Earlier this month, King’s Island was so kind to treat us to a day at the park. I am a huuuuge roller coaster fanatic. If I didn’t have kids, I feel like I would be one of those coaster enthusiasts who travels in search of the newest and greatest rides. Geek alert!!
The kids and I hopped in to my husband’s minivan with him and we picked up my parents. I cannot recommend this strategy highly enough if you have small children, not only because of the fun family memories you’ll make, but also you can reconfigure your entourage a number of different ways so taller riders get on some real thrill rides. Side note: the fact that my man is the proud driver of a Honda Odyssey gives him major dad cred.
On this particular outing, one of our goals was to quantify how much walking we would do on a day at King’s Island. I think every time our family visits an amusement park, we contemplate “I wonder how much we walked?” and we go back and forth if it counted as exercise. This time, with my mom’s Fitbit and my Apple Watch, we went in search of an answer. But also, rides, snacks, and more rides.
We got a late start so everyone could accomplish their morning tasks back home, and pulled up to the park early afternoon. It had been a rainy morning, and drops were falling all the way up until the moment we parked. Like magic, it cleared right up and we had a dry comfortable day!
Our little navigators led the way! We hopped on a few classic rides first. We had forgotten now fun the Monster is (way less spinn-y than it looks) and The Racer, which in honestly one of the best in the park. Don’t skip the old wooden coasters!
We were lucky to catch the Ultimate Stunt Show next, which I am sorry to tell you ended Aug. 20th, but I hope for your sake it will return next year. Until then, how is this for fitness inspiration!…
Next time you take a yoga class, channel HER! Right?! So awesome. Unfortunately, my son walked away with a dream of being someday shot from a cannon. Noooo…
Just off the fountain in the center of the park, we made a right for Planet Snoopy where the kids’ rides are located. If you haven’t visited in a long time, it’s not the kiddie rides of the past. Sure, there are a few with vehicles circling one another beneath a giant umbrella. But mostly, they have clever, inspired, imaginative ride experiences for younger guests. The line for Whirleybirds makes me nuts (SO slow) but the kids were thrilled to pedal around above the park. My son demanded my mom and I share one, so we were in the only car occupied by only adults. The cars have pedals (which do absolutely nothing) but we got a little silly and made it into a spinning class.
Remember Beastie? It has been renamed a bunch of times by King’s Island, but not by me. I am a stick in the mud who will always call it Beastie. (But if you’re looking for it, seek out Woodstock Express.) We were all thrilled that all 6 of us could ride a real coaster with great hills and excitement, even the 4-year-old, and we probably went on 10 times total.
In pursuit of world-class rides, plenty of things for the 6 and under set, and steps for our step counters, we continued exploring the park. My husband and I NEEDED to ride the new wooden coaster Mystic Timbers. The line theatrics were good, the ride was fast, wild, and exciting. They build up to “what’s in the shed” so much that the whole ride you are anticipating what’s awaiting you at the end. You know what’s in the shed? Disappointment. But the ride itself was seriously awesome. So was Vortex, which I cannot recommend highly enough for high hills, a smooth ride, and fast speeds.
What’s a day at King’s Island without snacks? I remembered getting blue ice cream at KI when I was a kid, but I couldn’t remember for the life of me what it tasted like. I had to get some. Duh. Turns out it tastes like vanilla, but way prettier than any other vanilla swirl you’ve had and they pile it high. Get it now for $1 during Dollar Days. They have gobs of snacks for just a buck. I would not say there was a huge selection of nourishing menu selections, but life is all about balance, right? The happiness that comes from indulging in a sweet treat every so often nourishes your mental health after all.
Overall, the park was nicely manicured and filled with so much fun that we all got in more steps on our active recovery day than we would have ordinarily. The attractions are condensed into a small enough area that you aren’t constantly running all over, but spacious enough that you have elbow room.
Even though we got there around 1 and only stayed until 7pm closing, we were surprised and impressed with ourselves how many steps we took! My mom and I both racked up 15k! It’s so important to give your body days like this. Dr. Goodman is about to get all scientific! Even if you cross train, divide up which days you lift which muscles, stretch, get massages, or anything else, (which is all stuff you should do) your body needs rest. Healthy rest doesn’t mean all Netflix and naps. It means light, steady activity that delivers nutrient rich blood to muscle tissue and promotes healthy recovery as muscle fibers are repaired. Resistance training actually creates microtrauma to the muscle tissue; it’s the nutrition and active rest you give those muscles the next 48 hours when cells form new myofibrils and therefore become stronger.
If you’re looking for a more active way to take in the park, check out the race they have coming up. You know I am not a big runner, but with King’s Island as a setting, I could see this being tons of fun. And if you take your kids, I wish you this much luck on the drive home: