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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread


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^ That's still a positive change from this past weekend. I would have loved to have been able to get a second ticket. Instead I had to camp out by the entrance for the standby queue to reopen towards the end of the night.

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My visit this past weekend was great, even with Saturday being very busy and me missing out on FL until Sunday.    I went into Orion not having followed its construction or watched a POV or even

I went the weekend before last and wasn't going to do any sort of report or review, but with this discussion, I'll throw my hat in the ring. I thought Orion was fantastic.  Millennium Force is th

I guess my tastes in coasters aren't that refined.... it goes 91 miles per hour and has a 300 foot drop. That's cool as sh*t. It also has tons of airtime, it's butter smooth, it hauls ass the entire t

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Yeah.......I may just go ahead and get them. It's not like we've spent a ton of money this year on parks. I wish SFSTL would approve his days off request which they haven't yet. They are usually very cooperative about that as long as you put it in well ahead of time; but with staffing issues this year I am a little nervous.

 

We are finally getting our Plat passes processed when we go to KI. Does the discount for fastlane plus only apply to in park purchase or is there a way to do it online?

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No discount on FL with Plat except in park at Cedar Point.

 

Purchase online. Daily FL now available for $85

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Aahh got it thanks. I knew I saw a discount somewhere but couldn't remember the details. Yes, I saw online for $85. Expensive but it will be our conciliation for not much of a vacation this year. And that way I will have time for a grilled cheese......that place better be open!

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I just bought a Fastlane Plus pass for my visit on Monday. I've never used one before. Do they usually trim down the wait time that much?

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I also went ahead and bought one for the 29th and yes they absolutely cut the wait down. We did every single coaster at CP in one day with some rerides once due to FL+. They also allow you to have time for a leisurely lunch and not skip a ride you want to do.

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I just bought a Fastlane Plus pass for my visit on Monday. I've never used one before. Do they usually trim down the wait time that much?

 

Because Kings Island assigns seats at the merge point, you usually get on the next train. In past years, FastLane has allowed me to ride Mystic Timbers 6-7 times per hour for reference.

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Man if the crowds today are a foreshadowing of future weekdays you really don't need Fast Lane. I waited 20 minutes at the longest for Delirium and Orion (because I wanted to avoid storms).

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Kings Island, July 10, 2020

 

Well, what remains of my 2020 Roadtrip got off to a start today, with a "9 hour" drive from Northern Delaware to Mason, Ohio, for Kings Island that I managed to do in less than 8, even with one stop for fuel and three bathroom/stretch breaks. I'll be here until Monday, then driving up to Sandusky for Cedar Point until Thursday, which is the drive home day.

 

I'll put the big four things that people care about first:

 

For anyone looking to get Fast Lane at KI: Note that it can only be bought online, they are not selling them at the park at all. That said, in this era of smartphones, it would be simple enough to purchase once your in the park and deem it necessary, then take your phone receipt to Guest Relations to be scanned and issued the wristband.

 

A brief note about masks and their usage and social distancing: For anyone who hasn't been to a park in 90 degree, sun beating on you, weather yet, yes continual mask usage sucks a big one. If I had a choice in the matter, I'd be going without. That said, it's a small price to pay to be able to get back on some rides. As for everyone else, every single person I saw had a mask on their face, and 98% were being worn properly. The remaining 2% were mostly teens and pre-teens. Social distancing markers in ride queues were respected, though some of the "one way" markings they've placed on pathways went ignored.

 

Requesting Specific Rows on Coasters: Every coaster I went on tonight had a grouper letting only the next train worth of people into the station, and they were assigning rows. Maybe I was lucky, but every time I asked for front or back row specifically, my request was granted.

 

Orion Review: In a word, Awesome. Great in the front (as with most gigas, which are about speed), even better in the back (dem forces and tiny bit of airtime). Yes, there's not a lot of airtime...but the park has Diamondback for that. At most other parks, it would easily be the #1 coaster. Unfortunately, Kings Island also has Banshee, Beast, and Mystic Timbers, all of which I'd rank ahead of Orion. Sometimes I feel we enthusiasts can get jaded to what makes a good coaster, thus why some of us feel underwhelmed with Orion. For me, it's great...maybe not a top 10, but still better than 90% of other coasters I've been on. Speed, height, twists, and even a little bit of airtime...it has all the makings of a great coaster.

