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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread

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

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Behind these two license plates in line to get in. They claim to not work for the company, but fingers crossed, right? Just not for Beast! IMG_20211016_094605043_HDR.thumb.jpg.ec9c1af91eeac77301a4a0cac5a74c25.jpgIMG_20211016_094601832_HDR.thumb.jpg.820ed7bf0b759cae5ecfe5622d5b04ea.jpg

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For those who wanted an update on crowds, this is 2:30.  I can also tell you that Invertigo's is back to the fried chicken place so take the times with a grain of salt. Most food lines are also backed out of their buildings and many food places are closed (including Tom & Chee unfortunately). It is busy, but a lot of families with kids...Flying Ace is posting 60 minutes and Woodstock Express 30.

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Edit: and at 5:00 below. Most of these are probably generously low. Several lines are spreading out from the designated queues onto the midways.

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And this is Mystic's FL line.

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Honestly debating calling it a day and heading out.

 

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So after getting a ride each on Beast and Mystic, I decided to call it a day.  Yeah, it sucks to sacrifice more night rides, but even with FL dealing with the crowds isn't worth it.  I accomplished everything I wanted to on this trip.

For those curious about operational status, every adult ride except the water riders, Windseeker, and Drop Tower were operating (the latter two closed due to high winds).  Invertigo was broken for about an hour at opening, opened during the day, and broke down again as I was leaving (with a train full of riders stuck on the initial spike).  Food service was VERY busy, with many places closed (Tom + Chee, the Auntie Anne's in Rivertown, and some others).

As I was leaving at around 6:30, there were still hundreds if not thousands of people pouring in the main gate and cars backed all the way to Kings Mills Road.  If you're at the park, or headed there tonight, may the odds forever be in your favor.

Full report coming soon.

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We were also at the park on Saturday. I've never been to any park that crowded, before. This is a long disorganized TR. The whole day was kind of a blur.

We got to the park at 1230. Which were about consistent with a nice weather summer Saturday.

-We hit Diamondback first, after about a 15-20 minute somewhat crowded FL queue. Middle of the train/outer car. Phenomenal. I don't think I've ever had that much floater before, to the point where I prefer the middle row, now. There's no shaking there, either.

-Row 2 on Mystic Timbers was next. FL was bottom of the stairs. 10 minute wait. MT is consistently great. The radio in the station is working again.

-We were the only people in Beast FL line. We were assigned the middle row of the back car. The Beast rode pretty rough for us in the summer, but this time we had one of the smoothest rides we'd ever had on it.

-We walked around for about an hour looking for some hot cider Emily got on our last Haunt visit, to no avail. We went to Orion, and had a about a 15 minute wait. The ride host accommodated our front-row request, and it hauled ass from start to finish. 10/10 for the front row.

-We were actually on the winning train for Racer, which never happens. The retracked portions were smoother than I ever remember any wooden coaster being. I felt like we were gliding over the repaired areas. Did I hear this is a pre-fab track?

Here's where things went to shit:

We left the park and got our re-entry ticket, with re-entry after 7pm not allowed. It was only about 3:30, so we checked into our hotel. I took my 30 minutes necessary mid-park day powernap, and we left for BC Roosters. It's a tradition for us, but despite getting there before 5, there was a 45 minute wait. WTF staffing. We were really bummed, but we went to Frickers nearby. ehhh... It was kind of acceptable, but Roosters is seriously always one of the highlights of the trip. To put it in terms we can all understand; it's the Thirsty-Pony of KI.

When we got back to Kings Island, I was one of those cars 240 was talking about. We entered the parking booth line at 6pm, and it was backed out onto the roadway. By the time we got in, parked, and got to the front gates, it was after our 7pm re-entry time by a few minutes. But, despite the tension, we had no issues getting in.

We claimed our Fright Lane passes, hit the walkways, and realized the place was FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFking packed. Like... Mardi Gras crowd level packed. It took us a half hour to get two beers at the Bier Garden. Emily forgot her ID, or we would have gotten two each, and sipped them slowly, to avoid another wait. 

