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MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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June 20th 2017
Well, here I go. I'll start with the fact that I really enjoyed my first trip ever to KI. I am on a work trip and had to leave my family back in VA, so I visited alone. The ONLY benefit to being there alone is my focus was all on the park instead of family. The park is freakishly similar to both KD and Carowinds. It felt more 'cramped' than KD, and more genuine/charming than Carowinds. First thing i noticed, cops everywhere. There were more cops than park security. (Might've had something to do with the amount of weed smoking goin on in the parking lot) Let's just say I felt extra safe! All of the coasters were running maximum occupancy with all trains on the track. Ride operations here are VERY good. I noticed that visitors of this park like to shoot hair ties and wristbands onto the roofs of ride areas on the lifts and brake runs. There were literally thousands of them on the roof of the final brake run of Beast. I only saw ONE basketball being bounced the whole time I was there! Those things irritate me at KD because they are everywhere. The last thing I will mention before I get into the rides is, KI is MUCH more generous with the pass holder dining plans that KD or Carowinds. Rather than offering just the bare minimum noodle bowl at KD, I was offered a double entree plate with a side at Panda Express KI. I was kind of shocked. I didn't arrive at the park until just after 5 o'clock, so I was not able to ride everything, but here goes....
-The Beast
This was the first thing I rode. It was the real reason I went. I was absolutely amazed at how much buzz and excitement that this thing creates in the station even after all of the years it has been operating. Yelling and screaming coupled with applause really made it feel like something special. After riding it, I could understand why! The first ride put it right atop my coaster list, but the second ride, in the pitch black at 10:20pm gave me a perma-grin that no other wooden coaster has ever given me. This instantly became my favorite wooden coaster. (And probably my second favorite of any type of coaster, right behind Fury) it was flippin awesome!
-Mystic Timbers
This coaster is wicked fast. I rode it just after Beast. This one is simple to explain to the people who have ridden Invadr. It's every bit as good while also a lot better. It's much taller, much faster, and much longer, with the same exact sensations as invadr. Extended airtime on a couple hills, a couple double downs exiting turns, and a really good tunnel on a banked turn.. I rode in the second car on my first ride and in row 7 on my 'night' ride. (There are twelve rows on these trains and you can't pick your row) GCI must have a thing for itsy bitsy stations because just like invadr, there is really no room for line buildup. I didn't notice much difference between front and back like invadr has. I think it is because it carries so much speed throughout. Anyway, the night ride was just awesome. Pure excitement from start to finish, and the shed at the end is a neat addition with some quality theming. It wasn't pitch black like Beast, but had minimal visibility.
- Diamondback
I don't need to elaborate on this one much. It's really just a standard B&M hyper. For comparison purposes, my opinion is that it is much better than Intrimidator at Carowinds, and not even close to Apollo's Chariot. I'm just not a fan of the staggered seating either.
- Banshee
This was disappointing. The ride looks so awesome off ride, but the ride experience was close to sucky. The restraints put a lot of pressure on my collar bones as opposed to my shoulders. All of the low spots were rough, and it seemed to lose all momentum at the crests of its elements. The zero g roll was the only part of it that I liked. Ol' Alpengeist stomps a mud hole in this one. It wasn't even as good as Afterburn at Carowinds.
- The Bat
This one was zippy fun. It was really cool to feel similar sensations of a sorely missed Big Bad Wolf. It wasn't the Wolf, but it was nostalgic for me regardless.

This was all I had time for, but I will be returning tomorrow or Thursday to ride a few others as well as more Beast rides.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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Sounds as if you had a great time!

I few thoughts.

1. You really must get the Cinci chili, which was on the dining plan, when were there last.

2. Totally agree about Banshee.  It was forceless and the restraints were universally uncomfortable.

3. Isn't the Beast awesome?

4. I guess I really need to go check out Mystic Timbers.
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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My experience mirrors yours through a through. Better environment than Carowinds, worse than Kings Dominion. Apollo > Diamondback > Intimidator 232. Alpengeist > Afterburn > Banshee.

I was all sorts of hyped for Banshee (check out the old ParkFans thread about it around it's announcement) but I, too, had very uncomfortable rides on it. I'm not at all a fan of the new B&M restraints.

The Bat was much better than I expected, but of course doesn't come close to touching The Wolf. May very well still be the best Arrow suspended coaster left though.

The place we disagree is Beast. I think I've expressed my distaste for it elsewhere, so I'll refrain. :p

Sounds like an enjoyable time though- and it is a very solid park for sure.

