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    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012
    Just got back from a road trip to Kings Island & Cedar Point, and I figured I might as well do a trip report so maybe anyone else planning a similar trip could use it for planning.

    ~Kings Island~

    My friend and I got to Cincinnati on Saturday night. We camped the whole trip to save money, the campground we used was called Cedarbrook. It was advertised as being 8 miles from Kings Island, but that was definitely as the crow flies. It was a good 20 minute drive to the park. We got to the park at 8:30 Sunday morning, which is when the parking lot opens. The park itself opens at 9 am to passholders. The only rides open for the first hour were Invertigo and Diamondback, and also the rides in the Snoopy kiddie area. That hour is when you want to be there--Sunday and Monday, we got ride after ride on Diamondback with absolutely no lines. They didn't even make us leave the station--if no one was in line for our row, we could stay, and if there was a line we just had to move to an empty row without a line.

    Diamondback was fantastic. I'd heard lots of complains about the new B&M hyper trains, that the hammerhead lacked bite, and that the ride was overtrimmed, but I did not find that to be true at all. Every hill before the MCBR provided floater air in the middle of the train and extended ejector air in both the front and the back. The first drop is heavenly too, and the hammerhead in the back row was a highlight, especially if you look at the ground while going through it. The trim on the third airtime hill, while noticeable, still does not prevent that hill from providing some serious ejector air in the front and back. If you're in the back row, you can get your whole arm soaked on the splashdown if you put it back at the right angle. The second half of the ride could have been a bit more forceful, but still it was great fun. There is a noticeable rattle at the bottom of the first and second drops, but I would attribute that more to ground settling than to the trains, as the rest of the ride was smooth as glass. And the trains are great, they provide a really open feel that's truly a treat. And the ride in the very front row is absolutely mind-blowing; there is nothing around you at all, and it's super fun going across the splash zone in the front for some reason.

    The Beast is great too; at the end of the day on Sunday we were doing no-line repeat rides on it. Front row is really great for the sense of speed, but back row is where The Beast truly excelled. When you go through the first covered break run, you just feel absolutely out of control speed. It's a pity that there are so many trims, I feel like the second drop could provide some nice air if it wasn't trimmed. Also, all the trims are violently powerful :[ Another highlight of the backseat is seeing everyone put their arms down before they go into the tunnels on the helix. In the back, you can see just how close they are to getting amputated. If you're on the left side, you WILL lose a hand if you keep them up. Honestly, The Beast operates on fear, and many times I was afraid I would get splattered by blood from somebody's amputated limb in a row in front of me. But that helix finale is soooo awesome, I was giggling silly every time I came out of it. So dope.

    Other highlights of the park included Invertigo--don't hate, I thought it was relatively smooth and really wondefully intense, although beware the ends of the train, especially the back, I loved it but my friend blacked out twice! Flight Deck was really good too, especially in the front. Really exceeded my expectations. Lines for Flight Deck are always short because it's in such an obscure location--we didn't have to leave the station to get re-rides. Flight of Fear is amazing as well, although you can tell the second half of the ride is supposed to be taken faster from the banking. But make sure to try and get front seat--it's absolutely incredible because you have no idea where you're going (even if you've memorized the layout from pictures of Poltergeist like me heh heh heh) and the last 5 seconds are just awesome. Firehawk was meh, nowhere near as good as B&M flyers like Superman, and a ripoff because you can't take loose articles into the station so you have to rent a locker for 2 hours $2 minimum if you have a backpack or bag or anything like that. Adventure Express was really fun, a really exciting and surprising layout. Racer didn't provide even close to as much airtime as I would have hoped, if it provided any at all. Backlot Stunt Coaster was great, that helix is surprisingly intense, and the ride is very smooth. Vortex is painful, the banking transitions are super rough and I got tunnel vision in the front row on the second loop. The waterpark is still underdeveloped, although the twisted drop slides were pretty fun.
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012
    Dinosaurs Alive! was very worth the $5 extra. It's a great immersion with the forest, and as a dinosaur buff, I can say they did a very good job with the choice of information they gave. They also had a very nice mix of traditional dinosaurs like Stegosaurus, T-Rex, Allosaurus and Deinonychus, and non-traditional ones like Olorotitan, Mamenchisaurus, Yangchungosaurus, Neotyrannus, and some weird Ankylosaurs and Chasmosaurs that even I had never heard of! Let's just say I thought it was a good sign when the first two dinosaurs you see are Irritator and Baryonx (two of my personal favorites lol). There's a baby Saltasaurus and Amargasaurus (more personal favorites he he) too, and a Dilophosaurus right in the front plaza of the park that scares people who sit on the bench in front of it :P

