- Kings Island
Infobox Amusement park
name = Kings Island
caption = Kings Island Logo
location = Mason
location2 = Ohio
homepage = [http://www.visitkingsisland.com Kings Island]
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
April 29, 1972
previous_names = Paramount's Kings Island
season = April through November
area = Available 775 acres,
Used 364 acres
rides = 45
coasters = 14
water_rides = 3
slogan = "King's Island... Where Else?"
Kings Island is a 364-acre (1.5 km²)
theme parklocated in the city of Mason, in Warren County, Ohio, USA. [cite news | last = McNutt | first =Randy | title =Bite by bite, neighboring cities take land | work =The Cincinnati Enquirer | language =English | date =1998-08-31 | url =http://homefinder.cincinnati.com/closetohome/cth_lemontownship_083198.html | accessdate =2006-12-28 ] The park is located 24 miles (39 km) northeast of Cincinnati. The park owns close to 775 acres (3.2 km²) of land, but only 364 acres (1.5 km²) are currently developed. Kings Island is owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., and was part of the former Paramount Parkschain that Cedar Fair acquired from CBS Corporationon June 30, 2006. Kings Island is the most visited seasonal theme park in The United States of America. Fellow former-Paramount-Park Canada's Wonderlandis the most visited seasonal theme park in all of North America, making two sister parks the two most visited seasonal parks in all of the continent.
Kings Island first opened its gates on
April 29, 1972in what was then Deerfield Township (close to Cincinnati, Ohio), developed by the Taft Broadcasting Company. Taft Broadcasting took the name from the previous landlord, the defunct "King Powder Company", which founded the town of Kings Mills for its workers. The site is between I-71and the Little Miami River. The park remained in Deerfield Township until it was annexed into the city of Mason in 1997.
Kings Island served as a replacement for Coney Island, a popular park on the Ohio River about 10 miles (16 km) east of downtown Cincinnati. Coney Island was forced to close due to frequent floods, but has since reopened on a much smaller scale. Many of the rides from Coney Island were moved to the new park; the only attraction left at Coney at the time was Sunlite Pool, the world's largest swimming pool, which has operated every single year since 1926.
The park received some of its first nationwide promotion from two ABC sitcoms filming episodes there: "
The Partridge Family" in 1972, and, more famously, " The Brady Bunch" the following year. While they do not mention the name of the park, they do call it "a new park outside Cincinnati." Coincidentally, the latter was produced by eventual owners Paramount.
In 1984 Taft Broadcasting Company sold the company's Amusement Park Group, including Kings Island, to
Kings Entertainment Company(KECO) which was formed through a leveraged buyout of the attractions by several members of Taft's APG management team. In 1987 American Financial Corporationpurchased the park while KECO continued to operateit through a management contract. In 1992 Kings Island was purchased by Paramount Communications, along with four other theme parks in America and Canada; the park was renamed Paramount's Kings Island. Two years later, Viacom purchased Paramount, then split into two companies - Viacomand CBS Corporation- in 2006, with the latter company inheriting Paramount Parks, and subsequently selling then to Cedar Fair Entertainment Companylater that year. The deal made Kings Island sister parks with two other prominent parks in Ohio: Cedar Pointin Sandusky in between Cleveland and Toledo right off of Lake Erieand Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdomin Aurora near Cleveland.
October 25, 1975 -
Evel Knievelsuccessfully jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island, setting a new audience viewing record for ABC's "Wide World of Sports", garnering a 52 household share when his performance was broadcast live. He landed on the 14th bus, but held on. This was one of his last big jumps.
May 24, 2008 -
Robbie Knievel, son of famed dare devil Evel Knievel, successfully jumped over 24 Coke Zerotrucks in the Kings Island Parking Lot. This is expected to be the last of Robbie's big jumps. [cite web |url=http://www.knieveltour.com/past_jump_galleries/paramount_kings_2008/kings_island_photos/index.html |title=Photos from Robbie's King's Island Jump|accessdate=2008-07-30 |format=HTML ]
July 4, 2008 - High wire artist
Rick Wallenda, grandson of Karl Wallenda, broke a world Skywalk record, walking the distance from Kings Island's Eiffel Tower to the park entrance – and back again – setting a world record breaking distance of 2,000 feet on a 5/8 inch high wire 75 feet above the ground. Karl Wallendaset the previous record in 1974, also at Kings Island. [cite web |url=http://www.wallendaenterprises.com/ |title=Wallenda Enterprises Inc. - Exceeding The Limits of Tradition|accessdate=2008-07-30 |format=HTML ] [cite web |url=http://www.daytondailynews.com/search/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/07/04/pjm070408wallendawalk.html
last = Rossiter| first = Marie| work =Dayton Daily News|title=Tight-rope walker breaks record at Kings Island|accessdate=2008-07-04 |format=HTML ]
August 31, 2008 -
Barry Williams, Susan Olsen, and Mike Lookinlandreturn to Kings Island for "A Very Brady Reunion", a 4 show special of song, dance, and Brady Bunch stories. [ [http://www.visitkingsisland.com/events/event_detail.cfm?event_id=510&ec_id=15 Kings Island website - A Very Brady Reunion] ]
The centerpiece of Kings Island has always been its 1/3 scale replica of the
Eiffel Tower, located just across the Royal Fountain from the main entrance gate. Elevators regularly take patrons up to the top of the tower, which provides a chance to see the entire park and, at park closing, offers the best view of the nightly fireworks display. (Another Eiffel Tower resides at a sister park Kings Dominion.)
