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Is Kings Island the new #1 ahead of Cedar Point?


RayFields
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Lately I've been seeing a lot of enthusiasts place Kings Island as their #1 park, even ahead of Cedar Point. They point to the more relaxing atmosphere and the magnificent staff and ride ops....Good job people!

 

Dude, your 1&2 took the words out of my mouth. KI wows me every time in a way CP cant even do it and its mainly because staff and ops
 
Kings Island blows Cedar Point away in every aspect except the coaster collection. Best ride ops I've ever experienced.
 
I’m also in the crowd that likes Kings Island above Cedar Point! Since I live in Columbus I can choose which one to go to every other weekend! I’ll be going to CP this weekend then Kings Island the week after! Ohio is the best!

 

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I feel a lot of credit is contributed to our GM Mike Koontz. You see him out in the park, talking to his associates. Showing an appreciation for them that I have never seen before. I think that goes a long way for staff morale. 

Keep it up KI staff. It is not going unnoticed! 

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It's very difficult to have the ideal "enthusiast's day" at Cedar Point due to the large crowds they attract. As far as decent rides that are almost guaranteed to have a short line, you only get to deal with Rougarou, Gemini, and sometimes Magnum/Wicked Twister. Fast Lane is almost a must for every CP visit, but will still have you wait upwards of 30 minutes for Maverick and Steel Vengeance, especially the latter. Kings Island occasionally draws massive crowds that make every ride a long wait, but much less often. Up until this year (of course due to capacity restrictions), you were able to able to guarantee yourself decently short lines on weekdays for most major attractions. I think that's the main factor in people ranking KI higher than CP. Cedar Point most likely still has a better lineup in most people's eyes, but KI has not gone silent with excellent additions in the last 10 or so years. I enjoy both parks equally but I'm having a hard time justifying going to CP anytime soon due to the ridiculous wait times I've experienced in my last few visits.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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I consider KI and CP as equals in a sense- CP is one of the best destination parks in the country where as KI is one of the best regional parks. CP has to have more thrilling rides like TDD, SV, and so on because they need that draw. KI already has the greater Cincinnati area and its 2 million+ residents in their pocket; that's not even including cities under 2 hours away like Indy, Dayton, Columbus, Lexington, and Louisville

In terms of staff, KI relies more on locals so the experience is more personal as opposed to CP where they have a ton of non-locals and internationals. 

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I think King's Island beats Cedar Point in almost every way. Better operations, shorter lines overall, better food, better at Haunt and events in general. Coasterstock is better than Coastermania. Water Park included with admission. Winterfest. The list goes on and on.

There is this idea that Cedar Point has this untouchable coaster line up. America's roller coast. Maybe it's the fact that I am slowly visiting more and more parks but I am starting to disagree. I used to go there and ride everything. Now I tend to ride the unique coasters I can't get elsewhere or coasters they have the best versions of. For me that is really only 5 coasters. Steel Vengeance, Maverick, Magnum, Millenium Force and Top Thrill. Just about all others fall into 2 categories: Rides that just aren't that good aka Wicked Twister, Corkscrew, Mineride, Gemini. Or coasters that have better versions at other parks. Banshee>Raptor. Thunderbird>GateKeeper. Yukon Striker>Valraven. The Bat>Iron Dragon

 

This may be a weird thing to throw in. After visiting Dollywood's Christmas in the Smokies today and yesterday. It just makes me miss Winterfest at Kings Island. Christmas in the Smokies isn't bad but King's Island Winterfest beats it in every single way except maybe no mountain.

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I've felt this wind blowing towards KI as well. It was the best park experience we had in 2020, which also included 4 days at CP, 2 at Silver Dollar City, 2 at Hershey and 1 at Great Adventure. 

I disagree with anyone who would put the totality of any coaster lineup over CP, but the quality of the KI lineup is great, too. Losing Vortex and likely not replacing it for a while does hurt, but its now a top 10 North American lineup for sure, arguably top 5. 

The access passes killed CP this year for a lot of people, and no Fast Lane just made it impossible to do much once the park got busy in mid August. We were so lucky to have all season fastlane but without it, the experience this year (and possibly 2021 as well) was just vastly superior at KI.

