Cedar Fair’s Kings Island – formerly known as Paramount’s Kings Island – is a world-renowned amusement park in Mason, Ohio, just 24 miles northeast of Cincinnati.
It first opened it’s gates in 1972, and for the last 50 years, it’s been one of the Buckeye state’s top tourist draws.
Just like it’s sister park, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, Kings Island is a coaster-lovers dream come true! With 14 top-rated steel and wooden roller coasters, Kings Island has routinely found itself on countless industry ‘best of’ lists.
If you’ve ever seen the classic Brady Bunch episode ‘The Cincinnati Kids’, then you’ve already seen one of the parks most well-known attractions, The Racer. This wooden coaster is often credited with reviving the global interest in roller coasters in the 1970s and has since been featured in a number of other films and television shows.
Some of Kings Island’s other notable coasters include The Beast, which set the record for being the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden coaster in the world when it opened in 1979, and Orion, a 300-ft tall Giga coaster that opened in 2020.
But if you’re not that big of a roller coaster enthusiast, have no fear, because Kings Island is home to a total of 48 rides ranging from classic carnival-style offerings like bumper cars and carousels to log flumes and adrenaline-inducing drop towers.
If you plan on visiting with little ones, you’ll be pleased to know that Amusement Today has awarded the park with their prestigious Golden Ticket Award for having the ‘best kids area’ in the world for eighteen consecutive years from 2001 to 2018.
If water slides and wave pools are more of your thing, you’ll also be happy to discover that Kings Island is also home to one of Ohio’s best water parks, Soak City. This 35-acre park features five pools, 36 water slides, and 5 children’s areas.
So, the bottom line is, if you’re passing through Ohio and looking for something exciting to do with your friends and family, you have no excuse not to pay a visit to Kings Island. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed after spending a day enjoying some thrills and spills at this fantastic amusement park. It’s one of our favorites in the nation, and for good reason!
Keep watching to learn all about the Best Rides at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio!
We’ll go ahead and get this one out of the way since it’s commonly considered to be one of the park’s absolute best and most iconic rides.
Like we mentioned in the intro, The Beast set the record for being the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden coaster in the world when it first opened in 1979.
Almost a half-century later, it’s still the world’s longest, spanning 7,361 feet across 35 acres.
The Beast features two lift hills and has a duration of more than four minutes.
For many years, The Beast was considered to be THE ride at Kings Island, but due to it’s advancing age, it got to be quite rough and was prone to frequent closures. In 2022, however, it was given an overhaul to bring it back to it’s original glory. And we’ve got to give it to them, The Beast, is still every bit as glorious as it was back in the day.
That being said, fast wooden coasters are always going to be a bit bumpy. So, if you’re not okay with getting jostled around a bit, you might want to consider riding one of the park’s many ‘smooth-as-butter’ steel coasters instead.
Speaking of smooth coasters, Kings Islands’ most recent addition, Orion, is one of the finest of it’s kind in the world. Sure there might be a couple of faster and taller coasters out there, but this one – much like it’s cousin Millennium Force over at Cedar Point – is downright exhilarating.
The coaster stands 287 feet tall and features a massive 300-foot first drop. After taking that initial plunge, riders reach a top speed of 91 mph.
And like we said, there are a few coasters out there that are technically taller and faster, such as Cedar Points Top Thrill Dragster, but Orion is still incredibly impressive. In fact, it’s one of just seven other giga coasters in the world. In case you’re not hip with the lingo, a giga coaster is defined as a roller coaster with a height or drop of at least 300 feet.
Also of note is the fact that Orion doesn’t have any inversions. Instead, it’s real bread and butter is all of it’s airtime hills and silky smooth banked turns. Plus, the sci-fi theming around the Area 72 area where the ride can be found is terrific. We’ve never had more fun standing in a queue than waiting to ride Orion.
When you first hop in line, you’ll spot signs saying things like ‘needing test subjects’ for the ‘Orion Project’. You’ll then go through a faux ‘body scan’ as you walk into the ‘Hangar 20’ entrance building. Before getting to the loading platform, you’ll pass through a ‘science lab’ that really sets the stage for what you’re in for.
