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New for 2012! Kings Island's Water Park Doubles in Size and Becomes Soak City!

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Also announced today was return of Halloween Haunt as well as the kid-friendly Howl-O-Fest. In addition to that there will be Trick-or-Treating with the Dinosaurs in the Dinosaurs Alive! attraction in 2011.

Everyone has been talking about the changes to the waterpark,but has anyone paid attention to this?The trick or treating is no longer free and is now a 5 dollar upcharge.There's bound to be plenty of disappointed families over this one.

Does it say where Howl-O-Fest will be at? If its with the Dinos yeah I can see alot of sad kids showing up.

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I believe Howl-o-Fest will still reside in the Picnic Grove; the Triceratops Trick-or-Treat Trail is most likely completely optional just like DA! is normally.

EDIT: Also, forget what I said earlier about not liking the "de-theme". I'm already over it and can't wait to see the new season pass entrance and second wave pool. It's already double what Paramount paid for when it became Boomerang Bay ($4 million versus $10 million).

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I welcome wholeheartedly the addition. I love going to the water park on a particularly hot day. A water coaster would have been nice but, hey, you can't have everything. As long as I get cooled off on a sweltering day ( like today.) I'm happy.

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so the release says the size of the water park will be doubled.... doesn't look to me that the new wave pool is the size of the entire complex that's already there? cause that's really the only "new" addition right? everything else is just slightly changing? unless they are counting the parking as water park now???

sorry to be a downer, but come on... adding one wave pool doesn't really "double" the size of the water park.... maybe capacity.... but not actual acreage!

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Any chance they could build a new entrance way inside the park and give the train ride some attention and make it a real train ride again and not just transportation to the water park? I'm sure not

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Soak City?

Change the oa to a uc, and you have my opinion on the new name.

I'm no expert on public relations, but everybody I've talked to who wants to go to a water park only ever goes to Boomerang Bay if they're either already planning on visiting Kings Island or have a pass. Otherwise, they go to The Beach.

Also, I'm not quite sure how marketable a wave pool is compared to a massive waterslide, but I can assume the slide would get more people to come.

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Out of all 33 times I have went to Kings Island this year I went to BB only once. It was kinda depressing over there and I feel this expansion will give me more reasons to stop on by! Hopefully going to make it much easier to add attractions to Soak City. Every park eventually needs an update!!! Looking forward to the future of Soak City!

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I've waited a while to chime in, but here goes...

New name aside, the changes they're making are all quite necessary and will drastically improve guest flow. While a new slide tower would be nice, the packed-to-the-gills Summer Saturday afternoon show a need for added capacity that you don't get with a slide or two. I'm anxious to see how the action river turns out, as the one at Aquatica (which also features 2 different wave pools) was incredibly fun, and the one here at Zoombezi Bay is also quite nice.

As far as the name, I'm indifferent. I was never in love with the Aussie "theme", which left huge parcels of unshaded, unlandscaped concrete a la CP's much maligned Soak City.

I would gladly exchange a somewhat unique name for added capacity, improved flow, updated attractions, and a freshening of the park.

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I like the ideal of adding a second wave pool rather than a masssive waterslide. There are people like me with spine problems, and older people that can not ride and children that would enjoy the wave pool. Not every body can't ride the waterslide but families and others can take take advantage of the wave pool. Kings Island has incresase the size and layout of the water park where in the future they can add the waterslide that the younger crowd will ride. On the hot and sunny days, I would rather stay in the water than wait in line for a water slide. The wave pool will attrack a larger group of people rather than a massive waterslide that will not attract as large of a group. The same thing can apply when it comes to the massive hyper coaster that the younger crowd wants. A ride like WindSeeker attracts a larger segment of the public than the massive hyper steel coaster would. It all has to do with the cost and what group of people would enjoy and increase attendence. As for SOB, I would think Cedar Fair is looking at all possibilties be it redesign the ride and the perception the ride holds with the public's concern over its safety. We can be sure that Cedar Fair will look at all angles and will not do anything with the old ride without having a new, record breaking wooden coaster to replace it. Yes, it must be a wooden coaster rather than a steel coaster.

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Complain complain complain. Seriously you guys made it this long with the coasters we have. Which I think is in the top ten of coaster variety. We have a really amazing park. You made it just fine this year with what we have. Be grateful Kings Island will even be around another year.

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I'm extremely mixed. I'm so glad to see the waterpark finally get some love, but it's a mix of bittersweet and super irritating that Kings Island's individuality is being removed by the switch to the generic "Soak City". I guess I don't see why the Boomerang Bay theme is being nixed, other than "because they can"...