Everything was a wait. Wait to get beer. Wait to go to the bathroom. Wait to get a beer again. Walk around elbow-elbow. Smell peoples' vapes and cigarettes. Have kids, patrons, and even an unapologetic scare actor bump into you and spill your beer here, there, everywhere, all throughout the night.

It was hard to enjoy the atmosphere when you can't see anything past the crowd. Eventually, we realized the beer venders near the back of the park had no waits. However, the problem was we'd had several beers and no additional food. We circled the park, only to find that every food line looked 45 minutes to an hour, with many places closed. There were only 3-4 food trucks this time around, to help with the chaos. However, after waiting in line for one that had a noticeably short line, I saw a small sign that said "cash only" in a cashless park............... So much for that. By the grace of God, after lapping the park, La Rosa's had zero line.

The haunted houses were OK. It was kind of a blur by that point. But, seeing how every haunted house probably had at least over an hour wait, the Fright Lane paid off huge. I was surprised to see there was no line to even redeem ours, so I guess it must not be very popular. The passes allowed us zero wait for the houses. We used our extra pass on Slaughterhouse. We usually love Kill Mart, but for some reason it seemed really underwhelming this year. Did they change anything up, or get rid of props? Anyway... the actors consistently scared the shit out of my 34-year-old wife, who is a mother, and and an administrator in her company... It pleases me to finally see some vulnerability in something so trivial...

We took advantage of night rides, but we didn't have a chance to do that much, since despite the FL lanes not being terrible, you had to wait for everything else and walk at a snail's pace moving around the park. Walking the pathways was like moving through jello. 

-We got another ride on Diamondback, magic row 2. It was another great lap, but not as good as our first. I swear, this is now a middle-train ride for me. I didn't even know there was such a thing.

-We got another row 2 ride on Mystic Timbers, which is an excellent night ride.

-We managed to get our obligatory lameness antique car ride in. It's harder to appreciate it at night, when you can't see anything.

-Our Orion experience was kind of frustrating, after a 20-30 minute FL wait. The grouper really sucked at her job. The two people in front of us, and Emily and I, asked for the front. She said that would be OK, but we would have to hold up for a few minutes. No big deal. However, apparently this threw a huge wrench in her thought process, combined with some priority riders boarding at the exit.

The grouper was trying to scramble to fill the rows and left several rows empty on two trains, despite an hour plus standby queue line, and probably 30 minute FL queue. After waiting for several minutes, she told us we'd have to go in row two... Why not just tell us this from the start?

The people in front of us were pretty butt hurt. I was only mildly irritated she told us we could have it, then after waiting awkwardly through several cycles and watching her fall apart, she told us no... It's hard to put the awkwardness into text, but more or less, just tell us no right away, next time. I'm always fine with that. She made it weird...

Regardless, I can't understand how vastly different the ride feels in row 2 than it does row 1. It goes from being the absolute clear winner, and probably top 10 material (If I had one), to maybe top 3 or 4 at the park. I don't get it. For us, it's equivalent to the difference between a front row ride vs a row 2 ride on Banshee. Oddly enough, I didn't feel that way last time.

-It was about 11:40 when we went to get our night ride on The Beast to close out our kinda fun day. We were the only people in the FL queue and we were directed to the only available row, which happened to be a wheel seat in one of the last cars. It beat the absolute ever living shit out of us, start to finish, and was the most miserable ride on any coaster I can remember having since T3.

All of the day's frustrations culminated with that ride to completely demoralize us. As a non-enthusiast, Emily was done..... BUT, as much as I wanted to walk all the way to the car bitching about how f***ed everything had been, and how it all came to a head on the ride that just tried to kill us, I couldn't do it. We entered an empty FL queue, and got assigned row 1 on Emily's favorite coaster at the park: Mystic Timbers. We had a dynamite ride to help us not let the dumpster fire ride on The Beast completely shit on our day.

MT definitely ended up being the favorite throughout the day. I'm really not kidding when I say our ride on The Beast was so bad, Emily feels sore today.

I think I covered most everything, as far as what we did/rode. The night kind of all blended together, because of the insanity of the crowds, having a few beers, and not being able to find food.

