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Kings Island General Discussion

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,760
Cincinnati, OH
It’s very telling when the GCI (although it’s a good one) is the best thing going in your park full of colossal roller coasters. Idk what it is about KI but they just don’t have that banging attraction that brings them in yet. Even Orion is just like ehh. Yeah it’s fun but I’m not making a weekend out of it like I would for Fury in Charlotte or the CP 4 in Sandusky. They just keep missing the mark at KI.
Honestly, I think that Banshee and Diamondback are great coasters. Diamondback just has rattle/jackhammer at the bottom of the hammerhead turn that hurts me a little. However, it's still better and has more character than Orion. Orion is a giga for the sake of building a giga. It doesn't help that I'm not a big fan of out-and-back coasters, the aforementioned Diamondback notwithstanding. Banshee is awesome. The first drop is good and then the drop after that first heartline roll (technically the third inversion, I think) down to the back to back loops is so fun. A great burst of speed and you can feel the coolness in the air on a night ride from a nearby creek. Heck, The Bat/Top Gun is fun but short and I enjoy ol' Adventure Express a lot. So, the park has a good collection of coasters. It's just that Orion didn't add anything new to that collection. I can't really explain it.
 

P@n!K_Sw1tC#

Veteran Member
Aug 5, 2009
1,431
Windermere
Kings Island has always had a great group of supporting cast coasters but no real oh my god style ride like beast and SoB were. They need an industry standout and then they’d be world class. Nothing really swings for the fences right now.
 
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SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,760
Cincinnati, OH
Kings Island has always had a great group of supporting cast coasters but no real oh my god style ride like beast and SoB were. They need an industry standout and then they’d be world class. Nothing really swings for the fences right now.
It does seem like they could have went a different direction but I'm sure that the general public will love Orion for a long time. Maybe an RMC or maybe an Intamin Blitz/B&M Surf Coaster, acknowledging that Cedar Fair may still not be on speaking terms with Intamin. Just something different or with a different layout.
 
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Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
14,954
Pittsburgh, PA
It’s very telling when the GCI (although it’s a good one) is the best thing going in your park full of colossal roller coasters. Idk what it is about KI but they just don’t have that banging attraction that brings them in yet. Even Orion is just like ehh. Yeah it’s fun but I’m not making a weekend out of it like I would for Fury in Charlotte or the CP 4 in Sandusky. They just keep missing the mark at KI.
The park has The Beast and Banshee, two fantastic rides...

Oh, reading between the lines I get it: there's no Intamin there. Got it.
 

P@n!K_Sw1tC#

Veteran Member
Aug 5, 2009
1,431
Windermere
Dude cmon you’re supposed to be a mod lol. Read between the lines further... a potential standout could be something like;

A custom launch coaster that packs a punch
A vekoma tilt coaster
Yeah, an Intamin would do it
... but so would an RMC
Or a killer flying coaster from B&M,
Or even better a launched flyer from Vekoma.

They used to do it all the time with industry firsts like Beast, Bat, SoB, even Flight of Fear. But lately the park gets less or equal to variants of existing rides. And we could make a case that a big park like KI needs high capacity reliable B&M’s and I’d agree with you, but they’re definitely not unique or game changing rides.

My point is that they’re still missing their star attraction, the one that people stop in awe over.
 

Disneyhead

Legendary Member
Jul 24, 2008
11,528
Orlando, FL
Dude cmon you’re supposed to be a mod lol. Read between the lines further... a potential standout could be something like;

A custom launch coaster that packs a punch
A vekoma tilt coaster
Yeah, an Intamin would do it
... but so would an RMC
Or a killer flying coaster from B&M,
Or even better a launched flyer from Vekoma.

They used to do it all the time with industry firsts like Beast, Bat, SoB, even Flight of Fear. But lately the park gets less or equal to variants of existing rides. And we could make a case that a big park like KI needs high capacity reliable B&M’s and I’d agree with you, but they’re definitely not unique or game changing rides.

My point is that they’re still missing their star attraction, the one that people stop in awe over.
They could RMC The Beast. :bolt:
 

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,760
Cincinnati, OH
The park has The Beast and Banshee, two fantastic rides...