KI has pulled WELL ahead in terms of food. CP eliminated their burrito/bowl option, Pinks and their popular foldover in the same offseason, and the mac shack opened way late. Hugos Italian was a flop and we got a question in our session back at 2020 chill out about it's lack of quality. Meanwhile, Brewhouse is a huge hit (nothing comparable at CP). I could go on, the Chef special this year was another big hit and raises the real and perceived quality of the brand altogether.

CP has unique problems that make it harder to have a "great" enthusiast or general public day. Staffing is a nightmare in the best of times due to their size and location, now virtually impossible with no international workers. You'll see more and more people start choosing KI in this way if CP has to operate with access passes, drastically limited hours AND very early line closures again in 2021. The early line closure thing was awful, a real gut punch to a CP life-long fan such as myself, especially as KI did not do it that way. 

I really am sad for Jason and his team at CP. He was BEAMING about all the 150th stuff at Chill Out in February, just days before the pandemic hit. They had huge plans, and I think a big coaster for 2021 on the horizon. Now? Maybe 2 lost years of they can't get international workers. And in 2020 they supplanted with workers from 5 other CF parks, likely not an option this year. 

I'm so glad KI was able to do much better, and they have become even better in so many areas. I love Orion and all of area 72. If we can get a more normal season in 2021 with maybe Haunt and Winterfest too, what a great year it'll be. Really hoping for some full train Orion rides. 

I think CP can get back to being what so many of us love, but I worry that after maybe 2 full years with access passes and a greatly reduced experience, the park will lose a lot of it's goodwill. They have so many challenges to operate at full tilt on their best day, and it's catching up with the park a bit. (Multiple Intamins, wind, rain ops, staffing, crowd size). 

CP is still my number 1 park, but i can understand for sure the changing opinions referenced here. 

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The biggest perk of KI over CP from a visitor's standpoint is that KI can be tackled in 1-2 days and is easily accessible to season pass holders where they can go multiple times a month. Cedar Point is a park that you almost have to spend multiple days to get the full experience with the coasters, the water park, and the lake.

Cedar Point is a park you need to plan for if you have a family or a group. You have to decide what resort you want to stay at, how many days, if you want fastlane plus, if you want to send the extra admission on the water park, etc. You don't know how long the lines will be, so you feel rushed. KI does not have this problem. Yes there are some long lines but they move pretty fast for the most part. Also there is no need to really plan your visit. The water park is included in your admission so you have options. If you go for two days you can hit both parks and get your money's worth.

At KI you can re ride popular rides in the same day without the need of a fastlane. I was fortunate enough to marathon Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster but that was in the middle of May when they were slower. Unless you have bad weather, or its super early in the season, its hard to get re rides on CPs coasters without fastlane plus.

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I felt like 2020 was a flop at KI. I don’t intend that to be mean. Everyone gave 110%. Orion is beautiful. 
 

To me, the thing about KI that I love is that there is always something on the horizon to look forward to.  Park’s opening/new ride, then shows open, then water park, then Carnivale, then whatever unique events they have for that summer (remember 2020 was supposed to have the water park weekends), then Haunt, then Winterfest.  There was always something no more than a few weeks away.  This year didn’t have that. It couldn’t. 
 

Now, it’s not like we lost everything this year. Orion is still there. Have you ridden it at night? I didn’t until the last Saturday. Wait until the buzz gets out about that once 10:00 closes are the norm again. Chef’s plate is likely making a comeback. The Tricks and Treats thing once again successfully tested the concept of the food-based event, which I imagine may be back next year. 
 

From all accounts I’ve heard, CP was a pretty miserable place to be this year. 
 

Ive always liked KI more than CP. CP has a lot to offer, but for a park that I visit regularly I’d rather have the above-mentioned things than live close to the tallest, fastest, whatever with a consistent 2 hour wait. 

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This is an interesting topic, and one that should be discussed. I have been attending Kings Island with a season pass every year since 1994, and very happy doing so. Not until 2018 did I attend Cedar Point with my daughters.  They were becoming enthusiasts wanting to learn about every type of coasters, and ride a variety of them.  We made the trip, and bought FastLane plus passes. Well worth our investment. We rode every ride at least twice with 10 rides on Top Thrill, Millennium Force and Maverick. I noticed small details in my first trip, that differed vastly from Kings Island.  In 2019 I wanted to share the same magic and fun with my wife and youngest daughter. Our trip was fun, but did not capture the magic of the previous year.  My wife did not want to buy FastLane passes or ride the big 4 coasters.  After some persuasion we bought FLP, and were able to ride most of the coasters. With the whole family however I realized that Cedar Point is not very family friendly.  A few weeks later I took my older daughters and their friends, and we were able to have a lot more fun. Our 2020 trips were a disaster. Long lines, hardly anywhere to eat or use the restroom, and we rode only Steel Vengeance and Maverick in an 8 hour time period.  Kings Island nailed the pandemic park opening, and Cedar Point dropped the ball.  Although I now consider both parks to be a home park, and love them both for strengths and weaknesses. I would like to compare them.