    Lines were NEVER a problem. The longest wait we had was 45 minutes for a waterslide in the waterpark, other than that no wait was longer than 20 minutes. We did avoid the Beast and Diamondback from about 11 until 4, but still we got multiple rides in on everything we wanted to ride on Sunday and then were there for a few hours on Monday before we drove to Cedar Point. We also drove out of the park to eat all of our meals, as there was a Jimmy John's and Chipotle about half a mile away. Worth it for the better food and cheaper prices.

    ~Cedar Point~
    We camped at Bayshore KOA, which was about a 10 minute drive from Cedar Point. Got to the park about 6 pm Monday, got a ride in on Raptor, Wicked Twister, Iron Dragon, Mantis, and back row on Top Thrill Dragster.

    SUPER UBER HELPFUL TIP: Both Kings Island and Cedar Point keep lines for rides open all the way up until the park closes. Then they cycle through the entire queue line, so as long as you're in line for a ride by closing time, you're guaranteed a ride. Use this fact wisely for planning out your strategy when visiting--it got us a 30 minute wait for Top Thrill Dragster, at sunset which was super dope, and in the backseat too! :D

    Also, while in line, we met some Cedar Point employees who said that the park apparently has a $26 million budget for a new coaster next year. That, combined with rumors that Disaster Transporter and the Observation Tower are being taken out, to me screams absolutely massive Wingrider or Flying Coaster. Fingers crossed...
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012
    Anyways, Tuesday morning we got in the park an hour early (always ALWAYS do this if you can people!) got rides in on Raptor, Windseeker, and Millennium Force. Windseeker sucks you guys. Super boring. There's like 3 seconds of panic and then you're just on a chair swing. The view is nice I guess...? Got to the line of TTD a bit before 10. Super short, we're in the station in less than 10 minutes. Wait for the front row, because, well, duh. They're running 5 trains?... It breaks down, but we decide to wait it out. Turns out the wait was only 30 minutes and they've got it up an running again. They've been running the trains with only the front three cars filled to reduce the likelyhood of rollbacks, but nevertheless the first train rolls back, and we're uber jealous since we figure the odds of that happening again for us are very unlikely since they can adjust the power of the launch mechanism, karma, etc. But so it's finally our turn, we watch the train in front of us go up and over no problem. We move to the launch block, ohhh my god the launch is sooo different in the front seat. I had my mouth slightly open because I said 'wow' and I had to burp so bad afterwards. Your face gets plastered back and your cheeks get all ripply :D But we got up to the top of the tower, the nose of the train starting to point downward, and then we stop and start rolling back! SWAG. Rollbacks were something legendary, that could never happen to me, never ever, it's like winning the lottery. But yeah, there we were, falling backwards down the tower. They brought us back to the station, the mechanic went out onto the launch track to make sure everything was working properly, and then they launched us again, and man you could tell they put more oomph into that launch. We were going top speed well before the end of the launch track, as the acceleration on my back stopped when I could still see launch area in front of our train. And when we cleared the top of the tower, WOW we were cruising! So much ejector! After getting launched twice in the front row, our hair was pretty crazy too when we came down. And that is my rollback story.
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012
    Maverick is by far the standout attraction. Lines for it were over and hour and a half for most of Tuesday, but we came back towards the end of the day, our first wait was 39 minutes (for front row), the second 18 minutes (for back row), and then 12 minutes. It was closed Wednesday morning, but it opened by noon; there was already a line camped out waiting for it to open once people saw they were testing it. We joined the line a little before it opened and ended up waiting about 15 minutes for front row, but by the time we got off the ride the line was an hour and a half long and growing. But the lines were very understandable, because Maverick kicks serious ass. The transitions are awesome, and the airtime is POWERFUL. The layout is great and pacing is absolutely 100% perfect. You come into the final break run just as you feel you can't take anymore and then you instantly want to do it again. My only complaints are that the restraints are terrible--they tended to tighten down as the ride progressed, crushing my legs, and also the shoulder parts were too high and tended to bang against your head on every other transition, depending upon which side you sat on. And I'm 6'2" so they really screwed up with the height of the shoulder restraints. Also, pet peeve, why launch at 70 mph if you're going to put trims immediately afterwards? Dumb.

