|Slogan Thrills Connect|
Phone +1 513-754-5700
|General Manager Mike Koontz|
Opened 29 April 1972
|Location Mason, Ohio, United States|
Owner Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
Previous names Paramount's Kings Island (1993–2006)
Address 6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH 45040, USA
Rides Diamondback, Banshee, The Beast, Firehawk, The Racer
Top 10 kings island roller coasters
Kings Island is a 364-acre (147 ha) amusement park located 24 miles (39 km) northeast of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the park first opened in 1972 by the Taft Broadcasting Company in an effort to move and expand Coney Island, a popular resort destination along the banks of the Ohio River that was prone to frequent flooding. After more than $275 million in capital investments, the park features over 80 rides, shows and attractions including fourteen roller coasters and a 33-acre (13 ha) water park.
- Top 10 kings island roller coasters
- Diamondback hd pov kings island roller coaster front view
- Taft Broadcasting and KECO (1970–1992)
- Paramount's Kings Island (1992–2006)
- Cedar Fair era (2006–present)
- Action Zone
- Coney Mall
- X Base
- International Street
- Planet Snoopy
- Soak City
- Halloween Haunt
- Winterfest (Seasonal)
- Fast Lane
- Notable additions
- Notable events
- Notable people
- Dogstreet Cemetery
- Kings Island resort
- Kings Island greenhouse
- Awards and recognition
Throughout its history, Kings Island has appeared in popular sitcoms and has received widespread recognition for its record-breaking attractions and events. One of the park's most well-known attractions, The Racer, is often credited with reviving worldwide interest in roller coasters during the 1970s. Others, such as The Beast and Banshee, have set several world records including some of which are still standing. The park has also suffered through times of negative publicity, particularly surrounding the early demise of roller coasters The Bat and Son of Beast.
Kings Island is divided into several themed sections. The seasonal amusement park is open from early spring through Labor Day in September, and then reopens for several weekends in September and October for Halloween-themed events. In 2015, Kings Island was the second-most visited seasonal amusement park in the United States behind Cedar Point, with an estimated 3.34 million visitors. It was third overall for seasonal attendance in North America, which was led by Canada's Wonderland. Kings Island has won Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for having the "Best Kids' Area" in the world for fifteen consecutive years (2001–2015).
Diamondback hd pov kings island roller coaster front view
Kings Island was conceived as early as 1964 when Coney Island, a popular amusement park 10 miles (16 km) east of downtown Cincinnati on the banks of the Ohio River, suffered from a major flood that submerged the area in over 14 feet (4.3 m) of water. Although occasional flooding was common at the successful park, the flood in 1964 was the fourth highest on record and caused considerable damage. Faced with already-limited space for expansion and parking, the event triggered discussions within the organization about relocating the park.
Leading the way was Gary Wachs, son of Coney Island president Ralph Wachs, who with friends and family owned a majority of stock. He decided it was time to relocate the park to stay competitive. After years of research and traveling abroad, he presented ideas for a new theme park to the company's board of directors. Some board members opposed relocating, including significant stockholder Charles Sawyer. It wasn't taken seriously until 1968, when actor Fess Parker announced plans to build a theme park in Northern Kentucky – well within Coney Island's primary market that extended as far south as Louisville. The announcement highlighted the need for change and gave Wachs' proposal credibility within the organization.
Gary met with the president of Taft Broadcasting Company, a business interested in promoting its recently acquired Hanna-Barbera division, to discuss a possible merger. After receiving support, Fess Parker's efforts to secure financing fell apart along with his plans to build a competing theme park. In July 1969, Taft Broadcasting Company purchased Coney Island for $6.5 million and soon after purchased 1,600 acres (650 ha) in Warren County, Ohio, for $3.2 million. Kings Island still owns 773 acres (313 ha) of that purchase. The site is located between I-71 and the Little Miami River in what was then a part of Deerfield Township.
