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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

P. 401: Herschend Enterprises named majority partner and park operator

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It's neither cheap, easy, or practical to dig a 100 foot deep tunnel. Apparently Roller Coaster Tycoon is catching on again.

Herschend was and is a different brand than Six Flags.   There is one certainty. Kentucky Kingdom will not be receiving a launched wooden roller coaster any time soon.

Yeah, I think the only 'concern' is because people see this park going more the way of Celebration City or Wild Adventures than becoming the next SDC or Dollywood.  I think it will stay pretty much th

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I really cant stand the Fair Board. They are mostly to blame that the park sat idle for as long as it did!

They aren't mostly. They ARE the reason it sat vacant.

 

 

And the reason Six Flags left town.

 

 

Absolutely right. I don't know if Six Flags would still have the park now, but if not for the Fair Board they would not have left so abruptly, and the Park may have been passed into other hands rather than closing all together if Six Flags had still decided to leave. But, at least its on the right track again.

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Did Six Flags really leave all that abruptly, though? I thought the removal of Chang and the announcement of a HUGE water park addition without a single detail or piece of concept art released was a pretty gigantic, in-your-face red flag. And there was the whole thing with a fourth of the park being closed since 2007...plus the removal of Hellevator, Rainbow, Chaos, and other rides with no replacements...

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Did Six Flags really leave all that abruptly, though? I thought the removal of Chang and the announcement of a HUGE water park addition without a single detail or piece of concept art released was a pretty gigantic, in-your-face red flag. And there was the whole thing with a fourth of the park being closed since 2007...plus the removal of Hellevator, Rainbow, Chaos, and other rides with no replacements...

 

 

I think Chaos was replaced with Deluge

 

And Six Flags left cause they could make a deal with the lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fairboard.

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Did Six Flags really leave all that abruptly, though? I thought the removal of Chang and the announcement of a HUGE water park addition without a single detail or piece of concept art released was a pretty gigantic, in-your-face red flag. And there was the whole thing with a fourth of the park being closed since 2007...plus the removal of Hellevator, Rainbow, Chaos, and other rides with no replacements...

 

I know this is going to sound all shady, and I apologize for that but...

 

Six Flags leaving Kentucky Kingdom was years in the making, but was done abruptly. I know that they had real plans to replace Chang with more water park...

 

That park had (and probably still HAS) it tough because when the state fair is, it becomes a big carny. So, why spend $30 or whatever going to the park to ride Lightning Run when you can wait until the fair and ride it for $2? It makes adding a water park where the intent to go is a lot bigger a much better overall investment. I, uhm, heard from a little birdy that the plan for the water park was years in the making and Six Flags was definitely planning on going through with it, but the combination of the fair board negotiations (or lack thereof) as well as the Superman accident and lowered attendance figures changed everything.

 

Six Flags was DEFINITELY trying to get that park to work. I honestly wonder what would have happened if not for the Superman accident. As for rides like Rainbow and Chaos not getting replacements, when you're talking about a flat ride and your attendance figures are at a flat line, it only makes sense to add big attractions or nothing at all - flats (which the actual carnies can set up right outside the park anyway during the fair) will not by themselves attract anyone new there. They are supplemental in nature, and if you have declining attendance and a lot of flats, they are redundant. (I'm a flat lover too, sorry, it's just true. )

 

Is that why no work had begun on the water park by Feb. ?

 

I think that no work had begun on the water park by the time that Six Flags said they were leaving Kentucky Kingdom is that Six Flags didn't want to start spending money on a property that by that point the writing was on the wall for. If they had not been allowed to break the contract though, I do think the water park addition would have been built.

