Kings Island provided me with four one-day admissions to their park to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Our family visited Kings Island last week. For my boys and my husband, it is was their first trip to Kings Island. I was there once in high school which was — let’s just say it was a few years ago and leave it at that! The park is about a five hour drive from where we live in West Michigan. After our day at the park, we think it is totally worth the travel time.
We were already very familiar with two other Cedar Fair parks closer to home, so we knew we would have a great experience. But Kings Island far exceeded our expectations. My biggest takeaway is that it’s a very family-friendly park, and a place you can go with your whole family. It doesn’t matter how young or how old, becaue I believe there are elements everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy.
1. Want big roller coasters? Kings Island has them.
Diamondback is the tallest, fastest coaster in the park with a 215 foot drop at a 74 degree angle and speeds up to 80 mph. The newest coaster is the wooden Mystic Timbers. It’s 109 feet high and reaches 53 miles per hours. The Beast is the longest wooden roller coaster in the world, traveling 7,359 feet and lasting a full four minutes and 10 seconds! Invertigo is the only inverted roller coaster in the Midwest that lets you see your fellow riders face-to-face as you zoom through three forward inversions and one backwards inversion. Other big coasters in the park include the Banshee, Vortex and our favorite, Firehawk.
Firehawk was our favorite because it’s the most unique roller coaster we’ve ever been on. You are in a sitting position when you first bored. Then the seats move, so that you’re lying down on your back as the coaster ascends the first hill. Upon the first descent you are flipped over to face the ground lying down, giving the sensation of flying. We had no idea what to expect when we got on the Fire Hawk, and it totally blew our minds.
2. Don’t like roller coasters? That’s OK, there are other rides. If you aren’t a fan of roller coasters, there are plenty of other rides to choose from. There are larger thrill rides like the WindSeeker that takes you up 30 stories and flies in a circle. It’s sort of like the swings on steroids. If you want to stay closer to the ground and go a little slower, you can take a ride on the classic Scrambler or the Grand Carousel.
3. It’s a great place for the little ones too. If you have children or grandchildren that aren’t old enough for the big coasters and thrill rides, don’t worry. There’s still a ton of stuff for them to do at Kings Island. Planet Snoopy is a special section of the park that includes four kid size roller coasters and many other rides just for them. The rides also accommodate adults, so you can ride along with the kids. Kids can also meet and interact with their favorite Peanuts characters from Snoopy, to Lucy to Charlie Brown. A petting zoo lets families get up close and personal with horses, cows, pigs and other farm animals.
4. Kings Island is more than just rides. If you don’t like amusement rides at all, there’s still a lot to do. There are several shows to watch while you’re at Kings Island. Gravity is an acrobatic show in the Cirque style. Pet lovers will enjoy Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show. Grab lunch at Fest Haus and take in a performance by the Peanuts Gang. There are a variety of shows for everyone to enjoy. The day ends with a huge fireworks and light show every night at the iconic Eiffel Tower replica.
5. The food is great! We’ve been to other amusement parks where the food was mediocre. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover Kings Island serves up favorites like Chick-fil-A, Panada Express and Tom & Chee. And at all the places we ate, the serving sizes were huge! If you want a really great deal on food, purchase the All Day Dinning Plan for $30. You can enjoy an entree and a side every 90 minutes all day long! You will not go hungry at Kings Island, and even the pickiest eaters should be able to find something they like.
If you have kids, or just need to cool off, I recommend eating at the Fest Haus, mentioned in number 4. It’s completely inside and air conditioned. So it’s a a good place to take a break from the park and relax. And like I said, there’s even live entertainment at lunch time.
6. Oh, yeah, there’s also a huge water park! When you buy a ticket to Kings Island, you’re really getting admission to two parks, an incredible amusement park and a fantastic water park. It was almost 90 degrees the day we were there. We rode amusement rides in the morning while it was cooler. After lunch we headed to Soak City to cool off. It’s a bit of a hike from the main park, but you can take the train and save yourself all that walking.
There’s so much at Soak City, you could easily spend a whole day just there. They have two wave pools, 36 water slides, and my favorite, the Lazy River. (I really want one of those in my backyard!) There’s also a water play area just for small children, so they don’t have to miss out on any of the fun. Older family members are also welcome to join the little ones. My boys loved the water slides, and spent most of our time in Soak City on them. There are plenty of chairs for lounging in the sun, and there are even restaurants in Soak City. You have everything you need right inside the water park.
We were only at Kings Island for a day, and it was not enough time to do everything. We definitely could have spent another whole day at the park, maybe even a third day. We already decided we have to go back, so we can hit up all the attractions and rides we missed. You can get discounted admission when you buy a two-day ticket. They also have season passes available. If we lived closer, the season pass would be worth it just to be able to go cool off at the water park on hot days.
I didn’t realize how much there was to do at Kings Island. It’s definitely a destination on its own. I was worth the drive all the way from West Michigan, and we will do it again!