Visiting Kings Island in 2021: A Complete Guide

by Kevin Payne

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Amusement parks were a huge part of my childhood, including visits to Kings Island almost every year. No matter where we lived, we’d make the trek to Mason, Ohio, for a day of family fun. While the park has changed since those childhood visits, Kings Island is still one of the best amusement parks in America and home to tons of thrills and family adventures. Keep reading our complete guide to Kings Island to help you plan the perfect family trip this summer. 

 

What is Kings Island?

King’s Island is a popular amusement park located in Mason, Ohio, northeast of Cincinnati. The amusement park was opened in 1972. The park is owned and operated by Cedar Fair. Kings Island won Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for “Best Kid’s Area” from 2001 to 2018. 

 

2021 Coronavirus Update

Due to the pandemic, Kings Island Amusement Park policies may change throughout the season. We do our best to keep up to date on any park news, but this post may not reflect the latest updates. Please head to the official Kings Island website for all of the details concerning the 2021 season.

 

Kings Island recently released information on park operations for the 2021 season. Both Kings Island and Soak City Water Park will be operating at limited capacities this season until further notice. Park protocols in place for the upcoming season include: 

 

  • No park reservations are needed if you are only visiting Kings Island.
  • You will need to make park reservations if you are visiting Soak City during your visit.
  • Temperature checks at the front gate are discontinued.
  • There will be a health screen questionnaire conducted by park staff at the front gate upon entrance. 
  • Social distancing will be in place in ride lines, but the park isn’t limiting ride capacity. 
  • Face coverings are recommended but not required for those not fully vaccinated while riding outdoor rides or when social distancing isn’t possible. 
  • All guests ages ten years and older who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings while indoors unless actively eating and drinking.
  • Face coverings are recommended but not required indoors or outdoors for fully vaccinated guests if social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Face coverings with exhalation valves or vents aren’t allowed.

 

Kings Island has implemented several safety processes to keep people safe when visiting the park. This includes more hand sanitization stations located throughout the park. 

 

Update for 2020 Season Pass Holders

Earlier this year, Kings Island announced that it was extending 2020 season passes through the 2021 season for any individual/family that had purchased season passes. 

 

Your Complete Guide to Visiting Kings Island in 2021

We love Kings Island and plan to continue to visit the park each year with our kids. It’s not as short of a drive for us as it is to other Cedar Fair parks, but it’s still worth the trek.

Our Kings Island review below contains helpful information about visiting Kings Island, including ride information, dining, entertainment, shopping, tickets, and much more. We tried to think of everything, but I’m sure we missed a few details. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments, and we will try to answer them. Here is your complete guide to visiting Kings Island in 2021.

 

Kings Island Opening Day 2021

Kings Island will open to the public on May 15, 2021. Soak City Water Park opens May 29, 2021. 

 

Kings Island Rides

One of the highlights of visiting Kings Island, of course, is riding all of the roller coasters and other thrill rides. There are rides at Kings Island for everyone from young children to thrill-seekers to the young at heart. Here’s a look at some of King’s Island’s most popular rides. 

 

 

Kings Island Roller Coasters

Orion: New for 2021, Orion is one of only seven giga coasters (roller coasters with a height or drop between 300 and 399 feet) in the world. Orion is Kings Island’s tallest, fastest and longest steel roller coaster, reaching speeds up to 91 mph.

 

The Beast: This rollercoaster is a legend. It opened in 1979 and is still the longest wooden rollercoaster in the world. If you hate waiting in line for hours for what seems like 30 seconds of thrills, then The Beast is for you. The ride lasts four minutes. 

 

The Racer: Always a family favorite, the Racer lets you race around the track side-by-side against park guests in another coaster car. The Racer also once appeared in an episode of the Brady Bunch. 

 

Invertigo: Invertigo is truly an experience as one of the few face-to-face inverted coasters in the world. 

 

Flight of Fear: Take a break from the summer heat to ride this thrilling indoor steel roller coaster. 

