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  1. #1
    Heartline Poster Rick B's Avatar
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    Kings Island 2011

    Kings Island, located outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, opened its gates for the firsts time on April 29, 1972. It was built as a replacement park for Coney Island and most of the rides were moved. The new location was chosen because the former Coney Island park was subject to frequent flooding.

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    Since opening day, the centerpiece of the park is the one-third scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

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    It can be seen from many areas of the park and is always a great reference point in case you get turned around.

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    The main attraction on opening day in 1972 was Racer, a twin-track wooden roller coaster. To this day it continues to provide a great classic coaster ride with plenty of thrills and negative G air time.

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    Since we were here in the fall, all the Halloween festivities were in full swing and the park was also prepared for their annual Halloween Haunt event.

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    Because of that, crowds were heavier than usual. It didn't help that it was unseasonably warm for this time of year. The high was in the lower 80s.

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    Kings Island is a well laid out park with lots of character and well maintained landscaping.

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    Everywhere you turn, there is a nice view...but we really came for the rides and roller coasters. The views were just an added bonus.

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    Our day started out with early rides on Diamondback before the park opened to the general public. This is King Island's Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) hyper coaster (230 feet tall) and is worth taking a trip to the park to ride. One unique feature is the splashdown water effect at the end of the ride.

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    We were also privileged to get early ride time on the world's longest wooden roller coaster, The Beast. At nearly 1 1/2 miles long and covering over 35 densely forested acres, it was one of the fastest and tallest coasters ever built when it opened in 1979.

    When it was nearly time for the park to open, we ran into a park employee named Brian who is also a coaster enthusiast. He was very helpful in guiding us to the fastest route to Firehawk and Flight of Fear, two of the coasters that are traditionally difficult to get rides on. (Thanks Brian!)

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    Firehawk is a flying coaster made by Vekoma and has some great flying time as well as some phenomenal ground hugging elements. Those elements make it a good ride that every coaster enthusiast should experience at least once.

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    Flight of Fear was the first linear induction motor (LIM) launched coaster and takes you through a great indoor dark adventure. King's Island has done a great job of maintaining the theming of this ride over the past 15 years since its opening.

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    Vortex is a classic steel looping coaster made by Arrow Dynamics. They revolutionized the steel coaster industry with their looping and corkscrew coasters which paved the way for the modern steel coasters that are being manufactured today. We weren't able to ride it during this trop but look forward to the experience next time we visit.

    We were at the park for a coaster enthusiast's event which included a walk-back behind the fences to see Diamondback and The Beast up. Here are some pictures from a perspective that most people don't get to see.

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    This is looking up through the structure of The Beast's first lift hill.

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    Here is the first drop of 135 feet before the train enters the first of three tunnels.

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    Here is the train at over 60 MPH right before it enters the first tunnel.

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    Here's another nice action shot around one of the many turns. The amount of wood and structure in this coaster is massive and very impressive. It certainly lives up to its name of The Beast.

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    We also got some nice shots of Diamondback and an almost head-on view of the first 215 foot drop.

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    Our tour was also timed nicely so were able to get some great shots of the K.I. and Miami Valley Railroad train. The two steam engine trains are powered by propane and are full scale replicas of the famous 1800's locomotive, The General.

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    The new ride for 2011 is a 301' swing called Windseeker. While it sounds daunting, it is tame enough for anybody in the family to ride who is over 52 inches tall. Can you get past your fear of heights? Fortunately I did.

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    If you are a lover of dark rides, then Boo Blasters on Boo Hill is a must ride attraction. This is a newer version manufactured by Sally Corporation.

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    As it drew later in the day, we headed over to Festhaus.

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    We won VIP passes to the wrestling show being held there, Half Pint Brawlers. It is professional style wrestling featuring midgets.

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    We had front row seats. You couldn't get any closer to the action without being in the ring.

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    With the intensity they had while wrestling, I didn't want to be in the ring.

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    ...although they didn't always stay in the ring.

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    While we were enjoying Half Pint Brawlers, nighttime crept up on us and Halloween Haunt was in full swing. There was still plenty to do if haunts aren't for you. Since the park was so incredibly busy, the lines for the haunts were extremely long so we had to pass on all of them this time.

