Kings Island: summer fun to appeal to everyone
It’s the time of year again when calendars are brought out and trips are planned. If you are coming up short on ideas but looking for an amazing summer adventure, consider Kings Island, the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest. Kings Island is located in Mason, Ohio, which is only about three hours away, making it an ideal option for an overnight stay or a simple day trip.
If you decide to stay overnight, there are many hotels in the area, including the Great Wolf Lodge. The lodge itself includes a 79,000 square-foot indoor water park, arcades, restaurants and a kids spa. Plus, its Kings Island package includes four one-day tickets to the park and a walking trail straight from the lodge to the park’s front gates.
But what is there to do at Kings Island exactly? Well, it depends on what you want to do. At Kings Island, there is something for absolutely everyone.
If you are looking for some fun rides but don’t want the speed and dare of intense roller coasters, the park offers many family rides such as Congo Falls, a boat ride that splashes you down a 43-foot waterfall; Viking Fury, a medieval ship that flies in an 80-foot arc; and the Eiffel Tower, which takes you up 275 feet to look over the whole park. Other family rides include the Scrambler, Grand Carousel, Dodgem cars, White Water Canyon and even two roller coasters — Backlot Stunt Coaster and Adventure Express.
There are even separate sections of the park for younger children. Planet Snoopy consists of splash zones, miniature roller coasters, trains, mini carousels and more. Dinosaurs Alive has life-size animatronic dinosaurs and a dig site.
However, for those of you who are speed junkies and live for exhilaration, there are numerous thrill rides to choose from. For starters, Kings Island is famous for its roller coasters.
This year, a new roller coaster called Banshee opened. It is the world’s longest inverted roller coaster with 4,124 feet of track and seven inversions at 68 mph.
There’s also the Diamondback, which is a steel roller coaster that features 5,282 feet of drops, twist and turns at 80 mph. Other coasters in the park are Firehawk, which flips riders on their backs through five inversions at 50 mph; The Beast, which is the longest wooden roller coaster in the world; Flight of Fear, which shoots riders from zero to 54 mph in four seconds; The Racer, which has twin trains competing to the finish line; Invertigo, which sits riders face-to-face while going through three inversions at 55 mph; Vortex, which has two vertical loops, a double corkscrew, boomerang turn and 360-degree helix at 55 mph; and The Bat, a suspended roller coaster with banked turns at 51 mph.
But roller coasters are not the only thrill rides at the park. Kings Island also features the Delirium, a swinging pendulum; Drop Tower, which has a 26-story (315 foot) drop; the Sling Shot, which shoots rides 275 feet at 100 mph; WindSeeker, a swinging chair ride 30 stories high; and Xtreme Skyflyer, which combines the excitement of hang gliding and skydiving.
Live entertainment shows offer a break from the rides, and Kings Island has seven: Cirque Imagine, The Boyz Are Back! (boy band songs), Flashback: Totally ‘80s!, Charlie Brown’s Hoedown, Rock ‘N’ Roll Never Forgets (classic rock), Peanuts Party in the Plaza and Playlist Live! (classic rock and modern hits). There are also numerous restaurants and shops in the park.
If you’re there on a hot day, you can cool off at Soak City. The water park has 30 water slides, wave pools, a splash river and more.
Other great things about Kings Island are its many events and promotions. This summer, there are events such as Dive-In movies at Soak City every Friday from June 20-July 25, the SpiritSong Christian music festival June 26-28, a Soak City luau July 12, a breakfast with Peanuts characters June 29 and the Ride and Run weekend, featuring a Glow Run 5K, half-marathon and 10K, Sept. 26-28. Promotions include free military admission July 3-6 and Kings Island Kicks Cancer, which offers a chance to win a 2015 Honda Fit, July 25-Aug. 24.
Kings Island is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to midnight weekends through Nov. 2. A single-day ticket is $43 online or $59.99 at the gate. Season passes start at $90. Also consider purchasing a fast lane pass, which lets you skip the wait on many rides, for $45.
From rides to music to dining to shopping, Kings Island has it all. For more information, go to www.visitkingsisland.com or download the free Kings Island mobile app.