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Well, Chance rides has updated their coaster page. The featured coaster for the Hyper GT-X, is the first, Lightning Run at Kentucky Kingdom. The PDF shows a overall aerial view of the layout, pretty fun looking if you ask me and there is a video featuring a full off ride and a full on-ride POV. I'm guessing this video was the one that they played at IAAPA this year. Enjoy: Chance Rides Hyper GT-X Page

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Did Six Flags really leave all that abruptly, though? I thought the removal of Chang and the announcement of a HUGE water park addition without a single detail or piece of concept art released was a pretty gigantic, in-your-face red flag. And there was the whole thing with a fourth of the park being closed since 2007...plus the removal of Hellevator, Rainbow, Chaos, and other rides with no replacements...

 

I know this is going to sound all shady, and I apologize for that but...

 

Six Flags leaving Kentucky Kingdom was years in the making, but was done abruptly. I know that they had real plans to replace Chang with more water park...

 

That park had (and probably still HAS) it tough because when the state fair is, it becomes a big carny. So, why spend $30 or whatever going to the park to ride Lightning Run when you can wait until the fair and ride it for $2? It makes adding a water park where the intent to go is a lot bigger a much better overall investment. I, uhm, heard from a little birdy that the plan for the water park was years in the making and Six Flags was definitely planning on going through with it, but the combination of the fair board negotiations (or lack thereof) as well as the Superman accident and lowered attendance figures changed everything.

 

Six Flags was DEFINITELY trying to get that park to work. I honestly wonder what would have happened if not for the Superman accident. As for rides like Rainbow and Chaos not getting replacements, when you're talking about a flat ride and your attendance figures are at a flat line, it only makes sense to add big attractions or nothing at all - flats (which the actual carnies can set up right outside the park anyway during the fair) will not by themselves attract anyone new there. They are supplemental in nature, and if you have declining attendance and a lot of flats, they are redundant. (I'm a flat lover too, sorry, it's just true. )

 

Is that why no work had begun on the water park by Feb. ?

 

I think that no work had begun on the water park by the time that Six Flags said they were leaving Kentucky Kingdom is that Six Flags didn't want to start spending money on a property that by that point the writing was on the wall for. If they had not been allowed to break the contract though, I do think the water park addition would have been built.

 

 

Everybody, Chaos got replaced with Deluge!!!! Is the ride that bad?

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^^People just keep forgetting that Six Flags was putting more focus on the water park, which was where the park's newest additions were going.

 

Anyone who lives within this region knows how hot and humid summers can sometimes get, so let's not forget that the water park was a huge draw for people to beat the heat, and that's where investments were made near the end of Six Flag's reign. Plus, slides are cheaper.

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^^People just keep forgetting that Six Flags was putting more focus on the water park, which was where the park's newest additions were going.

 

Anyone who lives within this region knows how hot and humid summers can sometimes get, so let's not forget that the water park was a huge draw for people to beat the heat, and that's where investments were made near the end of Six Flag's reign. Plus, slides are cheaper.

 

Deluge was the ONLY water park investment that was made, unless someone knows something that I don't. The new water park addition had not officially began when Six Flags pulled stakes, so I don't think that you can fairly count it.

 

To be fair, Chaos was removed for a reason that had nothing to do with Deluge (as all Chaos rides were everywhere), but again - unless you're getting one of the giant flat rides, flat rides are not attendance drivers. Water rides, coasters, and even shows are much better than announcing you're adding a new flat, even if it is something awesome.

 

The way that you could see reinvestment being made into the park was by how the park was sprucing back up everything. Chang had a new coat of paint to make it stop looking like it was falling apart. A lot of other things got painted and were looking really nice. The park was really making an attempt to give people a value for their time and money, and Six Flags was really going about it the right way no matter what was said. They were cleaning up the park and making the experience better.

 

Remember Geauga Lake? When they transformed that into Six Flags Ohio, they added the four new roller coasters but upgraded NOTHING infrastructure-wise. The park looked run down and like they had plopped a bunch of random coasters down where ever. I went that year. I knew leaving that I never needed to go back.

 

I had a similar experience with Kentucky Kingdom. I ended up there through a set of circumstances that I literally did not control, and the difference in the park was something you could feel. It was clean. The employees weren't rude. It went from a park I never wanted to go to again to a place that I have quite a fond memory of and a place I would have definitely returned too.

