For the next week I didn’t have to plan anything. All I had to do was set my alarm nice and early every day and be taken on amazing tours of theme parks, complete with perks I wouldn’t be able to organise myself. It was the beginning of the Theme Park Review New Hotness tour.  The coach picked us up from Cincinnati airport and we went off to Coney Island, Ohio. Yes there’s another one and Walt Disney asked the owner to consult on the original Disneyland. It was a small park, but very pleasant with a cool old Rock-O-Plane.

After we visited Coney Island everybody thought we were going straight to dinner. There was a huge surprise in store as we made our way to an amusement park that is usually only open to the public 4 days a year! Named Stricker’s Grove, this small but incredibly charming and old school theme park was a real treat.  There’s two wooden coasters: Teddy Bear and Tornado, both of which were fun but were probably only memorable because we were lucky enough to get to visit this park.

The next day we were ready for a marathon of a day at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. 16 hours in a theme park and it went by ridiculously fast!

Kings Island’s newest coaster a B&M invert named Banshee
Banshee at Kings Island

This was a bash event, therefore it wasn’t just everyone on the New Hotness tour. It was a lot of fun and the highlights of the day for me were the new ride Banshee, the fantastic Diamondback and riding front row, in the pitch black on the legendary wooden coaster The Beast.

The Beast's incredibly slow lift hill. It's all in the antici...................... pation
The Beast’s incredibly slow lift hill. It’s all in the antici…………………. pation
Diamondback from the
Diamondback from the “Eiffel Tower”

It may seem like it’s a long time to spend in a theme park but it wasn’t all spent in long lines (we had a front of line pass anyway so no long lines for us) there were backstage tours so we could get photos the general public usually can’t of their roller coaster collection and interesting talks from people who run the park.

A photo you could only get on a backstage tour of Diamonback and the train at Kings Island
A photo you could only get on a backstage tour of Diamondback and the train at Kings Island
All my fellow coaster nerds taking photos of The Beast from a location not usually open to the public
All my fellow coaster nerds taking photos of The Beast from a location not usually open to the public

One memorable moment was going to see Cirque Imagine, a very entertaining show and afterwards there was a Q&A with the performers. During the Q&A there was a give away for the two people who had come from the furthest away, nobody had flown quite as far as from Hong Kong so now I am the owner of a limited edition Banshee pin set! This was such an amazing day, Theme Park Review really know how to give you events where you end up having unique and amazing experiences.

The Banshee's cool as HELL ride sign at night.
The Banshee’s cool as HELL ride sign at night.
Diamondback at Kings Island
Diamondback at Kings Island
Another lovely view of The Beast which isn't spectacular in the daylight BUT at night is one of the best moments I've ever had on a roller coaster
Another lovely view of The Beast which isn’t spectacular in the daylight BUT at night is one of the best moments I’ve ever had on a roller coaster

We ended the day on a high by getting the front row of the last train of the night at midnight on The Beast. One day I will definitely be back to ride The Beast in the dark again!

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