Kings Island makes boy, 5, upgrade pass to adult mid-season because he grew 1 inch too tall

Mom objects: 'I purchased the pass for the season'

MASON, Ohio - You might expect a season pass to last all season, but that's not always the case.

The mother of a 5-year-old discovered that when she was  forced to pay extra for her son at Kings Island.

Stacey Larison bought a junior admission ticket for her son Landon this season, but he outgrew it. Now Kings Island is digging into her pocket mid-season for her to upgrade.

The Batavia youngster is tall for his age. At about 4 feet, 1 inch (or 49 inches), he's in the 99th percentile for boys that age.

His mom just bought him new shoes.

"The other ones are too small and these ones are a little too big," Landon said.

He likes baseball and Kings Island.

"What's fun about it?

"Going down the water slides," the 5-year-old said.

That's why his mom took him to Soak City on Wednesday.

That's when she got soaked.

"It really rubbed me the wrong way," Stacey Larison said.

Kings Island told her Landon needs an adult ticket now that he's taller than 48 inches.

"I said, 'I purchased the pass for the season and you're telling me … at what? Soak City? It closes Labor Day … I have so many weeks left and at this entrance, you're telling me that I have to upgrade?' "

That's the policy, said Kings Island spokesperson Don Helbig.

"Guests are required to have the proper admission ticket or season-pass type for their height to gain entry into the park," he said.

"With a high percentage of our guests now purchasing tickets or renewing season passes online through the park's website and mobile app, guests with a junior admission ticket or season pass ages 3 and up and over 48 inches tall in shoes are noticed at the turnstiles instead of at the time of purchase."

Larison doesn't think the policy is clearly noted. A manager at the park told her there is language on the back of the pass.

"It's the principle of it," she said. "Could I do it? Yes. But I think everybody in the community who goes to the park that has season passes needs to be aware of this."

9 On Your Side checked with other parks to see if Kings Island's policy is common.

It turns out, it is.

Cedar Point has the same policy, which makes sense since it is owned by the same company that owns Kings Island.

Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville also bases tickets on both age and height.

Coney Island says it bases children's tickets only on age.

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