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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread

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

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@Zand, here is the parking lot at 12:10. I'm going to the water park now. May the odds be forever in your favor. IMG_20210601_120907220_HDR.thumb.jpg.ccf7040ae8202049e9195d9ad7c85569.jpg

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Soak City water park update: not too busy at all. Most everything is open, except one of the two wave pools, the tornado slide, the big family raft slide, and the flow rider surf simulator. Some smaller food stands are closed, but the most important thing (the bar) is open.

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Got in the park about 15 minutes ago. In line for Diamondback. Half of the first set of switchbacks are full. Queue Times says 75 mins, we'll see. They seem to be cranking trains out.

Can see Orion cycling empty trains from here.

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14 minutes ago, Zand said:

Got in the park about 15 minutes ago. In line for Diamondback. Half of the first set of switchbacks are full. Queue Times says 75 mins, we'll see. They seem to be cranking trains out.

Can see Orion cycling empty trains from here.

I'm trying out the blue ice cream beer next door! It's delicious. If you wanna meet up when you're off say hey! We've got a solid showing of TPR here today wow it's almost like things are back to normal!

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I ended up leaving since the park is just slammed. Looking out from the Tower every. Single. Food. Drink. Has a 30-60 minute wait! They need help badly. So many closed spots. This isn't a 'just busy at lunch/dinner' it's all day. So be strategic if you're at the park all day. Mobile ordering is not available. 

Great meeting @Mike240SX !

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On a Monday? oof. How have rides been? Was FL still available at the start of the day? Don't wanna buy one ahead of time and not need it but would be great if I was able to grab one day of! 

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For those that were there today, what were FL lines like if there were any? We all know how valuable FL is at this park and I'm curious what it's like on a day where it sells out.

Looking at the webcams Diamondback's FL line is basically empty right now...

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75 minutes at Diamondback turned into 35 minutes for a back seat ride. Pretty good ride, a little rattly and not quite as much airtime as I've heard but still a pretty solid ride. Hit Mystic Timbers next, again being told 75 mins but ended up being 45. Rode in front, freaking awesome coaster! Tons of airtime and fun forceful turns. Inside of the shed was super hot. Just hopped on the train as it was loading when I got off Mystic Timbers. After the train I'll probably hit Orion and Banshee just to get through the rest of the new to me stuff. It's crowded for sure but a lot of it is school groups who seem to be slowly heading out. Luckily the crews have been great so far. Food lines do look extremely ugly though.

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11 minutes ago, JJLehto said:

On a Monday? oof. How have rides been? Was FL still available at the start of the day? Don't wanna buy one ahead of time and not need it but would be great if I was able to grab one day of! 

It's Tuesday haha. And yeah the FL booth had the sold out signs as soon as I walked in, and I was the second redemption of the day. I've got it and I'm chilling in the water park, probably going back to the dry park between 5 and 6. If you're here and wanna meet up and grab a drink, shoot me a PM. I can up my "TPR members met" count to 3 LOL. That goes for you too, @Zand.

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isn't FL online only?

so yeah. . dont' wait until even day before. . buy it now if you know you're going to be at the park at some point.

better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.

 

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^ Yep, FastLane is online only.  I am SO glad I learned of the season long option from members here.  It’s so nice to already have that already paid for on any visit to the park.  
 

And to Zand, sorry if I made Diamondback sound like it’s an airtime machine. I thought it was a way better ride in the back though and it does feel like you are out of your seat more often than not.  Just my observation though!  :)   
 

hope everyone enjoys their visits, even if it is busy...

 

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5 minutes ago, Mike240SX said:

It's Tuesday haha. And yeah the FL booth had the sold out signs as soon as I walked in, and I was the second redemption of the day. I've got it and I'm chilling in the water park, probably going back to the dry park between 5 and 6. If you're here and wanna meet up and grab a drink, shoot me a PM. I can up my "TPR members met" count to 3 LOL. That goes for you too, @Zand.