 

Diamondback: Diamondback is among the tallest and fastest rides at Kings Island. Also, its open-air seats give you a birds-eye view of all of the action along the way. 

 

 

Banshee: Another record-breaker, The Banshee is the world’s longest steel inverted roller coaster. 

 

Backlot Stunt Coaster: Think stunt driver simulation, and you get the Backlot Stunt Coaster. 

 

Mystic Timbers: Another wooden rollercoaster full of twists, turns, and drops. 

 

Adventure Express: For less adventurous coaster fans, the Adventure Express offers thrills and fun without the big drops and endless loops.

 

The Bat: The Bat is a suspension coaster that leaves you swinging under the track the whole ride. 

 

Other Notable Kings Island Rides

Roller coasters rule the skies at Kings Island, but they aren’t the only rides in the park worth checking out. Kings Island features several other thrill rides that are worth checking out during your next visit to the park.

  • Delirium
  • Drop Tower
  • WindSeeker
  • Congo Falls
  • K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad
  • Shake, Rattle & Roll
  • Viking Fury
  • White Water Canyon

 

Kings Island Kids & Family Rides

The park offers other rides to make your next trip to Kings Island a special one for kids and families. The park features specific areas geared towards kids and families. Some notable family-friendly rides include: 

  • Boo Blasters on Boo Hill
  • Grand Carousel
  • Kings Mills Antique Autos
  • Race For Your Life Charlie Brown
  • Character Carousel
  • Charlie Brown’s Wind Up
    Joe Cool’s Dodgem School
  • Kite Eating Tree
  • Linus’ Launcher
  • Peanuts 500
  • Peanuts Off-Road Rally
  • Snoopy’s Junction
  • Snoopy vs. Red Baron
  • Snoopy’s Space Buggies
  • Woodstock Gliders
  • Woodstock Whirlybirds

 

The Eiffel Tower

No trip to Kings Island is complete without a trip up the Eiffel Tower. The Kings Island version is a one-third-scale replica of the one in Paris and stands 314 feet tall. Towards the top is an observation tower providing stunning views of the entire park and surrounding area. 

 

 

Soak City Water Park 

Soak City is the water park attached to Kings Island. Admission to Soak City is included with your Kings Island ticket. The water park features wave pools, a lazy river, swimming areas, splash stations, a bodyboarding wave simulator, and countless water slides. 

 

 

Kings Island Ride Restrictions

Like most amusement parks, Kings Island has ride policies and restrictions in place to protect all of its guests, including height, weight, health, and other restrictions. Always familiarize yourself with park restrictions before visiting.

 

Accessibility at Kings Island

Kings Island prides itself in creating a fun experience for everyone who visits the park, including guests with disabilities. King’s Island’s website contains a complete guide to all of the services and accommodations available for guest with disabilities who visit the park including:

  • Tips for guests with Autism
  • Boarding Pass program
  • Wheelchairs
  • Assistive listening
  • American Sign Language interpreting 
  • Service animals
  • Casts and braces
  • Prosthetic devices and amputations

Be sure to stop by guest services at the front of the park upon arrival to get assistance, ask questions, and receive a guide to help you during your visit. 

 

 

Dining at Kings Island

Just because Kings Island is an amusement park doesn’t mean you should expect the worst when it comes to park dining options. The park offers dining options for everyone, including individuals with specific dietary needs.

 

Kings Island Dining Plans 

Dining plans are a great way for families and individuals to save money when visiting Kings Island. The park offers single meal and all-day dining plans. All-day plans come with an entree and a side at select park restaurants, with only a 90-minute waiting period between meals. Here’s the pricing for Kings Island’s dining plans:

All Day Dining: $31.99

All Season Dining: $125 total ($20/month for five months, plus an initial $25 payment) 

All Season Drink Refills: $32.99

Souvenir Bottle: $13.99

Single Meal Deal: $14.99

 

Kings Island Restaurants

While it’s not fine dining, it’s also not carnival food either. Sometimes amusement park dining means inferior food. Kings Island offers a variety of dining choices, including several well-known national and regional chains: 

