Best Kings Island Tips for a fun Visit! (2024)

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to see what that means.

Kings Island, about 20 miles from the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a 364-acre amusement park that opened in 1972. Sister parks with Cedar Point in Sandusky, Kings Island is well known for its wooden roller coaster, The Beast, and its historic Grand Carousel.

It’s a large, family friendly theme park with great shows, rides and attractions. Plan ahead for your visit with Kings Island tips from a true fan of the park (me) to help make the most of your visit!

What is Special About Kings Island

Kings Island is a unique theme park, with great roller coasters and amusements all centered around its International Street. There’s also a great children’s area, consistently ranked among the best in the world, and Soak City waterpark next door.

Eiffel Tower and Fireworks at King's Island

When visiting the park, make time for what makes Kings Island special, like the fireworks show at th end of the day!

Enjoy a stroll along Kings Island’s International Street

When you enter the park, International Street is the first thing you see.

Mother and daughter at entrance to International Street at Kings Island, with Eiffel Tower and blue fountains in background

The centerpiece is the Royal Fountain, which sends water shooting into the air in rhythm with the music. It’s surrounded by beautiful landscaping and quaint, European style store fronts and snack shops. At the far end of the fountain is a one-third replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Head to the top of the Eiffel Tower for great views of the whole park.

Unlike many amusement parks where you might rush past the midway to get to the roller coasters, it’s hard to resist a stroll along Kings Island’s International Street.

PRO TIP: Get to the park early to enjoy International Street before the rides open. But, if the gates don’t open early, skip International Street and head to the roller coasters at the back of the park and enjoy International Street later in the day when you want a break. It’s a great place to get some food, sit alongside the fountain under shade trees and enjoy the fountain dance while you eat.

Ride Mystic Timbers, Orion and The Beast

With lots of great roller coasters, the one you really must ride is Mystic Timbers! Voted the Best New Ride in 2017 by Amusement Today, this wooden roller coaster takes you on a thrilling journey through a spooky forest with some unexpected twists and drops. It’s a thriller best enjoyed twice! The first time for the excitement, and the second time to appreciate its unique thrills.

In line at Mystic Timbers at Kings Island

After you ride Mysic Timbers, make time for Orion, another award winning roller coaster at Kings Island. It was voted Best New Amusement Park Attraction in 2020 at USA Today. At 287 feet tall with speeds up to 91 mph, and the 7th tallest coaster in the world, it’s loaded with thrills.

Best roller coaster at King's Island is Diamondback
Diamondback gets two thumbs up!

And then, for nostalgia, ride The Beast, the world’s longest wooden roller coaster.

What’s new at Kings Island this summer (2024)

New attractions at Kings Island this summer focus on Camp Snoopy. Other Cedar Fair amusement parks, like Carowinds near Charlotte and Cedar Point in Sandusky, have large Camp Snoopy areas with many rides. Kings Island’s expansion in 2024 is a welcome addition to the popular Planet Snoopy rides and attractions that the park is already known for.

The main attraction at the new Camp Snoopy at Kings Island is Snoopy’s Soap Box Racers, the fifth family coaster at the park. Inspired by the Peanuts characters, the ride is a fun interpretation of soapbox derby racing. 

Kids and their adults can hop into soapbox cars for a fun ride alonng a winding track with a 70 foot drop. It’s got some fun surprises, too! The minimum height requirement for this ride is not yet set.

Height Requirements for Kings Island

With varying ride intensities and safety equipment, height requirements for Kings Island vary. Most roller coasters, except those in Planet Snoopy and the new Camp Snoopy have minimum height requirements of 48″ or more. Many of the non-roller coaster rides with height requirements for Kings Island do allow smaller riders with an accompanying adult. 

Download our FREE Kings Island Height Requirements Cheat Sheet for all the information in one easy place! We even marked which rides are included in the Kings Island Fast Lane Pass program!

Kings Island wait times

Speaking of the Kings Island fast pass, you might wonder if you need it.

And, that depends a lot on when you visit, how many days you plan to spend in the park, how much you’re willing to spend on a fast pass and if riding all the coasters as often as possible is your goal!

The Kings Island fast pass is officially called the “Fast Lane Pass.” A single day Kings Island Fast Lane Pass costs $109. If you have a season pass, you can purchase a Fast Lane Pass for $799 for the whole season. 

Should you get a Fast Lane Pass at Kings Island?

There’s no easy answer to whether you should get a Kings Island fast pass. Here are some factors to consider, though:

  • Visiting midweek (Tuesday to Thursday), you probably don’t need a Fast Lane Pass since the park is less crowded then. However, if you’re visiting during a holiday week (Memorial Day, July 4th or Park Festival times), expect weekend crowds as you decide.
  • If visiting for only one day, a Fast Lane Pass cuts down wait times making it easier to ride more attractions. If visiting for two or more days, you will probably have no problem riding everything at least once.
  • If you’re on a budget, Fast Lane Passes are expensive and might not be worth it. Try to visit midweek.
  • If you’re a roller coaster junkie (adrenaline junkie) intent on riding as many coasters as you can in a single day, the Kings Island Fast Lane Pass might be a good investment. 

