Tuesday, July 23, 2019
We arrived at Kings Island at around 2:30pm. I wasn’t feeling that great that morning so we immediately went to get something to eat and started off with a couple easy rides.
We did the entire loop of the train, to and from Soak City. It’s a nice relaxing ride, certainly something I needed at the time.
Next, we did Windseeker and the new Antique Cars.
We happened to be in the X Base area checking out the teaser posters to see Flight of Fear coming out of some downtime so we took advantage.
I really love the queue building with all of the lighting effects and the UFO. The ride itself was fine… though it really started hurting my thighs toward the end of the ride. I was expecting a quicker acceleration out of the station but it was still fun!
I don’t have any pictures of Racer but we also did that while in the area. It was fine… Nothing really special about it. It’s weird that the lift constantly makes noise.
We were heading to Delirium but it went down so we skipped over to Drop Tower. The view while spinning going up the tower is amazing! The drop felt about as intense as our Drop Tower at CW, except longer. A good thrill for sure!
Delirium had reopened by the time we got off of Drop Tower so we went straight over. It’s a great ride, though I prefer Maxair for some reason. The new restraints on Delirium are great – You can actually see the person sitting next to you. I wish Sledge could get those.
We headed up to the top of the Eiffel Tower to take in the views, then went to eat afterward.
We ended up in line for the Beast just before it closed for the fireworks. After the fireworks at 10pm, they have to do a full track inspection which took ~15-20 minutes. Once it was clear, we hopped on the next train.
The experience had me completely stunned by the time we got to the second lift. (“What just happened?”) I don’t study layouts of coasters I’m about to go on so I vividly remember descending into complete darkness and then suddenly getting slammed into the side of the train. It’s such an incredible experience to speed through the darkness and past the faint silhouettes of the trees. Then there’s those roaring tunnels… Amazing.
It instantly made me a huge fan. I came home with a Beast t-shirt and fridge magnet.
What a way to cap off our first day.
My first meal was the pub burger at the Miami River Brewhouse.
After you place your order, they give you a little disc with a number that lights up when your order is about to come out. Tyler had ordered something else and got it within about 5-10 minutes… I sat waiting for over half an hour. I got up to ask if they could check up on it but was told, “oh, the pub burger? It should be out soon.” With that, it felt like a “not my problem” response but also an indication that this is probably something that typically takes some time. Waiting over half an hour seems too long though, right? It was a great meal but not something I’d wait for if it’s always like that.
We don’t have Chick-fil-A in Canada (yet) so I was excited to give it a try at Kings Island since the line wasn’t as long as we saw at Cedar Point. It was really good! I tried the Polynesian sauce but would like to try others next time.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
We arrived at the park just before 10am to see them putting on their opening show. They cart out the “family of the day” to do a countdown with Snoopy… but then they just quickly drive off. It seemed so weird at how short and hurried the ceremony was.
We got a locker at Banshee and did all of the surrounding rides.
Banshee was really fun, though I do prefer Raptor. Every element on this coaster is really smooth and really fun!
We made the trek to The Bat… What in the world is going on with this ride?
It’s situated so far away from the rest of the park, especially without Son of Beast. (There’s still some random switchbacks on the way back that SoB used to use.) It reminded me of how Italian Job Stunt Track at CW’s queue was when it first opened, even with the same sort of concrete tunnel to pass through.
It trims the train to a crawl to get it back to the station, which I assume makes the lift really slow so that it can be sure the brake run is clear before the next train is at the top of the lift. It’s such a big contrast with CW’s Vortex where it hurries up the lift and speeds into the station from the brakes.
Next up was Invertigo. It was ok. I didn’t think the experience was much better or worse than CW’s Bat, but it is fun to watch people’s reactions through the course.
We made our way over to Adventure Express. It’s such a cute little ride, though the transitions were so jarring that I felt my back crack on one of the turns. The end of the ride was hilarious with the big build-up going through a heavily themed tunnel thing right into the final brakes. We hit the brakes and I just went… “oh”.
We went over to the other side of the park to get on Mystic Timbers.
I thought it was good ride with all of the twists and turns. There wasn’t as much airtime as I was expecting. (Again, I don’t really study the layout of the coasters.)