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    Invertigo, an inverted boomerang coaster manufactured by Vekoma, lit up the night sky. Well, actually the reflection of the lights on the bright yellow track lit up the sky.

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    Windseeker was also lighting up the night sky. You can only imagine the feeling of soaring through the sky in the dark.

    Unfortunately it was time to wrap up our trip so we could get on the road to our next stop.

    Kings Island is owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company where each park has a unique and separate character. The staff is generally friendly and helpful and the parks are clean and well maintained. The food and drink prices are higher than average but overall a day at the park is a good value, especially if you have a season pass or do your homework and get a discount off of gate admission prices.

    We want to thank the staff of Kings Island for a great, enjoyable day!

    Here is a video of our trip.

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  2. #2
    He's So (The) Fly Wes's Avatar
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    Love the pic of Invertigo, looks very creepy. Oh wait, it's a Vekoma. Doesn't need any help there.

    Nice report. Was this your first trip?
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  3. #3
    Heartline Poster Rick B's Avatar
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    Yes, this was our first trip (ever) to the park. We were planning it for mid June but after deciding to do CoasterMania at Cedar Point the first weekend in June, we had to change our plans because of scheduling conflicts.

    I wish I had more videos for my video but I had an issue. Fortunately I got it straight for the next video I'll be making.
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  4. #4
    Looping Poster Chris H's Avatar
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    Hey Rick! What a great trip report! I'm so glad you got to enjoy your day at my home park! Out of everything you rode, what was your favorite? I'm quite partial to Diamondback since I used to work on it.

    I have yet to go to Kings Island since I moved back from Arizona. I'm headed there tomorrow evening. Can't wait to ride WindSeeker since I followed from announcement to completion!

  5. #5
    Editor Leo C's Avatar
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    Wow, you would think they shot the Haunt commercial footage in front of Invertigo rather than Silver Bullet at Knott's.
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  6. #6
    Heartline Poster Rick B's Avatar
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    Chris, you know I'm partial to Intimidator at my home park although Diamondback was good. I liked that the two are certainly different.

    With the crowds we only got to ride half of the coasters, but I think The Beast was my favorite of what we rode. I've not ridden anything like it before and I don't think there is anything out there like it.
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  7. #7
    Great report! Which kings Park do you like better?( KD or KI) I enjoyed Kings dominion a whole heck of a lot, so I wonder if I'll like kings island as much as that. I can't wait to get there and meet everyone next summer.Sucks SOB wont be open. Kinda makes me depressed I'm missing it, even though it's terrible,lol. Credits > the feeling . That's why I got on hurler at KD. Ugh.... Okay, I'm just ranting randomly now. Anyway, cool report dude! Lol

    Oh! How'd ya like Camden? And why didn't you pick me up on the way up?! You drove straight through my county(i think) Lol.
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  8. #8
    Heartline Poster Rick B's Avatar
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    It's hard to judge because KI was many times busier than KD when I was there. Overall, they are both very similar parks in my opinion.

    Kings Island did say that SOB is still standing because they haven't given up on it yet. They wouldn't divulge any more details, because they really don't have any. They're watching what's happening in the amusement park industry to see what the future might hold for SOB.

    I did drive straight through your county. I saw the signs for Concord shortly after we entered West Virginia. Camden didn't open until 6 so I knew you would have already been on your way to Charlotte. While I was driving, I wondered if I passed you going the other direction. Camden is a decent park, and I'm glad it's still around. It allows me to expose my kids to some culture of what amusement parks used to be like before the mega parks came around and caused a lot of these smaller parks to close.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick B View Post
    It's hard to judge because KI was many times busier than KD when I was there. Overall, they are both very similar parks in my opinion.

    Kings Island did say that SOB is still standing because they haven't given up on it yet. They wouldn't divulge any more details, because they really don't have any. They're watching what's happening in the amusement park industry to see what the future might hold for SOB.

