5 things we learned before Kings Island’s opening day

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Journal-News photographer Greg Lynch and writer Eric Schwartzberg ride Mystic Timbers, the new wooden roller coaster at Kings Island.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The sound of metal clicking and shrill screams will fill the air Saturday in Warren County as Kings Island opens its gates to greet eager thrill-seekers.

This news outlet got a sneak peek Thursday of what you can expect during Kings Island’s 45th year of operation.

Ride enthusists enjoy an early ride on the new wooden roller coaster, Mystic Timbers, at Kings Island, Thursday, Apr. 13, 2017. The ride opens to the public on Saturday. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Caption
Ride enthusists enjoy an early ride on the new wooden roller coaster, Mystic Timbers, at Kings Island, Thursday, Apr. 13, 2017. The ride opens to the public on Saturday. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Credit: Greg Lynch

Credit: Greg Lynch

1. The debut of Mystic Timbers

As no surprise, the park’s newest coaster, Mystic Timbers will be debuting this season.

It’s Kings Island’s 16th roller coaster and fourth wooden roller coaster.

Rolling across 3,265 feet of track, it took 330,000 board feet of southern yellow pine lumber in addition to 30,000 pounds of nails combined with 88,000 bolts and washers to build what stands as Mystic Timbers today.

RELATED: What first riders are saying about new coaster Mystic Timbers

“The intent was to build another world-class ride,” Rob Decker, senior vice president of planning and design for Cedar Fair, said.

And from the reaction of coaster fanatics and media after previewing the ride on Thursday, there’s no doubt the ride will be a successful addition to the park.

2. A new restaurant in Soak City

King Island’s Soak City will be opening the doors to a new dining option this year.

At the restaurant Island Smoke, “you can expect to find anything from smoked BBQ to smoked shrimp and smoked wings,” said Don Helbig, spokesman for Kings Island.

The restaurant is expected to open when the water park opens for the season, which is May 27.

RELATED: Iconic Kings Island roller coaster turns 30 years old

3. More food choices throughout the park

There will be more options for those looking to take a break from the rides to dine.

Tom + Chee, the local company known for their eclectic grilled cheese sandwiches, will be opening a food stand in close proximity to the entrance of Mystic Timbers.

In addition, more changing rooms, spray misters, shade structures and deck space, helping to double the number of chaise lounge chairs, will be added.

4. A new website

Although the park’s new mobile-friendly website launched several weeks ago, it’s new to those who are using it to navigate their way through the park, upgrade tickets and get more information about the park.

“You’d be surprised but about 70 percent of our traffic to the Kings Island website is coming from mobile, so it was imperative that we had a website that was optimized for mobile use,” Helbig said.

5. The return of Winterfest

After a long 12-year hiatus, Winterfest is making a comeback and will help guests ring in the holiday season starting Nov. 24 when International Street transforms into a festive holiday village. And expect the park's Eiffel Tower to become one very large Christmas tree.

In addition, guests will be able to enjoy skating on the Royal Fountain turned outdoor skating rink, crafts, themed entertainment and of course, Santa.

ExploreMORE: Kings Island has big plans for this season

About the Author