 

First Impression

Pros

Kings Island takes your breath away with the Eiffel Tower, and International Street as you enter the park. The flowers, building facades, and fountain are a beautiful greeting. 

Cedar Point is amazing as you drive up the causeway with their towering roller coasters, and the water surrounding the park and you.  The excitement builds as you watch the coasters come closer.

Cons

Kings Island's view from the parking lot hides a lot of the rides , and the International Street Restaurant shield the beauty of International Street and the Eiffel Tower. I can envision KI taking the building down, and the anticipation of entering would grow.

 

Once you enter Cedar Point it is a concrete jungle with no charm,  nor concrete that  even matches.  There is no wow factor like there is at KI which is a huge letdown, after seeing the rides from a far. 

Edge Kings Island

 

Cleaniness

No matter how you cut it Kings Island is the cleaner of the two. Cedar Point is on a peninsula surrounded by sand, water, and seagulls. A recipe for a dirtier park.  I notice the kids with brooms at KI, but cannot remember seeing them at CP.

Edge Kings Island

 

Roller Coasters

 Kings Island has a great collection of roller coasters for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Cedar Point also has a great collection, but they have three that make them stand out from Kings Island.  Maverick, Top Thrill Dragster, and Steel Vengeance, Kings Island does not have a roller coaster in my opinion that can compete with these three. 

Edge Cedar Point

 

Flat Rides

     Cedar Point owns this topic. Kings Island cannot even compete here. 

 Edge Cedar Point

 

  Hotels

     With on the property resorts, cabins, and hotels room nearby Cedar Point takes the cake for staying on the point or very near the CP. The best hotels near Kings Island are an eight to ten mile drive down to Fields Ertl. Cedar Point has done a wonderful job making sure that all the attractions you need are there for you stay.  A day at their very clean beach is one of the best days of my life, and now the kids look forward to that more than the park itself. 

Edge Cedar Point

 

Food

Kings Island and Chef Major own the Ohio Amusement Park food wars. At Kings Island you can have a variety of meals, Cedar Point , chicken tenders it is. Half joking, but it seems to be CP's staple is Chicken Tenders. Kings Island has such a variety with the meal plan you can go days with out repeating a meal. 

Edge Kings Island

 

   Overall I think Kings Island is the better overall park with it being cleaner, better food, and family options. Cedar Point has the better collection of rides, but I think their target audience it teens and adults without small kids.  With todays disposal family incomes becoming smaller due to the pandemic, I can see how families get more bang for their buck at KI.  I love both parks, and consider them both home parks, but as I said earlier Kings Island is much more enjoyable for my whole family where as Cedar Point is a lot of fun for my older daughters and their friends when done with a FLP.  To each their own. I have been to three Cedar Fair parks, but that number was to grow to six this year, but now hopefully next year. I rank them based on fun for the whole family, and the enjoyment we had there.

1. Kings Island

2. Carowinds

3. Cedar Point

Next year hope to add to the rankings Michigan's Adventure, Dorney Park and Kings Dominion. 

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Funny but I actually like how the International street restaurant at the entrance blocks the view of International street and the Eiffel Tower. It just makes it more breathtaking when you finally walk through the gates and see all the magnificence! Don't know why some people feel the park entrance is ugly, I think it looks fine. Most people don't even notice one way or another and to me the worst thing is to have a ride right at the entrance.

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30 minutes ago, RayFields said:

Funny but I actually like how the International street restaurant at the entrance blocks the view of International street and the Eiffel Tower. It just makes it more breathtaking when you finally walk through the gates and see all the magnificence! Don't know why some people feel the park entrance is ugly, I think it looks fine. Most people don't even notice one way or another and to me the worst thing is to have a ride right at the entrance.

I agree.  It makes the walk thru the turnstyles even better.  I could get behind a slight renovation with new shingles and removal of the seasonal banners--and a return of the flags.