Taft Broadcasting and KECO (1970–1992)
Construction began on June 15, 1970. Later that year, a public contest was held to name the new park. "Kings Island" emerged the most popular for its recognition of the Kings Mills area as well as its predecessor Coney Island. Most of the former park's rides were relocated, while the rest were demolished. Coney Island's popular Sunlite Pool attraction remained open, however, and the original park was partially restored in later years.
Less than two years after breaking ground, Kings Island opened its gates to the public on April 29, 1972. It was the first of several preview events. The grand opening was held the following month on May 27, 1972.
Arguably, the most crowd-pleasing attraction featured at the park in its early days was The Racer, a wooden roller coaster consisting of two trains that race side-by-side on identical tracks. Designed by legendary designer John C. Allen, The Racer was an integral part of the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970s. Years later, it would be awarded the Roller Coaster Landmark plaque from American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) for its achievement. Other roller coasters present on opening day in 1972 were the Bavarian Beetle, a small steel coaster brought over from Coney Island, and a new junior wooden coaster in the Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera originally named Scooby-Doo.
Kings Island was nationally promoted in two well-known sitcoms on ABC. Each filmed an episode on location at the park: The Partridge Family in 1972 and The Brady Bunch in 1973. The Brady Bunch was produced by Paramount Television, a large Taft Broadcasting shareholder. In later years, Kings Island changed ownership several times. Taft sold its theme park division in 1984 for $167.5 million to Kings Entertainment Company (KECO), a company formed by senior executives and general managers of Taft Attractions Group. Three parks – Kings Island, Kings Dominion and Carowinds – were involved in the sale. Taft invested in KECO to retain one-third interest. Three years later in 1987, American Financial Corporation, led by Carl Lindner, purchased KECO for $150 million. The deal included a contract with KECO to continue managing park operations. In 1989, KECO acquired the business assets of Great America, an amusement park it was managing operations for.
Paramount's Kings Island (1992–2006)
In 1992, Paramount Communications Inc. (formerly Gulf+Western) purchased Kings Island and the rest of KECO's parks for $400 million. Paramount formed a new division known as Paramount Parks. They bought out the remaining 80% stake in Canada's Wonderland in 1993, raising the number of parks to five. That same year, Paramount Parks began incorporating themes from its movies into the park. Viacom entered the picture after acquiring Paramount in 1994, paving the way for the appearance of Nickelodeon themes. First was Nickelodeon Splat City, followed by Nickelodeon Central and eventually Nickelodeon Universe.
In 1997, a year after leaving Deerfield Township, the city of Mason annexed most of Kings Island. A temporary measure allowed for some land to remain in Deerfield in an attempt to appease park officials and reduce the impact on the township. The rest would be annexed in 1999. On June 14, 2005, Viacom announced intentions to split into two companies (Viacom and CBS Corporation) with CBS inheriting Paramount Parks. Seven months later, on January 26, 2006, CBS announced that the theme parks were for sale.
Cedar Fair era (2006–present)
On June 30, 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company purchased Kings Island and the rest of Paramount Parks for approximately $1.24 billion. With this acquisition, Cedar Fair owned all three major amusement parks in Ohio: Kings Island, Cedar Point and Geauga Lake (purchased from Six Flags in 2004). Kings Island kept the Paramount branding through the end of the 2006 season. Thereafter, Face/Off became Invertigo, The Italian Job Stunt Track became Backlot Stunt Coaster, Tomb Raider: The Ride became The Crypt and Top Gun became Flight Deck, which later became The Bat. Nickelodeon's presence remained in the park through 2009, when Cedar Fair changed the kids' area to a Peanuts theme.
In late 2009, the Mason City Council decided to put a measure on its 2010 ballot that would mandate a 3-percent ticket tax and a 5-percent parking tax at both Kings Island and The Beach waterpark. Council member Tony Bradburn argued that it was necessary for the city to help pay for infrastructure improvements, as well as cover police and fire expenses. This proposed tax hike was the center of debate for several months. Kings Island actively encouraged the public to write, email and call Mason City Council representatives to express opposition. On February 8, 2010, the Mason City Council voted 5–1 against the measure.