 

Read on for the beginnings of the Trip Report...

 

Despite starting on the road 3 hours later than I had hoped, I made great time and arrived at my hotel (Super 8 Mason, 2 minute drive from the park) just before 4:00. Unpacked, got my computer set up, and checked the KI website for reservations - sweet, could still get in tonight. Made my reservation for 4:30 and made my way over to the park, arriving at around 4:35. Very light crowds judging from the lot.

 

Made my way through the temp check (done by a person with a handheld, touchless thermometer), security, and then to the ticket counter. A note to pass holders - your reservation is tied to your pass and you do not need to separately show your reservation on your phone. Quickly stopped into Guest Relations to activate my drink plan, and asked the above question about Fast Lane.

 

From there, it was into the park. Very, very dead International Street at 4:40. Made my way to Area 72, got my boarding pass for Orion (5-6:00 timeslot), and decided to kill some time on Flight of Fear. It took 21 minutes, including ride time, from entering the queue to walking off (all of my "ride wait times" will be in this format). When I was done, it was time to ride Orion for the first time! They took the boarding pass right at the start of the queue, and honestly didn't seem like they were even looking at them, so I'd guess that any pass would work at any time. This took me 15 minutes for the front row. See above for review When I left, they were no longer handing out boarding passes, and I would later be able to walk right in without a boarding pass.

 

Next up was Beast, which was awesome as always despite it being daytime. 20 minutes total, so maybe 15 waiting, for the front row. They were only running two trains. I feel like they added a new trim to the first uphill after the initial drop and turn, but I could be mistaken about its newness. From there, it was over to Mystic Timbers (skipped due to line, estimated at 20 minutes), Diamondback (skipped due to line, estimated at 20 minutes), and decided to cool off with a ride on Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (7 minutes).

 

I'm sure I've been on this as a kid when I came here with my parents in the '90s, but I couldn't recall being on it as an adult, so figured what the hey and went for it. Great flume, though with only me at the very back of the boat, there wasn't too much splash. Luckily the "surprise" at the end got me sufficiently cooled down. From there I went to grab a grilled cheese from Tom + Chee, and checked Diamondback's line again - same length. So, I made my way back to Orion and got my second ride, this time in the back (10 minutes).

 

By the time I got off the ride, it was 6:45, so I started making my way back towards the front of the park and grabbed a walk-on ride on Backlot Stunt Coaster, which is worth it when you don't have to wait. All effects were working, even the fire. On the walk out, I had 5 minutes before closing, so I glanced at Mystic Timbers line and still found it unreasonably long, so I called it at night and headed back to my hotel. Not a bad trip for two hours and twenty minutes.

 

I'll definitely be back at the park for opening tomorrow, and possibly Sunday as well depending on the weather. I originally made reservations for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (the day I travel to Sandusky) because the forecast was jumping all over the place. As it stands now, Saturday is looking perfectly clear and Sunday will be full of thunderstorms, so I might end up cancelling the Sunday and Monday reservations if I can get enough done tomorrow. If only CP would let you book a 3rd reservation...

 

Pictures to follow when I get to Sandusky or arrive home...they don't seem to want to upload on this hotel's WiFi. I took a TON of pictures of every aspect of Area 72, and they're good I promise!

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^ Thanks for the great report! I'm looking forward to visiting for the first time this year. That's good crowd levels are light. It makes sense that they reversed their decision and are selling Fastlane, but that just goes to show that you never know what parks are going to do this season!

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Thanks for the review, Mike. Although, it's hard to know whether or not to take someone's opinion seriously if they don't have an adequate appreciation for the Subaru flat-4 motor...

 

I just bought a Fastlane Plus pass for my visit on Monday. I've never used one before. Do they usually trim down the wait time that much?

