The Hornbeam Lodge, including Ironwood Grill and Tap and Coyote Camp store will be closed January – March. Cottages and campsites remain available for overnight stays.

Play—and now stay—at Kings Island

The new Camp Cedar resort turns a trip to the park into fun, multi-day trip.

By Robert Sberna

All images taken by Casey Rearick unless otherwise noted.


 

Thrill seekers have a new way to enjoy Kings Island’s roller coasters — by staying the night next door to them. Rest up overnight and recharge your batteries at Camp Cedar, the park’s newly opened resort and camping facility.

Located less than a mile from the front gates of Kings Island, Camp Cedar features 73 deluxe cottages and 184 full-hookup RV sites. Even without one of the best amusement parks in the nation nearby, Camp Cedar is the perfect location to escape from the grid, without abandoning life’s comforts. Relax poolside in a cabana, slide down a mini-slide into the pool or play water basketball, before sleeping in comfort.

Wake up to early admission and early ride times at Kings Island before the general public arrives. Ride the free shuttle for the short trip to the park. With the Play and Stay package, you’ll get discounted admission. There’s no better way to experience the park!

Stay & Play

After a day of thrilling rides, settle into one of Camp Cedar’s 73 cottages, which accommodate up to four to eight guests. The brand-new cozy cottages offer spacious living areas, eat-in kitchens and flat screen TVs — all of the comforts of home. Over the next two years, Camp Cedar plans to add 100 more cottages.

Camp Cedar has not spared any design elements in its beautifully appointed cottages. Each of the four styles incorporates modern aesthetics and amenities to make your stay comfortable and relaxing. Bring the entire family and more to stay at The Hickory, which accommodates up to eight people. Features include a private queen bedroom, recessed bunk bed and a spacious sleeping loft. Incorporating farmhouse design elements, the Hickory offers a spacious living area with vaulted ceilings, comfortable seating and a large flat-screen TV. The eat-in kitchen includes a full suite of modern appliances. The Aspen cottage also accommodates up to eight people. Feel right at home with the galley kitchen, master bedroom, sleeping loft and spacious bathroom and shower.

If you’re the RV-ing type, Camp Cedar’s full-service RV sites mean you’ll be far from roughing it. All of the RV sites have a grill and picnic table for family gatherings after a day at Kings Island. Most have a firepit, so bring the makings for s’mores. Four-legged family members are welcome at the RV park, too.

Check into your cottage or RV spot at Hornbeam Lodge, the heart of the resort. The lodge houses Ironwood Grill & Tap restaurant, a cozy coffee/gelato shop and the Coyote Creek Camp Store that stocks just about all the essentials you’ll need. Visit with friends or curl up with a book around the expansive fireplace.

Pool Party

Want more water fun after a day at King Island’s expansive Soak City Water Park? Soak up the good times (and the sun) at one of Camp Cedar’s two pools. At Deerfield Springs, a 5,000-square-foot interactive family pool with a dramatic towering waterfall, little ones can cool down and enjoy a mini-slide while big kids (and adults) can play water basketball. Exclusive to adults, Kingfisher Landing is the ideal place to perfect your tan. Feeling thirsty? Order an adult poolside beverage. Either way, both pools offer rentable private cabanas perfect for a quick nap and space to watch sports or your favorite shows on your personal flat-screen TV.

There’s plenty more of activities at the resort. Test your skills with shuffleboard and bocce courts. Work out in the well-equipped fitness room. If your idea of a vacation is sheer relaxation, then rent a gas-powered golf cart. The four-seater carts are a fast, fun way to get around Camp Cedar’s 53 acres.

Fill your Plate

No matter how picky you or your kids’ tastes are, Cedar Camp’s dining options please every palate. The resort’s signature restaurant, Ironwood Grill & Tap offers a casual sit-down breakfast, lunch and dinner inside Hornbeam Lodge or outside on the patio. The diverse menu offers soups, salads, appetizers, pizzas and more to pair with the variety of craft beers on tap. The resort’s Belize Street offers a fresh take on urban dining with food truck-influenced favorites. Check out Fresh Tortilla for tacos and burritos, while Route 66 features classic American favorites such as burgers, hotdogs, fries and more. For those with a sweet tooth, the Urban Cow is a popular spot for soft-serve and hand-dipped ice cream, along with midway standards such as elephant ears, funnel cakes and cotton candy. At the Dry Bean in Hornbeam Lodge, you’ll find the perfect cup of coffee or espresso, as well as savory gelato and an assortment of muffins. Cook up your own meals on the outdoor grills at each RV site. Pick up all you need to grill out at Coyote Creek Camp Store.

Be Treated like a King at Kings Island

Of course, one of the biggest perks of staying at Camp Cedar is being one of the first people inside Kings Island. Take advantage of early admission and ride some of the biggest attractions before the general public enters the park. Don’t miss Orion, the park’s tallest and fastest roller coaster with a 300-foot first drop; Diamondback with a 230-foot drop; and The Beast, the Guinness Book of World Record holder as the longest wooden roller coaster in the world! Ride a kid-sized train and more in Planet Snoopy. There’s even Soak City Water Park where you can cool off with an amazing 50 water activities. Ride the free shuttle to the park, yet another perk for staying at Camp Cedar, along with discounted admission to the park and free parking at Camp Cedar.