Because of time, we missed our obligatory rides on Adventure Express, Bumper Cars, Backlot Stunt Coaster (noooo!), Boo Blasters, the train, and even Banshee (WTF!!). Other fun, but lesser valued rides like Delirium, The Bat, Drop Zone, and Boo Blasters weren't even a consideration. That's quite a void from what we're used to, Haunt or no Haunt. (honorable mention: Race for Your Life Charlie Brown: closed for the season)

Other notes:

It's important for newcomers to know consistent thing about the Haunt is your FL+ is garbage from about 4-7pm. However, once it gets dark, The Haunt kicks in full swing and the lines die down, because people go to the haunted houses.

One thing I noticed this trip was for most of our rides, there was at least one delay for ride operators having to try to force the restraints down on overweight riders, sometimes resulting in walks-of-shame. This would cause stacking every time. It gets worse every year, and I could hear other people getting frustrated with it, as well.

The weather was great for a Haunt. At night it was in the mid-low 40's. Despite seeing people in sweaters and shorts, I was rocking a North Face jacket, three thermal tops, a thermal bottom, tennis shoes with thick wool boot socks, gloves, and a winter skull cap... I like heat. I don't like cold. I came to play.

All-in-all, I honestly can't say for certain I wouldn't have done something else this weekend. I don't dig those kinds of crowds, anymore. What we experienced is exactly what I interpreted as hearing in the CP thread for years, which is why I never considered a CP halloween event. I overheard groups of guests talking on the way out about how crowded the park was, how they weren't able to get food, how they were only able to do a couple things, etc. There were a lot of conversations like this throughout the night.

I really hope this isn't the permanent standard, or we'll likely dip out on park Halloween events indefinitely.

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@prozach626Yeah, definitely glad I left when I did and was able to get my night ride on Beast on Friday.  I'm surprised you didn't ask for Row 1 on that; the grouper was very good at honoring my front-row requests on both days.

Anyway, guess it's my fault for not advertising that I'd be there, but I totally would have stuck around to grab a drink with you and the wifey.

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It seems like every park in America has been absolutely packed this month. I never thought it was possible for KI to have these crazy FL waits. I intended to buy FL and do one long Saturday at KI before it closes for the season but maybe I'll just settle with going on a Friday or Sunday at opening. 

There's a clear lack of good workers across the board, and it seems like the incentive pay is bringing in folks who want to do the bare minimum and never considered working at a theme park previously. That's been noticed at Worlds of Fun, KI, CP, SDC, Carowinds, BGT, and SWO from my experience this year. 

Glad you made it out to KI @prozach626 !

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33 minutes ago, PKI Jizzman said:

It seems like every park in America has been absolutely packed this month. I never thought it was possible for KI to have these crazy FL waits. I intended to buy FL and do one long Saturday at KI before it closes for the season but maybe I'll just settle with going on a Friday or Sunday at opening. 

There's a clear lack of good workers across the board, and it seems like the incentive pay is bringing in folks who want to do the bare minimum and never considered working at a theme park previously. That's been noticed at Worlds of Fun, KI, CP, SDC, Carowinds, BGT, and SWO from my experience this year. 

Glad you made it out to KI @prozach626 !

Friday would probably be the better option, but Saturday with FL wasn't too bad at all, at least before 6:30.  I didn't wait more than 20-25 minutes for anything except the front row of Beast, and most rides were walks-ons or one or two train waits (one cycle or less for flat rides).

I have to imagine that, as @prozach626 said, at night once everyone starts diverting to the Haunt mazes, lines would die down some.  Except Beast, whose line will only grow as the night goes on because its Beast at night.

As for the staff, all that I encountered this weekend were top-notch.  Every rides employee was hurrying their asses of.   Beast went from triple-stacked due some station holdups to dispatching the next train before the next one in line hit the final brake run in like 5 cycles.  Food service was hurting from a lack of employees, not necessarily low quality of the of the ones they had.

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16 hours ago, prozach626 said:

We were also at the park on Saturday. I've never been to any park that crowded, before. This is a long disorganized TR. The whole day was kind of a blur.

I feel like we had identical experiences one week apart but you touched on a few things I meant to but didn't remember to while writing my report.

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-We were the only people in Beast FL line. We were assigned the middle row of the back car. The Beast rode pretty rough for us in the summer, but this time we had one of the smoothest rides we'd ever had on it.

