Cedar Point vs. Kings Island: What’s the Difference?

Cedar Point has a strong rollercoaster lineup and Kings Island offers plenty of family-friendly activities.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Edited by Meghan Coyle
Low angle view of people at rollercoaster

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When you think of Ohio, the first thing that comes to mind might not be theme parks. Though Cedar Point and Kings Island aren’t international titans, they easily hold merit as two first-rate amusement parks with individual perks and personalities — and both can be found in the Buckeye State.

Whether you want to visit Cedar Point or Kings Island, it’s important to do your research before taking off.

Whether you’re after a strong coaster lineup or you’re more interested in family-friendly immersion, these theme parks may surprise you. Let’s compare Cedar Point versus Kings Island to see which is the right park for you.

The main difference between Kings Island vs. Cedar Point

Both of these theme parks are owned by Cedar Fair, which owns a further 14 theme parks scattered across the United States and one in Canada. This includes water parks, two of which are located within Kings Island and Cedar Point.

Although Cedar Point isn’t bigger than Kings Island — they’re the same size, at 364 acres each — it styles itself as the Coaster Capital of the World. Kings Island, meanwhile, features more family-friendly attractions.

What to expect at Cedar Point

Cedar Point aims to attract thrill seekers, which makes sense since it features 18 roller coasters.


There’s no mincing words here: If you’re into high-adrenaline experiences, Cedar Point is the place to be. Here is a list of its roller coasters:

  • Maverick.

  • Corkscrew.

  • Magnum XL-200.

  • Pipe Scream.

  • Top Thrill 2. 

  • Wild Mouse. 

  • Wilderness Run.

  • Woodstock Express.

  • Steel Vengeance.

  • Millennium Force.

  • Cedar Creek Mine Ride.

  • Valravn.

  • Rougarou.

  • GateKeeper.

  • Raptor.

  • Blue Streak.

  • Iron Dragon.

  • Gemini.

However, just because Cedar Point features a lot of roller coasters doesn’t mean that it’s missing rides for smaller guests. There are plenty of family and children’s rides, including many carnival-style attractions.

Food and drinks

There are 52 food and beverage locations available within Cedar Point. These include stops for fast-food meals, snacks and alcohol, and spots to sit down with your dinner.

🤓Nerdy Tip

You can buy an all-day dining plan for $33.99, which allows you to get an entree and side every 90 minutes during your visit.


A one-day ticket to Cedar Point purchased online will cost you $49.99, though there are a few different packages available if you want to visit.

The 2024 Summer Pass is available for $17 per month, which includes unlimited visits through Sept. 2, 2024. It also provides free parking and exclusive discounts.

What to expect at Kings Island

Three and a half hours from Cedar Point, Kings Island is another theme park featuring roller coasters, thrill rides and family attractions.


Despite being more oriented for families, Kings Island has its own fair share of roller coasters. They are:

  • Adventure Express.

  • Backlot Stunt Coaster.

  • Banshee.

  • Diamondback.

  • Flight of Fear.

  • Flying Ace Aerial Chase.

  • Invertigo.

  • Mystic Timbers.

  • Orion.

  • Surf Dog.

  • The Bat.

  • The Beast.

  • The Great Pumpkin Coaster.

  • The Racer.

  • Woodstock Express.

Along with other family rides, Kings Island is debuting an expansion to Planet Snoopy starting in 2024. The new Camp Snoopy will feature a giant playground and a child-friendly roller coaster.

Food and drinks

Kings Island has fewer options for refreshment than Cedar Point, but enough to feel like you have plenty of choices. There 36 venues available to guests in the park and include snack spots, restaurants and bars.


A one-day ticket to Kings Island will run you $44.99 if purchased online, which is $54 less than if you buy it at the gate.

Visitors can also opt for a season pass at Gold or Silver levels. Gold passes will get you access through fall and winter, whereas Silver is only applicable for admission through summer.

The Gold pass costs $19 per month after an initial payment of $31 (total $145). Both season pass levels include parking and exclusive discounts.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Do one better by getting the Prestige-level season pass; while more costly, you will get added perks like preferred parking

Cedar Point also offers similar season pass options.

Cedar Point vs. Kings Island locations

There’s a lot to love about Cedar Point and Kings Island, especially since they’re both well-rounded amusement parks. When it comes down to it, which one you should visit should rely mostly on where you’re located.

Kings Island is just outside Cincinnati to the north and can be easily accessed by anyone living near western Ohio.

Cedar Point, meanwhile, is found on the coast of Lake Erie and close Cleveland. This is likely a closer option for anyone who lives east of the state.

If you want to visit Kings Island or Cedar Point

Kings Island and Cedar Point are owned by Cedar Fair, which is why you’ll see some similarities between the two.

However, a one-day visit to Kings Island is slightly less expensive than Cedar Point, which makes sense since it has fewer roller coasters. Along with a cheaper price, Kings Island also features more family-friendly attractions than Cedar Point, including the forthcoming Camp Snoopy.

For its part, Cedar Point has 18 roller coasters to appeal to all types of thrill seekers. It also features more food options than Kings Island, which will please those willing to shell out for an all-day dining pass.

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