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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread

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

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I was able to visit the park yesterday and it was a great feeling being back. Normally this is a park I visit every year but I didn't last year so it felt like an eternity.

 

This is my first park since the pandemic and I thought the process of getting through the tent was quick, you just walk through and they take your temperature. But what's the point if the health screening test if it's just on the honor system? Not that I would be one to lie about it, but I'm not sure I can trust everyone else...

 

I purchased fast lane because I only planned on staying about 4 or 5 hours because wearing a mask for extended periods of time gives me a headache. And unfortunately I got one at the park. So I got 4 rides on Orion and 1 ride on all the other major coasters in the park, Mystic, Banshee, Beast, and Diamondback.

 

I started the day off with Diamondback as Orion didn't open right away. It's always a fun ride but it's not smooth anymore, not necessarily rough either, but because of that it's dropped to last place among the B&M hypers.

 

Mystic Timbers was next and this is probably the best ride I've ever had. I never disliked it or anything, but I've always just kind of thought it was overrated. It's still glossy smooth and the train just ripped through the coarse. Along with the great pacing were these little pops of air and decent laterals.

 

the Beast was next and unfortunately I got put in the back row. Usually I ride in row 11 or 17 but all the middle seats were roped off. I knew I was in for a rough ride, but I wasn't prepared for how rough it actually was. Ouch... Still love it because I know it provides a good ride in the rows I mentioned.

 

Banshee... I used to really love this ride but it's just plain rough now. Still the best drop in any invert!

 

Ok now to Orion... Like I said I got 4 rides and it got better after each ride. The first drop is awesome, it feels how a first drop should feel on a giga. That first wave turn is a complete dud. That was the element I was looking forward to the most but it did nothing for me. No airtime and it was not intense at all. The turnaround is just ok, it doesn't do a whole lot. Next is that little airtime hill and it's a very good hill. I got a ton of air on it. You get more towards the front than the back. Then there is the larger trimmed airtime hill and that also provides some very good air. The helix follows and it's a fun element but again not very intense. Then you get a nice little pop of air from that little banked turn and then you hit the brakes.

 

Overall it's definitely a fun coaster. It looks really nice, the color scheme really pops. It's a capacity beast, and even though they were only filling half the train the line was moving. The theming in the queue looked nice although I didn't stop to look at any of it because I couldn't care less about theming.

 

But at the end of the day this didn't have that giga feel to it while on the ride. I thought the pacing was mediocre and definitely not like the other giga's. It started to run a little faster during my last 2 rides, and maybe later in the day it would have got even faster. Maybe with a full train it would be faster too, because they were only filling the trains at half capacity. Also, it was not as smooth as I was expecting. This is a BRAND NEW B&M, so why is the 50 year old woodie next door smoother? Ok maybe that's an exaggeration, but this brand new coaster should be smoother... With all that said the experience was underwhelming, and my expectations were not high. Even if it didn't have a lot of great elements I still expected great pacing and that was the most disappointing part IMO.

 

I also thought it would at the very least be that signature attraction that Kings Island desperately needed, and it isn't because I still think Diamondback is the best coaster in the park. Hopefully whatever they put in Vortex's spot can fill that gap now. But I'm not holding my breath... It's obviously still a great park with a huge quantity of fun coasters, but not a lot of top end quality. My friend jokingly called KI the "worst of park" because it has the worst of every kind of coaster... the worst hyper, worst invert, worst large scale woodie (beast, which I disagree about), and now worst giga...

 

It was fun to be back in the park again. Most of the restaurants were open, and most of the small little games you can play along the midways were open, which was nice to see. Even though people were walking around with masks and you couldn’t see everyone smiling, it still felt like a normal-ish day at an amusement park, which was nice!!!

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I find it interesting how polarizing Orion has already become. Some people say it blew away expectations and is more forceful and intense than expected, and others say it's rattly, not intense, and underwhelming. Oddly enough, I think these same polarizing opinions also exist for Diamondback and Banshee.

 

When I visited in 2017, Banshee was my favorite in the park. Diamondback was in pretty rough shape. I'm hoping to visit again in 2021, and I am now very interested to try out Orion.

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Just got done watching a well known you-tubers review on Orion and he said something about the soil at KI possibly being the reason why all the B&M's are not the smoothest. Not sure if it's BS or not, but it's the best explanation I've heard so far.

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I had nothing but 1000% smooth rides on each of my 7 rides and am surprised people are reporting on the helix inducing greyout. You'd think a park that is obsessed with helices would be able to have one as intense as Goliath at SFOG's but I'd say Stunt Coaster's hits way harder.

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I find it interesting how polarizing Orion has already become. Some people say it blew away expectations and is more forceful and intense than expected, and others say it's rattly, not intense, and underwhelming. Oddly enough, I think these same polarizing opinions also exist for Diamondback and Banshee.

 

I agree Banshee has very mixed reviews, but I can't remember people saying that Diamondback is a bad hyper overall. Personally, it's my favorite hyper, but the back seat has developed a distinct rattle.

 

EDIT - I read this thread in reverse chronological order today, so...

 

I think The Beast has more mixed reviews than both of them. But, COVID is a conspiracy to make the ride less popular, since only the rough seats are available.

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^I suppose I included Diamondback because my opinion of it isn't too great. Of course I enjoy the ride (I find a way to have fun on basically every coaster I ride), but everything after the MCBR is a dud for me, and it definitely has the most rattle on a B&M Hyper I've ridden (theming? lol). But as always, smoothness can vary year-by-year, train-by-train, and even seat-by-seat... so this is all totally subjective based on my 2014 and 2017 rides. I guess I got lucky with Banshee and unlucky with Diamondback.

 

And I agree about Beast too. I don't think anybody expects it to top their list, but the quality of experience can definitely vary depending on your seat.