There is no right answer to purchasing the Fast Lane Pass at Kings Island. We went a couple of years ago, on a Tuesday and did not buy Fast Lane Passes for us or our teens. We rode everything we wanted to ride with time left over. That included all the main roller coasters, some other high adrenaline rides, the carousel and more.

Kings Island Bag Policy

All bags are subject to search before entering Kings Island. That includes purses, backpacks, waist packs, and diaper bags — or any other bag you bring. Sharp objects (including pocket knives and metal chains), firearms, or other items that could be considered a weapon are strictly prohibited and cannot be brought into the park.

Two guys on the Grand Carousel at Kings Island, pretending to be in battle. Man on left wearing a fanny pack to the park.
Man in blue t-shirt wearing a teal fanny pack

We recommend using a fanny pack on your trip to Kings Island! Based on our personal experience, fanny packs that fully close and DO NOT INTERFERE with roller coaster safety bars, are allowed on all rides.

We recommend this fanny pack for Kings Island, because it is lightweight and compact. It has a separate, small pocket for credit cards or theme park passes, so you don’t have to dig through a big pouch to find it. Use the smallest, lightest fanny pack to meet your needs.

Pro Tip for visiting Kings Island: Use the fanny pack! For the most part, you can wear your fanny pack when riding Kings Island roller coasters, but purses and backpacks are not allowed on rides!

What is the Kings Island Bag Policy during Halloween Haunt?

During “Halloween HAUNT,” the Kings Island conduct and bag policy is VERY STRICT!

Bags larger than 6.5″ X 4.5″ X 2″ are NOT ALLOWED in the parks on Fridays, or after 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. This includes fanny packs, purses, shoulder bags and diaper bags.

Does Kings Island have lockers?

Lockers are available throughout the park to store items while riding certain rides. Kings Island locker prices vary based on how long you use them. Single use lockers near major roller coasters are a few dollars, paid with a credit card. A limited number of daily use lockers may be available. Season pass holders can rent a season long locker for $165 while supplies last.

Kings Island Meal Plan

If you go to theme parks regularly, you’re probably used to the standard menu: chicken fingers, fries, burgers, pizza, popcorn and cotton candy. Kings Island food is a lot better than most theme parks. 

Coney Bar B Cue roasted chicken with loaded baked potato salad and hush puppy at Kings Island

And while Kings Island food is not quite Epcot, it is something to look forward to when you visit.

The Kings Island meal plan makes it a good value for most people, too. Prices for the 2024 season Kings Island Dining and Drink Deals are not set yet, but season meal deals are available and cost only $105. If you’ll be going to Kings ISland at least three days this year, this is a very good value!

More Kings Island Tips and Tricks to enjoy your trip

  1. Kings Island is now cashless. Like many theme parks, cash is no longer used anywhere in the park. Bring a credit or debit card, or use one of the cash exchange kiosks to turn your cash into a card to use to pay for food, midway games and shopping.
  2. Sign up for the rider swap program at Kings Island at the kiosk located across from the wheelchair and stroller rental. This lets those traveling with small children skip the line for roller coasters for one day and replaces the ride by ride option used previously.
  3. Stay hydrated! All restaurants and some of the food stands offer free water. Stay hydrated so you can enjoy all the fun!
  4. Download the Kings Island App for helpful information like ride wait times, a park map and show schedule. If you have a season pass or a meal plan, you can access it from the app.
  5. Get the blue ice cream! KIngs Island’s blue ice cream is legendary and delicious! It’s the best treat in the park (at least we think so)!
Man in blue shirt and woman in red shirt enjoying blue ice cream in waffle cones at Kings Island

Best Hotels near Kings Island

There are lots of great hotel options near Kings Island in Mason, Ohio.

Our favorite family friendly hotels, with large rooms, free breakfast and an onsite pool are:

  • Hampton Inn, at 5323 Beach Blvd., Mason, with free breakfast and indoor pool available year-round, is only a seven minute drive from Kings Island.
  • Comfort Suites, at 5457 Kings Center Drive, Mason, has free breakfast, an onsite pool and large, comfortable rooms. We stayed here our last trip to Kings Island and enjoyed it.
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites, at 5100 Natorp Ave, Mason, has free breakfast, an indoor pool, extra beds and cribs. Guests think they offer one of the best free breakfasts of any hotel.


What is the address for Kings Island?

Kings Island is located at 6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH 45040, just about 30 minutes northeast of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Is it cheaper to buy Kings Island tickets online or at the gate?

The cheapest way to buy Kings Island tickets is online. You can also purchase meal deals and Fast Lane Passes (if not sold out for the season), saving you time. You can skip the ticket window and go straight to the admission gate.

Can you do Kings Island in one day?

The short answer is yes, especially if you plan to visit on Tuesday or Wednesday when the park is less crowded. If visiting on weekends or holidays, when wait times are longer, you might need two days to enjoy everything Kings Island has to offer.

Is Soak City included with Kings Island admission?

Yes, Soak City is included with your Kings Island admission. And, if you want an easy way to get there, ride the Kings Island park train to the Soak City stop!

Can I use cash at Kings Island?

No. Kings Island and all the Cedar Fair parks have gone to a cashless system throughout the park. You can use credit cards or debit cards. There are cash exchange kiosks in the park for your convenience.