-It was about 11:40 when we went to get our night ride on The Beast to close out our kinda fun day. We were the only people in the FL queue and we were directed to the only available row, which happened to be a wheel seat in one of the last cars. It beat the absolute ever living shit out of us, start to finish, and was the most miserable ride on any coaster I can remember having since T3.

It can't be stated enough how much of a difference it is between a wheel seat and middle seat. The total difference in tone for these two reports is spot on.

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Everything was a wait. Wait to get beer. Wait to go to the bathroom. Wait to get a beer again. Walk around elbow-elbow. Smell peoples' vapes and cigarettes. Have kids, patrons, and even an unapologetic scare actor bump into you and spill your beer here, there, everywhere, all throughout the night.

We took advantage of night rides, but we didn't have a chance to do that much, since despite the FL lanes not being terrible, you had to wait for everything else and walk at a snail's pace moving around the park. Walking the pathways was like moving through jello. 

This was the biggest eye opener for me. I expected lines to be 2+ hours and FP+ to have some lines built up, but I truly could not believe just how many people in general were walking around at any given time. I'm a fast walker (which annoys the shit out of my 5'0" wife lol) and it drove me nuts how many groups have to walk 10 wide down a path, but it almost became moot when there were so many people that it was just one big mass of people on any given midway. The worst spots were the stretch from Hank's pretty much all the way down to the Diner (especially when they had a giant maze line set up right in the middle of the midway where the games are) and then that hanging pumpkin section between Troika and Beast.

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However, the problem was we'd had several beers and no additional food. We circled the park, only to find that every food line looked 45 minutes to an hour, with many places closed. There were only 3-4 food trucks this time around, to help with the chaos. However, after waiting in line for one that had a noticeably short line, I saw a small sign that said "cash only" in a cashless park............... So much for that.

I hate to say it and it's too late now obviously, but maybe the parks shouldn't have given up on reservations this year. Not for Covid reasons, but just for guest experience reasons. When you have all these food places closed (as well as drink stations closed, and the few that were open had mile long lines) it creates a really negative experience for people. I kind of expected it going in, but I feel like a lot of people would never go back because they think they'll have to wait over an hour for food and 30 minutes just to get a drink on a hot day.

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The grouper really sucked at her job. The two people in front of us, and Emily and I, asked for the front. She said that would be OK, but we would have to hold up for a few minutes. No big deal. However, apparently this threw a huge wrench in her thought process, combined with some priority riders boarding at the exit.

The grouper was trying to scramble to fill the rows and left several rows empty on two trains, despite an hour plus standby queue line, and probably 30 minute FL queue. After waiting for several minutes, she told us we'd have to go in row two... Why not just tell us this from the start?

I know many of these people were just hired recently and are probably doing their best with how little I'm sure they were trained, but it was pretty ridiculous a few times. I actually asked for the back row on Orion on one of my rides, but the grouper insisted I join a group of 3 in row 5. When it became clear that she was never going to get the last two rows filled before the gates opened, I tried walking back there and she actually came over and told me to go sit in row 5 to keep the train as full as possible. I figured maybe there were exit passes going to the back two rows, but nope they went empty.

I don't understand why some groupers are so against letting people request rows, especially the front/back on coasters that have giant extra spaces to accommodate longer lines for those rows. Since the groupers suck so bad at actually filling a train, just let people pick their rows and when all the rows fill up, stop letting people in. If a row is empty, call two people forward that want to ride the next train. It's such a simple concept. The worst is the grouper that had a Cedar Fair Supervisor jacket on that was working Diamondback...I asked to wait for the front and she was like "Do you really need to go to the front that bad?" I had to try really hard to not just say f*ck off, but was just like "I mean...I would prefer to, yes.". There were literally two pairs of people in a line with the space to hold 15 pairs of people.

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It's important for newcomers to know consistent thing about the Haunt is your FL+ is garbage from about 4-7pm. However, once it gets dark, The Haunt kicks in full swing and the lines die down, because people go to the haunted houses.

