Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (8/19/16) Kings Island has also announced that in 2017 their Soak City waterpark will see the addition of a new smokehouse style restaurant as well as an assortment of other new amenities and improvements. The new restaurant will serve pulled pork, smoked or grilled wings, hand-breaded chicken tenders and shrimp and much more. This actually sounds quite a bit like the awesome new Harbor House restaurant they added this summer to the waterpark at Carowinds and if so, Soak City guests are in for a treat.
(8/18/16) Kings Island has confirmed that after 12 long years WinterFest will return in late 2017.
The focal point of WinterFest will be the world’s largest Christmas tree display with the park’s iconic 314-foot tall Eiffel Tower decorated with thousands of lights which will be seen for miles.
Below the Eiffel Tower, International Street will be transformed into a colorful and quaint winter village, featuring the fun of holidays past – outdoor ice skating on the park’s Royal Fountain, Christmas carolers, and homemade crafts. Tasty foods, colorful gifts, live stage shows, fun rides, and of course, Santa’s workshop will all be part of WinterFest’s warmth and excitement.
Rides will include the Grand Carousel and a journey through the park’s Rivertown area on an authentic steam train.
Operating dates, hours and ticket prices for WinterFest will be announced at a later date. The event will be included free for 2017 Gold and Platinum season passholders.
(8/15/16) Kings Island has confirmed that this past weekend was your last chance to ride White Water Canyon this season. The rapids ride is now being closed for the rest of the season to allow for the construction of Mystic Timbers.
(7/14/16) I'm not sure if these are hints for Winterfest or a Christmas In July promotion, but Kings Island has posted several winter themed teaser images to their Instagram page lately like this one and this one.
(7/7/16) Is the return of Winterfest planned for Kings Island? Last week we heard rumors of it being discussed by management at Carowinds, and now we're hearing that some initial discovery and early tech work is underway at Kings Island for a possible return of the winter event in 2017.
There is also talk of some kind of Christmas in July special event expected to take place later this month. I'm not sure if they would use such an event to make an announcement for a Winter 2017 event, but they could take advantage of it to take some guest surveys and marketing studies I suppose.
(4/13/16) According to a message sent in to Screamscape, a fence has been put up at Kings Island around the old area that served as the entrance and exit to the rapids ride, as well as the old Funnel Cake stand. This isn't surprising as the park announced on twiter that a new entrance to the rapids ride was coming this season, and looked to be placed near Diamondback's first drop, while a new Funnel Cake shop is also under construction in Rivertown. So the question is... what will be going into the old site?
Well, time to discuss another popular rumor quietly making the rounds about the park's old flume ride, placed right next to our new walled off area. A few people have sent in word that this may be the log ride's last season, and if you link up that space with the old rapids entrance/exit and queue area, this is quickly looking to become a rather sizable location for something new to be added next year.
(2/2/16) Kings Island tweeted on Monday that they were building a new entrance for the park's White Water Canyon rapids ride this year, possibly close to the first drop of Diamondback. They are also building a new Funnel Cake shop in Rivertown next to the Antique Photo building, which appears to be in the same general area as where the new ride's entrance will go.
Since the old entrance and old Funnel Cake building are both in the same area, on the other side of the train depot from here, it would seem that the park may be coming up with some kind of future use for this site, and maybe even some of the wooded area behind here. Just something to keep your eyes on this season.
2016 - Tropical Plunge - (8/20/15) Kings Island has announced their expansion plans for 2016... a little something called Tropical Plunge that will add a new seven-story tall, six-slide attraction tower. This looks to be similar to what we've seen added to other Cedar Fair parks in the past couple of years, including Kings Dominion last year, and Carowinds is rumored to get the same in 2016 as well. Three of the slides will be new body-slides that will start off your ride inside a drop-pod, where you wait for a trap-door to open under your feet. The other three slides will be tube slides, including one that will feature several high-g spiraling drops. Kings Island will also open a new bigger parking lot entrance on the north side of the parking lot with 13 entrance lanes. This new entrance will replace the current North and South toll plazas.
2017 - Mystic Timbers - (8/17/16) New construction photos from the Mystic Timbers site at Kings Island have been posted to Coaster101. Tree being cleared, wood arriving and starting to be worked on and tons of new footers being poured.
Kings Island announced their new 2017 wooden coaster a few hours ago from GCI (Great Coasters International) to be called Mystic Timbers. The ride will be themed to an old lumber company which has been overrun by a magical overgrowth of plants and vines. The coaster will be 109 feet tall, have a 97 foot first drop, 3,265 feet of track, and hit speeds of up to 53mph along the course that will cross over itself, run down ravines, over water (and the park's rapids ride), through a dense forested area and end with a strange encounter as the train enters the darkness of The Shed. #WhatsInTheShed ? That is one secret the park is keeping to themselves until next spring.
