Kings Island serving up some tricks and treats this fall

Kings Island's 2020 “Tricks and Treats” festival offers new food experiences with a tasting pass for different tricks and treats around the park. A “tasting card” allows for six food tastings of your choice from a dozen tricks and a dozen treats. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Disney World, specifically Epcot, has made a science out of having guests sip, savor and stroll their way through their parks.

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival has been something I’ve enjoyed several times over the years with flavorful dining experiences scattered across the park to enjoy in between attractions.

Up until now, our closest amusement park has stuck to the things it knows best — thrilling rides. With King’s Island’s Halloween Haunt canceled this year because of COVID-19, however, the park quickly switched gears moving to a “Tricks and Treats” festival that’s heavy on physical distancing, masks, rides and food experiences.

A new eatery that opened with the festival, The French Corner, features a popular Chef’s Plate feature that had quite a line of people waiting to purchase theirs last weekend. This past Chef’s Plate special featured grilled prime beef sliced on crostini, citrus herb compound butter, twice baked new potato and baby carrots. The Chef’s Plate special is available starting at 5 p.m. while supplies last.

A “tasting card” is another new addition this year. The cards allow for six food tastings of your choice from a dozen tricks and a dozen treats. Kings Island head Chef James Major worked with his team to come up with a menu of treats that are sweet and tricks to twist things up.

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Having tried a half dozen of these myself, the portions were very small for the ala carte price and were just a small step above amusement park food, but it was definitely elevated by the surroundings. A look at the menu Major and his team put together could inspire some trick-or-treat cooking of your own at home.

What’s on the menu

Here’s a look at what they’re serving:

LaRosa’s Pizzeria on International Street

  • TRICK: Fire toasted dessert flatbread: A dessert flatbread topped with chocolate chips and marshmallow fluff, oven-toasted with drizzled raspberry sauce.
  • TREAT: Fall harvest flatbread: Hand-tossed flatbread, topped with olive oil, caramelized onions, basil and sausage, with provolone and parmesan cheeses.

Sweet Spot

  • TRICK: El Diablo Cupcake: Cupcake topped with cinnamon candies and cayenne pepper buttercream icing.
  • TREAT: Candy Corn Cupcake: Chocolate cupcake topped with white frosting and candy corn garnish.

The French Corner

  • TRICK: Witch’s brew hot chocolate: Rich chocolate hot cocoa. Bewitch it with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream for an extra charge.
  • TRICK: Devil’s Horns: Fresh baked croissant with sliced meats and cheese.
  • TREAT: Hot cinnamon cider: Bewitch it with a shot of Fireball cinnamon whisky for extra charge.
  • TREAT: Full Moon: Bananas foster crepe topped with toasted pecans.

Funnel Cakes on International Street

  • TRICK: Worms in dirt funnel cake: Crisp, deep-fried pastry dough topped with Oreo crumbles, gummy worms and whipped cream.
  • TREAT: Pumpkin spice funnel cake: Fresh funnel cake infused with pumpkin spices and topped with cream cheese frosting.

Festhaus

  • TRICK: Toxic mac: Macaroni pasta tossed in a cheesy, green, fresh basil pesto sauce with vegan Italian sausage.
  • TREAT: Fall mac & cheese: Homestyle mac and cheese with bacon and seasoned breadcrumbs.

Chicken Shack

  • TRICK: Dragon’s breath wings: Tossed in spicy Korean barbecue sauce and topped with black and white sesame seeds.
  • TREAT: Pumpkin patch: Doughnut holes drizzled with white and dark chocolate sauce.

Hank’s Mexican Grill

  • Trick: El Chupacabra: Spicy chicken Mexican egg roll topped with crème, red sauce and salsa verde.
  • Trick: Dulce regalo: Churros topped with cinnamon sugar and a side of berry sauce.

Coney Bar-B-Que

  • TRICK: The ghost rider: Smoked beef brisket with spiced apple barbecue sauce served on a Johnny cake.
  • TREAT: Poison apple crisp: Cranberry and apple crisp with whipped cream.
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The Kings Island Death Dog available during its Tricks and Treats fall festival. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

Meteor Canteen

  • TRICK: Death dog: Hot dog topped with fresh jalapeños, shredded pepper jack cheese and five-alarm chili.
  • TREAT: The mummy: Bacon-wrapped hot dog with American cheese and honey mustard sauce.

Jukebox Diner

  • TRICK: Witch’s grilled cheese: Pumpernickel bread with smoked Gouda and swiss cheese, served with fire-roasted tomato soup.
  • TREAT: Classic grilled cheese: Served on sourdough bread with American and cheddar cheese, served with classic tomato soup.

Rivertown Potato Works

  • TRICK: Zombie poutine: Fresh-cut fries topped with queso blanco, chorizo, cotija and green onions.
  • TREAT: French Quarter poutine: Duck fat fries topped with a braised short rib, port wine sauce and cheese curds.
Get a Kings Island Tricks And Treats food tasting card at any participating location will get you six food tastings of your choice. For those with a smaller appetite, all of the Tricks and Treats are available for purchase à la carte. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

Tips and tricks

Purchase a Tricks And Treats food tasting card at any participating location and enjoy six food tastings of your choice. For those with a smaller appetite, all of the Tricks and Treats are available for purchase à la carte.

The park has plenty of tables and seating to stay physically apart from anyone not in your group. The costumed kids throughout the park were adorable as they participated in trick-or-treating and a costume contest. The day we went, a kid who couldn’t have been older than 5 won for his fantastic plague doctor costume.

Social distancing was practiced, masks were required, hand sanitizing stations were around every corner and temperature checks were required for anyone entering the park.

Nothing is 100% safe unless you stay home. But this was a nice way to be outdoors, away from people while still trying to get in the spirit of fall and Halloween. A few edible tricks and treats were a nice bonus.

Contact Alexis Larsen at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com.

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HOW TO GO

What: King’s Island Tricks And Treats Fall Fest

Where: 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason

When: Saturday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. through Nov. 1 and is included with park admission to Kings Island. The purchase of a Kings Island Gold Pass will get you in now as well as next year.

Cost: A Tricks and Treats bundle is $55 and includes admission, parking and a tasting card that allows for three tastings.

More information: (513) 754-5700 or visitkingsisland.com

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