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Guest TombraiderTy

Although I'm not too big a fan of the generic renaming (although I can't say I ever cared too deeply about the Australian themeing), I'm overall pleased with this expansion:

-A second, larger wave-pool is long overdue- Great Barrier Reef is where most people set-up "base-camp" for the day at the water park, making the pool extremely crowded

-1,000 new lounge chairs will make finding a spot far easier

-The lush, green areas will also offer more space to lay-down towels and what-not

-Private cabanas are great for families and groups who deem them a good value, plus it's a simple and effective way for Kings Island to harness a bigger profit from the water park

-Continuing on the subject of families, family changing rooms are extremely convenient for many groups

-Action River overhaul will make the lazy river more exciting and attractive

-New entrance looks far nicer than the current, temporary-looking one. The fact that they're also selling tickets there now is a plus

-If the entrance plaza (the pathway that jets into the parking lot with all the trees) ends-up looking even half as nice as it looks in the concept art, I'm impressed- it'll be a great variation from the typical parking lot, be safer for pedestrians and create an awesome first-impression for visitors

-Assuming a pathway really is built to the South of Down Under Thunder, connecting that area to Snowy River Rampage, will allow for an alternate route and possible space for future expansions

-Sand volleyball, assuming it happens this time, will be a nice new activity and add variety to the list of attractions

Beyond the generic name I already mentioned, my only "complaint" (if you want to call it that) is that, yes, slides would've been nice. Especially a new family one- Holiday World, with the addition of Mammoth next year, will have six water-slides families can ride together (Mammoth, Bakuli, Watubee, Wildebeest, Zinga, ZOOMbabwe). In comparison, Kings Island will still only have two (Tasmanian Typhoon, Snowy River Rampage). Not only do family raft slides have decent capacity, but they're extremely popular for nearly all age groups.

Two things I'm curious of are whether all the slides will undergo (another) renaming and if a designated pathway will be added from the outside of the water park's entrance to the outside of the dry park's entrance. Despite the fact that Kings Island offers an in-park pathway and a train to go between the parks, guests still seem to continually treat the service road and parking lot as a massive pathway. Not the safest of ways to go from point A to point B...

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Nice, a waterpark expansion. I was debating about whether to renew my Beach season pass that I only was able to use twice this summer, and this may be the "kicker" that leads me to not do so. I'm most looking forward to the second wave pool, ability to ride tubes in the wave pool, and the action river. I think this is what the park needed. Now, I do not agree with the "de-themeing", but I'm sure there was a reason behind it, and far be it from me, a simple park guest, to question that reasoning.

From the end of the now-locked 2012 speculation thread:

Now have said all that there still is the issue of overcrowding for us at KI and after experiencing CP SC we enjoyed it so much and I think that was due to the fact it was not overwhelming with crowd size. It made our visit more enjoyable. I have said forever that i would want KI waterpark to always be free to dry side guests but know after doing CP SC i would rather KI water park be a separate gate. It kept the afternoon crowds away for those who where there for a day at the waterpark. I do not think KI would lose money as the dry side guest would still spend money over there. Two thought more on this I think it would be OK if KI charged a up price for daily visitors to help manage the crowds sizes. and two for gold pass holder could get 1-4 coupons when they purchase their passes to give them a choice to use them on say for Haunt, Dinosaurs Alive, Sling Shot or Soak City. I have thought this through and it seems to me it would help out the overcrowding and make visits to KI more enjoyable at times. I know what i say will not be very popular at first glance and I must say it took me a while to get here in thinking there maybe the crowd control and up charge for some of the extras should be looked at differently or at least considered through discussion.

I, for one, agree with you. On my trip to Cedar Point back in June, I had planned to spend an entire afternoon in the waterpark. I was surprised to find that, in the middle of the afternoon, all attractions had very short waits, if any wait at all. It only took me a moment to realize that this was due to the separate ticketing, which prevents the situation commonly encountered at KI and HW, where a large portion of the general public migrates into the waterpark for the better part of the afternoon, creating long lines. I would be thrilled to see it as a separately ticketed park.

As for the fanboys' whining about how it was included with admission for 20-some-odd years, my response would be "get over it" (hence why I don't work in public relations). Kings Island reserves the right to change their policies, including but not limited to, gold pass perks, at any time without notice or regard to prior announcements (WindSeeker/Vortex ERT, anyone?), and this is one thing that I think they should invoke that right on.

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I for one am really happy with this, slides would have been nice, but not all at once, they could have added a ton of slides and new attractions instead of a wavepool, but where does everyone go after they get off the new rides? Most go to the wavepool, so I think it was 100% worth it. Honestly i think this sets "Soak City" up perfectly, if they add a slide or two or a different attraction every couple years I think we could have a great water park, especially now that there's a good base with plenty of wavepool space and hopefully enough seats in the lounge area. Now for the separate tickets, I wouldn't mind, so long as I have the option of buying a pass to get into both parks (besides a platinum pass).