LMAO! Holy hell....shows how scrambled my brain is. Life lesson learned: leave yourself more than one day to pack and clean your apartment before moving 3.5 hours away, or don't try to do it yourself. I drove from Providence, RI to NJ back to RI and back in one day! Mistakes were made....

Well this is good to know. I don't exactly have a ton of $ to spend at the moment I'm being cautious (the reason why I'm moving is going back home after school till I land a job :( ) and had enough stashed away to do these trips. BUT yeah I know what KI can be like and it seems like even on a weekday things are not looking so good.... ugh will kick myself if it ends up not being needed but I may have to cave and get it. Will wait on some more reports, esp if school crowds die down. 

And true the ops at KI are legendary. They were some of the best I've seen, no doubt they are trying their asses off but yeah only so much can be done about crowds and idk if they are hit with the shortages as well. Oh and I'm just collecting info, I'll be there on June 7 so if anyone is there/free yeah I'll be there. 

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42 minutes ago, bert425 said:

isn't FL online only?

so yeah. . dont' wait until even day before. . buy it now if you know you're going to be at the park at some point.

better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.

 

I think you can theoretically buy it at the park (you could at CP yesterday), but AFAIK it's been sold out every operating day this season. 

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Yeah I know it's done online but ya know was hoping maybe would still be available to do so day of, seems not likely to be the case. Will wait and see if there are any more reports from the weekdays but thinking I will likely cave and get it. In which case I want some crowds so I can bypass em lol

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You can buy fast lane online the day of, IF it's not already sold out. Passholder weekend I bought it online when I pulled up a mile back in the car line. 

You can only buy FL online/on app. You pick it up once you enter the park on the left. 

 

I think today was more so people getting an extended holiday weekend, but who knows. To be fair FL+ was only $75 and FL was $60. Pretty cheap, I think it's usually around $90.

Fast lane waits are 10 min or less, Mike can detail that. FoF is just the longest due to capacity and the merge line is at the space ship. 

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And I will likely skip FoF anyway. Unlike the one at KD which is fine the one here jostled me somehow worse than Vortex and I needed time to recover lol And yeah the line for that thing is always gnarly. I'm a fool and realized there is a website of wait times. Not sure how accurate but should give me a decent idea what crowds are like over the week as well. 

Orion does look wonderful, love the color and that speed hill < 3 
I do recall the famous KI blue ice cream, but what is this ice cream beer? I am intrigued lol 

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First of, thanks to @PKI Jizzman, aka Zach, for meeting up today and raising my "TPR Members Met" credit count to two.  Shame we didn't get to ride anything together, but I'm sure you can understand my non-desire to wait in non-FL lines haha.  I also meant to ask you about your username, but you can feel free to PM me if you feel like explaining it.

Alright, checked in to my hotel after an exhausting day at Kings Island.  Woke up at 4:00 AM in my Sandusky hotel to be on the road by 5:30 to make it to Kings Island for opening...after a little detour to Skip's Bagel Cafe in the northern Cincinnati suburbs for the best bagels I've had outside of the northeast.  For some reason, there are zero solid breakfast places around KI except for Perkins.  When I pulled into the Kings Island entrance at 9:45, there were maybe a dozen cars ahead of me (see picture posted here), which as I mentioned was a massive improvement from my experience on public-opening-day Saturday, where there were over 100 ahead of me at 9:30.

Note that this trip will seem abbreviated to most of you, but that's because of my goal for the day:  Two rides on Mystic Timbers, Beast, and Banshee each, and one on Orion, and to spend some time working on my tan in the waterpark.

Made my way in to the park, grabbed my all-season Platinum FL+ wristband (2nd redemption of the day), and noted the "Fast Lane is sold out" signs, lending credence to thoughts that it theoretically can be bought at the park when it's not sold out in advance (which hasn't happened yet).  Headed straight over to Mystic Timbers, and got two rides, one front row one back row, with one-train waits a piece, for Early Entry.  It's not well publicized, but the park is offering early entry for all season pass holders (right now it's Mystic, Banshee, Orion, and Great Pumpkin Coaster), which starts 30 minutes prior to opening.  The kicker?  The parking gates don't let you through until 45 minutes prior to opening, giving you 15 minutes to get parked and through security, and then the main entrance doesn't open until exactly 30 minutes prior to posted opening time, really making the "early entry" period like 25 minutes by the time you get to any of the rides.

