Kings Island is a 364-acre amusement park located 24 miles northeast of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio, United States. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the park first opened in 1972 by the Taft Broadcasting Company. It was part of a larger effort to move and expand Coney Island, a popular resort destination along the banks of the Ohio River that was prone to frequent flooding. After more than $300 million in capital investments, the park features over 100 attractions including fourteen roller coasters and a 33-acre water park.
Early in its history, Kings Island appeared in popular sitcoms and received widespread recognition for its record-breaking attractions and events. One of the park’s most well-known attractions, The Racer, is often credited with reviving worldwide interest in roller coasters during the 1970s. Others, such as The Beast and Banshee, have set several world records, some of which remain standing. The largest investment in park history is Orion, a giga coaster that opened in 2020. The park has also suffered through times of negative publicity, particularly surrounding the early demise of roller coasters The Bat and Son of Beast.
Kings Island is divided into several themed sections and operates seasonally from early spring through the fall, partially reopening for Winterfest during the holiday season. In 2019, Kings Island had an estimated 3.52 million guests, ranking second in attendance among seasonal amusement parks in the US and third overall in North America, behind Canada’s Wonderland and Cedar Point. In addition, Kings Island has won Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today for having the “Best Kids’ Area” in the world for eighteen consecutive years (2001–2018) as well as “Best New Ride” in 2017 for Mystic Timbers.