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Posted: April 13, 2016

10 things to know to make the most of new Kings Island season

A season pass is still your best bet if you are planning a visit this year

Kings Island Amusement Park is one of Warren County’s biggest tourist attractions. SOURCE: WARREN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
Kings Island Amusement Park is one of Warren County’s biggest tourist attractions. SOURCE: WARREN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

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            10 things to know to make the most of new Kings Island season
Construction continues at Kings Island on the new six slide Tropical Plunge ride that is poised to open at Soak City waterpark Memorial Day weekend 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

            10 things to know to make the most of new Kings Island season
The Banshee, and nice weather brought in a large crowd for opening day at Kings Island, Friday, April 18, 2014. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

            10 things to know to make the most of new Kings Island season
King’s Island opened Saturday April 27th, 2013 for it’s 41st season to great weather and thousands of awaiting people. (CONTRIBUTED BY MARTIN WHEELER)

            10 things to know to make the most of new Kings Island season
Concept art from an artist for Kings Island of the Tropical Plunge attraction. CONTRIBUTED

            10 things to know to make the most of new Kings Island season
Gold Pass Season Pass holder were able to ride rides like the Diamondback rollercoaster an hour before the gates opened to the public Saturday during King’s Islands opening day. (Martin Wheeler Photo)

By Alexis Larsen

Contributing Writer

Since the gates first opened up to visitors in 1972, Kings Island has established itself as one of the top seasonal amusement parks in the country both with number of attractions and attendance.

Here are 10 things you need to know and experience to make the most of the season:

>> RELATED: 7 NEW THINGS AT KINGS ISLAND WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT<<

1. AWARD-WINNING, TOP ATTRACTIONS

Not only does it boast some of the best roller coasters in the world with Banshee, The Beast and Diamondback, but it has an award-winning kids’ area, classic attractions like the Grand Carousel and K.I. & Miami Railroad, live stage shows and a 35-acre waterpark featuring more than 50 water activities and 36 slides, which is included free with park admission.

It’s a theme park recipe that has continued to gain traction and audience over the last 44 years.

“(We’re) a summer tradition for literally thousands of tri-state residents and we’re a great value. A place where families can spend quality time together,” said Don Helbig, Public Relations Area Manager. “Opening day can’t come soon enough for our audience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our guests are looking forward to seeing the changes and improvements we’ve made — especially in the Rivertown area of the park. They’ve been following the construction updates in that section of the park on social media.”

2. MEGA WATER SLIDE EXPERIENCE

New this year to the park is Tropical Plunge, a seven-story tall complex featuring six different water slide experiences, which opens May 28 in Soak City Waterpark with a special Gold and Platinum Pass Preview Weekend on May 21-22. Helbig describes it as a high-adrenaline attraction and the first thrill attraction that’s been added to Soak City Waterpark in 12 years since Mondo Monsoon debuted.

It’s a complex of six different plunging water slide experiences towering nearly seven stories at 65-feet tall. Three of the slides start with guests climbing inside an “Aqua-Launch Chamber,” where they will wait for the floor to drop out from underneath their feet, sending them into a high-speed, almost vertical free fall through a series of flat loops and S-curves. Tropical Plunge also features a slide that will send riders twisting and spiraling through an enclosed chute featuring four intense 360-degree loops across 449 feet of slide before they’re released out into a pool of water and dueling 337-foot long tube slides that will zip riders through a series of drops and turns.

3. NEW ENTRANCE TO THE PARK

Visitors to the park won’t have to wait for Soak City to open to see park updates. The first change visitors to Kings Island will see on April 16 for opening day will be a new entrance.

Located at the north end of the parking lot, the new entrance features 13 lanes and replaces the north and south tolls that opened with the park in 1972 and had become outdated. The new entrance is grander and more welcoming and, in conjunction with the work being done on Kings Island Drive by the City of Mason, will offer an improved traffic flow for guests entering and leaving the park.

