I realized the other day that we have been to 7 parks since getting vaccinated, and not a single one is our home park (Kennywood). One day this summer!
I will try to keep this short n’ sweet because OH WOW another amusement park post, cool story, etc.
But we had fun and memories were had, you know?
The morning started off icky though because similar to Cedar Point, King’s Island also does early entry access for passholders. That fucking gold pass really ruins everything for us Kingly platinum pass holders though lol. Anyway, it was cool when we went the day before because it was so late in the day and there was no line of traffic into the parking lot, so we cruised right through the handy-dandy self-scan line for pass holders.
However, it was a different story on Monday morning. First of all, the park gate’s were supposed to open at 10:30 but the parking lot was STILL CLOSED AT 10:20ish! It was absurd! So there was a huge line of cars waiting to get in, and once the lanes opened, tons of non-pass holders were getting in the wrong lane, so then they’d realize that they were screwed when they got to the front and would have to try and cut over into another line. Then people were trying to scan the pass from their phone and it wasn’t working so a parking attendant would have to leave the lane that actually required the service of a real person to come to our “SELF-SERVE” line and it was fucking mayhem. Our line was literally the slowest out of all of them. THEN! The car two in front of us kept scanning their pass over and over again WHILE THE FUCKING GATE WAS UP! Henry actually fucking BELLOWED out the window, “THE GATE IS OPEN, GO!!!” and there was a SUPER COOL GUY in the passenger seat of the car next to us who also yelled, “PAY ATTENTION!” then he looked over at us and shook his head and we HAD A BONDING MOMENT and just now it occurred to me that he kind of looked like DUFF GOLDMAN.
We thought for sure we would see him a million times that day because that is usually how things happen with us, but alas, we never did. :(
On our walk to the front gate, the stupid NATIONAL ANTHEM started to play and 99.9 % of the people stopped walking and did the respectful thing by standing in place and removing their hats if necessary and I stopped walking too but let it be known that I was NOT happy about it!
The process of entering the park went very smoothly and Henry hilariously assumed the role as FAMILY LEADER and power walked, nay—STALKED, toward Orion for early access.
30 minutes isn’t much time to work with but we were able to get quick rides sans the general public on Orion and Mystic Timbers before the riff raff started trickling in.
We were only at the park for about 4 hours since we had accomplished everything we wanted the night before and we wanted to get a good headstart on our drive home, but I will list some of the highlights here!
- When we were in line for Diamondback (which might be my #2 ride there?! I ended up loving it so much more this visit!), I saw a guy that makes appearances in several of the coaster vloggers I follow and it wasn’t too surprising to see him because I THINK he’s a ride operator there, but on this day he was just a park visitor. I hoarsely whispered, “LOOK IT’S PAUL! FROM COASTER STUDIOS AND COASTER IDIOTS…!” but of course Henry can NOT hear whispers, probably from all that time he spent “working” on “planes” in “THE SERVICE.” Finally, he understood what I was saying and smirked. “He looks like an asshole,” he said. Later on, I told Chooch about it too (he missed out on this convo in real time because we split up in the station and he was waiting in line for the front row) and when I showed him who Paul is in one of the Coaster Studios videos, Chooch said, “Oh. He looks like an asshole.” Yeah, he kind of did.
- BLUE ICE CREAM WAS HAD! It was only 11:30am but who the fuck cares. We were running on amusement park time and to be quite frank, anytime is ice cream time. Here are some pictures of the BLUE ICE CREAM:
- After this, we got our traditional carouselfie. The BACK STORY is that while we were standing in line, Chooch started complaining because his phone that he broke last September was getting progressively worse and now he was barely able to read texts. He was all “wah wah you said you would get it fixed” and Henry totally snapped and was all, “you listen here, you little ingrate, I still have $200 left to pay on the fucking iPhone and now you expect me to pay an additional $200 to get that thing fixed?!” And I was like “YEAH WHAT HE SAID” and then it was our turn to mount the horses and I was the only one who was able to mimic the HAPPY FAMILY vibe, clearly.
