By: John Matarese
Kings Island has just posted operating hours for 2024, and its calendar reveals shorter hours on some days and a closing date a full week earlier than normal.
With ongoing labor shortages, and an announced merger with Six Flags next year, it is not really unexpected.
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.
Calendar changes for 2024
The biggest change for 2024, is the August 12th end of daily operations, which is the earliest in recent memory (though they will be open weekends through Labor Day, and again on Sunday, September 8th).
This year, Kings Island closed for midweek operations on Sunday August 20th, a full week later.
That makes the summer season shorter than ever.
The park will open Saturday April 20th, which is in line with most years, though it will have just one weekday opening in April, on Friday, April 26th.
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.
We reached out to Kings Island’s communications department about these changes, but have not yet heard back.
Some good news: Kings Island reopens for Winterfest 2023 on November 24th, on select evenings through December 31st.
As always, don’t waste your money.
Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.