Know When to Walk Away

November 03, 2016 | 3 Minute Read

Kenny Rogers's song said it well. When you visit the park it's a gamble. If you only visit on holidays or Saturdays during peak season, the odds are stacked against you. I like to go when the crowds are light. Those days are the best!

If you love crowds and are a people-watcher, maybe those super-crowded days are great for you. The point is to use your intellect when you choose to visit the park. There are ways to know if the park will be crowded. Sometimes, when the day is blazing hot and you see the parking lot is filled, it is better to drive on by and try another day. I want you to recognize, that you don’t have to go in.

When scheduling a visit, I have an advantage, I live ten minutes from the Kings Island parking lot. I potentially can be in the park and on a ride within thirty minutes of getting the whim. As I mentioned in About the Author, the days that I became inspired to write this book were July 4th & 5th, 2016. On July 4th, Independence Day, this particular year, my family was not traveling. We were enjoying a quiet day working on projects around the house. I pulled up the park’s webcam and discovered that the park was nearly empty! I went there at lunchtime and found a cool, overcast day at the park. The ground was slightly damp from morning rain. There was hardly a soul in the park! It was amazing!

Using the webcam is a great tool for checking current conditions. The park changes the view occasionally. At the time of this writing, you can zoom in to see the lines on: Banshee, Diamondback and the Backlot Stunt Coaster. These, and the open areas near them, serve as my online barometer for how heavy the crowds are in the park. If you’re close enough, you don’t need much planning.

On the other hand, there was a time I had a plan to spend the afternoon at the park. I arrived at the parking lot and realized that every person in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky had the same idea. The parking lot was filled. We bailed, drove through the lot and right out the exit. Then took the kids out for ice cream at a very peaceful McDonald’s. I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but I don’t like crowds.

If you don’t live close, you have to be a little more strategic about the day you plan to visit the park. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, I do not typically go to the park on weekends. The exception is if there is a nice big thunderstorm in the middle of the day. This can wash away heavy numbers in the park and can leave a clean, sparkling park with light crowds in the evening. A friend of mine, Glenn, recommends Sunday mornings as a favorite time to visit. The park’s crowd picks up pretty quickly after lunchtime, but by then you’ve hit all the favorite rides and can leave whenever you want.

Nearly any day is good before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. But within the main season, it is the weekdays that you want visit for the lightest crowds.

This is what I call ideal!

Empty Parking Lot
Empty Festhaus Restaurant

>> What are your favorite times to visit?

Photo credit: Gamblers public domain