- The park was really getting somewhat crowded noon. Not unbearably so, but the wait times for some of the coasters were around 45-60 minutes, so Chooch and I rode a flat ride and then convinced Henry to ride the rapids ride, which required us to walk what felt like a mile of empty queue to get to where the line actually ended. We ended up sharing a thingie with a couple in their…early 30s? We didn’t vibe much with them so I felt like, as a family unit on a rapids ride, we were really dialing it back. It was one of the rougher ones I’ve ever ridden and I was exciting because there was a plaque thing on our raft that said it was manufactured by INTAMIN (and it even had the patent # so I felt like I was at work, reviewing a patent matter, my job is boring sometimes, it’s fine). It’s funny how now we care more about ride manufacturers than back in the day (well, that’s not true- I was very much into dark ride manufacturers). ANYWAY the reason I’m telling you this is because later on that day, Henry was like, “Oh shit” and showed me a news article about a kid who had JUST DIED on a rapids ride earlier that weekend at another park in the US. God, you never want to think about the freak accidents that could and do happen at parks. But I was reading an article about it later and it said that this particular ride did not come equipped with the QUICK DRAIN EMERGENCY SYSTEM that the INTAMIN MODELS have. Intamin!!
- I really forgot how wonderful Mystic Timbers is. I would recommend it to people who think that all wooden coasters are rough pieces of shit, because this one will pleasantly surprise them.
- When Chooch and I were in line for the Bat, I was so angry with him because he stood there the whole time, fucking around on his phone (I thought he couldn’t see anything??) leaving me to stand there in silence, sadly watching all the friends and families having special fun time together, laughing it up, talking about food plans, etc. It’s so awkward when he does this shit to me! And then when I try to say something to him, he gives me THAT LOOK – parents of teenagers past & present, you know that fucking look – like, “You deign to speak to me in public?” I hate it! Especially when it was our turn to enter the station and I said, “Where do you want to sit? Where do you want to sit? WHERE. DO. YOU. WANT. TO. SIT.” because he was totally spaced out on his phone, but when he heard me the third time, he snapped, “I SAID I DON’T CARE.” OH MY GOD NO HE DID NOT. The whole point of this is that we were seated behind a mom and her young son – Jake – who totally lost his shit before they even sent the train out of the station. I mean, it was panic city in front of me. There is this one part of the lift hill where the suspension above makes a loud POP sound and when that happened, he fucking SCREAMED and then I started feeding off his fear and Chooch was like, “Oh my fucking god” and then I kept thinking in my head, “WHAT IF JAKE KNEW” as I envisioned the suspension breaking and our train careening into the Mason, Ohio forest. It ended up being fine and it turned out that Jake really enjoyed the ride once it hit the brake run. I started laughing when we got off the ride because he was older than I thought (maybe 9?) and his much-younger who was sitting in front of him gave him this, “You’re a fucking embarrassment” look when he got out of his seat. I guess YOU HAD TO BE THERE.
- Before we left, I bought some really cool holographic post cards (MAYBE YOU RECEIVED ONE FROM IN THE REAL LIFE MAIL, OMG) and Chooch settled on a Diamondback tshirt while Henry hemmed and hawed over hats and then ended up not buying anything because why buy a cool hat when you can get free Faygo ones from work, I guess. :/
And that was pretty much all that happened on our second day at King’s Island! The Beast hadn’t opened yet by the time we left around 2 so I’m really glad that we rode it the day before. I would have liked to have ridden Racer 76 because some of it has been retracked but the line seemed long and apparently, the retrack didn’t make it that much better, so OH WELL. We also had a fun ride on the Shake, Rattle, and Roll because the ride operator was super energetic and all about that rider-participation. I love riding shit when the operator is telling us what to shout! I wish all ride operators had that kind of fun personality. King’s Island in general is actually pretty good on that front. But I still think that Dollywood and Holiday World have every other non-Disney park in the US beat in that area!
I’m desperate to find friends to go to parks with us though since Chooch HATES HAVING CONVERSATIONS IN LINE. Someone buy a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass next year and meet up with us. I promise I won’t get you in trouble for running (lol, j/k, you will definitely get in trouble).