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I don't really find one to be better than the other, just different.  I greatly enjoy both parks and each has great things going for it.  I think both are moving in a good direction as well.

Cedar Point spent a long time with the focus being mostly on what new ride they were going to build next.  In the last few years they have worked hard on some of the other things that make for a more complete experience.  They have completely replaced some of the dining buildings and filled out the available food options with large scale offerings with Italian food and barbecue, along with the frontier festival.  Is it the best food in the world?  Of course not.  But there has been a focus on better quality and high volume to help with some of the lines they've had in the past.  The replacing of the front gate, marina gate, and resort gate, along with parking entry plaza all improve the aesthetic and guest experience.  Much work has been done to the resort offerings, with all new and renovated rooms at Breakers and Express, new premium RV spots at Lighthouse Point, and the purchase of Sawmill Creek.  They've added the Forbidden Frontier to provide a new interactive experience.  Replacing the splash pad with brick pavers is an improvement, and is something I imagine we might see more of, considering they did the Valravn area with pavers as well.

Kings Island is doing many projects of the same nature.  The installation of pavers along International Street is a great improvement in apperance and perceived quality.  The parking entrance looks fresh and clean.  The Area 72 redo looks fantastic with updated theming and sprucing up of the area around Orion.  Bringing back the antique cars with a beautiful new installation was a slam dunk.  Including the similar high volume barbecue restaurant that CF is adding at various parks was a no brainer.  With Cedar Fair already redoing entrance plazas at some of the parks, I think it's just a matter of time before KI gets that treatment as well.  Whether it's a refresh, or a replacement it will be a LARGE project.

Both of these parks (and Cedar Fair as a whole) have been focusing on the overall guest experience lately, and I think it has been a fantastic strategy.  There is just so much more of Cedar Point to address.  It's been around for so long and has some great challenges as far as these types of improvement go.  The traffic patterns are more restrictive and with the volume of guests, almost have to have the "concrete jungle" aspect to an extent, just to accommodate the crowds certain times of the year.  KI has the benefit of an initial plan more recently, on more of a blank slate.  This sounds like an apology letter for CP, but it's really just something I notice when I'm at these parks.  They are 2 entirely different animals.

I love them both though, and they are my most frequently visited parks in the last 5 years or so, along with Worlds of Fun.  I made the drive from St. Louis to each park twice this year.  And I can't say that I really enjoy one more than the other.  If anything, KI has pulled up close to CP for me.  And I think it's more because it offers something a little different, and its probably just as much me getting a little older and appreciating the differences and not just looking entirely at the coaster lineup(both of which are top notch, with CP taking the cake).  Its a long day, but I can drive to KI, have a great day, and make it back home in one shot.  At CP, it's obviously more of a 2 or 3 day thing.  I love both experiences; it really just matters which one you want.

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18 hours ago, Bansheelover said:

Once you enter Cedar Point it is a concrete jungle with no charm,  nor concrete that  even matches.  There is no wow factor like there is at KI which is a huge letdown, after seeing the rides from a far. 

It is as if I could have written this...it sums up my feelings exactly. 
If I were solely a thrill seeker, Cedar Point would be great...but I like the “whole package”...good rides and good atmosphere. I live in Illinois...from my location I have 4 parks that are about the same drive for me...but for the above reasons, that is why I choose Kings Island as my favorite park. (No disrespect to Cedar Point...it’s just not what I personally like.)

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We live in the Detroit area, so Cedar Point would technically be my home park. But over the years, Kings Island is the one I vastly prefer. I haven't been to Cedar Point in about eight years, but we hit Kings Island every year. 

A lot of it just comes down to experience. When I was a kid, we loved Kings Island because it felt huge. The kids' area was fantastic (I'll always have a soft spot for Hanna Barbara Land) and the different themes just made the park feel so much larger than life. I loved catching our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower on the freeway and that feelin of walking through the gates onto International Street. Everything about it felt like an experience, from the music that played as you entered to the live entertainment to the food. 

When I hit my teenage years, I went through the period where nothing beat Cedar Point. At that age, it was all about the thrill rides and I still don't think you can top Cedar Point in that aspect. I haven't had the pleasure of riding GateKeeper, Valrayvn or Steel Vengeance, but even with Millennium Force, TTD, Raptor, Magnum and Maverick, it's a great lineup. Cedar Point was always the park I loved in my teens because it was just one straight day of non-stop roller coaster riding. 

