakes slow it way down, it still manages to pick up some serious speed before hitting that second lift hill. Same thing for the second part as, even when that brake grips the train before hitting the helix, the speed it takes that turn is still impressive. That part of the ride (the big helix) is jarring, but as mentioned, I forgive it based on legacy alone. Unlike the opinion of others, I thought the ride was equally great during daylight and night time too. The night ride, obviously, is a different kind of thrill that takes things up a notch further — with the ride rendered especially imposing by the two single lights on the top of the lift, knowing that those are going to be the only lights you’ll see on your journey. I loved everything about The Beast, and, to me, it sits outside of the kind of ranking that I might apply to other coasters on my trip.

 

However, because I loved the ride so much, I decided to make it my last ride before heading on to the next city. Around 4pm on my second day, I walked toward the station and rain started to sprinkle. By the time I got to the entrance, the rain had become steady. Ten minutes later, the rain was heavy to the point where those of us in line were drenched. We were certain they’d shut down the ride (Vortex had already stopped running), but they kept The Beast going. About fifteen minutes later, we were ready to dispatch, already soaking wet from the queue. While riding in these conditions seemed like a dumb idea, it also felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — and we were already drenched at the point. Needless to say, when the train left the station, the rain was absolutely torrential, and what followed surpassed the night ride by far. It wasn’t painful (I’ve ridden very fast rides in the rain — which hurts), but the rain was so heavy that we were largely blinded and spent much of the ride trying to wipe the sheets of rain out of our eyes just to see where we were going. Had my day just started, I would have thought twice about doing this, but I was ready to leave and I had a change of clothes in the car, so it was worth it. I doubt it’s something I’d do for any coaster other than The Beast, and it was certainly awkward trying to get dried off afterwards (the entire park shut down for the next 45 minutes or so), but it was a highlight of my trip. If you ever get the chance to ride The Beast in a torrential rain storm, I say go for it. Now, onto the other rides:

 

Diamondback (x5)

 

I’ll start with this because it was such a standout for me. When I visited SFGAV, I was surprised by how much I preferred Nitro to El Toro and so I was expecting another Nitro-esque ride. My first ride was on the back and it absolutely blew me away. I don’t know if others find this to be true, but Diamondback, for me, took everything that was great about Nitro (the extended floater air) and ramped it up even more. I’m not a huge fan of ejector air — especially aggressive ejector air that slams your thights into the restraints — and I’m not particularly thrilled with B&M either, but this was pitch-perfect for me. Yes, RMC may pack in 15 moments of airtime per ride, but the way B&M angles their hills on these kind of coasters makes the airtime far more enjoyable and extreme to me. I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I’ll take a ride like this over anything RMC or Intamin could produce anytime. Every drop seemed to pack in at least 3-4 second of serious, constant airtime, and my requisite balance of thrills and fun was more than met. Although I’d ridden some great coasters over the past few days, I thought Diamondback was the best one yet. 10/10

 

Vortex (x1)

 

This ride’s great to look at, and the long first drop is kind of a standout for an old Arrow, but just like many old Arrows, it’ll beat you up in the worst way possible. The familiar elements are all here, and the only new parts for me were first drop, the turnaround following the loops, and the helix at the end. All three were rough, but they elevated the ride a bit. I would have ridden it again, but I developed a headache pretty fast on KI’s coasters, and I knew that more rides on this wouldn’t help — especially when I had more coasters yet to try. Great to look at, but kind of terrible to ride. 5/10

 

Banshee (x3)

 

I used early entry to ride this three times in a row (not that it ever developed a line as the park was fairly quiet when I visited), but it just didn’t win me over. It looks cool, and I liked the theming, but the ride felt uninspired. My problem with a number of B&Ms is that they tend to slap together one inversion after another with not a lot in between, and that’s what Banshee felt like to me. I had high hopes for the first drop, but it did nothing for me (I rode front, back, and middle), and the inversions were so oversized that the train slowed way down to complete them. The height of the zero-g was impressive; the batwing was fairly fun; and that barrel roll was interesting (although I could certainly live without such hang time), but I found the ride to be unsatisfying overall — more like a catalog of maneuvers that showcased B&M’s collection of inversions than an actual ride. I’m not the biggest fan of inverts (I actually like Silver Bullet the most out of the ones I’ve ridden), so that didn’t help Banshee to win my favor either. Not a bad ride, but I wasn’t motivated to go back to it again. I will point out, too, that while the rides in the front and the middle of the train were smooth as can be, the back seat was surprisingly brutal, rattling like crazy. It’s what started the headache that I never managed to shift for the rest of my time at the park. 7/10.