Ehh...I kind of disagree with that. They kind of level off at 7:00 but so many people are flooding into the park at that time that they don't really get any shorter either. Orion, Diamondback, Beast, and Flight of Fear were all full for FL+ at 9:30 last Saturday (and all had 2-3+ hr standby lines). Maybe by 10:30-11:00 you'll start catching some short lines but it takes a while.

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One thing I noticed this trip was for most of our rides, there was at least one delay for ride operators having to try to force the restraints down on overweight riders, sometimes resulting in walks-of-shame. This would cause stacking every time. It gets worse every year, and I could hear other people getting frustrated with it, as well.

Whether for walks of shame of general slowness, the stacking got kind of insane. Orion, Mystic Timbers, and Banshee shouldn't be running 3 trains anyway, but there wasn't a single time where the third train didn't sit for almost a minute, just to pull forward and sit again for 3 more minutes. Even Diamondback with its longer ride time was stacking quite a bit. If the Nitro ops at Great Adventure ever let the third train stack that much, they'd be relegated to Bugs Bunny Land. I will say the Beast crew was hauling ass each time I rode it, usually they were waiting for the train to clear the lift to send the next one. The same grouper was there both nights I was there (tall, younger, and quite the booming voice) and did an excellent job both honoring requests and getting every train out full.

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Yeah, the stacking is pretty bad. I think back to Scarowinds during Fury's first year. 3 trains. No stacking. That just wasn't the case, anywhere. We really did see several instances where it was due to an overweight rider, and the crew would spend several minutes between trying to jam the restraints, and eventually releasing the restraints for that car, then securing them again.

 

I guess the FL was hit or miss. We luck out with MT, where we've never been past the bottom of the stairs. We also managed to time The Beast just right, where we were the only ones in FL.

 

As far as the employee telling you no, there really is a power trip for a very few amount of people. We've all seen them. "I NEED to see your ID." "No running!" The new: "Put your mask back on!" There really are some people who just enjoy telling people what to do, or telling people no, even when it doesn't make sense.

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You definitely lucked out with Beast. When I got to it at 9:30ish last Saturday, the FL line was all the way back onto the exit ramp before the split. The line crawled too (probably due to a bit more priority being put into moving the ~3 hr standby line) and took 35 minutes or so. But then again, I got walk ons for Banshee, Windseeker, and Mystic Timbers right before and after that so guess you just have to hit it right (and hope the grouper is moving the FL line along if you don't). 

I'm glad dealing with the mask BS is over in the parks (except in California maybe? lol) and was happy to have mine put away the whole trip to Ohio minus the airport/flight. I keep one in my pocket as I usually put it on out of respect if someone wants to speak to me and they have one on, but didn't have to worry about that in Ohio like I occasionally do here in MA. I did get pissed off at one security guy at Hershey last year. Was sitting on a bench by myself with a drink next to me and he went out of his way to come yell at me because I wasn't putting it up between sips. Meanwhile hordes of people were walking by with theirs down. Definitely don't miss the 2020 hysteria. 

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"When it became clear that she was never going to get the last two rows filled before the gates opened, I tried walking back there and she actually came over and told me to go sit in row 5 to keep the train as full as possible. I figured maybe there were exit passes going to the back two rows, but nope they went empty."

That's so frustrating and it's happened to me specifically at Cedar Fair parks this year. The worst example was at CGA requesting the back row on Flight Deck and Railblazer which is 8 single people per train. My group was put in the front row and the back 3 rows went empty. It's so stupid it's almost funny. 

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20 hours ago, Zand said:

I'm glad dealing with the mask BS is over in the parks (except in California maybe? lol) and was happy to have mine put away the whole trip to Ohio minus the airport/flight. . 

Still a thing indoors at WDW, which includes a lot of rides. But I think they ended to no mask, no picture policy as I got all my pics regardless of mask status of anyone on the vehicle.

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23 hours ago, Zand said:

I did get pissed off at one security guy at Hershey last year. Was sitting on a bench by myself with a drink next to me and he went out of his way to come yell at me because I wasn't putting it up between sips. Meanwhile hordes of people were walking by with theirs down. Definitely don't miss the 2020 hysteria. 

Yeah, those are the insecure authority types I'm referring to, when I used the mask example. Not the polite store employees, but the people who go out of their way to tell you what to do, even when it doesn't make sense. There's typically an easily identifiable right way and wrong way to go about asking/telling people to do something, and selecting the appropriate circumstances in which to do so.

