Kings Island: Opening Day 2013 Trip Report

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Today was opening day at Kings Island.  After months of waiting, it’s always exciting to finally get to visit the park and kick off the new season.  Opening day can bring heavy crowds and sometimes there can be a few hiccups as the staff gets things up to speed.  But even with a few downsides, opening day is not to be missed.

Usually, we try to get to the park early in order to avoid the opening day crowds.  But today, Josie had a soccer game that conflicted with that plan.  So instead, the girls and I headed out after the game.  Our first “opening day snafu” happened before we even got to the park.  We got stuck in traffic for an hour. 

The girls were already tired from the soccer game.  Josie from playing (her team won and she scored a goal.)  Kara from playing with a friend.  Kara fell asleep in the car which worked out pretty well.  She needed a nap and an hour in traffic was just about the right time frame.  I handed Josie my phone to entertain her while we sat.

When we arrived, the lot was full.  I knew immediately that we would be facing long lines.  But it was a beautiful day and it was great to be in the park again.  Since I had both of the girls, we headed to Planet Snoopy.  Josie didn’t want to ride anything by herself.  So we could only do things Kara was able to do with us.

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Our first stop was meant to be the carousel, but Kara had to take a potty break.  So instead, we went got that out of the way.  Then we rode Sally’s Sea Plane which is right next door.

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As you can see, the girls were excited for their first ride.  Josie was also excited to be carrying the park map.  That is what she is holding up for the picture.

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From there, we made our way back to the carousel.  I was trying to stick with rides that wouldn’t have long lines in spite of the opening day crowds.  So no Woodstock’s Whirlibirds.

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The carousel is exactly Kara’s speed.  We had to ride it a couple of times.  She is quite proud to be able to ride by herself even though technically I have to stand next to her.  There is no seat belt on this carousel so the height restriction to ride unassisted is ridiculously high.  On the upside, it plays the Peanuts theme which is awesome.

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With a couple of rides under our belts, the girls were ready for a snack.  Josie wanted ice cream.  So they got blueberry-vanilla twists in waffle cones.  It was the biggest ice cream Kara had ever had in her life.  Possibly Josie too.  The girls enjoyed their snack immensely.

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Afterwards, we headed to Snoopy’s Junction.  There are a few rides in this part of the park that Kara can ride.  We attempted to ride them all and had a minor snafu at every one.  We never did board the trains on Snoopy’s Junction.  After waiting in line for a while, Kara announced she needed another potty break.  So we changed course again.

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By the time returned, the line to ride the train had gotten longer.  The girls decided they didn’t want to wait in line again.  So instead, we went to the Offroad Rally.

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We got there just as they started a ride cycle which made the girls first in line for the next ride.  They were excited to get to pick their vehicle.  Kara knew right away she wanted to ride in the pink jeep.  A little ways down the line, I heard anothe dad telling his daughters that they would have to pick another car because we were taking the pink one.  So I offered to let them sit in the back.

The girls were loaded up and we waited for the ride to start.  The pre-ride audio started, things started to turn and then… nothing.  The cars didn’t move.  The ride operator tried again.  The results were the same.  The ride operator announced she would try one more time and if the ride didn’t work we would have to exit.  Sure enough, she could not start the ride.

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With the Offroad Rally down, the line for Snoopy’s Junction grew even longer.  So we walked to Linus’ Beetlebugs which had a relatively short wait.  When we were loading for this ride, we experienced another minor hiccup.  The ride operator allowed too many people into the ride.  Some kids ran in front of us and took the girls’ seat.  We had to go back and wait in line for another cycle.  Not a big deal, but irritating nonetheless.  That tends to happen early in the season as ride operators are learning how to control the flow of kids.

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As we were waiting in line, there was an announcement that the new Peanuts show was getting ready to start.  We missed the first half of the show due to having to wait in line for another ride cycle.  But we went grabbed a seat anyway.

The show is basically the same every year.  Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus sing and dance with a host character.  The songs and theme change annually.  This year the show has a jungle theme and includes a greatly altered version of “Welcome to the Jungle”.

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After the show, Kara wanted to get her face painted.  Well, technically she had wanted to get her face painted from the moment we entered Planet Snoopy.  But the line had been very long.  I knew there was a smaller face painting station in Rivertown.  I thought it would make sense to head over there.  One, the lines might be shorter outside of the kid’s area.  And two, it would allow me to get a quick look at the new Reds Hall of Fame Grille.