4. NEW STAGE SHOWS

Three new live stage shows that will debut this year — Hollywood Nights, which opens April 16, pays homage to the most memorable songs from the silver screen. Origins – a Cirque Experience, opens May 28. The show features a showcase of strength, balance and athleticism. Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show opens June 10. It’s an action-packed canine thrill show that showcases dogs and their handlers performing stunts to upbeat music.

5. FUNPIX

This is a way for guests to capture, collect and share professional-quality photos of their day at the park. With a FunPix card, guests can be professionally photographed at the front gate, on their favorite ride, with the Peanuts characters, or elsewhere in the park where they see a park photographer. At specifically designated FunPix Photo spot locations, they just open the park mobile app and scan a QR code with their mobile device to unlock frames and borders for their photos. The Kings Island app on their mobile device automatically collects their FunPix photos from the day with a Single Day Digital Photo Pass or the All Season Digital Photo pass. Guests can download or share photos instantly with family and friends and join their social media channels from the park’s mobile app. Cost is $29.99 for a single day or $39.99 for the entire season.

6. FASTER DRINK REFILLS

Drink refill stations that have been added in three locations in the park (Eiffel Tower, Rivertown and Soak City Waterpark), which Helbig says will reduce the lines at food locations throughout the park and create a better food and beverage experience for guests.

7. BRING INFANTS WITH LESS STRESS

A new Family Care Center, built by Fischer Homes on International Street, which will help parents with infants to provide a safe, private, comfortable nursing and changing experience with storage areas for personal items and waiting areas for accompanying family members. It will offer restrooms, electrical outlets, charging stations, WI-FI services, television, refrigeration, ice and hot water.

8. CLASSIC RIDE GETS AN UPGRADE

The Scrambler, which opened in 1969 at Cincinnati’s Coney Island, will feature a new color scheme and new LED lighting package this year. The structure of the ride had been yellow since it debuted and now a vibrant royal blue.

9. WHITE WATER CANYON SHORTER ROUTE

You know that trek to White Water Canyon? Well, a new entrance and exit for White Water Canyon has been built. The new entrance, which will be located across from the new funnel cake location in Rivertown, will be a shorter route to the ride for park visitors.

10. MORE SEATING ON INTERNATIONAL STREET

You’ll find more places to relax and soak it all in. The front of the Royal Fountain on International Street has been refurbished with new seat walls and landscaping added.

Seat walls have been added around the floral clock and floral calendar areas on International Street.


Want to go?

What: Kings Island

Where: 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason

More information: 513-754-5700 or visitkingsisland.com

Season Pass: Gold passes are the best bet if you are planning on going to Kings Island a few times this year. They are as low as $102 or six payments of $17 through Memorial Day (May 30), at which time Gold passes will not be sold. Gold passes include free season-long parking, early ride time on select attractions 30 minutes before the park opens every public operating day, early slide time 30 on select attractions 30 minutes before Soak City Waterpark opens every public operating day, bring a friend days, discounts on meals and merchandise, and a series of exclusive events including ride nights. Platinum passes, which are valid for admission to all Cedar Fair amusement and waterparks, are as low as $198 of six payments of $33 for adults and $150 or six payments of $25 for juniors and seniors. Platinum passes receive the same benefits as Gold at Kings Island. A regular pass is also available for as low as $93 or six payments of $15.50 but is only valid for admission to Kings Island and Soak City Waterpark through Labor Day and does not include the benefits of the gold pass.

Single priced tickets: Single day admission tickets can be purchased on the Kings Island website for $45.99 each plus applicable taxes and fees — a considerable savings off the front gate price.

Parking: $15 online or $18 at the gate

Opens: April 16, Soak City Waterpark opens May 28

Daily operation begins: May 13

Closes: November 1

Hours of operation: Varies. Check the website for details of the date you plan to visit — www.visitkingsisland.com/hours-directions/kings-island

Dining plans: Kings Island offers an all-day dining plan and a season pass dining plan, which allows diners to choose from one of several entrees and a side at participating locations for two meals. Plans can be purchased in person at the park.

Save money: The best ways to save money are by purchasing tickets in advance online and take advantage of the Dining Plans and Souvenir Drink Bottle. Download the parks free mobile app to better plan your day and make the most of your time.

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