Another star attraction is the Racer, which consists of twin wooden roller coasters that race each other side-by-side. Designed by legendary designer John Allen, The Racer is credited by many people with starting the second golden age of the
roller coaster. In 1982, the trains on the right side of the Racer were turned backward, freshening up an old favorite. (Many coaster enthusiasts have nicknamed the backwards train "recaR".) The right side of "Racer" no longer operates backwards. Both sides are forward for the 2008 season.
Other coasters present in 1972 were the Bavarian Beetle, a small steel coaster brought over from Coney Island (and removed in 1979); and Scooby-Doo, a wooden coaster (renamed "The Beastie" in 1979; and renamed again as "Fairly Odd Coaster" for 2006) located in the park's Nickelodeon Universe area.
More attractions present at opening day were Haley's Comet, Kings Mill Log Flume, Les Taxis, Grand Carousel, Der Spinning Keggers, Sky Ride, Enchanted Voyage, Marathon Turnpike, Scrambler, Flying Scooters, Winnie Witch's Spinning Cauldrons, Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad, Monster, and The Rotor.
Kings Island has set several roller coaster-related records. In 1979, the park unveiled The Beast, the tallest, longest, and fastest roller coaster in the world at the time. After nearly 30 years, it still holds the title of the world's longest wooden roller coaster at 7,419 ft (2,261 m), which is largely accredited to the rise and later dominance of steel roller coasters. In 1981, Kings Island introduced the world's first suspended roller coaster, The Bat. Plagued with mechanical problems, The Bat was removed four years later. In 1984 King Cobra opened. It was the first stand-up coaster in the world designed specifically to be so, although previously a few sit-down coasters had been converted to stand-up. However, King Cobra was dismantled (and put up for sale) in 2002 when maintenance proved to be too expensive. In 1987, the Vortex roller coaster briefly set a new record with six inversions.
The Son of Beast, billed as the sequel to the Beast, opened in 2000. Currently, it is the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, as well as the only one to successfully incorporate a steel loop into its otherwise wooden structure. That success was short-lived, however; in July 2006, an on-ride accident closed the coaster, and the vertical loop was removed in December 2006 as part of modifications being made to the ride as a result of the accident's investigation. Son of Beast re-opened July 4, 2007.
1989 saw the debut of
Water Works, a family water park featuring several slides, a wave pool, a lazy river and other attractions. An approximate 30 acre expansion of Water Works occurred in 1997, and a further renovation and expansion in 2004 coincided with a name change to " [http://www.pki.com/attractions/attractions_list.cfm?rt_id=5 Boomerang Bay] ".
In 1982 Kings Island introduced a
Christmasevent called "Winterfest", which ran from November 25through December 31. The International Street fountains were turned into an ice-skating rink, and for a few years a nightly laser light-show was centered around the Eiffel Tower. Most rides were closed, except for a Holiday-themed train ride; special shops and restaurants, as well as other holiday-themed activities, were available. Early on there were horse drawn carriage rides and hand made crafts for sale all along International Street. Live holiday shows could be seen at the American Heritage Music Hall (later the Paramount Theater and now called the Kings Island Theater) and Festhaus; carolers made regular appearances. The event ended after the 1992 season, but made one additional appearance in 2005. Slow ticket sales prompted new owners Cedar Fair to shelve the idea. [cite news | last =Magan | first =Chris | title =Kings Island cancels WinterFest after 1-year revival | work =Dayton Daily News | language =English | date =2006-04-24 | url =http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/content/shared/oh/stories/072406winterfest.html | accessdate =2006-12-28 ]
Additionally, the park offers "Halloween Haunt" (previously "FearFest"). There are 13 attractions, which include dark mazes, haunted houses and haunted trails. The event runs late September through October.
For 2007 Kings Island announced the construction of Firehawk, a
Vekoma flying roller coaster. It is the fourteenth roller coaster located within Kings Island. This ride originally operated at Geauga Lakeunder the name X-Flight. The coaster has been repainted from the neon green track and dark gray supports to a red track with steel gray supports. The two trains have been painted red and yellow.
