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Riders on the long gone but not forgotten Phantom Theater attraction at Kings Island took a journey through an abandoned theater while witnessing the spirits of past performers, stagehands, and Maestro, the former star who presided over this once stately venue.
Entering the theater lobby, the taunting voice of one of my favorite Phantom Theater characters, The Maestro, warned riders that they were disturbing the silence that had settled within the theater for decades. Unaware of the surprises that awaited them, guests boarded cars that carried them on a journey through hallways, dressing, rehearsal and stage areas where The Maestro would periodically reappear and reaffirm that their intrusion was disturbing the spirits of past performers that inhabited the theater.
During the four-minute and 30-seconds ride, guests encountered the great Houdelini practicing magic tricks as he grabbed the ears of a rabbit in a hat, and this monstrous rabbit with glowing eyes appeared. Along the route, a mummy case sprung open revealing its ancient contents, and a giant rat emerged terrifying a stray cat. Meanwhile, opera singer Hilda Bovine was seen preparing for her performance, and there was the great Garbonzo climbing into a cannon from which he would be shot. In the boiler room, tenders were stoking the fire which emitted an intense heat as the cars neared the flame with one of the characters asking, “How 'bout some heat?” At the end of the ride when guests exited their cars, voices repeated Maestro’s warning that they would not be forgiven for disturbing the spirits.
The memories. I absolutely loved Phantom Theater – it’s one of my all-time favorite rides. I always tried to ride it at least once during my visits to Kings Island.
Phantom Theater operated for parts of 11 seasons at Kings Island, from its debut in 1992 to its closing in 2002, giving a total of 14,133,357 rides.
R&R Creative Design of Anaheim, CA was responsible for Phantom Theater’s creative concept, and AVG Inc. of Valencia, CA was the supplier of the ride’s 38 animated figures.
Did you ride Phantom Theater? If so, share your memories in the comments below.