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Kings Island 2024 Food Reviews and Discussion


SmartCat7162
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One of my favorite things about KI is all the new things that the culinary department has cooked up for us during the off season and also all of the amazing food that is back. Thought I would kick off this thread seeing we are only a few weeks away from the park opening and will hopefully see some menus dropped soon.

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32 minutes ago, Orion-XL200 said:

That it does....

Grain and Grille was sort of a step in the right direction, but it seems as if they won't be doing anything different/new to the menus.

I'm happy as long as they have the Brussel sprouts.

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18 hours ago, mikejenkins1 said:

They need to bring steak.  I hear we have the only one without it.

Enrique’s has “steak”. However, none of our BBQ restaurants have Brisket, like the BBQ restaurants at the other parks.

Edited by Tr0y
“Steak” as the park the park calls it in loose terms.
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14 hours ago, Orion-XL200 said:

45 cents for a water cup, the water is free, but the container is not. 

Commence people cupping their hands for said free water instead of using a containment device because of the upcharge. To make it spicy, a hand sanitizer dispenser will be placed right at the counter so their hands are clean but their water will have a hint of lemon and alcohol. Fancy :lol:

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Grain and Grill had a massive problem last year with the meats being dry by the time they were served to guests.  It makes little difference how good they start if they are dry and tough when served.  Is it being over cooked, or held in the warmer too long I have no idea.

Cedar Points food has finally been improving the last few years and over the same period Kings Islands has definitely gotten worse.  Having been to almost all of the parks in the chain in the last two years except for the two California parks.  I would rank Kings Island ahead of all the smaller parks in the chain but easily dead last among the larger parks.  Cedar Point, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, and Canadas Wonderland all had better food and often more choice.

I want to see more food options around the park but would likely be happier if they worked on quality and consistency.

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It is a shame because Kings Island was leading the pack when Chef Nathan and then Chef Majors were at the helm. It's great to present new food items but the implementation is key.

Grain and grill is awesome for the sides, but the protein, in my experience, has been subpar.  And could they please listen to the customer and remove the bone in chicken and replace with boneless skinless breasts?

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I chalked up the 2023 season as Chef Perez's rookie season, a season for him to get comfortable in his position then with this season he'd spread his wings and showcase his true culinary talents. If what we are seeing is more of the same. Basically, comfort food as the only options provided, I don't see why the park would keep him around. I've never met or seen an "executive chef" working at Skyline, Larosa's, Panda Express, or other similar comfort food restaurants the park provides outside of the park. 

 

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I kind of did the same thing...I mean he came from a Casino/Hotel in Missouri, so it's not like he's not had any "big world" experience...but it seems like it's just been adding a little bit more cilantro to the chicken tenders or the food at Enrique's. 

The one thing I really liked at Cedar Point this past season with Grand Pavilion, was that they changed options about 1/2 way through the season....my favorite was the Herb Roasted Turkey at the beginning of the season and then they switched that out for Honey Glazed Chicken Drumsticks which I loved as well. I don't understand how KI has never really changed up their options, especially since the addition of restaurants and the meal plans.

From Kings Island welcomes new executive chef and opens new restaurant | InPark Magazine:

Quote

“Our guests continue to tell us that the park’s culinary offering is such an important part of their visit to Kings Island,” said Mike Koontz, Kings Island vice president and general manager. “Our reputation as a place where they can come together and enjoy unique food offerings and traditional amusement park favorites is in good hands with Chef Perez.”

Almost a year later, I doubt that the amount of guests would agree and would share that the park has unique food offerings. At least there is tap water, though not unique. 

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I hope he blossoms this season. I didn't see him around as much as Chef Major and Chef Nate, but I was very impressed when Meteor Canteen had new employees last may, and were short staffed.  He came in and worked the location. When an executive does the work of a front line worker, it speaks volumes to me. 

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1 hour ago, Orion-XL200 said:

The one thing I really liked at Cedar Point this past season with Grand Pavilion, was that they changed options about 1/2 way through the season....my favorite was the Herb Roasted Turkey at the beginning of the season and then they switched that out for Honey Glazed Chicken Drumsticks which I loved as well.  I don't understand how KI has never really changed up their options, especially since the addition of restaurants and the meal plans.

Several restaurants at Kings Island did do this last year by having monthly specials.  They were extras instead of replacing something on the regular menu.  They also did not appear on the menu boards but were instead on little signs in the restaurant, Brewhouse for instance had different specials most months.

The park NEEDS to do a better job at communicating these kinds of things.  Maybe something in the app or a monthly post on the blog, but it needs to be communicated somehow.

Here are the specials from July at the Brewhouse.  If you check the thread from last year I know people were randomly posting the specials.

