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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread

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

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Went to the park yesterday. I would never imagine I'd fall in love with mystic timbers. I was just enamored with how they managed to leave soooo many trees in tact and still fit the ride in.   Orion,  oooooorion lol. What can I say?  I got off it feeling teased. The best parts, to me, were the helix and the hills that followed. I wish more of the ride was like it. 

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1 hour ago, jarmor said:

Went to the park yesterday. I would never imagine I'd fall in love with mystic timbers. I was just enamored with how they managed to leave soooo many trees in tact and still fit the ride in.   Orion,  oooooorion lol. What can I say?  I got off it feeling teased. The best parts, to me, were the helix and the hills that followed. I wish more of the ride was like it. 

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Agreed, I loved Orion but it definitely left me wanting more.  You come out of that helix at the end into a great airtime hill and then right into the brake run.  It would've been great to have 2 or 3 of those final airtime hills before the brake run.

As for Mystic Timbers, you could make an argument for it being the best coaster in the park.  It has so much airtime and is just relentless from start to finish.  It's not often that a coaster surprises me like that, but it easily surpassed any expectations I had.

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Orion grows on you the more you ride it.  It's still my #4 at Kings Island though.  Might as well start up a chain of ranking lists, so here's mine:

1. Beast
2. Mystic Timbers
3. Banshee
4. Orion
5. Bat
6. Diamondback
7. Adventure Express
8. Racer
9. Woodstock Express
10. Flight of Fear
11. Backlot Stunt Coaster
12. Flying Ace Aerial Chase
13. Invertigo

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I guess after my recent trip, I'd go with something like...

1. Diamondback, 2. Banshee, 3. Mystic Timbers, 4. Beast, 5. Orion, 6. Bat, 7. Flight of Fear, 8. Racer, 9. Adventure Express, 10. Backlot, 11. Woodstock Express. Haven't ridden either hang n bang.

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I don't normally rank coasters but I can give it a go here:

  1. Diamondback - best floater airtime there is, period
  2. Orion - even better with full trains this year
  3. Mystic Timbers - gotta love the unconventional out-and-back GCI layout
  4. Beast - simply an icon, nothing else needs said
  5. Banshee - I admire the large elements but a part of me wishes there was more whip to some of the inversions
  6. Bat - still a classic, make sure to ride in the front of the car for more legroom
  7. Racer - major props to everyone at the Gravity Group, it's substantially better after the re-track   
  8. Flight of Fear - always like the spaghetti bowls but dang, that MCBR
  9. Invertigo - not painful at all if you lean your head forward and keep your shoulders pressed against the OTSRs
  10. Backlot Stunt Coaster - great for the whole family
  11. Adventure Express - I'm starting to question why I keep riding this every year, definitely one of the weakest mine trains
  12. Woodstock Express - not bad at all considering its intended audience
  13. Flying Ace Aerial Chase - once was enough :)
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^Pretty sure I've only ridden 5* mine trains (Adv Express, CCMR, Runaway Train @ GAdv, Trailblazer, and Florida Thunder Mountain). Obviously Thunder Mountain blows them all away. But after that, other than the ejector hill on the GAdv mine train, Adventure Express is probably by far the best out of the remaining four. It has some good speed and forces to it and some actual theming. Maybe I need to get on more mine trains.

*6 if you count Steel Force at Dorney

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7 hours ago, Zand said:

But after that, other than the ejector hill on the GAdv mine train, Adventure Express is probably by far the best out of the remaining four.

The only thing worse than the painful ejector air on GAdv's mine train is the station packed with obnoxious children and teenagers.

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^^ Spot on about Thunderation, it just does everything better.  I can see why people would like Adventure Express but for me, it's one of the very few coasters I consider to be somewhat discomforting.  Nice to see more lights on in the lift hill's tunnel this year, to be fair. 

