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Day 2: Banshee and the Beast at Kings Island (Well, and Other Stuff, too)

 

The day after Coney Island and Stricker's Grove marked the true beginning of TPR's Mini New Hotness Trip, and it started off with a bash--Banshee Bast at Kings Island! TPR and the park pulled out the stops for this one, with morning and night ERT on Beast, Diamondback, and the park's own New Hotness, Banshee. They also threw in some water park ERT, along with Q&A and early seating at the park's new show, Cirque Imagine.

 

Now, I realize that there are some of you out there, most likely still suffering the aftereffects of severe concussions, who miss the park's enormous woodie, Son of Beast. Even the worst rides have their fans, and I mean no disrespect. Really. However, I, for one, am very glad that SOB has been replaced with Banshee, one of B&M's best new rides in years. It's definitely a big improvement over the park's late-era inverted coasters, such as the Silver Bullet at Knott's and Patriot at Worlds of Fun. I also think it's a better ride than Busch Gardens' Alpengeist. I like Banshee's sprawling layout and forces--the latter had been missing from B&M rides as of late. While it's not on the same level as Nemesis at Alton Towers or Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa, Banshee is a good, solid ride, with an excellent first drop, particularly in the backseat; it's great after dark, too.

 

Well done, B&M. You got a bit of your mojo back (I like Diamondback, too, by the way). And rot in hell, SOB!

 

I had one other credit to gain at this park: the infamous Nighthawk. Gawd, that thing was hell of Earth--a rattly. shaky, rough mess of steel that's right down there with Vekoma's Ninja rides. They should disassemble this ride, then sow the ground it stood on with salt to ensure that its evil never rises again. But, hey, ka-freakin'-ching!

 

The Beast lived up to its name, but was still a lot of fun--particularly after dark. The first section, after the world's slowest lift hill (seriously, the Loch Ness Monster's lift is greased lightning by comparison), is very good, although the Helix of Death in the second half still lives up to its name. But I love this ride's very eccentric layout in the woods.

 

This was probably the best day you could possible have at Kings Island. My thanks to Robb and Elissa, and the good folks at the park, for making it possible.

 

Here's a look.

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The Banshee is the sexiest soul-sucking ghoul woman this side of Elvira.

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It appears we're a bit early.

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"No, seriously. Where is this 'Banshee' thing? Have you seen it?"

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"I'll **cough!** swallow your **ack! ugh!** soul . . . **hack! agh!** This mist is giving me bronchitis! Ain't nobody got time for . . . **cough! ugh!**

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Yeah, it's a little easier to see the ride when you're behind the mist.

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I like how they've made the station look like a church in a graveyard. Much better than your standard Cedar Fair "barn" stations.

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Now, I'd be concerned about some funky mist in this area, being as I'm right next to a restroom.

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Rest in Pieces, you SOB! The "eternal flame" is actually the ride burning in Hell forever!

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"Aw, crap . . . **cough!** I'd totally swallow your souls if I could see you!"

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Panda Express in the Festhaus. Think of the combo meals they could make by combining lo mein with bratwurst, sauerkraut, and duck sauce.

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Let's not forget old Diamondback.

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Yes, it plays second fiddle to Banshee now, but it's still a solid ride.

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"I got yer mist, right here, Banshee!"

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Ah, there's Daron and Derek. I'd wondered what they were up to.

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I wonder if Firehawk is happy about the demise of Son of Beast?

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It now can rightly claim the title of "Worst Ride at Kings Island." SOB was holding it back.

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I'd heard that Firehawk was the best of the Flying Dutchman rides. If that's the case, I shudder to think what the others are like now. Deena didn't even ride it, and she's holding her head in pain!

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Spider-monkey! Why did you not save me from Firehawk?

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Meanwhile, Banshee continues to suck souls and show people a good time.

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Based on his evil grin, I'm pretty sure that the ear of corn on the left has ridden Banshee.

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Time for a view from the top.

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"Wh-o-o-o-o-o-o-a crap!"

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Poor souls who have been seduced by Banshee.

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"Loops. Why did it have to be loops?"

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This coaster is called "Racer." Based on this fact, what is wrong with this picture?

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I like over-banked turns, don't you? Of course, I'm probably using the wrong term to describe this element; it's probably called a "mega-lateral positive G cutback with a twist of lemon," or something, and some geek will jump on me for it. Maybe I should just call it "Frank."

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Skloo . . . oops! Knoebels' lawyers just contacted me. I'm not allowed to use that word outside of its proper context.

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I "ka-chinged" Vortex back in 2009, so there's no need to ever ride it again.

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Kings Island's verion of Backlot Stunt Coaster is definitely better than King Dominion's--at least more of its effects work. More to come from Banshee Bash.

Edited by cfc
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Lunch! And more Kings Island.

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It somehow makes sense that TPR's picnic is being held in the "Delirium" shelter.

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I mean, we were all seeing giant dogs that walked upright and wore bowling shirts. We must've been delirious. (And, yes, they served hot dogs and fried chicken, which was pretty good).

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The sequel to this film was "The Spectre of Death Hangs Over You, Charlie Brown."

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This is one rather distirbing looking cowpoke. I bet he just saunters and sashays all over the place.

