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Blog #544

BeastBuzz 2013 - 8/10/2013

Today I woke up very early for the drive to Kings Island to attend BeastBuzz 2013.  The day's events began well before the park opened to the general public.  In fact, I arrived before the toll booths at the parking lot opened.  I had to enter through security and pass by the employee parking area.  I arrived at the main gate at about eight o'clock where I met with David and Scott.  We checked in and received our itinerary.


The first tour of the day was the Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad.  It was about 8:30 when we arrived at the depot and boarded the train.  During the train ride the tour guide gave a history of the train and described its operations.  We learned about changes made to the track layout over the years with the addition of Soak City and the fact that the fort was built around a house that sat on the property prior to the park's construction.  Once we passed the engine house, the train reversed and we backed into the storage buildings.  The train engineer gave us a more detailed talked about the trains and answered questions.  Then the train returned to the station.

Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad

We left the train station and headed to Diamondback for ERT from 9:30 to 10:00.

The schedule was open for the next couple hours so we had free time to ride whatever we choose.  We rode Racer, Backlot Stunt Coaster, Flight of Fear and others.

Around noon we headed to the Picnic Grove for our catered lunch.  The buffet included hamburgers, chicken, corn-on-the-cob and cookies.  The food was surprisingly good.  There was also a great selection of frozen desserts.  Jeff Putz provided the added bonus of free Yuengling beer.  I'm not a connoisseur of beer and usually turn my nose up at most everything but Bud Light, but the Yuengling was very good.  Thank you Jeff, for the beer and for broadening my horizons.

At 1:45 Don Helbig took us on a tour of the Banshee construction site.  I was able to get a much better feel as to the layout of the new coaster.  It was a really special event.  When will I ever get another chance to tour a working construction site of a roller coaster?  I had to get a picture of my footprint on the site.


Next, Don led us to Racer for a behind-the-scenes tour.  I was able to get some good up-close pictures of this classic woodie.

We had a couple more hours of free time before the five o'clock tour of The Beast.  Don led us into the back stage area and took us on the long walk to see parts of the coaster that are never visible to the general public.  The hike twisted through the woods and coaster to the far turnaround and back.  It was a chance to get some great pictures.

The Beast

As we were about to return to the midway, Don gave us another bonus; a short side trip to see Diamondback from the behind the Crypt building.

At seven o'clock we enjoyed the Ed Alonzo's Psycho Circus of Magic & Mayhem in the Kings Island Theater.  This show was a great surprise.  This was the first time I have seen the show and I was blown away.  It was the best live entertainment I've ever seen at any Cedar Fair park.  It was the perfect mix of corny, cool and gross.  I was so impressed with the show I want come back again and bring Sarah to witness this spectacle with me.

Me and Ed Alonzo

We had more free time to enjoy the park before the fireworks.  The coaster geeks gathered at the Reds Hall Of Fame Grille for our VIP seating for the nightly fireworks.

Immediately after the fireworks we headed to The Beast for nearly two hours of scheduled ERT.  But once we arrived at the queue we could see that the line was filled with riders from the general public.  The park made a last minute decision to keep Diamondback open for an hour to give us ERT while the queue for The Beast emptied out.  Brilliant!  How great was that?

We sprinted over to Diamondback for trains that were never completely filled.  Meaning you never had to leave your seat or you could move from seat to seat for each lap.  The ride in the darkness was great.  With each ride up the lift hill I kept an see on the queue for The Beast.  After about six great cycles on Diamondback I was starting the feel it's affect and see that the line for The Beast was almost completely gone.  So we headed back to The Beast.

Is was about eleven o'clock, so we had about an hour of ERT left.  The Beast was running great.  And just like Diamondback I was able to stay with the same train throughout the ERT.  Train 2 was my train.  I got six straight laps.  And with no moon out the ride was in complete darkness.  These were the very best rides I have ever had on The Beast.

By 11:45, David, Scott and I headed out of the park to conclude our day of BeastBuzz 2013.

The entire day was planned so well from start to finish.  The events were paced so well.  Each one was excellent.  All of the behind-the-scenes tours were great.  Don did such a great job talking throughout the tours and told some great stories I loved listening to.  I'm not sure how he made it all day in the long sleeved shirt.  I especially enjoyed the construction, trains and The Beast tours.  Adding the Diamondback ERT at the last minute was above and beyond the call of duty.

A huge thank you to Don Helbig, Jeff Putz, Ed Alonzo and all the staff at Kings Island.

Click here to see all of my photos from BeastBuzz 2013.

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