USA 2014 Blog Day 17
PGreetings from Kentucky! Well our first call of the day was going to be at Louisville Airport in Kentucky to see if our replacement car was waiting for us at Dollar, so we set off from Tennessee nice and early for our 4 hour drive. We arrived at the airport at 1pm and within ½ hour had swapped our brand new Chevrolet Captiva for a tatty high mileage unclean Toyota RAV4 4WD – but hey, it has oil and it moves (at least for now anyway!). Kentucky Kingdom is literally next door, so a quick 5 minute drive and we were at the park.
Kentucky Kingdom has been closed since 2009 after the owners, Six Flags pulled out of operation. One of the original owners has been trying to re-finance the park ever since and, this year, reopened parts of the park for the first time. His investment included a ($1m) refurb on the main wooden coaster, Thunder Run and the installation of a new steel coaster (Lightning Run) as well as a large expansion to the water park.
Our first ride was on Lightning Run. One downside of the newly designed ride is the shape of the lap bars. Given the intense negative G’s on the ride and the odd shaped lap bar, the ride can be quite painful in the lap area – especially for the men. Still a fun ride though (I enjoyed it more than Adrian) with lots of airtime.
Ride quality aside, having a one train operation and being painfully slow at loading & despatch (one every 5-10 minutes) meant this coaster fell far short of being the headline attraction of the newly opened park. Investing in a new signature attraction to entice new customers, and then present them with such poor operations when they arrive, will surely prevent returning custom. The poor operations of the ride need to addressed quickly to prevent a repeat of the parks chequered history.
We then headed over to Thunder Run which on previous visits the ride quality has good seasons and bad seasons, but with the new refurbishment is now riding great and the airtime has been restored so money well spent. There was no queue for this at all as the quests were either in the queue for Lightning Run or had ventured into the water park.
After a quick circuit of the park to do our filming & photos we decided to ride Lightning Run again, but having stood in the queue for 20 minutes we were told that the ride had closed whilst the maintenance guys investigated a fault. It shortly reopened and made it to the front seat queue, but shortly before boarding there was a flash of lightning near the park and all rides had to close until the approaching storm had passed over, which was going to be some time. Unfortunately as we were due to leave the park at 5:15pm meant that we were not going to get another ride, and we had only managed one ride on each of the coasters.
Never mind, at least we got to ride them both which is why we came here. We wish the park all the very best of luck and hope that they manage to successfully open the rest of the park at some point in the future.