Oh, reading between the lines I get it: there's no Intamin there. Got it.
I agree that Beast and Banshee are fantastic. My "have to" rides are Banshee, Mystic Timbers, and Diamondback. The Beast is a little rough but I will typically ride it (unless my back is tender that day). My typical visit is to follow a clockwise direction starting with The Bat (which I still love) and then working my way around. I always skipped Firehawk (did not like it and did not care for the line) and also typically skipped Vortex unless my friend really wanted to ride. So, once we finished with Diamondback, we then either started over with The Bat or jumped around depending on the lines. Heck, I even liked Adventure Express although I wish that they would fix the limited animatronics at the end.

I think that the above discussion was that KI didn't have a signature ride. The Beast is probably the signature ride, as it is associated with Kings Island, but is not for everyone. Banshee, to me, is probably a better signature ride. It is in the front and is a great ride all the way around. The interesting thing is that signature rides change. For Cedar Point, Magnum was the "it" ride from its opening and maybe replacing Gemini. Then, it was Raptor, Millennium, Top Thrill, Maverick (to an extent), and now Iron Vengeance. As I said, Orion will be a people eater. It has that big hill and is in a good location.

My review, sadly, is probably biased as I have been on a lot of coasters and have a bit of a thrill desire. I have not been on as many coasters as many people and have not been on another B&M giga. My previous favorite had been Millennium as it was truly a thrill ride. My current favorite coaster is Hagrids, which is a great coaster even though not a huge thrill ride. I just love the coaster overall. It is thrilling in its way but provides an awesome ride overall. I figure that COVID has caused Cedar Fair to modify expenditures in the upcoming years but I will be curious what KI does next. I hope that they do not go for the inversion coaster (one hill and then a bunch of inversions). I would rather see a ground-up RMC or something like Copperhead Strike be installed.
 
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SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,760
Cincinnati, OH
They could RMC The Beast. :bolt:
I've got to be honest. I wouldn't complain, even if they only installed their iron track on top. Anything to smooth it out a little. Maybe they could reprofile it a little and eliminate the trims on the first hill and on that drop into the ravine immediately after the first hill.
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,760
In other news, I'll be down at the park for the first time this weekend!

While I was initially planning a Cedar Point or Kennywood trip, when I had to make a firm decision on where, Cedar Point didn't seem like it was fully back up and running at the time. An as for Kennywood, I personally wanna' wait till Steel Curtain is back up and running since that looks awesome to the point of being a bummer seeing it closed at the park.

KI on the other hand, seems like everything's been up and running from the get-go -and- the park has been on my radar for a while, so this was a easy choice! I've been looking forward to riding the Beast ever since I first saw it on the Americas Greatest Coaster Thrills video (In non-existent 3-D! Seriously, what did those tinted glasses do?), and some other coasters do have my attention such as Banshee since I do love me a good invert, as well as the Bat since I've never been on a suspended coaster before.

It also looks like on Saturday I'll be able to get some night rides in, and while I've constantly heard they're a must-do on the Beast, I'm curious if there's any other coasters in the park that are note-worthy as well for those.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,654
Pittsburgh area
In other news, I'll be down at the park for the first time this weekend!

While I was initially planning a Cedar Point or Kennywood trip, when I had to make a firm decision on where, Cedar Point didn't seem like it was fully back up and running at the time. An as for Kennywood, I personally wanna' wait till Steel Curtain is back up and running since that looks awesome to the point of being a bummer seeing it closed at the park.

KI on the other hand, seems like everything's been up and running from the get-go -and- the park has been on my radar for a while, so this was a easy choice! I've been looking forward to riding the Beast ever since I first saw it on the Americas Greatest Coaster Thrills video (In non-existent 3-D! Seriously, what did those tinted glasses do?), and some other coasters do have my attention such as Banshee since I do love me a good invert, as well as the Bat since I've never been on a suspended coaster before.

