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A Bittersweet 2020 Season at Kings Island


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With an original opening date of April 11th, everyone was excited and on the edge of their seats to experience the biggest investment in park history with the unveiling of Orion.  As we got closer and closer to that opening day, the more likely that anticipated day was not going to come. Obviously we know that Kings Island did not choose to just be open for just 65 days. Kings Island and parent company Cedar Fair was put in a position that no entrainment company (or any for that mater) has dealt with in our lifetimes. With the weigh of the pandemic, CF management had to figure out how to best open the park (with the little knowledge know about the virus) in a safe manner, and follow the ever changing government guidelines. I can imaging this made for a whirlwind of decision making. 

On July 2nd Kings Island was finally able to open their doors to their passholders with many restrictions in place like masks, a health screening, and reservations for the day. The day had finally come to experience that new blue and grey steel structure in the new Area 72 section of the park. Orion was that new experience that we longed for at a time park fans needed it the most. Orion became an instant hit and will be a staple for the park for years to come. I am sure it was not the grand opening for Orion the park wanted, but we are most appreciative that it graced the skyline of Kings Island this season. 

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As we got into the season, visitors to the park learned how well Kings Island was doing with their safety precautions. This lead to increased attendance as the season went on.  In the terms of safety for its guest, I don't think Kings Island and Cedar Fair could have handled the pandemic precautions any better.  Yes, there were times that visitors were not following some of the rules and was frustrating. Respectively, Kings Island did a really good job at correcting and reminding guests of the guidelines. Some of that ownership has be on the guest who agreed to the guidelines when they walked into the park. I commend the park and associates for their handling of these guidelines and we could not have asked for more.

As we then transition into the fall season. How will the park be able to have a fall calendar that includes interactive activates for the family?  The park was able to put on their creative hats and instead of Haunt we got a new fall event called Tricks and Treats. This was an instant hit with families this fall with all the activates that came with the event. Again, Kings Island put on another great event and made it look easy during a pandemic. I felt most safe taking my family to participate in Tricks and Treats. 

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Now we are at Nov 1st , the closing day of the Kings Island season. It is always a day park fans dread. For KICentral members, it is no different especially this season. We have only had 65 days to enjoy the 2020 season. It seems it just got started. There are so many pass holders who use the Kings Island season as their escape from reality (which we need this year), stress reliver, and place to just have fun and unplug. 65 days we just not enough.  We greatly appreciate the season that Kings Island was able to give us and we are most grateful to all the staff of the park for making it happen and added stress you went though this year. I have no doubts this season we will be discussing on these forums and other fan sites for year and years to come. 

As we go into that dreaded off-season, take this time to reflect on the good that came out of the bittersweet 2020 season at Kings Island and post your thoughts below.

 

Thank You Kings Island for making the 2020 season happen!

Here is a message from the General Manager and Vice President Mike Koontz to the visitors at Kings Island this season.

 

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There were actually some surprize changes at the park I really enjoyed and thought were good ideas.  Move the line for the blue ice cream down towards the Planet Snoopy entrance sign was a good idea to keep guest off the midway.  I hope it stays that way.  I also notice only one person taking orders and then 4 or 5 staff members filling cones.  The line for the blue ice cream this year moved really fast! I hope that is also here to stay. I also felt that the staff was alot more friendly this year than years past.  Hopefully next spring and we can enjoy the park as it once was.  

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What a cool video! I didn't get to go the park this season, but I did support the (Ohio Cedar Fair) parks by buying a Beast face mask and a Millennium Force T-shirt - the latter of which was my way of celebrating Millennium Force's 20th anniversary as I wasn't able to get to The Point this season. Hope to come back to visit KI in 2021!

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