After making two trips to the Cincinnati metro area in 2009, we
haven't been back since. It isn't because we don't like the city of
Cincinnati. Honestly, I kinda think it happens to be a cool place with
interesting architecture and some glorious topography. It also happens
to be an area we generally find ourselves visiting amu***t parks
when it is in the mid 90s, horribly uncomfortable, and not at all fun.
Since those last visits, The Beach Waterpark closed and is now being
investigated by the Ohio DA for not refunding tickets they had no
intention of honoring after selling. Kings Island added a Windseeker
and Dinosaurs Alive; attractions we have come to be familiar with
elsewhere. And Coney Island is still alive and kicking.
-Coney Island (Cincinnati)-
Inspired by a lust for credits, we drove 5 or so hours due south to
our first major stop of the trip. In case you are unfamiliar, a brief
history lesson; Coney was the preeminent park in this part of the
world and ran for roughly 80 years or so as an independent traditional
(and segregated) amu***t park. 3 years after being fully integrated,
a flood hit the area and the park began the process of relocating
itself far from the city out in the burbs of Mason, OH. In turn, it
was sold to Taft Broadcasting as part of this, gutted, and left for
dead in the early 70s. Taft then sold its parks except Coney (which it
gutted), and reopened the park in 1974 and ran it until selling it to
a local business man in 1991, who bought more rides and stuff for it
That brings us up to the present. Today, the biggest lure aren't
classic dark rides or wood coasters as it was in the 60's, but rather
an even older attraction; the Sunlight Pool. The pool has become the
basis of a small water park facility that draws in most of the bodies.
There's also a small traditionally styled amu***t park right there
too with a single steel coaster. Sadly for us, a chunk of the park was
closed off due to Summerfest going on - it is an art festival with
food booths and such that cover a lot of the grounds. Several rides
were closed during this time and temporary fencing was put up to
create a gated area. In celebration though, parking was made free and
for the rides that were open, a wristband was available for all day
riding at $7 instead of the usual $12.
After meeting with our friend Bob, we headed on to do some riding.
Pepsi Python (A#609/M#297): One of only two DPV Galaxis operating in
the US (the other tours with Butler Amu***ts as Zillerator). The
trains are a little different than the standard Galaxi car - single
lapbar, high seat backs, somewhat weird dynamics for the seats
themselves. Almost a little "short" in terms of how far they go out.
Sitting in it is a pretty tight squeeze, and operators ask riders to
cross their ankles to ensure the bar goes down into a lockable state.
The ride itself has a fairly familiar layout, but the dips are very
severe and there's a helluva yank in the back car of the two car
trains. I thought it was surprisingly potent and not at all a bad
ride. I ended up riding twice with basically no wait.
Among the closed attractions on this day: a trailered Giant Slide, the
Tilt a Whirl, Bumper Cars, all of the games pavilions, Scream Machine
(a 50 ft Moser drop tower). Everything else, however, was running and
running pretty well.
Flying Bobs: Supposedly this is a Chance Matterhorn according to the
internet, so I'll trust that. For some reason they only let us go
forwards. We saw later cycles with backwards running. Ran pretty fast
and for awhile.
Ferris Wheel: Classic Eli Wheel. Not really any great views of
Paddleboats: Included with the price of admission are your choice of
paddleboats and canoes. We went with the paddleboat and had Bob sit on
the back taking video while we went around the lake for 15 minutes or
so and enjoyed ourselves. These cost about $6 to go on at Sea World,
so to get this along with a random coaster is pretty fantastic in my
mind for $12. For $7, it is a steal.
Aside from what we ourselves rode, there's also a swinging ship ride
that they bought from Wild West World's auction, a Rock-O-Plane
acquired from LeSourdsville, the only Watkins Tempest I can think of
operating at a park, and several other classic rides (Trabant,
Scrambler, Roundup) as well as kiddie rides. With a lot of the food
behind the temporary gates, we settled for a light snack. Bob had
chicken fingers, my wife had nachos, and I had a hot dog. Nothing too
The boats were indicative of the awesome nature of this park. I've
heard "permanent carnival" attached to this place and that's something
that is true about pretty much every traditional amu***t park. You
can call Knoebels or Prater that too, and they happen to be completely
amazing. Coney Island Cincinnati is a place with immense, immense
potential to be something really special. There's lovely trees and
cool architecture. It looks like a very organic place. Yeah, they've
gone outside for food vendors with LaRosa's and Skyline Chili, but
since when was that a crime? Built a Wooden Warrior type coaster here
and you'll see enthusiasts fawn over this place like never before. It
has a overall feel much more like the urban related parks of Europe
than a lot of the smaller US parks do. We liked it. A lot!