 

Six Flags got dealt a bum hand with Kentucky Kingdom, and just like the bum hand they got dealt with Six Flags New Orleans, they were able to use the bankruptcy as a chance to escape what had become a horrible deal with people who didn't want to negotiate. (And yes, the New Orleans thing wasn't settled during bankruptcy, it was settled because of it though). While it sucks to have people's home parks and memories closed and destroyed like they were, from a strictly business standpoint, the fair board and the fallout from the Superman accident really gave them no other choice.

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Deluge was the ONLY water park investment that was made, unless someone knows something that I don't.

In Six Flag's era, the water park received Tornado (sitting in Quake's former location), Deluge (part of it taking up Chaos' previous space), Mega Wedgie, and a small water playground. Only Deluge had the biggest overall impact on the park, with Tornado a close second when it first opened.

 

The way that you could see reinvestment being made into the park was by how the park was sprucing back up everything. Chang had a new coat of paint to make it stop looking like it was falling apart. A lot of other things got painted and were looking really nice. The park was really making an attempt to give people a value for their time and money, and Six Flags was really going about it the right way no matter what was said. They were cleaning up the park and making the experience better.

 

Remember Geauga Lake? When they transformed that into Six Flags Ohio, they added the four new roller coasters but upgraded NOTHING infrastructure-wise. The park looked run down and like they had plopped a bunch of random coasters down where ever. I went that year. I knew leaving that I never needed to go back.

 

I had a similar experience with Kentucky Kingdom. I ended up there through a set of circumstances that I literally did not control, and the difference in the park was something you could feel. It was clean. The employees weren't rude. It went from a park I never wanted to go to again to a place that I have quite a fond memory of and a place I would have definitely returned too.

You're right in that the park's last years were much cleaner than its earlier times. I noticed it especially in the foliage and how there seemed to be a better amount of trees and bushes here and there. The park felt friendlier.

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Everybody, Chaos got replaced with Deluge!!!! Is the ride that bad?

 

No no no, Deluge is a great ride! If I'm not mistaken, it was one of, if not the first of ProSlide's most brilliant creation's. But saying that Chaos was replaced by it is just wrong. Chaos was replaced by a big, circular smoking section. A few years later, the park built Deluge and it's last turn just happens to sit on top of a small part of Chaos' old plot. There's a difference there.

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In Six Flag's era, the water park received Tornado (sitting in Quake's former location), Deluge (part of it taking up Chaos' previous space), Mega Wedgie, and a small water playground. Only Deluge had the biggest overall impact on the park, with Tornado a close second when it first opened.

 

I sort of parse out the "eras" of Kentucky Kingdom's Six Flags ownership into three, the Time Warner era, the Premier era and the Shapiro era. All did different things with the park - Time Warner seemed to have little idea what to do with it once they got it, Premier seemed to figure that they would just let the poor thing degrade and toss in a few things here and there, and Shapiro's management team was the one that seemed to decide to try to bring the actual experience up while adding small stuff. The Shapiro era is also the one that ultimately walked away from the park, and I only give them credit for Deluge and Mega Wedgie, and I had totally forgot about the latter when I was typing.

 

None of the ride removals were done during the Shapiro era actually, other than I think one kiddie ride, Superman and Chang. I think that Shapiro put the park on the right path, but the incident on Superman really changed the outlook of the park, and the silly rules from the fair board didn't help at all.

 

You're right in that the park's last years were much cleaner than its earlier times. I noticed it especially in the foliage and how there seemed to be a better amount of trees and bushes here and there. The park felt friendlier.

 

I TOTALLY agree, and this is something that so many people don't recognize when parks do it because what do you write down in a history wiki: 2005 - The plants look nice and vibrant suddenly. It's a huge thing though - if the park doesn't feel nice to be there, why would you bother being there?

