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Park Press Releases 

Find out what's happening direct from the parks! 


Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas Named USA TODAY’S “Best Theme Park Holiday Event”

BRANSON, Mo., Dec. 8, 2023 — USA TODAY’s 10Best announces Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas as America’s “Best Theme Park Holiday Event,” a sixth win for the internationally-awarded theme park. The announcement follows a four-week voting competition.

Located in the heart of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, Silver Dollar City collected the most votes of all 20 nominees, including Disney and Universal, along with SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Legoland parks. Nominees are chosen by a panel of experts, including USA TODAY editors and theme park experts.

“We sincerely thank our friends and fans from all around the globe who took time out of their busy schedules to vote every single day,” said Brad Thomas, president of the Silver Dollar City Company. “Christmas is such a special time for us, and we’re so grateful to our fans for highlighting The City as the nation’s must-visit holiday destination.” Thomas credits the 1880s theme park’s employees — “Citizens” — for bringing Christmas spirit to each guest who comes through the gate. "The energy and joy our Citizens bring to our visitors creates an unforgettable and immersive experience," he says. “There truly is no better or brighter place to spend the holidays with friends and family.”

The now six-time winning An Old Time Christmas festival features over 6.5 million lights, two Broadway-style Christmas shows and Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade with numerous colorful, costumed characters. At the top of the park, an 8-story Christmas tree is the centerpiece of Joy On Town Square, a light-filled production equipped with LED-mapping technology synced with music, shining and displaying angels, shepherds, ornaments, snow, and other images around the tree.

Christmas in Midtown, The City’s most concentrated light display, fills 70,000 square feet with 145 miles of lights. Additional festive entertainment includes a sing-along steam train, a 12-foot talking tree, "Living Nativity" and a chance to meet Kris Kringle. Plus, Christmas-time treats throughout The City.

An Old Time Christmas presented by Humana runs through Dec. 30. Season passes for 2024 are on sale now, with the ALL-NEW FIRE IN THE HOLE opening spring of 2024.

Kings Island’s WinterFest has just been named one of the top amusement park holiday events in the country!

Today Kings Island’s WinterFest was named one of the country’s top amusement park holiday events in a USA Today readers’ poll. The park was nominated by an amusement park industry panel of experts, and after 28 days of nationwide voting, the Mason amusement park’s annual holiday event took third place. WinterFest is open tonight and select nights through December 31.  For more information, visit the park’s website at

Grand Carnivale Returns 
Saturday July 22nd

Grand Carnivale returns to Kings Island this Saturday. The amusement park’s biggest event of the summer celebrates different cultures from around the world. The event will run every night from 5:00 -10:00 p.m., July 22 through August 6 and includes the Spectacle of Color Parade, live music, special food offerings from featured countries and crafts and activities for kids and families.  

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Kings Island: New Executive Chef & New Restaurant Announced for 2023 Season

As Kings Island’s Opening Day approaches on April 15, the amusement park has announced that Joseph Perez will lead its culinary experiences as the park’s new Executive Chef. He previously served as the Executive Chef at Ameristar Casino and Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.  The park also is adding a new restaurant, Grain & Grill, a fast-casual dining location that will feature Eastern European and Mediterranean flavors. 


Hersheypark Announces All-New Wildcat’s Revenge Hybrid Coaster Coming Summer 2023


(Hershey, Pa. – November 2, 2022) – Wildcat is back and seeking vengeance. Hersheypark amusement park today announced the details of its all-new Wildcat’s Revenge hybrid coaster. One of 15 coasters at Hersheypark, the wood and steel hybrid will join one of the largest and most iconic coaster collections in the United States in summer 2023, 100 years after the first Wild Cat ride debuted at the Park. 

Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC), Wildcat’s Revenge adds an all-new steel track with unique elements to the existing wooden framework for a one-of-a-kind thrilling ride experience found only at Hersheypark. The hybrid coaster features a 140-foot hill, maximum speeds of 62 miles per hour and four inversions, including the World’s Largest Underflip.  