    Millennium Force also stood out. The drop is wonderful everywhere, and that first overbank is just really, really awesome. I was really expecting more forces out of the turns though...oh well. The airtime on the hills was great, although noticeably better later in the day, I'm assuming because the track was more warmed up and the trains had been running all day and were warming up too. Front seat was pretty good but back seat was by far the best. Highlight of the front seat is the second airtime hill, you hit it just at the right moment in the ride and it just makes you feel all warm and happy inside; highlight of the backseat is the third overbank, you get pulled through it and it's such a cool sensation. A

    Other highlights included Raptor--the first drop is excellent, and pacing and forces are great. Front row or bust, man. It's not quite as silky smooth as Diamondback and Mantis, but it's by no means rough at alll; if anything, it made it more fun cuz you can feel a little vibration and you hear the B&M roar together and it feels powerful. Disaster Transporter was...funky? Didn't really know what to make of it. Wicked Twister was alright, 2nd from back on the right is a really cool view, but personally I prefer the back seat of Steel Venom/V2 with the pure, untwisted zero g floaty fun time. Front seat was a cool view too of the twisted tower, but I just hate how it bangs your head when you transition out of the twist. Blue Streak has crazy air, nuff said. Gemini has nice air in the front seat, and isn't rough at all except the finale helix. Skyhawk is a great ride too, definitely an underappreciated flat ride--the line for its clone at Valleyfair is easily a half hour most of the time. If you've never been on one they're surprisingly fun, interesting sensations and cool views (Xtreme Swing has a better location and views IMO). Corkscrew was alright too--in the front seat, the only rough spot was the transition into the airtime hill, which hurt like bejesus, but after that it was surprisingly smooth, yaaay.
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012
    Alright, now for some pure, unadulterated roller coaster hate.
    Iron Dragon sucks. Let's face it. This ride is so, so so so boring. Same with Cedar Creek Mine Ride. There is no reason to ride either of these except to compare them to Flight Deck and Adventure Express and see just how absolutely pitiful they are.
    I want to love Magnum, I really do. The turnaround is so nice and the airtime would be really awesome, except it HURTS. A LOT. I honestly checked myself afterwards to see if I was bleeding. The stupid banking into and out of the turnaround is atrocious, there are pumps on the second drop, and yeah I basically got whiplash and a tender private area after riding in the front row.
    I also want to love Mantis. The layout is so cool and varied and the zero-g banking transitions are glorious on the right side of the train. But the ride is just too powerful. The g's are relentless on the first half of the ride, and then by the second half you just want it to be over because your legs hurt and are loaded with blood. My friend had to do handstands on the midway afterwards in order to get blood out of his legs and back into his body. Eurgh.
    Finally, Mean Streak. I. Hate. Mean Streak. I am declaring Mean Streak unrideable. We rode it in the front seat and it was fairly smooth--the banking was just awkward now that they have the trims on the first drop, and the layout overall was just really, really boring. But then we rode it in the back seat. Oh my god. So unbelievably bumpy. It made The Beast seem like a placid stroll through the forest. On the drop before the MCBR it was so bad that it actually threw out my back. Then I had to endure the last half of the ride in excruciating pain, legit one of the worst experiences of my entire life. My friend said "I guess this ride really does have a....Mean Streak" and I almost decked him out right then and there. I don't care that they spent a bunch reprofiling the track or whatever. Mean Streak needs to be demolished pronto.
    Also, MaXair sucks. It's just gimmicky. Skyhawk is where it's at.