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Remember--the Beast gave his only begotten son so that we could have Banshee. I can see why he might be a bit "wrathful." (Or is that the Old Testament Beast?)

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Yay for wrath!

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Even Banshee's backstage area has some spooky theming. (Thanks for the access, Kings Island. I'm sure the group got plenty of great pictures.)

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LOOP DE SOUL!

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"Whee! Having your soul sucked is fun!"

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Most people probably won't miss their souls, anyway.

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Watch our for the grave stone!

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LOOP DE SOUL UP CLOSE! If souls weren't invisible, you'd see them being flung about willy-nilly!

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They are now just empty husks, devoid of spirit--but it's all in fun!

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Speaking of soul-sucked zombies . . .

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Hmm--this might be a group of enthusiasts on a backstage tour of a wooden coaster. Call it a hunch.

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Er, OK, but isn't the Crypt road cursed, or something?

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Whatcha gonna do, when the Beast's wrath runs wild on you?

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Beast does have a very relaxing lift hill.

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"We surrender! Please do not go all 'wrathful' on us!"

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"Help! Save us from the wrath!"

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"Oh, yeah! Totally hot orgy going on in there. Check it out."

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"Stop! We're missing the orgy!" One more set of photos to go.

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Yes, we're still at KIngs Island--which is good, because we're having a great time!

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Nice station. Probably more room in there for an orgy than in the lift-motor shack, too.

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"Nice work on the door there, guys. But there is the little matter of the walls." (It's for a new Haunt maze.)

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Backstage at Diamnondback.

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"Hello!"

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"Goodbye!"

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Two trains at once! I rule!

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Guess the time when I took this photo. I dare you!

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Time for Robb's "Frozen Sing-a-Long!"

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OK, I lied. It's a Q&A session with the park's Cirque Imagine performers. But I bet they really wail on "Let It Go."

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Yes, I took this shot. Everybody takes this shot.

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This statue is dedicated to children who have died of cancer. I didn't notice it back in 2009 (my last visit), so I guess it's a recent addition.

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"There's a little hotel called the Shady Rest at the junction. Dippin' Dots Junction."

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Or is that Losantiville?

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You get great views of Diamondback from the train.

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Only not from here.

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This is called "theming."

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Well, it's not quite time for things to blow up yet. Let's check out a gift shop.

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Er, just back away slowly . . .

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Porky is one sick pig. I think he wants people to meet him at Beast's lift-motor shack at midnight.

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"It's a MAJOR AWARD!"

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Ooh!

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Ahh! (We had a private seating area in the park's International Restaurant over the entrance to watch the fireworks.)

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As you've probably guessed, Banshee is a great night ride. Boy, she can suck a bunch of souls after dark!

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I recommend the front seat at night, and the backseat during the day.

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Diamondback is more fun at night, too--but the Beast still rules the darkness! That's all for now.

Edited by cfc
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^Let's see . . . shakiness, roughness, uncomfortable seating, pain, and nausea. Those sound like pretty good reasons to me. At least you're in a normal sitting position on Vortex.

 

To be clear, I used to rather like Batwing at Six Flags America, but I haven't ridden it years.

Edited by cfc
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Nice trip report. My wife and I went to KI back on Aug. 9th...and it was an awesome trip. We love KI. Banshee is a great addition to the park. As with the great coasters KI has, they also have some of the most terrible too. I agree with you on Firehawk...It's an awful ride. Although I wouldn't say it's their worst ride, that honor would go to Vortex. Adventure Express is pretty god awful too. But it's hard not to love KI after you ride Banshee, Diamondback and Beast...That trio is so awesome you could pretty much just ride them all day and never get tired of them.

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Nice trip report. My wife and I went to KI back on Aug. 9th...and it was an awesome trip. We love KI. Banshee is a great addition to the park. As with the great coasters KI has, they also have some of the most terrible too. I agree with you on Firehawk...It's an awful ride. Although I wouldn't say it's their worst ride, that honor would go to Vortex. Adventure Express is pretty god awful too. But it's hard not to love KI after you ride Banshee, Diamondback and Beast...That trio is so awesome you could pretty much just ride them all day and never get tired of them.

 

But let's not forget Adventure Express's amazing ending.

 

^Skyrush? Did someone say Skyrush? We'll be getting to that later.

Edited by cfc
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I've been really regretting not making it to Banshee Bash. I'm not a fan of KI, but after seeing how much fun everyone had I wish I would've gone. Firehawk was a surprise for me last year... I thought it was pretty fun. Not sure if being bigger helps, because you don't get thrown around in the restraint as much.

 

Oh, and look at this. Robb Alvey is taking coaster nerd pictures! NERD!

 

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^^As I said earlier, I kind of liked Batwing at SFA. The Ride Formerly Known as Borg Assimilator at Carowinds, well, not so much.

 

But Firehawk at KI, ugh! Not a good time for me.

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Hey Chuck! Thanks for the pictures. Banshee Bash was such a great day!

 

We were there the night before the bash and got a front seat ride on Firehawk. The fireworks were going off while we were going up the hill, so with the odd seating/laying position - we had a great view.

 

That was the best part of the ride .

 

Those night rides on Beast were E-P-I-C though and more than made up for the beatings that Firehawk was giving.

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