Talor's Kings Island Trip Reports
Awesome report. Thanks for sharing!
Trip Report - July 15, 2014

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This trip was much more of a "spur-of-the-moment" but just as fun. We arrived at the park around 3 PM, having a few arrangements in the morning before we could head to the park. This day, the park was much more crowded than I expected. I'm not sure why, I just figured that a weekday would bring in maybe just about the same amount as the trip in May did.

Walking into the park, we decided the best use of our time would be to make our way over to the Planet Snoopy area. We had never really dove too far into this area in any of our past trips, so this seemed like a good way to go. Woodstock Express is back this way, and I had never taken a ride on it before. It's a small, blue wooden roller coaster that seems like it's a perfect fit for families to have a go on, as the height requirements are much lower than the other coasters in the park.

Woodstock Express ended up being a fun ride for what it is. Nothing too special but much more fun than you'd expect from a ride in the back of a children's area. Getting off that ride, we decided to head over to the Boo Blasters on Boo Hill but decided the line was just a bit too long to have a go.

Diamondback is always a good choice to head to next but its line was also very long, with the sign out front noting it may be as long as 90 minutes in line before I got to have one ride. This was now the standard I considered must be the same across the park. As we walked along the park, I noticed the Beast with a 90 minute wait, Backlot Stunt Coaster had a big line and Vortex's almost extended past its available queue.

Seeing as how all of this walking had taken up a lot of time, it was nearing 5:00 quick, and we wanted to see Cirque Imagine. Cirque Imagine is a show featuring all sorts of stunts inspired by the Cirque Du Soleil sets of shows. A bicyclist performer climbed a mountain by jumping with no momentum, clowns jumped up and down on trampolines and hung from the ceiling. It was great fun, and included in the standard admission price. Well worth the 24 minutes.

At this point, all the walking had made us hungry so we made a pit-stop in a few stores, nabbing a cheap snow-globe in meantime. The Festhaus was close by and had a sign for Panda Express so it seemed to be a good choice for lunch. I had chow mien with orange chicken and crab Rangoon. The food was delicious, but it also featured a good performance by the Rock 'N Roll Never Forgets concert. They played lots of old music by late artists such as Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, as well as a medley of songs.

All this time we'd come to Kings Island, we never tried the park's signature attraction, the Eiffel Tower. A ride to the top had a short wait, and we decided it was time. You can see some of the photos I took atop the tower, and it's quite a view. A little terrifying to know just how high you are when up there, but worth at least doing once.

From the Eiffel Tower, Boo Blasters on Boo Hill isn't far and it's a ride just about anyone can enjoy, so that was next. The line seemed a bit shorter than earlier in the day, so we decided to stay this time. The line also moved much quicker than we expected, and we didn't even notice why until it was our turn to ride. The boarding process is a snap because of a revolving floor as the cars never stop as you board. The ride itself was fun, and a bit of a game in that you try to shoot targets with your guns with the person scoring more points "wins". A little scary at times but clearly designed with the smaller rider in mind so the spooks were kept light-hearted for the most part.

A stall selling the famous Kings Island blue ice cream was also not too far off, and it was worth the small wait. This treat has a slight flavor of blueberries and was very good. Definitely worth it if you go but maybe get a small dish instead of a cone if you can help it. My cone ended up melting into almost nothing all too quickly.

The day wound down and I hadn't really hit any big rides yet, so I decided to take just one ride on Banshee. Banshee seems to be getting better with age. That day, she was flying faster than I remember, and the queue wasn't bad. Despite most other coasters taking between 60-90 minutes, Banshee was flying through people in under 20. I attribute this to the "no-bin" policy which speeds up the boarding process tremendously.

A good day at Kings Island that was light on rides, due to the long lines. Luckily, there's more to this story and another day to report on at a later time with tons of rides ridden.
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The second day of my latest trip started a lot earlier than the previous one, as we descended on the park at about 9:45 AM. Kings Island's normal operating hours list the park as opening up at 10 AM, so I figured we would make it a little early and then walk briskly to Firehawk for my first ride.

To our surprise, the park allows gold pass holders to get into the park early so we were able to make our way into the park much earlier than I expected. As we entered the park early, we also discovered that only certain areas of the park actually open early. The barrier we were stuck at was next to Adventure Express, so we patiently waited for the park to officially open for everyone.