I liked the shed, though I wish they’d set up some more fans if they’re not going to put in AC. (They had a single standing fan at the beginning of the brake run.) It wasn’t terribly hot at the time but I can imagine it can get quite hot in there on some days.
We crossed over to Diamondback. The greeter noticed my Yukon Striker shirt and instantly said, “This is better than Behemoth.”
That is not correct.
I thought it was a decent ride. I made sure to sit in what’s my favourite seat on Behemoth – any on the second car – to make a “fair” comparison. The airtime was about the same I suppose but I like the quicker succession of hills that Behemoth has.
The splashdown is cool to watch but actually took away points for me in terms of ride experience. I like Behemoth’s ending after the MCBR and thought Diamondback could have done something similar.
We made our way over to Vortex.
That’s a ride I don’t need to do again. (Sorry Tyler.)
We did their Backlot Stunt Coaster which I thought was surprisingly good. I didn’t grey out on the helix and thought the ride was decently smooth.
Also, the sound of the fire reminded me of Sledge e-stops.
We did the Beast during the day just because I wanted to see if I’d still like it.
Even after experiencing it at night, I still thought it was a lot of fun. I love the speed and sound of the tunnels.
We took a walk through the “Best Kids Area in the World”.
It made me sad.
There was a lot of unshaded concrete which made me think that this is what Zoom Zone at Wonderland would have been like if it was a large main kids area. It’s a very bland area.
We took a ride on the Monster which apparently uses parts from Fury that used to be at Wonderland. I wish we still had it because it’s a lot of fun!
After grabbing a meal, we ended the night by taking some pictures and video, and then catching the fireworks show on International Street.
The fireworks show is rather short but it was cool to see the lights along the Street and the fountains going. I think if it were possible, the show should be a bit longer and the spotlights could do a little more to immerse the crowd into it the way that CW’s Starlight Spectacular does.
At the same time, I don’t mind it being this short if it means that the Beast can open up faster for night rides!
All in all, I had a lovely time at Kings Island.
Now, see my notes at the end of the post for some hot takes.
We had the two cheese Coneys with fries. I thought it was really good, though the actual hot dog was so tiny. I might try the spaghetti ones next time. I wish they would post what the “3-way” and “4-way” was though so I didn’t have to Google it.
We had to get the blue ice cream. I might be boring and get it in a cup next time so I wouldn’t make such a mess. It was funny to see random puddles of blue ice cream in various areas of the park.
For my last meal at Kings Island, I had the ribs and mac and cheese from Coney Bar-B-Que. I was blown away by the quality and portion size of this meal. Definitely a place I need to revisit next year!
Lingering Trip Notes
- I planned for Kings Island to be the longer part of this trip and had even considered Fast Lane while planning it to make sure I could get everything out of it… but at one point in the middle of the day, we were just sitting there thinking about how we knocked off so many things in such a short amount of time. The thing is, there wasn’t really any ride where I felt like I had to get back on it, though that may have just been me being too tired. I think the park is more pleasing for people who grew up with it than those travelling for it, which is how I think some people may feel about Wonderland.
- This park is in dire need of more flat rides. It may be just because I come from a Land of great flat rides, but KI doesn’t really have any particularly unique flat rides. My favourite flats at KI, Delirium and the Troika, are both at CP but CP also has Skyhawk in their mix as well.
- The layout of the park was really strange with all of the dead-ends and, of course, the Bat that’s way out there.
- The food was the big highlight of my KI experience. The quality and portion sizes for all of the meals we got felt consistent and great.
- Parking was a breeze with a long row of toll booth options. We used the self-scan lane for both days and went through in under 5 seconds. Love it!
- I love the Eiffel Tower for the views and wish we had some sort of observation deck or ride at Wonderland. (Windseeker doesn’t count!)
- All-day lockers can’t move around the park so we went with 2-hour ride lockers and did the rides that surrounded them. No big issue… but it would have been best if all of the rides just had bins, and actually used them. There were some rides where all of the bins were left open which made me anxious.
- My experience with staff was really hit and miss. There were some good ones, including fun spieling at rides… but then I’d encounter ones that looked bored or were visibly angry with guests.
- I WANT A TROIKA.