Speaking in terms of during normal seasons - Yes. Usually a FL+ queue at KI puts you in the station in five minutes or less. The very most I've ever waited was on a packed Haunt day for Diamondback, which was 15-20 minutes. Diamondback is the only FL+ queue I've ever seen back-up, and when it does it's only for a couple hours during the peak time of the day.

 

You screwed yourself. You'll never want to go without one, now.

 

Man if the crowds today are a foreshadowing of future weekdays you really don't need Fast Lane. I waited 20 minutes at the longest for Delirium and Orion (because I wanted to avoid storms).

 

Days like that are some of the best times to use FL+. It makes everything walk-on!

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Thanks for the review, Mike. Although, it's hard to know whether or not to take someone's opinion seriously if they don't have an adequate appreciation for the Subaru flat-4 motor...

 

Hey now, I totally do! I almost bought a bug-eye GD WRX back when they first came out (insurance at my young age of 20 would've been $8,000 a year in NJ) and one day I will own an SVX with an EJ257/6-speed swap. It's not my fault they stopped making the WRX/STi hatchback and at the time that I bought by one-and-only-ever new car, the Mazdaspeed3 was just the better value. If they still offered a regular, non-lifted, Legacy wagon with a turbo and manual I'd be looking real hard (it's virtually impossible to find a BP-generation in that configuration that doesn't have a quarter of a million miles).

 

Thanks for the positive reinforcement. More to come in the following days.

 

You screwed yourself. You'll never want to go without one, now.

 

I second that notion. I can't go to a park when its busy and not have the skip-the-line system. My tolerance for waits for rides is like 30 minutes max at my age.

Edited by Mike240SX
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Thank you for the review! And that you guys for telling me more about the Fastlane Plus dealio. I’ve never gotten one before, and I just figured I could splurge just in case lines are long. The lines at my home park, Silver Dollar City have been absolutely terrible with them running one train on all their coasters so I’m nervous something like that will happen since it’s a Monday.

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Kings Island, Day 2 - Saturday, July 11

 

My trip continues, with my first full day at Kings Island.

 

Before leaving last night, I checked with some staff on the way out how the opening would work. It was explained it as follows: Parking booths open at 10:15, park entry starts at 10:30, rides don't start running until 11.

 

With that in mind, I left my hotel and arrived at the park at 9:38, to find myself with at least three dozen cars ahead of me. Obviously plenty of people thought ahead. Anyway, time progresses, and I get in and through the temp check and security gates and show my pass for entry. I figured I'd make my way towards the Planet Snoopy side for the rope-drop to be able to get Mystic Timbers and Diamondback in early...only to find the entire park open to wander through. No rope, no security, no nothing.

 

So, I camped out in a shady spot in front of Mystic Timbers and waited 25 minutes for the ride to open it. I was first in line, so the front row was mine. I even got the snake monster/"She's a Man Eater" ending, which I hadn't gotten before in all of my previous rides. Made my way over to Diamondback, on and off in 15 minutes for the back row (remember, my "wait times" count from when I enter the queue, the ride time, to when I'm back on the midway).

 

Then it was off to the Miami River Brewhouse to get my all-day dining wristband and my first meal of the day. As it turns out, they don't sell the all-day dining there (at least at the bar where I was seated), but I could buy it on my phone. Which I did, and of course the employees and supervisors had trouble getting it to work, but let me eat anyway. Ordered a pub burger (double-cheeseburger), which took ten minutes to come out, and a couple of adult beverages and I was on my way.

 

Proceeded over to Action Zone for Banshee, which I got the back row as a walk-on. Awesome as always. The Bat was next; got row 11 and it took 15 minutes including the hike to no man's land to ride it (only like a two train wait once I made it to the station). After that, it was Drop Tower time (30 minutes on-and-off). I can now proudly say that I've been on every version of an Intamin drop tower that I know of - Gen 1 at SFGAdv, Cedar Point and now Dorney; Gen 2 at Carowinds, Gen 3 at Kings Dominion, and finally the Gyro Drop at KI. For some reason I always thought it was just a regular Gen 3 at KI so I always skipped it. And now as I type this, I realize Falcon's Fury with its tilting seats is in fact an Intamin as well, so I guess I haven't been on every type.

