Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

TR: Strickers Grove - 6/21/09

TR: Strickers Grove
Ross, OH
June 21, 2009

Every year on Father's Day, our church has their annual parish picnic at Strickers Grove. Since the park is only open 2 or 3 times a year, it made sense to go to the park for the day and invite some coaster friends. I invited Dave and April, and April invited some friends and soon we had a nice size subgroup of coaster nuts at the party.

Owing to a set of circumstances where we did everything in about the least logical order, we arrived to the park around 2pm. Admission, parking, soft drinks and beer were all free. So we helped ourselves to all of the above and then headed back to the Tornado.

It was a walk on wait for the Tornado, and we wound up taking our first ride in seat 7. I don't know, the Tornado seems epecially sluggish this year, maybe its too early in the season for it, but the ride was just a big meh.

That didn't stop us from taking two more rides on Tornado, one of those in seat 9. I reach for the seatbelt, and its almost as bad as on Thunder Run, at SFKK. I had to work at that seatbelt and the operator commented that, yes, the belts are tighter in the back seat. You know how those lift latch buckles are pretty wimpy when you apply any real force to them, when we went down the ejector drop, my buckle took the path of least resistance and popped right open. I know I have had more seatbelt failures on rides that use those lift latch stytle buckles.

After Tornado, we went and had some rides on the Flying Skooters. Yes, they aren't Knoebels, they aren't even on par with the ones Kings Island heatlessly ripped out, but they aren't bad either, and they don't have a no snapping rule. After several Flying Skooters rides, we took a spin on the train ride to see if there was anything interesting in the remote reaches of the park. There wasn't. We finished up the first ride session with a ride on the Ferris Wheel, which is now sporting retracting seatbelts.

Next up was the big pot luck dinner. The church supplies the burgers, hot dogs, brats, metts and roast corn, and the people bring all the sides and deserts pot luck style.

After the dinner, we took a few more rides on the Flying Skooters, the Tornado, and yes, even the obligatory Teddy Bear coaster ride. Just when we commented on how unusual it was for a PTC train to have a solid side with no openings, a kid proceeds to manage to exit to the wrong side of the station.

After having our fill of Strickers, we went to Kings Island. On the way there we stopped to look at a nondescript office building that houses The Gravity Group. Once at the park, we head straight to Diamondback and using the single rider line we are all on in less than 10 minutes. I love Diamondback, the airtime, the smoothness, the setting, the pacing, everthing. The ride broke down shortly after our first ride. Not a problem, we take a Graters Ice Cream break, by which time the ride is running again, and we manage three or four more rides on it before park close.

It was just the trip back home at that point.


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