  • Auntie Anne’s 
  • Calypso Coolers 
  • Chicken Shack 
  • Cinnabon 
  • Coconut Cove Bar 
  • Coconut Cove Cafe 
  • Coke Marketplace 
  • Coney Bar-B-Que
  • Coney Treats 
  • Festhaus 
  • Freestyle Cafe
  • Graeter’s Ice Cream
  • Hank’s Mexican Grill
  • ICEE Mix It Up
  • Ice Scream Zone
  • Island Smokehouse
  • JukeBox Diner
  • LaRosa’s Pizzeria
  • Meteor Canteen
  • Miami River Brewhouse
  • Panda Express
  • Planet Snoopy Grill
  • Planet Snoopy Ice Cream
  • Potato Works
  • Ralph’s Ice Cream
  • Rivertown Funnel Cake
  • Skyline Chili
  • Snoopy Snow Cone
  • Snoopy Treats
  • Snoopy’s Snack Shack
  • Starbucks
  • Subway
  • The French Corner
  • Tom & Chee
  • World’s Greatest Funnel Cakes

 

Blue Ice Cream

Nothing captures the playfulness, fun, and history of Kings Island than the park’s blue ice cream. Now, during my childhood, it was called Smurf ice cream. It’s what I still call it as it rightly should be. For even older park fans, it’s known as Huckleberry Hound ice cream. 

 

 

Blue soft serve ice cream has been a part of King Island since 1982. There was a brief stint in 1992 when Kings Island stopped serving it, but it quickly returned before a fan revolt ensued. 

It’s not a stretch, at least for me, to say getting blue ice cream is almost worth the price of admission.  

 

Can You Bring Food Into Kings Island? 

Unfortunately, outside food and drinks aren’t permitted in Kings Island and Soak City Water Park. The park makes exceptions for individuals with special dietary needs, like food allergies and baby food and formula. 

 

Entertainment at Kings Island

Kings Island isn’t just amusement park rides. The park offers guests several other entertainment options. King’s Island’s shows and other entertainers provide a nice break from the twists and turns of a roller coaster and a chance to sit in the A/C on a hot summer day. From singing groups to fireworks on select nights, Kings Island delivers.

 

Kings Island Events

There are also several special events planned at Kings Island during the 2021 season. Here are the events currently scheduled for this season: 

  • Coasterstock: July-9-10 

 

Shopping at Kings Island

I begged my parents to buy me souvenirs almost every visit to Kings Island while growing up. I don’t remember if I ever wore them down enough to say yes to my requests, but there are plenty of places for you to get your shopping fix at Kings Island. You can find souvenir shops and other shops scattered throughout the park. 

 

Kings Island Park Hours

Kings Island hours vary throughout the season. The amusement park typically opens at 11 AM and is open until either 8 PM or 10 PM, while Soak City normally closes at 7 PM. You can check Kings Island hours here.

 

How to Buy Kings Island Tickets

Kings Island tickets are available for purchase online or in person at the park. AAA members can purchase discount tickets through the motorist club. You can also find discount tickets at regional retailers like:

  • Meijer
  • Kroger

Several ticket options are available at Kings Island for individuals and families. Below is pricing for Kings Island ticket options available in 2021. Keep in mind that taxes and any extra fees aren’t included in the pricing below.

 

  • Daily Passes: from $45 (available with or without Soak City reservation)
  • Two Day Ticket: $75 (Admission to Kings Island and Soak City any two days during the 2021 season)
  • Military Ticket: $39.99 ((available with or without Soak City reservation)
  • After 4 PM TIcket: From $29.99 (Soak City reservation not included)
  • Bring-A-Friend Ticket: From $35 (For Gold and Platinum Passholders; Soak City reservation not included)

 

Kings Island Season Passes

Another way to save money, especially if you plan on visiting Kings Island multiple times during the season is to purchase Kings Island season passes.  Here is the current pricing for Kings Island season passes.

2021 Gold Pass: $120.00 – The Gold pass includes unlimited season-long access to Kings Island and Soak City, free parking, and other perks.

