New Orleans has its Bourbon Street. New York is famous for Park Avenue. Chicago has its Michigan Avenue. Kings Island has International Street.
When conceiving the idea for Kings Island, park designers wanted to create an escape from reality, a bubble from real world responsibilities. At the heart of it would be the creation of a dramatic entry way and for guests to become overcome by the immense beauty and tranquility as they passed through the gates. So they decided to incorporate theming elements from places around the world with a boulevard of shops and restaurants on International Street with five European countries represented accenting French, Spanish, Italian, Swiss and German life with a one-third scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France as the backdrop. Guests would get a taste and feel of each culture without ever leaving the ground.”
When Kings Island first opened its gates in 1972, this was the vision that park designers had in mind.
Brought on board to design International Street was Bruce Bushman, a former Walt Disney Imagineering layout design artist. Many of the practices used by Disney throughout their theme parks was incorporated by Bushman into the look and feel of International Street, most notably designing the second story of each building on a three-quarters scale.
2019 Updates to International Street
International Street hasn’t had a major makeover since the park opened, 47 seemed like a good age for a face lift. As per the original vision, International Street will continue to whisk guests away from reality. Crews have installed more than 130,000 pavers, the landscaping is being enhanced and improvements to the building façades have been made.
Adding to the theme of bringing the past back to life is reintroducing an icon to Festhaus. That’s right, the Festhaus Glockenspiel characters have been completely restored and are ready to announce the next quarter hour to park guests as they did until 2009. A brand new clock will also be displayed as well as new hand stenciled artwork on the building’s exterior.
The Royal Fountain has been updated and will now have choreographed daytime and nighttime shows. The shows will feature water that will shoot 50 percent higher into the air and the ability to individually control each of the fountains new 112 nozzles and 176 LED lights.
With that being said, be sure to mark your calendars for Memorial Day weekend, as that will be when the new fireworks finale and shows make their debut.
Opening weekend will begin with a Gold and Platinum Passholder Preview Night April 19, followed by the official start of the 2019 season April 20. The park will be closed on Easter Sunday April 21.
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