Action Zone opened in 1974 as Lion Country Safari, a 100-acre (40 ha) section of the park featuring a monorail ride that took guests on a safari-style tour through an animal preservation. This was part of a network of other safari-style zoos also called Lion Country Safari. It was later renamed Wild Animal Safari in 1977. In 1983, the area became known as Wild Animal Habitat and included Adventure Village, a new area within the rebranded section. Over the years, it featured rides such as Screamin' Demon (1977–87), the first steel looping roller coaster to run both forward and backward in the United States, and King Cobra (1984–2001), a stand-up looping roller coaster that was the first of its kind in the world.
Early in its tenure after purchasing Kings Island, Paramount unveiled Top Gun, a suspended roller coaster from Arrow Dynamics, in 1993. Located next to the habitat attraction, it was titled after a film of the same name and was the first ride to be added to the park with a Paramount theme. The following year, the entire area was renamed Adventure Village coinciding with the removal of the animal habitat and monorail ride. In 1999, a two-year expansion initiative began with the area's renaming to Action Zone and the addition of two new attractions – Drop Zone: Stunt Tower and Face/Off. When it debuted, Action Zone resembled a movie stunt set featuring a water tower as the centerpiece. The water tower was originally part of a skit with stunts and special effects that imitated a live movie set with a director and stunt performers.
Son of Beast opened in 2000, the second year of the area's two-year expansion. It was the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world and the first of its kind to feature a vertical loop. As a result of a number of structural issues and two accidents, the ride closed permanently in 2009 and was eventually demolished in 2012. Other notable rides include Delirium, which opened in 2003 as the largest Giant Frisbee ride in the world, and Banshee, the world's longest inverted roller coaster which opened in 2014 at the former location of Son of Beast.
When Kings Island first opened in 1972, a section of the park was dedicated to its predecessor, Coney Island. The area was constructed to resemble the former park's carnival-style layout and featured many of its flat rides which were relocated, including Monster, Scrambler, and Dodgem. One of the flagship attractions during the park's inaugural year, The Racer, was located in this section. In addition to rides, some of Coney Island's famous Ginkgo trees were transplanted, lining the middle of the walkway. Originally called Coney Island, the area was later renamed Old Coney in 1980 and again to its present name Coney Mall in 1986. The area also features game booths, arcades and concession stands reminiscent of state fairs and traveling carnivals from the early twentieth century.
In 1975, Zodiac debuted in the Coney Island mall, which was billed as a "spinning, climbing double ferris wheel". Manufactured by Intamin, the three-minute ride featured twelve gondolas on each of the two wheels which were mounted to a long, hydraulic arm. It closed in 1987 and reopened at Wonderland Sydney in 1989. In the 1980s, the area saw the additions of Skylab, Zephyr, and Vortex, a six-inversion looping roller coaster that briefly held a world record for most inversions. Following Paramount's acquisition of the park in 1992, Coney Mall was further expanded in 1994 with Days of Thunder, a motion simulator ride in the new Action Theater attraction, and in 1996 with Flight of Fear, the world's first launched roller coaster to feature a linear induction motor (LIM).
In 2005, one of the last Paramount-themed attractions to open at the park, The Italian Job: Stunt Track (now known as Backlot Stunt Coaster), was unveiled. The roller coaster replaced the antique car ride Les Taxis. Firehawk, a flying roller coaster previously known as X-Flight at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, was relocated to Kings Island next to Flight of Fear in 2007. The area housing both roller coasters became known as X-Base, a sub-section within Coney Mall that took on its own theme. The most recent addition to Coney Mall was WindSeeker, added in 2011. The 301-foot foot-tall (92 m), three-minute swing ride features 32, two-person carriages that spin around a central tower up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).
