Jul 4, 2021, 12:47:39 PMJul 4
July 2, 2021
Temperatures have been in the high 80s with heat index into the 90s here in west central Ohio, but Friday it was forecast to be in the high 70s with low humidity. We seized the chance to go down to KI - I took the day off and we asked if Ben's cousin Neil wanted to come with us. He jumped at the chance, so I went to pick him up, and met Matt down at the park. I might have had to leave earlier than they wanted to, so we drove separately, even though we ended up not needing both vehicles.
After entering the park and successfully dodging the photographers, we headed toward The Bat. But Banshee had almost no line, so we decided to do that one first. And Matt was denied entry by the young teenage worker, due to his height. According to regulations, no one over 78" can ride, and he's 80". He can fit into the restraints, they are just uncomfortable for him. But we couldn't convince the worker, so he decided that from now on, he's 78" and Ben will also shrink from 77" down to 75" to go along with that. Yes, I know, laws of physics and all that, but Matt has successfully fit into the restraints and gotten the correct number of clicks. This is the first time he's been stopped.
Banshee was running well, no issues with anything. We were in row 5, which is one of the rows designed to accommodate larger customers. Neil was outside right, I was outside left, and Ben sat next to Neil with an empty seat between us. Still a very smooth ride. The cameras are still taking pictures, but they are not being shown for purchase. In fact, the entire gift shop was dark and no employees. Lack of workers, probably.
We met up with Matt and headed to the Bat. Along the way, Ben and I explained to Neil the history of the ride. Matt and I chose to wait for first seat but we only had to wait 1 train. As we were standing there, the ride op gave his spiel of "Welcome to Top Gun/Flight Deck/The Bat, whatever you choose to call it. We call it Identity Crisis: The Ride." That was cute. His next greeting was to welcome people to Big Swinging Orange. Again, a good ride, lots of swinging, especially on the brake run. I just wish they would theme this better. It's a stripped down Top Gun/Flight Deck and it needs Bat Cave theming. As we were getting out, the Op was welcoming us back to the Bat Cave.
Next Neil wanted to ride Delirium, so we waited in the shade of the outdoor tables next to the Festhaus entrance. The worker cleaning tables said that even though they have signs up about requiring masks indoors, you don't need them. Neil got his ride, and loved it. We then walked down through Coney Island. We skipped Adventure Express because the line was out to the entrance and not moving. By this time the park was starting to get crowded. Then we got in a fairly long line for Racer. They were using 1 line side, but only a couple of queue lines. The problem is that they were loading slow, and the two sets of trains that got dispatched
while we were in line were not raced. But once we got up onto the platform they held one train back so they could race. Then they did the same for us and we cheered when we got started and were racing. We arranged our seating in the 2 trains so that Matt and Ben could slap hands on the lift hill.
The track rehab on Racer is fantastic. It was great to see so much new wood. It was so sssmmmmooooottttthhhh as a result. Best Racer ride I've had in years. Still lots of pops of air time. Most of the new wood is on the straight section, not in the turnarounds. The new wood on some of the hills is all the way to the ground - the only stuff we could guarantee is old are the railings.
After Racer, the 3 of them did Dodgems while I watched. First time I've seen all cars in use for a long time. Then we went to see if Ben can fit into a seat on Orion. Still no green light - he has chunky thighs, mostly from cycling over the years, and it was the front of his thighs that were preventing the restraint from getting down far enough. That's where he said he felt it the most. So we left and headed down to Windseeker. The 3 of them rode while I sat and watched. I'm not a big fan of the ride - everytime I do ride it, it's cold, windy, and sometimes freezing up that high, so I can easily skip it. They got the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey as they ascended, which was cool.
Next we did the Beast and there appears to have been a lot of new trackwork done in the helix, because it was also much smoother. Still the same ride, although we picked up a lot more speed this time, for whatever reason. We had to wait a long time for a ride, because they weren't using the queues up in the station, they were only using the line for "front of train", and the ride op was holding people back until the previous train was dispatched.
After the Beast we did lunch in the Miami River Brewhouse, which ended up being lunch and dinner, since it was 2:00pm before we got our food. I like the new setup, where you order in a line and get a buzzer, then you choose your table and they bring out the food to you, but I miss the decor from when it was the Reds Hall of Fame Grill.
Mystic Timbers went down just before we entered the restaurant but was running again by the time we left. But the line was insane, so we skipped it. Instead we headed into White Water Canyon, even though it wasn't hot that day. I was armed with $5 for tokens. Unlike other times, when I was the only one who was shooting, there were lots of people shooting different boats. One woman handed tokens to a bunch of us and asked us to shoot a boat, so we did. I had gone back up the exit line to see which numbered boat my guys ended up in, and memorized the boat number prior to theirs. Then when boat 21 came through, I recruited shooters to aim for boat 7. Ben said that I chose my gunners wisely. Neil got the wettest but all of them were pretty soaked.
We thought about Diamondback, but if Ben won't fit on Orion he's also not likely to fit on Dback, so we skipped it. Matt was sad, and we said he could go ride it, but he didn't want to ride it by himself. Instead, we went to Boo Blasters, and had to wait through all the queues, but it went fairly fast. Ben and Neil took one buggy and we took the next one. Matt was racking up a pretty good score and then our buggy crapped out. All the displays went dark. We told the ride ops when exiting and they said there were a couple that had been doing that, so they took it out of "service" (not let anyone ride it).
We were pretty much done with lines, and Neil and Ben wanted to get home to get online for their online game, so we headed out. Ben and Neil rode home with Matt. I stopped at the Jenntown farmers' market and paid way too much for tomatoes, then stopped at one of the farms on the Northern Mecca Daylilly tour. I scored 3 beautiful new varieties and found out that the daughter of the farmer lives in my neighborhood and they walk with their kids on my street. So hopefully I'll see them again. Matt and the boys hit the Golden Turtle in Lebanon for chocolate. A really good day.
Sharon "I love hemerocallis" Bond