Thursday, October 15, 2015
Today I am proud to present part NINE of Ken Martinez's scans of his vintage postcard collection! This time Kings Island in Ohio is the star of the show.
After Coney Island There Was Kings Island
Kings Island was opened in 1972 by Coney Island's last owners, Taft Broadcasting. Many of the attractions from the closed Coney Island were moved to the new theme park. The park featured six theme areas: International Street, Oktoberfest, Animal Safari, Coney Island, Rivertown, and Happyland of Hanna-Barbera. Kings Island was also featured in the Season 5 episode of The Brady Bunch, titled "The Cincinnati Kids".
The first theme area upon entering Kings Island is International Street, which features the Royal Fountain and the 300 foot-tall Sherwin-Williams Eiffel Tower built by Intamin (International Amusement Installations).
Here's a nice aerial of the park featuring the antique car ride, part of the Racer coaster, and Haley's Comet (Round Up).
The Racer coaster, which opened with the park in 1972, is significant in that it's often been credited with starting the coaster renaissance of the 1970's. The twin racing wooden roller coaster was built by PTC and designed by John C. Allen who would create three other theme park wood coaster classics in the following years; The Great American Scream Machine (1973) in Six Flags Over Georgia, Rebel Yell (1975) in Kings Dominion, and the Screamin' Eagle (1976) in Six Flags Over Mid-America (St. Louis).
The Happyland of Hanna-Barbera area was the children's section of the park. I love the character overlay here, but still haven't figured out which Hanna-Barbera character the wolf's supposed to be.
(Note from Major Pepperidge: I think it is Hokey Wolf, though it isn't a good likeness)
Another coaster renaissance classic, The Beast would remain the park headliner for years to come (this is a teaser in back of a pictorial souvenir booklet).
Here's a classic photo view of The Beast with riders heading into the first drop and the second lift leading into the covered helix finale.
Kings Island has had various owners throughout its history, including Taft, KECO, Paramount and now Cedar Fair. The park always has and continues to be a place known for its innovative coasters. I hope you enjoyed today's post.
Information Source Material:
The Great American Amusement Park, copyright 1976 by Gary Kyriazi
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
THANK YOU, KEN MARTINEZ!