The New Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay, now owned by Ed Hart, opened about a month ago after being closed for many years. The park is divided up into two sections, a "wet" side and a "dry" side, with a road crossing through the sections. The dry side features Lightning Run as well as King Louie's Playground, a children's section, and some thrill rides. Hurricane Bay is the main draw in the wet section, but two of Kentucky Kingdom's roller coasters are located in that section as well.
After getting off, I was a bit disappointed - I really expected this coaster to be phenomenal based on the reviews I read, but I was underwhelmed. I think the main issue was that there was little variety in the forces I experienced while riding. Every hill had ejector airtime, and the experience would have been more interesting if the coaster had more difference in forces. I also think that if the hills were taller, there would be a greater experience of falling as opposed to a pop of airtime and then a short drop. Don't get me wrong, though - Lightning Run was still very intense. It just didn't have the variety that I look for in a good coaster.
Thunder Run is Kentucky Kingdom's second coaster that I rode. In the off-season, Rocky Mountain Construction came in to re-track this decaying coaster, and they did a great job, because when I rode, the ride was smooth as silk! The airtime hills were also packed with airtime, and riders actually come off of the seat, since the lapbars don't staple riders into their seats. That is definitely an upside of wooden coasters - especially ones with airtime.
This is not your ordinary wave pool, though. Every hour, on the hour, the "Big Kahuna" starts, which is when the massive waves come in. They reach the top of the wave pool barrier (the brown walls on the edges of the pool), which are about nine feet tall. The waves break with whitecaps, and they threaten to drown you if you aren't careful. I swam next to one and it took me about twenty feet past where I started swimming! These alone are worth the visit to Kentucky Kingdom - you probably won't find these anywhere else.
The first slide of the day for me was Deep Water Dive, which is the yellow slide in the above photo. The slide is the tallest body slide in the nation (it stands at an impressive 121 feet!), and it was quite the experience! Sliders start off in a capsule at the top of the slide, where the floor drops down, sending them screaming down the slide. I thought it was a very fun way to start the slide - the drop capsule adds a whole new element to the traditional slide experience.
Next up was Deluge, a watercoaster, which means that the slide has downhill and uphill sections, making for a coaster experience with water. The uphill sections are powered by electromagnets that interact with the magnetic raft. It was very fun going up and down while on a waterslide - there was even some out-of-your-seat airtime, which was thrilling for a waterslide.
After the waterpark closed, I rode a few more rides, then left. I really thought that Ed Hart did a great job with the park, and I wish him the best of luck in the coming years. Hurricane Bay has to be one of the best water parks in the nation, and I still did not ride all of their slides! It was a very fun visit, and the park can only improve, so I am excited to see how the park evolves and what new additions take place in the coming years. It's often rare to see a park reopen after sitting idle for many years, so I applaud the entire Kentucky Kingdom group for revitalizing the park and opening the doors once again. Make sure to check The New Kentucky Kingdom out!
Coasters are my passion. It's what I do, it's who I am.