 

Drop Tower (x1)

 

I’ll ride drop towers, but I’m not a huge fan of them. I find that the anxiety that they produce outweighs any fun. With that said, I’ve never been on the gyro drop variety so I figured I should at least check it off the list. As usual, heart-pounding on the way up with a relatively tame drop. That’s the standard experience on drop towers for me — the drops themselves are never that bad, but the anticipation of the drop is terrifying. 6/10

 

Invertigo (x1)

 

I knew going into it that it’d be unpleasant — and it was — but I’ve been on worse boomerangs. I sat on the backwards-facing end of the train to get the reverse nausea out of the way first, but it just meant that the return trip through the loop would be more forceful and unpleasant. I also know that these kind of ride, as lousy as they are, get very popular during the day, and there’s no way I was queueing up for a boomerang, so I jumped on it early. After the rough ride on Banshee, however, this didn’t help with my impending headache. I’m glad I checked it off my list, but I’ll be perfectly happy to never ride one of these models again. 4/10

 

Firehawk (x1)

 

I’ve read enough about these Flying Dutchmen rides to know that they’re considered to be awful, but I also know that they draw huge crowds and tend to break down often. So after compounding my Banshee headache with Invertigo, I had a feeling that a ride on Firehawk wasn’t going to help. Although I didn’t find it to be terrible, I’d definitely file it as unpleasant. I’m not a huge fan of flyers to begin with, and this one features some outmoded tech, but I at least found the ride interesting. Riding around on your back with the blood rushing to your head is certainly no fun, and getting blasted in the face by the sun doesn’t help either. I found the ride’s quick flips into the awkward harness to be a nice nerve-wracking touch, and the loop wasn’t nearly as heinous as I expected, but the barrel rolls were sickening and the overall ride was a combination of nauseating and uncomfortable. Given my already debilitated state, I’m surprised that I didn’t completely hate it. 6/10

 

Flight of Fear (x2)

 

I love Premier launchers; at least I thought I did. Full Throttle is one of my favorites at Magic Mountain, and I always loved Speed in Las Vegas. I really disliked Mr. Freeze at Six Flags Over Texas though as the moves it made were too snappy and disorienting to enjoy. Although I find the design of these spaghetti bowl rides to be utterly fascinating (such a mess of track!), I was disappointed by the ride itself. The queue was great, as was the station, but the track has some jarring kinks in it which, when taken in the dark, give you no defense against being thrown around. And that was my problem with this more than anything; it wasn’t roughness, but snappy moves that you couldn’t really prepare for. I loved the concept and the overall look of the ride, but it felt like work and I got off the ride feeling even more sick. I did ride it a second time later out of curiosity about the track, but I still found it to be unpleasant. 7/10 (mainly for the theming)

 

Stunt Track (x1)

 

Also knowing that this ride tends to draw huge crowds (it’s the one the kids are willing to try and will drag entire families onto with them), I staggered over from FoF to it only to be met with a 30-minute wait in the blazing sun with no coverage (it was very hot and humid, even during the insane rain storm that hit later). I’ve been a bit obsessed with trying one of these rides as I’m a fan of immersion and sets on coasters, plus I was curious to find out what happens once you enter the tunnel section (a small drop followed by trick track). To be honest, I found the ride to be lame, even for a family coaster. The launch was too drawn out; the spin up the parking structure was rough; and the rest of the ride was just sluggish. This is one that I had high hopes for but I had no desire to ride it again afterwards (nor would I go out of my way to ride one of the versions at other parks). It’s a spectacular visual of a ride that’s clearly designed to be a draw for all ages, but I thought it was crap overall. 5/10

 

Windseeker (x2)

 

I needed a break, so I jumped on this. Compared to Star Flyers which terrifying me (although I like riding them), I found the two Windseekers I rode on this trip to be welcome reprieves. To me, they feel so secure that you can relax and enjoy the view. I rode this a couple of times during the day as there was never a line, and I needed to take a break now and again. The views, as expected, were great, but the Cedar Point one has the edge when ridden at night. 7/10