    I did drive straight through your county. I saw the signs for Concord shortly after we entered West Virginia. Camden didn't open until 6 so I knew you would have already been on your way to Charlotte. While I was driving, I wondered if I passed you going the other direction. Camden is a decent park, and I'm glad it's still around. It allows me to expose my kids to some culture of what amusement parks used to be like before the mega parks came around and caused a lot of these smaller parks to close.
    Ohh,okay. In some ways I think I'd like KD better, but in others I think I'd like KI more. I guess I'll just have to go and see for myself,lol. They need to texas giant that thing, and do it quick so it will be ready for me next year,lol.

    You actually passed right by my high school as well. There's a new building near exit 14, that's our new middle school. My high school is right behind it. You can barely see it through the trees though. Oh yeah, that's right, I was going to scarowinds that day! lol. I'd say you did. We left around 2:30, and didn't make it down there until 7:30 because of the ridiculous traffic. In pictures It looks really crappy, but I guess it would make a decent family park. I have some credits I need to stop and get on my way to or from KI next year.
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  10. #10
    Moderator Austin's Avatar
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    SOB is pretty much gone. Looks like they've pretty much taken alot of key parts out to just use it as a haunt.
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  11. #11
    Heartline Poster Rick B's Avatar
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    The problem with Texas Giant is that it's so new. Nobody has any idea how it will hold up since it's not even been a full season, yet. Once it's been proven to stand up well after a couple of seasons, I think they may consider it. You can imagine the major investment that was to redo Texas giant.

    That's cool. If I recall, we went past Concord around 1 PM - we were in Huntington around 3:00. I was actually tempted to swing by, but it's not so easy to just swing into places with a 32' motorhome and a 3' tow bar towing a 15' car (51' total length). I also can't back when towing with a tow bar so if I get into a bind, I have to disconnect the car, get out of the bind, then reconnect the car. That whole process takes about 30 minutes.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick B View Post
    The problem with Texas Giant is that it's so new. Nobody has any idea how it will hold up since it's not even been a full season, yet. Once it's been proven to stand up well after a couple of seasons, I think they may consider it. You can imagine the major investment that was to redo Texas giant.

    That's cool. If I recall, we went past Concord around 1 PM - we were in Huntington around 3:00. I was actually tempted to swing by, but it's not so easy to just swing into places with a 32' motorhome and a 3' tow bar towing a 15' car (51' total length). I also can't back when towing with a tow bar so if I get into a bind, I have to disconnect the car, get out of the bind, then reconnect the car. That whole process takes about 30 minutes.
    Yeah, that is true. Looks like it's doing pretty good so far though. Hopefully more parks decide to make the upgrade. The marketing possibilities are great with those too because you can say its practically a brand new ride. And, in a way, it is,lol.

    You definitely should have! I'm sure you wouldn't have had too much of a problem. People bring their RV's and stuff down that way all the time. Actually, if you're looking for a place to do a little nature trip to where you can park your RV and stuff, check out Pipestem state park , or down in hinton, WV near Bluestone lake+ state park. They're both down past concord and both places are equally as beautiful. Pipestem has awesome views and lots of restaurants and recreational stuff to do, plus wildlife will literally walk up to you. I've had a couple encounters with deer myself. Bluestone Lake has...well...an artificial reservoir that the bluestone dam holds back. Hinton is pretty close there for your basic needs for both sites. Has a kroger, magic mart and dairy queen, plus a few other restaurants there. Nothing great, but people still come from all over to stay in those areas.
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  13. #13
    He's So (The) Fly Wes's Avatar
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    Glad you made it to KI, the park has gone up and down in my opinon over the years but in 2009 I thought it was a lot better, Diamondback didn't hurt either. And Beast was running good that year too, so that helped.

    KI is still the only park I've ever ridden through in a limo. Carowinds is the only park I've driven through in my Beetle.
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  14. #14
    Heartline Poster Rick B's Avatar
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    I'll have to keep that in mind. I bookmarked those two campgrounds. I know there are a lot of good places to go for nature in WV, we just haven't explored them yet.

    Don't tell my wife about those parks... She'll want me to take her there instead of Hershey Park, Wild Adventures, or something like that... LOL
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