Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Blast From The Past - Kings Island 1972

Editors note on Thursday June 25th 2009 the first Blast was posted on News Plus Notes, the subject was construction of Kings Island's International Street. So it's appropriate that as the Blast goes on a short hiatus the subject is a brief look at Kings Island in 1972

The construction of Kings Island in Kings Mill Ohio began June 15th 1970, it was meant to replace the landlocked, flood prone Coney Island. In fact most of Old Coney Island's rides were moved to the new park, those that didn't were demolished as Coney was set to close at the end of the 1971 season.

Borrowing a trick from Walt Disney, the windows and doors on the second floor of the International Street shops are built at 3/4 scale. This use of forced perspective fools the eye and saved the park money.

The park's centerpiece then and now is a 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. The Royal Fountains on International Street, costing more than half a million dollars to build, are two feet deep and hold 500,000 gallons of water.

A contest was held to name the park and Kings Island was chosen, the name recognizes the Kings Mill area while paying homage to Old Coney Island. The park's soft opening on April 29th 1972 was not a huge success, only 4,000 guests showed up due to the inclement weather, it poured all day. The official grand opening,held May 27th and a total of two million guests enjoyed the 150-acre park that first season