Ephriam has been begging us to ride the Vortex for the last couple of weeks. If you are not familiar with Kings Island Amusement park, the Vortex is a 25 year old metal coaster that drops 138 feet, goes 55 mph, and loops 6 times. Here is a youtube clip of a ride along.
You have to be 48 inches tall to ride The Vortex and Ephriam has met that requirement for a while now and Kendra measured 47.5 in bare feet at the doctor the other day. With her shoes on, she meets the height requirement.
Yesteray we headed out to Kings Island for what would a momentous occasion. When we got to the park, we went to get the kids measured so that they could get wristbands showing that they meet the 48 inch height requirement. With wristbands on we went straight to the Vortex.
I figured he might still chicken out once he saw the ride again, but he was determined. There was no question that he was getting on that ride. Ephriam and I got in line and Faith and Kendra went to ride something else because Kendra was still not interested in riding the Vortex.
After a 20 minute wait, Ephriam and I were on our way up to the top of the 148 foot structure that would drop us into the thrill ride of Ephriam’s life. He rocked the 2 minute and 30 second ride without so much as a peep. When we got off of the ride, I asked him if he liked it and I got a quick ‘Yes!’ But when asked if he wanted to ride again, it was a definite ‘No!’
While we were on The Vortex, Faith introduced Kendra to The Racers. She also liked it but did not want to ride it again. We moved on from there to see if they would like Flight Deck. Flight Deck is a suspended roller coaster with no loops and is a short ride of smooth banking turns to the bottom.
We figured this one would help Kendra warm up to the bigger coasters, but once we reached the point where she could see the coaster, she started to chicken out. We encouraged her onto the ride and by the time it was over, she had changed her tune.
She laughed and screamed through the turns and wanted to ride it again as soon as we were done. At that point, she had tasted the thrill that would lead to the big event of the day.
It wasn’t too much longer after that, Kendra decided she wanted to ride the Vortex and Ephriam had decided he was ready to ride it again. We got in line and after a couple of minutes, the ride stopped moving. They were having mechanical issues and there was a train full of people stuck going up the first hill. Many people abandoned the line to go ride something else. We hung out for a bit and eventually we moved up to where we would be next. After about a 30 minute wait, a brake sensor replacement, and a few test runs, we were all boarding together.
Kendra wanted to ride with me this time, but she was ready. There was no hesitation. And with that, she rocked her first looping roller coaster at age 6. Both of my kids are a lot braver than I was at their age. I was too chicken to ride the Vortex until I was about 13 years old.
Here is the photo of all of us riding. Unfortunately, you can’t really see Ephriam because he lets his head get pushed down coming out of that loop. I found the camera and put on my best roller coaster smile. Kendra looks like she has no idea what she got herself into.
With that ride, Ephriam and Kendra officially became Junior Thrill Seekers. We spent a half a day at Kings Island and did not ride one kiddie ride. We all were able to ride fun rides together as a family and everyone enjoyed their visit to Kings Island. They are already asking to ride Diamond Back, but they aren’t tall enough yet. It won’t be long before they grow up and I will have 2 more coaster buddies to go on new adventures with.