But the blog Theme Park Tourist says the new calendar is filled with “a number of unwanted surprises.”
The park, like so many businesses, appears to be focused on its busiest and most profitable days, while trying to cut down on the number of days it operates when schools are in session and the crowds simply don’t materialize.
Unfortunately, parks don’t make money when there are no lines at the rides, which happens in late August every year.
The biggest change for 2024, is the Aug. 12 end of daily operations, which is the earliest in recent memory (though it will be open weekends through Labor Day, and again on Sunday, Sept. 8).
This year, Kings Island closed for midweek operations on Aug. 20, a full week later. That makes the summer season shorter than ever.
The park will open April 20, which is in line with most years, though it will have just one weekday opening in April — on Friday, April 26..
Shorter early season hours
As usual, the park will open for full weekday operations on Memorial Day.
However, May hours will be shorter, closing at 6 p.m. midweek, and 9 p.m. on weekends.
In addition, the park is scheduled to close at 10 p.m. most summer nights — including on the Fourth of July, when in the past it has remained open until midnight.
Many enthusiasts on the KI Central forums are complaining about the shorter hours and season, but believe labor shortages are to blame. They say the park has been dealing with staffing shortages since the pandemic, and finds it almost impossible to staff the park weekdays once schools are in session.
But the cutbacks are not limited to Kings Island: Two of Kings Island’s sister parks, Carowinds and Kings Dominion in North Carolina, experimented in 2023 with year-round operations, staying open in weekends during January, February and March.
But the Theme Park Insider blog says those Cedar Fair parks have dropped year-round plans for 2024, after too many winter weekends saw no crowds due to cold weather.
We reached out to Kings Island’s communications department about these changes, but have not yet heard back.