Posted on May 4, 2009 at 11:04 pm

04/17/09 – Kings Island

TR: Kings Island
Diamondback Media Day
Friday, April 17, 2009

“OMG”

I totally had not planned on being at the park today, but on Thursday I got an email from the park inviting me and Paul to Diamondback’s media day, so plans were quickly sorted out and we both arrived at about the same time, at about 10:50 AM.

We got signed in and then walked back with another group that had just arrived. The fountains were running and the park was coming to life, but we were the only people around during the walk back through Nick Universe. Once we turned the corner into the Diamondback plaza though, we quickly ran into several news vans and quite a lot of people hanging around waiting for the official opening.

After running into Brian Neal and Raptor Jo outside the “new” DB Trading Post, we mingled a bit before the opening ceremony started. Walter Bolliger of B&M was in attendance and took part in the ribbon cutting.

After some words by Kings Island GM Greg Scheid, the ribbon was cut and we were admitted into the queue. It was pretty neat to be standing here during the ceremony looking at a finished ride, from the exact same spot we watched the press conference back in August from. Back then it was just a bunch of footers and the structure for the transfer track area.

We were in the first group to enter the queue, so we ended up getting to the station and boarding the first train to go out, in the front row of the fifth car. We handed our camera bags off to Brian Kosmac who was collecting things for the loose article bins, then sat down, with Paul in the right side seat and me in the left seat. Probably the most comfortable coaster trains I’ve ever sat in.

Lap bars secured and checked, and we’re off! The ride starts out with a very steep lift hill, similar in slope to Son of Beast’s, but due to the design of the trains it feels steeper. The chain speed kicks up as soon as the back car reaches the base of the ascent, and it takes you to the top very quickly.

Simply put, it’s the best steel coaster I’ve ever been on, and overall is second only to The Voyage. It’s non-stop high speed and plentiful airtime, and it’s also the smoothest ride I’ve ever been on.

We rode 7 times, taking photos from the queue area on each one. After that 7-ride session, we took a break and stepped into the Rivertown Junction Dining Hall for lunch, formerly known as Wings Diner. We took a little while to eat, drink and cool off in the air conditioning, then went back to Diamondback. I got two rides, Paul got at least one, but maybe two as well. We split up a bit for these two, I ended up taking photos while Paul rode once, then Paul took photos while I rode once.

Both of my rides here were in the back car, which is INSANE airtime on every hill, This is where my seat count might be SLIGHTLY wrong. Sometime around here I rode in the front row of the back car (81) with Jeff and Gonch from CoasterBuzz right behind me, but both rides here are listed as being in the back seat. The second ride after lunch is when I’m pretty sure it was, but I can’t remember for sure so I won’t change the list. It’s only off by one row if it’s off at all.

Anyway, that second ride after lunch jarred me quite a bit. I’m no expert but my guess is it had a bad wheel on that car or something, so I took another break from riding then. Paul and I walked over into Rivertown and spent about an hour doing a photo tour, taking photos of Diamondback, The Beast, The Crypt and the rest of the changes to Rivertown.

We then got an escort and went back to join the group of some other media people in the backstage area under Diamondback’s first drop pullout and around the train bridge. We walked out onto the train trestle with Raptor Jo and got photos and video, then walked back to the area around the base of the first drop for even more. Finally, after a LOT of photos taken, we headed back to Diamondback to ride.

What followed was essentially a very exclusive ERT session. While we were starting our tour they went from 3 to 2 trains, and now they went down to one train as most people had left. Less than a trainload of riders remained, so we stuck it out. Later in this session, everyone stopped walking around at all and just played musical chairs on the train in between runs to switch things up a bit. I took what was going to be my last ride, then went out and sat down with Paul and Brian outside the Snake Pit.

Taking out my iPod Touch, that I’d been using after each ride to track my rides in the Notes app, I counted my rides and saw that I had 29. Wanting to hit 30 even, I went back for one last ride in the front of the back car. After that, we thanked Don Helbig and then we walked out. Brian said they were going to Skyline after, so Paul and I checked with our rides and then headed over there. Brian arrived after a while, and I set up my laptop to unload photos and click through them. After eating and chatting for a while, Paul and his dad left, and I stuck around with the others for a while before heading home.

30 Diamondback Rides:

51
Back
12
81
72
Front
Back
Lunch
Back
Back
Tour
62
12
21
81
32
32
32
32
42
32
12
52
52
Back
12
21
Front
22
22
Back
81

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