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Kings Island vs. Cedar Point


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Seriously, not sure which I like better now.  CP is my home park, but I get to KI a few times a year.  Apples and oranges, I guess.  When I was a kid I much preferred CP over KI.  I wear very rose colored glasses when looking back at the CP of the 1970s.  Most of my fav rides from that time period are gone. It had more variety back in those days.

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I still couldn't choose which park is better. All I can choose is which park I want to visit during a particular vacation.


The past two times, it's been a Cedar Point/Waldameer combo. Primarily because of Skyhawk, Gemini, Gatekeeper and Iron Dragon. And also Whacky Shack at Waldameer- anytime I'm in northern Ohio to visit family I'm going to make a trip to Waldameer. It's just tradition at this point. :P


Prior to 2012, I visited Kings Island far more frequently. They had Diamondback and The Crypt, my go-to rides. Now the main thing I'm excited about is Diamondback (for some reason I highly prefer it over Magnum). I do plan to visit again as soon as I can, especially with whatever is coming in 2017 and Banshee, which I haven't experienced yet. I will definitely be at KI again before I make another trip to CP.


But the past few years, Cedar Point was just a bit more of a draw for me because it had more of the types of rides I enjoy (airtimey/water views). I rode a lot more than those four, but they were my main draw to the park. If KI got a Screamin Swing and a Wing Coaster, I would be a happy camper!


I still don't think one is better than the other. They just offer different experiences and whichever one I visit mostly depends on what experience I'm looking for.


I will say one thing though- visiting Disney World at age 10 was somewhat disappointing after years of going to KI and CP. I was obsessed with the Haunted Mansion, but other than that I kept missing the thrills. These two parks really spoiled me growing up. Note to self: Take son to Disney before he's big enough to get hooked on the bigger coasters! :P

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Since everyone is sharing their opinions on each park, I thought I'd share my opinions as well. TL:DR warning.

First I'll start with rides that have a fairly direct comparison:

- I like Racer slightly more than Blue Streak.

- I like Adventure Express WAY more than Mine Ride (which is wildly uncomfortable for me at 6' 190 lbs. which really isn't much above average for height and weight for an adult male).

- I like Vortex slightly more than Corkscrew, though I really like the fact that Corkscrew goes over the midway. That's a really neat element.

- Controversial, but I prefer Iron Dragon slightly over Bat. I just really like the 2nd half of the ride over the pond, and I'm a sucker for coasters with 2 lift hills. But that element of Bat after the first drop is awesome too.

- I like DB more than Magnum. Magnum is great but the airtime gets my thighs pretty bad, and DB is my favorite Mega that I've ridden.

- Beast crushes Mean Streak IMO. I kind of like MS's layout and I just enjoy the appearance of it, but I still haven't had an experience that hasn't beaten the crap out of me yet, no matter which seat I try.

- Surf Dog = Pipe Scream, maXair = Delirium, Monster = Monster, Scrambler = Scrambler, Troika = SRR, Wave Swinger = Zephyr, Eagles = Eagles, and WindSeeker = WindSeeker (if they're different, I can't tell the difference)

- I like Banshee more than Raptor. Love both, but the setting and theming of Banshee are far superior.

- I like Drop Tower a lot more than Power Tower, although I do still really like PT (both sides are fun).

- Viking Fury crushes Ocean Motion.

- I like Snake River Falls more than Congo Falls.

- I like WWC more than Thunder Canyon.

- I think KI's water park crushes CP's.

Things I don't care about/have no opinion on:

- Kids' rides

- Dodgems

- Carousel

- Train (only because I have never been on CP's; I enjoy KI's)

- In-park entertainment (couldn't tell you the last time I saw a show at either park)

OK, this is where it gets a little tricky but I'll try:

- IMO CP's other coasters obliterate KI's. I haven't been on Valravn yet, but MF, TTD, Maverick, Gatekeeper, Wicked Twister, Rougarou and Gemini all range from great to amazing IMO. GK seems to get a decent amount of hate but I love it. Compare that to Firehawk, Invertigo, Backlot, FAAC, WE and FoF, and there's no comparison. Now KI obviously has the far superior family coaster lineup (which is why my head hurts when people on here post that KI's biggest hole in its coaster lineup is a family coaster, but that's a different discussion that has already hijacked enough threads on here), but for thrill seekers, it's CP by a mile.

- CP has some other enjoyable flats as well that KI doesn't have. Cedar Downs is kind of neat, Matterhorn is enjoyable, Witches' Wheel is fun (though not as good as Skylab was!) and I love Skyhawk. Plus there are a couple other spinny things that I don't go on, lol. KI has ET and....that's about it.

- As far as "others" go, I give KI the edge. CP has Antique Cars, Giant Wheel and a weak Sky Ride, but KI has RFYLCB and Boo Blasters. While BB certainly has its flaws, I still usually ride it each visit just to see how high of a score I can get. That's certainly better than no dark ride at all.

