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Kings Island Opens 49th Season With New Giga Coaster, Safety Rules

Kings Island is opening for its 49th season with a brand new giga coaster, Orion, and a slew of new safety precautions as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Reservations are required, as are face coverings and pre-entry temperature and health screenings for visitors and staff.

"Face coverings are required at the park for anyone that's over the age of two," says Chad Showalter, director of communications. "We will have ambassadors walking around to help remind our guests and also to tell them where the closest relax zone is. We want to make sure that that policy is followed by all of our guests."

Face coverings are required everywhere except in marked "relax" zones, while eating or drinking, or on water rides. So that means, yes, they are required on rides like the new Orion roller coaster that reaches speeds of 91 mph.

Riders in face coverings get an early ride on Orion before the park opens to passholders July 2.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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WVXU
Riders in face coverings get an early ride on Orion before the park opens to passholders July 2.

"I've ridden that more than a dozen times and my mask hasn't come off," Showalter states. "I'm confident that riding rides with a face covering on is going to be possible and we're not going to have that many face masks that are lost."

Masks are for sale throughout the park just in case, and Showalter says it's a good idea to bring several per person in case yours gets dirty or wet.

Rides, games and other public areas will be sanitized routinely throughout the day followed by a deep cleaning each evening, he says.

A park employee disinfected the table followed by the sides, backs and arms of each chair.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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WVXU
A park employee disinfected the table followed by the sides, backs and arms of each chair.

Social distancing markers have been added to queuing areas and alternating sections of dining spaces and rides are marked off to allow for proper distancing. Restaurants and shops have one-way entrances and exits marked with signs.

Anywhere people are likely to queue in line, like this restaurant on the Coney Mall, now features social distancing markers.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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WVXU
Anywhere people are likely to queue in line, like this restaurant on the Coney Mall, now features social distancing markers.

More than 600 hand sanitizing stations are placed throughout the park.

"You'll see them in the midways, at our games, in our merchandise stores, at our food and beverage locations, at our ride entrances and exits," Showalter says. "Really anywhere that you are, you're not going to be far from a hand sanitizing station."

Park visitors try out the new hand sanitizing stations stationed around Kings Island.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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WVXU
Park visitors try out the new hand sanitizing stations stationed around Kings Island.

Guests must make reservations online and fill out a yes/no health screening form 24 hours in advance of a scheduled visit. The park opens to passholders July 2 and the general public on July 12. Prior to entering, visitors will pass through a temperature screening area. Here is a video explaining some changes guests can expect. 

Click on the image at the top of the page to see additional photos.

https://youtu.be/50WpdSmqb1Q

Copyright 2021 91.7 WVXU. To see more, visit 91.7 WVXU.

Kings Islands' 49th season brings new rules because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
/
WVXU
Kings Islands' 49th season brings new rules because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Visitors line up to go through a temperature screening prior to entering the park.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
/
WVXU
Visitors line up to go through a temperature screening prior to entering the park.
Visitors must pass through a temperature screening area before entering the park.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
/
WVXU
Visitors must pass through a temperature screening area before entering the park.
New reminders are displayed in restrooms and there are more than 600 hand sanitizing stations throughout the park, according to officials.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
/
WVXU
New reminders are displayed in restrooms and there are more than 600 hand sanitizing stations throughout the park, according to officials.
The park invited a few guests to get an early look at Orion and the new safety measures like social distance markers in ride lines, July 1, 2020.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
/
WVXU
The park invited a few guests to get an early look at Orion and the new safety measures like social distance markers in ride lines, July 1, 2020.
Guests use cards to pay for games while the staff member stands behind a plastic sheild. The games will be wiped down after each guest, the park says.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
/
WVXU
Guests use cards to pay for games while the staff member stands behind a plastic sheild. The games will be wiped down after each guest, the park says.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.