With its wild collection of roller coasters and other rides, Kings Island is one of the world's great amusement parks. A large outdoor water park, Soak City, is included with admission and is open seasonally. But visitors can enjoy water slides, a wave pool, an uphill water coaster, and other rides all year long at the Great Wolf Lodge located right next to Kings Island. What's more, they can stay where they play by booking accommodations at the indoor water park resort.
The Great Wolf Lodge at Kings Island is the amusement park's "official resort," but the two properties have different owners and are run independent of one another. Like other locations in the chain of Great Wolf Lodge resorts, it is geared to families with children and features a rustic, forest theme. The Lodge sets the tone immediately in the lobby with a charming clock tower that periodically springs to life with an animated show.
The resort's highlight is a large, 78,000-square-foot indoor water park with many slides and attractions. Among the standouts is Hydro Plunge, an uphill water coaster. Unlike similar rides, which use water jets to propel the rafts uphill, the Great Wolf Lodge version uses magnetic induction to send passengers zooming around its rafters. The park also offers a bowl ride, a family raft ride, and a decent-sized wave pool. Younger kids will enjoy Fort Mackenzie, a four-story interactive water play station with a dump bucket.
The Kings Island water park isn't the only place to get wet in the state. Find other indoor water parks in Ohio.
Beyond the Water Park
In addition to the water park, the resort includes 401 all-suite guest rooms, which come in a variety of sizes, amenities, and price points. Standard suites sleep 4 to 6, while other options include suites that sleep up to 8 and include a fireplace, whirlpool, or a sleeping area for children designed to look like a log cabin. The Lodge issues nifty high-tech bracelets to all guests that serve as admission to the water park, electronic guest room keys, and on-site charge cards.
An Aveda Concept Spa caters to both adults and kids. The Cub Club activity room offers crafts and other activities for kids ages 5 to 12. Great Wolf Lodge also offers a MagiQuest interactive attraction. The extra-charge experience immerses players in a high-tech, multi-player fantasy environment that is somewhat like walking into a video game. Unlike standalone locations, the Great Wolf Lodge incorporates the video screens and other MagiQuest elements into the hallways and common areas of the resort.
Other upcharge attractions include indoor mini-golf, bowling, and a huge arcade with redemption games. Included with the room rates are activities such as evening story telling, morning activities, and appearances by Great Wolf's costumed characters.
The Great Wolf Lodge features an impressive convention, meeting, and function facility. It can accommodate everything from small business meetings up to 660 guests in its ballroom.
What's to Eat?
On-property dining choices include The Loose Moose Cottage, a buffet that is open for breakfast and dinner. The variety, quantity, quality, and value of the food make it a good choice. The resort also offers the table-service restaurant, Lodge Wood Fired Grill. Entrees include steaks, smoked ribs, and seafood.
In addition, the Great Wolf has a coffee shop, a sweets shop featuring cupcakes and ice cream, and take-out pizza. Inside the water park, there is a quick-service eatery and a bar.
Location and Admission Info
The Great Wolf Lodge is adjacent to King's Island in Mason, Ohio (near Cincinnati).
From Cincinnati: I-71N to Western Row Rd, Exit 24. Left onto Kings Island Dr.
From Dayton: I-75S to OH-63 Exit 29 to Monroe/Hamilton. Left at OH-63E. Right at OH-741, right at Kings Mill Rd., bear right at Kings Island Dr.
Admission to the indoor water park is included with the hotel room rate and is open to registered guests only. In other words, general admission passes are not available. Expect to pay more during high-demand times such as school vacations. Great Wolf Lodge sometimes offers deals for mid-week bookings, particularly during off-peak times.