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Mystic Timbers 

Orion 

Diamondback 

Bat

Invertigo 

Racer

Back Lot Stunt Coaster

Flight of Fear

Banshee 

Beast 

Adventure Express 

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Hi all!  We've been debating Cedar Point, but with the way the park is so understaffed right now and two days being shut down, we thought we'd give King's Island a shot.   Any thoughts on how things are running down there?  Best days to go/month to go?  Appreciate any insight!

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I just bought the limited edition bundle T-shirt/badge from the KI online store.

yeah, they get you with the shipping. but it's really a steal at $15, so I went for it.

lovely design.

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15 minutes ago, Carrie said:

Hi all!  We've been debating Cedar Point, but with the way the park is so understaffed right now and two days being shut down, we thought we'd give King's Island a shot.   Any thoughts on how things are running down there?  Best days to go/month to go?  Appreciate any insight!

Just read back through the past few pages.  Things are busy, but running spectacularly.  As with any park, weekdays would be better than weekends....just common sense stuff.  I would wait until after June 26th, when 10PM closings resume, so you can get some awesome night rides on Beast (or Mystic, or Orion, or Adventure Express....)

EDIT: In fact, @Carrie, here is a link to my report from my trip there last Tuesday.

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Yeah I'm a little bummed that the best I can get on Beast tomm is a (looks out window at 8:00) ah hell its still fully bright out lol but what can ya do? Least I got one before. But yeah it is what it is and this is the end of my travels, possibly for the year!! Depends how the job and living situation shakes out. So hoping it ends on a good note!

Doing KI tomm, sadly FL+ is not an option. I can but it's just not fiscally smart to do so. I'm living tight right now (was hoping my security deposit would be returned over this last trip, places/people always slow to get $ to you but want lightspeed when you owe em eh?) but I know how good the ops are here and hoping that it won't be toooo horribly jammed. In fact I see there's a pretty solid chance of rain and thunderstorms. Hmmmmmmmmmm perhaps I will get lucky twice and it will keep crowds away but will stay dry! That would be a pretty damn great way to end my coaster tripping. It happened at Kennywood, wish me luck yall. 

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I spent the afternoon at the park with FL+. Rode "the circle" complete layout with just about all the coasters from 4-7ish, though I had to double back over to mystic timbers at the end of the loop since it was down on the first go around.

Some thoughts:

- The BEAST was absolutely brutal. Easily the worst ride I've ever had on it. I did not enjoy it one bit and I got shook to death. I got a bad headache immediately and my back physically hurt after it. Note that I was directed to a wheel seat, but it shouldn't matter THAT much. No thank you.
- DIAMONDBACK I got second row and really enjoyed it up front. I'm usually a back row guy, but it really impressed me at the top of the hills. Protip: don't smoke on the lifthill as they will stop the ride and escort you out of the park. Why are people so dumb. Saw someone do the same thing on the swings at Cedar Point.... like... what!?
- ORION was a really good ride, especially for all the flack it gets for length. I thought it felt longer/better then LEVIATHAN, but not quite up to FURY. I liked it a lot!
- MYSTIC TIMBERS: absolutely my favorite ride in the park. Easy. Love love love it. Rode it a few times and had a blast. Only complaint is the SHED is hot as balls. Ugh. Not a good way to end the ride.
- FLIGHT OF FEAR was a ton of fun. The MCBR is a bit of a buzzkill but I still enjoyed it a lot.
- RACER ran decently well but it wasn't all that exciting. At least it didn't hurt.
- Coney BBQ had no line for food or drinks. Hell yeah.
- BANSHEE was running shakey, probably the most "wooden" steel coaster I've been on, if that makes sense. I believe I was row 2. Only rode it once. Still fun though, but a lot different than what I remembered.
- ADVENTURE EXPRESS was ok. All the effects on the tunnel appeared to be working. Everything is blue lightning now? Not sure how long it's been like that.
- Skipped the BAT and STUNT COASTER, I know BAT is an awesome ride but I was in a time crunch and I'm still hurting from Holiwood Nights lol to do that walk and not know the line without fast lane. I have their clones if Wonderland decides to open again as I only have a short drive with our (now extended!) platinum and FL+ passes.

I feel like I'm forgetting some things, but there you go.

