With A Ride Like Storm Chaser, Kentcuky Kingdom Is Worth The Cost Of Admission
Kentucky Kingdom is an underrated park with a great collection of attractions. That’s my feeling after spending a half day at the Louisville amusement park. It’s certainly a must do for any coaster or park enthusiast.
My girlfriend and I went to Kentucky Kingdom on my birthday, September 2nd. I wasn’t sure what to expect in the way of crowds, as it was pouring rain the day before. As luck would have it, the park was relatively empty upon opening.
As the gates opened I made my way to Storm Chaser. Widely considered one of the best coasters from RMC, this met all of my high expectations. I went right to the front of the train, which is rare as I mostly venture to the back. I was able to get my very own train for the first ride. After that I made my way to the back and rode the coaster three more times ( with my own train on two of those rides ).
Considering I had four rides on Kentucky Kingdom’s signature ride, it was time to move onto another coaster. After a quick drink break ( which were unlimited due to an out-of-state special the park was running ), I went on Kentucky Kingdom’s wooden coaster, Thunder Run.
I’ll admit that this wasn’t my favorite wooden coaster. There wasn’t much in the way of air time and there weren’t enough elements to make it worth a second ride. In addition, like older woodies, the coaster was extremely rough. And I was seated in the front. Still, a great addition to Kentucky Kingdom.
I made my way over to T3, the park’s Vekoma SLC. Unfortunately as I arrived at the entrance the ride stated it wasn’t opening till 1. At this time my girlfriend and I figured it was time for lunch. We walked through Hurricane Harbor, Kentucky Kingdom’s water park, and it was quite well themed. It seemed to have great attractions and a giant wave pool. Although, the water park wasn’t busy at all. The weather was quite cold for a water adventure.
As we approached the food area, we looked for an open restaurant or cafeteria. Nothing was open so we settled on a burger/sandwich stand. As my girlfriend placed her order, I opted to get a ride on Lightning Run, another coaster which I was highly anticipating.
I must say that Lightning Run disappointed me. With the amount of airtime many had said you would get, I was left underwhelmed. Not a bad coaster, just not what I had expected. It’s certainly one I’d ride again, but I wasn’t feeling it that day.
As lunch digested, it was time to head over to Angry Birds The Ride. I didn’t know what to expect from this ride, as it was being marketed as a 4D attraction. Basically you see a brief pre-show and then enter a theater with motion based seats. The attraction plays in front of you and the seats move according to what was on-screen. Not the best attraction, but not terrible either.
After Angry Birds you exit through Kentucky Kingdom’s main gift shop. Overall, I was extremely dissatisfied with the parks collection of merchandise. There were no Storm Chaser or Lightning Run shirts, just some generic park based merchandise. The collection of magnets was quite nice, and we did find an ornament for our tree. But the themed merchandise was quite lacking.
As the day approached 12:30, I decided to get another run on Storm Chaser. Unfortunately, the ride was closed. I found this to be puzzling as there was no indication of this at the entrance. I went up to find all of the ride staff sitting with a train ready to go. I have no idea if the ride really was closed or if the staff was just lazy. I wasn’t too satisfied to see it not in operation.
Not letting myself down after Storm Chaser, I decided to make my way to T3. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Vekoma SLC’s. Inverterd coasters are my favorite, but Vekoma can be quite rough. The saving grace to this coaster is that the trains and seats were redone. This caused for a much smoother ride. I won’t go as far to say that T3 was better than the other Vekoma SLC I was on ( Flight Deck at Canada’s Wonderland ), but it wasn’t a terrible ride.
It was about this time I opted to go back to the hotel to watch some college football. Overall, I’d say Kentucky Kingdom was a park I’d do again. To be honest, the price of admission is worth it just for Storm Chaser. Yet, there is so much to do at the park. If you want a fun and inexpensive park to visit, check out Kentucky Kingdom.