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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

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Emily and I took a quick trip to KK this weekend. Emily turned 30 last week and I told it would be unacceptable to stay in town for her birthday weekend. We had two goals: Explore the park early on Saturday, and explore Louisville.

(My apologies for the junk camera phone pictures and any typos, as I made this TR with limited time.)


Unfortunately, the four hour drive was a little more uncomfortable than usual. A deer Kamikaze'd our Subaru Crosstrek, so we had to take our other Subaru race car. After a somewhat loud and rigid, but tolerable, four hour drive, I parked the race car and this was the first thing I saw!



"Bourbon!" Ah. We have arrived.


As per usual, we stayed at a Hyatt using our card points, but this time we stayed at a Regency, which was pretty nice. It was located immediately next door to "Fourth Street," which is a closed off street with restaurants and night life.


Massive atrium in this really nice hotel.




We got to the hotel at around 9, but we ventured our for an hour or so to have a couple drinks.


A nice drink at Guy Fiere's restaurant. Some kind of Bourbon something or other.


The next day we woke up and grabbed some mediocre overpriced hotel buffet and headed to the park. I wasn't quite sure if I was going to love it or hate it, so I wasn't too excited. Reading Bill's quick TR earlier in the week, I understand what he was talking about with the parking confusion. At first, I thought our GPS screwed us again, but we ended up having an easy time finding our way to the park once we were through the parking gate. There are two parking entrances, but our GPS took us to the park and convention center entrance, which is really not what we were expecting.


We purchased our out of town tickets for $28/person which included two days and a wrist band for free drinks. What a value!


We hit Lightning Run first thing. We made the first train of the day and hopped on for a back row ride. This coaster is a blast. It was about as wild as I expected, from all of the reviews. I think it ended up being our favorite.


This coaster, along with everything else in the park, looks vibrant. We hopped back on immediately for a walk-on front row ride.


Next, we made our way toward Storm Chaser and really enjoyed the view along the way. Of note, the roadway that cuts into the middle of the park is not as intrusive or as much of an eye sore as I would have thought.


I took some shots of the general scenery. The trees and landscaping in this park are fantastic. It's like a budget version of Williamsburg.


Oh wait! Is that the log flume I've been hearing so much about!!!


Wait... wtf? This is not a log flume...


Yes, but is the splash the same? Oh... shit. We'll pass.


I believe the man in the back seat is crying.


Finally we found our way back toward my first ever I-Box conversion, and third RMC ever. All of the pictures I saw made the Storm Chaser area look like crap, but it really wasn't bad at all.


But wait... What the hell is this??? This can't be regulation! What a danger! What madness causes this gap to exist! This certainly can not meet Federal Fence Guidelines! You guys were right... Someone should speak to management, immediately. (kill me)


Fortunately, this plane flew by just long enough to remind me that I couldn't give two shits. Where as Lightning Run met my expectations, Storm Chaser exceeded them. I really enjoyed the ride and it took me by surprise. I also liked the barrel roll drop, which I had previously thought was kind of gimmicky. We rode it three times throughout the day, two in back, one in front. Was it awesome? Yes. However, it may have been a little too awesome. I found myself bracing for most of the rides, but I still enjoyed it. However, the bunny hops at the end are damn near painful. Either way, good times. It made me look forward to Mean Streak.


After that, we rode Thunder Run. I expected to hate it, but I actually enjoyed it. The track was pretty smooth for a traditional wooden roller coaster and the new trains were nice. Of course, I had more pressing business to attend to. Knowing my wife has an over immature obsession for phallic objects, I told her I had an Easter Egg to show her. No sooner than we rounded the bend of Dick Rock Falls did she see nature's beauty.


"Take my picture next to the penis rocks!" she exclaimed. Naturally I sent the picture off to my like minded Sister-In-Law and Mother-In-Law. They also got a kick out of it.




After that, we tried to kill ourselves and rode T3 in the front row. Mother of God... I had never ridden a SLC before and I never want to ride another. After this thing tried to remove my insides from my body it tried to cut off my legs on the break run. Never again. Emily was yelling in pain for most of the ride while I held on for dear life like I have never held on for dear life before on a coaster.


