Opening Day PKI
The front gates opened at 4:50PM. The area by the "necessity" shop (wuz glassblower) was roped off, presumably the waiting line for Beast. We headed for Action Zone, where signs led us to a waiting area for season passholders.
The crowds were light most of the night and most rides were only a one or two train wait. The sky was clear and temp in low 70's... perfect.
5:00 Drop Zone, first few seats on the second load. New buckling belts have been added to the restraints (I found out later speaking with others that the shortness of this strap can prevent individuals of large proportions from closing the restraint). Anyway it's good to have DZ back in operation. Still quite a thrill.
5:15 Face/Off. Good ride. Nothing new here.
5:30 Skyline time (chili dinner for four: $30, nice weather: priceless)
6:00 Bumper cars. Surprised to see the floor covered with autumn leaves. Couldn't someone use a leafblower? Its been months since fall.
6:15 the kids rode Racer while wife & I sat out. Someone there told us that Beast was closed.
6:30 Top Gun, twice (walkthru was open). Starting to feel maybe just a little bit rough, but still lots of fun. Shaggy was right ... it comes REALLY close to SOB's lift structure at the turnaround. We stopped on the way out to check out work on SOB, which is of course largely obscured by the lift structure.
By the way, I still have some serious concerns about the queue for SOB. They have built what looks like 20-minute switchbacks on the plaza of Top Gun's exit (this is near the Kodak photo spot). The queue actually starts at the top of the exit stairs... next to the bathrooms, a low chain link fence splits the pathway into a cattle chute, so that those entering SOB walk down the right side of the TG exit stairs. The chain link will probably work okay for discouraging any line jumping. But down on the TG plaza, the queue is just the traditional 2-rail fence. I envision folks exiting TG climbing thru this railing and jumping line.
Exiting AZ, I saw they have opened a rear entrance to Festhaus from just across from Action Zone. (I don't remember seeing this door before, though it may have always been there).
7:00 Wife & kids rode Viking Fury, then we all rode Adventure Express. Not surprising, AE had no fog, the work lights were on in the tunnel, and much of the end-of-ride theming was in need of work. Also there were no sound effects whatsoever. No "now you will pay" and the temple god was still missing an eye from last year.
They have added remote-control model cars outside A/E, next to the rock climbing wall. Also now there's a virtual reality arcade booth in Coney Mall.
7:30 Outer Limits. More lights were on and there was no music inside the drum. I don't know how much of this is just because this was opening night and they're still getting their stuff together. Anyway the GOOD news is that OL:FOF now has nice, soft, thick, cushy, brand new padding on the restraints. They really do make a difference on how the ride treats your ears.
Yes, there is now a helicopter pad outside OL:FOF. We saw the chopper several times during the evening. Incidently, they have added a new min-simulator ride "V R Voyager", which looks like a small space shuttle, outside the OL area, behind Zephyr swings. (We rode Zephyr but not the Voyager, as the latter costs $6 per person). Also the laser tag now has some new equipment. Participants now wear vests which take the hits (no more aiming for the other guy's gun). Also a new higher price: $6.50.
8:00 Vortex. Nothing has changed here either ... so much for last year's rumor about possibly re-queueing the station. The ride was okay, not rough (not smooth either). One of Vortex's trains has very loud squeaky brake which can be heard from all over. Vortex has new padding on the OTSR as well, though not as nice as those on OL:FOF. The round pads are gone; the new ones are those rectangular ribbed pads which IMO were less comfortable.
Walked over to check out Beast, which was still closed (no explaination). We ran into Coaster Fanatics Chuck, Rob and SWohio Brian (nice to meet you guys) on our way back over toward Coney Mall.
8:30 rode Flying Eagles and Shake Rattle & Roll. Then we took one more ride on Vortex and from the lift we could see that the Beast was now operating!
9:00 waiting in line for Beast (the only real line of the entire evening) which was fortunately only 20 minutes. Our train had a very loud squeeling lateral wheel that really sounded terrible on all the curves, from the turnaround leaving the station to the helix at the end. Perhaps this is why Beast had been closed for most of the evening?
The kids usually like to stop at the candy shop on Int'l street on our way out. Half of the candy store is now the glass blower shop (and half of the candy is gone!!). But I was glad to see that the ice cream stand is open again. It has been on-again, off-again for the past couple years. This ice cream shop on Int'l street is one of the best food values in the park... huge cones of real hand dipped ice cream for only $2.
I looked for the ACE plaque on our way out but didn't see it. Oh well, we'll be back soon ... April 26th if not sooner.
We also rode King Cobra (which my older son calls "Ginkoba") after Top Gun. Cobra was only running one train but seems to be in good shape.
A typo: VR Voyager is a mini-simulator. Anyone had a chance to try this yet?
Sounds like you had a great time. I attended, deciding to go at the very last minute and arrived at about 4:30.
> The crowds were
> light most of the night and most rides were
> only a one or two train wait.
The evening was unbelievable for walk-on rides. It has been a long time since I have seen it like that.
> Drop Zone, first few seats on the second
> load. New buckling belts have been added to
> the restraints (I found out later speaking
> with others that the shortness of this strap
> can prevent individuals of large proportions
> from closing the restraint). Anyway it's
> good to have DZ back in operation. Still
> quite a thrill.
