KIExtreme - The In-Depth Guide to Kings Island
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Park Timeline
Coney Island is purchased by Taft Broadcasting for $6.5 million dollars, with the intention of moving the park away from the Ohio River to a location not prone to floods, and with more available land. The move would also help the park properly compete with a planned Northern Kentucky park, Frontier Worlds. Frontier Worlds was the brainchild of "Davy Crockett" actor Fess Parker, to be located near Interstates 75 and 71.

Groundbreaking for Kings Island takes place on June 15. Due to the announcement of the new park, Fess Parker scraps his plans for Frontier Worlds. In November, the name Kings Island, a mix of Kings Mills and Coney Island, is selected following a naming contest.

On Labor Day weekend, Coney Island finishes its final season with a record 2.75 million attendance. Over the winter a great deal of the rides are relocated and installed at Kings Island.

April 29, 1972: Following two years of construction, Kings Island opens to the public for the first preview weekend. The park's grand opening took place on May 27. Park admission is $6. There are 5 themed areas: International Street, Oktoberfest, Coney Island, Rivertown, and The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera. Major attractions include The Racer, Eiffel Tower, Bavarian Beetle, Enchanted Voyage, Wheel of Fortune, Rotor, Halley's Comet, Flying Scooters, Scrambler, Sky Ride, Flying Carpet, Scooby-Doo, and Kings Mills Log Flume.

The International Restaurant opens above the park's main entrance. Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal opens in Rivertown. Carowinds, which would later become one of Kings Island's sister parks, opens in Charlotte, NC. Bayern Kurve and Flying Dutchman open in Oktoberfest.

Lion Country Safari debuts on 100 acres, featuring over 350 animals. Salt Water Circus opens between International Street and Rivertown.

Coney Island is extended, and a connecting pathway is built behind the Antique Cars, connecting Coney Island and Rivertown. Zodiac and Shake, Rattle, And Roll, a double ferris wheel and HUSS Troika respectively, open in the new section of Coney Mall. Kings Dominion, a Kings Island sister park, opens in Doswell, Virginia. On October 25th, Evel Knievel jumps 14 Greyhound buses in the parking lot in front of 70,000 spectators, setting a new world record.

The American Heritage Music Hall opens. Flintstone's Boulder Bumpers opens in Hanna-Barbera Land. On July 4, Kings Island played host to the wedding of Paul Revere of the pop rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders.

The Screamin' Demon, Arrow Dynamics' first shuttle-loop coaster, opens in the Lion Country Safari area. The movie Rollercoaster! opens. A long part of the movie was filmed at Kings Dominion, Kings Island's sister park. The International Showplace opens. 45 riders are stranded on the Sky Ride for up to 8 hours, after the ride jammed in a windstorm. Final season for the Kenton's Cove Canoes.

Construction begins on The Beast. A shooting gallery opens in Rivertown.

The Beast, is unleashed, the world's tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster in Rivertown. Bavarian Beetle and Halley's Comet make their last runs, along with the Sky Ride.

The Scooby Doo roller coaster is renamed Beastie. The Beast gets even wilder when two short tunnels are connected and turned into one long tunnel.

The Bat, the world's first suspended roller coaster, opens in Coney Mall. Rotor's final season.

TimberWolf Amphitheater opens. The trains on the south side of The Racer are turned around and have run backwards ever since. Viking Fury and Ferris Wheel open in Oktoberfest. As part of a $2.1 million dollar renovation, the Hanna-Barbera Carousel, Jelly Bean Bowl, and McScrappy's Farm are added to Hanna-Barbera Land. Joseph Hanna and William Barbera visit the park for the opening. WinterFest debuts.

Kings Entertainment Company (KECO) is formed after Taft Broadcasting's park general managers and company vice presidents buy two-thirds of Taft's interest in the theme park business. Festhaus opens in Oktoberfest. A teenager is killed after falling from a restricted area of the Eiffel Tower.

After three years of constant mechanical difficulties and design flaws, The Bat is dismantled. King Cobra, the world's first Stand-Up, looping coaster, opens near the Lion Country Safari station in the future Adventure Village. The Enchanted Voyage is renovated and re-themed into Smurf's Enchanted Voyage. Park admission cost $13.50.

White Water Canyon opens in Rivertown. Tumble Bug, Cuddle Up and Bayern Curve carry their last riders.

15th Anniversary for Kings Island. Coney Island is renamed Coney Mall. Flying Carpet slide moved to Hanna-Barbera Land where it becomes Scrappy's Slide. Flying Scooters are moved to the back of Coney Mall and renamed Flying Eagles. Skylab and Zephyr open. Dodgems move to the former Flying Scooters location. Cinema 180 Theater is added.

Vortex, the world's first six-looping steel coaster, opens in Coney Mall. The Screamin' Demon gives its last ride at the end of the season. Zodiac does not operate this season.

