One thing we love to do here at Kings Island is celebrate! With the 2020 season underway, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of our favorite attractions that are celebrating anniversary seasons this year.
Woodstock Gliders, Snoopy’s Space Buggies turn 5
Just five years ago, Kings Island welcomed Woodstock Gliders and Snoopy's Space Buggies to the award-winning Planet Snoopy. Long-time visitors will remember the Flying Eagles that originally operated at Coney Island and was moved to Kings Island for the 1972 grand opening (then known as Flying Scooters). Flying Eagles was removed in 2004 to make way for Backlot Stunt Coaster, but found a new home at Carowinds, currently operating under the name Mountain Gliders. Woodstock Gliders features maneuverable flying scooters that pays homage to the old classic, and fits quite well next to Snoopy’s Space Buggies. Guests were delighted to have the family favorite back at the park.
Backlot Stunt Coaster turns 15
In 2005, movie studios were stunned as The Italian Job: Stunt Track rolled out the red carpet to guests as they got to experience what it’s like to be a Hollywood stunt driver and go behind the scenes of an action movie. Guests board their very own MINI Cooper S tricked out with audio special effects adding to the multi-sensory sensation of the experience. Once strapped into their custom stunt car, rubber meets the road as the MINIs peel out to begin their chase sequence. Drivers twist through a parking garage, dodge near-collisions, race down stairs, chase through tunnels and narrowly escape massive explosions triggered by gunfire from a menacing helicopter. Tires skid out one last time as the stunt cars crash through a billboard and splash down into an L.A. aqueduct concluding the chase sequence and their screen test trial as a stunt driver! Of course, today it is known as Backlot Stunt Coaster after Cedar Fair acquired the then Paramount Park back in 2006, but we still love our Premier Rides launch coaster as it continues to be a guest favorite. Who could possibly forget their first time being blasted by the heat by those amazing fire effects, or greying out on that first triple-helix? Happy 15, Backlot!
Xtreme Skyflyer turns 25
In 1995, a new thrill was added to the lineup. Xtreme Skyflyer (known as Drop Zone for its inaugural season) was added to the park, giving guests the chance to actually free-fall, head first. I’ll never forget my first (and only) ride. It was almost midnight on a Saturday during Halloween Haunt. The ground was covered with fog, so I could not see where the ground was. You can be sure that I was quick to pull the cord, as I was not accustomed to being that up that high while only being strapped to a carriage. The words “Three, two, one, fly” are words that I won’t soon forget.
White Water Canyon turns 35
One thing that Kings Island has always been known for is not only its thrills, but it's’ splashes, too. In 1985, Intamin, Inc. of Zurich Switzerland installed White Water Canyon, a thrilling new raft ride for adventurous guests wanting to cool off. They went above and beyond, so much so that a sign had to be put in the que line warning guests: “You will get wet. You may get drenched!”. Did you know that over 5,000 tons of limestone rocks enhance this exciting attraction?
Shake, Rattle & Roll turns 45
Last but certainly not least is Troika, otherwise known as Shake, Rattle, and Roll, added in 1975. The ride was called Troika as it was Russian for “group of three” to reflect the three sections of the ride. The style of this now 45 year old attraction reflects the classic boardwalk 1950’s fun. The ride’s current name comes from the song by Jesse Stone that Big Joe Turner and Elvis Presley both performed at one time. I remember this attraction as a “step up” from the Scrambler, as they are both similar except SR&R tilts you while spinning. In 2015, the ride returned in fabulous fashion after a season-long refurbishment with an all-new LED package. The ride makes for some spectacular photos at night.
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