As I've gotten older, I just have come to love Kings Island more. It's just a more beautiful park; nothing against Cedar Point's peninsula, but Kings Island is just a much better-looking park. You can't beat International Street as a way to experience a park (well, I guess Disney's Main Street). I'm so happy that they haven't tried to add rides to IS, aside from the Eiffel Tower (and yes, Boo Blasters on a technicality). It's just a perfect way to enter and experience the park. There's a more relaxing feel to Kings Island, where Cedar Point just feels like a constant rush, pushing you from one attraction to another. Kings Island doesn't have as many record-breaking coasters, but I love the variety of them. Banshee is a bigger, better Raptor. Orion and Diamondback can't really hold candles to Millennium Force, but they're both fun in their unique ways. I'll take The Bat over Iron Dragon any day, and Adventure Express is both a better mine train coaster and entry-level ride for kids than Cedar Creek Mine Ride. And sure, TTD is a great rush. But Cedar Point is missing The Beast, which is such a unique and special ride. 

Food at Kings Island is better; every trip I feel like I'm trying to make sure I hit a favorite, whether it's the Coney Mall BBQ, La Rosa's, Skyline or the Brewhouse. Cedar Point has nothing comparable (again, I haven't been there in a few years). 

Theming, Kings Island is so much better in most areas, although I think KI's Rivertown is a bit too small and has lost its charm as larger rides have gone in there. Cedar Point's Frontierland has a tiny edge there. But Cedar Point doesn't have an International Street. It doesn't have a Coney Mall (technically, I guess much of CP's midway is similar to Coney Mall, but that's just the way the park formed; it doesn't feel like a deliberate theme). It doesn't have a small pocket like Oktoberfest or even a giant non-coaster landmark like the Eiffel Tower. And there's no large place to eat and take in a show, like Festhaus (there are a few small dinner-and-show places at Cedar Point, but KI has always beat it in terms of live entertainment). As I get older, that variety really means so much more. Yeah, Cedar Point has the beach, and they're finally capitalizing on it (which is why their WindSeeker has the edge over KI's). But Kings Island just has more, and feels more like an escape, rather than the carnival on steroids Cedar Point often feels like. 

Also, I can't overstate how much better the kiddie experience is at Kings Island. It's the perfect park for future coaster junkies. My kids love Boo Blasters and all the kid rides, but Kings Island also offers enough legit coasters in its kids' areas, from Woodstock Express to Flying Ace Aerial Chase. It's the perfect way to prepare them for what comes next. And it's a kids' area I actually enjoy visiting; there have been days where I've spent hours just in Planet Snoopy with my 4yo daughter, and it's been the best day I've had there. I couldn't have that at CP. 

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20 hours ago, RayFields said:

Funny but I actually like how the International street restaurant at the entrance blocks the view of International street and the Eiffel Tower. It just makes it more breathtaking when you finally walk through the gates and see all the magnificence! Don't know why some people feel the park entrance is ugly, I think it looks fine. Most people don't even notice one way or another and to me the worst thing is to have a ride right at the entrance.

I have a vision of Kings Island making International Street longer. The ticket processing center, and gate is brought to where the tents began this year, and after you enter it is nothing but boutique shops, walking paths, and floral arraingements leading into the park. 

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I'll go ahead and chime in.

I think comparing Cedar Point and KI might be like comparing apples to oranges, however, each park has something different to offer. Overall, I think Kings Island has a better overall coaster collection, however, Cedar Point has some unique coasters that KI does not have* (Millennium Force, Wicked Twister, Steel Vengeance, Rougarou, Maverick and even Valravn come to mind). As for entertainment such as shows and the like, KI has the edge overall (I generally like most of the shows KI puts on, including the music reviews and Cirque), although CP has Forbidden Frontier, which was amazing! The only other show I saw at CP was Vertical Impact and that was cool, but it was a bit too much sensory overload. Also, don't forget that KI has Haunt, Winterfest and Grand Carnivale in addition to all the other live shows that go on (I have not been to Halloweekends, so can't give a comparison to KI's Haunt - from what I've seen, though, it looks cool; especially how their Slaughterhouse is near their Barnyard, (insert evil smirk here), plus Blood on the Bayou looks interesting due to the swampy setting).

