Questions about CP & PKI. History

Saturday, October 19, 2002 8:46 AM

I saw a brochure recently from CP where the park calls itself "Cedar Point Amusement Land", I was wondering when the park quit calling itself that. Also does anyone know the year that PKI took out the skylift. I've also saw before that there was a Coney Island on the property where PKI was located. Does anyone have any information on that topic?

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Indiana Beach Guide

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Saturday, October 19, 2002 9:07 AM

Coney Island was and still is in Cincinatti. Because of it's flooding, Taft bought Coney and moved some rides to a less watery location now know as King's Island in 1971-72. http://www.coneyislandpark.com has the history. Coney Island still operates as a picninc park with some rides including a Galaxi like rollercoaster.

Pretty cool history. Amazing the both parks can peacefully coexist together.

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Saturday, October 19, 2002 9:43 AM

Thanks, that was difficult to locate. Here is a link directly to the history:

http://www.coneyislandpark.com/info/history01.asp

That is very interesting and it seems that Coney Island has only recently began to really recover again. I didn't realize that the park had that much history.

I saw where it said that Taft originally purchased 1600 acres for Kings Island after deciding to move Coney Island. That park refuses to die. Taft actually tried to kill it, but was unsuccessful.

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Indiana Beach Guide

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Saturday, October 19, 2002 10:43 AM

PKI removed the Sky ride after the 1980 season.

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Saturday, October 19, 2002 11:04 AM
I believe that originally, the Coney Mall section of Kings Island was known as Coney Island. I`m not sure when they changed it to Coney Mall. Of course right now for Fear Fest, Coney Mall is known as Coney "Maul." As slash said, the skyride was removed after the 1980 season. The Sky ride was built at Coney Island in 1965, and then moved to PKI. It stood 95 feet tall and one of the stations still remains at PKI as the Animation Station shop in Hanna Barbera.

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Coney Island (Cincinnati) ride operator

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Sunday, October 20, 2002 9:07 AM
The "Amusement Land" title was used from the late 1960's until the late 1970's. A year or two after the management shuffle after the passing of Emil LaGross and the retirement of George Roose the park's direction was changed. It was then that they started billing themselves as "The Amazement Park".
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Sunday, October 20, 2002 8:49 PM
I seem to recall that Taft put a 25 year restriction on the addition of rides at Coney Island when KI was opened in 1972.

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CBCon Quote "We didn't even get wet"......30 seconds later you hear plop, then splash!!!!

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Monday, October 21, 2002 9:10 AM
Flooding was only half of the problem. By the time Taft bought the park, Coney had expanded as much as it could. The Ohio river on one side, "bookends" River Downs and I-275 (just beginning construction at that time), and Kellogg Ave and hills to the north kept the park from growing. I actually lived between Coney and 275 until 1976. My house and my street (Clover St.) are now overflow parking areas.

James Moreland

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Monday, October 21, 2002 8:08 PM

A couple of notes here:

The Skyride at KI was dismantled PRIOR to the 1980 season. It's removal was announced by the park in mid-February (Feb 19th to be exact.). It had been added to Coney Island for their 1965 season and transferred to KI in 1971 immediately following CI's closure. It was manufactured by Von Roll of Switzerland and was 1,200 feet long and 95 feet high. The ride gained national attention in 1977 when 47m.p.h. winds caused it to jam leaving 27 buckets, 45 riders stranded for up to eight hours. The ride removal was due to the inability to obtain replacement parts.

The current Coney Mall section at Kings Island was originally called "Coney Island" There was a major expansion to the area in 1975 which brought the 130 foot Zodiac Double Armed Ferris Wheel and the Troika, otherwise known as the "Shake Rattle and Roll." In 1984 the area was re-named "Old Coney" which the park used until the late 1980's. By the time Vortex was added, the area was called "Coney Mall" because of confusion between the area name at KI and the actual park on the other side of Cincinnati. KI execs originally wanted to capitolize on the enormous success of Coney when KI opened. To do so, they desinged the area as a tribute to the Cincinnati favorite.

As coasterdime mentioned, Cincinnati's Coney Island was a victim of it's own success as much as a victim of flooding. Sure the floods were a huge reason the park was "closed" but a primary problem was lack of space. Why, in 1964 the park dismantled it's most beloved coaster, Wildcat, just to gain 400 more feet of expansion room. The crowds had grown to the point where a busy day made the park a mob scene.

When CConey Island was originally opened, it was a draw for picnics for nearby farmers interested in it's apple trees. It then became a picnic ground which steam and paddle boats frequented. It was also a sort of trolley park, but mostly frequented by those travelling on the Ohio River. Once the car was a success, more and more people began visitng by auto. In 1947, the Island Queen (The main transport to Coney... a steamboat) burned down. That led to cars and busses galore. The need for parking cut into the land area terribly, and expansion room was nearly non-existant. Even though the land mass did not increase, the attendance figures did and by the late 1960's the park really had no way to deal with it's need for more room.

Once the park closed and KI opened, Taft decided to keep Sunlight Pool, a main draw at Coney, open through the 1972 season with an admission of $1.75. From the time that Coney Island closed, Taft had placed the property on-sale. There were no interested buyers and so the land sat idle while old buildings and midways basically rotted. A flood in the spring of 1972 pretty much washed away the remains of CI, except the substantial pool which was cleaned and re-furbished. Taft was concerned that if they kept any part of CI functional would steal focus from the new KI park. However after a strong spring 1972 KI grand opening, Taft felt comfortable enough to reopen the pool open since the property was of no interest to buyers and was otherwise sitting idle. By 1973 Taft had begun to advertise the pool again. In 1975, CI was taken off the market as it hit 420,000 visitors, and for the first time since KI's opening... made money. In the years since, Coney built on the pool's success adding waterslides and various improvements.

By the late 1970's Coney Island had built on the pool's succes and had re-opened the dance hall. It was then named "Old Coney" which stuck until Taft sold the park in 1984. That year, it was once again christened "Coney Island" and KI's "Coney Island" section became "Old Coney." Confusing, huh?!

There is a rumored no-compete clause written into the sale of Coney Island in 1984 when a group of KI execs bought out the parks division. Coney was not included in the sale.

However, by the late 1990's the park had transferred hands enough that any "clauses" were obsolete and the park once again began to re-build it's midway.

Shaggy

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Monday, October 21, 2002 8:42 PM
Actually as far as the "Island Queen" is concerned, she blew up at wharf in Pittsburgh after having some work down. It was determined that a welder's torch ignited fumes from one of the fuel oil tanks.(originally it was thought one of the boilers blew.) She burned high distilate oil in her boilers, more like home heating oil or diesel 2. The resulting explosion sent pieces flying for blocks. By the time the fire was extinguished there wasn't much left. I've seen photos of the aftermath. What had been the largest surviving excursion steamer on the upper Ohio was reduced to a charred hulk. It was truely the end of an era.
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