Also, as Nicole said, don't miss the Skyline Chili. Also, as Nicole and Thomas will both agree, make sure you get a ride on Adventure Express. ;)
 

Thomas

Never Sane to Begin With
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Oct 24, 2009
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Adventure Express has the world's most anticlimactic final lift hill/drop.
 
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MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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You have ridden many more woodies than I have Zachary. So my 'favorite' comes from many less choices almost certainly. I will try the express next visit. Along with Racer.
 
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Zachary

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Sep 23, 2009
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Racer is great. I like it less than Rebel Yell and Thunder Road (RIP), but it's hard to go wrong with a racing out-and-back woodie.
 
Jun 3, 2010
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Zachary said:
The Bat was much better than I expected, but of course doesn't come close to touching The Wolf. May very well still be the best Arrow suspended coaster left though.

Have you ridden Vortex at Canada's Wonderland? Identical layout to the Bat, but it's built into the side of their mountain, and goes over the water. Adds a lot to the ride! (And you thought Six Flags names were bad! Canada's Wonderland and Kings Island both have a Bat and a Vortex; one Bat and one Vortex are identical, while the other two are completely different rides!
 
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MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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Richmond
Well, the weather kept me away from the park my last two days, so I was not able to return. The tropical storm that hit the gulf threw a slingshot of storms into the region. I do look forward to visiting this park again someday. The good outweighed the bad.
 
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Jan 22, 2018
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mtpelepele said:
Zachary said:
The Bat was much better than I expected, but of course doesn't come close to touching The Wolf. May very well still be the best Arrow suspended coaster left though.

Have you ridden Vortex at Canada's Wonderland? Identical layout to the Bat, but it's built into the side of their mountain, and goes over the water. Adds a lot to the ride! (And you thought Six Flags names were bad! Canada's Wonderland and Kings Island both have a Bat and a Vortex; one Bat and one Vortex are identical, while the other two are completely different rides!

Don’t forget Vortex at Carowinds...... also completely different. It’s a B&M standup.
 

Shane

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Jun 2, 2011
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MAZ said:
- Banshee
This was disappointing. The ride looks so awesome off ride, but the ride experience was close to sucky. The restraints put a lot of pressure on my collar bones as opposed to my shoulders. All of the low spots were rough, and it seemed to lose all momentum at the crests of its elements. The zero g roll was the only part of it that I liked. Ol' Alpengeist stomps a mud hole in this one. It wasn't even as good as Afterburn at Carowinds.
I haven't had the opportunity to ride it myself, but visually looking at the layout, I think this has a lot to do with how B&M really streched out their inversions on this one. I am not sure why they designed the layout as if it were a Wing Rider or Dive Machine. I think part of the reason why Afterburn, Batman, and Alpengeist work so well is because the elements are very tight and in rapid succession. From a visual standpoint Banshee is way too "sweeping."

MAZ said:
- The Bat
This one was zippy fun. It was really cool to feel similar sensations of a sorely missed Big Bad Wolf. It wasn't the Wolf, but it was nostalgic for me regardless.
I had the same experience on Vortex at Canada's Wonderland.

mtpelepele said:
Canada's Wonderland and Kings Island both have a Bat and a Vortex; one Bat and one Vortex are identical, while the other two are completely different rides!

For clarity, Canada's Wonderland's Bat is a Vekoma Boomerang, their Vortex is an Arrow Suspended and King's Island's Vortex is an Arrow Looper while their Bat (formerly Flight Deck, formerly Top Gun) is an Arrow Suspended that is almost a clone of CW's Vortex. They both have have the same layout, but Vortex has the advantage of being built into the side of Wonder Mountain and it's finale is over a lake and it's slightly taller and longer that KI's clone.

You can really tell that it was originally designed for Canada's Wonderland and it's too bad that Paramount didn't get a custom design to fit KI's landscape.

Aomalley27 said:
Don’t forget Vortex at Carowinds...... also completely different.  It’s a B&M standup.
Not only is Carowinds' Vortex a B&M Standup, California's Great America's Patriot used to be named Vortex and was a B&M standup before being converted to a floorless coaster and it's layout is not idential to Carowinds.

But I guess that can be said about so many rides at so many parks. Paramount reused the Top Gun name on B&M Inverts and Arrow Suspendeds then Cedar Fair did the whole Afterburn/Flight Deck thing, and then look at what SixFlags does with their names, you can't even count on the Batman Clones to all actually be Batman Clones or have a Batman clone randomly get the name Goliath.
 
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