Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Paramount's Kings Island 2000

This week the spotlight is on Ohio. Unfortunately, this brochure's creative design doesn't lend itself very well to a screen presentation so you'll just have to imagine how sweet it would look if you were to unfold it in your hands!

These images of happy families and cartoon characters stand in stark contrast to the menacing glare of Paramount's Kings Island's newest instrument of terror. The year was 2000, and a "Son" had been born. Some might argue that this wooden behemoth more closely resembled the spawn of Satan than that of the park's legendary Beast roller coaster, but that's a whole 'notha debate.

Son of Beast opened as the tallest, fastest, and only looping wooden roller coaster in the world. As long as we're throwing around "est"s, it was also the second longest, outdistanced only by its daddy across the park. As if the application of such adjectives to a WOODEN coaster isn't frightening enough, check out the baby carriage! Creeeeeepy.

...and it's even creepier when the full image is revealed! Personally, I'll never forget my first impression of this ride. It looked every bit as massive as it appears in this graphic. There's just something spooky about a wooden structure of this magnitude. Little did I know that the ride experience itself was to be equally feared, or at least that's how my spine felt by the time it was all said and done. This SOB was painful! [Seriously, has any other coaster ever boasted such an appropriate acronym?]

Surely I don't need to recap all the madness and mayhem that have surrounded this ride over the past decade. It seems Sonny's lack of widespread popularity, combined with his short but unfortunate history of injuries and lawsuits, have doomed him. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if "SBNO" turned into just plain gone within the next couple years. Practicality aside, it really will be a shame to see such an engineering marvel meet its maker, regardless of how questionable that engineering may have been. It really was an awesome LOOK at.

I suppose the "whole family of fun" verbiage was intended to be a fitting follow-up to all that talk of sons, eh? Well let's embrace it and revisit those happy families and cartoon characters from the brochure cover. Obviously Son of Beast was the main attraction in 2000, but the park also had a special treat in store for the kids: The arrival of Eliza and Donnie of Wild Thornberrys fame. Eliza even treated them to a "Rainforest Insect Adventure", a walk-through attraction featuring robotic insects which ran for a little over a month that year.

Unbeknownst to me, apparently IAAPA also proclaimed 2000 to be the international year of the carousel. Consequently, Kings Island wanted to make darn sure that potential visitors were aware of their classic PTC carousel. But given the level of detail put into this brochure, I doubt that awareness of any of this park's rides or attractions was an issue for anybody who picked one up.

And now for the really fine print. When I got to the end of this brochure, it suddenly hit me that Kings Island's brand new signature (or so they thought) woodie had somehow managed to elude the corporate name game. Given the heavy saturation of Paramount theming which had overtaken the park by this time, that's pretty amazing. If nothing else, they get bonus points for originality!


NewsPlusNotes said...

I rode SOB with Sabrina, Scott, and Carol and I have to admit that I sorta needed them to coach me through it. There were special ways of riding that one needed to know to make the ride the best it could be - which wasn't much.

But the brochure is awesome! That baby carriage is so darn creepy - love it.