FASTLANE THOUGHTS:
As everyone has said over and over, the FASTLANE here is fantastic. Notable exception was Flight of Fear which took I would guess about 20-25 min if I had to guess. But compared to the regular line I know it was a saver. Orion was a 5 min wait, Diamondback was about 5 minutes (minus the smoking mishap while I was in the station waiting to board, that took a good 10-15 min to clear up). adventure express, mystic timbers, banshee, racer, and beast were all walk-on for me. The regular lines were pretty significant, but not out of control, for comparison sake.

Would have loved to stay longer to re ride more but for reasons out of my control I couldn't.

Overall this experience was 8 million times better than Cedar Point opening weekend, and I really feel Kings Island is really far up there with overall experience. The Beast really did taint my experience a bit though, my head took a while to recover. I've always thought the ride was "meh" even when not running so horribly, I will continue to say that Mystic is the superior ride. Fight me.

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The coaster gods shown on me again. I'm guessing weather (+ weekday) kept crowds away and it was dry for basically all my time there, sans one heavy downpour right before Banshee, which was an experience. Turned out to be a pretty good day, though not for the B&Ms! All 3 went down at various points, Orion for maybe 10, Diamondback for an hour, poor Banshee had some struggles let's just say. 

So got in like quarter to 11 which was a godsend. Got Orion twice before the normal lines were let in. Basically did a loop and managed to do 2 rides on Diamondback, Mystic Timbers, and one on Beast and Racer all by 1:00. Everything was 10-15 mins tops. Banshee I was to the steps when the rain started and it came down hard. Still went through w it of course and yeah...that was something lol  

Dried off w some Blue Ice Cream and Red Cream Soda (aka heaven) and the rains stopped so I went back to Banshee which was down for a while. Supposedly someone was stuck in the restraints and they couldn't get it, EMS came and everything (which seemed odd, unless there's a medical issue IDK why unless they have some tool to help?). They emptied the line and said it would be a while which it wasn't, started testing when I got around the corner lol but got another quick ride on Orion, ran back and they were just letting people on! Basically did another 2 laps just hitting the coasters again. Longest wait was Mystic Timbers, which was only 30 mins, next lap was 20 mins. During this time Diamondback was down but again managed to snag it at reopening. Another 2 rounds on Orion and decided to end the day with Banshee which was down again, I even said to one employee "Yikes 2nd time today?" "More like 5th" they said. 

Once all the rides warmed up I can say that Mystic Timbers is still my fav here. Fully amped up that thing is just non stop and the only thing I can say is wish it was longer. Damn, it's so good. Diamondback was better than last time...which I found pretty lackluster but this one had some solid air in back on basically every hill. The 2 rides I got on Banshee were pretty good, one ofc felt like I was facing a firing squad of paintball guns, and it still doesn't quiiiiiite deliver on what I think it should, but fun ride still. Solidly forceful and I do love the layout. Racer was better than last time, but clearly parts have been retracked, should prob do the rest soon lol Beast was good once warmed up. It still surprises me how OK the ride is, I mean nothing great but it really is fun. Damn though I do wish it could be retracked, I'd love no trims and for the ride to be fully unrestrained which ofc requires retracking bc while I didn't find it toooo rough, damn it was knocking on the door. I know it won't happen and I get it...but I just wish it could be updated a bit. No not "RMC'd" but retracked and with all its speed and length....those straight parts imagine if there were a couple of hills in there. But ah well. 

And of course: Orion, my new cred of the day. I really was let down at first, though it got better through the day I assume as it warmed up. Had 6 rides I think total and yeah, it's fun, it's solid, drop is superb in back and also gets you some ok air at times but just....dang, it's been said before: We know what B&M can do with a giga and it's just a shame this one doesn't. It doesn't have enough hills to be traditional and loaded with air, it doesn't do enough to be twister, the speed hill left a lot to be desired, and the whole thing is so short. I will agree with above comments the helix and twisting drop and pop into the breaks are great. Of the 4 giga's I've done it's prob my least fav. Deff Mystic Timbers still #1 here. 2 is hard now that DBack had a good day, I'm inclined to give it to Orion but idk Banshee and DBack were both running well.  

