Day 1: Kentucky Kingdom
I arrived early and was able to take a few pictures before opening. The out of state deal was amazing. I got a wristband for free drinks, and I didn’t have to have a souvenir cup. Really helped not have as much stuff to drag around. Overall I was impressed. It’s still a small park, but it has a handful of great rides, and it’s a good foundation to build on. They’re in for the long haul for sure.
Theming: There isn’t a whole lot. This is more an amusement park than a theme park. The landscaping, however, is incredible, and it was a joy to walk through this park. I prefer parks like this as opposed to the ones where you’re just running from ride to ride.
Food: The drinks were a great perk! I didn’t buy any food here, because I had a big breakfast in town and left around 5:30.
Service: All the ride operators were friendly, efficient, and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I didn’t encounter a bad employee all day, and there were several stellar ones, especially on the Lightning Run and Storm Chaser crews.
Waterpark: Very good, on par with Crystal Falls for sure. The lifeguards were efficient at operating the waterslides, and really did their best to keep lines moving. Some lines were long, but I never felt like any were dragging. The only disappointment was that Deluge was down all day. I saw mechanics there most of the day, so they were obviously working on it, but it never opened. I loved Wildebeest and was looking forward to this the most of any waterslide, more even than Deep Water Dive. So, it’s top priority next time I’m here, which is hopefully soon.
Tornado was great as usual—I always like those—and the other tube slides were very fun as well. The best of them was Calypso Run. Not a fast slide, but the three mini-tornadoes were very cool. I enjoyed it a lot.
Deep Water Dive was incredible, but I don’t think I’d do it again. First of all, the 110 foot climb left me out of breath by the time I got to the top. I will admit to being no athlete, but I do walk, jog, and bicycle regularly, so I’m not out of shape either. It’s just a lot of stairs. Second, there isn’t a canopy at the top, so the concrete platform is brutally hot. I didn’t realize that they would allow you to wear water shoes (most body slides don’t)—so my feet were burning. The dive itself was great—pretty much like a drop tower—and I had a lot of fun, but the other factors made this a once-only ride.
Water rides: Both are great! On my ride on Mile High Falls, the boat failed to engage the chain and I was stuck at the bottom of the lift. Maintenance was out quickly, though, and we didn’t have to evac. They just reset the sensors and away we went. It makes a huge splash and was very satisfying. I did this before the waterpark, so it was just enough to cool me down before resuming coaster riding.
Raging Rapids was very cool. It had this industrial sewer theme to it which was kind of creepy. I’ve never been on a rapids ride quite like this one, and rapids are one of my favourite ride types. It had some good splashes, and left me good and soaked without being uncomfortably so. Great ride!
Flats: I considered this my waterpark day on this trip, so I didn’t ride very many flats. Fearfall was great, as ARM towers always are. Giant Wheel is the biggest ride in the park, and a lot of fun. I always enjoy Ferris wheels, and this one being in the centre of the park gives a great vantage point. Himalaya was the third flat I rode, and it’s a personal favourite ride type for me. I don’t do spinning rides normally, but that type doesn’t bother me at all. Gentle rocking back and forth, ups and downs—it’s very relaxing. Himalaya has a long ride cycle, too.
If I had more time, I probably would have done Skycatcher, Bluebeard’s Bounty, and Prof. John’s Flying Machines, but I had a date with the Beast that night.
More on that later.
Lightning Run: I cannot say enough good things about this ride. It’s small but feels fast, is very forceful, and has great airtime. It’s very re-rideable as well. I think I may like it more than Storm Chaser, honestly.
Storm Chaser: It’s really Lightning Run with inversions. The barrel roll drop is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The drop doesn’t feel fast, but it’s really hauling at the bottom of that drop. Just like Lightning Run, it has ridiculous amounts of airtime, and the inversions are perfectly placed and perfectly executed.
T3: Burn it. Kill it with fire. And yes, it’s steel. Steel burns too if you get it hot enough. Make a 2500 degree fire and burn this SOB down. I take back every negative thing I said about Gauntlet at Magic Springs (the only other SLC I had been on at that point). Gauntlet is unicorns and rainbows compared to T3. I actually wanted to ride this because of the new restraints, and I will say there wasn’t any headbanging. But the shuffling on the track was painful and headache inducing. This goes in the category with SFStL’s Ninja. It’s that bad.
Thunder Run: It was good, but nothing extraordinary. I’d ride it once per visit. It was decently smooth for a woodie and had some good speed and a bit of airtime in places.