Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
By Edwardo
We woke up to gloom and rain on Sunday morning in Louisville, checked the forecast, realized that the rain that was being called for in Cincy was likely to come and stay for a bit, and then I drifted off back to sleep as Isaac went down for breakfast, a shower, and a bunch of other stuff before I finally woke up to discuss what we were going to do. The original plan was go to KI and stay in the Cincy area and then do Coney Island and Strickers Grove on Monday before coming home. But this weather…

I don’t really remember what time I finally woke up, but it was still morning. We got ready, I headed down and did the breakfast thing as well, we checked out, and after having discussed options, we headed to Kings Island after all. I figured that a light rain would keep people away and as long as there was no thunder storms (It was calling for maybe one around 1pm, or 4pm, or 6pm), we should be fine.

We did stop at a Kmart that just happened to be going out of business because although both of us had considered bringing a hoody, neither of us did. Thank goodness for 60% off at the closing Kmart. I even got a decent pair of new work shoes for cheap. Score!

We got to Kings Island around 1pm. Isaac had forgot to bring his Platinum Pass, so we headed to guest services, then to the nearly empty season pass office for him to get a pass for the day. The parking lot was not far from empty, the clouds and a light rain would come in and out for most of the day, and so we headed in to the park hoping for a light attendance day.

We ate at Skyline Chili on Main Street. It was my first time. Meh. I don’t get it. My Icee was good, though! Our first ride of the day? Banshee!

Banshee-Another credit. I hadn’t seen it run, but finally saw a train go on the way over. Would it live up to the hype? We got in line for the front with only a 3 train wait (and they were running, and stacking, all three, I figure they planned on a busy day but for the rain). I love the new trains. The restraints are great. That lift is steep and fast. And that drop! Inversion! Loop! Zero G! Inversions! Sloooowwwww Inversion! Snappy snap up to the brakes! Oh! My! Gawsh! I loved it! Banshee is a winner from drop to brakes, and my new favorite inverted coaster. The lack of brakes really made a difference, and even though I could ride it all day, it was intense, but not draining. We Ran around and got a back seat ride. Another thing I like about the new trains is that if you’re on the outside seat, you have a barely obstructed view. And! Surprisingly, the best seat on Banshee was not the front as is the case for most inverts, but the back! We rode once more later in the day in the front, but several more in the back. I love it. The slowdown in the back during elements was great. Amazing. Fantastic. Five Stars!

Whew. So we walked over and saw that Invertigo was closed. I figured it would be down all day, actually. Isaac ran out to the car to change shoes and I sat near the entrance. So then we went back and hit up Diamondback. I love me some Diamondback. We got in the front of the train, and as usual, it was a great ride. However, as we were on the brake run, we were informed by the people behind us that Isaac’s keys had come unclipped from his shorts and went flying. This was a bit of a problem as he’d just got a new car, and his other key was back in NC…

We rode the ride again to see if we could see the keys around the 2nd hill which was where they said it came out. Then we walked over and looked, then rode the train. While we didn’t see his keys, what I did see was clearing out for the new ride for next year. We spent most of the rest of the train ride seeing what our options were on a holiday weekend about getting a key. Unfortunately, and I’ll keep the boring parts short, everything was a dead end until tuesday when every dealer’s parts dept. opened back up. Bummer. Isaac did what he could to report and all, but they never found his keys. It was a damper for sure, but we went on about our day for the time being as we weren’t going to be able to leave the park anyways.

So we went to the Beast next. I always get lost going to the entrance the first time I ride every single visit. The ride was running well, but the trims were hitting pretty hard. What I love about Beast is the speed thru the woods and the out of control feeling. We rode in the front. Not the best Beast ride ever, but not a bad ride at all.

I think we rode Diamondback again after that, and then headed back up to the Banshee sections for more Banshee rides. We also hit up Delirium , which seemed to have been running a very short cycle, but it’s still great. We got more Banshee in as well. Then we went to The Bat. It looks much better, and the logo is much better. The ride is still the same. Fun, but nothing amazing.

For the 2016 season, Carowinds has debuted Cirque Imagine. I’ve yet to catch the show, hope to soon, but I know it came from Kings Island, and this year they’ve debuted Cirque Origin, and I wanted to see it, so we went to the 5pm showing. It was really amazing. Perfect non-corny show for a large regional theme park. I’m even more excited to see the show at Carowinds now, and happy it is close so that I can see it more than once.

After that we went and rode one side of Racer. It was running okay. We came back to the other side later, but not before heading to Flight of Fear and some other rides first. I have to say, after having been to Kings Dominion earlier this year and riding both Flight of Fear & Stunt Track there, Kings Island keeps both in much better condition with most, if not all of the effects in working order. Also, Kings Dominion turned most of Flight of Fear’s queue into a haunt space, which is fine, but now it looks terrible, dusty, and old in the ride’s indoor queue and station. Kings Islands looked very nice.

Flight of Fear was running well. Sadly the MCBR was on full force. Last time I’d ridden it, it was not. But still, the ride is a lot of fun. We were going to ride Firehawk, but the loading and line were too long, so we skipped it.

I think this was when we hit up Stunt Track. It’s a fun coaster, but I kind of wish, because of the placement of it in Kings Island, that they’d removed the theming and re-theme it. Nothing spectacular, just remove all of those shipping containers and add in some rock work and landscaping maybe. It’s still a fun family coaster. Just out of place now that the parks aren’t ‘movie’ parks.

Next up was Vortex. I’d not ridden in a few years, but was hopeful as Anaconda was running really, really well earlier this year. Vortex, though, was painful. Maybe new trains with better restraints would be a nice fit, but neither Isaac nor myself enjoyed the ride. Up next was Windseeker. After that, we sat around a bit. I didn’t realize the pad for Flight Commander was still there. I wish they had that ride still, but understand why it is gone. It’d be a perfect spot for a Zamperla Air Race, in my opinion.

Evening was setting in. I think this was around the time we hit Racer’s other side back up before more Diamondback, where Isaac had been instructed to see if they’d found his keys during the 5pm walk of the track. They didn’t, and we weren’t counting on it. At this point, it was starting to get dark, so we headed over to The Beast for a really great night ride. I love the ride always, but, MAN! Those night rides are not to be missed!

I think we may have hit Diamondback up once more but I don’t remember. I do know we went and caught nite rides on Banshee, and that was amazing as expected. Every ride, it cemented Banshee’s position as my favorite invert, and a high place in my personal ranking.

We headed back up front and spoke to Lost and Found and Guest Services again. Previously, a girl at guest services said that they didn’t offer any services to break in to locked cars, but when we went back, the first thing we were told was that security could break right in. It took a few attempts, but the girl in security did a great job and we got in the car to get our stuff.

We packed up and went to the pickup area to Uber over to the Marriott down the way from Kings Island. We got up and had breakfast the next morning, then Ubered to the airport for Isaac to rent a car so that we could head home and he could pick up his extra car key, drive back to Ohio (Get a few more rides in since, hey, his car was already at Kings Island), and then drive home.

We didn’t make it to Strickers or Coney, but I’ll get there one day.
By tylerSC
Great report. I have never been to Kings Island and really want to ride Banshee. Sounds like a great ride, and I am a big fan of Afterburn at Carowinds. But I did stop and eat at the Frisch's Big Boy on the exit near the park last time I passed through the area. Famous in Ohio, and similar to the old Shoney's Big Boy but they use a special tartar sauce on the burger rather than 1000 Island. Actually quite good.

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