 

Troika (x1)

 

I had never ridden a Troika and I skipped the Cedar Point one in favor of better rides, but I took advantage of this one as I still needed to keep things mellow due to headache / nausea. Pretty uneventful little ride that produced almost no forces. I kind of like it for that, and my curiosity has been sufficiently satiated. 6/10

 

Mine Train (x1)

 

Despite the fancy-pants lift hill at the end (that leads to, wait for it . . . the station), this was a standard Arrow mine train. Bumpy, jarring, with the kind of coat-hanger track you wish you could tweak before your train hits each turn. It seemed a little more elevated, and therefore a little faster than others that I’ve been on, but it was still a basic mine train coaster with nothing special to offer. 5/10

 

Racer (x1)

 

Ordinarily I would have been excited to ride this as I love old-school woodies, but the rest of KI’s line up had beaten me up / nauseated me so badly that I feared this would be an exercise in torment. It wasn’t too bad, only really rough in a few spots, but it didn’t grab my interest either. I wish I could have appreciated it more and given it a few more rides, but I had other rides to check off the list before I knew for sure that I was toast. 6/10

 

Delirium (x1)

 

I jumped on this having ridden Max-Air at Cedar Point the day prior and knowing that the ride-effect was actually quite tame. I position these rides alongside Windseekers in that I find them more relaxing than anything. Like the Cedar Point version, this was smooth, fast, and exhilarating. Because the spinning is minimal, these are the kind of rides that don’t make me nauseous at all — they’re all about fun. 7/10

 

The Bat (x2)

 

I still wasn’t feeling great by the time I got all the way over to this but I forced myself to get a couple of rides in. Not only does this ride look more intense than other Arrow suspendeds but it IS more intense. It’s also smoother, I found, and I rode this both in the front and the back. Rides like Ninja (and, I guess Iron Dragon) I tend to view as intermediate-level rides — good for kids who haven’t quite gained the courage to take on the gnarlier rides. The Bat, though, I think is more forceful than the other suspendeds and should be ridden with a little more caution. It’s fast; the drops are notable; and the turns really flip the trains up on their side. Just watching how much much the cars are still swinging when the train hits the final brake run should be enough to tell you how intense this ride is. I loved the setting and loved the ride overall, finding it to be one of the better rides at KI. 8/10

 

As mentioned, I was surprised by KI that it wasn’t quite the mecca I had assumed it to be. This was more the fault of my unchecked expectations though. I found the place to be compact, a little confused in its aesthetic, and I found the coasters to lean more heavily toward rough / unpleasant / crappy. This was, of course, countered by what became an absolute favorite for me (Diamondback) combined with the most iconic coaster I’ve ridden (The Beast). It’s a park I’d certainly visit again if the opportunity were to arise, but it’s not a park I’d go out of my way to get to now that I’ve done it once.

 

FWIW: This is part of a mini four-day trip that included Indiana Beach, two visits to both Cedar Point and Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World.

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The infamous tower.

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The best ride of my trip.

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I thought this was hilarious, but those are some old-ass phones that ended up in there ;)

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The Beast's minimal floodlighting is especially imposing.

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Better to look at than to ride.

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A visually impressive ride that didn't quite win me over.

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Excellent theming; mediocre ride experience.

Edited by Arthur_Seaton
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Nice report.

 

Yeah Flight of Fear at Kings Dominion is infinitely smoother and better than the KI version. I don't really understand how that's possible but I also remember being let down by this one.

 

Thanks! And yeah, it's not that it's bone-shakingly rough, but it has a number of jarring direction changes that, unless you can see them coming, give you a kind of whiplash effect. I had a pretty good idea of what the track did before riding and yet it still nailed me a few times. Perhaps a front-seat ride is the way to go to get a clearer idea of the turns, but FoF had seat allocation and on both rides and I got stuck toward the back. It is a ride that I'd check out at a different park though if I had the opportunity.