 

Moving on, after that it was time for another meal (every 90 minutes with the all-day dining plan, and I get my money's worth), so I decided to give La Rosa's Pizza in the Festhaus another try. Took ten minutes from when I walked in to when I sat down with my food. Terrible mistake...the breadsticks were okay as they usually are, but the pizza was over-sauced with their tangy crap and horrible as usual. You'd think I'd learn my lesson from prior experience at KD and KI, but every now and then I figure...hey, they might have learned, maybe. Being a New Jersey shore area native, I'm very sensitive about my pizza. Also of note, my dining pass also would not properly scan here, so once again a supervisor was called over. They gave me a wristband and "tied it to the dining plan," or so they said. Also worth noting, the animatronics on the front of the Festhaus were stationary all day.

 

Continuing on to more rides, next up was Adventure Express, which took 30 minutes start to finish, rode in row five. Notable here was that a disabled guest stole the front row from the person lined up for my train, so to stay with his group in row three, he rode next to me in the otherwise-unoccupied seat (after asking my permission of course). Staff noticed and didn't care, if that matters to you.

 

Next up was Racer. I ended up on the red side, front row, on-and-off in nine minutes. Notable here is that the entire turnaround has been re-tracked and rode very well. The rest of the ride, eh it's Racer. You know what you're signing up for. After Racer it was around 2:30, and I swung by Orion to get my boarding-later pass, which was for 5-6:00.

 

Queued up for Windseeker, waited three minutes, and as they were bringing down the previous cycle, "Sorry guests, Windseeker is closed due to high winds." I'm not sure if it reopened at all today, but I did see it cycling empty a few times. I had some time to kill before my next meal, so I took a lap on the KI & Miami Valley Railroad (seven minutes waiting).

 

Next meal time was up, so I headed to Tom & Chee for their awesome grilled cheese...except now neither my wristband nor voucher on the phone app would scan as valid. The girls there sent me up to Guest Relations, where after ten minutes or so, they sorted the problem and out I walked with a valid all-day dining wristband for the first time of the day. Back to Tom & Chee, and the grilled cheese took about fiveminutes to come out. Shot up to Woodstock Express, seven and a half minutes on-and-off in row seven, and then checked out Flying Ace Aerial Chase and found it with a long wait, so skipped it. It remains the only adult-without-a-kid rideable credit for me here.

 

Decided to try to give Windseeker another shot, as the wind at ground level had at least calmed down, but it was still closed so I took a lap on Kings Mills Antique Autos (nine minutes). Didn't they make a big deal about these being electric when they put them in? Maybe that was some other park? Either way, they're gas now. One cute thing I just noticed - the license plates on each car spell out a ride name and the year it was installed.

 

After that, it was around 4:15...I still had another 45 minutes to kill before my Orion reservation. Checked the park app for wait times, and Beast was only 30 minutes and not that far from where I was, so there I went. I should not know not to trust those wait times, since it took me 54 minutes, on-and-off, for a ride in row 14 (if I can't have the front I need a non-wheel seat, and 5 and 14 were the only ones they were filling). I wanted to blow my brains out...between yapping kids, the heat, my age, the mask, whatever...I can't take standing in lines anymore. How I so hope CP is selling Fast Lane by the time I get there.

 

Got off, and it was 5:30, time for Orion...or not, as I saw an approximately 40 minute wait in the queue. Gave my pass to the attendant manning the entrance and said "here you go, for someone who might come up without one," bought an Orion shot glass for my collection, and made my way back to Miami River Brewhouse for another pub burger to get my fourth meal (came out in around seven minutes), and made my way out of the park at around 6:15.

 

Summary of Day 2: A lot busier than last night, evidenced by the wait times and just people walking around. Still less crowded than a normal summer Saturday, but the wait times felt like it due to the reduced capacity.