Zodiac remains closed this season. Amazon Falls opens on the former site of Screamin' Demon.

WaterWorks Waterpark opens on land immediately south of the main park, with 15 waterslides, Splash Island children's area, and a lazy river. Primary access to the park is by the Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad, which now has a station at WaterWorks. Final season for Der Spinning Keggers and Zodiac.

Flight Commander opens on the former site of Zodiac. Final season for Flying Dutchman. Rushing River, a 700 foot long family raft slide, is added to WaterWorks, which is now 15 acres. Final season for the Ferris Wheel.

Adventure Express, an Arrow Mine Train coaster, opens in Oktoberfest on the former Flying Dutchman site. On June 9th, there are three deaths at the park on the day known as Black Sunday. Around 8:00 PM, a 20-year-old man entered the Oktoberfest pond, apparently to retrieve a lost hat. He was electrocuted instantly, and two people entered the pond to rescue him. Both the man who originally entered the pond and one of the rescuers died at a local hospital, and the other rescuer had serious injuries. The accident was linked to a faulty water pump, which had short-circuited, electrifying the water. An hour later, a woman boards the Flight Commander ride in Coney Mall, which allows riders to pitch the cars and flip them upside down. When her car flipped upside down, she lost consciousness and slipped out from underneath the shoulder harness, falling 50 feet onto concrete. She was later found to have been intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Paramount Communications, Inc. purchases Kings Island, its sister parks, and KECO to form Paramount Parks. At a cost of $3.5 million dollars, Phantom Theater opens, replacing the Smurf's Enchanted Voyage. The Enchanted Theatre, Scooby Zoom, Pixie and Dixie's Swingset, and Dick Dastardly's Biplanes open in a $750,000 upgrade of Hanna-Barbera Land.

Top Gun opens near Lion Country Safari. Media giant Viacom purchases Paramount Communications. Columbia Palace in Rivertown becomes WINGS Diner. Alcohol sales are banned in the park, with the exception of the International Restaurant and the picnic grove. Busytown Grill replaces Quickdraw's Cafe. German Bier Gardens becomes Oktoberfest Gardens. At the end of the season, the Lion Country Safari, including the monorail and animals, is removed.

Days of Thunder opens in Coney Mall on previously undeveloped land between Racer's turnarounds. The Wild Animal Habitat area becomes Adventure Village. Preston T. Tucker's Roadside Cafe opens in Coney Mall, it is based on the 1988 Paramount movie "Tucker: The Man and His Dream." Final season for Scrappy's Slide and Sunshine Turnpike. Busytown Grill opens in Hanna-Barbera Land, themed to Richard Scarry's Busytown.

Drop Zone, a Skycoaster, opens in Adventure Village. Nickelodeon Splat City opens. Final season for Flight Commander.

The world's first Linear Induction Motor (LIM) launch coaster, The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear, opens in Coney Mall. Kings Dominion recieves an identical ride. The XS Raceway go-karts open in Adventure Village.

The park celebrates its 25th anniversary. Drop Zone is renamed Xtreme Skyflyer. The Surfside Bay wave pool opens in WaterWorks along with a complete replacement of the childrens area, as part of a massive expansion that doubles the waterpark to 30 acres. Skylab operated for a few days and was closed for the remainder of the season.

Hanna-Barbera Land recieves a large makeover. Scooby's Ghoster Coaster, Atom Ant's Airways, and Yogi's Sky Tours are added. Scooby Zoom becomes Top Cat's Taxi Jam. Flintstone Flyboys becomes Jetson's Jet Orbiters. Skylab is removed. The Wipeout Beach surfing area opens in WaterWorks. Days of Thunder becomes Paramount Action FX Theater, and James Bond 007: A License to Thrill opens.

Adventure Village becomes the Paramount Action Zone in a multimillion dollar renovation. Drop Zone and Face/Off open, Amazon Falls becomes Congo Falls, and XS Raceway becomes Days Of Thunder. Final season for the Rivertown station of the Antique Cars. Construction begins on a massive new project, and on July 8th, Son of Beast is announced. The sequel to the park's famous Beast, Son of Beast will take several world records, including tallest wooden coaster, fastest wooden coaster, second longest wooden coaster, and only looping wooden coaster.

Son Of Beast, the world's tallest, fastest, and only looping wooden roller coaster, opens in Paramount Action Zone. The coaster is 218 feet tall and reaches a top speed of 78 MPH. Kings Mills Log Flume does not operate this season. A special entrance from the parking lot to WaterWorks is added for season passholders. Scooby's Ghoster Coaster recieves new cars, and Beastie recieves seatbelts. FearFest debuts as the first Halloween event in park history, with the upcharge event featuring several haunted houses and attractions.

