Stephanie and I love going to Paramount's Kings Island because they treat us so well for the big CoasterBuzz event. The marketing staff there really makes us feel like family!
Anyway, we've discovered over the years that we've been doing this that it's just too hard to do the full-on experience from morning to night, in part because we have to be there early enough to pass out tickets and man the booth. For that reason, we generally stick to eating and socializing most of the day. At a park like PKI, it's such a cool environment that it's not hard to just relax!
After we closed the ticket booth at 11 (we'll be doing it at 10 next year), we headed into the park for something to eat. For something different, we tried the new burrito place right inside the gate. It used to be Asian food, and apparently this location has been a flop no matter what they put in there because of its location. The burritos are OK, but they need to learn how to roll them and they need to season stuff and wash the beans. The meat needs to be marinated in something, and the veggies need a little olive oil and seasoning.
We scored boarding passes for the Italian Job Stunt Track, but it went down for a period of time so we didn't get there. No worries, we'd get to ride later.
We stopped in for the launch of the scavenger hunt, but did not participate. It sounds like Steve and Kristin made it pretty brutal!
Lunch came, and given the humidity, it was so nice to be able to have it in the International Restaurant. I was pleased to find that the burgers this year (they're a different kind compared to last year) weren't too bad. Everything was fresh and I love that they keep springing for dessert! Stephanie and I sat with the marketing team (Jeff Siebert, Maureen and Kristin), and learned all kinds of interesting things about the park.
After lunch we hit the hotel for a nap. Like I said, that's essential for us and allows us to better enjoy the end of the day, where all of the action is.
We agreed at lunch to meet onceler (Mike) and his traveling bachelor party. His lovely fiancee Artemisa was unfortunately not there, but we had a great time hanging out with his posse at Lt. Dan's Backyard Bar. This is such a neat location in the park, but as was the case last year, it's horribly understaffed. God bless the guy working the bar, because he tried his best to keep everyone taken care of, including the people coming up for food orders.
I think this was still the best part of the day for us, meeting the new people. It was weird how Stephanie and I made a lot of connections with regards to things we're all involved in with Mike's friends. Weird how total strangers can seem like best friends.
After a few rounds, Jeff Siebert happened to be walking through and stopped to talk to us. Most of the people in Mike's group had never been to the park, so they had a lot of interesting feedback to give. Jeff offered a little line cutting action, and since Steph and I love Tomb Raider so much, we opted for that. CPLady's (Linda's) crew was there, so they joined us.
Well, as is typical for Siebert, he didn't just walk us up, he gave us the tour. Part of that was the opportunity to go down the tunnel under the ride, which was kind of neat. We also watched a full ride cycle from in the show building, and I'm still just in awe seeing that thing in motion. The ride was fun, as always. I really dig the ride for what it is.
After the ride, we made a quick stop for a T-shirt Steph wanted, and headed to the Paramount Theater for the scavenger hunt awards and some really great promotional video clips.
Delirium is of course down for the count as it awaits a new main gear, so it was not a part of ERT. They've got a giant spacer they're apparently going to put in the place of the hub at the top of the ride so they can bring it down and make the repairs.
Flight of Fear was first then on the ERT list. It was a little slower than last year due to a little more mid-course brake action. Overall it wasn't that detrimental to the ride. I love that thing!
Next was The Italian Job Stunt Track. They were blasting through three trains and really cranking it. I only got one lap on media day, so it was exciting to get another chance. It was Steph's first time, and we got to drive in the front. What a difference at night! The effects at the mid-course are more dramatic as are the police cars. I'm still surprised at the moments of air on the ride. It's a winner all around. Great ride!
As is tradition, we ended at The Beast. With the humidity and the light rain, I expected the ride would really fly, and did it ever. A lot of people are critical of the magnetic brakes, but honestly the net speed of the ride is faster this way (it has been measured). It all depends on if you consider one quick grab at the end of the shed a buzzkill or if you consider the same from the long old skid brakes. I choose the shorter grab.
All in all, it was a great night. I really enjoyed myself, and can't wait for next year's 30th annual BeastBuzz!