IMG_2358.jpeg

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9 hours ago, Kenban said:

Several restaurants at Kings Island did do this last year by having monthly specials.  They were extras instead of replacing something on the regular menu.  They also did not appear on the menu boards but were instead on little signs in the restaurant, Brewhouse for instance had different specials most months.

The park NEEDS to do a better job at communicating these kinds of things.  Maybe something in the app or a monthly post on the blog, but it needs to be communicated somehow.

Here are the specials from July at the Brewhouse.  If you check the thread from last year I know people were randomly posting the specials.

IMG_2358.jpeg

The monthly items were certainly a plus. But, as you may recall, they weren’t included in the Dining Plan the first few months, presumably because enough people complained.

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9 hours ago, Kenban said:

Several restaurants at Kings Island did do this last year by having monthly specials.  They were extras instead of replacing something on the regular menu.  They also did not appear on the menu boards but were instead on little signs in the restaurant, Brewhouse for instance had different specials most months.

The park NEEDS to do a better job at communicating these kinds of things.  Maybe something in the app or a monthly post on the blog, but it needs to be communicated somehow.

Here are the specials from July at the Brewhouse.  If you check the thread from last year I know people were randomly posting the specials.

IMG_2358.jpeg

The Tower Topics podcast, with three episodes a week dropping, would be an opportunity for the park to get word out about these specials in front of an audience that has interest in Kings Island. Picture this: The executive chef or someone else from the culinary team is on the podcast, sharing with excitement what they’re cooking up, and the audience is engaged and wants to visit the park and spend their money to try these items during the limited time they’re available. But it’s just a picture.

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On 3/27/2024 at 6:13 PM, Orion-XL200 said:

45 cents for a water cup, the water is free, but the container is not. 

to be fair... the younger crowd isn't exactly innocent of asking for a water cup and not proceeding to fill with soft drinks, et al.

$0.45 is enough of a deterrent to give a moment of pause so that they don't have a pocket of change to take on rides.

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20 hours ago, Kenban said:

Grain and Grill had a massive problem last year with the meats being dry by the time they were served to guests.  It makes little difference how good they start if they are dry and tough when served.  Is it being over cooked, or held in the warmer too long I have no idea.

Cedar Points food has finally been improving the last few years and over the same period Kings Islands has definitely gotten worse.  Having been to almost all of the parks in the chain in the last two years except for the two California parks.  I would rank Kings Island ahead of all the smaller parks in the chain but easily dead last among the larger parks.  Cedar Point, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, and Canadas Wonderland all had better food and often more choice.

I want to see more food options around the park but would likely be happier if they worked on quality and consistency.

 

Went to Grain and Grill last May for the first time (and last time). First observation: nothing had grain in it and nothing was grilled. Second observation- the chicken was W-A-Y undercooked... there's no medium rare in poultry, only well done. I my took concern to the "manager" - didn't want another, just to let them know. She was dismissive and didn't seem to know what was wrong with it. 

That visit was first and last there. Have had chicken-oriented food poisoning before. Great "diet" program (lost 12 lbs in two days)- but the 3-day hospital stay was a rather forgettable experience. 

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50 minutes ago, Outdoor Man said:

to be fair... the younger crowd isn't exactly innocent of asking for a water cup and not proceeding to fill with soft drinks, et al.

$0.45 is enough of a deterrent to give a moment of pause so that they don't have a pocket of change to take on rides.

Park is cashless now.  And running cards for . 45 cents would probably cost the park more than that in cars fees.

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1 hour ago, Outdoor Man said:

to be fair... the younger crowd isn't exactly innocent of asking for a water cup and not proceeding to fill with soft drinks, et al.

$0.45 is enough of a deterrent to give a moment of pause so that they don't have a pocket of change to take on rides.

Park is cashless and that includes change...

But yeah charging would either cut down on the soda theft or increase it.  

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18 hours ago, Kenban said:

Several restaurants at Kings Island did do this last year by having monthly specials.  They were extras instead of replacing something on the regular menu.  They also did not appear on the menu boards but were instead on little signs in the restaurant, Brewhouse for instance had different specials most months.

The park NEEDS to do a better job at communicating these kinds of things.  Maybe something in the app or a monthly post on the blog, but it needs to be communicated somehow.

Here are the specials from July at the Brewhouse.  If you check the thread from last year I know people were randomly posting the specials.

IMG_2358.jpeg

Agreed with you about communication and that the specials were a step in the right direction. I just wonder what it'd be like if they put that much effort into the season long menus or at least replaced items on the menus (chicken fingers) with a special for a couple of months. Give people the reason to come back, spread the word about the food, especially to those friends that get in with BAF tickets who likely won't have a meal plan and will pay directly for their meal....$ into the park. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Orion-XL200 said:

A week out, but haven't seen a list of dining locations/menus yet. 

Has anyone seen these? 

Maybe they are waiting to get it right, unlike KD that has issued at least two lists that are inaccurate.

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