Glad the day was not too crowded and (mostly) dry. Great park, good lineup, nice feel and no, sorry it doesn't touch CP in my opinion but certainly a top 3 park in my book. This also was my 6th park in a 3.5 week span ending my month of freedom between grad school and work. Glad it ended on a good note and it's great to be doing parks again! 

 

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To quote @robbalvey "Orion is FAST" Yep! And @jarmorit's totally a tease as the last sideways hill is the best part of the ride imo. 

 

but the beauty is if you get FL, you can ride it as many times as you want! And when you do that, you get to appreciate it so much more since it's such a quick ride. 

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I know this discussion was had a few pages back and it's been done to death at this point but growing up with King's Island being my "home park" (2.5 hours away, lived in WV)... I just never understood how people could prefer it over Cedar Point. And I'm talking about when both parks are operating at their max efficiency. I mean... it almost just seems contrarian haha. KI is a great park for sure; don't get me wrong. And maybe I just burned myself out on it a bit as a kid. But Cedar Point always had the better atmosphere and far better ride line-up IMO. The last few times I visited CP I went on late May weekdays and it was walk-on city with pretty much everything fully staffed, so... it's hard to have a bad time in that situation. 

I think my last visit to KI was 2018 (hadn't been since 2009) and unfortunately I only got one ride on Mystic Timbers but I really enjoyed it. Would LOVE to get a night ride on that thing. It's definitely my #1 at the park. This might get some eyerolls but Banshee rattled the ever-living crap out of me and was a one and done. Might stop in for a visit in July since my GF is wanting to go (she hasn't been in well over a decade) and I'd like to check out Orion, but my expectations would be set pretty low considering I live approximately 13 minutes from Fury 325 haha. 

Anyway, it's good to see that King's Island seems to be doing well relatively early on this season while things are still a bit wonky at parks. 

 

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28 minutes ago, Alex26841 said:

I know this discussion was had a few pages back and it's been done to death at this point but growing up with King's Island being my "home park" (2.5 hours away, lived in WV)... I just never understood how people could prefer it over Cedar Point. And I'm talking about when both parks are operating at their max efficiency. 

I don't prefer it over the July 2019 version of Cedar Point which was probably the last time the park was running well, but we haven't had that in two years. Every shoulder season and in the last two peak seasons Cedar Point is a world-class theme park being operated like it's Lake Compounce. I went from being mortified at the thought of Six Flags buying Cedar Fair a few years ago to wishing that they had so that park wouldn't be closed today, they wouldn't close ride lines early, they wouldn't close rides for staffing every Spring and Fall and would have a longer operating season. Like... if you think Six Flags would close Top Thrill Dragster on Halloweekends Fridays you're actually on crack. If you think they would close at 8 and not do haunts on Halloweekends Sundays you're also on crack. In contrast, Kings Island is the best-run park in the chain right now except for possibly Knott's. The bar is pretty low, but it's true.

That said, everyone's improving opinions of Kings Island isn't just because Cedar Point has fallen off of an operational cliff. I used to believe that Kings Island was one of the most overrated major parks in America. It was like Kings Dominion with worse rides and an uglier main street that needed trees desperately (that's still true, by the way). They had a lot of "good" rides but no "great" rides until it got dark out.

Since my first visit though, they've really beefed up their offerings. I think Diamondback is one of the better B&M hypers, Banshee is a blast, Mystic Timbers is also a blast (and the shed is fun with the right expectations) and I really do feel like Orion finally gave them a real headline coaster. Now look... I get the complaints and I like it more than most people. No 91 mph coaster with clamshells and a wave turn is ever going to be boring to me (though I crap on Candymonium a lot so I admit that I don't really know where the line is, but even that ride is fun). I get that it's a budget-giga but I really do like the ride. I also feel like they've just really rounded out the collection in-general over the last decade or so.

