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Readers’ Mailbag: What became of the towers, gondolas and other parts from the Skyride?

Don Helbig

Area Manager, Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

A few weeks ago, we invited you, the readers, to submit your Kings Island questions. A lot of you really want me to pull out a crystal ball and tell you the future. Okay, let’s look into the crystal. What’s this I see? People are still getting upset over politics. Bob’s Big Boy is still offering the same high-quality meals at competitive prices. Taxes are being paid. The New England Patriots continue to win Super Bowls. And I see a woman. She’s wearing a polka-dot dress. Her face is careworn.

Oh, you meant Kings Island’s future. Well, I can’t tell you the future but what I can do is inform you of the past and present.

On to this week’s Readers’ Mailbag:

The Weber Group from Indiana is building the thematic elements for Copperhead Strike at Carowinds. Who built the thematic elements inside “the shed” on Mystic Timbers? – Luke W., West Chester, OH

The queue line preshow and shed finale were created by Holovis. They worked closely with Daniels Wood Land, who provided the theming for the queue line and in the ride itself. This includes the crashed truck at the ride entrance and the ride ID billboard.

Did anyone at Kings Island think that 40 years after it opened The Beast would still hold the record as the longest wooden roller coaster?  -- Mick L., Richmond, KY

In talking with some of the people who were involved in the planning and constructing of The Beast, they knew it would just be a matter of time before the records for height and speed were broken, but the record for the length of the ride was going to be difficult to top due to most parks not having the available space and topography that Kings Island had to work with. Taking advantage of the topography of the land made it more feasible to build a wooden roller coaster the magnitude of The Beast.

What was your favorite ride announcement that you had the ability to partake in? What is the process of planning the announcement? – Chris H., Lancaster, OH

That’s like asking someone who their favorite child is. It’s difficult to choose the favorite. You look at the announcements and try to see which ones you think best checked all of the boxes for what we were looking to accomplish. But if I had to choose I think Diamondback in 2008 might be my favorite. It was my first ride announcement after joining the Kings Island marketing team, and I had suggested the name, which made it a little more special than maybe the others. As far as the process for planning an announcement, it’s really no different than the planning for all of the events and promotions that we do. We follow the same type of roadmap but on a larger scale. 

When will the antique cars be finished? – Walter A., Dry Ridge, KY

Construction for the Kings Mills Antique Autos is taking shape, but there’s still a lot of work to do. The center guard rail along the ride’s course still needs to be installed, there’s still work to be done in and around the station, the ride queue needs to be built, and there’s a lot of landscaping work that needs to be done. Towards the end of March is around the time the attraction will be ready for its first test drive. The Kings Mills Antique Autos won’t be the tallest, fastest or most thrill ride that we’ve added but it’s a ride that will create some of the best memories for our guests. And that’s what Kings Island is all about, making memories. 

My question surrounds the Skyride. I know that Skyride was a Von Roll initially installed for the 1965 operating season of Coney Island and then subsequently moved to Kings Island and operating from 1972 to 1979. Whatever became of the towers, gondolas and other elements of the Skyride after its removal prior to the 1980 operating season? Are there any remnants around the park aside from the footer in Oktoberfest and the Planet Snoopy loading station? -- Dustin J., Monroe, OH

Most of the parts from the Skyride, including the 32 gondolas, were scrapped after the ride was dismantled. The loading station in Oktoberfest remained in use for a short time as a wine and cheese bar where guests could sample and sip from a fine selection imported from all points of the globe. The other loading station still stands today in Planet Snoopy, repurposed as a gift shop. Other than that, there aren’t any remnants left from the ride.

To submit your question for possible inclusion in a future Kings Island Readers’ Mailbag blog, click here.

 

 

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Don Helbig

Area Manager, Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

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