Happy birthday, Kings Island! The park is celebrating its golden 50th anniversary this year. Today, Kings Island has eight themed areas, including the Soak City Water Park, and more than 100 rides, attractions and shows. When Kings Island was created in April 1972, the park had fewer areas and far fewer rides and attractions. Although Kings Island looks different today, much of the original park remains 50 years later.
Kings Island opened its doors 50 years ago:Go back in time
The original five themed areas of Kings Island were International Street, Oktoberfest, Coney Island, Rivertown, and Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera. Today, International Street, Oktoberfest and Rivertown remain. Coney Island is still there, but it was renamed Coney Mall in 1986.
The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, the children’s space, was renamed Hanna-Barbera Land in 1982. In 2006, Hanna-Barbera Land was renamed Nickelodeon Universe. Then in 2010, Nickelodeon Universe was remade as Planet Snoopy. Every time the kids’ area theme changed, the names and themes of all the rides changed.
Many rides have come and gone since 1972, but 11 of the original rides remain in operation today.
Kings Island OG Rides & Attractions
Dodgem, the park’s bumper car course was transferred from Coney Island in 1972. It was originally made in 1924 and remodeled in 1986. The new cars were made in Italy. With Dodgem, you can drive as fast as you want without worrying about speeding tickets or ambulance lawyers. So if you feel the need for speed, you can put the pedal to the bottom of this ride.
Eiffel Tower symbolizes Kings Island the same way Sleeping Beauty Castle represents Disneyland. It was manufactured by Intamin of Zurich, Switzerland in 1972. The tower is 314 feet tall, one-third the size of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The tower has two elevators that lead to the observation tower. Kings Island’s Eiffel Tower is as close to France as you can get without leaving Ohio – and you won’t need a passport.
big carousel was built in 1926 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. He resided at Coney Island before being transferred to Kings Island. The 80-foot carousel has 48 hand-carved wooden horses. Riding these horses can be considered better than real horses because they do not smell or cause pain.
Kings Island and Miami Valley Railway was built in 1972 by Crown Metal Products Company of Wyand, Pennsylvania. Its track is 5,585 miles long. The railroad has two locomotives, Blue No. 12 and Green No. 19, which are powered by propane gas. Each train has six cars. Trains pass an old river town from the 1800s. It includes Mary Rose Inn, Stage Office All Points West, Miami Valley Bank, Lassert’s General Store, Haberdasher, General Furniture Undertaker, the Red Eye Saloon, Jail, Wilson Stable and Reynolds Feed and Seed. During the summer, the railroad runs between Rivertown and Soak City Water Park. Riding this train can take you from dry park to water park and back, and from 2022 to the 1800s and back.
Linus beetle insects was manufactured in 1967 by WF Mangels Company of Brooklyn, New York. He was known as Funky Phantom in 1972. In 1982 he was remade as Screecher. It was renamed Alley Cat 500 in 1998. In 2006 it was renamed Swiper’s Sweeper and Linus’ Beetle Bugs in 2010. The circular, flat ride features eight kiddie cars that can each accommodate two children. It’s a classic whipping trick. This old merry-go-round brings new sensations to small children.
Monster was manufactured in 1968 by Everly Aircraft Company of Salem, Oregon. It is a circular, rotating, flat carousel that has six arms with four gondolas each. The modules can hold two people each and the ride can hold a maximum of 24 people. The pods rotate around the arms, while the arms rotate and move up and down around the base. Some people think the carousel looks like a big monster with six tentacles.
Peanuts Off-Road Rally was manufactured in 1969 by Hampton Amusement Corporation of Portage des Sioux, Missouri. It was called Autocat when it premiered at Kings Island in 1972. In 1982 it was renamed Pee Wee Raceway. Then the ride was redone as Huck’s Hot Rods in 1998. It was transformed into Go Diego Go in 2006. In 2010 the ride was given its current name and theme. The flat, rotating children’s carousel features nine stationary vehicles that can accommodate up to four children each. This ride lets little kids pretend to drive kid-sized cars.
Race for your life, Charlie Brown was manufactured by Arrow Dynamics in 1968 and moved from Coney Island to Kings Island in 1972. It was known as Kings Mill Log Flume in 1972. The ride was closed in 2000 and reopened and renamed Wild Thornberry’s River Adventure in 2001. In 2010 the ride was redone in Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown. It is a water ride with a trough 1,387 feet long. There are 23 logs which correspond to four to five knights each. The name of the ride may have changed, but the result remains the same. You will get very wet on this log flume.
The jammer was manufactured in 1969 by Eli Bridge Company of Jacksonville, Indiana. He resided at Coney Island before being transferred to Kings Island. This flat carousel has three rotating arms that each have four counter-rotating cars mounted on it. Food is not allowed on the ride, so you won’t be able to scramble your eggs on the ride.
The runner was designed by John A. Miller and manufactured by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1972. It is a wooden roller coaster with two tracks, one for the Blue Racer and one for the Red Racer. The two roller coasters go against each other at every turn. Its track is 3,415 feet long and the height of its first hill is 88 feet. The coaster has four trains and its maximum speed is 53 miles per hour. In 1972, an episode of “The Partridge Family” titled “I Left My Heart in Cincinnati” was filmed on Kings Island and featured the Racer. The following year, another family television show was filmed on Kings Island. The Racer was featured prominently in an episode of “The Brady Bunch” titled “Cincinnati Kids”. If you want to pay homage to the 1970s, have your family wear bell bottom jeans and ride the Racer together.
Woodstock Express was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1972. When this wooden coaster was created on Kings Island, it was known as the Scooby-Doo. It was renamed Beastie in 1980. In 1986 the coaster was renamed Fairly Odd Coaster. Then in 2010 it was transformed into what it is today. The coaster has two trains and a 1,350 foot long wooden track with a 38 foot lift. Its maximum speed is 35 miles per hour. Whatever the name of this junior roller coaster, it’s a fun ride for the whole family.
Kings Island opening day
Or: 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason.
When: Kings Island will reopen for its 50th season on April 16.