Holiday World versus Kings Island

cmingdayton's avatar

As a junior in high school, my parents and I are looking to do some college visits over the summer. One of the colleges I am interested in looking at is the University of Dayton. Since I live in Omaha, NE, the path to Dayton crosses Holiday World along the way. Additionally, Kings Island is only a 48 minute trip from UD's campus. I pleaded my GP parents that a visit to both these parks would be worth it, but it doesn't look like that is going to be the case. I am pretty sure it is going to be one or the other. At first, I lean toward Kings Island because of the coasters. Yet, although Holiday World lacks in quantity, by the sounds of it, the quality steals the show. I know my parents are Pro-waterpark, so that would definitely be something to enjoy at Holiday World. Even so, I like waterparks too and would be anxious to ride the two water coasters at Holiday World. It would be my first time at either of these parks, and I'm hoping you all can shed some light on the decision. As a coaster enthusiast living in Nebraska, this is a BIG DEAL. So, HW or KI? Thanks!


Cole Mingo

(AKA Barry Allen and Niles Crane amalgamated).

Cut 'em loose, Cole.

Really, you can't go wrong at either.

hambone's avatar

If I were a coaster enthusiast living in a coaster-deprived part of the world, I would be inclined to go for quantity (and variety), so I'd probably lean toward Kings Island. Caveat: was at HW last year, haven't been to KI in - longer than I care to think.

And I don't think you'll be sacrificing a lot of quality; you won't have the Voyage, but you'll have some really excellent rides if reports of the new woodie and the newish invert are to be believed. The Beast remains among my favorites and I assume the Racer is still at least moderately fun. (Neither of them, perhaps, running the way they were intended.) Plus a whole bunch of others.

On the waterpark side, tho, Holiday World's was really good - the two water coasters were probably my favorite rides in the park.

I would think, waterpark aside, KI is more of a full day (with longer lines). So consider your schedule and your 'rents' stamina.

Boesball's avatar

Holiday World's water park is world class, but Kings Island as a whole is just incredible. I have had so many great trips there, and their water park is pretty good too. Kings Island has a coaster lineup that flat out competes with Cedar Point, and I would go there.

El Toro #1, 100th coaster: Gatekeeper

slithernoggin's avatar

It's like saying, here are your two children, which one is your favorite? You can't go wrong at either park. (Well, Kings Island does offer the chance to enjoy Skyline Chili, which is sublime....)

I guess it depends on what factors are most important to you and your parents. More coasters, including Banshee and Beast? Kings Island. Fewer coasters, but across the board great coasters? Holiday World. Water park? Holiday World. Broad choice of rides, shows and attractions? Kings Island. Smaller, more intimate park experience? Holiday World.

Try this: take a piece of paper, make two columns. One for HW, one for KI. Take a look at their websites and write down what you would be most interested in at each park. Add in other factors, such as proximity to major expressways and hotels. The lists should help you clarify what would be your best choice.

Last edited by slithernoggin,

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

If your parents were not in tow then I would definitely say Kings Island for the reasons others have stated above.

Having said that, because you have your parents in tow I would lean more towards Holiday World. I think you get the best of both worlds that way, as you can take time to ride some coasters while your parents can enjoy a great waterpark. You can ride the two watercoasters at Splashin' Safari together with your parents, which is something you'll remember for years to come. If you wanted to step away and ride coasters during the middle of the day while they hang back at the waterpark then you can step away and feel better about doing that because they're in their element.

It sounds like you've got some good parents, parents that are willing to give to you so that you can enjoy a nice amusement park trip. Showing them consideration in making your decision will make them happy twice - both in their own personal enjoyment they'll have at Splashin' Safari and by you taking their needs into consideration during this process. Do not underestimate the family aspect of this trip.

If you end up at UD then you'll have Kings Island close by anyway. Enjoy your trip no matter which direction you go!


Cut out the college visit and do both parks


This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

Tommytheduck's avatar

How serious are you about attending U of Dayton?

I ask because if you end up going there, Google maps says it's a 43 minute drive to KI. (3.5 hrs to HW) You'll be able to go to KI as much as you please, while HW will be harder to get to. So if you think you will end up living in Dayton for 4 years, go to HW.

If you choose a college based on proximity to a park choose the U of Toledo--very close to Cedar Point.

This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

Both parks can be fun, but neither is my favorite overall.

If you like water parks, you can't go wrong with either. The park in Indiana has two water coasters and some amazing slides, while the park in Ohio has a surfing simulator.

But when it comes to coasters, the Ohio park probably wins. A good overall selection of steel and wood coasters, with a variety of thril levels. Beast is Awful based on the last time I rode it, but Racer isn't bad, and neither is their junior PTC. Mystic Timbers I thought was good, and I have a friend who rates it amongst their top coasters, OVER anything else in Ohio or Indiana.

Food is going to be expensive at both parks, and the quality probably slightly better in Ohio based on reviews I have read.

For the best value, if you parents allow, would be to get a Platinum Pass, and stop at Worlds of Fun along the way.

So overall, if you want to go to one of the best waterparks around, I'd recommend Holiday World. But if you want more rides and better layout, I'd suggest Kings Island.

Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

Welcome to Coasterbuzz, Skank Hunt42. I agree with you. If the waterpark is more of a priority, the choice is Holiday World. Otherwise, I would give the edge to Kings Island.

P.S. I think Kentucky Kingdom's feelings may have been hurt by this thread.

Coasterbuzz - Coaster enthusiasts, but so much more. We're the good ones.

cmingdayton's avatar

Thank you for all of these wonderful perspectives. It sounds like I cannot go wrong either way. I might let my sister decide, for she is going off to college in the fall and this might be our last trip as a family in awhile.

Cole Mingo

(AKA Barry Allen and Niles Crane amalgamated).

Dale K's avatar

For whats its worth, it depends if you want track records. If thats the case Kings island for sure but knowing that you are that close to Kings Island you can go there almost anytime. I will say one thing about the rating system that Jeff(and whoever may help on this site) has set-up surprised me. I actually did a trip to Holiday World because The Voyage was so highly rated for a wooden coaster on this web site. With sad regret it did take over The Beast for me as my favorite wood coaster.(DAMN YOU COASTERBUZZ!) but also thank you Jeff for however that voodoo system works. Holiday World also has my favorite wing coaster in Thunderbird.

LostKause's avatar

I haven't been to HW, yet. I plan to go sometime soon. I was going to tell you about how amazing Kings Island is. It's my favorite place in the world. I suppose I'm kind of a KI fanboy. The Beast is not just a roller coaster, it is an experience. Everyone ignores Diamondback, but it is powerful and fun. Banshee is the best invert I have ever rode. Racers is really fun for its size. Ect. Ect.

But then...

Gary Dowdell said:

...Do not underestimate the family aspect of this trip.

...And I realized that he is so right. You know your parents better than anyone here though. Gary's advice was really great, and I totally agree with him. Maybe you parents would prefer HW. If you're anything like me, if you keep their enjoyment in mind, you'll have more fun.

Parents get old. The older they get, the less they will be able to do things like this. Have fun.

cmingdayton's avatar

Holiday World is the winner. What sealed the deal is that Holiday World provides the atmosphere and appeals to the likes of everyone in the family. Also, if I go to UD, Kings Island is only 45 minutes away. Thanks again everyone!

Cole Mingo

(AKA Barry Allen and Niles Crane amalgamated).

LostKause's avatar

"So tell me, Mr. Mingo, why is it that you are interested in the University of Dayton?"

"Well, it's a fine school, but the biggest reason is that it is closest to Kings Island, and I haven't been to that amusement park yet."


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