TR: Weekend with the Bros incl./Kings Island Closing Day (10/27-28/2012)

TR: Weekend with the Bros incl./Kings Island Closing Day (10/27-28/2012)

Post by Alan Conceica » Sat, 03 Nov 2012 12:42:09

(I'll be headed down to San Juan in about 3 weeks, so if you want to read
about that stuff or anything else I do between now and January, feel free to
accept this spamming and get my blog on your RSS reader at
realtalkguidetoawesome.wordpress.com and all that)

12 years ago, a much younger version of myself met Sean Flaharty riding the
Coney Island Cyclone at an ACE event in the Northeast. Over the years, we
became good friends, done trips together, and the like. But in the last 2-3
years or so, we really havent had any substantial trip that weve done
together. Closing weekend was coming up in our part of the weekend for the
regional themers in the area, and he was headed to Kings Island. Can I come
down there? Sure! My wife encouraged it to have a weekend to herself to
relax with. And so a weekend sleeping on his couch and riding Diamondback
was booked.

I got into the Columbus area a little after noon, and honestly, we didnt
have any plans for that day. We ended up choosing a visit to the new
Hollywood *** that opened on the west side of Columbus as our activity
for drinking and merriment. Its a very well laid out ***, and sparkles
with all sorts of impressive video screens and projections. On this
particular Saturday night, the place was jumping. Table games were at $25
minimums. Finding an open slot machine not between two other people was a
challenge. There was a waiting list for the poker room. There was a helluva
line for drinks at the bar, though a cash only beer sales area was pretty
convenient and lacking in having a line towards the back. These arent the
kind of conditions I typically prefer to go *** in, and that probably
kept me from blowing a $100 or more dollars and instead just losing $20. Its
a nice place and I definitely wouldnt mind going back.

The *** wasnt the impetus for our weekend though. Sunday brought some
wind and cold air, but it also meant we were going to close out coaster
season at Kings Island, long a park that Ive been able to have fun at, but
never anything close to a sensational, memorably great experience. Along for
the ride were a couple of Seans ex-coworkers; There was Brad, who Id never
met. He loves the Beast. Beast Beast Beast. Theres was also someone who my
wife and I co-opted as a friend of our own in our buddy Josh. We piled into
Seans car and made our way south, stopping for a filling meal at Bob Evans
on the way.

Kings Island had much shorter hours than I expected -no haunt stuff on this
day, as closing would be at 7PM. Since we got in right at 11AM opening, we
had our pick of various attractions to do. We made the unorthodox selection
of the Eiffel Tower to admire Son Of Beast in its state of deconstruction.
From 300 or so feet up, the torn down wood looked like mulch. Only part of
the large helix at the far end of the ride and the lift remained standing.
Soon theyll be gone, and as it disappears and is re-cleared, the real
discussion of how Kings Island will be radically changed again both in
skyline and in layout will begin. After a couple photographs, we had to get
out of there. Too much wind. Only about a minute or so was spent atop KI.

Down on the ground, we made our move towards Diamondback and got the first
few of many rides on the day. B&M hypers are capacity machines, and when the
crowds arent heavy to begin with, they can really crank people out and keep
lines short. I agree with my wife here take Diamondback away, and theres
nothing that personally draws me to this park to return anytime soon. But
since it is there, well, thats a different story.

Our early part of the day ride was was filled with various coasters
Adventure Express, Flight Deck, Beast, Diamondback. Drop Zone and Windseeker
sat inert, and discussions about riding Delirium (the Huss Giant Frisbee) or
Boo Blasters came about, they disappeared quickly. Sean and Josh made sure
to use up the $5 discounted rides on Skycoaster while I sat back and took
pictures. It was entertaining, but not necessarily eventful in and of
itself. Hunger started to kick in, and we went over to the new Hanks
Burrito Shack near Oktoberfest. Hey, not bad! Basically rip off Chipotle but
at $7.49 for food that isnt abject crap, Im happy about that. Things were
looking up now.

It was at this point that Sean suggested we go sit around the back of the
building, which, as it turns out, has a full bar. Josh and I had no idea
this existed. As we ate our food, the question came about should we go
spend some money on a drink? It is cold. *** has a warming effect. Why
not, right? Not knowing if they had any clue on how to make anything beyond
the obvious, we selected the option of 3 rum and cokes, one for each of us.
We didnt so much pay attention to how they were made at the time, paid up,
and walked off to start trotting around with our beverage. The first sign
that things were about to change came with Seans recognition that his was
extremely, extremely strong. While I happily pounded mine, he was basically
unable to deal with *** content. In a move that was for the best of
everyones interest, I went and finished his for him along with my own. Sean
met with another friend I was not familiar with while we queued for Vortex
(still my favorite Arrow looper not in Tennessee).

Josh and I determined at that point that going back to the bar was a better
option than continuing to ride things wed been on a million times, and
promised to call or text Sean later and meet back up. Why not? We werent
driving. This time we admired the bartenders skillful ability and
willingness to basically just finish out the bottle of Bacardi in our cups
with only the mildest tinge of Coca-Cola as a mixer. Healthy tips were
offered and we were well on our way to intoxication. The afternoon became a
blur in the best way possible. We talked about how awesome we think the RZAs
new movie will be, how yoga pants on women are the best trend ever, rode
stupid things like the Monster and Stunt Coaster, and enjoyed the best Beast
ride wed ever had.

By the end of the night, we reconvened with Sean and Brad outside the Beast
for last rides of the season along with a pack of ACErs. We had run into
many of them throughout the day, and I simply played dumb and silently
stepped to the side while Sean entertained shaking hands of people in satin
jackets. Merely being around them seemed to sober Josh and I up a great
deal. Sean claimed to have been able to smell *** on us from 4 rows back
on Beast; I find that an exaggeration, as if true, I would hope to be much
more drunk than I was. After our final ride, we waited for Sean to get his
time with Don Hellwig, though when we finally got underway, Jsh and I far
outpaced their walking and had to admire displays along International Streets
windows for him to catch back up.

With that, the coaster season was over. Rain and wind pounded our car on the
way back to Columbus, we dropped off Brad, then made our way to Little
Caesars where we got Hot And Readys we ate almost immediately by ourselves.
Any point where wed stop laughing generally set in motion the watching of a
man whod wrapped his *** in tinfoil sticking it into a power outlet,
thereby restarting the cycle of laughs again and again.

Im not sure what statement it is to make about Kings Island that it is
really only a upper echelon park if you can only blow over a .08, but I
think to suggest otherwise with my experiences would be wholly inauthentic
and folly. Look, I had a great time. I wasnt completely hammered. That
probably wouldnt have worked out too well with repeat riding. I dont want
to have the appearance that Im making excuses either. I went to an
amu***t park with friends to have a good time and had one. Now Im just
bummed that we wont all be doing that together again for at least another 6
months.