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Not the Beast.  It's been down a decent amount of time this year and fireworks, etc.

I think it's typically Banshee.  So probably that or DB or Orion.

They don't always publish the numbers. Sometimes they make a blog post about it. 

 

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Photo TR: Friday, 10/15, and Saturday 10/16

This past weekend, as it was my only weekend off from work for the month of October, I decided to make a trek out to Kings Island to take in their Haunt festivities.  Typically, their Haunt is one of the best out of the CF chain, and in the past I could definitely see them winning the "Best Haunted Park Attraction" award that they had plastered all over the place this year.  But this year's Haunt?  Laughable.  Read on.

I got into town around 4:30 on Friday, got checked in my hotel (the Super 8 across I-71 from the park), and made my way over to the park around 5:15 for opening.  I found myself in a substantial line of cars, but it was already moving, and made my way to the main gate.  I gotta say, I do appreciate the facade they erect in front of the standard main gate building.

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At 5:45, they opened the main gates, and in I went.  Kinda standard Haunt entry decorations during the day (that turn into quite something else at night).

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The Squishmallows store is back open, albeit without any noticeable KI-specific ones.

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I made my way over to the Fast Lane redemption booth to claim my FL+ wirstband, and also buy a Fright Lane, where I was told that you cannot actually buy the Fright Lane in the park; you need to do it online.  So I hopped out of line, whipped out my phone, quickly purchased the Fright Lane pass, then was back in line to grab that.  As it turns out, I mostly wouldn't need it, but I did utilize it to grab two laps on most mazes (first just waiting in the standby queue and second using the Fright Lane), and as you'll see, I'm glad I did.

My goal for Friday was to check out all of the Haunt stuff and get in whatever rides I could.  My first stop was Madame Fatale's Cavern of Terror, the wax museum maze.  My initial run had around 20 actors, with some well done artistry and some nice visual gags, but it was a little dark.  My later lap through this maze, I definitely noticed a lot more.  Tons of great actors, many of which were playing the "wax statue" role wonderfully.  They had a great "closing spiked wall" effect towards the end that was accentuated by a strobe light, so it was difficult to tell if the wall was actually moving (spoiler alert: it was!).  Very nicely done.

Next up was Slaugherhouse.

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As I've said in other reports, this is such a tired theme.  But, this was decently done enough I guess...15-20 actors, no complaints.  Round two later in the night was much of the same, nothing really worth noting.

I then made my way over to what is typically the best of the KI mazes, Killmart.

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The grouper sent through a group of 25 people, which is way too big.  That said, there were easily more actors inside the maze, and though nothing appeared to have changed from my 2019 experience, it was still solid.  Maybe having worked at a K-Mart for two winters back in my youth gives me a soft spot for this theme?  Round two later in the night was about the same, but I did notice a lot more nice animatronics this time through.  Unfortunately, another 30-person conga-line group sent through at once.  That said, this one was very well done.

Next up was Chaos, supposedly themed to a laboratory.  In actuality, it seemed like it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a science theme, a nightclub, or a mirror maze.  Only counted 5 or 6 actors.  Rather disappointing.  Round two later in the night though was a whole different thing.  Many more actors, and I got behind a good group of scaredy 14-15 years olds which were jumping at every little thing, which made the maze much more entertaining.

I then made my way up to the Festhaus for the Monster Rock show.

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Yawn.  Horrible acoustics, only decent enough vocalists, and a set list that included a lot more than just rock.  I think it was the same show was it was back in 2019, but it was disappointing then and disappointing now.

I then took in the You're Too Old to Trick or Treat Game Show at the Bier Garten.

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This was entertaining enough, I guess. The game I saw just involved dice rolling so not too many opportunities for jokes from the hosts.  Maybe the other games are better?

Add in the Drums of the Dead, a typical "dummers-playing-over-a-backing-track" show, which I skipped, and this was the entirety of KI's Haunt show offerings.  How does KD blow this place out of the water in this department?

Oh, remember how I mentioned the International Street area was better at night?  Yeah it was.

