Kingda Ka has a dual station each with two loading bays, so be sure to be vigilant because sometimes one side has less than the other. A member of staff controls how many riders are allowed into the station and normally directs you to one side of the station (assuming both stations are open.)
My first ride on Kingda Ka was in the front seat. The restraints are stiff, but once pulled down they are quite comfortable and very secure. Two trains are sent out to the launching block at a time, both from the same side of the station. One train is launched at a time.
Once the train is ready for launch, the fins on the track drop and the train rolls back a few inches and then the train is away. The launch is exhilarating and very intense, it just gets faster and faster up to the point where your skin over your cheekbones starts to flap - imagine an Xcelerator hand dryer on your face! I felt like my eyes were going to pop out and my ear drums were about to burst; I actually put my hand on my face to hold it in place. Although it sounds quite horrific it is actually an awesome experience, and I only received this much force in the very front seat.
The vertical climb and twist are cool, but the best sensation is cresting the Top Hat - it goes over quite slow and if you look to your left you get a good view of the edge of the park and car park. There is no airtime, whether this is due to the speed or the restraints I don't know.
Riding in the front you get an in obscured view of the drop, a 420 foot twisting plummet to the ground, lots of positive g's await at the valley of the drop as it levels out and climbs up into a gentle camelback hill. Again no airtime on this and at the train crests the hills it starts slowing by the brakes. The braking is gentle and didn't make my stomach tingle like on Xcelerator.
Now for the lowdown, the front seat was fantastic ride that blew me away and left me buzzing after, and for that Kingda Ka gets 10/10. However, in row 3 the forces on the launch did not feel as intense, and towards the back of the train the train shuffle about three quarters of the way through the launch and was a little rough at the bottom of the drop, so I would give the ride an 8/10 there.
I thought maybe the buzz I got from the ride was just because it was new and novel (although I had ridden Top Thrill Dragster before and marathoned Xcelerator a month before.) However, my fifth ride was in the front again and at night and it was just as amazing, and definably one of my favorite steel coasters due to the sheer intensity and wow factor.