Kings Island reopening: What will it be like in early July?

Kings Island guests will be required to make a reservation and wear masks when the park opens next month, part of the plans that have been weeks in the making for the large regional attraction.

The park said the changes are among several “stringent health, safety and hygiene protocols in place” to allow a safe opening during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kings Island will open to season pass holders on July 2 and will open to the public on July 12 with procedures in place to manage capacity and enable social distancing.

“Our team is hard at work getting the park ready to open, and now that the restrictions on Ohio amusements parks have been lifted by the governor’s office we are able to continue that work,” said park spokesman Chad Showalter. “Over the next weeks we’ll be reactivating and training our seasonal associates, completing ride operation inspections, landscaping, infrastructure work and implementing our new stringent health, safety and hygiene protocols.”

MORE: ZOO REOPENINGS: When zoos will reopen and plans to keep guests safe

Kings Island’s new health and safety protocols align with CDC recommendations, and have been shaped by information from company and industry health and safety experts, along with state and local government officials,” according to Mike Koontz, the park’s general manager.

“We are ready to welcome our guests back to Kings Island for some long-overdue fun,” Koontz said. “The safety of our guests and associates has always been and will always be our top priority.”

New park protocols include:

• A new online reservation system; each guest is required to have a reservation prior to their visit to enable capacity management

• A requirement to complete a pre-visit health screening declaration 24 hours prior to admission

• A touchless temperature screening prior to entering the facility for both guests and associates

• Requirements for all guests, associates and vendors to wear masks as directed by the protocols

• Social distancing markers throughout the park, including ride queue lines

• Limited guest/associate contact

• Enhanced cleaning procedures, including additional deep cleaning and sanitization of restrooms, dining facilities and other busy areas

• Additional hand sanitization stations

• Capacity management throughout the park

Sandusky’s Cedar Point and Kings Island, both of whom are owned by Cedar Fair, filed suit June 4 against Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a reopening order that included zoos, family entertainment centers and indoor theaters, but excluded theme and amusement parks.

MORE: Kings Island, other amusement parks sue state day before reopening set

On June 5, DeWine said water parks, amusement parks, casinos and outdoor theaters could reopen June 19.

The park will initially open to season pass holders with limited capacity and hours. Kings Island will be sending emails to passholders, inviting them to begin making reservations. Only passholders will be able to make reservations for at least the first week; daily ticket reservations will open within the next two weeks.

Kings Island is asking guests to download its free mobile app at to make a reservation and facilitate their park visit.

The amusement park now not only faces the task of not only training and implementing its protocols in less than two dozen days, but also the challenge of hiring employees to fill the park's available jobs.

An opening date for Soak City water park is to be determined.

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