Going to a theme park on the fourth of July seems like the dumbest idea that ever hatched from my brain-egg (so many people who know me in real life would read that line and agree that I’ve had way dumber ideas though) but listen, Linda. Listen. I had a strategy. Much like with our Cedar Point weekend, I felt that splitting one day into two half-days would be the way to go because that way we could leave the park earlier on Monday so we wouldn’t be making the four and a half hour drive home super late on Monday night, while still getting in some night rides on Sunday. If we didn’t have those Cedar Fair passes, we definitely couldn’t do something like this because that would be pay park admission for two days PLUS PARKING for two days! Have you been to a fucking amusement park in the 21st century? Parking is outrageous – usually about $20!! In some cases, that’s not much less than the actual park admission!
We rolled up around 6:30/7:00 and the parking lot was packed so we were like “aw shit son, did we make a huge mistake?” but also we weren’t too worried because even if it was very crowded, maybe we could get on some flat rides and just, I dunno, enjoy the scenery. But you guys, guess what?? Apparently everyone was waiting in line for Invertigo and Flight of Fear because the wait times for nearly every other coaster was 45 minutes or less! Orion was listed as 30 minutes so we went straight to the back of the park to take that new-new for a spin.
Daebak…..Orion is technically a giga coaster because even though the lift hill is just shy of the 300 foot mark, the drop itself is 300 feet so most sane people are counting it as a giga. Of course there are the naysayers out there but I say: is it a fun coaster? yes? then who cares?!!?
This is the problem with labels!
The line would have probably actually been about 30 minutes as stated if King’s Island didn’t have such a high line-jumping problem. OMFG it was insane the amount of people cutting in line. Some of them would go through the unmanned Fast Lane entrance knowing that they wouldn’t be checked until they got to the station, and then slyly slid into the general line before the Fast Lane line started up the steps. Other people just blatantly cruised under the empty switchbacks and then pushed through everyone to get their ONE PERSON PLACEHOLDER. Literally, this one guy who was a few heads in front of us started jumping and waving and I was like OH GREAT but then only one person joined him so then I was TOO PISSED because Orion seats four people across and they don’t generally use single riders to fill empty spaces as far as I’ve seen at King’s Island so I figured that dude would have just been sitting alone anyway and now he has someone else to sit with him so this won’t affect us…
AND THEN 5 MORE PEOPLE JOINED HIM. And they had no shame at all. Just shouldered their way right the fuck in and a bunch of us just watched this play out, totally appalled, and of course not DARING to say anything to these YOUNG ENTITLED PEOPLE because you can’t fucking say shit to this shitty generation without worrying about getting kicked in the head. This line was set up in a way that made it entirely too easy for this shit to happen and there wasn’t a single KI employee around to watch for this shit. I don’t care how much “line jumping” signage they have – these kids know that there will be no repercussions so they just do what they want because ENTITLEMENT.
Aside from that, the ride was great. Maybe a little underwhelming? It’s only the third giga I’ve ridden (wow I really tried to spell that with a “wr”) and I would say that it’s less forceful than Intimidator 305 in King’s Dominion, but the second half is more interesting than the second half of Millennium Force in Cedar Force. Overall, I though it was solid! You just can’t beat the views on Millie, and I ALWAYS gray out on I305, but did not gray out on Orion, sadly. I need to ride it more times though because I didn’t gray out on Millie the first couple times I rode her either!
Surprisingly, for a Fourth of July evening, this park was NOT all that crowded. I couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We made it on the Beast (aka Daddy) in about 15 minutes. Chooch and I were in the back seat and I fucking swear to god at one point I thought we were popping off the track. How do you explain the Beast to anyone who hasn’t ridden it? It is A PSYCHO MACHNE. Totally brutal yet somehow not as painful as some other ratchety woodies. I’m obsessed with it.
Henry for some reason didn’t ride Mystic Timbers with us in 2019 but this time he did and now understands the hype. If you don’t like wooden coasters because of the roughness, you gotta get your ass on a newer GCI because they are so smooth while still fucking FLYING over that track.
Next, Chooch and I knocked out the two kiddie coasters that he missed in 2019 because of rain. This yellow thing was surprisingly fun even though it was ONE TRAIN OPS.
I was obsessed with the two little boys in line in front of us because they were so adorable and I think Chooch was jealous, well then maybe he should pay attention to me!!!!!!!! Anyway it was funny because they kept calling their mom over to the fence to tell her things, and we kept calling Henry over too, like two needy children.
Tightwad Hank was so angry that I wanted to purchase this picture, because UGH MONEY, NO SPEND! but I just think it’s funny because I look petrified on a kiddie coaster and Chooch is trying to calm me down, when really I was squinting because the camera flash hurt my eyes. No, really! I’m serious! OMG I WASN’T SCARED, OK!?
Then we kind of just wandered around for a bit, got some snacks and waited for the fireworks show to start. Our strategy was to hang out near the entrance of the Beast, which was going to close down during the fireworks and then reopen after. We thought that would be a good time to get a night ride, but I kept saying, “I don’t think ALL of the rides are shutting down during this, maybe we should get in line for Diamondback,” but Mr. I Am King’s Island Mgmt was adamant that ALL RIDES were stopping during the fireworks and that we would get “stuck in line” if we attempted to ride Diamondback at that time.
Well, that motherfucker was INCORRECT because almost every ride was still operating except those in the area where the fireworks were being set off (Orion, Racer, Beast) so we could have been getting flung around over those sweet-ass Diamondback hills instead of sitting on a wall waiting out the fireworks THANKS HENRY. And after all that, Beast never reopened for the night! A bunch of us were viciously yelled at by an older park employee to vacate the area (ok, maybe VICIOUSLY is the wrong word but he was definitely an asshole).