Parts of Rivertown and Hanna-Barbera Land are revamped into Nickelodeon Central. Kings Mills Log Flume becomes The Wild Thornberrys River Adventure. Rugrat's Runaway Reptar, the world's first junior inverted coaster, opens. The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear is renamed Flight of Fear, and the shoulder restraints are replaced with lap bars. 7th Portal replaces James Bond 007: A License to Thrill in the Paramount Action FX Theater. Final season for King Cobra. On October 14th, operators were shutting down The Beast due to rain when wet skid brakes caused a minor collision between two trains in the station. Riders were exiting a parked train when the the other train bumped it at about 5 MPH. Riders were evaluated at a local hospital before returning to the park. The Gold Pass is introduced, featuring a 1,000-space reserved parking lot and numerous other perks.

Tomb Raider: The Ride opens on the site of the former Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal. Dismantling of King Cobra continues into the early parts of the season, and the ride is put up for sale. Vortex recieves new paint. Phantom Theater's final day of operation is July 14th, and construction on a new attraction begins. The Beast's skid brakes are replaced with magnetic and friction fin brakes. On July 16th, a Top Gun train smashes into a maintenance truck during a morning test run, derailing and severely damaging the first three cars. For the remainder of the season Top Gun operates with one train.

Delirium, the world's first HUSS Giant Frisbee, opens on the former site of King Cobra. Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle opens in the former Phantom Theater. The Launch Pad opens on the former Flight Commander pad, but only operates for one season. SpongeBob SquarePants 3D opens in Side A of the Paramount Action FX Theater. The International Street Royal Fountain is completely rebuilt. Metal detectors are added outside the front gate. Son of Beast recieves new, more padded lap bars mid-season. In late September, the park's main marquee sign by the highway was destroyed by high winds. Beginning this year, FearFest no longer requires an additional admission fee.

The Beast celebrates its 25th anniversary. Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay replaces WaterWorks waterpark. Tasmanian Typhoon, Jakaroo Landing, and Kookaburra Bay are added. Coolangatta Racers replaces FasTracks. The park receives a Hollywood makeover with the addition of new shows and theming enhancements. The Paramount Theater is heavily renovated and upgraded, and the new Magic of the Movies Live show debuts. Face/Off's train recieves new restraints, and Drop Zone recieves new seats recycled from Kings Dominion's Volcano: The Blast Coaster. In late May, Days of Thunder makes a return to Side B of the Paramount Action FX Theater, but is closed in mid-June due to low ridership. On August 15, the Antique Cars are closed forever to make room for The Italian Job: Stunt Track. In October, the Flying Eagles are removed and sent to Paramount's Carowinds. In July, the Nickelodeon Celebration Parade debuts. Final season for the Kings Island Campground.

The Italian Job: Stunt Track opens on the former site of the Antique Cars. Happy Days Diner replaces Preston T. Tucker's Roadside Cafe. Border Cafe replaces Mandarin Cuisine on International Street. Graeters Ice Cream opens in the former San Rio on International Street. Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks open. Face/Off is repainted. In September, Nickelodeon Universe is announced as the long-rumored replacement for Hanna-Barbera Land. The Launch Pad returns to Coney Mall on the Flight Commander pad it previously occupied in 2003. In November, a long lost Kings Island tradition returns, as WinterFest opens for the first time in over a decade. Toward the end of the year, a new Skyline Chili location opens in the former Border Cafe on International Street. Final season for Scooby's Ghoster Coaster, Jetson's Jet Orbiters, Boo-Boo's Baggage Claim, and Baba Looey's Buggies.

Nickelodeon Universe opens, replacing Hanna-Barbera Land and Nickelodeon Central. New rides are Avatar: The Last Airbender, Phantom Flyers, and Plankton's Plunge. On June 30th, Cedar Fair, L.P. completes a $1.25 billion dollar acquisition of Paramount Parks from CBS Corporation. On July 9th, a vertical timber splinters on Son of Beast, sending 27 people to the hospital. All but two were treated and released, and the ride was shut down indefinitely pending investigation. On July 24th, the park announces that WinterFest has been cancelled for 2006. 2007 Season Passes go on sale September 2, including the new Cedar Fair Maxx Pass, good at all Cedar Fair parks. Gold Pass is no longer available when 2007 passes go on sale.

For Kings Island's 35th anniversary and 36th season, the park receieves a new logo, loses the "Paramount's" prefix from the park name, and most references to Paramount inside the park are removed. In January, neon green coaster track starts arriving in the parking lot, and Firehawk is announced on February 5th. A relocation from Geauga Lake where it operated as X-Flight from 2001-2006, Firehawk opens Memorial Day. Gold Pass returns early in the year. The park adds a new and improved live entertainment package with several new shows, including the return of an ice show to the Paramount Theatre. On July 4th, Son of Beast reopens for the first time since the accident the previous summer, following an extensive rehabilitation including the removal of the loop and adding Gerstlauer trains to replace the previous Premier trains. In late September, Halloween Haunt takes over for FearFest as Kings Island's biggest and baddest Halloween event.

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