We left Coney after a couple hours of quality time there. My wife and
I went and checked in at the hotel and laid down for a couple minutes
just to get our bearings and energy up a little. We ended up staying
at our Priceline special, the Hyatt Place. We weren't big fans of the
Hyatt Place there before and still aren't now. The beds are a little
on the uncomfortable side (possibly reused from its time as an
Amerisuites) but everything else is pretty much at least "good", which
is a lot better than what most coaster enthusiast dive hotels can be
described as. It had a nice close location to Kings Island, which
would be helpful with our itinerary.
Our first day of two at the park started with us re-meeting Bob out by
the Eiffel Tower and starting our walks through the park. We took a
quick trip by Flying Ace (the Vekoma suspended coaster) only to find
it with a hour long wait. Not gonna happen. Instead, we went over to
the train and I took my first ever ride on it. As we had basically
imagined when planning, this was going to be a slam packed day at the
park in terms of attendance, so we'd try and zero in on high capacity
or non-drawing rides and just have a relaxing time instead. The first
thing that one notices who may have been before is the absence of
metal detectors. I've long considered metal detectors an evil in
public places, and Cedar Fair scrapping them is a wonderful move that
speeds the arrival process and removes a sort of *** psychological
pall before entering.
Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad: This is the park's steam train,
which goes to the water park and back. It looks like at one time there
were significantly more buildings or perhaps animatronics located on
this ride, judging from the number of empty footers around. Its a nice
steam train and a decently long ride and it is relaxing.
Shake, Rattle, & Roll: HUSS Troika much like the one at Cedar Point.
Fun enough ride. We always try to ride them when we see them at parks.
Zephyr: Zierer Wave *** located over in the Coney Mall area.
Again, we generally ride Wave ***s because...well, why not?
Viking Fury: This was an error on my part to suggest. It is a mighty
big swinging ship ride built by Intamin, but I hustled into one row
thinking we'd have enough room and came up short a body (Bob). He
skipped riding and just did some footage of the ride instead. Its not
bad. It isn't that great either. Certainly not worth waiting 15
minutes or so (which we did).
Eiffel Tower: All the times I've been here and I never did the Eiffel
Tower. I guess I was shook by it? Well, I shouldn't guess at something
like that, because I'm fairly sure I was. There's some great views to
enjoy up there of the park and the surrounding area. It was also
pretty cold that Saturday - lots of wind meant we tended to keep to
the same one or two sides where the building was blocking for us.
Grand Carousel: This PTC carousel was ported over from Coney Island
and looks pretty good. Could use a little spit and polish in places,
and the organ music is piped in from a speaker, but a perfectly
acceptable and well lit carousel.
Racer: The first coaster of the day at Kings Island - took us 4 1/2
hours before we bothered to ride one. Racer is running really well
with nice airtime. Trains were generally being raced too, which is
Adventure Express: One of the best mine trains. Taken down a notch
because of the shrieking of annoying chubby tweens seeking attention
from their peers a couple cars behind us, but its still a really fun
ride. The ending is such a surreal thing all these rides later.
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill: I liked it more as the Phantom Theater, but
I guess they wanted an attraction with a line. What better way to do
that than take out half the cars and put guns in them? The guns
weren't working all that well but it was still very fun and quite
long. I'd have preferred the traditional style dark ride here but I'll
take what I can get.
Saturday at Kings Island was all about trying to not kill ourselves
and instead have a good time. There was lots of quality sitting time,
looking in at shops, taking pictures and video - those sorts of
activities. We watched approximately 30 seconds of the Pure Country
show in the Oktoberfest building before making the (wise) choice to
walk out and save a couple brain cells. We also took a brief tour of
Tower Gardens, which is a substantial ...
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