Monday, June 13th
Once again, I got off work at a little after 7:00am, and mom and I were on the road to Kentucky Kingdom by 8:30am. It's a little less than a three hour drive from Nashville to Louisville, and I ended up sleeping most of the way so I could at least get a little rest. We stopped at the Okolona exit off 65 and found some Wendys for lunch, then continued on to the park. Parking is only $5 here...which is much better than most Six Flags parks! That's because the lot is run by the fairgrounds, not the park.
We stopped at Guest Services to get our vouchers, and the woman was taking forever...she kept coming up to the window and answering the phone and giving me the "Give me a minute" finger, then going back to a computer to do something. It took quite a while before she got around to helping me, but when she did, I was in and our with my $59.99 pass pretty quickly. Can't believe that for the last two years, the passes have been $45.99, and it jumped by $14 this year. Still not a terrible price for what you get though, so I will get my money's worth.
We entered the park, and quickly went to the pass processing center. There was no line, so we were in and out in a jiffy...
...but our pictures both looked horrible!!! Mom looks so mad in hers because the guy caught her off guard, and my head appears to taper up to a point! We were both hysterically laughing because they were both so bad!
My first ride was the Enterprise while mom went into one of the shops for a bit.
When I found her, she was trying to decide on a pair of earrings, and took forever to make her decision. From there we walked to Greezed Lightnin' but it was closed temporarily, so we walked to the back of the park.
We rode the Giant Wheel next, which had no line, then I went to ride Chang, which only had a one train wait. Chang was running quite a bit smoother than last time, though I doubt it was because of maintenance in the off season. The ride was showing a lot of rust, and a lot of chipping and faded paint. The soft parts of the restraints also had chunks missing. After my ride, we perused the gift shop a bit...
...and I found a ton of rubber ducks...no axe murderer ducks though. They had some cute shirts, but the one I liked only came in light blue, which I don't care for on me.
When we left, I rode the Chaos, which gave me a fantastic ride. Three times I was dropped from the top to the ground standing completely on my head! I passed on T2 since it bashes riders to bits, and we walked on over towards Thunder Run. We passed Penguin's Blizzard River on the way, but didn't ride. Two seasons ago, I came with three of my cousins, and we got 100% drenched on Blizzard River...so much in fact that there was probably 2 feet of water in the bottom of the boat that didn't drain out! Didn't want to get that wet today!
Thunder Run was next, which is my favorite wooden coaster anywhere. Mom waited for me while I rode, and I waited through two trains so I could sit in the very back. It still never fails to thrill me.
I think I counted four places where I was ejected from my seat on the bunny hills and such. It's not running quite as smooth as last year, but is still running light years smoother than most wooden coasters. Probably one of the most underrated woodies out there! This thing is awesome!
When I was done, we rode the Flying Dutchman wooden shoes on strings ride. This ride is so cute to watch, and fun to ride eventhough the seats are a tad uncomfy. When we were done, it was so oppressively hot that we decided to cool off with some Dippin' Dots. I wanted to get a glass of ice water first, and was told by a girl at the pizza place that they weren't allowed to give out cups of ice water. What?!?! That's money grubbing at it's finest, having PA announcements telling you to drink plenty of water, then they refuse to give you any, and make you spend $2.50 on bottled water! I only saw two water fountains all day, and they were both on the other side of the park. Finally a guy at a Subway sold me a small glass of water for $.25...which I don't mind paying since I'm using up a glass. Should be free though in my opinion, since a lot of parks give water away when it's hot.
With water in hand, I got a small cup of rainbow ice Dippin' Dots and they were so good and refreshing. Mom got Cookies and Cream and said they were excellent as well.
Refreshed, we went and rode the Zepplin, which are multi-person blimp vehicles that go in circles. Looks like a kiddie ride, but it feels about the same as chair swings. After that, mom stayed there to ride it a couple of more times while I went to ride Twisted Twins.
There was no line at either twin, so I rode the green train (Lola?) in the back and the pink train (Stella?) in the middle without having to walk all the way around. Both of these give great rides, with plenty of speed and airtime, but without hurting you. The green train had a big chunk of the padding on the lap restraint missing, so the edge was sort of digging into my stomach, but it wasn't too bad, and next time I will be sure to look at the restraints first!
Thunder Run and Tornado from the Ferris Wheel
I went back and found mom, and we stopped at the Giant Wheel one more time before going back to the front of the park.
Once we walked back, I rode Greezed Lightin' in the second row of the front car.
As we passed it, I decided to ride Roadrunner Express since there was a very small line. This ride is very uncomfortable to ride by yourself since there is nothing to pad the side of you that is facing the center of the vehicle. I did my best to avoid injury, but it was still pretty uncomfortable.
We hit the Stargate motion simulator as we left, which is an OK ride, but nowhere near as good as Dino Island was. There was a family behind us in the non-moving seats who were bad mouthing the operator because they wouldn't let their kid ride because he was an inch too short. The kid was very small and didn't look excited to be there, so I had to give kudos to the ride op for taking the nasty comments the way she did. Makes me wish Child Protective Services could roam the park taking names of parents like those, willing to risk the safety of their children like that.
We decided we'd done everything we wanted to, so we left, and stopped at Mr. Gattis in Okolona for dinner. We stop at this Mr. Gattis every time we go to the park, and we absolutely love it. We played $10 worth of games first and ended up with a lot of tickets. I got two Superman torsos full of bubbles! I plan on using one of them as the masthead on my car during my coaster trip this summer. I also got two little Superman and Wonderwoman figurines. The pizza was good, but the chicken noodle soup steals the show here. After dinner, we headed back home, and were home by about 8:00pm.
We had a really nice day, and despite what others say, I think Kentucky Kingdom is a great park. Yes, the bridge sucks big time, but other than that, they have a very nice collection of coasters and flat rides. I don't generally find too many bad things to sad about this park. The employees seemed a bit more attentive and nice on this trip, including one girl standing at a drink cart who was just smiling away at everyone...just because she wanted to! The two guys working at Thunder Run were chatting (read: flirting) with two girls in the line, but usually they would be on their cell phones, so at least they were interacting with the guests.
Not sure when I will get back to Kentucky Kingdom since I have a pretty busy coastering season planned, but I always enjoy going there, and am looking forward to going back.