MASON, Ohio – When Kings Island begins its 2018 season Saturday, the amusement park's new food options will make carnivores happy.
The new Coney Bar B Que restaurant, which park employees built along the Coney Island Midway during the offseason, will serve St. Louis-style ribs, pulled pork, Queen City sausage, smoked tri-tip, hush puppies and ears of corn.
The restaurant also is equipped with an open-face rotisserie that slow-cooks chicken that people can get plucked right off a spit.
"My philosophy is to make sure you create food options that you'd be proud to serve your family," said James Major, Kings Island's new executive chef.
This is Major's first season as executive chef at Kings Island. He previously filled the same role at Great American Ball Park and is a two-time winner of the Food Network's "Chopped" reality television cooking competition.
The former photo booth on Kings Island's International Street also received an upgrade for the new season. People will be able to buy bacon on a stick and turkey drumsticks from the new "Let's Talk Turkey" food booth, which is located on the left side of the fountain as guests enter the park.
Major said bacon on a stick is an item he introduces wherever he works.
"It's just the perfect food for people to walk around with after they enter the park," he said.
The Reds Hall of Fame Grille will serve its new "three strike tacos" and riblettes. The Street Funnel stand will offer a funnel cake sundae and churro nuggets.
Speaking of sweets, visitors will be able to get mini-versions of the park's famous blueberry soft-serve ice cream in the form of mini-cones. The ice cream in those cones is actually a blueberry mousse. Kings Island will also sell a variety of blue ice cream themed merchandise too.
The Sweet Spot will also sell blue ice cream-flavored cotton candy the week of April 27. The shop will feature a rotating array of cotton candy flavors throughout the season. Other featured flavors include ranch and jalapeno.
Gold Season passholders will get a sneak preview of the park's new offerings on Friday. The park begins weekend hours at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by a limited Friday-Sunday schedule from April 20-May 6. The park will start its seven-day-a-week schedule on May 11.
For more information visit www.visitkingsisland.com.