This sub-area opened in 2007. Flight of Fear had existed previously, but with the addition of Firehawk, the area took on its own theme, centered around flight and propulsion. Although the area is designated by a sign, it's not listed on the park map and is officially part of Coney Mall.
At the heart of the amusement park, visitors are greeted by International Street which lies just beyond the main entrance. As one of the park's original staples when it opened in 1972, International Street was designed by Bruce Bushman, a former Walt Disney Imagineering layout design artist. The area's architecture and cultural themes represent Italy, Spain, Germany and Sweden. To save on the cost of construction, the second story of each building was designed on a three-quarters scale, borrowing from a practice used by Disney throughout their theme parks.
The area's main attractions include the Royal Fountain, a 600,000-US-gallon pool (2,300 m3) capable of shooting 10,000 US gallons (38 m3) of water into the air each minute, and the signature Eiffel Tower, a one-third scale replica of the original which offers a view of the entire park to its guests. Grand Carousel, a classic carousel built in 1926 and originally located at Coney Island, is another International Street attraction. Also located here is the Kings Island Theater and a variety of restaurants and souvenir shops.
In 1992, a dark ride attraction known as Phantom Theater was added to the park's lineup. It utilized an Omnimover system to transport riders through specially-themed rooms resembling a behind-the-scenes tour of a haunted theater. Previously, the building housed the Enchanted Voyage (1972–1983) and Smurf's Enchanted Voyage (1984–1991), both Old Mill dark rides that used unaccompanied boats floating along water-filled guideways. After a couple theme changes in 2003 and 2010, Phantom Theater became known as Boo Blasters on Boo Hill.
Oktoberfest, relating to the eponymous German festival, opened with the park in 1972. The area resembles a German town with timber-framed, German-style architecture. The Festhaus building is its central attraction, featuring live shows with several indoor eateries. Nearby is an outdoor bar that serves alcoholic beverages, with a portion of its seating area located above water bordering Oktoberfest lake. Rides within this section of the park include a mine train roller coaster called Adventure Express, which opened in 1991, and a swinging pirate ship ride called Viking Fury, which opened in 1982. Sling Shot, one of two pay-per-ride attractions at Kings Island, is also located within Oktoberfest.
The area initially opened with the park in 1972 as The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera and was later shortened to Hanna-Barbera Land. The area's flagship attraction was a junior wooden roller coaster named Scooby Doo (later known as Woodstock Express), which like The Racer was designed by John C. Allen. The portion of the area that borders Rivertown was revamped in 1995 with the addition of a kids' play area, stage and water attraction, and the new sub-section was named Nickelodeon Splat City. In 2001, the log ride Kings Mills Log Flume was updated with a children's theme and renamed The Wild Thornberrys River Adventure. The Rugrats Runaway Reptar inverted roller coaster was introduced the same year. This expansion into an area that was originally part of Rivertown became known as Nickelodeon Central. Hanna-Barbera Land was gradually converted over the next several years and eventually renamed "Nickelodeon Universe" in 2006.
Following Cedar Fair's purchase of the park from Paramount in 2006, Nickelodeon-themed elements were eventually removed and replaced with Peanuts comic strip themes in 2010 – the children's brand marketed at other Cedar Fair parks. Nickelodeon Universe became known as Planet Snoopy. The area features many rides intended for smaller children, as well as three family-oriented roller coasters and a skater coaster. Amusement Today has awarded Kings Island with the Golden Ticket Award for Best Kids' Area in the World for fifteen consecutive years (2001–2015). Kings Island's Planet Snoopy was also the largest in the Cedar Fair chain until 2013, when Kings Dominion doubled the size of its Planet Snoopy section.
Rivertown is an area within the park that features a western theme depicting a town with ranch-style buildings, old wooden signs, and one of the park's most iconic attractions, the Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad. Originally intended to be named Frontier Land, the area was eventually named Rivertown when it debuted with the park in 1972. The area included attractions such as Kings Mill Log Flume and Shawnee Landing, a canoe ride in a part of Rivertown known as Kenton's Cove.
