Kings Island celebrates 40 years of history

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 9:46 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Kings Island has been making people happy, and sometimes queasy, for 40 years. Since the park opened in 1972 in what then felt like the hinterlands of Warren County, the Partridge family came, the Brady Bunch visited and Evel Knievel jumped. Kings Island has been, and is, an economic engine, and a first workplace for thousands. But really, the park is nothing more, and nothing less, than a string of moments.

Read more and see photos from Cincinnati.com.

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Monday, April 23, 2012 4:24 PM

To celebrate their actual anniversary date (April 29th), the park will be closed to the public for a private sell out day.

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Monday, April 23, 2012 4:35 PM

Hooray!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:31 AM

I don't know if this has been posted before here, but check out this (poor film transfer) Kings Island construction film. How fantastic is the music? I love that the dudes working up on the Eiffel Tower have no fall protection.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 4:56 PM

I wish the park well in their 40th.

I have very mixed feelings of the park from what it started as and what its become.

On the one hand they have a few big powerful and thrilling rides. On the other, They have much less to do than when it opened and it was much more service friendly with trams picnic grounds ect.

It is what it is, CF has improved several things, We'll see where it goes. Hopes for 40 more!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 5:10 PM

Jeff said:

Kings Island construction film. How fantastic is the music?

Everything is right in that video. I'm convinced America achieved perfection in 1971.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:05 PM

Jeff said:

Kings Island construction film. How fantastic is the music?

Benefits of your parent company being a broadcast company, your opening season is EXTREMELY well documented. Same thing with Disney, you can find video, pictures, and audio from every park opening.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:11 PM

I don't know why people get so down on the Paramount years. There were absolutely issues there, without question, but some people make it sound as if they totally ruined the park.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:32 PM

Well just happen to come across a KI Guide Book and an article from Holiday Inn Magazine from Aug 1972. My dad's company used to have picnics at Coney and when KI opened they moved to there. Enjoy the pics.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/77602181@N04/6965225062

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:07 AM

Lord Gonchar said:Everything is right in that video. I'm convinced America achieved perfection in 1971.

I'd extend that out through the 80s, at least for theme/amusement parks. It seems like those were the modern "golden years."

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:55 PM

Jeff said:

I don't know why people get so down on the Paramount years. There were absolutely issues there, without question, but some people make it sound as if they totally ruined the park.

The Paramount years at least brought something unique to the table in terms of what was happening in Ohio. However folks felt about things like Outer Limits: Flight of Fear, Italian Job and Tomb Raider: The Ride, Paramount generally went for distinctly different attractions than the relative Cedar Fair sameness.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:11 AM

It the Cedar Fair years that I am having trouble with. While Diamondback is amazing, the placement of that ride goes against the layout guidelines of the park, in which the big coasters are supposed to line the outside areas of the park.

...I guess the same goes with Stunt Job Track Coaster though, and that was built by Paramount, so never mind.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012 4:14 AM

I don't know that I would consider Stunt Job to be the same caliber as Diamondback, FOF, The Beast or even Racer.

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Friday, April 27, 2012 2:31 AM

Travis, those design guidelines are from the bygone era that brought us all those infuriating Duell Loop parks, where the major attractions are hidden away in favor of "theming". Back in the 1960s and 1970s it seems there was an attitude that rides were a necessary evil, something amusement parks had to have, but not necessarily the main attraction (at a few parks, like Dollywood, for instance, they still aren't the major attraction!).

Of course, I'm biased (what is my handle again?). But I've never appreciated this. I find it makes for more walking, more difficult wayfinding (Darien Lake is particularly bad. Ride EXITS are easy to find, but the entrances are all hidden), and when you try to keep up that kind of a design, you eventually discover...as has happened at Kings Island...that you've blocked off all your future expansion areas. Plus, it's bad for people with cameras...all my best pictures of Carowinds' Intimidator were taken from the elevator lobby of the hotel across the street.

Cedar Fair, having long been in the amusement park (not "theme park") business, takes another approach. People are there to ride the rides, and the rides are worth showing off. Diamondback is a great example of this (moreso than Stunt Track, which Paramount tried very hard to hide); even better, look at where they put Windseeker. The idea isn't to re-create some European village, then put a ride behind a building facade; the idea is that the ride should be integrated into the park. Let the chickens and the children in on the experience, too!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, April 27, 2012 9:30 AM

I sometimes wish I could just download your brain into my head. lol Thanks for a wonderful post, Rideman.

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Friday, April 27, 2012 9:31 AM

Jeff said:
I don't know why people get so down on the Paramount years. There were absolutely issues there, without question, but some people make it sound as if they totally ruined the park.

Well, they did take out the flyers...

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Friday, April 27, 2012 10:18 AM

Because that's now ancient history, a lot of the former PP people at both parks will tell you stories about that. At the end of the day, the only reason that relocation was followed through on was due to one executive ego, apparently. Most thought it was a waste of time and effort.

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Friday, April 27, 2012 11:18 AM

Jeff: You're talking about the 'Flying Beagles'? I've not heard any stories, but I have long suspected as much. In fact I know someone whose PPI office relocated from Mason to Charlotte at the same time and I've frequently joked that they moved the ride 'cause he threatened not to go if they didn't.

I've also heard that a similar executive demand is the reason Kings Island has a Monster, a story which also explains why Kings Island's Monster is *not* the same one that moved up from Coney Island in 1972. I've learned that the Monster at Kings Island was, in fact, the last one built.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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