“Based on our guest feedback, we knew coaster fans would love a hybrid at Hersheypark, and we’re thrilled to work with RMC on a custom wood and steel coaster with a nod to our history,” said Vikki Hultquist, General Manager of Attractions at Hersheypark. “Wildcat’s Revenge features the very best of RMC’s signature thrills, including four inversions with the World’s Largest Underflip, Inverted Stall, Zero-G Roll and Reversing Downhill Roll.” 

Unique Hybrid Coaster Experience

Located in the Midway America region of Hersheypark, Wildcat's Revenge features a fully renovated coaster station with a design that harkens back to the iconic 1923 Wild Cat station, with low-pitched gables around the perimeter of the roof. Guests of Hershey’s height requirement and taller (48 inches and above) will sit in one of three custom trains, showcasing fully-dimensional black, charcoal and silver wild cats exacting revenge on their wooden predecessor. The thematic elements are a design first for Hersheypark.

The 2-minute and 36-second experience begins as riders climb a 140-foot hill, plunge into an 82-degree drop and hit a maximum speed of 62 miles per hour along 3,510 feet of red track on a black steel and wood structure. The pursuit continues as riders stalk their prey through four inversions, including the World’s Largest Underflip, an inversion that begins with an upward climb, followed by a counterclockwise 270° roll and a dive down towards the side. 

Following its summer 2023 debut, Wildcat’s Revenge will be open for all four seasons, weather permitting. For more information, visit and follow along on social media using #WildcatsRevenge. 

This new coaster joins an impressive lineup of 15 coasters at Hersheypark. The more than 115-year-old amusement park has added significant experiences in the past decade - from the transformational expansion of Hershey’s Chocolatetown region to six coasters since 2012. Guests can enjoy three parks in one at Hersheypark with more than 70 rides, a water park and a zoo included with admission. 

Be The First To Ride

Hersheypark recently launched its 2023 Season Pass Holder program, with King Size, Full Size and Bite Size options offering year-round Hersheypark Happy for the entire family. Guests who become a 2023 King Size Season Pass Holder will be one of the first to ride Wildcat’s Revenge, plus enjoy other popular benefits like unlimited visits, free tickets, a free souvenir cup, one-hour early access during the summer season and more. Limited-time offers with payment plans are available through Nov. 30 at

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Kings Island to Add Themed Area“Adventure Port” for 2023 Season


MASON, OH – Adventure will take center stage at Kings Island in 2023 when the amusement park debuts its newest themed area, Adventure Port. Located between Coney Mall and Action Zone, the area will feature two new family rides and enhanced theming for Adventure Express, the park’s mine train family roller coaster.

Additional improvements include a refresh of Hank’s Mexican Grill which will be renamed to Enrique’s. The current Bier Garten will be transformed into a portside Mercado, a favorite watering hole for tourists and explorers.

“What I love about Adventure Port is that we’ve taken parts of the Adventure Express story and built upon it to create this new themed area,” said Mike Koontz, vice president and general manager of Kings Island.

“When guests who have been coming to the park for years visit this area for the first time, the story will feel familiar, but it will be told in a whole new way.”

Adventure Port Backstory
The myths of an ancient civilization, and its mighty city carved out of stone, have lured travelers from around the globe to this bustling port community for more than a century. Resting in the foothills of overgrown mountains and dense tropical terrain, Adventure Port is a hub for explorers searching for an ancient civilization’s forbidden temple and mysterious wonders. If asked, the locals will tell tales of those who came before and vanished. Did they unwittingly disturb ancient spirits and fall victim to an age-old curse?

Adventure Port Rides
• Sol Spin: This recently discovered mechanism appears to be an immense sun disk created by an ancient civilization. Riders will board open air, suspended passenger vehicles and experience the sensation of flying 60 feet through the air at 25 m.p.h.

• Cargo Loco: Their methods might be a little dizzying, but the Arrow Cargo Company will get your goods from Point A to Point B…eventually. Riders will board these shipping barrels where they will be able to manually control the speed of their spin with a wheel in the middle of the barrel.

• Adventure Express: Embark on a treasure hunting mine train expedition in search of a forbidden temple. This family coaster opened in 1991 and features a 63 ft. first drop with speeds up to 35 m.p.h. Enhancements for 2023 include a relocated queue line and additional theming. The ride was repainted in advance of the 2022 season.

