Location: Kings Mills, OH
Some would think that Kings Island in Mason, Ohio could never be conceived out of a flood, however that is exactly what happened. In 1964, when the popular Coney Island in Cincinnati was completely submerged due to a flood from the Ohio River, shareholder Gary Wach and some friends came up with an idea to move the park to a better location. Many of the stock holders in Coney Island were opposed to the idea and it wasn’t until actor Fess Parker had announced he was going to build a theme park in Northern Kentucky that the idea was actually put into progress. In 1969, Coney Island was purchased by Taft Broadcasting and the company also purchased some land in Mason, Ohio where Kings Island would eventually be built.
Construction began on Kings Island in 1970 and two years later in 1972, the park opened her gates for the first time and guest began filing in to see what there was to offer. The park took off with guests who enjoyed International Street with the fountain pools greeting them at the entrance and of course the 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower located at the end of the street. The main attraction during the early Taft years was the Racer roller coaster that was a true racing dual track coaster. The ride still exists in the park today and to many fans a favorite.
In 1992, Kings Island was purchased by Paramount along with all of the other KECO parks in the country. Many of the rides that were added in after Paramount came on board were themed around movies and shows that were part of the company. Rides like Top Gun and Outer Limits: Flight of Fear were added to the park to join up with the classics like Vortex and the longest wooden roller coaster in the world, The Beast. Nickelodeon became a big part of the park as Hanna Barbara was opted out for Nickelodeon characters and rides. Kings Island quickly had the largest and best kids area in the country and held that title until 2013.
In 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment acquired Kings Island after Paramount had folded and was purchased by Viacom who no longer had the means to keep up all the parks. Dick Kinzel had immediate plans for the park and he meant big plans as he brought Diamondback, the tallest and fastest coaster to hit Kings Island. The ride became the iconic ride at the park and slithers its way through the park gracefully.
Today the park consists of 13 roller coasters and a 14th is coming in 2014 with the addition of Banshee which is going to be the longest inverted coaster in the world. The park also offers a huge waterpark that is included with park admission and a Halloween Haunt event each year that is one of the best in the chain. Make sure that you check out one of the largest parks in the Cedar Fair chain and have some good ole Ohio fun!
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