Right at 10 AM, the park opened and I walked quickly to the X-Zone, ready for my first ever ride on Firehawk. Getting on the ride, I could see why it has much lower riders per hour than most coasters. Firehawk has a quite complex restraint system that must be checked and locked in first, and then the train flips you on your back so you are essentially riding lying down for a good chunk of it.

I had never ridden Firehawk before now due to the line always seeming to have a longer wait than I wanted, and my concern was always that the wait would not have been worth it. I am glad to say I was wrong. Firehawk blew away my expectations in being a very fun ride, providing the awesome flight experience I had never had before. This is now on my list to try as often as I can when in the park.

Getting off of Firehawk, I determined that I was not going to repeat the mistake of the day before. Since we were going to be here for essentially an entire day, I decided it was time to try out the Fast Lane program. Fast Lane is very similar to many other park's programs where you can pay a one-time fee to gain access to a much smaller line. On most rides, this means no line. While the price was steep, I decided that waiting hours for one ride just was not worth it. I'll give you my full thoughts on this later.

Grabbing the Fast Lane, I walked the 20 feet to Flight of Fear, a ride mired in controversy lately. Flight of Fear was open and working great, albeit with the last two rows of the ride not in use. I recall this ride had a Fast Lane line in May, and this time it did not. I don't know why the change was made, the ride seems to be quite popular when the park is busy.

Moving on, I was aching to take a ride on The Beast but the Scrambler was not too far off of the X-Zone so it came next. This is your usual Scrambler ride, though more intense than I expected it to be as I had not ridden one of these in many years.

Walking to The Beast, I did take notice of how complex Vortex is. For a ride built in 1987, it sure twists you around a lot. I knew I wanted to take another spin on this, a second chance .if you will After all, the coaster was practically screaming at me to ride it again.

I got into the Fast Lane line for The Beast, which takes you through the ride's exit until halfway through. I mean, they were forced to shoehorn it in when they added this feature, so I guess it works. I ended up being the only one in the Fast Lane line and made my way directly into a seat on The Beast the minute I walked into the station. You'd never know by looking at it, but The Beast gets better with age. Flying around the turns, flying up and down hills and through tunnels seems to get faster and more intense every time I ride it. The Beast remains an absolute blast and is still my favorite wooden roller coaster.

A trip through Rivertown is not complete without a spin on Diamondback, which I believe has the longest wait in the park (Banshee's capacity is that good). Diamondback is so smooth, it's scary. Last time I was here, I remember thinking it wasn't running all that smooth so maybe they pulled out the grease in the meantime. The Fast Line lined had about 10 people on it but I was able to get on the very next train.

Getting off of Diamondback, I did not feel all that well. All of the constant riding with little break had taken its toll on my stomach and I decided it was time to settle down and eat. Right next to the Diamondback's queue line is the Reds Hall of Fame Grille.

Reds Hall of Fame Grille has the look of your typical sports bar, which does catch you off guard when it's in the middle of Rivertown. I ordered the Homer Burger, which seemed to be their standard american burger fare. The burger and fries both tasted just fine, though I wouldn't go out of your way if it's not convenient. Prices were reasonable though, and having a full service restaurant is a nice convenience when you're on your feet all day.

Not wanting to churn the food in my stomach too much yet, a trip on the Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad was a good option. Unlike the trip in May, this time the train made a stop at the Soak City station which allowed me to have a look at the water park in operation. I'm not much for water parks but this one seemed to have a decent selection of slides, worth checking out if it fits your bag.

Another ride on The Beast served as my test for the next set of rides. If my stomach can't handle The Beast, it certainly couldn't handle Vortex. Luckily, the test passed with flying colors and I decided to take the plunge and try out Vortex again. This time, I did not smash the restraint down on my shoulders and it made for a much more pleasant ride. My head did not bang, and I got off of it feeling as if I could ride it again if I wanted to.

Knowing I needed to get home at some point, I knocked out the Red Racer and Adventure Express. Adventure Express still strikes me as a very interesting ride because it's much more intense than I ever expect it to be every time. The line is also always deceptively long, though my Fast Lane eliminated that this time. Adventure Express also has a great view of Banshee from the station.

Upon leaving Adventure Express, I saw that Banshee's line seemed to be quite long and I wanted to check out one of the other pieces of "new" in the park this year, The Bat.