 

My early Kentucky Kingdom experience will always be defined by this experience - In 2002 I think it was, my friends and I were passing through town on our way to Holiday World. We decided to stop in and ride Chang and Thunder Run, but then wanted to get back on the road. At about 10:30am, we started up the walkway between the park halfs, and a security guard yelled at us and said that, "Nobody goes back there!" There was NO signage up, just this guard posted there rudely telling us not to go back. When I asked if that part of the park would open, the answer was, "Yup." I had to ask again when, and he said that it opened at 11am like it always does, and then turned and walked back like we were bothering him and he had to get back to looking sort of important in front of the walkway.

 

None of this was mentioned anywhere that we had seen. I actually have a picture of my friends standing in front of the grumpy security guard at the park waiting for them to let us across because it was so surreal. We decided to wait it out, we ran back and quickly rode Chang and Thunder Run (with nearly equally rude, uncaring employees) and then we left with us all saying that we never needed to go back.

 

Building Greezed Lightning, which I really, really wanted to ride (never got on a weight shuttle loop...) was tempting, but it didn't do it. Sadly, when I was at the park last, I only got to ride one ride and it was Chang... but the entire experience was so good I started agitating to my friends that we should actually make time to head back there sometime.

 

(This was supposed to be a reply to the Chaos still existing that was pictured above... I lost the quote... Sorry.)

 

Whoa! How are they managing that? The ride was removed due to structural issues, how did this one get away with not needing to be removed?

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In Six Flag's era, the water park received Tornado (sitting in Quake's former location), Deluge (part of it taking up Chaos' previous space), Mega Wedgie, and a small water playground. Only Deluge had the biggest overall impact on the park, with Tornado a close second when it first opened.

 

I sort of parse out the "eras" of Kentucky Kingdom's Six Flags ownership into three, the Time Warner era, the Premier era and the Shapiro era. All did different things with the park - Time Warner seemed to have little idea what to do with it once they got it, Premier seemed to figure that they would just let the poor thing degrade and toss in a few things here and there, and Shapiro's management team was the one that seemed to decide to try to bring the actual experience up while adding small stuff. The Shapiro era is also the one that ultimately walked away from the park, and I only give them credit for Deluge and Mega Wedgie, and I had totally forgot about the latter when I was typing.

 

None of the ride removals were done during the Shapiro era actually, other than I think one kiddie ride, Superman and Chang. I think that Shapiro put the park on the right path, but the incident on Superman really changed the outlook of the park, and the silly rules from the fair board didn't help at all.

 

You're right in that the park's last years were much cleaner than its earlier times. I noticed it especially in the foliage and how there seemed to be a better amount of trees and bushes here and there. The park felt friendlier.

 

I TOTALLY agree, and this is something that so many people don't recognize when parks do it because what do you write down in a history wiki: 2005 - The plants look nice and vibrant suddenly. It's a huge thing though - if the park doesn't feel nice to be there, why would you bother being there?

 

My early Kentucky Kingdom experience will always be defined by this experience - In 2002 I think it was, my friends and I were passing through town on our way to Holiday World. We decided to stop in and ride Chang and Thunder Run, but then wanted to get back on the road. At about 10:30am, we started up the walkway between the park halfs, and a security guard yelled at us and said that, "Nobody goes back there!" There was NO signage up, just this guard posted there rudely telling us not to go back. When I asked if that part of the park would open, the answer was, "Yup." I had to ask again when, and he said that it opened at 11am like it always does, and then turned and walked back like we were bothering him and he had to get back to looking sort of important in front of the walkway.

 

None of this was mentioned anywhere that we had seen. I actually have a picture of my friends standing in front of the grumpy security guard at the park waiting for them to let us across because it was so surreal. We decided to wait it out, we ran back and quickly rode Chang and Thunder Run (with nearly equally rude, uncaring employees) and then we left with us all saying that we never needed to go back.

 

Building Greezed Lightning, which I really, really wanted to ride (never got on a weight shuttle loop...) was tempting, but it didn't do it. Sadly, when I was at the park last, I only got to ride one ride and it was Chang... but the entire experience was so good I started agitating to my friends that we should actually make time to head back there sometime.