If I had to guess however, my first bet would be on there being some kind of special effects room followed by a free-fall drop track inside the back-half of the shed, not unlike Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Thirteen at Alton Towers, though this would be a first for a wooden coaster. The odd thing however is that there is a 360-view of The Shed on the official website's video page, and it shows that The Shed is an L-Shaped structure, where there doesn't appear to be room for the train to make the turn and exit the shed properly to return to the station. I'm sure we're not seeing the entire picture here of course, but it does create a very interesting mystery.
In addition to The Shed, Mystic Timbers will feature a tunnel at the mid-point of the ride, 16 air-time hills and feature three GCI Millennium Flyer trains (24 passengers each) featuring a themed front car that kinda looks like an old blue truck. Mystic Timbers will also have a 48" height limit.
Oh, and as for that SplinterCat thing... as that doesn't look like it would fit at all with the theme of the ride, I'm guessing Don Helbig threw that out into the internet this morning as a red herring to throw everyone off the scent. (Well played Don... well played...)
Though I have to admit, I really like the idea of the SplinterCat theme for a wooden coaster... it just sounds like a more thrilling name or theme than "Mystic Timbers". Or at least it sounds like something that might sell a few more t-shirts by comparison.
(7/28/16) Kings Island’s Don Helbig posted a rather interesting photo on his Twitter yesterday of crazy Klingon version of a mountain lion style creature. According to the comments that followed this is likely something from logging folklore called a “SplinterCat”, described by one as “a nocturnal feline that runs at great speed and knocks down trees.” I’m guessing it knocks them down with that hard armored head it has… and doesn’t this sound like a great name for a wooden coaster that runs wild through the woods? We'll find out soon enough as the big announcement is tonight.
(7/20/16) Kings Island has posted a message on Instagram that said, "What's lurking in the woods? Major announcement Thursday, July 28 at 10:00pm". So the question is, is this a teaser for the new coaster coming in 2017, or is this really about this year's Halloween Haunt? While the announcement is a little early for the 2017 project, as those usually don't come until August or September, but they did follow up with a comment that said, "The wait is also over! #KIProject2017".
(7/7/16) Kings Island has been teasing on social media by showing off images of trees being cut down along the new pathway for the rapids ride over the past week to generate interest in their 2017 coaster project. While we've been sure since the plans leaked that it would be a wooden coaster of some kind, no one has been 100% sure on who was building it. Though a reader spotted something a few hours ago that would seem to lock it down, as they spotted a truck pulling a work trailer into the backlot area of the park that had the initials "G.C.I." on it. Sure sounds like this will be a GCI coaster project then if true, and honestly based on the plans leaked, it really didn't look like an RMC anyway.
(6/22/16) I've heard from several readers out there who agree that the last image sent in by a reader has scaled the ride as being far too large for numerous reasons, including it being mentioned that the layout has the coaster running right over the turntable of the rapids ride as well which isn't going to happen. So with that in mind I've removed that image and have settled on my own images as being the most likely layout we will see until we hear otherwise.
(6/17/16) A reader sent in another image showing off the placement of the 2017 coaster for Kings Island. According to their version of the layout, it looks like I was close with mine, but they've scaled out the coaster to be much bigger, extending off into the woods past Diamondback.
(6/10/16) In The Loop has posted a new construction video from Kings Island where they try to find out more about what's going on with those "Falling Trees" teaser signs for 2017, which you can watch below.
However I've got something even better, as a reader sent in an image of a coaster layout labeled as the "Kings Island 2017 Project" that was apparently submitted to the local Mason planning board, dated June 1st. While it is just the layout drawing, it does look more like a wooden coaster than a steel one.
I tried to place the layout over an aerial image of the park and came up with a couple of possible placement concepts. The first one seems to match up well with the land that might be cleared across from the train station and makes sense why they would have to move the entrance to the rapids ride, and even fits in with what looks like a bridge structure over the small pond/lake area in the woods near the rapids. But it doesn't seem to affect the rumored removal of the flume ride. My second possible layout tried to see how the layout would look if placed over the flume ride area, but it would require the new coaster to go over or under Dimondback twice, which I don't think they would want to do in that location. In any case, just something for everyone to think about.
Please keep in mind that these two images are entirely guess-work on my part, and the scale and size of the coaster could be way off, and there is no way to know exactly how to scale it or orient it at this point. I was just having some fun trying to visualize what it could look like with Photoshop.
(5/4/16) Our friends at Mako Madness went on the road this week, stopping at Kings Island to check on the new 2017 construction site in their latest park video. Peeking through a crack in the fence, you can see that land clearing has begun on the other side of it, They also took a quick moment to take a look at the new waterslide tower (Tropical Plunge) under construction in the waterpark as well, which looks ready to go.
(4/16/16) An interesting new piece of decoration was placed on the new construction wall at Kings Island, according to a picture posted to Twitter warning, "Caution: Watch for Falling Trees". A hint of the theme to come?
(4/1/16) While a coaster is still said to be the plan, others tell us that the park has previously stated they were not interested in rebuilding their main gate area, so the next new coaster project may go elsewhere in the park.