We have had a long streak of good luck with theme park crowds where we, usually accidentally, pick an off-day and end up enjoying a ton of walk-ons. Our Saturday at King’s Island was the second Saturday of the 2019 season, so we were bracing for some long-ass lines. However, it actually wasn’t too bad! We did enjoy several walk-ons with certain rides (like Vortex, but that’s because that ride is trash) and most other lines only required about 20 minute waits which was reasonable for a Saturday at a park of this size.
However, there were two times that required us to linger in line for much longer and one of those lines was pretty unacceptable and the only negative experience of the day.
The first long line of the day is one that Henry and Chooch will probably never let me live down. Look, I love dark rides, and I love roller coasters, so when you put a roller coaster inside and turn off the lights, I am a bitch in heat for that shit. Therefore, one of the only things I remembered from my previous trip to King’s Island in 2005 was Flight of Fear, their indoor coaster. I kept talking about it on the way there last week and could NOT wait to plant my fat ass into it.
But Henry checked the app at one point and mentioned that it was closed. I was heartbroken! I was looking forward to riding it again! But then on our way to the Racer, Henry took the wrong path and accidentally lead us right to Flight of Fear, which was OPEN! The outdoor queue was almost completely full so I knew that it was probably going to be a long wait, but I was ready for it. Chooch, spoiled by all our past walk-in experiences, did a lot of bitching and moaning, especially because this wasn’t HIS idea.
Thirteen is such a wonderful age.
Chooch kept asking me what the ride was like and I was like, “Can’t anything just be spoiler-free?” But really, I couldn’t quite remember anything other than maybe there was a launch? Perhaps there were inversions? I knew it wasn’t just a Wild Mouse in a warehouse, but this kid wanted me to practically draw out a blueprint of the track layout.
So, 25 minutes our wait, we had just snaked through an area of the queue line that brought us right behind the ride attendant manning the entrance of the ride. There was a telephone on a pole right in front of her that rang, and as she answered it, I just knew in my heart that we weren’t getting on this ride.
“Sorry guys!” she called out after hanging up the phone. “The ride is temporarily closed. You can stay in line if you want, but the ride is not currently running!”
There was a mass exodus of people hopping out of line, but the dumbasses in front of us weren’t moving so we had to climb over the railing. I fucking busted my leg in doing so because no matter how “in shape” I am, my sloth ass cannot climb things. I’m happy I didn’t straight fall onto my face, but my slo-mo hurdle over that fucking railing was devoid of any semblance of grace.
So, we went on to ride some more shit and then came back about two hours later to find that it was open again! And this time, the line was much shorter — the end was almost to the point where it enters the building so I was stoked! Except that there were these two middle-aged PDA predators in front of us that were either having an affair, or they were each freshly divorced and learning to love again and lucky us with the front row seats.
After about 10 minutes, we finally, for the first time, made it inside the building where the spaceship lives! It was starting to look more familiar to me and my anticipation was building. I needed to ride this thing.
We had just about made it to the entrance of the spaceship when the dreaded announcement happened.
It was down again.
The ride operator’s killjoy news rained down on us from the overhead speakers, like a bored grocery store clerk asking for a cleanup on aisle 5. He did say that it was “minor” maintenance issue and that we were welcome to stay in line. It was pouring down rain outside so Henry was like, “We might as well just stay….”
Chooch was not fond of this decision.
We waited an additional 20 minutes. PDA Pals in front of us had relinquished each others tongues and turned to their phones for entertainment, so we at least had a reprieve from THAT annoyance. I did hear the guy say to her, “This always happens to us when we get in this line!” so I guess this ride is notorious for breaking down.
Finally, a ride operator came out of the spaceship and said that the issue had moved past being minor and that we were now looking at about a 2 hour wait, so he encouraged everyone to exit the building and come back later.
Chooch wanted to fucking kill me.
I understood Chooch’s frustration, but also recognized that behind his fury was an underlying hunger causing him to project. Some might say I’m an expert at Mom’ing, but most would say I just know these things because he’s a near-exact replica of myself.
Which brings us to our next line, which was really the only thing that managed to piss me off this whole entire day. I can accept standing in line for a ride, but I HATE STANDING IN LINE FOR FOOD. This is why food truck round-ups are usually lost on me. I’d rather just make a grilled cheese in my own kitchen (read: tell Henry to make me a grilled cheese in “his” kitchen) than stand in some clusterfucked hipster-populated food-queue.
And also, I’m not one of those people who go to amusement parks to eat. I go to RIDE THE RIDES. I’ll grab a slice of pizza maybe at some point and a bottle of water just to keep from blacking out on some spinny-ride but I will always pick something that is fast and has little to no line. Last year at Kennywood, we had to stand in line for like FIFTEEN MINUTES at our favorite ice cream stand and even that was insanity to me and I bitched and moaned the entire time.
