Our guide to amusement parks and indoor waterparks

​Ride and slide into spring and summer fun.

From scream-inducing coasters to family-friendly rides, visitors to Cedar Point, Holiday World and Kings Island will have plenty of reason to smile this season.

Kings Island

After delivering on the thrill factor last season with Banshee, Kings Island’s new additions are a bit more tame and family-friendly this season. The first of the new rides is Woodstock Gliders, a classic flying scooters ride, similar to the Flyer Eagles that soared at Kings Island from 1972-2004. The two-person planes glide 28-feet above the ground and have a movable front wing that allows guests to control the flight and alter their ride experience.

Snoopy’s Space Buggies is an attraction designed for children of all ages to enjoy with their parents or grandparents. Six four-seat vehicles will bounce up and down while rotating in a circle. Both new rides will be located next to each other in the award-winning Planet Snoopy kids’ area of the park.

Cedar Point

The Roller Coaster Capital of the World is adding to its coaster collection with Rougarou, named after a werewolf-like creature from French folklore. Rougarou’s floorless trains will speed riders through a swampy lagoon with their feet dangling just inches above the track and the murky water below.

The coaster isn’t the only thing at Cedar Point that is getting a major facelift, as 2015 will also mark the debut of the newly renovated Hotel Breakers.

Holiday World

The family-friendly amusement park in Santa Claus, Ind., will launch Thunderbird, the nation’s first launched wing coaster, this spring. Thunderbird is Holiday World’s first major steel roller coaster and sports a 0-60 mph launch in 3.5 seconds, followed by multiple inversions. Continuing Holiday World’s tradition of sending roller coasters through thickly wooded and hilly terrain, Thunderbird soars and loops high in the air and then hugs the ground, surprising riders with rapid-fire “near misses” such as a barn, other rides, trees and even the ground.

Splashing and sliding the day away

If the seemingly endless winter has you longing for sunshine and splash time, why wait? Indoor waterparks are plentiful in Ohio, and it’s generally a balmy 84 degrees inside year-round.

Great Wolf Lodge

With two Ohio locations — one in Mason and the other in Sandusky — Great Wolf Lodge offers plenty of wet-and-wild fun.

Unlike most other indoor waterparks, only overnight guests to the rustic Northwood’s-look lodge can enjoy the Great Wolf Lodge amenities.

CoCo Key

An afternoon of tropical fun can be had without leaving Ohio. Connected to what will soon be a Red Lion Hotel in Sharonville, CoCo Key Cincinnati offers day passes for those who want to experience the Gator Gush, Barracuda Blast, Shark Slam and Pelican Plunge.

The Cherry Valley Lodge, in Newark, also has a tropical CoCo Key water resort connected to the hotel. Hop between the lily pads or grab a tube and navigate the Coconut Grove Adventure River.

Fort Rapids

With its rustic cowboy-inspired theme, Fort Rapids is like the Wet-and-Wild West. Central Ohio’s largest indoor waterpark resort, located in Columbus, sports 12 unique water slides, a leisurely lazy river and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket


Sandusky waterpark roundup

With four family-friendly resorts, Sandusky offers the greatest concentration of indoor waterparks in the state.

Kalahari is America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark.

In addition to countless coasters, Cedar Point also has Castaway Bay. The tropical resort is not limited to Cedar Point guests but is close to the park.

Keeping with the tropical theme, Maui Sands is a Hawaiian themed property with such attractions as the Maui Wowie Bowl Slide, the Hammerhead Plunge and, for the little guests, Pineapple Bay.

With the exception of Great Wolf Lodge, all of the Sandusky waterparks offer day passes for guests not staying on property.

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Contact this contributing writer at djuniewicz@gmail.com.