Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kings Island, Ohio - August 1973

Hey, let's go to Kings Island in Mason, Ohio (near Cincinnati)! 

Kings Island had opened about a year before these photos were taken (on April 19, 1972); it is on 364 acres, and is the second most popular seasonal amusement park in the U.S. (the park is only open from mid-April through Labor Day, with a few additional weeks of Halloween-themed events in October). It is now owned by Cedar Fair, and specializes primarily in bigger and badder thrill rides.

This nice lady poses next to flowers that helpfully tell us the exact date of her visit. Which means they had to change it every day.

One of the most famous landmarks at Kings Island is the 1/3-scale reproduction of the Eiffel Tower. I've been to the real one, and I have to admit that it didn't seem 3 times taller than this baby! Notice the aerial tramway (I can't find the name of their "Skyway"), as well as the Royal Fountain, which can shoot up to 10,000 gallons of water each minute. I wonder what the view is like from up there?

Oh, I see. There's that weird inflatable theater, that looks like a loaf of bread. There seems to be a bus, some trailers, and some kind of commotion going on down below. Let's check it out.

HEY! It's Mrs. Brady! Florence Henderson herself. That's right kids, "The Brady Bunch" filmed a 1973 episode at Kings Island (Paramount Studio produced that show and was a large shareholder in the company that owned Kings Island at the time). An episode of "The Partridge Family" also filmed there.  You know what? Somebody needs to give Florence a sammich.

There's Christopher Knight, aka Peter Brady, greeting his giddy fans. He doesn't seem very concerned about the throng of people around him… I guess he was an old pro by then. In 2013, three of the original Bradys returned to Kings Island to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their very special episode. Read about it HERE!

Thanks to YouTube, you can watch the final exciting minutes of that show. Trust me, you probably don't want to see more than that… I loved TBB when I was a kid, but man, this slapsticky chase is pretty hard to sit through. Still, it gives you a pretty good look at Kings Island, which I suppose was the point.


Nanook said...

Ouuuuuhhh, Major - Kings Island. Been many years since I've been there, but they certainly placed themselves on the coaster map when they opened The Beast in 1979.

And I believe the name of the sky ride was actually called The Sky Ride. In addition to the floral "calendar", the park also featured a floral clock-!

Nice shots of the Brady gang. (Too bad that, and virtually all of the episodes, were simply too corny and downright awful to make the show a true classic). But there's no denying, it was the right show for the right time.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The skyway ride at Kings Island was simply known as the "Skyride" and was imported from the closed Coney Island, Ohio nearby. In fact Kings Island was the replacement/relocation for the older flood plagued amusement park.

The aerial view from the "Eiffel Tower" shows the Oktoberfest area and the spinning barrel ride in that same shot was called "Der Spinning Keggers".

As for the Brady bunch episode, it was titled "The Cincinnati Kid" and I have no problem sitting through it. It's great for footage of a quissentential 1970s theme park.

These are very cool. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

The "Brady Bunch" and "Partridge family" episodes in the '70's piqued my interest in King's Island, and I was thrilled when we moved to Dayton in '81 and were close enough to visit fairly regularly.

This was the theme park of my junior high experience. A classmate was one of the little kids brought up onstage on the "Partridge" episode. And even then, only 10 years after the park opened, there was already nostalgia for "the Good Old Days" of the early '70's. I think my first theme park archaeology experience was friends showing me roughly where the canoe ride showcased in the "Brady" episode had been. I looked, but was unable to find a Yogi Bear poster tucked in some forgotten corner.

These are a real treasure, Major. I'm incredibly impressed that you have managed to get your hands on them.

Connie Moreno said...


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I've never been to Kings Island, though it has a certain "Hershey Park" vibe (to me, anyway). I hadn't watched the Brady Bunch in a zillion years, and was sort of stunned at how clunky that clip that I shared was.

K. Martinez, "Der Spinning Keggers", who wouldn't love a ride with phony-baloney German like that? Maybe the entire BB episode is more watchable, but that "zany" search for the architectural plans is pretty lame. But I agree, shows like this do give a great look at places that are completely changed - or gone altogether.

Chuck, I love how the kid who was brought up onstage was practically a celebrity in his (her?) own right!! As for getting my hands on these slides, they were part of a big lot, not labeled or anything. It was a real surprise to see Florence Henderson there!

Connie, thanks!

Nancy said...

I have always wanted to visit this park; maybe someday. Rachel went there for her freshman band trip in 2003. Wish I had gone with her.

(I always enjoy the Partridge Family episode where they went there, too. :-)