It also looks like on Saturday I'll be able to get some night rides in, and while I've constantly heard they're a must-do on the Beast, I'm curious if there's any other coasters in the park that are note-worthy as well for those.
The entrance boulevard at Kings island is quite beautiful, and harkens back to it's early years when it was a wannabe Disneyland look, before they went full force with coasters....I live very close to Kennywood and prefer wood coasters, of which Kennywood has three ancient classics. But, The Beast at Kings Island is my fav wooden coaster. It's pure fun, plus super long.
 

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,760
Cincinnati, OH
In other news, I'll be down at the park for the first time this weekend!

While I was initially planning a Cedar Point or Kennywood trip, when I had to make a firm decision on where, Cedar Point didn't seem like it was fully back up and running at the time. An as for Kennywood, I personally wanna' wait till Steel Curtain is back up and running since that looks awesome to the point of being a bummer seeing it closed at the park.

KI on the other hand, seems like everything's been up and running from the get-go -and- the park has been on my radar for a while, so this was a easy choice! I've been looking forward to riding the Beast ever since I first saw it on the Americas Greatest Coaster Thrills video (In non-existent 3-D! Seriously, what did those tinted glasses do?), and some other coasters do have my attention such as Banshee since I do love me a good invert, as well as the Bat since I've never been on a suspended coaster before.

It also looks like on Saturday I'll be able to get some night rides in, and while I've constantly heard they're a must-do on the Beast, I'm curious if there's any other coasters in the park that are note-worthy as well for those.
Banshee is a great ride at night. I like Adventure Express at night, an Arrow mine train that is fun, but I wouldn't sacrifice a ride on The Beast to hit AE. Mystic Timbers at night is a blast and Diamondback at night is almost as good as The Beast at night. Then, you're set up for The Beast. I will warn you that, if they are running fireworks, they willl cut the line about a half hour prior to close and, if you are in line, you will have to wait until the fireworks are over before they restart the ride. Then, it is a very different coaster. While The Bat is fun, it doesn't gain anything at night. I will admit that I only rode Orion once and it was in the morning. I doubt that night rides mean quite as much since it runs parallel to the Old Coney's midway.

So, my recommendation (depending on crowds and wait times) is to try to hit Banshee at 8:00 and then over to Diamondback, then Mystic, and wrap up on The Beast. However, watch your times as Kings Island does not run any ride after hours, except for those who were in line prior to the fireworks cut-off.
 
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Tobias

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Feb 25, 2014
1,760
Banshee is a great ride at night. I like Adventure Express at night, an Arrow mine train that is fun, but I wouldn't sacrifice a ride on The Beast to hit AE. Mystic Timbers at night is a blast and Diamondback at night is almost as good as The Beast at night. Then, you're set up for The Beast. I will warn you that, if they are running fireworks, they willl cut the line about a half hour prior to close and, if you are in line, you will have to wait until the fireworks are over before they restart the ride. Then, it is a very different coaster. While The Bat is fun, it doesn't gain anything at night. I will admit that I only rode Orion once and it was in the morning. I doubt that night rides mean quite as much since it runs parallel to the Old Coney's midway.

So, my recommendation (depending on crowds and wait times) is to try to hit Banshee at 8:00 and then over to Diamondback, then Mystic, and wrap up on The Beast. However, watch your times as Kings Island does not run any ride after hours, except for those who were in line prior to the fireworks cut-off.
Many thanks for the info, no idea if there's fireworks but that's a great tip to look out for. I do have Fast Lane for Saturday as well, so hitting up those in rapid succession could be easier than usual.
 
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Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,760
Now that I'm back home safe and sound, here's my thoughts on KI.

I was here for Saturday through Monday, and I honestly enjoyed the park! I think there's a nice selection of coasters and rides, the park was very well kept and ops were really smooth the whole weekend. Covid-19 procedures were handled nicely, there was no point where I felt uneasy so I mainly treated this like a usual visit to any park.

Atmosphere-wise, the park has some nice charm to it. International Street is a really nice entry for a park, and the orchestral versions of Pop songs actually worked for me. It was always a pleasant surprise to hear what song got that treatment, be it "Africa" by Toto. (A song that's forever embedded in my subconscious thanks to A/V friends in the Furry fandom.), to a horn version of Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy" which kinda floored me how good it sounded. Conversely, I also liked the Bluegrass/Country covers in Rivertown.

