Going to Kings Island.....Need Ideas!

Kings Island: Haven't been to the parks in two decades and needing tips.

From Melinda Webster
Posted May 6, 2005 at 10:55 AM
Hi everyone! I am going to Kings Island in June, and I haven't been there since I was 6 (now 27). Can anyone tell me the must see attractions as well as good places to eat. I am going with my 11 year old niece who will go on anything she is tall enough to ride, and my mom who is not so brave!

From Grant Duvall
Posted May 6, 2005 at 12:09 PM
Flight of Fear is a really well themed ride...nice queue, your 11 year old will love it. My suggestion on your mom for that ride would be to blindfold her and surprise her and let the ride take care of itself! AVOID son of beast like the plague, it hurts you!

From Derek Potter
Posted May 6, 2005 at 2:12 PM
Of course the new attraction this year is Italian Job Stunt Track. It's a themed launch coaster for the whole family. Other can't miss thrill rides are The Beast (of course), Delirium, Drop Zone, Flight of Fear, and the Racers. If you haven't been in 20 years, than you also have yet to ride the Vortex, an old Arrow megalooper. It has a little age, but is a very fun ride.

Grant is right about Son Of Beast. It is a pain...especially for those over six feet tall. You may have a better ride than I do, but if you are tall like me (6'3"), your knees may not like it so much. I think that I would like Son of Beast a lot better if I were six inches shorter. If you like to get wet, than White Water Canyon is the ticket. Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle is also a fun ride for the family. It's a shooter dark ride. There are plenty of smaller family coasters and gentle rides, as well as some new shows that I haven't seen yet like School of Rock, but hopefully you can get your mother to drum up some courage and ride the good stuff with you.

If you have time, be sure to check out the waterpark Boomerang Bay. It's a good one. Most of the food places are good too, but here are my recommendations

LaRosas Pizza
Montgomery Inn Ribs
Potato Works
Bubba Gumps Shrimp Shack
Festhaus (food is good, but air conditioning is better)

If you are planning on visiting during a weekend, than I recommend that you get to the park as early as possible and ride as many rides early. Kings Island has enormous crowds on the weekends, but they are bearable in the mornings if you start from the back and work you way towards the entrance. If it is indeed a weekend, than be ready for some lines later in the afternoon, which aren't too slow moving, but hey, who likes to wait in line?

Hope you have fun!

From Robert Niles
Posted May 7, 2005 at 1:57 PM
Derek, could you tell me a little about PKI's stuff for kids these days? Last time I went it was all Hanna-Barbera stuff -- Nickelodeon wasn't even around yet.

And is the park going to do WinterFest again? We might be visiting Cincinnati for Thanksgiving and would like to go then if it will be open.

From Rhys Evans
Posted May 7, 2005 at 7:07 PM
OK, so I'm not tall (5'9"), but I gotta kick in a note that Son of Beast is still worthy of notice. Not my favorite, but don't skip it, try at least once (even if you are tall). The Beast is, of course, one of the best wooden coasters on the planet. Flight of Fear, pretty darned good, rest of the coasters aren't especially memorable (I haven't been on Italian Job).

From Melinda Webster
Posted May 11, 2005 at 11:46 AM
Thanks for all the tips! One more question, we are staying at the Kings Island Resort and Conference Center, how bad is the hotel?

From Derek Potter
Posted May 11, 2005 at 11:33 PM
Robert, there is no official word on Winterfest this year yet, but if one were to have a look at the fine print on this year's season passes, they would find a reference to Winterfest, an event that hasn't happened in almost 15 years. Word around the campfire is that the return of Winterfest is the worst kept secret at Kings Island. If it does happen, it may or may not start around Thanksgiving, so we will just have to wait for an announcement.

PKI's stuff for kids...where do I begin. Nickelodeon will probably be making a bigger splash in the next couple of years, as word is that Hanna Barbera may be on it's way out. Right now there are still only a few Nick themed attractions, but that will change soon. My top picks for the kids in no particular order...

Rugrats Runaway Reptar- kiddie inverted coaster
Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle- MIB Alien Attack-like shooter dark ride
Adventure Express-Themed Mine train coaster
Wild Thornberries River Adventure- themed log flume
The Beastie- classic out and back wooden coaster.
Paramount Action FX theatre- simulator theatre...one side features a Spongebob themed movie.
Nickelodeon Celebration Parade- Daily Parade featuring all the characters they love
White Water Canyon- rapids ride well hidden back in the woods.

For kids a bit older and braver...

Italian Job Stunt Track- Thrilling, but 45 mph launch speed makes it kid friendly
The Racers- Classic wood coaster, not too big for the kids, but not too weak for adults either.

There is now a large selection of kid rides in Hanna Barbera Land, ranging from bumper cars to carnival rides to more kiddie coasters. A youngster will have a field day riding all of these time tested attractions. A lot of care has gone into the kiddie areas the past few years. Also, Boomerang Bay, the waterpark, has a lot for the kids to do as well. For those with kids who will ride anything, the sky is the limit.

Word is that there will be a big Nick expansion next year. The initial rumor is the addition of the Spongebob Crash Course Boating School, which you will know if you took the new rides guest survey, and also the retheming of Hanna Barbera to Nickelodeon. The last rumor is the Nickelodeon Carwash..which would be perfect for retheming those antique cars they took out for IJST. Mind you these are rumors, but they are the biggest ones out there right now.

From Don Neal
Posted May 12, 2005 at 6:11 AM
I grew up in Cincy, spent many a weekend at PKI, I have since moved to Detroit, and now Indy, but I always go back each year for a visit. And now enjoy taking my kids.

The attractions that you don't want to miss are Boomerang Bay (great water park), Flight of Fear, the Beast, Vortex, White Water Canyon, and the twin Racers. For those looking for something smoother, Top Gun, the new Italian Job, Beastie Coaster, and Runaway Reptar are great fun and smooth coasters.

The kids area has been awarded as being one of the best in the country several times. My kids love it. There is lots to do. The Beastie, Log flume, Scooby Haunted Mansion, and Runaway Reptar coasters are great for older kids. And for the toddlers there is a ton of themed easy rides.

For Food, my personal favorite is Skyline chili. Larosas, and others are great as well. For dessert make sure to try the blueberry/vanilla swirl ice cream cones in the kiddie area. They are awesome.

PKI is a great family park, has something for everyone. I know Cedar Point is the coaster king of Ohio, but I still love taking my family to PKI. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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