 

(This was supposed to be a reply to the Chaos still existing that was pictured above... I lost the quote... Sorry.)

 

Whoa! How are they managing that? The ride was removed due to structural issues, how did this one get away with not needing to be removed?

 

 

 

The park was never owned by Six Flags during the "Time Warner Era" from 1991-1997/1998

Premier acquired the property in September 1997 (When they were 2 separate companies) and existed until about 2006

Shapiro operated the company from 2006 to about February 4, 2010

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The park was never owned by Six Flags during the "Time Warner Era" from 1991-1997/1998

Premier acquired the property in September 1997 (When they were 2 separate companies) and existed until about 2006

Shapiro operated the company from 2006 to about February 4, 2010

 

Aw crap, you're right! I always think that it came under the Time Warner banner because Chang for the longest time had the Time Warner logo on it, but it was acquired by Premier.

 

I know quite a bit about Shapiro's reign, and as part of that a lot of what was planned for 2006 was already heading into parks that year. The first year that Shapiro really started to do what he wanted to with the company and his regime was picking rides was 2007.

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My early Kentucky Kingdom experience will always be defined by this experience - In 2002 I think it was, my friends and I were passing through town on our way to Holiday World. We decided to stop in and ride Chang and Thunder Run, but then wanted to get back on the road. At about 10:30am, we started up the walkway between the park halfs, and a security guard yelled at us and said that, "Nobody goes back there!" There was NO signage up, just this guard posted there rudely telling us not to go back. When I asked if that part of the park would open, the answer was, "Yup." I had to ask again when, and he said that it opened at 11am like it always does, and then turned and walked back like we were bothering him and he had to get back to looking sort of important in front of the walkway.

 

None of this was mentioned anywhere that we had seen. I actually have a picture of my friends standing in front of the grumpy security guard at the park waiting for them to let us across because it was so surreal. We decided to wait it out, we ran back and quickly rode Chang and Thunder Run (with nearly equally rude, uncaring employees) and then we left with us all saying that we never needed to go back.

 

I think it was also around this time period--maybe a little later--when Thunder Run's trains literally looked (and felt) like they were falling apart. Multiple rows were blocked off for broken lab bars, grab bars were missing all over the train, the seatbelts looked like they could snap with a little tug, and the lap bars that did "work" were wobbly and missing pieces of foam.

 

Ah, those were the days...

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I think it was also around this time period--maybe a little later--when Thunder Run's trains literally looked (and felt) like they were falling apart. Multiple rows were blocked off for broken lab bars, grab bars were missing all over the train, the seatbelts looked like they could snap with a little tug, and the lap bars that did "work" were wobbly and missing pieces of foam.

 

Ah, those were the days...

 

Yes, it was. We could barely believe how bad it looked.

 

Same trip, in line for T2 because my friend had never rode a hang and bang and thought it would be great, we waited 10 minutes to ride while the ride operators flirted with some girls (AFTER we were strapped in the train, with single train operation) and then watched as the ride lead walked in front of the train where I sat, gave the thumbs up sign, rode the floor down and then jumped out of our way with a, "Wheeee!!!" right before we hit him. It was amazing.

 

I talked with a friend who worked at another park about a week later and related about 10 different things I had seen, and they were appalled. All of them should have been offenses that warranted immediate termination... and this was someone also working for Six Flags at the time. We saw all of this in a matter of less than 2 total hours from gate to exit, while riding four rides (Chang twice). That visit and Six Flags Ohio rival each other for some of the worst experiences I've ever had at theme parks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just drove by there yesterday and not much has been done to the area for the new coaster from the look of things. All the old footers and things are still in place. The paint on everything looks really good and it looked to me they have stripped all the paint off of T2 because it is now a primer grey color.

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I read somewhere on the Facebook Page that coaster construction wasn't going to begin until early to mid January. I'm assuming the same would be for the water park as well since I didn't see anything from the highway going vertical.

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