Throughout the 1970s, Rivertown saw the addition of several attractions including Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal in 1973, which was an elevated log flume ride that operated through the 2000 season, and The Beast roller coaster in 1979. Designed internally by Kings Island, The Beast opened as the tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster in the world, and in addition to retaining its record length, it remains one of the most popular wooden roller coasters in the annual Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today. Other rides added over the years include a river rafting ride called White Water Canyon, which opened in 1985, and a heavily-themed, indoor flat ride called Tomb Raider: The Ride (later renamed The Crypt), which opened in place of Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal in 2002. The Crypt closed permanently in 2011.
In 2009, the park's first roller coaster from Bolliger & Mabillard, called Diamondback, opened in Rivertown. The 230-foot-tall (70 m) hypercoaster reaches a top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h) and features a splashdown water effect finale. In August 2016, Kings Island revealed plans to build Mystic Timbers, a 109-foot-tall (33 m) wooden roller coaster set to open in 2017. The new ride will add 3,265 feet (995 m) of track bringing the park's wooden coaster total to 18,804 feet (5,731 m), making it the most of any amusement park in the world.
Included with park admission, Soak City is a 33-acre (13 ha) water park featuring two wave pools, several children's areas and a variety of water slides. It originally opened in 1989 as WaterWorks and has since been expanded several times. It was renamed in 2004 to Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay, based on the titular character from the film "Crocodile" Dundee, played by Paul Hogan who was also hired to promote the revamped water park. Following Cedar Fair's acquisition of Kings Island, it was later renamed Boomerang Bay, and all references to the film character were removed. On September 2, 2011, Kings Island announced a $10-million expansion of the water park for the 2012 season, as well as a plan to rename it Soak City. Tropical Plunge, a seven-story water slide complex, was added for the 2016 season.
Halloween Haunt is a Halloween-themed event at Kings Island that operates on weekends from September through October. It features haunted houses, mazes, live shows, and most of the park's regular season attractions. Special lighting and fog effects are utilized throughout the park, and many actors in costume engage with guests. The event originally debuted as Fear Fest in 2000, and the name was later changed to Halloween Haunt in 2007. .
Following a twelve-year absence, park officials confirmed in 2016 that Winterfest would return in 2017. The annual Christmas-themed holiday festival features the lighting of the park's Eiffel Tower and ice skating on the Royal Fountain. Several ride attractions will be open, and International Street will be transformed into a winter village filled with Christmas carolers and homemade crafts.
Fast Lane, introduced at Kings Island in July 2011, is a secondary queue system that offers shorter wait times on the park's most popular rides. In addition to the standard admission charge, visitors can bypass the standard wait line by purchasing a wrist band that grants access to the Fast Lane queue. A limited number of wrist bands are sold each day. The two options available for purchase are Fast Lane and Fast Lane Plus, the latter of which adds several additional rides to the list.
The following is a list of former employees at Kings Island that later became well known in another industry:
Dogstreet cemetery is located at the north end of the Kings Island parking lot and is maintained by Deerfield Township. The historic cemetery dates back to 1803. The Warren County Genealogical Society documented nearly 70 grave sites in the cemetery, though as of 2005, only 52 headstones remained.
On January 11, 2012, the amusement park and cemetery were featured on season 8, episode 1 of Ghost Hunters entitled Roller Ghoster. The show investigated claims of haunted occurrences inside the park and around the cemetery, particularly of a ghost reportedly known as "Missouri Jane." Warren County Genealogical Society records document a grave for a Missouri Jane Galeenor, who died in 1846 at age five.
Kings Island resort
As part of the Kings Island resort, in 1972 Taft Broadcasting Company built a golf course, hotel and campground.
Kings Island greenhouse
The park has its own greenhouse just off of Columbia Road. It can be seen from the top of The Bat's lift hill. It produces the flowers and topiary for the park. Some of their notable work is the "Living Liberty Bell" topiary and working "Flower Clock" near the Eiffel Tower.