Julie's Vacation on a Stick!

Day 8 - Paramount's Kings Island

July 17th

I'd planned on sleeping until 10:00, but Kevin woke me up around 9:30 to make sure I'd gotten to Cincinnati ok. I'd called him briefly the night before, but he was with his sci-fi pals, so I didn't keep him long. We chatted while I packed up some of my stuff, and I was checked out of the hotel at 11:00. The only less than positive thing I can say about this hotel is that they don't have any industrial ice machines. I didn't have my fridge make any ice because I didn't realize I had an ice maker until bedtime, and it was really loud with dumping the ice once I turned it on.

I found a Panera Bread, so I stopped there for lunch. I had a turkey and swiss sandwich on some sort of pesto foccacia, and it was really good. I also took a little bit of extra ice from them to keep my candy bars cool all day. It was overcast, so I was hoping just a little ice would keep them from melting.

Kings Island was very easy to get to from my hotel, so I would definitely chose to bid on a Blue Ash hotel again. I parked in Adventure Express 16...really far from the main gate. Surprisingly, the park was not terribly crowded. The first thing I did was Son of Beast, since I wanted to reevaluate it. Everyone talks smack about how it's one of the worst coasters on the planet, but the last time I was at Kings Island, I liked it and didn't think it was bad at all. So I figured that I'd give it another try to see if it was really as bad as everyone said it was.

Son of Beast from the Eiffel Tower

There was no line, and I rode pretty close to the front. And I admit, it's not a smooth coaster, but compared to Mean Streak, Villain, Predator and Mighty Canadian Minebuster, it was very tolerable! I'd have no hesitation about riding it again, which is a LOT more than I can say for some of the woodies I rode over the course of the week! When we stopped, a girl behind me was like "That was terrible!" and I'm thinking "Let's go ride Predator, then tell me what you think!"

The day before, my ears hurt so bad from all the ear bashing that it hurt to even hold my cell phone up to my ear. So I decided that since I'd already been to Kings Island and already gotten all the credits except Italian Job, that I wasn't gonna ride anything with OTSRs. I just didn't want to take the chance of hurting my poor ears even more.

PKI likes to remind you of the date, I guess?

I couldn't seem to find the entrance to Flight of Fear, nor could I find a park map anywhere, so I rode up to the top of the Eiffel Tower to scope things out. I found the Flight of Fear Entrance, as well as the Italian Job entrance, then came back down. I walked over and looked at the line for Flight of Fear, but it was 45 minutes, and every bit of the queue was full! No way! It wasn't *that* good.

On the way around, I rode the Backwards Racer, and it was much more fun than I remembered it! There is a lot of airtime on it, and it's great not knowing where you're going or when you're dropping. I think this moved up my list of woodies, though I'd have to think pretty hard to see where it falls. I definitely think it's top ten though.

This could be a promo picture! Everyone is in the safe rider position!

I bought a Coke, then headed for the Italian Job line. Again, it was about a half an hour wait, but this time it was shaded! The ride is exactly the same as at Canada's Wonderland, so there were no surprises, but it was still very good.

A great sign from the Italian Job queue!

I went back to Beast next, since I don't think I gave it a fair shake on my first trip to the park. We'd just ridden Tomb Raider, and I was very lightheaded when I went on it, so I think I was overly hard on it since I didnít feel good when I rode it. This time I was fine though. It was about like I remembered. I love how, for most of the ride, there is just nothing around you except trees. And the helixes at the end are just awesome! This is a really great woodie...better than it's son, and better than most, but still not in my top ten of all time.

I walked back to the kiddie side of the park and decided to soak up some air and ride the Scooby dark ride. It wasn't as cool as I'd have liked inside, but it was at least better than being outside. Next I hopped over to Beastie, which is another nice little woodie that does not shake you too badly.

Scooby Doo was also posing for pictures, so I had one made of the two of us.

I was pretty much done with everything I wanted to do in the park but was only about 3:00 and I didn't need to leave until 7:00. So I decided to check out the waterpark and see if I thought it was something I'd be interested in. I'm not a big waterpark fan, but once I got there, they had a nice lazy river, and a nice wave pool, and two complexes of slides that I would do! So I made the trek back out to my car, purchasing a Spongebob towel along the way.

I'm not exaggerating...the walk from the waterpark, through the park, out to my car, then over to the waterpark entrance took me 45 minutes!!! I was definitely in need of cooling off once I got there! I changed and dropped off my stuff in a chair, then found the entrance to the lazy river. I floated peacefully around once, then decided to try to get on one of the slides. The lines were really long at the two complexes I liked, so I didn't go on anything. I could also hear some thunder off in the distance, so I wanted to make sure to get in a little time in the wave pool just in case they closed it.

So I went over to the wave pool and enjoyed some bobbing waves for quite a while. Once my arms got tired, I went back and floated around the lazy river one more time before drying off and getting dressed. I decided to wait for the train this time since the walk back out to the park was insanely long!

I figured that I had just enough time for dinner before I headed for home, so I stopped at the Busytown Grill. The last time we were her, Kevin and I had joked about how the sign made it look like "Bustytown Grill" and we got a good laugh out of it. I had chicken strips and fries for the first time of the trip remarkably, and sat in the shade to eat them. I soaked up my last few minutes of my vacation before the drive home and reflected on the week. I'd had a truly fantastic week...eventhough some of the coasters beat the crap out of me, at least I have the stories and pictures to tell about it!

I said goodbye to Kings Island by stopping in a gift shop, and wouldn't you know, they had the same "if it's all wood, it's all good" shirt as Canada's Wonderland, only it said King's Island on it. So I got one, figuring that I like Kings Island a million times more than I liked Canada's Wonderland anyway! I started the drive back home, and aside from one gas stop, I drove it straight through.

That says it all!

I can't say I was happy to be back home...I never am after a great vacation...but I had my pictures, my souvenirs and a big pile of laundry to remind me of the good times!