After a super packed day at Kings Island for Banshee Bash we were able to get a little bit of sleep, but not too much as we had to depart at 6 AM for Kentucky Kingdom. Kentucky Kingdom was one of the parks I was really looking forward to when signing up for this trip. Six Flags had basically left this park to rot much like how they left my local Geagua Lake when they sold it to Cedar Fair. The park sat dormant since the end of the 2009 season and for years Ed Hart the former owner before the Six Flags era tried to get the park reopened. Finally in August 2012 it was announced Kentucky Kingdom would reopen in 2014. I never like to see a park close and getting to see one reopen is an awesome sight to see. I definitely wanted to make it out to Kentucky Kingdom this year just in case things didn’t go well, like Hard Rock Park which only lasted two seasons. Luckily things went better than expected and Kentucky Kingdom is going to continue to expand in 2015 and extend its operating season by about 15 days. So will I be returning to Kentucky Kingdom in 2015? Let’s find out!
Thunder Run was a coaster that was built the first time Ed Hart reopened Kentucky Kingdom in 1990. He must like the Thunder and Lightning names. Since the coaster sat dormant for about three and half years Rocky Mountain Construction was brought in to do a massive re-tracking of the ride. How’s the result? Amazing! The coaster feels like new again and it’s 24 years old! Hopefully RMC can have a similar effect on Twisted Twins when they take that on for 2016 at the park.
So let’s go for a ride!
What a fun high speed airtime filled ride, wonder how Lightning Run compares!
Lightning Run is incredible! I’m never been overseas yet so I’ve not had the chance to ride an Intamin Mega-Lite. Intamin is my favorite coaster manufacturer so I do hope to ride one of theses someday. That being said Lightning Run is North America’s first crack at the Mega-Lite concept. Yeah it’s not an Intamin coaster, but it’s got plenty of the same elements that make a Mega-Lite great such as amazing air, a short but sweet first drop, and incredible directional changes. My friend Paul who has ridden one Mega-Lite actually preferred Lightning Run to it and we all agreed that Lightning Run was amazing. Chance Rides who built the coaster called this model the Hyper GT-X which is an amazing ride for a budget price. I really hope the success that I’m sure Lightning Run will receive brings more GT-X models to parks in the future. This is the perfect ride for the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom and makes a great pair with Thunder Run. This is definitely a top ten coaster and has a pretty solid spot in my own top ten at number five currently. Anyway here’s a few more shots I got of the ride.
After our morning ERT session, Andy and I were determined to ride Deep Water Dive the tallest body slide in the USA. (It beats Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach by a mere 1 foot) So we changed real quick and headed over to Hurricane Bay first thing at park opening. We were worried about a long wait but we were the first two up the stairs ready to conquer the slide for the day. It’s a very intimidating height and a pretty awesome view at the top. I let Andy go first and then I took the plunge. While scary still, it’s an incredible slide and we rode it three times that day before the line starting building up. I personally think Deep Water Dive is way more thrilling than Verruckt, and I let Kentucky Kingdom management know that. This is definitely a staple attraction for their water park.
After checking out Hurricane Bay it was time for some lunch!
And that concludes our morning/afternoon at Kentucky Kingdom. Great to see the park up and running again. So glad to hear that their first season was better than expected, and that they’ll be adding more attractions and more operating days for next season. I’ll most likely be returning in 2015 to get more rides on the incredible Lightning Run and see what’s new for 2015.