When you bring the past back to the present, you should always bring extras and that’s exactly what Kings Island did with the Kings Mills Antique Autos. While retaining the original look of the Les Taxis ride which operated from 1972 to 2004, Kings Mills Antique Autos features many odes to past and present rides within the ride itself. Let’s start with the cars themselves. These four passenger autos are 2/3-scale replicas of the 1911 Ford Model T, obviously an ode to the original cars from Les Taxis.
The license plates aren’t just random letters and numbers either. Each is unique:
On the bottom of every plate it says Ohio-72, which, quite obviously is the state and the year Kings Island opened, 1972. Can you guess all the license plate references? Comment down below!
Time for a pit stop at the Zodiac Gas Station, be sure you look in the windows as you drive by, there are plenty of references to rides old and new to peek in on. Zodiac was a double Ferris wheel that operated from 1975 until 1986. Since it was such a beloved ride, Kings Island wanted to pay homage to Zodiac by featuring it throughout the ride, including the gas station, a billboard and oil cans. The Racer gets its own nod as well with a classic billboard with the coaster in the background. Kings Island doesn’t just reference rides, it references people as well. Kramer’s Crossing refers to the park’s very own Doug Kramer. Doug started his career at Kings Island in 1978 and eventually became the Director of Safety and Security, meaning he managed all safety aspects of the park, including ride operations, before retiring last week.
Another billboard that has guests feeling nostalgic is the Wild Animal Habitat sign. The Safari Monorail operated for 20 seasons (1974-1993) and is still talked about and remembered fondly by guests to this day. This attraction turned the tables on what guests had seen at zoos. At this attraction, they were the ones that were enclosed instead of the animals. It gave guests an amazing opportunity to see exotic animals up close.
Now we’d love to hear from you! Which reference is your favorite? Did you figure out all the license plates? What billboard were you most excited to see as you rode Antique Autos? Let us know in the comments section below!
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