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I could see the point of adding Mystic Timbers if the park was using it to replace the Racer, but frankly what does this add to the park experience that was lacking? If this were 15-20 years ago, I could possibly see the wisdom of this addition or if it were to have around a 150-160 ft drop as a way to compete against HW's Voyage in being a more modern type, but why this and not an RMC coaster? Why not have RMC make a replacement to Son of Beast that is actually good? KI the park that broke the records for having the longest wooden coaster (still standing record), the first suspended coaster, the most inversions, the first wooden hypercoaster and with a loop at that, is adding a lot of rides that would have been awesome if this were late 90- early 2000s. This coaster would be a great addition to KD which has nothing noteworthy in the wood department, but in the park that has one of the best wooden coasters, I think they need something other than a B grade wooden coaster, considering how many parks small and big are getting RMC coasters in their region. Very strange.

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Nice report.

 

Yeah Flight of Fear at Kings Dominion is infinitely smoother and better than the KI version. I don't really understand how that's possible but I also remember being let down by this one.

 

Thanks! And yeah, it's not that it's bone-shakingly rough, but it has a number of jarring direction changes that, unless you can see them coming, give you a kind of whiplash effect. I had a pretty good idea of what the track did before riding and yet it still nailed me a few times. Perhaps a front-seat ride is the way to go to get a clearer idea of the turns, but FoF had seat allocation and on both rides and I got stuck toward the back. It is a ride that I'd check out at a different park though if I had the opportunity.

 

Great report, and thanks for the detailed reviews. I agree KI has a few hits (Bat is underrated!) but most of the rides are getting older and more rough. I visited 2 weeks ago for then first time since Oct 2014, and didn't feel compelled to ride Firehawk, Invertigo, Flight of Fear, or Vortex, or Backlot. Rides like Invertigo and Firehawk haven't been visited in 5+ years probably. Not sure how the park is going to go about updating these attractions, but they've got a handful of coasters that need to be replaced.

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Great report, and thanks for the detailed reviews. I agree KI has a few hits (Bat is underrated!) but most of the rides are getting older and more rough. I visited 2 weeks ago for then first time since Oct 2014, and didn't feel compelled to ride Firehawk, Invertigo, Flight of Fear, or Vortex, or Backlot. Rides like Invertigo and Firehawk haven't been visited in 5+ years probably. Not sure how the park is going to go about updating these attractions, but they've got a handful of coasters that need to be replaced.

Thanks! Yeah, I was surprised by how distanced the idea I had of the park in my mind was from the reality. There was really nothing 'bad' about the place, and several of the rides were amazing (Diamondback. The Beast, The Bat), but I thought the park was going to be quite different to what it was. Still, I had a great time there (despite the headache).

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Nice report, Arthur. As far as your sentiment of the park, I can see how your point of view would be altered from coming from Cedar Point, but what I love about this park is just how sprawled out it is. On the flip side, on my last visit to CP I felt like there was just too much to enjoy everything. I also love the cheesy nostalgic pieces like Bat and Beast.

 

I strongly agree with you on your opinion of Diamondback. Although it's not my favorite coaster, it's definitely my favorite B&M hypers, and I am a big fan of B&M hypers. This coaster really does it for me. As far as Banshee is concerned, I also enjoy that coaster and it's probably my favorite invert. I know what you mean about every element being an inversion, but I feel like it flows so well. As far as the zero G goes, that and the dive following it are probably my favorite two elements on the coaster. People hate on the zero G because it isn't snappy, but to me it really is a zero g moment. It's almost like an airtime hill where you slow to floater air speed, but on Banshee it does a nice little pitch and then a fast dive into the valley. The Jo-Jo roll, or whatever the hell it's called, is the only moment I don't really care for on the coaster. Although that could be what you're talking about. Other than that, I feel like the ride focuses on raw speed, which I love. That and I never get tired of looking at the coaster while hearing the Banshee scream before the drop and the roar of the train.

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I could see the point of adding Mystic Timbers if the park was using it to replace the Racer, but frankly what does this add to the park experience that was lacking? If this were 15-20 years ago, I could possibly see the wisdom of this addition or if it were to have around a 150-160 ft drop as a way to compete against HW's Voyage in being a more modern type, but why this and not an RMC coaster? Why not have RMC make a replacement to Son of Beast that is actually good? KI the park that broke the records for having the longest wooden coaster (still standing record), the first suspended coaster, the most inversions, the first wooden hypercoaster and with a loop at that, is adding a lot of rides that would have been awesome if this were late 90- early 2000s. This coaster would be a great addition to KD which has nothing noteworthy in the wood department, but in the park that has one of the best wooden coasters, I think they need something other than a B grade wooden coaster, considering how many parks small and big are getting RMC coasters in their region. Very strange.