After two awesome rides on Mystic, it was off to my number one KI coaster, Beast....26 minutes (counting ride time) for the front row; would have been like 5 minutes if I didn't want to wait for the front.  After Beast, I met up with @PKI Jizzman at the still-closed bar near Adventure Express and shot the shit on our way over to Banshee.  Upon arrival, the standby queue was about 45 minutes, so he sat it out and I went down the FL line for a two-train wait for back row, left side (I forgot to start my clock upon entering the queue).  We then went over to Orion, which was broken down at the time, so I said my parting words to Zach and made my way over to the water park, after a brief stop in the Eiffel Tower to snap this picture of the parking lot at 12:10 for @Zand, who had been asking about crowds.  Note that NO ONE was in line for this and my only wait was for the elevator to arrive at each end.

So, I made the trek out to my car to grab my swim gear, and then the long, long trek across the lot to the Soak City entrance.  Upon arrival, it was with a relative ghost town.  And reservations were even sold out!  This was a good thing, since there was a LOT that was not open.  Here's the list of what I noticed was closed:

-Zoom Floom (family raft slide)
-Tropical Twister (intertwined body slides)
-Aruba Tuba (kiddie slides)
-Lookout Lagoon (one of the kiddie play areas; there were two others open)
-Mondo Monsoon (tornado slide)
-Pipeline Paradise (flow rider, surf simulator)
-Breakers Bay (one of the wave pools, the other one was open)
-One of the two slides on Thunder Falls
-ALL food/beverage establishments, including drink refill stations, except for: Coconut Cove Bar, Coconut Cove Cafe, and Island Smokehouse

In between slides (never had more than a one-stairwell wait), laps on the lazy river, and chillin' in the wave pool, I spent a lot of time at the bar and made chatter with the bartender, who confirmed that staffing is a major problem (it's why what was closed, was closed), and that they are offering $15-18 an hour for most almost all positions.  I trekked up the stairs for every tube slide (so four total stair climbs, ugh), and went outside for frequent smoke breaks, thus the overall "exhaustion" from today.  For some reason walking in bare feet just takes that much more out of you than when you have shoes on.

Anyway, I left the water park at around 5:30 and made my way back in to Kings Island proper.  Here, I grabbed another ride on Banshee (8 minutes from entry of the queue to off the ride) for back row, right side. and then made my way to Orion, which was back open.

First off, the FL wait was 8 minutes including the time on the ride, for the back row.  I was able to leave myself some gap between my body and the restraint this time, and yeah, this ride is growing on me.  Still not quite Top-10 material, and still soundly in 4th in terms of Kings Island coasters, but it is growing on me.

After that, it was back to Beast, for a 29 minute total time for front row, at 7:00 PM - more or less as close to a night ride as you can get with an 8 PM closing in June.  Notably, the grouper this time was filling one train full of FL people, and then one train full of non-FL, and alternating.  I think she was new.

Made my way to Tom+Chee for an awesome classic grilled cheese (11 minute wait from entering the line to getting my food), and then headed out to my hotel.  I accomplished all that I wanted to here today (including some sunburn LOL), so I was satisfied.

Next planned trip is my big coaster tour (see details here) at the end of June, but I may make some smaller day trips between then and now.

For now, it's off to a good night's sleep before my 9 hour drive back to Delaware ("the state," as I have to keep explaining to Ohioans).  Might swing by Adventure Park USA for the Zamperla if I see it running from the highway.

Here's a photo of Banshee's queue at 5:50 PM...

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...and two of Orion's queue at 6:15 PM...

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... and finally one of the lighting/DJ stage for the "Area 72 Party" that now won't happen until 10 PM closing resume on June 26th.