2021 Platinum Pass: $202 – The Platinum Pass gets you into all Cedar Fair parks across the US. Other benefits included depending on the park you visit.

Kings Island Season Passes also get you early entrance into Soak City as well as early access to select Kings Island rides. 

 

Renting Lockers at Kings Island

Lockers are available for use throughout Kings Island and Soak City for times when you need to store items. There is a small fee charged to rent a locker. Kings Island prohibits things like bags, food and drinks, and sunglasses on some of its rides. In those instances, you’ll either need to store the items in a locker or leave them with a non-rider. Cash and credit cards are accepted at all lockers.

Season Pass locker rentals are available for season ticket holders. 

 

How to Get to Kings Island

Kings Island is located at 6300 Kings Island Drive, Kings Island, OH 45034. 

For visitors traveling by air, the closest major airport is Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, located less than an hour from the park. 

 

Parking at Kings Island

Parking passes are available to purchase in advance online when ordering tickets, or you can pay for parking at the front gate. 

Single day parking at Kings Island costs $17 per vehicle. You can also buy a Preferred Parking pass for $27 if you want guaranteed parking towards the front of the park. 

Kings Island allows you to leave the parking lot and return later as long as you show your original receipt of purchase for that day.

 

Where to Stay At Kings Island

Kings Island opened a new luxury outdoor resort this year called Kings Island Camp Cedar. The property features luxury cottages and an RV park. Camp Cedar is located less than a mile from Kings Island. 

 

Other Hotels Near Kings Island

There are plenty of local accommodations near Kings Island for guests planning an overnight stay near the park. 

  • Comfort Suites Mason
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cincinnati – Mason
  • Hilton Garden Inn Cincinnati Mason
  • Super 8 Mason
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Cincinnati Mason
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Cincinnati Northeast/Mason
  • Tru by Hilton Mason Kings Island
  • Baymont by Wyndham Mason
  • Hampton Inn Cincinnati-Kings Island
  • Courtyard by Marriott Cincinnati Mason
  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Dayton South

 

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Kings Island Mobile App

The Kings Island mobile app is a great tool to navigate the park and access your park tickets. The mobile app, available for iOS and Android, includes mobile food ordering, parking lot car finder, a park map, ride wait times, and access to special park offers. 

 

Kings Island Mobile App – App Store Download

Kings Island Mobile App – Play Store Download

 

Kings Island FAQs

Does Kings Island offer rainchecks?

Kings Island doesn’t offer refunds or rainchecks in the event of inclimate weather. The park may close down some rides during hazardous weather conditions. 

Can I bring food into Kings Island?

No outside food or beverages are permitted inside the park except for those for individuals with special dietary needs, including food allergies and food and formula for babies.

Does Kings Island have special pricing for non-riders?

There is no discount for non-riders at Kings Island. 

Does Kings Island offer discounts for military members?

Yes, Kings Island has special discounted tickets available for members of the U.S. military.

What age gets in free at Kings Island?

Children under the age of three do not require a ticket at Kings Island.

Does Kings Island have height restrictions?

There are some height and other restrictions for certain rides at Kings Island. Check the Kings Island website before visiting for specific guidelines.  

Can I rent a locker at Kings Island?

Lockers are available to rent (for a small fee) in various areas of the park to store your belongings safely. Season Pass lockers are also available for Kings Island season pass holders. 

Can I rent a wheelchair at Kings Island?

Kings Island does have some wheelchairs and electronic convenience vehicles (ECV) to rent at the park, but they are limited. The park encourages individuals to bring their own wheelchair or scooter if possible.

 

Looking for More Amusement Park Content? 

Check out our other Amusement park articles for more information and tips!

How To Save Money At Cedar Point

Are Cedar Point Season Passes Worth It? 

Summer Fun at Cedar Point Shores Waterpark

Weekend Getaway to Castaway Bay

 

 

What is your favorite part of visiting Kings Island? Do you have any tips on visiting Kings Island? Let us know in the comments below.

Visiting Kings Island in 2021: A Complete Guide

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