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Excuse my phone camera's horrible performance at night with multiple light sources, but yeah those are pyrotechnic towers lining the sides of the fountain.

My final new maze of the night was Cornered, a slightly different take on the tired corn-maze theme.

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This seemed kinda short, but it was long for the space they put it in.  Unlikely most corn-mazes at park Halloween events, this was not just a stroll through a narrow corridor of corn, instead featuring some wider open areas which plenty of things for actors to hide behind.  Better done than most corn-mazes I've been through this year, but still..,meh.  Only one lap through here, as by the time I got to it I needed to use my Fright Lane the first time.

And about wrapped up my experience with KI's Haunt attractions.  You'll notice I didn't mention anything about the scare zones - that's because there wasn't really very much to mention.  Decorations and artistry were meh, presence of actors was meh...that really about sums up the entire event:  Meh.  How do I rank the Cedar Fair Haunts I've been to this year?

1. Kings Dominion, by far.
...
2. Cedar Point
3. Kings Island, solely because of Killmart and Madame Fatale's.
4. Dorney Park

Anyway, now it was time for some rides.  I hopped on Bat for a two train wait for the front row.  I don't know that I've ever been on this a night, but it was quite dark and summarily impressive.

Next up was Banshee, a two train wait for the front row.  Definitely another good night ride, but a little too lit up.

Finally, it was time for Beast.  18 minutes for front row (the only place to ride this, day or night).  This would turn out to be my only night ride on this of the trip, and man was it worth it.  Classic.

After that, I did another lap of the park, getting in my second rounds at each of the mazes that I hadn't used my Fright Lane on yet, and then left the park around 10:00, since I was pretty tired after my nine-hour drive to get here.

On Saturday, with an 11:00 opening, I got to the park at a little after 9:30 and was greeted with this:

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Yay.

Anyway, there's not really much to talk about from my Saturday experience, so I guess I'll just do a bullet list for rides, in order that they occurred (times with FL+):

-Diamondback:  Walk-on early entry for row 2, left side.
-Woodstock Express: Two-train wait for back row.
-Mystic Timbers: Two-train wait for front row, Man Eater and snake ending.
-Backlot Stunt Coaster: One-train wait for back row.  Everything working except the helicopter did not move.
-Shake, Rattle, & Roll: One cycle wait
-Kings Mill Antique Autos: Two-car wait
-Zephyr: Half-cycle wait
-Flight of Fear: 15 minute wait for back row.
-Orion: 22 minute wait for back row.  Yeah, that was with FL, at 1:00 PM.
-Racer: One-train wait for row 2, red side.  Did not win.
-Beast: 15 minute wait for front row.
-Racer: Two-train wait for front row, blue side.  Did win!
-Adventure Express: Two-train wait for front row.  Everything working.
-Invertigo: 15 minute wait for the "back" row.  Honestly wasn't bad, I think that the extra non-seat-having trailing car when riding in the back row helps a lot.
-Banshee: One-train wait for back row, left side.
-KI & Miami Valley Railroad: Walk-on.
-Beast:  22 minutes for front row.  Noted that exit-pass use seemed quite excessive on that day.
-Mystic Timbers: 14 minutes for back row.  Same ending.

This was all accomplished by 6 PM, at which point the crowds were getting a bit insane.  A bit earlier in the day, I grabbed some garlic-bread grilled cheese from a food truck (one with bacon, one without), which was pretty good (especially for the price - $10 for both), but no Tom + Chee, which was closed all day both days I was there.

I took a stroll up to the designated smoking area (actually inside the park, gasp!) and laughed at the group of riders stuck on Invertigo....

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...while I decided what I wanted to do.  Really, I had accomplished everything I wanted from the trip, and the way the crowds were growing and reports from previous Saturdays, I decided I just wasn't going to have a good time if I had stayed, so I left.

On my way out, I saw hundreds if not thousands of people walking towards the main gate, and on the drive out I was greeted with this sight:

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Yeah, that's cars backed all the way out to Kings Mills Road.  So glad I left.

All in all, not a terrible trip.  If you're going to KI expecting an awesome Halloween time, prepare to be disappointed.  Good thing they've got a ton of awesome rides, haha. I highly recommend going on a Friday or Saturday daytime, when crowds are much more reasonable, but Saturday nights just seem like a fun time for no one.

