Coney Island, Cincinnati, Ohio

Coney Island, Cincinnati, Ohio
Coney Island
Coney Island Logo.jpg
Coney Island Logo
Location Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Coordinates 39°03′15″N 84°25′12″W / 39.054268°N 84.420040°W / 39.054268; -84.420040Coordinates: 39°03′15″N 84°25′12″W / 39.054268°N 84.420040°W / 39.054268; -84.420040
Website Coney Island Web Site
Owner Brenda Walker
Opened 1886-1971
Reopened in 1974 (Sunlite Pool remained open during the three-year gap)
Previous names Parker's Grove (1867-1885)
Grove Park, The Coney Island of the West (1886)
Coney Island (1887-1975)
Old Coney (1976-1985)
Coney Island (1985-)
Operating season May through October
Rides 24 total
  • 1 roller coasters
  • 4 water rides
Slogan Coney Has it
Moonlite Gardens at Coney Island

Coney Island is a small amusement park and waterpark located in the California neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio and Anderson Township, on the banks of the Ohio River 10 miles (16 km) east of Downtown Cincinnati. The park is currently owned by Brenda Walker.[1]



Coney Island's beginnings date back to 1867 when an apple farmer by the name of James Parker purchased 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land along the shores of the Ohio River. James soon realized in the early 1870s the popularity of the farm's location, and that renting it out was more profitable than his apple orchard. He eventually added a dining hall, dancing hall, and bowling alley. He later sold the land in 1886 for $17,500 to a company called Ohio Grove Corporation headed by two steamboat captains. In time for the opening on June 21, 1886, the name was officially changed to "Ohio Grove, The Coney Island of the West" in an effort to link the park with the famous New York destination. Fortunate enough to be on a riverfront location, riverboat soon became the most popular method of transportation for park visitors. In 1887, "Ohio Grove" was completely dropped from the name as the park became known simply as "Coney Island".[1]

Over the years, the park became a full-fledged amusement park, complete with rides and carnival games. In that capacity, Coney Island was a Cincinnati institution. However, the park's proximity to the river made it prone to frequent flooding. In 1968, park management entered into talks with Taft Broadcasting for the purpose of developing a new park on higher ground. Taft responded by buying Coney Island outright in 1969, and construction began the following year on the new site located in Deerfield Township of Warren County 25 miles (40 km) north of Cincinnati on Interstate 71. Coney Island closed its amusements on September 6, 1971 as most of its rides were moved to the new theme park, Kings Island.

After Kings Island opened in 1972, Taft Broadcasting intended to sell Coney Island's land for redevelopment. However, with the company's decision to open another theme park in Virginia (Kings Dominion) and its acquisition of Carowinds on the North Carolina-South Carolina border, the property's redevelopment became a low priority. Less than two years after closing, Coney Island would reopen permanently in 1973. The park was only a shadow of its former self but still featured several popular attractions. The Sunlite Pool — still the largest recirculating swimming pool in the world — was one of those attractions that helped Coney Island remain a popular summertime destination.

The park donated 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land for the construction of Riverbend Music Center which opened in 1984. The land was the former location of the Wildcat and Shooting Star roller coasters. The amphitheater serves as the summer home of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras as well as a concert venue for other musical acts. In 1991, Coney Island was purchased by Cincinnati businessman Ronald Walker. No longer held back by a corporate entity, management has been able to restore Coney Island as a traditional amusement park with familiar rides such as the "Tilt-A-Whirl", bumper cars, carnival games and musical shows.[2]

Roller coasters

Ride Year Opened Removed In Description
Pepsi Python 1999 From Splash Zone Water Park (1996-1999)
Pipeline Plunge

Sunlite pool slides

Ride Year Opened Removed In Description
The Twister 2009 The Twister is the replacement of the Zoom Flume. The Twister is a 4 slide attraction. 2 of the slides are body slides, and the other two are double or single tubes. They are not fully enclosed.
Zzip 1984 1993 The Zzip was similar to its successor, the Pipeline Plunge.
Pipeline Plunge 1994 Pipeline Plunge is a dual enclosed innertube slide. It replaced the Zzip. It is currently closed for the 2011 season.
Cyclone 2006 The Cyclone type of enclosed slide.
Zoom Flume 1977 2008 Zoom Flume, which had wooden supports, was the first of Sunlite Pool's large slides. It was removed at the end of 2008 season and replaced by The Twister.

Flat rides

Ride Type Year Opened Description
Ferris wheel Eli Bridge Ferris wheel 1990 Built in 1912, this ride is cable driven contrasting newer tire driven wheel.
Bumper Boats Bumper Boats 1990 Bumper Boats located on Lake Como.
Scrambler Scrambler 1991 Standard Eli Bridge Scrambler
Tilt-A-Whirl Tilt-A-Whirl 1992 Standard Tilt-A-Whirl painted green and purple. Relocated from defunct Fantasy Farm park.
Trabant Chance- Morgan Trabant or Wipeout (ride) 1993 Colorfully painted.
Super Round Up Round Up (ride) 1993 Mass produced "Round Up" ride.
Flying Bobs Matterhorn (ride) 1994 Chance "Matterhorn" ride.
Carousel Carousel 1998 Merry Go Round consisting of 30 horses and 2 chariots. Chance Rides model.
Dodgems Bumper Cars 2000 Oval shaped Bumper Cars ride with a center island. A one way sign is posted, though it is not always followed.
Tempest Grover Watkins Tempest 2001 "A tornado-like whirling dervish that cannot be found anywhere else in the state of Ohio." Relocated from Americana/Lesourdesville Lake Amusement Park.
Giant Slide Giant Slide or Fun Slide 2001 3 lane, approximately 25 feet (7.6 m) tall Giant Slide.
Frog Hopper S&S power Frog Hopper 2003 Bouncing spring ride with frog theming.
Scream Machine Moser Spring Ride 2005 50 feet (15 m) tall Moser Spring Ride
Rock- O- Plane Eyerly Rock-O-Plane 2007 Originally opened at LeSourdesville Lake in 1949.
River Runner Pirate Ship (ride) 2008 Relocated from Wild West World after closure. Canoe themed.
Pedal Boats Pedal Boats unknown Located on Lake Como

In addition to these flat rides there are five circular kiddie rides near the front of the park.


Coney Island serves as the location for several festivals, including Summerfair Arts Festival, the "Cincinnati Celtic World Festival", The Appalachian Festival and the Cincinnati Flower and Farm Fest. Concerts are also held in the Moonlite Gardens area of the park, most notably by Over the Rhine.

Scenes from the old children's TV show The Banana Splits were filmed on location at Coney Island.

A 'The Brady Bunch' episode was filmed here in Season 5, titled "The Cincinnati Kids".


  1. ^ a b "Coney Island History". Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  2. ^ Jacques, Jr., Charles J., Cincinnati's Coney Island: America's Finest Amusement Park, 2002, Amusement Park Journal (ISBN 0-9614392-7-0)

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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