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From what I could see through the windows, the new restaurant and bar looked great.  But the girls didn’t have the patience for a sit down restaurant.  So I will have to check it out another time.

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My hunch about the line for facepainting in Rivertown was correct.  We had no wait at all.  Josie helped Kara pick a design.

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The girl who did the facepainting did a good job.  Although she did pull a bit of a fast one.  She asked Kara if she wanted to get glitter for an upcharge without asking me.  I usually make a point of telling them we don’t want the glitter upcharge right up front to avoid this.  But my KI skills were a little rusty so I got stuck paying a couple extra bucks for Kara’s face paint.

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She was quite please with the results, so I guess it was worth it.

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Josie decided to get a glitter tattoo instead of face paint. 

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Here they are showing off their purchases.  (For the record, Kara picked her own outfit today.)  Josie has a little purple paw print.  It’s hard to make out in the picture, but Josie was pretty happy with it.

Typically, we end the day with a trip up the Eiffel Tower.  But the line was prohibitively long.  The girls were tired, so we decided to call it a day.  In spite of a few bumps in the road, we had a great time.  I plan to take Josie up by herself some time soon so she can ride some of her favorite rides she can’t ride when her little sister tags along.  We’re all looking forward to a fun-filled new season.

More Kings Island

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Posted on April 27, 2013, in King's Island, theme parks and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Great pictures, great writeup but most of all, great times. I’m glad you are enjoying these moments because they go by all too fast!

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    • I look forward to the girls getting older so we can move on from Planet Snoopy. But when that happens, I know I’ll look back and miss the days when getting an ice cream cone and riding the merry go round over and over again was something special.

      My hope is that when the kids are older they will remember having fun with Dad every summer at Kings Island. I doubt they will remember specifics. Just that we always had fun regardless of long lines, weather or whatever else might go wrong.

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  2. It sounds like you, and by extension your girls, roll with the punches reasonably well.
    Any theme park trip will involve some hiccups, but if you’ve decided internally to have a good time no matter what, little inconveniences don’t have to become day-ruining catastrophes.

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    • It’s pretty easy to do when you live 20 minutes away and have passes that are good for 1/2 the year. Even if everything goes wrong, you just call it a day and come back later.

      The girls have pretty low expectations. All Kara wanted was her face painted and to not ride certain things she doesn’t like. Josie mostly wanted ice cream. She knew since Kara came along and Mindy didn’t that we would have to skip a lot of her favorite rides.

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  3. daffystardust

    I’m sure you must have seen this, but I just had to share!

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    • Great stuff.

      Took the kids this weekend along with Mindy’s niece. It was a bit of a good bye celebration for Mindy’s niece who was going away to school the next day. Great day as always. Exhausting and expensive, but fun all the same.

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  4. This is funny – one whole year later, I was unable to sleep last night and so took the trusty iPod (that my son no longer uses because he has an iPhone) off the nightstand, and started surfing at 3 am in the morning. The menus come up different on the mobile device than the desktop, which led to rediscovering the Kings Island posts. Have you guys checked out the Kings’ Island lazy river yet? The experience differs depending on the river. When the kids were little, a 2’6″ deep river that took a few minutes to go around, was perfect. At the MGM in Vegas, it was a much longer river, faster current and 3’6″.

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    • We have done the lazy river. I think it was last summer, but I could be wrong. Kings Island changed their “lazy river” into an “action river” which means it has areas where you get splashed. The girls weren’t overly impressed. Traditionally, the girls haven’t been much for water parks. But I think they are growing into them. Maybe they will like it better this year.

      The best lazy river attraction I have ever experienced is at Acquatica in Orlando. The park is owned and operated by Sea World. They have a river with sections that propel you forward in strong currents. If you just float, you will pick up speed. If you put any effort whatsoever into swimming, you will feel like an Olympic gold medalist. Josie loved it when she was little.

      We’re thinking about going to Kings Island’s waterpark this Friday. They will be showing Frozen on a screen over the wave pool. But supposedly, it may storm. So we haven’t told the kids about it yet. We’re going to have to wait and see if the weather cooperates. They are showing a movie every Friday night for the next 6 weeks or so. On the 4th, they are showing Jaws which I would personally love to see from the comfort of the wave pool.

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