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In 1982, Michael Jackson released Thriller, Steven Spielberg made us fall in love with a little alien who wanted to phone home and Kings Island debuted blueberry-flavored, soft serve ice cream. Little did they know that a simple blue ice cream cone would become a staple in Kings Island history and Cincinnati culture.
Park officials didn’t realize blue ice cream’s popularity until it took a hiatus in 1992. However, it quickly returned after an abundance of guests voiced their thoughts, and it hasn’t left since.
Blue ice cream has been around for so long now that it spans generations, and many younger fans know it simply as “blue ice cream,” unaware of its Huckleberry Hound and Smurf origins. However, old-school park fans know better and aren’t afraid to correct you. “That’s called Smurf ice cream. Get it right,” one follower recently stated on a Kings Island Instagram photo of the ice cream.
Blue ice cream is so popular that its impact has gone beyond Kings Island’s borders and become a part of Cincinnati culture. Cincy Shirts sells “IT’S CALLED A SMURF CONE” T-shirts with a picture of the ice cream. Though others outside of Cincinnati have tried to sell blue ice cream, it’s clear that it belongs here. Other parks have tried selling the cones with no success, while Kings Island continues to sell literally hundreds of cones and bowls each day.
“For many of our guests, it’s a staple item,” said Don Helbig, digital marketing area manager for Kings Island and one of the first guests to try the treat when it debuted. “It's as much a part of what our guests look forward to and want to experience when they visit Kings Island as a ride on The Beast.”
Those who especially love the Kings Island staple can show off their devotion with merchandise from the park. There are blue ice cream bowls, hats, shirts and even a plush Snoopy sporting a blue ice cream. Let’s not forget the blue ice cream themed foods like blue ice cream fudge and – coming soon – blue ice cream/waffle cone flavored cotton candy (both available in Sweet Spot).
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