Coney to Kings

Thursday, April 24, 2003 3:46 PM
Does anyone know where I can find a history of how Coney Island became Kings Island? Or, if someone here knows, could they post it in this thread?

Intelligence is a God given gift: Know how to use it.

Thursday, April 24, 2003 4:06 PM
Basicly, there were lots of floods at Coney and so they moved their rides to PKI (Coney Mall). I forgot why they decided to bring them there though...
Thursday, April 24, 2003 4:13 PM
I was living in the Cincinnati area when Kings Island opened up. Basically Taft Broadcasting bought Coney Island. Taft at that time owned the H-B cartoons. Taft liked the idea of a theme park to promote the cartoons. But Coney apparently didn't have much room for expansion, and the fact that over the years the Ohio River had flooded out the park, so a new location was bought and a new park was created, although one section was called "Old Coney". I remember Taft ran some sort of "Name the new park" contest. If you try doing a search on the internet, you can find a lot of info on Coney Island of Ohio.
Thursday, April 24, 2003 4:13 PM
It wasn't just the floods. Coney Island had no room to expand and was threatened by a proposed theme park in northern Kentucky. Charles Jacques Jr.'s Cincinnati's Coney Island: Americas's Finest Amusement Park is a fantastic source of information. His upcoming book on Kings Island will include more details about the Coney to Kings move.
Thursday, April 24, 2003 4:18 PM
I had forgotten about the park in Kentucky. Was it ever built? Is it the park that is today SFKK? My family moved back to Baltimore in 1973, so I only had one season at PKI. In 1974, Kings Dominion opened and we started going there.
Thursday, April 24, 2003 5:03 PM
It wouldn't have been Kentucky Kingdom. It opened in the 1980s long after King's was built in the 1970s.

Edit: Coney's website has a nice history:

Please visit the small parks. We don't know what's happening behind the scenes
*** This post was edited by bigkirby 4/24/2003 9:05:05 PM ***

Thursday, April 24, 2003 6:10 PM
Take Kellogg Ave. West to IR-275 East/North to IR-71 North; it's about 31 long boring miles.

A slower, but more scenic and more direct route is Kellogg Ave West to downtown Cincinnati, then North on IR-71 to Kings Island.

Oh, wait a minute, that's not what you were asking about...!

Well, others have covered it pretty well...perhaps someone can help flesh out this slightly longer timeline:

Taft Broadcasting buys Coney Island

Taft builds Kings Island

Taft moves flat rides to Kings Island and closes AND STRIPS Coney Island, but does not sell

Taft splits into several divisions, and Kings Entertainment Corp. (KECO) is formed

Taft's devolution continues; ultimately Coney Island's ownership passes to Citicasters and KECO is spun off

North American Financial (Carl Lindner) buys Kings Island from KECO, but retains KECO to manage the park

North American sells the Hanna-Barbera assets to Turner Entertainment; Turner launches the Cartoon Network

Paramount buys Kings Entertainment and Canada's Wonderland (Wonderland had been managed by KECO)

Paramount buys Kings Island

Citicasters' Park River Corp. begins redeveloping Coney Island, now that the corporate parent no longer owns Kings Island

(I think somewhere in here, Citicasters became Clear Channel Communications, but I am not positive)

Time-Warner (owner of Six Flags) buys Turner Entertainment, which explains how Scooby Doo ended up at Six Flags as well as at Taft/KECO/Paramount

Viacom buys Paramount

Blockbuster Entertainment buys Viacom

Viacom buys CBS

Park River Corp. buys (forecloses on?) Americana

Park River closes Americana, sells to Jerry Couch

Okay, now the five Paramount parks, Coney Island, Americana, and Six Flags are all very confusingly tied together. Anybody want to make sense of this mess? :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, April 24, 2003 6:34 PM

Charles Nungester.
It is my personal belief that Lesourdsville Lake is closed for 2003. I'll let you know if anything is announced.

Friday, April 25, 2003 5:36 AM
The proposed park for northern Kentucky would have been built at the I-75 I-71 split south of Florence but well north of Lexington and Lousiville. Actor Fess Parker put together a syndicate and optioned land. In response, the owners of Coney Island approached Taft about a partnership to build a new park. Instead, Taft bought out the owners and announced plans for their new park. That was the end of Parker's plans.

Coney Island survived because of Sunlite Pool, a huge swimming pool that didn't fit into the plans for the new park. Sunlite was the nucleus around which the new Coney grew.

Parker starred as Davy Crockett in a few movies for Disney in the 1950's and although not involved in the operation of Disneyland, made frequent appearances. He's an extremely successful businessman who made a fortune in real estate so his theme park proposal was a very serious prospect.

Citicasters was bought out by Jacor which in turn was bought out by Clear Channel.

Eventually acquistions and mergers will result in all the amusement park chains being owned by each other in one of those "I'm my own grandpa" situations.


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