Then finally you have the "intangibles". This will be the hardest to evaluate but I'll do my best:

- I like KI's food better because of LaRosa's and Skyline. Being from Cincinnati, I understand that both of these can be unappetizing to outsiders, but I love both. Meanwhile I've never eaten anything at CP that I actually enjoyed.

- Overall atmosphere is a tough one. CP being on a peninsula surrounded by a lake is really cool, and I love the theming of the Frontier area, but otherwise theming is sorely lacking there. KI's theming is nowhere near what it used to be but still has better theming overall IMO. One other consideration as far as atmosphere goes is Breakers; staying there and having the "resort" experience is really neat and something KI doesn't offer.

- Weather is a factor to consider as well. I'm an "I'd rather be hot than cold" person so I prefer KI's weather to CP. I wasn't too thrilled about wearing a hoodie at CP in July last year, and freezing on the water rides.

- KI gets the edge for travel/parking as well. It's right off an interstate highway, and I'm pretty sure the longest I've ever taken to park at KI is shorter than the shortest I've ever taken to park at CP. Oh, and I live way closer to KI :)

There's some things I left out that don't matter to me much, if at all, but that covers a lot of it. Based on all of that, which park do I enjoy more? Well I'm pretty much all about the thrills so I have to go with CP. But it's close. Either way, I love both!

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk

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Cedar Point has the better ride collection overall, but Kings Island is a much nicer park to just hang out in.


I like to call CP the NYC of amusement parks. It's large, flat, full of concrete, surrounded by water on 3 sides, densely packed with attractions, and many of the rides tower over you like skyscrapers. This visual effect is magnified by the lack of vegetation and trees, and the drive on the causeway makes the coasters look even larger than they actually are. The atmosphere of the park (minus the Frontier Trail) is very loud, vibrant, in your face, and attention grabbing. I think this comes from the fact that the park is nearly 150 years old and still uses the traditional "long midways" layout where all the attractions are lined up in a row and essentially competing with each other to lure you in. For example when you're looking down the main midway, all the rides seem to visually stack over each other. You've got Raptor and Blue Streak to the left, Gatekeeper, MaXair, and Wicked Twister to the right, and far in the distance you see the Skyride, Valravn, Power Tower, Corkscrew (somewhat), and Top Thrill Dragster all within your field of view. It's extremely mesmerizing and quite overwhelming to take it all in, especially for the first time. I personally love it. I could just sit on a bench in the main midway and just soak up the view. CP is very much a destination park; not as many locals and tons of tourists. Whenever I go, I plan at LEAST two days in the park if not 3 or more since the park is so freaking huge and there's so much to do. Also Millennium Force and Maverick are my personal steel coaster heaven, and really the only coaster I genuinely dislike at the park is Corkscrew (though it sure is pretty!). I used to hate Mantis, but the Rougarou conversion turned it into one of my favorite coasters in the park (second favorite CP B&M behind Raptor). Anyways I'm getting a little long winded here, so moving on.


Kings Island on the other hand is much prettier. It's nicely wooded, more welcoming, and feels more family friendly in general. It's more modern in terms of layout, following the Disney "hub and spokes" approach, which makes it MUCH easier to make your way around the park. One of my biggest gripes with CP is its layout, especially the back half of the park, which is one giant loop without any way of cutting from say the Frontier trail to the Gemini Midway, which makes it a bit of a pain to get around, especially since the park is so large. At KI, I can walk from Racer to Diamondback in roughly 10 minutes give or take, so even though the park is fairly big, it still feels "small" in a way. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two parks is that KI has a STRONG local fanbase (take this website for example!). Where CP feels like a distant destination, KI feels very integrated in the Miami Valley community, sitting in one of the biggest markets in the midwest, and is a big part of the Cincinnati culture. The ride collection, while inferior to CP's overall, is still VERY solid and satisfying. Heck I prefer Diamondback to Magnum by a long shot, and The Beast of course is one of the best wood coasters anywhere.


So all that to say, both are fantastic parks, both are equally satisfying in their own ways. If I HAD to pick one, it would be CP, but really it's apples and oranges. 

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KI woodies > CP woodies

maXair > Delirium

CP B&M's > KI B&M's

Wicked twister > Invertigo

Seagulls < No seagulls

Cincinnati > Middle of northern Ohio

Ohio > everything else

I wish KI, GL and CP had different owners just to keep the Ohio parks in competition with each other.

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For me, both. It's no longer about the rides for me, it's about the people I'm with and the memories we make.

I do enjoy Cedar Point because I can spend a long weekend there and not feel like I've done things over and over.

Sent from the cellphone Zach Morris used in Saved By The Bell using Tapatalk

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I have lots of great memories at Kings Island throughout the years. However I have been to Cedar Point, and to me I do not get the same experience from Cedar Point that I get at Kings Island. I have always considered Kings Island my overall favorite park because it feels like a park built just for me.

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