However, new for 2019 at King’s Island is the Miami River Brewhouse, which is relevant to my interests only because they have the illustrious Impossible Burger on their menu. If you’re not in the know with veg/vegan current events, this is the premier veggie burger of our time. IT’s popping up in more and more restaurants now, thank god, but to have this offered at a theme park? Fuck yeah. We had planned months in advance to eat here, and I was craving it all week.
I assumed it was a, you know, restaurant. The kind where you sit down and have a waitress, I mean, you know how restaurants work. But instead, you had to stand in a line and wait to place your order with a cashier in the front of the restaurant. There were two cashiers, but the line, every time we walked by, snaked all of the way out the door. By the time we were ready to try our luck, the line was only to the door so we thought it wouldn’t be too bad, especially since the line split into two near the front since there were two cashiers. There were menus posted everywhere, plus an employee kept trolling the line, handing out paper copies of the menu. There were not many items on the menu, so people should have had PLENTY OF TIME to figure out what they wanted by the time they got to the cashier.
Oh, well, if you thought that, you would be wrong. Every motherfucker got to the front of the line and then LOOKED AT THE MENU ALL OVER AGAIN and then ASKED QUESTIONS.
IT IS A BURGER PLACE. THIS IS NOT SOME CRAZY ICELANDIC-RUSSIAN FUSION WHERE YOU HAVE TO ASK WHAT IS BORSCHT AND IF IT COMES WITH SKYR.
It was unreal how slow those lines moved, and of course once the line split, we chose the line that ended up moving even slower because that is just how we do. The line length odds are forever against us.
We could have probably ridden Banshee twice in the amount of time we spent here, just saying.
When it was finally our turn with the cashier, Henry banged out our order in record time (the people behind us were probably cheering) and then we grabbed a booth.
Once we sat down though, I started to process the fact that it cost $47 for three burgers, one of which was supposed to be free because Henry paid extra for one park ticket that came with a meal plan, which he had the cashier scan before he paid. So I started to think that he got screwed and still was charged for one of the meals but we didn’t have the receipt, so he had to go back up the cashier, much to the chagrin of everyone still in line, and she was like NO I GAVE IT TO YOU so he came sulking back to the booth and started accusing me of losing the receipt and I was like, bitch why me?
He went back to the cashier who was probably at this point like “look I don’t get paid enough for this shit” but then she found the receipt on the floor behind her! CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.
But the receipt just had our order number and listed three drinks with no other items and no total price?! Eventually, he found a manager who was like no you got a free meal but the drinks were all $5 HAHAHAHA.
WOW. I paid $5 for a paper cup of ice? Cool.
Here’s the manager telling Henry that perhaps poor people shouldn’t be eating at his establishment.
So yeah, I’m not like an expert on food prices at theme parks because I leave that for the adults to tend to, but Cedar Fair really seems to be running a racket there.
Sure, my Impossible Burger was fucking delicious but so are the ones in Pittsburgh restaurants…I’ll just stick to my go-to pizza slice next time!
We rode some more things after eating, but then I lured my reluctant cohorts back to the Flight of Fear, which was open again. Third time’s a charm?
Look, I was NOT LEAVING THIS PARK without riding this piece of shit, OK? I was determined by now. The ride attendant at the front this time was the guy who told everyone to leave the last time. So I strode right up to him and asked, “Is the ride open?”
He looked at me like I was a dumbo because the line was now the longest than it had been any of the other times we were there that day, and said, “…yes.”
SORRY FOR BEING SUSPICIOUS.
THE DREADED PHONE. It actually rang while we were standing there and I don’t know what the deal was, but he never turned around to tell us the ride kicked the bucket again, but oh, the suspense in the air was THICC.
I have never been so clenched and nervous when standing in line, constantly waiting for that theme park version of “Christmas is canceled.”
Eventually, we slowly snaked our way inside the building again, until we finally made it past our record of “closest spot in line.”
And then we made it through the spaceship and to the actual station!! We did that!
Shit you guys, I almost pissed my pants with pure joy-urine when the gates opened and we were actually able to SIT IN THE CAR! Henry sat in front of us and he looked miserable as we waited for the ride attendants to check our restraints–he was probably willing it to break down again because he kept saying all he could remember about this ride was that it beat the shit out of him last time. But before he had a chance to finish his religious spell, the launch engaged with no notice and even though I had a slight recollection of this, it still caught me off guard and I started screaming Impossible Burger fumes all over the other riders.
After being launched through a straight tunnel of darkness, we careened up into the main building which was just dimly-enough lit that I could see the track layout and I felt SCARED FOR MY LIFE. It looked pretty shoddy and there was a distinct rattle; all I could think about was, “Hi, this ride broke down three times (that we know of) today—WHY.” Yeah, that was definitely the most terrifying ride we went on that day, and, cumulatively, the longest line we stood in.
But was it worth it? Fuck yes. I love launch coasters.
(Henry and Chooch gave it a hard no, though.)