 

As for mask use, because I know people care about that, today also did not fare as well as last night. I'd say probably 99% of people I saw had masks, but only like 80% of those were wearing them properly. The last 1% did not have a mask visible dangling from their chin or in their hands, and while mostly little kids, there were some adults in the bunch too. They were not eating or drinking at the time, which I count in the 80% of using it properly group.

 

As for social distancing, in my one substantial queue of the day for Beast where they were using the entire first set of switchbacks, it worked surprisingly well. The markers are offset in each adjacent row, so there should always be a gap to your left or right in addition to the space between the markers in front and back of you. Aside from some pushy little kids behind me at Drop Tower, I had no issues with social distancing today.

 

On a personal note, I'm in the process of quitting smoking, and made it through the seven and a half hours at the park with only one smoke break, which I consider an accomplishment. I really only took that one since I happened to be at the front of the park at the time; I wouldn't have made a dedicated trip for it. As has been mentioned on here, the only smoking zone within the park is now outside the main gate (but still inside the security perimeter, so you don't have to go through that again), for anyone who still partakes in that delicious, delicious habit.

 

While at Guest Relations sorting out my dining pass, I cancelled my Monday morning reservation there and moved my Wednesday at Cedar Point to Monday. I still plan on going back to KI tomorrow for whatever more rides I can get on Orion, Beast, Banshee, and Mystic Timbers, but the weather forecast is calling for thunderstorms all day so we'll see what happens.

 

Also, I realized today that Steel Vengeance will be my 150th coaster, so that's kinda cool.

 

More to come.

 

Once again, no pictures due to this hotel's shitty WiFi, but they're coming, I promise.

Edited by Mike240SX
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You got Acrophobia at SFoG?

 

God damn it there's another type. *sigh*. Oh well.

 

EDIT: Wait, isn't that just another Gyro tower?

 

EDIT 2: No, I see they tilt...so either that or Falcons Fury will check off the tilting-seat type.

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You got Acrophobia at SFoG?

 

God damn it there's another type. *sigh*. Oh well.

 

EDIT: Wait, isn't that just another Gyro tower?

 

EDIT 2: No, I see they tilt...so either that or Falcons Fury will check off the tilting-seat type.

 

You need both. One is sitting, one is standing.

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At KI for Day 3 as I type this. The weather has held out so far. Orion has been down all day and is stuck with trains at the start of the brake run and on the lift. The south side of the park suffered a power outage around noon and Mystic, Beast, and the rapids ride have been down since even though power has restored (its now 2:15).

Edited by Mike240SX
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has anyone else noticed on the KI ticketing/reservation website the # of spots remaining for various timeslots for upcoming days has vanished? i sure hope the park isn't looking at reduced days/hours because of weak demand for reservations from the GP. i have a ticket/reservation for this friday 07/17, coming out of state, gonna be BUMMED if the park is closed. although i kind of doubt it would be on a friday

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Judging by how busy they were this weekend, I doubt they're looking at reduced dates. Hopefully reduced capacity on the days they're open, though - an hour each for Diamondback, Beast and Mystic Timbers is unacceptable for a 37 year old that's been spoiled by Fast Lane Plus.

 

On that note, here's my Day 3 Trip Report!

 

My reservation today was for 11:00, but I was still at the park before 10:00 just to be safe. My goals for today were to hit what I didn't on the past few days as well as get second rides on Banshee and Mystic Timbers, and a third/fourth on Orion and/or Beast if possible. The weather forecast when I left called for thunderstorms starting at around 3:00, so let's see what I can do with that.

 

I'll admit that I tried to sneak in before my reservation time at 10:25, and was promptly rebuffed. So, in I went at 10:55 and made a bee-line to Orion to try to snag boarding passes. Upon arrival at the entrance to Area 72, they were holding the crowd back in the Coney Mall section until around 11:15. Upon entry, I observed the Orion was stuck - one train about 1/4th of the way up the lift, one just before the station, and one right at the start of the 100-foot-tall break run. Upon approach, the crowd was informed that Orion was down and that they weren't issuing boarding basses at this time.