Built in 1993, The Bat is hardly new but its theme is. For the 2014 season, Kings Island decided to revive The Bat name and theme for the ride previously known as Flight Deck and Top Gun. The Bat was the original suspended coaster back in 1981 at Kings Island (located where Vortex is now) but it had mechanical problems that caused its early demise.

The Bat is nothing new to me besides the new coast of paint, which does look very nice. This area of the park was severely lacking in both care and theme ever since Son of Beast stopped operating so it's nice to see Banshee breathe new life into it.

After another trip for that famous blue ice cream, I decided it was time to actually leave the park. I had ridden so many rides that I felt I had my fill for the time being, and the day was not getting any younger. This was a great trip that took me to places I didn't expect to, and I'm already planning in my head what my next trip might look like. As for Fast Lane, spring for it on a busy day if you can afford it. Not only will you have more time for more rides, you'll be significantly less tired at the end of the day.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing.
I will be headed back in September, maybe October for another trip. Kings Island did a sweet deal this year where they gave every Gold Pass member who renewed a free Fast Lane Plus for use in the fall.
I'm headed to the park tomorrow. Should be a blast.
Back to Kings Island for one last time for the year. Used my free Fast Lane pass for renewing, and had a great time. Photos taken with my iPhone 5S.
Arrived very early, allowing me to snap a quick picture of the entrance.
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As the time crept closer to 10:30, they all began to come out and prepare the ticket booths.
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First stop was Banshee, with the ERT. I rode it twice, but stopped before I had the chance to feel sick. Don't tell anyone I took this from Drop Tower.
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Speaking of Drop Tower, I had never ridden it so it was next:
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Very fun, forceful and exciting ride. It was quite a bit more fun than I expected.
At that point, ERT was over and I made it over to The Bat.
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I think this photo encompasses how busy most of the rides were today.
Decided to switch over to Coney Maul and check out some of the shops. There were a few good hauls to be had.
Skipping The Racer and FOF, I decided it was time to have my second ever ride on Firehawk. I did not like it as much as the first. Huh.
One that did not disappoint however:
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Vortex seems to get better every time I give it a ride. I gave it and WindSeeker a whirl and was rather impressed by both today.
Backlot Stunt was next, and it had maybe the longest line of the day. Looked to be around 15 minutes or so. I got right on with my FLP and enjoyed it. The fire effects were working today, when they weren't the last time I rode it.
The Beast taunted me to ride, but I was hungry so we stopped and had a small bite to eat at La Rosa's. It was fine.
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Not fine, was The Beast. It was great! I swear it's been faster this year. That first helix after the second lift hill is outstanding. I waited maybe 5 minutes for the front row, and it may have been the best ride I had on it all season.
A trip to Rivertown just can't happen without Diamondback, and it was running just fine. I rode near the back and it seemed to float more than normal. Good stuff.
BLUE ICE CREAM and Boo Blasters was next. Ice Cream was good, but the blasters were still not working great on the Boo Blasters. Oh well.
Made our way back to Coney Maul, adding a ride on The Racer to the list. It appeared the red train was being held up by angry guests who lost an item on the ride. I jammed the lap bar down too hard and had an uncomfortable ride this time. Whoops.
I made up for it with another ride on Vortex.
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Something is missing here. Let's investigate from the other side.
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Hmmm. Well. I don't know. Hopefully SR&R is back next year.
Making our way back to the entrance, I realized I had never actually stopped to look at the Grand Carousel:
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It was beautiful to say the least. And I bet it's better at night.
I found a great spot to get a photo of the Eiffel Tower:
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But then I realized the REAL reason they tore down Son of Beast:
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and I realized it was time to go home.
Yay! Awesome photos and report as usual. Smile
Kings Island announced a while ago Shake, Rattle, & Roll, their Huss Troika was having a complete overhaul and will return.
WARNING: The Following Post May Contain Sarcasm, Snark, Cynicism, Banter, Derision, Mockery, Irony, Ridicule, Satire, and/or Superciliousness.
Coaster Credits: 96
No. 1 Steel Coaster: Cannibal, Lagoon Park 
No. 1 Wood Coaster: The Beast, Kings Island
Went this past Monday and Tuesday. Don't have the energy for a full report right now but it's still a great amusement park all things considered.

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