Home » Happy Birthday To THIS Incredible Theme Park

    Happy Birthday To THIS Incredible Theme Park

    Kings Island

    You have may have heard that a certain theme park is celebrating its 50th birthday. No, we aren’t talking about Walt Disney World this time. Kings Island located in Mason, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati, just turned 50 years old in April.

    Over the years, Kings Island has become one of the best amusement parks in the United States. Let’s take a look back at some of Kings Island’s history, what makes it a world-class destination today, and what celebratory offerings you can check out while Kings Island hosts its summer-long Golden Celebration.  

    A Brief History

    kings island
    Image: Kings Island

    Kings Island first opened its gates on April 29, 1972, following the temporary closure of the iconic Coney Island. When it first opened it was owned by Taft Broadcasting Company. The park featured a legendary coaster, The Racer. The coaster was the first modern-day twin wooden coaster and it still operates today. Guests were greeted by Kings Islands’ signature icon, the blue Eiffel Tower which is a one-third replica of the Paris landmark and also appears at Kings Dominion. It also included a Hanna-Barbera-themed land complete with a Scooby-Doo roller coaster. Additionally, a land themed to pay homage to the great Coney Island was included in the park as many rides from Coney Island were transported to and installed at Kings Island.

    Much has changed since the park opened 50 years ago. The park has added many incredible attractions. When the park first opened, it included 60 attractions, and now Kings Island boasts more than 100 attractions. Some have been hits like record-breaker The Beast which opened in 1979. This wooden coaster continues to be the longest wooden roller coaster and still delights fans. Personally, it is my favorite wooden roller coaster I have ridden. Other attractions have been notorious failures like the Son of Beast roller coaster that opened in 2000 and seems to have been ahead of its time and was plagued with issues during its 9-year run. Year after year Kings Island has continued to grow and add to its impressive line-up. In 1989 a waterpark was also added adjacent to the park, formerly called WaterWorks.

    The Beast
    Image: Kings Island

    The park has also changed ownership over the years. Paramount purchased Kings Island in 1992 and many of the attraction names reflected this change. The coaster line-up included Top Gun and Face/Off and Nickelodeon-themed kids area. However, the ride names would change again when Cedar Fair purchased Paramount Parks in 2006 for 1.25 billion dollars and as a result acquired Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Great America (now California’s Great America) and Canada’s Wonderland.

    Coasters like Top Gun and Face/Off were renamed The Bat and Invertigo respectively, and the Nickelodeon area was re-themed to the Peanuts. When this change occurred it was actually the first time in the park’s history that it no longer included a Scooby-Doo-themed attraction. In 2012, the waterpark known as Boomerang Bay at the time was also renamed Soak City and received significant improvements.

    Kings Island’s greatness has continued…

    King’s Island’s Continued Greatness

    Kings Island Camp Cedar
    Image: Kings Island Camp Cedar

    Kings Island continues to be a great destination for amusement park lovers and coaster enthusiasts. Coasters like Diamondback, with a 215 ft drop and 80 miles per hour speeds, and Mystic Timbers, an incredible themed wooden coaster with 16 airtime moments complement its line-up of 11 roller coasters. Orion, the newest of these coasters treats riders to speeds of 91 miles per hour and is the tallest and fastest coaster in the park. In 2021, Kings Island added its first on-property accommodations with Kings Island Camp Cedar.

    This camp resort features cottages and RV sites as well as access to the Grand Lodge. At the Grand Lodge, you can find a gelato bar, signature restaurant, and bar, and food truck-inspired dining. The resort also includes not only family pools but an adult-exclusive pool as well. Fire pits and grills are also common within this camping-themed resort. Additionally, the water park is offering more splashes than ever with 36 waterslides, 2 wave pools, and more. 

    The Summer-Long Golden Celebration

    Image: Kings Island

    The 2022 season will feature several special events and treats to celebrate Kings Island’s 50th birthday. You can check out the Fireworks Spectacular which will feature fireworks, lasers, pyrotechnics, and 200 drones. It will also last 14 minutes and you can purchase a special fireworks viewing and dessert party ticket. Other live entertainment specific to the birthday festivities include the 50 Years of Fun Street Party (which starts June 19th) and the Club KI which features The Royal Coasters live band and DJ Diamondback. Without a doubt, the best part of the golden anniversary festivities is the newly added snacks and treats.

    Beast Burger
    Image: Kings Island

    The park will feature dozens of snacks named after current and former attractions such as the Screamin’ Demon hot wings, The Beast Burger, and The Italian Job Italian beef sandwich. Additionally, you can check out the mini birthday cake, special cupcakes, a happy birthday funnel cake, and an Eiffel Tower-shaped pretzel. Whether you frequent the park, have never been, or haven’t checked it out in a while, this summer is a great time to get in on the golden festivities and enjoy revisiting the history that made one of the United States’ best amusement parks.