Calling all inverted roller coaster fans! Banshee is a giant red and blue invested coaster than can been seen just about anywhere in the park. It features two vertical loops, a pretzel knot, a dive loop and a low gravity roll.
You’ll reach a top speed of 68 mph after plummeting down a 150-foot drop. This coaster is also quite lengthy, with over 4,100 feet of track and a ride duration of over two and half minutes – because go big or go home, right!
Banshee opened to the public in 2014 and has since been one of the most popular rides at the park. But don’t worry, if you hit it up early in the day, wait times are still relatively low as the ride can handle a pretty substantial turnover.
Since we already touched on this one in the intro, we’ll just briefly touch on some of his standout features.
The Racer is pretty much your quintessential wooden coaster, but with one little twist. It owes it’s name to the the fact that it’s really two coasters in one. Sitting side by side at the loading area are two mirrored trains and sets of track that ‘race’ each other to the finish.
Throughout the two-minute ride, riders reach a top speed of 53 mph while traversing 3,415 ft of track. There are numerous bunny-hopping airtime hills as well to keep you glued to the top of your lap bar.
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As it’s name implies, Invertigo is an inverted shuttle roller coaster designed under the traditional ‘boomerang’ model. Originally named Face/Off, riders sit back to back, resulting in all rows facing each other.
Invertigo reaches a top speed of 50 mph while riders experience up to 5 Gs of gravitational force. Throughout the ride, you’ll sling through three inversions with a ride duration of a minute and thirty seconds.
Is it our favorite coaster at the park? Well, no. But it’s a great one to check out when wait times are high on everything else. We’ve never had to wait more than 30 minutes to ride this coaster and it’s still a ton of fun. So, we think it definitely earns it’s spot on this list.
More than a decade after it’s opening and Diamondback still remains one of Kings Islands’ most popular coasters. And to be honest, it just might be my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really hard to compare these things, but Diamondback just has a special kind of magic that get’s me going each and every time I hop aboard.
This thing might not be quite as mind-boggling tall as Orion, but standing at 235 feet tall with a 215-foot drop and a max speed of 80 mph is still pretty amazing! Really, anything over 200 feet is pretty astonishing when you consider the engineering that went into getting these kinds of coasters up and running.
Another feature that makes Diamondback so cool is the water splashdown at the end! On a hot summer day, there is no better way to cool down than taking a ride on this behemoth. Once again,you probably won’t have to wait too long to get to the loading area as Diamondback seems to load quickly and dispatch trains often.
This is one thing we really love about Kings Island – and really all of Cedar Fairs parks – they seem to have gotten the whole loading and unloading capacity thing down pat.
Last but not least is this monster of a wooden coaster. Mystic Timbers maintains blisteringly fast speeds throughout the entire ride, clocking in at just under 55 mph. It’s first drop is 98 feet tall and the ride has a length of 3,265 ft.
In 2017, Amusement Park Today awarded Mystic Timbers with their ‘Best New Ride’ award. And we tend to agree. While it might not be Kings Island’s top-dog, it’s still one of the best wooden coasters we’ve ever had the pleasure of riding.
The ride’s finale element is one of it’s biggest selling points. After twisting and riding through the wooded countryside, you’ll arrive at an enclosed she were you’ll learn the sinister secret of what all of the fantasy/horror film-inspired theming has been leading up to. But don’t worry, we won’t spoil it for you. If you want to know what all of the fuss is about, you’ll just have to ride it and see for yourself.
If you haven’t guessed it already, we here at Viewcation are HUGE fans of Kings Island. In fact, the writer of this video has been a season pass holder since he was in diapers.
But for all of you out there that have never been to KI before, what ride are you most excited to check out? And if you have already visited the park before, can you think of any other rides or attractions that deserve a shout-out? Let us know in the comments
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As always, thanks for watching and Happy Travels!