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I am glad you guys brought that up and I know to many it would be very upsetting to even discuss as I would have never thought I would prefer that myself. It was additionally comforting at CP SC knowing that most day guest at CP would not be filtering through the SC area just to have a quick look around or dip. I also listen day after day month and years to many who say they never or hardly go over to the water park side but say they would oppose a separate gate fee. I think more GP users which KI has a fair amount of may bump up to platinum. I know Kings Island has desired an up-charge for Haunt and many complain of the overcrowding of the park and avoid it due to that issue on some nights. I do not think they could pull this off by just cutting it off with out an over whelming backlash from their long time valued guests. So as I alluded to in my other post in the other thread maybe the GP could be a low price as many agree that the GP is a great value and to offer with that some free limited admissions or free haunt for GP on Fridays and free water park for weekdays otherwise they use one of their limited free coupons or a dedicated discount. I do think we are a ways from this if ever but honestly after experiencing both I do prefer the separate gate and if given the choice I would pick the up charge park. We just had an much better experience and left very relaxed.

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Historically, I've always chosen the Platinum Pass, so it may sound unfair of me to say I wish Boomerang Bay - now Soak City - was separately gated. Wildwater Kingdom is a fairly small park - there's only one slide complex and then a funnel slide. But my friends and I made it a point to visit two or three times a year. There's an abundance of shade, a nice, lake-side, half-shaded area to set up in that is never even at a quarter capacity, free wifi so you can bring your smart phone, and a very nice restaurant that offers 25% off to season passholders. When that same exact water park was attached to Geauga Lake, it was overrun with people. No place to sit, no place to lie down, long waits on hot stairs for short slides. It wasn't worth it.

The same can be said of Cedar Point's Soak City. I have never, ever, ever seen a crowd there. More often than not, it takes a few looks to decide if it's even open. Granted, that can't be a great sign from a business point of view, but it offers a worthwhile experience for those who choose to pay more (which has sort of been the theme of Kings Island's 2011 season, hasn't it? Premium price affords premium experience).

As Avatar said, I don't go to Boomerang Bay. Towels and blankets and piles of clothes and bags set up on hillsides and 25 minute waits for 10 second water-slides... It doesn't interest me. If it were a separate gate, I believe it would provide a more "VIP, premium" experience. Like Geauga Lake or Soak City, the lines for slides may be 5 minutes or less, which is actually appropriate for the end experience. There would be plenty of places to rest and "set up shop" for the day, and it truly could be an all-day, relaxing experience.

Basically, I do not believe Kings Island is in the same financial situation as Michigan's Adventure or Worlds of Fun where the water park represents a majority of its attraction factor. At the old Geauga Lake (and at present day Michigan's Adventure, etc) you'll find most of the theme park rides a walk on by 1 PM on any given summer day while the water park is brimming with people. I think Kings Island has enough to offer in and of itself that it would not be unrealistic to separate the waterpark. Would it be well-received? God no. But as someone mentioned, maybe Gold Passes provide access to Soak City Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and Platinum Passes are seven days a week. That also allows a pricing structure like Cedar Point - "Ride & Slide tickets;" "add our premier waterpark for $15 more per person," etc.

But especially after having been assaulted by up-charges this season (one for an attraction that used to be free), I think there would be a full-on revolt. But if it's ever going to be upgraded to a separate park, now would be the time to do it. If they wait even until 2013, it'll be "but the new Soak City was free in 2012..." At least this year, they have an excuse to make it an up-charge.

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Having both parks separate would alleviate some of the problems that people have stated in other threads, like people walking around the dry park in their bathing suits, or people just meandering through the water side. Right now, the water park looks like it would be a whole day's worth of things to do.

You have to carry more with you if you are going to the pool for a few hours, and then to the park. That adds to the clutter that GYK noted.

I think it would be easier for staff to know a better estimate of people at the park. They were understaffed when I went.

We used to spend a day at the Beach, then ride a few rides at KI after. I had both passes. It didn't kill me. We stopped using the Beach when the adult pool became and all ages pool, (They did this without telling a local radio station before their swingin' Beach event- the dj was stuck talking about how hip and rocking the party was, while surrounded by 5-12 year old kids slopping on Dippin Dots.)

The train could then become something nice, too, as someone's already said, not just a route to the water park.

Maybe a transition, like a few free days at the water park, added to the pass might ease into the idea of two parks instead of one.

GYK, what was the attraction that used to be free?

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I think they should really consider building a new entrance to buy parking tickets because on summer days and HH the line to buy parking tickets is all the way back to first stop light. But the water park needed a serious upgrade I know when I went to BB on summer days the wave pool is so jam packed you can barley move around. Also the need for more chairs and places to "set up" was very high because my friends always had to find one of those cheap crappy chairs that offer no place to put your stuff because it was all that was left.On another note I seriously hope they make an announcement regarding SOB this off-season for their own sake. If it's left another off-season and operating season without any hint of it's fait I will be exceedingly disappointed!

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I am still excited for the new waterpark expansion, but, i still think we could of used maybe one or two new waterslides. Hopefully for now on every year or so they will do waterslide update? I don't know...

KIMonster14, who is still waiting and waiting and waiting for some new SOB news....

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