Chooch and I took that opportunity to jump on Diamondback finally and the line was so short, only about 15 minutes! We sat in the last car and it was the best ride I’ve had on it, super memorable, whereas the last time we there I only thought it was “OK.” Always re-ride coasters, because you never know when something is going to go from mediocre in your eyes to fucking DOPE AF.
Chooch whined about playing games as usual. This pisses me off so much. I keep waiting for him to outgrow this obnoxious penchant to waste his parents’ hard-earned cash on RIGGED CARNIVAL GAMES but it has yet to happen and now I’m starting to panic a little but eventually this will be someone else’s problem so I just have to wait it out I guess. Good luck to his future dates/partners/spouses.
I had to drag his ass on Adventure Express because he’s too “cool” to ride “lame” mine train rides now apparently. But even he couldn’t deny that this was FUCKING AMAZING AS A NIGHT RIDE. I even declared at one point that it was my favorite ride in the park when he gave me a disgusted look, I walked back on my opinion and edited it to “second favorite.”
After this, Banshee was a FIVE MINUTE WAIT. Literally almost a station wait, I couldn’t believe it because this is one of their premier coasters, and I’m pretty sure Chooch waited in line for about 90 minutes when we were there in 2019 and that annoyance definitely swayed my opinion at the time. But this time? On a beautiful summer night? It felt like a masterpiece. It was Henry’s first time riding it and his review was, “It was good.”
So there you have it!
After that, we were the sole riders on the Bat. Chooch and I took the last row while Henry claimed the front. It was….as scary as I remembered. From the concerning popping noises as you’re ascending up the lift hill to the precarious feeling of being suspended above pitch black landscape, I was screaming the whole time. Chooch declared this to be his favorite ride in the whole park because apparently Chooch is able to claim underdogs as his #1 but I’m not. OK, cook on.
That stupid boomerang, Invertigo, was a goddamn walk-on at this point of the night (it was around 11:35 and I was panicking because I wanted ride on Adventure Express before the park closed at midnight!!) but Chooch had to get this dumb credit so on the dumb thing we went. Ugh, it was awful, just awful. I hate boomerangs with my whole damn heart.
We got off that motherfucking whiplash factory around 11:45 and started to run toward Adventure Express, where a passing King’s Island kindly murmured, “Please don’t run, guys.” Chooch and I stopped to a fast walk and I could feel Henry, yards behind us, shaking his head disapprovingly. We somehow managed to get Henry to ride it this time, though he was NOT as happy about it as we were. The only downfall this time around was that there was this SUPER drunk white trash dad in a wife beater leading his ragamuffin family through the queue and I was so pissed because they took up all of the back rows and I was like “JUST SIT IN THE FRONT, I WANT TO BE AS FAR AWAY FROM THIS ASSHOLE AS POSSIBLE” because he was scream-shouting to his family the whole time and no way did I want his beer breath pelting me on the back of the head.
Anyway, this ride was somehow even more fun though because Henry looked so pained and this was making me scream, “I’M GOING TO PEE MY PANTS!!!” over and over and he just kept grimacing at me which, I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t that normal?” and yes. Yes it is.
After we got off, we realized we had time to get one more ride on it before the park closed. STUPIDLY, we followed white trash family who cut through from the exit ramp to the fast lane entrance (I think that’s what was happening?) in order to bypass walking all the way down the exit ramp and getting back into the regular line. I didn’t know what was happening at the time so we followed them like lemmings and then the ride operator yelled over the speaker “PLEASE DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE LINE, GO BACK TO BEGINNING OF THE ENTRANCE” and I was like “I SURRENDER!” like, I would be the worst criminal because the moment a cop started yelling through the bullhorn, I’d be all, “YOU CAUGHT ME! BOOK ME, DANNO!” Chooch and I turned around as we were told to do because even though we get excited and might lose our rule-abiding minds for a seconds, we are genuinely not assholes when it comes to respecting park employees. They have a tough job, dealing with assholes all day! HOWEVER, the white trash family just PRETENDED to turn around, but then they went right back to what they were doing, beat us to the ride station again and hogged the whole back car AGAIN. What fucking assholes!! The WORST PART is that when Chooch and I got to the station, the ride attendant at the end of the queue looked Chooch dead in the eyes and said in a low, stern voice, “Do not run.”
Chooch was so flustered! “I wasn’t running,” he hissed at me as we were buckling our seatbelts. “I did like, a light jog around one corner back there to catch up with you, but I WASN’T RUNNING.” I was mad too because why they gotta target us when White Trash Family were the REAL offenders??
Meanwhile, a bunch of other people had done the same thing that White Trash Family did by cutting through the Fast Lane line so the ride operator once again got on his speaker thing to admonish them BUT THEY DIDN’T LISTEN so he had to sic the Mean Guy Who Yelled At Chooch on them and they weren’t allowed to ride – PUT THIS TEAM ON ORION, PLEASE. They were INTENSE with their rule upholding.
But, I felt like an asshole since first I was associated with White Trash Family’s line jumping, and now I was associated with Chooch’s running-not-walking. So, this ride was a bit uncomfy.
Also, Henry didn’t come back on with us because when were walking down the exit ramp after the last ride, he spotted a skunk in the grass next to the ride station and was STILL STANDING THERE narrating his internal nature show in his head when we got off the final ride of the night.
And that’ll do it for Day One at King’s Island! I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful it turned out. I didn’t think we would stay all the way until midnight but we did and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Especially considering that a lot of parks seem to be closing around 7 or 8 this season, I guess because of staffing reasons??
I personally DO NOT care about the fourth of July AT ALL but it was really nice to be at a beautiful park during it because their lightning was magnificent.
We went back to the hotel and fucking crashed HARD.