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Kings Island to require chaperones after increase in 'unruly' behavior

Kings Island to require chaperones after increase in 'unruly' behavior (WKRC)
Kings Island to require chaperones after increase in 'unruly' behavior (WKRC)
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MASON, Ohio (WKRC) - An annual summer tradition for many teens in the Tri-State is coming to an end for some.

Kings Island announced a new policy Thursday regarding unaccompanied minors during the evening, due to increasing incidents of "unruly and inappropriate" behavior.

That means parents will no longer be able to drop off kids and let them roam the park until closing time.

Here are the details of the policy, which goes into effect Saturday:

  • No one 15 or younger can be in the park after 4 p.m. without a parent, guardian, or chaperone.
  • A chaperone needs to be 21 or older and have proof of their age.
  • Parents or chaperones can have up to 10 kids in their care.
  • Any minor without supervision will be escorted out of the park by security after 4 p.m.

In 2021, Kings Island saw nearly 3.2 million visitors. The new rules come after two high-profile incidents at the park involving teens during the 2022 season.

Police also arrested a 17-year-old with a loaded gun outside the park Saturday, although this new policy wouldn't have kept him out.

Kings Island spokesman Chad Showalter offered the following statement:

"The new chaperone policy that's being introduced on Saturday is being put into place to ensure that our guests have a fun and enjoyable experience and that they leave our park happy. Over the past two years, there's been increasing incidents of inappropriate behavior across the amusement park industry and other entertainment venues also. We believe that when a guest comes to Kings Island, they expect and deserve a family friendly atmosphere during their visit so that's why we're taking these additional measures."

Joe Morell visited the park for the first time recently with his three young children after moving to the Tri-State from Arizona.

I remember, as a kid going to amusement parks, I was younger than that and I was there through the night,” he said. “As a parent, I would say that if they've had incidents happen and they are concerned and worried, creating extra measures to protect people is totally reasonable.

But another parent, who has two kids aged 14 and 15, says the policy is punishing everyone, rather than just the few kids who are being unruly. She believes the park needs to improve its security.

Kings Island is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, and then opens Friday through Sunday the next weekend.

It will start operating seven days a week on Sunday, May 21.

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