Hey folks! Today was the media day for Beech Bend to put their best foot forward with Kentucky Rumbler.
I left home about an hour an a half before the event started so I could make the hour and 15 minute drive with time to spare. Of course that's not what happened... Fortunately for me, when I arrived at the event, nothing had happened yet.
I found Joe pretty easily, and there was a group of maybe a hundred or so people milling around waiting for the opening. Soon the owner and a few other people came out. After a moment or two they opened up the line and everyone poured in. We waited for not even 10 minutes before getting a ride in the fourth row from the back.
Well, in short, I thought this was a really great coaster! I went in keeping my expectations low since I'd been underwhelmed by Thunderhead, but I was very pleasantly surprised! The coaster started out very fast off the lift, and hit the first drop with a lot of speed, so it packed a bigger punch than it looks like it would. The ride maintained its speed very well, and there wasn't a dull spot on the entire ride. Plus it had AIRTIME *insert angels singing here*...something that I sorely missed on Thunderhead! Really, there were little pops of air in places that didn't look like they'd have it, and a few larger spots of great floater air. I also thought that the station flybys were very engaging, and helped to build up the excitement for your ride. Bascially...I really liked it! I love when I am surprised by coasters like this!
After our first ride, we hung around to get some photos, then went inside their new gift shop/restaurant. They were giving out onride photos, but we didn't bother to find ours because the line was quite long. They seemed to have a very nice selection of Rumbler merchandise, and the menu in the new restaurant seemed to be diverse enough that it would satisfy most people. At that point, Kevin called so we could finalize a couple of last minute details for our trip to Spain, so Joe went his own way for a bit while I talked.
Lunch was next, so everyone poured over into one of the catering areas. I found Joe along the way, and also got a chance to exchange pleasantries with Jeff Pike and meet his wife. When I told him that I liked Kentucky Rumbler more than Thunderhead, it elicited a confused "Really??" out of him! hahaha
Lunch was barbecue from Whitts...not a particularly Julie friendly meal. I had a hot dog, but I suspect it wasn't "Jew approved" so I only ate a couple of bites of it. I also had a piece of chicken which was ok except that I am so picky about the way that foods are prepared, and to me it tasted like it had been prepared right along side the red meats, so I only ate about half of it. Oh well...I hadn't expected a lunch at all, so something was better than nothing. The meal was, of course, very much Joe approved.
When lunch was over, they announced that they'd be opening up a few rides, including the Wild Mouse and Brief Encounter/Looping Star. We headed for the Wild Mouse first, where I noticed that they had built a permanent queue and entrance for the ride which looked a lot nicer than what was there before. This mouse doesn't spin much at all, so Elissa should enjoy this one more than others when she visits the park!
After the Mouse, we went over to Brief Encounter/Looping Star (The new sign says Looping Star, but the website still says Brief Encounter...I am listing it as Brief Encounter in my count since that is just such a funny, messed up name!). Lemme say, this coaster was scary. The trains were tiny, with the seat sitting directly on the floor of the train, and only being about three inches thick. And the OTSRs barely even cleared our heads! We had to squish our heads back into the headrests to even be able to lower them! Needless to say, I am glad that I got the credit, but I'm not sure if I wanna ride it again!!!
With my first Pinfari looper credit under my belt, we went back and took two more rides on the Rumbler before I needed to head out for the day. We played around in the gift shop a bit, then parted ways so I could get back to stupid work. I'm sure he will pick up where I left off with this TR soon!
On to the pictures!
Everyone, anxiously awaiting their first ride on the Rumbler.
At one point, the park owner jumped in for a back seat ride. I, for one, am very glad that he chose to build Kentucky Rumbler instead of buying a beach house :-)
What a pretty new baby!
Attention Lift Hill Enthusiasts! Please have an ample supply of tissues on hand before viewing the above photo!
Here is a front view of what I thought was the most impressive of the station flybys.
Mark my words, this will become the Kentucky Rumbler *Signature Shot*(TM)
Seeing this brought me back down to reality about which park I was actually in at the moment.
Boo on you for being a Pepsi park, Beech Bend. But maybe this will become one of those "free Pepsi" parks in the future! That'd be awesome.
Time for lunch! The meal wasn't very Julie friendly, but as you can see by the look on his face, the meal was very Joe friendly!
Jeff getting interviewed.
Wow...you've just gotta love it when a park has the word "Dick" in giant, green light-up letters!
The new Wild Mouse sign. Not earth shattering, but nice, and sorely needed to make the coaster look and feel more permanent.
This is Joe. He is sad becuase he can't get his Dragon Wagon credit. But y'know, I haven't talked to him again today, so he may have gotten it after I left!
OMG...Scariest. Credit. Ever.
The new Brief Encounter/Looping Star trains look great.
Here is the obligatory "acting goofy in a gift shop" photo. Elvis has left the building.
And finally, they even have fatty patch jacket starter kits for the fatty patch jacket enthusiast in your family! Thanks for reading!
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