Kentucky Kingdom (formerly known as Six Flags Kentucky
Kingdom), in Louisville, Kentucky, was the ninth amusement park to use the
Six Flags name. MSN Travel named Kentucky
Kingdom one of the ten best amusement parks in America for 2015.
Six Flags announced in 2010 that as it nears the scheduled end of its restructuring process, it has decided to reject its lease with the Kentucky State Fair Board relating to the Kentucky Kingdom park. In recent weeks, Six Flags had proposed a new lease arrangement to the fair board that would have enhanced the viability and future of the park. Unfortunately, those proposals were not accepted and the park will cease operations and the company will move expeditiously to re-locate employees and several of the more than 40 rides and attractions to one of its 13 other markets.
Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay reopened on May 24, 2014.
When I visited Kentucky Kingdom in 1997, the new coaster was
the $12 million Chang, a B&M Stand-Up coaster reported to be the
world's tallest, longest, and fastest stand-up. It claims the largest vertical
loop and largest dive loop for any kind of coaster and it has the largest
number of inversions for any stand-up coaster. It's bright yellow color dwarfs
nearly everything else in the park with possibly the exception of the 150-foot
tall Giant Wheel or bright red T2 coaster. In 2002, the track was repainted
electric lime and the support columns violet. In March 2006, the track was
returned to the original yellow color, while the supports were painted royal
Chang makes excellent use of the queue where as you anxiously await your chance to experience this mind-bending stand-up coaster as you take in Chang's hugely complex course. The queue provides you an excellent vantage point to build your anticipation as you wind through and under the complex track. Just as you begin to get comfortable with your place in the queue a train roars through an inversion directly overhead reawakening your excitement.
Chang is one of the most awesome looping thrill rides featuring a 144 foot drop and five inversions including a 121-foot tall vertical loop, a 103-foot tall diving loop, and a 72-foot tall inclined loop. It also has two flat-spin corkscrews and a high-speed spiral. It's 4,155 feet of track will take you up to 63 miles per hour where you'll experience a G force of 5.
It took only about 30 minutes to get my first opportunity to stradle that bicycle seat and pull down the shoulder harness in the front car where I was able to enjoy the completely unrestricted view as we raced around the bright yellow steel track. A later ride was taken from the back where the experience is totally different. Being unable to see the elements before entering them makes it more of a surprise.
After cresting the 144 foot lift hill, there is a small dip in the track not felt too much in the front seat, but from a back seat the sudden drop comes as a bit of a surprise. You begin with a left swoop turn and down the first straight drop into the 121-foot tall vertical loop followed by a 103-foot dive loop. Coming out of the loop you enter an upward zig-zag into a tight spiral element B&M calls a "high-speed carousel."
Next you rush into a 72-foot high inclined loop followed by twists to the left and right. You then climb a small hill and turn into a brake run.
But wait, it's not over yet! There is a sudden deep drop followed by a corkscrew into a curve one way and then another followed by a tight banked turn and into a spiraling dive loop, another corkscrew, and a drop. You then slow down after 2 1/2 minutes in a turn back into the loading station.
This coaster is really fun and incredibly smooth. It's longer ride is also greatly appreciated. Kudos to Kentucky Kingdom for putting in this coaster as they solidify their thrill ride prominence for coaster fans. More photos of Chang
Take a virtual Ride on Chang
In 2009, Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom announced it was dismantling their signature roller coaster, Chang, to make room for a new water park. Chang was relocated to Six Flags Great Adventure and began to operate as the Green Lantern replacing Great American Scream Machine for their 2011 season.
Warning! Warning! Warning!
T² or T squared—as in terror to the second power, (1995) is a Vekoma SLC looping inverted roller coaster with 5 inversions, 2 corkscrews, and a vertical loop reaching speeds up to 60 mph. The 98-foot tall T² was the first Vekoma SLC (for Suspended Looping Coaster) in North America.
The ride has been refurbished, renamed to T3 and reopened on July 3,
This adrenaline-pumping looping thrill ride is very disorienting with no dead spots. I was surprised at the amount of negative G's experienced as I was lifted out of my seat and into the shoulder harness numerous times. (The next morning I noticed a slight bruising to the front of my shoulders presumably caused by the shoulder harness on T².)
It's been recommended to ride this early in the day as it gets rather rough by evening. I found this to be true as my early ride was much smoother with less headbanging than the ride later in the afternoon. I waited only 20-30 minutes to get a front seat on T². My only complaint with T² is that it is too short (1:36).
The Vampire (1990) - This Vekoma Boomerang is a fun ride
and not too unlike other Boomerangs around the country. You are pulled up the
first lift and suddenly released with a similar experience as some of the drop
rides. You then rocket back through the loading station and through a loop, a
boomerang, another loop where it seems to almost stop at the top, and then up
the second lift hill where you are pulled again to the top and released to run
through the track backwards. In all, there are 8 inversions, lots of positive
and negative G's, pretty good speed, and an overall exciting ride. The backward
trek through the track was certainly more exciting than the forward with the G
forces throwing you forward in your seat against the harness. I had hardly no
wait to get a front seat ride on the Vampire.
The Vampire has since been removed in 1999 because of multiple breakdowns and moved to Six Flags New England where it is known as Flashback.
Thunder Run is a Summers/Dinn Double Out
& Back wooden coaster built in 1990. The Hurler coasters at PKD and PCWinds
are mirror images of Thunder Run.
While not having the long drops that some people enjoy, this coaster does have three low-to-the ground, highly banked 70-degree speed turns and pretty good air time. I waited only 10-15 minutes to get the front seat on Thunder Run.
Roller Coasters added since my visit in 1997:
At the end of the 1997 season, Kentucky Kingdom was sold to Premier
Parks and opened as Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in 1998.
Twisted Twins (1998) is a custom designed, one-of-a-kind Custom Coasters International roller coaster consistently rated as one of the most thrilling wooden roller coasters in the world. This dueling wooden roller coaster, originally named Twisted Sisters, with dueling twins Stella and Lola, you'll roar through the ten-story drop and 70° bank turns.
Road Runner Express (2000) is for the beginning coaster enthusiast, with eight four-passenger cars, sitting two abreast, both with lap bar restraints. Individual cars ensure that every passenger experiences the thrill of being in the lead car of a traditional coaster train.
Greezed Lightin' (2003) propels riders from zero to 60 m.p.h. in less than six seconds through a 76-foot-tall loop, then goes up a 70-degree incline, and backwards through the loop. Taken out to make way for Lightning Run in 2014.
Lightning Run (2014) is a Hyper GT-X roller coaster from Chance Morgan.
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