Although I'm looking forward to Mystic Timbers, I do have a mild feeling of disappointment. I hadn't cared enough to really give it enough thought as to where this disappointment comes from, but I can't really disagree with anything you said.

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Nice report, Arthur. As far as your sentiment of the park, I can see how your point of view would be altered from coming from Cedar Point, but what I love about this park is just how sprawled out it is. On the flip side, on my last visit to CP I felt like there was just too much to enjoy everything. I also love the cheesy nostalgic pieces like Bat and Beast.

 

I strongly agree with you on your opinion of Diamondback. Although it's not my favorite coaster, it's definitely my favorite B&M hypers, and I am a big fan of B&M hypers. This coaster really does it for me. As far as Banshee is concerned, I also enjoy that coaster and it's probably my favorite invert. I know what you mean about every element being an inversion, but I feel like it flows so well. As far as the zero G goes, that and the dive following it are probably my favorite two elements on the coaster. People hate on the zero G because it isn't snappy, but to me it really is a zero g moment. It's almost like an airtime hill where you slow to floater air speed, but on Banshee it does a nice little pitch and then a fast dive into the valley. The Jo-Jo roll, or whatever the hell it's called, is the only moment I don't really care for on the coaster. Although that could be what you're talking about. Other than that, I feel like the ride focuses on raw speed, which I love. That and I never get tired of looking at the coaster while hearing the Banshee scream before the drop and the roar of the train.

 

Yeah, you're right — and I considered that sharing the stage with CP would certainly impact my impression of KI. But what was odd was that I'd built KI up into something in my mind that it wasn't. So it was less the park's doing and more my own expectations. For example, the little path to The Beast had all the excitement of a concession stand — the ride was so tucked away back there! For such a historic coaster, I figured there's be a tad more fanfare.

 

I liked the zero-g and that batwing (I think that's what it is) on Banshee because of the elevation change, and yes, that roll at the end was kind of lame. It's a B&M thing I guess as the one on Holiday World's Thunderbird was similarly head scratching. I guess they look cool (not that you can get a clear line of sight of either one), and they catch you off guard (I didn't not know Banshee had that element until I went through it). Because of Banshee's scale, that part felt, to me, where a mid-course break should have been followed by a whole bunch of extra moves. A few helix / corkscrew moves would have proved just as cliche as everything else B&M does, but the ride did feel a bit incomplete to me. Anyhow, my bleating aside, it's a great looking ride, a people-eater, and a solid record breaker for the park. You can't go wrong with B&M in that regard.

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I personally love the in line rolls on both. I think they're great finales to both. I just happen to love the hang time it gives. I like Thunderbird's slightly better for its very unique/weird lateral feeling too. It just comes down to personal preference.

 

Also, did you ride Vortex with your head stuck out? I've found that as the best way to avoid the neck chopping (for my height) that they give with those odd restraints. lol. I've found it to be lightyears better that way. It's still a rough ride and it sounds like a shopping cart slamming into that MCBR but that does make the ride slightly better IMO.

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Is anyone gonna be at the park tomorrow?

 

I plan on it. Can't miss me, really fat sweaty guy with a floppy hat, cargo shorts and two redheads in tow, sitting outside most ride exits becuase he had WAY to much food and drink the past 18 months.

 

Stop by and chat if you dare.

 

(Down 20lbs and will be ride ready next season).

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Yeah, you're right — and I considered that sharing the stage with CP would certainly impact my impression of KI. But what was odd was that I'd built KI up into something in my mind that it wasn't. So it was less the park's doing and more my own expectations.

 

I can really relate this this. My expectations killed Intimidator 305 for me, so when I came to the realization that I would be taking a trip to Carowinds, I tried to go into Fury 325 with lowered expectations and an open mind. Maybe it was because of my improved mindset, or maybe it's just because the ride totally kicks A$$, but man did I have total satisfaction when we hit the break run!

 

Similarly, when we went back to CP this summer I had memories of it being a coaster paradise from our last visit 8 years ago when I had far less coaster experience. I had mentally built it up into the perfect place, but when we got there it was just like most other parks, but it had too many coasters to appreciate them all. I've readjusted my thinking again, so that this weekend when we're at SWO and BGT I don't go into it expecting utopia.

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