    Lines at Cedar Point were nowhere near what we had been warned of. Except for Maverick, TTD, and Millennium Force, no wait was over 10 minutes, and even for those three, with good planning we got several rides on each without any wait longer than 40 minutes, including waits for front and back seats. We were at Kings Island on a Sunday and Monday, but got through everything we wanted to on Sunday alone, and then Cedar Point for two hours Monday and then all day Tuesday and a few hours Wednesday, but we rode all the coasters on Tuesday alone with repeats on favorites. Plus we got a rollback, so I'd say we had pretty good luck this trip :)

    ~Summary of Standouts~
    1. Maverick, anywhere but front row especially
    2. Diamondback, front-est row will change your life, back is great too (edge seats are preferable)
    3. Millennium Force, back row, towards the front is good too
    4. The Beast, anywhere but back is where it's at
    5. Flight Deck, front row
    6. Flight of Fear, front row is terrifying and thrilling
    7. Raptor, front row or bust
    8. Invertigo, ends of train are intense!
    9. Top Thrill Dragster, front row
    10. Adventure Express, especially if you don't know the layout

    Wow that was a lot longer than I expected o.O but I hope that helps!
    Awesome review! Glad you had fun. Plus, wow, you were able to ride on TTD during a rollback! Awesome stuff. Makes me jealous that I probably won't be able to ride a major coaster anytime soon.

    And LOL @ how you describe how painful Mean Streak is.
    • CommentAuthorrctthebest
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012
    how does the roughness of mean streak compare to Ghostrider (kbf). you read everywhere on the internet that Ghostrider is extremely rough, but i found the roughness the funniest part of the whole ride.

    and cool you had a rollback on ttd.
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012
    I've never ridden Ghostrider but Mean Streak in the back seat was painful to the point of injury. The two muscles in my back parallel to my spine cramped up, and then every time we went down a drop the ride got super rough and aggravated the pain even more.
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012
    Wow! Your report was pretty long, but finally I wasn't busy so I could completely read it. Thanks for the review, the trip must have been a lot of fun! :)
    • CommentAuthorReal
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2012
    You can die in a fire for getting a rollback. lol. I have countless rides, spent so much time there in cold/wet/rainy conditions and have never gotten that. :P Ill go sulk now. Id trade several rides for one rollback.

    ^ Wow, Real hasn't gotten a rollback!? But... :O

    • CommentAuthorJAKool
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2012
    Ive never ridden Mean Streak, but I cannot imagine it's worse than Ghostrider.
    • CommentAuthorReal
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2012 edited
    Ive been as close as the train in staging, watching the first train roll back. :(

    Sky, you must be a front row person. I feel that Maverick and Diamondback SHINE in the back rows. I rode in the middle first and almost was about to not ride it again. Everyone in the group said "Eh, that wasnt anything special".
    Then we rode in the very front, it got a lot better. But then I knew the back was going to be awesome. So we went to the back and I havent ridden anywhere else since and that was last year. The back has CRAZY airtime - especially for a B&M.

    Same for Maverick. I feel the front you hit the transitions too hard - especially the switchbacks. And in the back you get the "WTF" airtime on the drop and on the airtime hill. Plus, that extra bit slower through the elements lets the back not be absolutely abused. Its a good ride in the front but I think you must be a front person overall.

    Also you havent ridden Raptor till youve ridden Row 8, right hand seat. Airtime on the drop and crazy rotational forces through the zero g and wingovers. I should have given you all the seats you needed to

    BTW you went during the week, so Im not surprised you had such short waits. Kids are still in school. Weekends though? Thats where you get the lines you were warned about.
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2012
    I did ride Raptor in the back, but the train was almost empty and it was early in the morning so it was sluggish and not as powerful. Diamondback shines in the front because there is absolutely nothing around you. Just you and the wind and the coaster. And its interesting you say I'm a front person, I struggle with figuring out which type of airtime I like, the front feel of being pushed over the hill or the back feel of being dragged over. Very different sensations I think. And I rode Maverick in all the locations, but I thought the airtime was amazing in the front row and also seeing the transitions ahead of you is cool. And the transitions aren't that rough--if you're rotating towards the side you're sitting on, they're heavenly, and if you're rotating away then you just have to prepare for them and then your head won't bang on the shoulder restraints.

    And if I am a front row person it's mainly because that's where the most leg room usually is lol. Ugh so frustrating being tall and riding coasters.

    Ha, and believe me, I looked up all the seats I needed to ride in. Magnum 3rd row, Wicked Twister 2nd from back right side, etc. ;)