The Inaugural Coasterstock at Kings Island was a Huge Success!
Special events at theme parks are hard to come by unless you are part of the media or a member of a coaster club. As of late, amusement parks have been adding more and more events for club members and season pass holders.
On May 16-17, 2015, Kings Island hosted the inaugural Coasterstock event, that was open to select coaster club members. This special 2-day event included some awesome gifts, exclusive ride times, behind-the-scenes tours, delicious catered park meals, and guest speakers! Did we mention two days of ERT!?!?! Pre-registration was required for this event. Fees to attend were minimal and were based on season passholder or non-season pass holder status. The event was highly anticipated by coaster club members across the country, who buzzed about their excitement on social media for months. More than 500 people from 24 states and Canada were in attendance for this incredible Coasterstock event. The event was a great success and everyone that we spoke to said that they had a very, very enjoyable and fun time! We personally had a fantastic time and cannot say enough good things about the careful planning, organization, and activities that went into the event. We cannot wait to do it again!
Before jumping into all of the details of our fun-filled weekend, we would like to take a moment to applaud King’s Island’s management and staff on their organizational system throughout the event. Parking, registration, meals, tours, and activities were VERY organized. The entire staff was aware of Coasterstock and knew exactly what was going on throughout the 2-day event. Anytime we asked a random employee questions or for directions, they promptly assisted us. Kudos to the very friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable staff!
Upon arrival, each registered guest checked in and picked up their credentials, which included a bag filled with goodies! We couldn’t wait to dig in!
Inside of the bags included a super-special Coasterstock shirt, a Coasterstock lapel pin, coupon cards redeemable for free on-ride photos (of the guests’ choosing) on Banshee and The Beast, a 2015 souvenir cup, and credentials on an awesome Kings Island lanyard! We especially appreciated the fact that Kings Island asked us in advance what size shirt we would like, and they had that size shirt ready for us at check-in. They went above and beyond to give Coasterstock guests a personalized experience.
After registration, Coasterstock guests were treated to two hours of exclusive ride time (ERT) before the park opened to the general public. Multiple rides were open and the ERT allowed guests to enjoy short lines! Everyone loved the re-rides, especially on Kings Island’s newest coaster, Banshee! Guests later got to attend a behind the scenes tour of Banshee and snap some photos from private and restricted areas.
The extraordinarily smooth Diamondback was also open and the line was on deck! We rode it until repetitively until we were dizzy!
In between the coasting fun, both days included visits from guest speakers. On Saturday, Dennis Speigel gave an awesome (and comedic) presentation in the Kings Island theater illustrating the history of Kings Island. He displayed a photo slideshow of the historical timeline, taking guests through the entire transformation from Coney Island to Kings Island.
Watch Dennis Speigel’s presentation below!
The park provided complimentary dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday for Coasterstock guests. The meals were held at the newly re-designed Picnic Grove pavilion area. The landscaping and remodel looked beautiful!
The new Picnic Grove sign looked sharp with the digital display!
Both park-catered meals were delicious and the best part was the famous BLUE ICE CREAM for dessert!
The meals consisted of the following:
- Montgomery Inn Ribs & Chicken
- Corn on the Cobb
- Mashed Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Dinner Rolls
- Unlimited Soft Drinks
- Lemon, Strawberry, & Orange Creamsicle bars
- Cookies & Cupcakes
- Hamburgers & Hot Dogs
- Pasta Salad
- Baked Beans
- Unlimited Soft Drinks
- Lemon, Strawberry, & Orange Creamsicle bars
- Fresh fruit
- Signature Blue Ice Cream
- Cake and other Desserts
During lunch, Jeff Gramke spoke to the guests about designing The Beast. He shared many great stories and information about The Beast, and even other rides as well.
Various Peanuts characters were available during the meals for some spontaneous photo-ops!
Once the park closed each night, more ERT was offered. Saturday, guests enjoyed ERT on Stunt Coaster, Diamondback, and The Beast until midnight! We immediately headed to The Beast, one of our all-time favorite coasters. If you’ve never have a night ride on The Beast, make sure you do on your next visit to King’s Island! Combine a 4 minute adventure through the woods, wicked fast speeds, and pitch darkness, and you have one incredible thrill ride! Unlike most coasters, the majority of The Beast’s track doesn’t have much on-ride lighting, which puts it in complete darkness. Riding this “beast” of a coaster in the dark creates a whole new coaster experience by keeping you guessing and heightening other senses. You can smell fresh cedar in the air while traveling through pitch black tunnels at speeds over 60mph! The massive high banked double helix at the end is enclosed, which adds even more intensity and excitement to finish off the ride! No other coaster compares to night rides on The Beast.
Coasterstock was very effective in bringing together all the clubs and uniting everyone. Our crew met so many new people at this event and definitely made some new friends! Below, participants from the Great Ohio Coaster Club and ACE enjoy The Beast ERT!
Sunday, guests started off the day with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad. Tours included seeing backstage areas and the engine house with a speech from the head engineer about the history of the trains. Later in the day, participants were offered yet another behind the scenes tour, this time touring The Beast and Diamondback! The Beast tour was led by the parks PR manager, Don Helbig, who discussed the coaster along the way. We were super excited for this tour because The Beast is a personal favorite coaster of ours. We couldn’t wait to walk back to the woods and watch some of The Beast’s iconic turns and hills. We were able to get up-close and personal with the massive structure, which made for some stunning photographs!
After walking around The Beast, Sara Kuykendall, the events coordinator at Kings Island, took us behind Diamondback for more amazing photos!
Members of the “Coaster Crew” club enjoyed Diamondback!
One of the many new things at Kings Island this year is the Sweet Spot. The store offers everything from Swedish Fish to gourmet covered apples decorated like Charlie Brown characters. The Sweet Spot even has a wide variety of delicious fudge flavors! We couldn’t resist stopping by to satisfy our sweet tooth… We highly recommend stopping in for some sweet treats during your next visit to the park.
We tested the chocolate covered S’mores.. OMG.. THEY. WERE. INCREDIBLE!
Take a video tour around the new Sweet Spot!
The new Planet Snoopy additions looked great too. Even though the Woodstock gliders are in the kids area, they are really fun! Coasterstock guests were glad to have ERT on them.
Want to see the new rides in action? Watch the video below!
Last October the park tested out new interactive park maps. Now they are installed in various locations around the park for guests to explore. With the touch of a finger, you can browse the touch screen map, locating rides, restrooms, designated smoking areas, restaurants, and more. The map will even display a walking path to get to your selected destination. The best part? The board displays live wait times for rides!
See the interactive maps in action!
Don, Sara, and the entire Kings Island team did a fantastic job of putting together an amazing 2-day event for coaster enthusiasts! If folks ever wonder why in the world anyone would join a coaster club, events like this are the answer. Nothing else compares to the ERT, activities, and tours that these events offer for us #CoasterNerds. We can’t wait for Coasterstock 2016!
Other Cedar Fair parks are also hosting a few events this summer such as Cedar Point, but Tony Clark and the CP team have changed their open arms club policy and have eliminated many clubs from participating in 2015. If you plan to attend events at Cedar Point such as CoasterMania, be sure to check and see if you are a member of their list of “approved clubs”.
Coasterstock was one of the first events that brought lots of the coaster clubs together. It didn’t matter which club participants were from, everyone interacted with each other and had a great time coasting together! Hopefully more of the Cedar Fair family follows this path creating the ultimate coaster days!
Whats New at the park for 2015? click here to find out!
Upcoming Events – click here
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