The start of school is fast approaching for all my kiddos, so we are actively trying to soak in every last bit of summertime fun with the crew. I can’t think of anything that screams summer more than a visit to an outdoor water park. Water parks have always been a fan favorite for my kids who have a fascination with water, so we make sure to try and hit at least one each summer. Our go to for the past few years has been Zoombezi Bay in Columbus, but since our family was gifted season passes to Kings Island this year, we decided to check out their water park instead. Here is what we walked away with after our visit:
- Lots of Slides, Lots of Walking
I have been to the Kings Island water park before, but a long time ago, well before we had any kids. It has changed a lot since then as they added an entire new section including another wave pool, beach volleyball area, and a big set of various slides (some body slides and some tubes). Add all the new onto the large area of slides that they had to begin with, and you end up with plenty of stuff to keep you busy for the whole day. I will say that the park is pretty spread out, which means a lot of walking, plus if you are doing all the big stuff then a lot of steps too. And of course, two oldest thrill seekers rode everything (other than Damion refusing to do the slide that requires you to get into an enclosed glass area and have the bottom drop out). I’d recommend you find some inexpensive basic sandals (something you are ok to lose just in case, not that we had any issues), just wearing these at least to walk from one area to another will really help. My kids sure didn’t seem to mind being barefoot the whole day but the hurt started in on all the adults pretty quick.
2. Lucky Weather Day
I will say that our experience overall of the waterpark was a bit skewed compared to a normal, great weather operating day. We had watched the weather all week before we made a weekend stay, planning to visit Kings Island on Friday night and hit soak city the next morning. Weather looked good for our planned water park visit up until the day before when a chance of storms got pushed to our day to visit. We decided to risk it and go anyway, and I am so glad we did. The start was rocky, as thunder in our area closed all the attractions down for bit right at the beginning. Looking at weather apps we saw that there may be a couple hour break for us between bad weather sets, so we decided to try and wait it out just a bit longer before giving up. We allowed our kids some screen time in a sheltered area to help pass the time. Lucky for us, once they allowed the slides to open back up, we not only had a break in bad weather, but the rest of the day was beautiful. So, we got to experience a few hours at the park with an extremely low crowd. We didn’t really see a lot of people start coming in until we had already ridden EVERYTHING in the park with basically no wait. I have no idea how we could time out another visit like this, but boy was it nice to have!
3. Fast Pass options
As always, with any of our outings with our autistic boys, when there is the prospect of long lines, there are additional things to be considered. Along with our gold passes, we really splurged this year and got season long fast lane plus passes for my husband, myself, and my two oldest who are tall enough to ride most rides. We knew that we wanted to try and visit the main park a lot, and we wanted it to be enjoyable, and honestly, constantly fighting with my boys who don’t do well waiting in line would be a big factor in that. Kings Island does have a nice disability pass system which aids in allowing you to essentially do your “ride wait” after the ride somewhere other than in line, but it doesn’t actually decrease the amount of wait time between rides. Hence why we felt the Fast Lane plus was worth it. The Fast Lane plus pass that we have not only worked for coasters but actually included a few of the big water slides as well in soak city. So even though our interesting weather day didn’t require a need fast pass, as nothing had a line during our visit, we still went ahead and obtained the wrist band since they were already paid for in case crowds grew as the day went on. Also, I did take note to look at how their system worked so I would be aware in the future. Based on what I saw, the fast pass for soak city seemed very lacking in comparison to the main park. There was only one slide I saw that worked like a true ride fast pass, giving you a direct way to essentially bypass the regular line. All the other fast pass areas seemed like they may decrease some part of the wait, such as waiting to get a mat or tube, but not the entire line itself. In regards to disability pass for the water park, online it alludes to utilizing the same system at soak city as the main park uses, but upon asking an employee at the main parks guest services, he said he did not believe the disability pass worked at the water park. Considering there is no real exit line to enter through, and that the system works using a paper pass that needs signed and would get disintegrated by water, I wouldn’t know how it could be done either with their current set up. Luckily for us, the lack of people there made this a nonissue for us, but it is something I will definitely be aware of if we make any future visits.
All in all, we really loved our visit. They had plenty of fun big slides for my thrill seekers that were tall enough to enjoy them, as well as multiple kid areas to keep my youngest happy as well. A great bit of luck with the weather just helped put this visit over the top. I will admit, that the day after our visit, I was sorer than I had been in years, but nothing a little recovery time couldn’t mend. All worth it for a great day of fun.