Today, Kings Island has 14 roller coasters [cite web
title=Kings Island (Kings Mills, Ohio 45034 USA)
first=] and many large flat rides. It also has more tame rides as well as other attractions for those not interested in thrill seeking. Kings Island has also won Amusement Today's award for 'Best Kid's Area in the World' eight consecutive times (2001-2008). Its longtime kids' area,
Hanna-BarberaLand, was joined by the Viacom-synergistic Nickelodeon Central, which debuted in 2001, which in turn was an extension of the Nickelodeon Splat Cityarea. In 2006 the entire kids' area was rethemed by a Jacksonville, FL-based [http://www.creativenvirons.com/index.htm theming contractor] as "Nickelodeon Universe". This huge retheming undertaking involved transforming the entire 11-acre children's area to the new "Nickelodeon Universe" theme. Based on this work, Amusement Today magazine presented "Nickelodeon Universe" with the prestigious 2006 Golden Ticket Award as the Best Kid's Area in the World.
While no new rides will be added to Kings Island for the 2008 season, there will be a larger line-up of live shows, including at the Festhaus. There haven't been any live shows in the Festhaus since the mid-1990s. There will also be upgrades to International Street, such as a redesigned Guest Relations office, and a Cinnabon outlet.
Bolliger & Mabillardsteel hypercoastercalled Diamondback is expected to open in April 2009. Starting July 22, 2008 dark red track sections were delivered to the park and set on site of the construction. The park launched a teaser program on their website the same day. On August 6 2008 the park announced the new ride. [http://www.kidiamondback.com]
June 30, 2006, Paramount's Kings Island, along with the rest of the Paramount Parks chain, was purchased by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., for approximately USD $1.24 billion. [cite web |url=http://www.cedarfair.com/ir/press_releases/index.cfm?current_root=15&mode=story&story_id=77 |title=Cedar Fair, L.P. Completes Acquisition of the Paramount Parks |accessdate=2006-12-28 |format=HTML ] . With this purchase, Cedar Fair now owns all three major amusement parks in Ohio(Paramount's Kings Island, Cedar Pointand Geauga Lake). The park continued to operate under the name Paramount's Kings Island through the end of the 2006 season, however Cedar Fair began removing the "Paramount" name and logo from the park in January 2007.
In February 2007, it was announced that Geauga Lake's
X-Flightflying coaster would be relocated to Kings Island for the coming season, and be re-painted and re-branded as Firehawk. This decision was made because of a combination of Geauga Lake's declining attendance, and Kings Island's thrill-seeking guests wanting a new thrilling coaster experience. The ride opened officially Memorial Dayweekend of 2007.
Kings Island, like the other parks in the former Paramount Family, featured a number of attractions — encompassing rides, live shows and restaurants — based on
Paramount Picturesfilms and other CBS and Viacom brands. A number of these attractions, including three rollercoasters formerly known as "Face/Off", "Italian Job: Stunt Track" and "Top Gun", were renamed in the 2007-08 offseason.
There is also now a stronger emphasis on safety and cleanliness under Cedar Fair managementFact|date=June 2007; more trash cans, with labels identical to those found at Cedar Point, have been placed, along with ground-sweeping teams wearing bright yellow shirts; and the addition of safety belts to several coasters and rides in the park. Kings Island's live entertainment department has also received greater support, with five new shows, including shows at venues that were otherwise empty in 2006.
Lists of Stages & Theaters
Main strip featuring many shops, the "Eiffel Tower", and the "Royal Fountain" with light and water shows. Opened with the park in 1972.
readers awarded Kings Island with the prestigious "Golden Ticket Award for the Best Kids' Area in the World"! [cite web
title=THE "BEST OF THE BEST" IN THE AMUSEMENT INDUSTRY HONORED AT GOLDEN TICKET AWARDS -
first=] Expanding over two exciting neighborhoods dedicated to
SpongeBob SquarePants™ and Dora the Explorer™, Nickelodeon Universe features more than 18 attractions and more kids' coaster than any other park in the world! [cite web
title=Nickelodeon Universe discription
Amusement Today- Gold Ticket for the Best Kids’ Area in the world. (2001-2008)
Amusement Today- Best Concert Venue (2007)
Carmen Electra- Started her profesional career in 1990 as a dancer at Kings Island in the show “It’s Magic”.
Susan Perkins- “Miss America of 1978,” worked as a live shows performer at Kings Island.
Susan Kay Johnson, “Miss Ohio of 1987,” worked as a live shows performer at Kings Island.
* [http://www.visitkingsisland.com Official Website]
* [http://www.rcdb.com/pd12.htm Kings Island at RCDB]
* [http://www.kicentral.com/ Kings Island Central (formerly PKICentral) (Fan Website)]
* [http://www.kiextreme.com/ KIExtreme (Fan Website)]
* [http://www.scaryforkids.com/kings-island/ King's Island Ghosts]
* [http://www.banana-splits-show.com/photo5.html] Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park and Fan Pictures of Kings Island c1972
* [http://www.cincynorth.com Northern Cincinnati Convention & Visitors Bureau]
* http://www.kidiamondback.com (Diamondback Media Site)
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