Overall, I think KI has the home park advantage for me (pre-COVID, I was probably going just about every - every other weekend), but I do try to visit CP often to ride their epic coasters that can't be found anywhere else.

As a final note, Hersheypark also has a great coaster collection, but I remember being surprised that they didn't have nightly fireworks... guess KI has spoiled me! :P

*NOTE I have not yet ridden Orion.

EDIT: To add to what someone said about CP being a concrete jungle: yes most of it is midways and rides, however Frontier Trail (the area where you are walking through the woods) and the adjoining Adventure Island (housed Dinos and Forbidden Frontier) are the outliers that provide a really cool environment to walk through. Other unique areas of the park include Frontier Town (where Maverick and Steel Vengeance are), parts of Gemini Midway and the little beachfront hideaway area where Wicked Twister, Maxair, Giant Wheel and GateKeeper's entrance are (also, that arcade is huge!). What I'm trying to say is, CP has it's own unique charm (aside from coasters and pathways), you just have to know where to look. ^_^

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I will say this: Cedar Fair has closed the gap between the two really fast, and the argument can be made that either one is better. I thought the park had gotten really good in the mid 00's under Paramount as mainly a theme park. What it lacked in big rollercoasters it made up for in smaller coasters and flats that were well themed. When CF took over and stripped away all the theming, shut down SOB, Tomb Raider, and Action Theater in the first few years I felt like the park was at it's low point.

Today the argument can be made that they have such a diverse collection of coasters that they could be considered top 5 in wood AND top 5 in steel, and are the only park that can come close to claiming that.

The food has come a looooong way in the last 2-3 years in my opinion.

Their Fast Lane system beats the hell out of CPs since the latter tends to dump you off 15-20 minutes away from the station on a lot of rides.

One of the biggest advantages I think KI has that hasn't been mentioned is the layout of the park. Interestingly both parks are listed at 364 acres, but because the park has chosen to build so many out and back style coasters situated around a central hub KI has far less land you have to walk. This means there's several spots where you can go from one ride to the next (like the DB/MT/Beast trio, Orion/FF) within a minute or two. CP has very little of this, and the majority of my time spent there is spent riding then walking to and from their top rides that are all pretty spread out.

Nobody beats CP in terms of record breaking intense rollercoasters, and the lake view isn't bad either. But yeah, as of 2020 I'd say I prefer KI.

 

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6 hours ago, Turtlepower said:

Their Fast Lane system beats the hell out of CPs since the latter tends to dump you off 15-20 minutes away from the station on a lot of rides.

 

 

This year good old Millie was the worst offender of that. Due to Covid and that fastlane setup it has the longest fastlane line in the park in 2020.

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4 hours ago, grsupercity said:

I think if someone has one day to visit a new park they could have a better time at Kings Island. Cedar Point really needs 3 or 4 days to soak everything in. It is just so massive. I found Kings Island much more laid back 

That's interesting, and maybe it just comes down to proximity. Kings Island was always the park we came down to for multiple days (mainly because we lived four hours away), but I've only made one multi-day trip to Cedar Point in my life. A lot of that might be because I've never had much interest to visit the waterpark. I think the crowds definitely tend to make it a two-day park these days; when we did go for a two-day trip, my wife and I did Fast Lane for the first day and then spent the second doing flat rides and less popular rides. Cramming all the coasters into one day, even as a teenager, was exhausting. 

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Scratching this year due to just what it is, and taking out 2009 when I went to Kings Island at least once a week (which is what completely killed me on Diamondback to this day since I over-rode it to death that year) I average 3-5 trips to CP and usually no more than 2 to KI (opening day and Pride Night).  Take into consideration that I am 2.5 hours exactly to Kings Island, yet am MINIMUM 5 hours from CP even taking every bit of leeway that Indiana and Ohio Troopers will give me (and sometimes more).  I enjoy Banshee quite a bit more than I enjoy Raptor, and FoF gives me an experience I cant get at CP, but beyond that CP just has more for me across the board both from a ride experience and a general sense of enjoyment when I am there.  Kings Island has most certainly cemented itself as a top tier CF park, but not #1 over CP in this person's eyes.

