Like I mentioned in my Holiday World TR, there was no rest for me and I was up early the next morning to get to KK for their Keys to the Kingdom event. Thankfully (and somewhat unexpectedly) I was out the door of my hotel in Corydon IN early enough to get me to KK in plenty of time to get some breakfast before the event started.
So when I was growing up I lived in Ohio and I distinctly remember driving past what was Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom a handful of times but never really going for whatever reason. And even more vividly I remember where I was in my high school when news came out that SFKK was closing permanently. I vaguely remember the Koch’s plan to make the park into “Bluegrass Boardwalk” although this was really in the depth of my disinterest with roller coasters. All this to say that I’m really glad a regime is back in charge that cares for and sees the park for the potential that it has!
After a quick welcome speech, we were unleashed to start ERT at Lightning Run and Kentucky Flyer. I had unwittingly taken a seat at a table near where they let us out so I was at the front of the (large) pack when they let us out. I wanted to head to Lightning Run but had absolutely zero knowledge of how to get to the ride. Luckily another attendee was glad to point me in the right direction and show me the ropes of his home park, thanks Tristan!
Chalk another ride up to premature hype. This ride is constantly hyped up by enthusiasts as being a super underrated coaster (what’s the opposite of a post-hype sleeper? Because whatever it is, I feel like Magnum XL 200 is one too). I was on the second train of the day in the very back row and was very whelmed with the ride. It was a very good ride with a good amount of airtime but I just thought that it was alright, not amazing but very good. Like I’d ride it again but it’s not going to get close to my top 10. I meant to get back around to riding it but it had a pretty good line all day. Actually, just like Holiwood Nights, the ERT at KttK was pretty crowded too. Lightning Run had probably a 30-45 minute wait during ERT and Flyer was 15+ minutes.
After Lightning Run, I headed over to the only other coaster open for morning ERT: Kentucky Flyer. After waiting about 15 minutes, I was able to get a front row ride. I walked off very impressed! For such a small coaster, it packed quite a bit of airtime. This is an awesome coaster that is both small and tame enough for kids to work their way up to while still giving a thrilling enough ride to appeal to adults/seasoned roller coaster veterans. So great job KK!
After riding KF, we had probably 10 minutes until the park was open and the guy I was with suggested that we should hit Storm Chaser at open before all the enthusiasts descend on the park’s RMC. So we did just that. We headed over to the quickest path to SC and waited until the ropes dropped for the day and walked straight over. We ended up with a station wait ahead of a very long line of enthusiasts who weren’t quite as well prepared as we were. This is one of those RMCs that never seems to get mentioned very much. And I kind of understand why. I ended up thinking that it was a mid to bottom tier RMC. The barrel roll first drop is unique and I thought the first half of the ride was very good, fast and well paced but the second half of the ride was too much like IRat for me: generally slow and poorly paced. It’s the worst design flaw of RMC I think that they think a couple of airtime hills taken at slow speed make for a good coaster. I disagree and think that it’s kinda lazy design. I mean don’t get me wrong, like I’ve always said, a bad RMC is still a top 25 coaster but as I’ve ridden more I’m starting to really tune what I like and don’t like about the company’s work.
TR was next on our list and again, we picked the right timing for this since we waited probably 15 minutes and when we got off, the line was closer to 30-45 minutes. I can’t say this ride left a huge impression on my memory, it had some airtime, not enough to make it stand out, it wasn’t memorably smooth or rough, it just kinda was. Which is okay, not every ride has to be amazing!
After Thunder Run it was time for the meme-iest coaster in the park: T3. I love that the park likes to make fun of the ride too. I went in expecting the worst: a rough and stay ride made even worse by awful restraints. Well, might I say that it wasn’t that bad? Like sure, the restraints definitely do tighten considerably during the ride so I ended up with a painful fit when we pulled into the station. But on the advice of others, I had taken all of my stuff out of my pockets so it ended up not being that bad at all. And the course wasn’t necessarily smooth but wasn’t nearly as rough or awful as so many other SLCs are. So yeah, I unironically didn’t hate T3 which is probably a real sign that 2020 is the year of the apocalypse!
At that point I separated from the guy I met at the beginning of the day and decided to stop for some taco pre-lunch which was very tasty.
And to finish off the last credit I needed, it was time for the kiddy coaster! You know how they are
After finishing the credits, I went ahead and did my usual walk around the park to get pictures. I took a long break to eat some ice cream and drink some water to make sure I wasn’t dehydrated like I usually get which was nice because that also meant I could sit down without a mask for a while. After that I went over to get the burger bar that the park provided for lunch which was really nice. After that, I continued my round of pictures. Unfortunately I ran out of time before my flight was scheduled to leave so I had to hit the road before evening ERT. Luckily the Louisville airport was so close that I was able to stay a lot longer than I would’ve been able to otherwise.
Let me give my thoughts on the event first before I give my thoughts on the park. Unfortunately most of the events were held in the evening/afternoon instead of the morning. For the sake of people like me that have to fly back across the country that night, I’d rather the walk backs were in the evening. But I can’t really complain too much about that considering how weird I am about my schedule and willingness to travel in crowded windows. My only other point of critique is like HW the day before that ERT was too crowded but I think that this is the same issue as HW, that this was one of the few enthusiast events happening this year so without any competition, everyone took what they could get. Other than those two small complaints, the event was excellent! You could tell they really cared about enthusiasts and put the time in to make the event special. Great job KK!
Now about the park itself. I was impressed overall! When SF owned the parks, they never really got any love and most people talked down on them. But you can tell the new ownership group cares since they seem to be investing a lot of money into the park. I also loved the signs on the coasters celebrating anniversaries. The coaster collection is solid too and the rumored Raptor would work perfectly considering that the park is just missing another looping coaster to round out a really solid collection of rides. After that maybe another family coaster is needed but even that’s a little bit of a stretch. Overall, this was a great park and event and I’d definitely recommend it as a great Holiwood Nights after party!