The parking lot was only half full with a good amount of buses. Renewed our Platinum passes over the winter so decided to get Fast Lane just in case, glad we did. There was some bad weather heading our way, so we decided to hit my two favorite coasters in the park. First stop was Flight of Fear. Fast Lane entrance is a little different this year as they waltz you through the interior left side unused queue area and into the space ship. Got on without waiting and it still running great. I just love the speed of this ride and the disorienting feeling of twisting and turning in the dark. Was happy to see the maintenance lights off this year! When we emerged from the dark abyss, the sky was even darker and headed toward the Beast. Halfway there the sky opened up with a quick/short downpour. Lots of huge puddles on the midways for such a short time.
Beast had a pretty short line and even debated entering through Fast Lane, but we had them so used them and good thing we did. The Beast is my second favorite coaster following Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa. For such a long coaster, it is still one of the smoothest riding wooden coasters out there. Kudos to the maintenance crew who keep this great coaster in such good shape. I just can't help smiling when I ride this and the wet track was an extra bonus. She screamed through the whole circuit. Did notice the trim brakes seem to grab a little harder this year, but that's o.k., it's still worth it. On the way to the brake run, noticed the train going over the first lift was empty. The train in the station was then dispatched empty and only a handful of people in the station. We were told as we as we exited the train, the rides are closing due to lightning in the area. So I was glad for Fast Lane! Just made it to the car when the storm hit.
Later in the day the rain stopped and we went back to the park. It stayed quiet the rest of Friday evening, unlike the big crowds they would have the next day!
All of the rides were up and running. The park was beautiful, great landscaping and a few of the buildings were repainted. Fast Lane offers more than coasters this year as well. The Beast and Firehawk (a.k.a.-X-Flight from Geauga) are on FL Plus. The only coaster I did not ride was The Racer and Vortex. Just wasn't in the mood for the terrible head banging from an Arrow. Then there is Diamondback. I don't know why I find this coaster a let down and boring. Other than the first drop, the rest is basically uneventful. Though this is just my opinion. I would much rather ride Raging Bull at SF Great America for a coaster of this type.
Other than that, my only complaint would be the new Reds Hall of Fame Grille. It is much like Game Day Grille at CP. However, the person I was with got the fish and chips that looked burned and was cold. The server sent over the manager who offered to replace and remove from the bill, but not once did he apologize, just made excuses! Really Cedar Fair?! The rest of the staff in the park was quite friendly and helpful. I was even able to get a personalized KI coffee mug as I don't exist on the pre-made ones for only $8. This is new for this year, nice touch! I did forget to mention early entry to the park for gold and platinum card holders was a bit confusing. It is only a half-hour early unlike CP and could not tell where that entrance was. When we asked a park employee, he said he wasn't sure, but thinks it was on the right side of International street. It was, but they let all guests wait wherever and you couldn't see it let alone get through the crowd to get to it. Come KI, separate it like your sister park does!! I did have a great time and love this park, better than CP in my book!!
On a side note, it looked so strange without that SOB that stood towering over everything in years past. The site is cleared and there are footers poured around the area where the Thunder Alley was. Also, the station is still standing with the track through it. Sorry no pics this trip, just wanted to ride and have fun without worrying about cellphone and camera.
Thanks for reading, off to Kennywood next weekend!!