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15 or under? You're going to need a chaperone at Kings Island

Not to be printed or reused in any way without the consent of Ronald M. Salerno. ronnysalerno@gmail.com,
Ronny Salerno
Two children play a game on the midway in 2020.

Kings Island is implementing a chaperone policy for kids and teens ages 15 and under.

Starting Saturday, April 22, anyone 15 years old or younger will have to be accompanied by someone who is 21 or older to get into the park, or stay in the park after 4 p.m.

"Over the past two years, there have been increasing incidents of unruly and inappropriate behavior across our industry and at other major entertainment venues," the amusement park says in a statement.

You can read the full Code of Conduct here.

"The new chaperone policy is being put into place to help ensure that our guests that visit Kings Island have a fun and enjoyable experience, that they're able to make memories with the people who are closest to them, and that they leave our park happy," park Director of Communications Chad Showalter told WVXU.

The park made the announcement on social media Thursday.

One chaperone may be responsible for up to 10 people. The rules state the chaperone has to show a valid government-issued photo ID (with birth date), stay inside the park the whole time, and be available by phone the entire time.

Anyone found unaccompanied "will be subject to ejection."

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The park says the rule applies to all ticket and season pass holders.

"We believe these changes will help ensure that Kings Island continues to have a positive atmosphere where generations of families and friends can gather for a day of safe fun and good food," the statement concludes.

Kings Island has seen a number of incidents of violence over the last few years. Already this season, a teenager was arrested during the park's opening weekend for having a stolen gun and bullets.

RELATED: Kings Island is adding a new theme area

Within an hour of posting the announcement on Facebook, it had amassed more than 400 comments. Many people were responding positively to the change, though some had questions about specifics.

Some also suggested the policy didn't go far enough, noting many of the problems seem to stem from older teens who won't be covered under the change.

The park is part of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company which also operates Cedar Point. WVXU reached out to Cedar Point to see if it, too, is implementing a similar policy.

"There are no current plans to introduce a chaperone policy at Cedar Point," says Director of Communications Tony Clark. "However, we will continue to evaluate our park safety policies and make modifications based on the needs and behaviors we are seeing."

Updated: April 20, 2023 at 3:48 PM EDT
This story has been updated with comment from Cedar Point.
Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.