We walked around for a bit and just appreciated the interesting park layout, including how the water park is kind of intertwined with the dry park.


Everything in this park really looks pristine. We did ride the Ferris Wheel and it allowed us to look around at the park. This made me question where the hell they're going to put whatever they have in store for 2018.


Speaking of the interesting layout, here's an interesting fact: KK has a ton of places that sell alcohol, including the TWO pictured here!


Lightning Run was Emily's favorite, and I think it may have been mine as well. It has the perfect mix of wild and crazy, without the sheer intensity of Storm Chaser.


We also took a spin on this guy, which had some interesting animals. Emily really wanted to ride the chicken... The Carousel also had a mechanical band.


We also took a spin on Tin Lizzies and found their quirky theming of random cows and pigs pretty entertaining. We love random crap like that.


Taken from my usual seat on the car rides.


Lol.. ok.


It was nice to walk around from dry ride to dry ride being able to smell the chlorine.


Finally, it was time for a beer. We enjoyed people watching and taking a look at the park while being able to keep our plastic cups. Note, you CAN walk around and drink at this park. No beer prison!


I think we paid $20 for two beers. We got one refill for $7, since we kept the cup.


Seriously impressed with this place!


We decided to take our last ride of the day on Lightning Run. We snagged one last back seat ride.


After that, I made good on new tradition and played a game to win a prize for our dog. After $15 worth of failure on my last visit to SFSTL, I decided to go with the sure thing.


What kind of dog wouldn't want to tear up a pink turtle?


We left the park around 230, as we had more pressing business to attend.


Bourbon! The Evan Williams Bourbon tour was only a ten minute walk from our room. It was a decent tour, but it was more of a marketing location, where as we thought we were going to be going to the distillery.


Either way, it was still fun and we got a free taste!


One of the two tasting rooms.


We ended up going out to Doc Crowe's for dinner, which was a disappontment despite the $100 bill and 750 Yelp reviews. Oh well.


As far as Kentucky Kingdom goes, we really enjoyed the park and we wished we had spent the majority of our day there. The value is incredible and the park has a really nice feel to it. We rode all of the coasters, including the Junior coaster. I was also impressed with the quick glimpse and cleanliness of Louisville. We really had a fun time and we are most definitely planning a return trip. I'm thankful this park is only four hours away.

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^ Awesome report and photos! Still giggling at Dick Rock Falls as every trip report since Coasterbill's now appears to have the iconic photo... lol. I agree the out of town special is awesome. Also, I did find the parking confusing as well, but we eventually figured it out. If that's all I had to complain about than they did a pretty good job!

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I had the same problem with the parking when I first visited. The GPS took me to the wrong gate.


Great TR, especially the dick rock photos I'm glad you enjoyed Storm Chaser. Your description of T3 was perfect. I've been on two other SLCs that are not nearly as bad as T3, but I also don't have the confidence to say, "You should give other SLCs a try!" You're not really missing much if you never ride another.

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Gotta head out toward Lexington/Frankfort (aka horse country) for the great distillery tours!


Anyway, awesome trip report. It's great seeing how far this park has come in a few years. Even when Storm Chaser opened last year the park was riddled with uneven footpaths, unfinished landscaping, and lots of dead ends. It appears most of that has been addressed since then! Can't wait to see what they announce for 2018.

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Great report and photos! It was entertaining and your description of T3 couldn't be any more accurate. I still think Lightning Run would be way more fun with better seats. I'm surprised I haven't read that anywhere from anyone besides myself.

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Prozach, it's interesting you mention Storm Chaser as being "too awesome". That's pretty much how I feel about it as well. I made a quick stop in today after being at Holiwood Nights all weekend. While I still think it's a great coaster, I agree that it is a little too intense for my taste. I'm not a fan of the last set of airtime hills at all as I find them too aggressive and too painful, and the strong airtime gave me a huge headache after a few rides. Every time I would hit one of those hills, I would feel a really hard head rush. The fact that I was tired, hungry, hot, and maybe a little dehydrated certainly didn't help.