 

Oh well. Off to Racer Blue side, which was a walk on for row 11. The turnaround does not appear to have been re-tracked on this side. Up into Action Zone, for Invertigo. I normally skip Vekoma boomerangs of any variety that still have the old restraint styles, but figured what the hell. Walked on to row 10 (backwards facing for the first half) and it wasn't as bad as I remembered. From there, to Banshee, which took 22 minutes on-and-off for the back row, including two empty trains cycled through for cleaning. Amusingly this is only the second time I've seen this happen at the park all weekend; I must just have good timing.

 

From there, it was now after 11:30 so off to Subway to buy my day's dining plan and get the first meal. 15 minutes, including line time, for a turkey sub. I glanced to Orion and saw it still stuck in the same spot, so off to the other side of the park. On my way, I saw Flying Ace Aerial Chase with a minimal wait, so I hopped on and got all adult-without-a-kid rideable credits at this park. Took a total of 15 minutes for row 9; I could have gotten the front row but figured I'd let the child behind me enjoy that - it might have been their first coaster ever.

 

It's now right around noon, and I make my way over to Mystic Timbers to try to get my second ride of trip, only to find it down. Oh well. On my way to Beast, I see that Diamondback and White Water Canyon are also closed, and an employee is standing out front of all food restaurants. As I approach the Beast's walkway, I see the arcade is dark - power failure on the entire south side of the park, from the start of Rivertown by Planet Snoopy all the way to the start of Coney Mall. Perfect.

 

I glance over to Orion and see it still stuck in the same position, but Windseeker is running with people. I'm on and off within 20 minutes (one cycle wait). I make my way back into Rivertown, find it still without power (I've still got 20 minutes until my next meal availability anyway), so I kill some time with a walk-on lap on the KI & Miami Valley Railroad.

 

When I get off, I see that power has been restored but both Beast and Mystic Timbers are still down, so grab a grilled cheese at Tom & Chee and I decide to walk a whole lap of the park. While passing Area 72, I see that Orion is still closed, so I make my way to the Miami River Brewhouse for some tasty adult beverages until my next meal is available, and grab a pub burger (if you can't tell yet I'm a very picky eater, often being likened to a five year old). Once done, around 3:15, Mystic Timbers is still down but Beast's line was around an hour, so I decided to call it a day. Orion had started cycling empties at this point, but my two rides on Friday were enough. On a positive note, the weather held out and it was beautiful all day that I was there.

 

So, it was back to my hotel to type this up and relax by the pool before the rain. Might make the drive down to Cincinnati later to cash in my 115k Dave & Busters tickets, since my local one in Philly isn't anywhere near opening. I moved my Cedar Point reservation from Wednesday to Monday, and the plan is now to get an early start tomorrow so I can arrive there at opening. Hopefully its less of a disaster on a Monday than this forum and Facebook comments have indicated this weekend was.

 

And that wraps up my two and a half days at Kings Island, my first real amusement park trip of 2020. Stay tuned to the CP thread for the remainder of this trip, all of which I will cross-post into my 2020 Summer Roadtrip thread (with pictures) when I get back home to Delaware.

 

Thanks for reading, and the positive remarks!

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I’m planning to visit on Thursday and Friday of this coming week... Should I splurge on Fast Lane?

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Judging from the past Friday, I'd say no, you won't need it. Most rides were a walk-on with no coaster taking more than 20 minutes, including queuing, ride time, and a walk down the exit ramp.

 

That said, you can always buy it through the phone app when you're at the park if crowds are greater and/or you decide you need it.

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(if you can't tell yet I'm a very picky eater, often being likened to a five year old).

LOL! Beer and grilled cheese sandwiches sounds legit.

 

Thanks for sharing your TR's.

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Great TR of your " Entire Three Day Trip", Mike! Including this 3rd day you spent there.

Enjoyed how detailed you were about everything, running...and not.

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