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Farewell!

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Awesome report! Sounds like a good time and yesss I love Mystic Timbers. What a ride. And thanks so much for the tip: The park does early access for season pass holders?? Even 25 minutes, I'll take :) I had no idea this was a thing. 

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Sorry I never got back to you guys...I was trying like hell to get all the essentials in just in case tomorrow is a washout. Just barely got it done.

After the train I headed for Orion. Listed as a 90 minute wait, ended up being a little over an hour. Rode somewhere in the middle. Its a fun ride but incredibly short. Some good airtime moments and a couple forceful turns but don't blink or you'll miss it. Liked it a little better than Diamondback but my favorite coaster in the park was still to come...

After a quick drink I made my way to the other side of the park to get my last new credit, Banshee. Quick 20 minute line and got front row. There was only one drawback and it was that there was a bad wheel on my car that caused a lot of vibrating. But otherwise, this just knocked Raptor off my top B&M invert spot. Packs an incredible punch from start to finish, maintaining a great pace and the mix of inversions and helixes is second to none. I think it's far and away the best coaster in the park. 

After that excellent ride I took the trek halfway to Kentucky to ride Bat. Another 20ish minute line, ended up in the middle somewhere. I didn't remember much from this ride when I was last there 14 years ago, but this is surprisingly punchy and forceful for an arrow suspended! Kinda short, but tons of fun.

After that, it was 7:30ish and had to get across the park for my final stop, Beast. Unfortunately no night rides on this trip, but this was as close as I could get. 45 minute line, rode somewhere in the 4th car. This was much more wild and powerful than I remember it. Even with the trims all over the place, it really powers through the first section and those straightaways aren't boring like I remember. And that helix! Not rough to the point of being painful but it sure throws you around pretty good. I think I like Mystic Timbers a little better, but this came way up my list tonight and thats a hell of a 1-2 punch of woodies on that side of the park.

8:00 came fast and unfortunately I only got in 7 rides in a little under 6 hours. So while the crowds were a bummer, this park truly has become real awesome in the last 10 years. Amazing invert, two fantastic woodies (and Racer is good too from what I remember), 2 B&M hypers that are slightly underwhelming but still pretty awesome, a top notch suspended, and a nice supporting cast. I definitely want to come back soon, maybe in October with FP booked so I can get lots of night rides.

Back at it tomorrow, hopefully the weather cooperates a little bit. Planning on doing rainy day things like Festhaus and the Brewhouse, and Flight of Fear. If the rain holds off, hopefully the crowd does too so I can get some good riding in. Unfortunately gonna have to skip the Reds game I was planning on, but I'll certainly be back here sooner than later.

I suppose if I were to have a ranking here, it would be...

1. Banshee, 2. Mystic Timbers, 3. Beast, 4. Orion, 5. Diamondback, 6. Bat, 7. Flight of Fear, 8. Racer

While they don't have a Steel Vengeance or a Maverick, that's easily a better top 8 than Cedar Point. Which I thought could never be beat. The fact these two parks are in the same state is crazy. Hell of a 1-2 punch for Ohio. Makes up for being stuck with the Browns and Bengals.

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Good news is rain won't shut things down. Unless there's lightning or a big downpour everything should be running. They may close early though if it's a washout. 

Boo Blasters is cool to see since it's an omnimover, Adventure Express has plenty of tunnels and so does Beast! 

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8 hours ago, Zand said:

The fact these two parks are in the same state is crazy. Hell of a 1-2 punch for Ohio. Makes up for being stuck with the Browns and Bengals.

Very true, but I think the Brownies might actually be competitive this year!!! 

But yeah, being able to day-trip it to either park is definitely a luxury.  I'm sure Breakers is pretty cool, though.  Good luck today, hopefully the weather will drive off some of the crowds.  

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Is it just me, or has Kings Island become the shining star in Cedar Fair's Line-up? As far as resorts go, Great Wolf Lodge may not be Breakers, but it's right next door. Or, there are plenty of hotels nearby.

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