At the invitation of my parents, Betsy, myself, my sister and brother-in-law all made the trek north to Paramount’s Kings Island, an amusement park north of Cincinatti. My dad’s bank was having a picnic there, and providing lunch and tickets and such. How could we turn that down?
For some reason, I became a complete adrenaline junkie over the weekend. If there was a ride, I was on it. A short list of the rides I fell victim to (with links to pics or descriptions):
- The Beast:: The longest wooden coaster in the world, and consistently rated one of the top 5 coasters ever. I’d agree with this…amazingly fun. We managed to get to it early enough that we could simply sit through two rides in a row.
- The Son of Beast:: This, however, was a HUGE disappointment. It is the tallest, fastest wooden coaster in the world, and includes a loop (which, for a wooden coaster, is just insane). However, it nearly beats you to death. Full of Helixes and switchbacks, I think I bruised a rib on it. Ride it once, just to say you did, but that’s quite enough.
- Vortex:: Just a great coaster, a steel looping coaster that turns you upside down 6 times in less than a minute. Fast, smooth and fun.
- Face-Off:: Surprisingly shocking, the coaster looks very basic at first glance, but the forward-backwards nature of it makes it more surprising than you might initially think. It certainly took me by surprise. With both backwards and forwards facing seats, you do the entire ride in both directions before being lowered into the unloading area.
- Flight of Fear:: An enclosed coaster, with a propulsion system rather than a hill, and shoots you from 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Harsh, but fun.
- Tomb Raider, the Ride:: A bizarre pendulum ride, it is enclosed and dark, so that you have no idea what you are actually in for. Very effective, if a little short. Better than I expected.
- Delerium:: This was a new one for me…a giant pendulum, with a circular seating pattern that spins while you swing. Very, very fun, with a lot of G-forces on you as you spin into the drop. Watch the video to get the full effect.
- Drop Zone:: Wow. The tallest gyro drop ride in the world, you spin slowly up 315 feet, pause, and then freefall to the bottom. Feels like you stepped off of the ledge of a 30 story building. Amazing!
- Slingshot:: This was my father’s idea…I had ridden everything in the park, more or less, and he said he’d pay for this one if I’d do it. I don’t think he believed I would. A 2 person max capacity ride, I was by myself in the small roll-cage. The cables are tensioned by a set of crazy looking springs, and then the connection with the earth is cut, and you go rocketing into the air. The stats on the ride itself said: 95MPH, 260 Feet, 6G’s and I believe it. Easily the craziest thing I’ve ever been on. You launch up, then turn and freefall towards the earth. The cables catch, and you bounce up and down for a few seconds, rolling crazily a few hundred feet up, just you and a small metal enclosure, and two cables on either side. Complete insanity. Here’s a site from a company that makes these crazy things, and more pics.
All in all, much fun was had, and much silly food consumed. Looking forward to the next amusement park already…