Long story short, I guess I'm more a floater guy and not so much an ejector guy.

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The high-jerk* airtime sounds like my experience on Wicked Cyclone, which I liked a lot. How are the lateral Gs on Storm Chaser, though? There were two or three strong lateral moments on Cyclone that I did not enjoy: the two outward-banked turns (particularly the second, the first might have been okay) and the double-banking hill before the on-ride photo.


*Jerk is the change in G-force. Sure, a hill might hit -1 Gs, but it's different to go from 4G to -1G in 1 second than to do it in 0.5 seconds.

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^^I was basically destroyed after Holiwood Nights. Did nothing but lounge at home all day! I don't know how anyone could wake up the day after and hit another park right after all of that! Props to you for trying, though!


The intensity for Storm Chaser went up significantly this year, especially on the bunny hops. There was a point in time Lightning Run had a more intense bunny hop finale, but Storm Chaser is starting to creep its way above it. Very wild coaster!


And yes, there's a noticeable strong lateral moment right before the brake run too, but it's more like a small burst before the ride immediately stops. Nothing negative, imo.

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^Lol yeah, probably wasn't the best idea, but this was the best chance to visit the park for me this year so I went ahead and went. I slept until about 10 central time at the hotel so I thought I would be fine, but on my second Storm Chaser ride those hills started killing my head. You live and you learn.

Btw I love your photos! I'm pretty sure I walked by you a lot on the tours. You have a great eye!

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Awesome trip report. I (literally) laughed out loud a few times.


I feel like I had a similar takeaway. I knew about the road running through the park, I knew about the stupid layout in the back section and the fact that they loaded a bunch of flats on an old wild mouse pad in the front in a weird way up front, I saw the pictures of the Storm Chaser plaza, I knew the park was abandoned for years and I expected the park to seem really run down and dumpy. The parking area and every other building in that complex reinforced that but once we stepped through the gates we were really impressed with how nice everything looked and how little the layout and roadway bothered us. This park dramatically exceeded our expectations.


I lost it when I got to the part of the report about the gate, same with the "flume".

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What people outside of the state of Kentucky don't understand, is that even though it's the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center...the state has this odd resentment towards the city of Louisville, and will literally cut their noses off in spite of their faces and do little to invest in even it's own fairgrounds just because it's in Louisville.

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I can say I agree with the beautiful park feeling, if only in the Belgian Village section (though the rest of the park definitely is making a comeback.). Back in the Six Flags days I remember that area being the best place to cool down without getting soaked with how many trees it had. It was the only section on the south side of the park (Or north, if you prefer going by the map) with a large complement of family friendly rides. Flying Dutchman, Roller Skater, Thunder Run, the Carousel, and the Frightfully Funny Fire Engine just seemed to go all well together. Only wish that Six Flags had not put the Tornado in the Quake's place, it really was jarring to see it there, and still is, but c'est la vie, what's done is done. It's still the lovely quiet corner of the park like it has been all these years.




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Sent Kentucky Kingdom a message on Facebook asking when the 2018/2019 announcement would be made and got this as a reply, "As far as I know we won't be announcing anything until later in the season/off-season." So I guess it's not coming as soon as we previously thought.

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I'm so tired of this "announcement" crap. This is one of those things that's completely hearsay and speculation because a bunch of 13 year olds are pretending to have inside information about an announcement that's "totally happening next week" and it's now been repeated so much that people are treating it as fact that there's a major announcement happening any day now. This has been going on for months now and it's all based on absolutely nothing.

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Wait... wtf? This is not a log flume...


But wait... What the hell is this??? This can't be regulation! What a danger! What madness causes this gap to exist! This certainly can not meet Federal Fence Guidelines! You guys were right... Someone should speak to management, immediately. (kill me)


We really had a fun time and we are most definitely planning a return trip. I'm thankful this park is only four hours away.

Absolutely. This park is way better than it has any rights to be. I went last year, and was trying to get back this year, even though they only added the Larson Super Loop coaster. We ended up having to scratch it from our itinerary, but I absolutely am coming back when I can. Glad you had fun, and happy birthday to Emily!

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