The project’s design is being led by JRA, part of the RWS Entertainment Group with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Other contractors on the project include RSL Commercial Architects, Schaefer Engineers, Abercrombie and Associates and SHP Architects.

Kings Island Reveals Halloween Haunt’s 2022 Full Line-up of Mazes, Scare Zones & Attractions


MASON, OH – Beginning Friday, Sept. 23, roller coasters won’t be the only attractions conjuring up screams at Kings Island. Halloween Haunt returns to the amusement park on Friday and Saturday nights, plus select Sunday nights, Sept. 23 through Oct. 29. The fully transformed park will feature six bone-chilling haunted mazes, four scare zones, three sinister live shows and some of the most hair-raising night rides on the planet. This year, Halloween Haunt comes screaming back with four new, terrifying experiences, including:

• NEW HAUNTED MAZE: Hotel St. Michelle – Everyone has heard about the haunting tales of the old Hotel St. Michelle, but are they true? As you sneak into the abandoned hotel, named after the manager’s missing daughter, you eerily find the hotel is not abandoned but very alive in spirit!

• NEW SCARE ZONE: Alien X – When darkness falls, the personnel working inside Area 72 show their true form, and the secrets of Area 72 are revealed. Walk through the displays of alien creatures who have been contained…well most of them.

• NEW SHOW: NyteWalkers – When the acrobatic and action sports world meets Zombies, the perfect theatrical combination of exciting stunts, a suspenseful storyline and creative staging brings a one-of-a-kind adventure.

• NEW SHOW: Terror Rising – Terror and evil have risen! This Skull Squad combines the rhythmic step moves of five dancers with thrash, EDM and heavy metal.

View the full 2022 Kings Island Halloween Haunt line-up and calendar at:  



Kings Island will celebrate its 50th birthday on Friday, April 29.  The National Anthem will be performed by a Broadway star who formerly performed at the park.  Special guest speakers will participate in a re-dedication ceremony (see below) and park guests will be invited to enjoy a very large 50th birthday cake when the ceremony ends.  We’ll even have a ribbon cutting by the first family to enter Kings Island’s gates 50 years ago.

Friday, April 29 at 9:00 a.m.



  • Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted

  • Kings Island vice president and general manager Mike Koontz

  • Cedar Fair Entertainment CEO Richard Zimmerman

  • City of Mason Mayor Barbara Spaeth

  • Founder of Kings Island Gary Wachs

  • President of International Theme Park Services Dennis Spiegel


  • Sisters Taryn Harrison, Tamara Hitson and Heather Hitson- Members of the first family to enter Kings Island on April 29, 1972, will officially cut the ribbon to kick off the day’s festivities

  • Alton Fitzgerald White- Former Kings Island performer and critically acclaimed actor best known for playing King Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King on Broadway for more than 4,000 performances. He will sing the National Anthem.


This ceremony is a once in a lifetime event.  Since we first opened in 1972, our guests have known Kings Island as a place where unforgettable memories are made. Everyone has a story or memory about a trip to Kings Island, and this season is about sharing those memories and making new ones.

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 Kings Island Coaster, The Beast, Will Break Its Own Record in 2022

The World’s Longest Wooden Roller Coaster is Getting Longer

MASON, OH – Kings Island’s world-famous roller coaster, The Beast, will break its own World Record in 2022. The coaster, which opened in 1979 as the World’s Longest Wooden Roller Coaster, has held that distinction ever since. When it opens for the season in May it will beat its own record by two feet, from 7,359 ft. to 7,361 ft. due to offseason retracking and reprofiling work, that also includes a steeper first drop.

“When you look at roller coaster records, they’re being beat all the time,” said Kings Island Vice President and General Manager Mike Koontz. “But there’s one record that no park in the world has been able to beat for more than 40 years, until now, and that’s the record for the longest wooden roller coaster.”