Plus, additions like the Brewhouse patio, Antique autos (which look really nice), sprucing up the Bat, the Flight of Fear theming enhancements and similar things have also really improved my opinion of the place. They also have an incredible Fastlane system which is nice. Also, removing Firehawk and Vortex were addition-by-subtraction. They also just clearly give more of a shit than most parks in the chain. When we went last year every effect was working on Backlot stunt coaster. You're not getting that at another Cedar Fair park.

I've liked everything they've done lately (except for their crappy Winterfest but I've resigned myself to the fact that Cedar Fair is hopeless with that).

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10 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

I don't prefer it over the July 2019 version of Cedar Point which was probably the last time the park was running well, but we haven't had that in two years. Every shoulder season and in the last two peak seasons Cedar Point is a world-class theme park being operated like it's Lake Compounce.

My last visit to Cedar Point was late May 2019 on a Tuesday and Wednesday so my last impression of the park was obviously a good one. But I also remember a decent amount of people preferring KI even in the early 2010's, which was always sort of strange to me, but hey... different strokes, etc. 

King Island is without a doubt one of the better overall parks in the country though. Well rounded for sure, and I can't disagree with anything in your post. 

 

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I think what makes Kings Island appealing is the fact that for the folks who aren't as park-savvy as the people on these forums, it's still possible to ride everything in one day if you visit on a weekday, even without Fast Lane.  Cedar Point pretty much requires at least 2 days if you want to get on all the coasters but aren't willing to pay for Fast Lane (which a lot of people aren't).

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CP, June 2019, is a better park than KI, 2021. I just think KI is a better one-day park, because of the 'bang for the buck' factor. You can ride everything as many times as you want with FL+ and it doesn't take a half hour to walk from one side of the park to the other. Since I'm not a marathoner, I need at least 2 days at CP, including Breakers, to feel like I got my fill of everything, going at our casual pace.

There are more personal factors for us as to why it's our favorite one-day park. KI is a 5.5 hour drive and CP is an 8.5 hour drive. We stay at Hyatt's for free. 12am closing weekends (In the past). A Halloween event that is kick ass and not overly crowded to where FL+ delivers an hour wait, during its peak. Other parks within 5'ish hours or less for us are HW (3 hours), IB (4 hours), KK (4 hours), SCD (5'ish hours), WOF (5'ish hours lmfao not worth it), and SFGam (<5 hours ❤️ Malnati's). Our home park is SFSTL, which shits all over WOF in the rides department, like every other park, but I'm not including it since it's not an over-nighter.

KI is our clear winner until SDC builds one more home run and starts selling beer. I hope they see the beer sales at KK and offer a few limited places serving alcohol, with 'no alcohol past this point' restrictions, to keep the park family friendly.

I'll agree if I want a 2 day park, CP at it's prime + Breakers is absolutely a better choice. Honorable mention: HP with Hershey Lodge.

That's all personal preference and circumstances, but it's my point of view.

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^This is pretty much where I'm at too.  They are just different, but both high quality experiences.  CP is almost always a 2-2.5 day at the park kind of thing where I'm staying on site.  KI is frequently a LONG one day turnaround 5.5 hours there, at the park from noon to 8ish depending on the day, and 5.5 hours back home.  That way my only real costs as a platinum pass holder are gas, food, and fastlane.

I really enjoy both parks for what they are and probably would say I like CP more, as it's just more of a full experience.  KI is fantastic too, and I'm excited to try out Camp Cedar and hope it gives a little bit of that experience feeling I get from CP.

As for WoF...I never go to KC just to go to WoF.  But I do go to KC from STL pretty regularly to go to concerts and will include something like 6-8 hours at WoF before the drive home on most of those trips.  The rides certainly aren't the best, but none of them I would consider bad, and the park is very pretty and usually not very busy, and if you need fastlane it isn't very expensive.  I really like going to WoF just for a nice slow paced park visit where you don't feel like you're missing something if you're not busting your ass to get to everything you want to do.  It's never the main attraction for me in KC, but I like it alot as an extra stop.

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