 

Edit: I completely agree with Turtlepowers point concerning Kings Island's FL entrances being better than CPs.  Though I have never had inkling or need to use FL or FL+ at Kings Island, its most certainly more efficient from a load and throughput standpoint, especially in regards to Millie and GateKeeper.  I remember back in 12-13 they used to bring the FLers into Millies station through the side door of the station behind the operator's booth, and while I understand how that could become a problem interfering with the line waiting for 1-1, I feel it was still a more efficient system.

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Kings Island is a superior overall park.  It was designed to be a theme park, with themed sections.   And a logical, easy to travel layout.     The entrances  of the 3 Taft-built parks are the most spectacular entrances of any theme parks worldwide, including Disney.       IMO King's Island has a better coaster collection if you want to re-ride because so many coasters at CP were built to be extreme.

I am located in between the 2 and almost always chose KI to attend because of its superior atmosphere.  CP does have the lake going for it, but sooooo much of the park is generic and just pavement midways.  Although KI is catching up to CP with the lack of shade these days with all of the tree removal!

Now that being said, Paramount almost ruined KI forever with its destruction of the original theming and lackluster ride additions.  Cedar Fair saved KI and the other Taft parks from that dark era.

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7 hours ago, super7 said:

Kings Island is a superior overall park.  It was designed to be a theme park, with themed sections.   And a logical, easy to travel layout.     The entrances  of the 3 Taft-built parks are the most spectacular entrances of any theme parks worldwide, including Disney.       IMO King's Island has a better coaster collection if you want to re-ride because so many coasters at CP were built to be extreme.

I  totally agree with this. There are countless paths and ways to travel the park and everything is centered (for the most part) around the Eiffel Tower. Additionally, I feel like the park infrastructure and supporting buildings are much better prepared than most other parks. Each owner has contributed and withdrawn different identities for the park, and while KI seemed to struggle for a bit, after Cedar Fair added some large scale investments, the park seems to have a rather diverse lineup (3 B&Ms, 2 Vekomas, 2 Arrows, 2 Premier Rides, 2 PTCs, a GCI, E&F Miller and an in-house designed and built). But nothing beats walking into International Street, the fountains, the lights, the orchestral music, the Eiffel Tower, and the coaster skyline looming in the distance. It's no Disneyland, but it's an atmosphere like no other. I could praise Mike Koontz all day, and while I do miss TR:TR and some Paramount (1st year) theming, they've done an amazing job keeping the park in great shape, it feels modern, yet also retains plenty of original charm.

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On 11/30/2020 at 7:55 PM, RayFields said:

Funny but I actually like how the International street restaurant at the entrance blocks the view of International street and the Eiffel Tower. It just makes it more breathtaking when you finally walk through the gates and see all the magnificence! Don't know why some people feel the park entrance is ugly, I think it looks fine. Most people don't even notice one way or another and to me the worst thing is to have a ride right at the entrance.

The design was intentional, for all the reasons you listed.  

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i have to stick up for Cedar Point a little here with theming and presentation. No doubt it's a straight up Amusement Park, but everything from the Main Midway train station to the back corner is pretty awesome, and includes 3 world class coasters. I love the Frontier Trail and Frontier Town, and the vibe around Dragster when it's running. 17 years later, it still draws crowds to watch it launch. Kings Island is beautiful and much more laid back as many have said, but CP is a beautiful place even when you aren't on the boardwalk between Breakers and Lake Erie. The Valravn walkway is also very nice IMO. They still need a lot of work on the Main Midway, but French Quarter Confections, the Legacy Brick plaza and the new Corral were steps in the right direction. The Arcade is an eyesore at this point, at least to me. Nothing beats International Street to me, but it's not like CP is ugly. 

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Love this topic! Really like seeing the friendly debate in the thread as well. 

Having been to both parks of course, I have to agree with the general consensus of this thread — CP is all about thrills and KI is about all-around experience. 

So depending on what you like, hard to say which park is “better.” I personally like the aesthetic and overall experience of Kings Island. Don’t get me wrong I love a good coaster, but KI has those (just not as big as CP), along with great food options, better themes, year-round events (usually) and just better vibes as you walk around the park. It had character. CP is too commercialized for me. However, CP is still an awesome park. 

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3 hours ago, DownInRivertown said:

Really like seeing the friendly debate in the thread as well. 

The mods appreciate this as well.

I see KI as a more relaxing laid back atmosphere over  CP. It may be that I don't get to CP as much, and I can't get from Gatekeeper to Steel Vengeance like I can from Surf Dog to Orion.

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