Another thing I enjoyed was all the various nods to previous attractions throughout, be it general theming in the lands, or in other attractions. Area 72 was chock full of those, including a sweet park-wide Easter egg in the Flight of Fear area. There's a set of signs showing off a set of paranormal case sites, each with their own symbol on it. (The Beast, Adventure Express, Banshee, Mystic Timbers etc.) The kicker is those respective symbols can be found on the respective attractions, as I found the Beast's over on the train barn, and Mystic Timbers is on a staff door to the infamous shed. It's a really nice touch for those paying attention.

Also, a very pleasant surprise was the food! When it comes to food at theme parks, it can be very hit or miss. With KI, I didn't have a bad meal anywhere. I've got no complaints with what Chef Major and his team is doing, since Coney Bar B Q gave me some nice pulled pork and a killer Carolina Mustard, had a real nice melt at Tom+Chee, and I ate at the Miami River Brewhouse every single day there. Be it the fried cod sandwich, pub burger or pork sliders, it was all good! Same can be said for the Blue Ice Cream in the park. All in all, food like that is such a huge plus for any park. Instead of hoping for something good, you're looking forward to it since you know it is.

That's it for the general park stuff, next up is the rides...
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,760
Part 2, the rides.

For flat-rides, Delirium is a lot of fun, Drop Tower is great, Windseeker was great for both the breeze and the view of all the coasters running all around. (Kept getting the E.T. soundtrack, too.) Zephyr provided the funniest image with half the chairs missing from it to social distance. My personal favorite flat has to go to Shake, Rattle & Roll. I've never been on that type of ride before and I loved it!

As for the coasters, I was able to ride all of them cept' the Great Pumpkin Coaster and I did enjoy all of them...except for one. An that was the Racer. Took one ride on Red and that jackhammered my lower back to oblivion, I somehow managed to save myself by pulling and holding myself forward in a awkward position, and that one ride was enough for me. I'll happily watch the trains race, but I don't see myself getting back on anytime soon.

For the others, here's some notable thoughts...

The Beast - Some coasters are good, some are bad, others are great, a handful are "Classics". As for the Beast, I can't think of any other coaster like it, and this one clearly had the most hype going in. Did it live up to my hype? HECK. YES. This is one of the strangest coasters around, but it's so much fun. There's a ton of character to the ride, and while I'm more of an airtime person, I can fully appreciate what this ride set's out to do. Rush through the woods and terrain, and finish with one of the most terrifying helix's around. Now I will admit, if you're in a wheel seat you can get a very vicious ride where you're hanging on to survive. But thankfully I only had a couple of those kind of rides. All the other rides were in non-wheel seats so I was able to handle it no problem. I was also able to get a couple night rides in on Saturday and those exceeded my higher expectations! No one is kidding about night rides on the Beast, they're really something else!

So take all that and factor in this coaster was built without any computers or calculators at the time, for me the Beast is one thing...Iconic.

Banshee - A killer B&M invert that packs a wicked punch, definitely one of the top coasters in the park for me and I love how it just keeps ramping up the intensity with the dive into the ravine. Now yes, it does have a rattle. But it was nothing I couldn't handle. The vest restraints weren't as bad I thought they would be, either.

The Bat - My first suspended coaster and this one is just plain fun! The swinging provided some nice unexpected forces and the ride had a nice layout to provide plenty of it.

Adventure Express - This was a nice surprise! Another coaster which makes fun use of the ravine, and I appreciated the various Indiana Jones/Legends of the Hidden Temple kind of theming throughout. 10/10 "ending", too.

Backlot Stunt Coaster - It's a nice family launch coaster with a good kick at the beginning, and the shipping container tunnel makes for a fun finale.

Flight of Fear - I was pleasantly surprised by the theming of the hanger, that's a really nice trick and the preshow gave me some nice Alien Encounter vibes. As for the ride itself, it packed a good punch! First time literally since I wasn't prepared, however every other ride I knew how to ride it and enjoy it. Even with the train stopping at the midcourse, I feel Premiers spaghetti bowls are much more intense than Vekoma's Rockin Rollercoasters.