Thanks for reading!  I've still got a few more trips planned for this Halloween season, so stay tuned.

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Agreed, Kill Mart and Madame are very solid and the rest are bleh. When they demo'd the building by Scrambler they got rid of their best indoor haunt which was usually just a classic haunted house. Trail of Terror would have been straight back beyond Orion and the classic haunted woods walk through was always great. They used to have the train + haunt using the old white water canyon trail but since MT was added I don't believe it can run anymore. No more Urgent Scare...maybe they will demo that old action theater? KI used to be a premier event that I thought could be elevated to Knott's level but it's gone backwards. 

It's a bummer that KI seems to read the local area before adding anything that's not a coaster. The haunted house scene is decimated in the area so they don't feel competition nowadays. 

They only added new slides when the competitor, the Beach, added a slide. 

This year we have no Beach, and like 4 haunts in the area so no surprise KI is just absolutely slammed. 

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I'm here at KI tonight with my two oldest kids, and 50 minutes in, we had already walked onto a front row ride on Orion, and ridden both Diamondback and Mystic Timbers with virtually no wait on DB, and maybe 10 minutes on MT. This is with no Fastlane, to be clear. We've also done Killmart with only about a 5 minute wait. Now we're in line for Banshee for what appears to be about a 15 minute line. 

It's a damp and foggy night, and crowds have started to pick up now, but still, it's been a great night at the park so far, and as always, KI Haunt is one of my highlights of the year!

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I've been to KI 7 times over the years and the longest line I've waited in is 30 mins for Diamondback. The 2nd longest has only been 15 mins. I think its a testament to their operations.

I had the platinum pass this year (my first time since 2015), went a few times this summer, and really wanted to go to haunt. Unfortunately I broke my scaphoid late August and have been in a forearm cast since. The only 6 rides at KI you can't ride with a forearm cast are Banshee, Delirium, Diamondback, Drop Tower, Mystic Timbers, and Orion. To me, not worth the weekend trip if I can't ride the top 5 rides... :( The pictures and videos I have seen look amazing though!

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1 hour ago, Dan the Coaster Man said:

I've been to KI 7 times over the years and the longest line I've waited in is 30 mins for Diamondback. The 2nd longest has only been 15 mins. I think its a testament to their operations.

I had the platinum pass this year (my first time since 2015), went a few times this summer, and really wanted to go to haunt. Unfortunately I broke my scaphoid late August and have been in a forearm cast since. The only 6 rides at KI you can't ride with a forearm cast are Banshee, Delirium, Diamondback, Drop Tower, Mystic Timbers, and Orion. To me, not worth the weekend trip if I can't ride the top 5 rides... :( The pictures and videos I have seen look amazing though!

That's a fun report but on the other hand, without fast lane, I've only been on Diamondback a handful of times because how long the lines were. When did you visit?

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22 minutes ago, PKI Jizzman said:

That's a fun report but on the other hand, without fast lane, I've only been on Diamondback a handful of times because how long the lines were. When did you visit?

All my visits have been on summer weekdays. The hottest day was the busiest, but all the others seemed about the same despite forecast. I've ran into the rain a few times and had other clear days. I've never had a fast lane at KI!

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58 minutes ago, Dan the Coaster Man said:

All my visits have been on summer weekdays. The hottest day was the busiest, but all the others seemed about the same despite forecast. I've ran into the rain a few times and had other clear days. I've never had a fast lane at KI!

This is a lucky guy is all I gotta say as far as this year goes visiting KI. I had 3/10 good experiences summer, spring fall visits w/o FL.

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I get Racer, since it just got all that new wood, but I always found the chipped paint and rust as part of the charm of Adventure Express.

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That's a bit strange for AE. This year is its 30th anniversary and it already looks better than ever with updated lighting and theming. 

I'm so torn on how to spend my last day at KI this season - Friday night looks to be rainy and cold, the same as last Friday's forecast and it was still packed. Saturday I'm not sure if it's even worth spending for FL to go, and Sunday, the last day before winterfest looks like the best day, but it's also Halloween and could be packed as well.

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