I agree 100%. I rode twice, and it still scares the $(&% out of me. Also, as predicted, it gives a great view of Sonny.
> 5:15 Face/Off. Good ride.
> Nothing new here.
I rode this twice as well. That ift facing forward still manages to make me feel like I could fall out at any time. I have noticed that Face/Off is a popular screaming ride. People love to scream on it.
> 6:30 Top
> Gun, twice (walkthru was open). Starting to
> feel maybe just a little bit rough, but
> still lots of fun. Shaggy was right ... it
> comes REALLY close to SOB's lift structure
> at the turnaround.
> Again, twice I rode and cannot believ how much the near miss has added to the ride. It comes literally within feet of SOB.
> We stopped on the way out
> to check out work on SOB, which is of course
> largely obscured by the lift structure.
I found that the best overall view is from Top Guns lift. Adventure Express has a great view too. Anyone curious to see the layout before riding Sonny, I suggest they ride either of those coasters.
> Exiting AZ, I saw they
> have opened a rear entrance to Festhaus from
> just across from Action Zone. (I don't
> remember seeing this door before, though it
> may have always been there).
It's brand new this year. Also all "Octoberfest" theming in the festhaus has been removed. Hint, hint, hint....
> 7:00 Wife
> & kids rode Viking Fury, then we all
> rode Adventure Express. Not surprising, AE
> had no fog, the work lights were on in the
> tunnel, and much of the end-of-ride theming
> was in need of work. Also there were no
> sound effects whatsoever. No "now you
> will pay" and the temple god was still
> missing an eye from last year.
Adventure Express was in horrible shape. I especially hated the fact that a service door was left open in the final lift tunnel. The sunlight just poured in. Meanwhile half the "now you will pay" statues eyes were burned out and 3 of them did not even puond their drum. Shame, shame, shame PKI.
> More lights
> were on and there was no music inside the
> drum. I don't know how much of this is just
> because this was opening night and they're
> still getting their stuff together. Anyway
> the GOOD news is that OL:FOF now has nice,
> soft, thick, cushy, brand new padding on the
> restraints. They really do make a difference
> on how the ride treats your ears.
They had left the brake run lights turned on. They are not new lights, but the switch is in a lockout area. Employees cannot go turn them off unless the ride is shut down and locked out. I noticed the missing music as well. I also noticed the florr has been painted to match the PKD version. OLFOF is running great this year! I did it 3 times and never once head-banged.
> there is now a helicopter pad outside
> OL:FOF. We saw the chopper several times
> during the evening.
Prices range from $25-$150 depending on where you go. There are several routes to choose from. The chopper is quite small and was suprisingly busy all night. I saw it flying lots! You also have a photo taken for posterity when you ride.
> 8:00 Vortex. Nothing has changed here either
> ... so much for last year's rumor about
> possibly re-queueing the station. The ride
> was okay, not rough (not smooth either). One
> of Vortex's trains has very loud squeaky
> brake which can be heard from all over.
I noticed that. It was a hoorible squal at the final brake run. Sounds like they need new padding on the fins.
> 8:30 rode Flying Eagles and Shake
> Rattle & Roll.
Flying Eagles is running great this year. Long circuit and great "snaps
> Our train had a
> very loud squeeling lateral wheel that
> really sounded terrible on all the curves,
> from the turnaround leaving the station to
> the helix at the end. Perhaps this is why
> Beast had been closed for most of the
The squeal is from un greased tracks. It is not as bad as I have heard on some coasters, but it is bad. I woorry that too much attention has been payed to Sonny and Beast is not getting it's TLC.
> I looked for the ACE
> plaque on our way out but didn't see it. Oh
> well, we'll be back soon ... April 26th if
> not sooner.
It was there. A bit dirty...but there.
Glad you had a great evening!
> Sounds like you had a great time. I
> attended, deciding to go at the very last
> minute and arrived at about 4:30. The
> evening was unbelievable for walk-on rides.
Glad you were able to make it last night. It will certainly be a night to remember. I had an eye out for you or Roger or any of the few urc'ers I've met.
> Also, as predicted, it (DZ) gives a great view of Sonny.
Well, not great, but perhaps "as good as it gets". You really can't see much of SOB's "innards" at all from anywhere in the park. I agree with what you had said in an earlier post ... it's amazing how carefully this ride has been configured and oriented visually.
> I have noticed that Face/Off is a popular screaming ride.
> People love to scream on it.
Sounds like you've met my wife! She was in the face-forward-first seat, which leaves you dangling twice, and longest. Talk about screams!
These three $40M rides PKI has added recently are a great addition. I think this management team has been doing a wonderful job.
> OLFOF is running great this year! I
> did it 3 times and never once head-banged.
Anyone who has avoided OL:FOF because of the headbanging should give it another try. It is far more enjoyable now.
> I woorry that too much
> attention has been payed to Sonny and Beast
> is not getting it's TLC.
Maintainance was clearly visible in some areas and obviously missing in others. They have cleared the brush from TG entrance and cleaned the gum off the walkways. Hopefully after SOB opens, things will get back to normal. After all, it is still early in the season. It was funny, but as we were waiting for the front gates to open, we could see lots of maintainance men carrying around ladders. They must have been working right up till the last minute.