Orion - My first giga and my first time riding a B&M hyper train. Those seats are downright wonderful, I can see why people love them. As for Orion, I enjoyed it! There's definitely some wonderful air and the layout has it's fun quirky moments. Naturally I don't know how it compares to other Giga's, but I certainly don't have anything like this back home so there's no complaints for me. Also, the whole soundtrack and general theming of this and Area 72 is wonderful!

Diamondback - A B&M hyper which certainly holds it own, great airtime throughout the whole ride. Bit of a nasty rattle at the exit of the Hammerhead, but all in all a great ride. I also had a very memorable 1st ride in the back, where I had to dodge a whole bunch of quarters and random stuff flying out from folks in front of me. I also learned what happens if you're in the back and you have your arm held out when you hit the water, the water hits back much harder! XD

An finally, Mystic Timbers.
I knew this ride was gonna' be good cuz' GCI, but this had more than one surprise for me in store.

A great entrance with a spooky custom soundtrack and foreboding queue videos? Check.
Nicely themed coaster trains? Check.
A lift-hill which builds the anticipation and has a little bit of character to it? Check.
A big curved drop which feels straight from The Outlaw at Adventureland in Iowa? CHECK. (Fun fact. The Outlaw can be considered a precursor to GCI since it was built by one of the founders, and it's a coaster I know very well since I grew up riding it!)
A ride which HAULS through the whole course, plus a wonderfully atmospheric brake run/hold area? CHECK & MATE.

Mystic Timbers was hands down the biggest surprise for me. It just delivered every time and I appreciated the details they put into it. I adore a good paranormal/haunted theme, and MT pushed all the right buttons. I even got all three surprises in the Shed, too!

----

All in all, I really enjoyed the park. I know it get's glossed over a lot due to a certain park further up the state, but it's really a nice park and both The Beast and Mystic Timbers provide a great one-two punch for woodies. I'm also very happy to have gotten a Platinum Pass since a couple local friends and I are planning a Ohio park trip to both King's Island and Cedar Point. While I've still yet to visit CP, I do know I'm certainly looking forward to returning to King's Island!

Edit- Also, forgot to mention. It should be interesting to see what the future brings since it seems like two prime spots for new additions are the former Tomb Raider/Crypt area, and most certainly the former Vortex plot. Speaking of which, they really cleared out the whole area of Vortex. I only saw one footer and one piece of track on the ground, that's it.
 
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Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
4,268
Great report. This used to be my hometown park, so it's fascinating to see how much it's changed over the years - if anything, it sounds like its ride menu has improved.
 

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,760
Cincinnati, OH
So, Kings Island has posted their updated COVID requirements.


Basic summary is:

1. No more reservations for Kings Island (the dry park) but you need them for Soak City.
2. Masks are not required while outside and are recommended if you can't socially distance (I'm think queue lines).
3. Rides will be operating at full capacity.
4. Health screening will be done at the entrance to the park (probably at the tent they had erected to do temperature checks which have been discontinued).

So, exciting news for me. I'll be at one of the Season Pass Days occurring on May 8th or 9th (less than two weeks finally).
 
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Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
14,954
Pittsburgh, PA
So, Kings Island has posted their updated COVID requirements.


Basic summary is:

1. No more reservations for Kings Island (the dry park) but you need them for Soak City.
2. Masks are not required while outside and are recommended if you can't socially distance (I'm think queue lines).
3. Rides will be operating at full capacity.
4. Health screening will be done at the entrance to the park (probably at the tent they had erected to do temperature checks which have been discontinued).

So, exciting news for me. I'll be at one of the Season Pass Days occurring on May 8th or 9th (less than two weeks finally).
The new mask rules are messy, they should haver just said "keep wearing them".
 

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,760
Cincinnati, OH
The new mask rules are messy, they should haver just said "keep wearing them".
I could see "Wear them when in line or indoors" as those are the times that social distancing kind of goes out the window. With the rides at full capacity, the lines should move pretty well. I hope that they repaint (not just glue down) social distancing markers as many of those that were put down last year wore off quickly. Even with markers, I will admit that people really didn't observe social distancing.