Kings Island (almost) and Wyandot Lake (June 21, 2005)

Associated parks:

We reached Kings Mills, Ohio around 10pm on Monday, June 20 after a day at Indiana Beach and the drive from Monticello Indiana and checked into the Kings Island Hotel and Conference Center. Check in did not go very smoothly. The price quoted us over the phone was not the price quoted to us at the desk. There was a discount for AAA members, but ONLY if you made reservations through the reservation system over the phone and not for those checking in with no reservations at the front desk. Granted, it was a small discount, but it is the principle of the thing… especially since the woman on the phone who quoted the discount when we called ahead to see if they had availability made no mention of this “prior reservations required.” We asked “if we go out to our car, call your hotel on the cell phone, make a reservation and then come walk in here to check in, would we get the discount.” The girl at the desk said yes… because that is considered a “reservation”.

It was late, we had a long day, we decided that getting to bed was more important than a few bucks off, so we didn’t argue this point anymore… we just checked in.

While the hotel did not seem that full, we were placed in the building most distant to the lobby… the one along the highway where some empty tractor trailers and construction equipment was placed. Since we had not eaten much that day, we saw they had a little restaurant (“The Pizzaria”) near the pool that was open to midnight. We stopped in and ordered something. Even though it was still about an hour until closing, the people working there gave off the air that we were really an inconvenience to them. After a 25 minute wait, we got our over priced sandwiches and went back to our room.

There was just an air about this place that neither Michele or I could put our finger on. Like Michele said, they are the closest hotel to Kings Island and they know it…. and instantly a Monty Python quote came to my head… “We are not only proud of that fact, we are down right smug about it.”

We decided to give their complimentary shuttle to Kings Island a try. This leaves on the half hour, starting an hour before the park opens. Problem is, at 9am there were enough people to fill two busses. They filled one, it left. And it didn’t come back… at least not until its appointed time. Would have made more sense to go to Kings Island, unload, come back and pick up a new load. But evidently, it went to Kinds Island, unloaded, waited for 15 minutes, just incase anyone would be coming back to the Hotel (even though it was 9:15 am and only one load of people had been dropped off) and then returned. By this time there were enough people to fill three busses. But they kept to their schedule. You could have walked to the front gate quicker than taking this bus.

We also stopped by the front desk before this to inquire about tickets to the park. I am so glad that we gave them this opportunity to ignore us. We decided to buy our tickets at the gate. By now there was very large crowd waiting for the shuttle bus. PARAGRAPH We had enough. We decided to cut our losses. We checked out.I had enough for that day. Kings Island would just have to wait. I was kicking around a trip to Kentucky Kingdom, Beach Bend and Indiana Beach next year… it will be nothing to add Kings Island to this. One thing though… we WILL NOT be staying at the Kings Island Hotel and Conference Center!

We were not a day ahead of schedule, but we decided to head north anyway. The next day we had planned to hit the light houses along the southern shore of Lake Erie, so we decided to get a head start. By 11:00 am we were leaving Kings Mill.

A pit stop on the way to Lake Erie was Wyandot Lake.

We arrived a little after noon and paid our $3 parking fee. Pulling up to this tiny little park, Michele said, since there was not much there, she would stay in the car and read. So off I went. I handed my Six Flags season pass to the kid at the entrance and he let me right in. He asked. “Six Flags America… that’s by DC, right?” He was pleasant enough. Anyway, I looked at the little map and saw where the station to Sea Dragon was located and that is where I headed two.

What an interesting little coaster this is. Big old break lever, bench seat, Fun for its size. Rode it twice… back to the car with in 20 minutes.

Would I go out of my way to visit here just for this coaster? Not really… but since it was right on the way, not stopping was out of the question, especially with the SF pass. From what I saw, this is mainly a water park… and a good little park for the local area. Its employees were the friendliest SF employees I have encountered… and it looked clean and well maintained. A pleasant little surprise.

Oh well… the abandoned Kings Island visit had kind of messed with our travel plans earlier that day, but now that we were leaving Wyandot Lake and headed toward Port Clinton Ohio and its light house, we felt like we were back on track. Later that afternoon however, the travel itinerary would be thrown for possibly an even bigger loop than the Kings Island incident….