It’s no wonder that guests from all over the world travel to Kings Island to ride The Beast. Its record-breaking features include a 7,361-foot-long track (1.4 miles) and ride time of four minutes, 10 seconds; vertical drops of 137 feet (now at a 53-degree angle) and 141 feet (at an 18-degree angle); a 125-foot-long underground tunnel at the bottom of the 137-foot drop; eight banked turns, some to 45 degrees; a massive, 540-degree helix tunnel near the end and speeds up to 64.77 miles per hour

A Beast of a Project Last November crews began the massive project of refurbishing 2,000 feet of the coaster’s track. In addition, the first drop has been re-profiled from 45 degrees to 53 degrees so that it can come into the tunnel lower and deliver a buttery-smooth transition through the first tunnel and onto the second drop. The project is expected to be completed in May.

Kings Island’s 2022 Season In addition to The Beast, and more than 100 other rides and attractions, Kings Island guests have a lot to look forward to during the 2022 season. View the full events lineup on Kings Island’s website, Guests can experience all of the fun and thrills this season, including unlimited visits to enjoy the 50th Anniversary season, Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, with a 2022 Platinum or Gold Season Pass.

About Kings Island With more than 100 rides, shows and attractions, Kings Island offers the perfect combination of world-class thrills and family attractions. In 2022, the park will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Guests can experience 15 roller coasters, including Orion, voted “Best New Amusement Park Attraction” in 2020 in the USA Today 10Best Readers Poll; an award-winning kids’ area and 33-acre water park. For more information, go to


Silver Dollar City NEW Street Fest 2021

All-New Outdoor Festival with Street Performers, Musicians and the Introduction of the Tasting Passport
(Branson, Missouri, April 12, 2021) Internationally awarded as a showcase of the spirit of adventure, Silver Dollar City takes new and unusual entertainment to the streets with the premiere of Street Fest, April 15-May 2, 2021, Thursdays-Sundays. One of the more creative additions is the “Tasting Passport,” designed for noshing one’s way through a self-selected tour of the park’s eateries.
“Food is simply one of our things,” said Sam Hedrick, Food Director at the 1880s-style theme park located in Branson, Missouri, noting that Silver Dollar City has been awarded for presentation and quality of food items unlike most any theme park in the land. “We have worked hard for decades to always be on the cutting edge of flavors, trends, traditional favorites and home-style selections – the Tasting Passport grants guests a variety of sampling, all for a reasonable price,” Hedrick said.
Here is how it works: Guests choose between an option of $30 for five tasting items, or $10 more for five tasting items plus a refillable souvenir mug. The menu extends through 20 selected eateries, each with a variety of options. For example, Tater Patch has specialty chicken skewers or fried, loaded Tater Tumblers stuffed with Chorizo & Avocado, or Garlic Parmesan & Red Pepper Sauce. Lady Liberty has chicken tender bowls like Poutine, Chipotle with Black Beans & Corn or Parmesan. Dockside Grill offers Mac & Cheese of BLT, Chile, Sweet Corn or Tex Mex. The new Rivertown Smokehouse is serving up Fried Spare Ribs. How about a plate of Carnitas Ravioli Nachos? Top it all off with sweet treat Belgian Waffles with a choice of S’mores, Snickers Bar or the fancy, colorful kid-friendly Unicorn. (Note: Expect to be full at day’s end!)
For the street and outdoor stage entertainment, one could easily consider the play bill a tad quirky with Living Floral Trees, the international Disa Stilt Walker, teeterboard performers, trick roller skaters, bike stunt people, precision card thrower, a professor who teaches the “Theremin” electromagnetic music-making devise, musicians and steel drums, a one-man walking band, unicyclist, juggler and more.
Silver Dollar City leadership says the challenges of the last year have pushed them to be even more creative. Street Fest’s unique offering displays that out-of-the-box thinking that has made the park famous. Currently, celebrating a 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee, Silver Dollar City is the “#1 Amusement Park in America” as honored by readers & editors of USA Today 10Best. Additionally, Silver Dollar City has 40 rides & attractions, 10 world-class festivals and special events, concerts, a massive cave and, dedicated as the “Home of American Craftsmanship” by the US Congress, a demonstrating artisan colony 100 strong.

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