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I had nothing but 1000% smooth rides on each of my 7 rides and am surprised people are reporting on the helix inducing greyout. You'd think a park that is obsessed with helices would be able to have one as intense as Goliath at SFOG's but I'd say Stunt Coaster's hits way harder.

The helix on SFOG's Goliath is intense? Eh, that's a stretch IMO. The only helix on a B&M that has any great intensity that I've ridden, with an almost greyout, is Kumba.

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So clay is bad for B&M's?

 

I don't know anything about soil. Just passing on a theory that I heard. Are you saying it's total BS?

It could be true but seem like a wild idea. Who knows what all plays into a coaster ride. I just no that we have a lot of clay in Ohio. When i rode the ride I looked to the right on the brake run and saw a spot of red clay.
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I had nothing but 1000% smooth rides on each of my 7 rides and am surprised people are reporting on the helix inducing greyout. You'd think a park that is obsessed with helices would be able to have one as intense as Goliath at SFOG's but I'd say Stunt Coaster's hits way harder.

The helix on SFOG's Goliath is intense? Eh, that's a stretch IMO. The only helix on a B&M that has any great intensity that I've ridden, with an almost greyout, is Kumba.

 

That's the point it still isn't even that intense haha

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Just got done watching a well known you-tubers review on Orion and he said something about the soil at KI possibly being the reason why all the B&M's are not the smoothest. Not sure if it's BS or not, but it's the best explanation I've heard so far.

 

I know who you are talking about, and I'll be honest, the dude is quite clueless on many things I've heard him say. Grasping at straws, at best.

 

This is why the structural/civil firms who install the foundations for these rides take samples of the soil, in order to figure out the size of the footers required, pylon depth, etc... The civil engineering 'guidelines' are quite mature, like many areas of engineering. It's not really complicated once they have the appropriate information.

 

I'm thinking install more than anything. Shimming, support adjustment before grouting, sanding of the rail joints after install and whatever else.

 

I'm not a civil engineer (mechanical here), but I think they got the techniques/processes down for the design and install requirements. If KI has the same install contractor do the rigging for all the B&M's, it could be more on them versus anything else. I believe most parks use regional steelworkers and other subcontractors to do this work, so it will vary park to park for the most part.

 

Lately for my job, I have been talking to various steel fabricators around Ohio (including Clermont). While discussion my particular project with them, on the side I have asked them about the fabrication techniques and such for rolling such pipe for coaster track... As expected, it's highly precise with dimensions are highly controlled. Except in the case when doing replacement track work on some older steel coasters, in which they literally get a chunk of rail or whatnot cut out and they basically just template and roll some pipe to match for re-install, at least with one particular vendor I spoke with who has done quite a bit of 'retracking' for some parks (not Clermont).

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As I said in, I think, the Cedar Point thread, I feel this is a B&M problem and not a King’s Island problem. Valraven and Gatekeeper have rattles that are worse than anything at King’s Island. But people like to sh*t on King’s Island and everyone has to love everything about Cedar Point, so no one ever mentions it!

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As I said in, I think, the Cedar Point thread, I feel this is a B&M problem and not a King’s Island problem. Valraven and Gatekeeper have rattles that are worse than anything at King’s Island. But people like to sh*t on King’s Island and everyone has to love everything about Cedar Point, so no one ever mentions it!

 

I agree that Gatekeeper isn't as smooth anymore, but IMO Valravn is still smooth. Gatekeeper isn't nearly as bad as Banshee though, and when Gatekeeper was new it was glossy smooth and stayed that way until a couple years ago. Orion is brand spanking new and isn't glossy smooth like you would expect. I'm also not sure this is a B&M problem, the vast majority I have been on have been smooth. And some are pretty old. Alpengeist, and Scream were terrible and I wasn't a fan of Dominator.

 

Like the other guy said, if KI uses the same people to install then it could be on them. That would make sense.

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And some are pretty old. Alpengeist, and Scream were terrible and I wasn't a fan of Dominator.

 

Dominator was a rattle machine. Emily wasn't interested in riding it more than once, because of that. We were one and done.

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One thing about B&Ms is that the more full a train is, the smoother it will be. So with Orion only filling at MOST half the train, you can expect a rattle sometimes. Was butter smooth when I rode though.

 

I have found this especially true for Floorless coasters. Empty train vs full train, front row vs any other row, and inner seats vs outer seats really makes a difference on those.

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Other than one ride on Banshee that might have even been a wheel issue so I'll wait to ride it in the back again to judge on that one I haven't been on any B&M that I found rough ever (aside from like... Apocalypse and that sh*tty convert in California). I also feel like Gatekeeper might be the smoothest coaster in existence.

Edited by coasterbill
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So I'm at KI now, arrived around 4:00. Place is comparably packed... Waited 52 minutes for Mystic Timbers. Fast Lane for tomorrow will be a must. Way too many unsupervised teens/tweens.

 

On a Covid note, mask use and social distancing in that line were atrocious... I'd say 50% of masks were below the nose and another 25% below the chin. Very few people were paying attention to social distancing markers, largely due to groups of 5+ obnoxious teenagers.

 

I'm sure it's working out for them financially, but from a guest standpoint they should have kept the reservation system.

 

EDIT: Looks like FL is sold out for tomorrow...hooray. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be able to be at parks, but this is painful.

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Mike, got our fri/sat FL online earlier this week for the trip. Had a hunch it might get sideways. We did enter earlier today around 10:45 and there were few lines which might replicate slightly tomorrow, though it is a Saturday. Also forgot Bat doesn’t even take FL.

 

We have two additional great wolf water park wrist bands if you want them?! These slides are pretty damn fun and lines are minimal. Good til Sunday.

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