(Wow… my first “cliff hanger” in a TR)

*** Edited 6/28/2005 6:44:30 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
We asked “if we go out to our car, call your hotel on the cell phone, make a reservation and then come walk in here to check in, would we get the discount.” The girl at the desk said yes… because that is considered a “reservation”.

LOL! You got to be kidding me! That reminds me of the movie "Tommy Boy" with Chris Farley. "I have a flight coming back from Chicago, will that help?" (Those who have seen the movie know what I am talking

I have no comments on that hotel since I have never stayed there myself, but it sucks that you guys had a bad experience. Well, it always feels GREAT when you PAY for customer service reps to treat you like crap doesn't it? ;-)

The waterpark at Wyandot is definitely the main attraction. Otherwise it's a nice "on the way" park.

I found the Columbus Zoo next door to be more exciting. :-) Still, Wyandot is worth the visit. If I were a local I would visit the waterpark often.


*** Edited 6/28/2005 7:11:27 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Wow, you guys sure must not mind driving. Going straight from IB to Wyandot Lake would have cut out about 7 hours of driving time.

Driving can sometimes be the worst thing during my trips. My wife gets bored.

I've been to PKI about 50 times since about '79. I love that park. They should obviously build an Intamin hyper, but other than that I think its great. Bummer you had a bad time at their stupid motel.

I've been to Wyandot Lake 2 times. I had a great time. I do greatly enjoy the water parks though. I hate the crowds and lines that come with them on the hot days. The little Sea Dragon is fun, but was closed last year when I went which I became quite whompy about since I took my kids and I knew how much they would have loved that coaster.

*** Edited 6/30/2005 3:06:56 AM UTC by Wabash Cannonball***

My band "The Cedar Kings". "Ordinary Day" a trip report in song.

Just so you don't confuse the hotel with the operations at Kings Island.

The hotel and conference center are NOT owned by PKI or opersted by them. It was before Paramount but not now.

Just saying if you skipped PKI because of the Hotels actions it wasn't fair to PKI.

Sorry you had a bad time at the hotel, Your not the first I've heard a bad review from.


I'm saying we skipped PKI because we had enough for that day.


Next year's vacation is already in the planning stages... if Beach Bend gets their new wood:

Beach Bend, Holiday World, SF Kentucky Kingdom, Camden Park (perhaps), and PKI.

We had planned on perhaps spending the better part of two days at PKI. After our first night at the Hotel and Conference center, we decided we were in no mood to spend a second night... so we cut our losses (for now) and left.

As for the driving...

Looking at the map... yeah, we realize that a strait drive from IB to Wyandot Lake would have been quicker and shorter... but we had planned on going to PKI... so until we decided to skip that park, we were not going out of our way.

As it was, we drove from Kings Mills to Powell (Wyandot Lake) and then onto Sandusky (where we made an impromptu and totally unplanned visit to Cedar Point from 5pm to 10pm).

We logged a total of 2,023 miles on our vacation... 5 parks (but drove to 6 if you count our would be visit to PKI) and around 15 light houses on Lakes Michigan and Erie. *** Edited 6/30/2005 1:39:04 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

CPLady's avatar
You may want to check out the Comfort Suites on Kings Mills Drive. It's only 1.5 miles from the park. No shuttle that I'm aware of, so you'd have to pay for parking, but I was impressed enough with the place last year, I stayed there again for Beastbuzz this year.

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

I'm frightened that you are actually predicting my weekend, instead of telling us about your trip.

We are actually flying into Columbus on Saturday, stopping at SFWL and then driving to PKI. And guess where we are staying?

I did make my reservations online though, and my emailed confirmation from the KI resort states: Rate Description: American Automobile Association, Membership Card Required at Check-In. I will bring a copy though for the front desk in case we have any issues with them.

The shuttle thing does not suprise me though. Typically we have ended up walking to parks, since the shuttles get crowded and hot. I stayed at the PKI campground last time for 3 days, and I think I only used the shuttle 2 times when I was there. Same thing at the HW campground, and at the PKD hotel. We just tend to walk across the parking lots and avoid the shuttles. Unless you are going or leaving the park at unusual times, then seriously avoid them.

Hopefully you will have better luck than we did.

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