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Park HistoryIn the fall of 1971, Coney Island, an amusement park on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, closed its gates for the final time, ending an era in entertainment. The following spring, another era began when the turnstiles began spinning in Kings Mills, Ohio at the new Kings Island Amusement Park. When the gates opened in April, 1972, the stage was set for the next four decades of world-class thrills, fun and family entertainment.
Kings Island History
The construction of Kings Island began June 15, 1970. A public contest was held to name the new park. Kings Island emerged as the most popular choice for its recognition of the town where the park was being built, Kings Mills, as well as its predecessor, Coney Island. Many of Coney Island's rides were transported and installed at Kings Island within three months of Coney Island closing its gates on September 6, 1971, including: The Tumblebug, Scrambler, Flying Scooters, Spider, Dodgem, Turnkpike Cars, Sky Ride and Rotor. There had been lengthy discussions about relocating the popular Shooting Star roller coaster to Kings Island, but the decision was made to build a new, bigger, faster and better roller coaster, The Racer. The Eiffel Tower, originally planned for Coney Island and a one-third replica of the original Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, became the centerpiece of the new park. After nearly two years of construction, the park was ready to open for families and thrill-seekers in April, 1972.
Kings Island opened its gates April 29, 1972. The star attractions early on were the twin-track Racer roller coaster, the Enchanted Voyage dark ride, and the Eiffel Tower. Kings Island gained national attention when two well-known ABC sitcoms filmed episodes at the park: The Partridge Family in 1972, and The Brady Bunch in 1973. In 1977, the Screamin' Demon debuted as the first forward and then backward-looping roller coaster in the United States. People came from coast-to-coast to ride it. But in 1979, the park unveiled a ride that would forever change the world ... well, at least the roller coaster world when Kings Island unleashed The Beast. It was the biggest, baddest, longest, fastest wooden roller coaster in the world. The ride still stands today as the longest wooden roller coaster in the world at 7,400 feet.
The next decade of world-class thrills, fun and family entertainment opened with a bang in 2011 with the addition of WindSeeker, a 301-foot-tall tower swing ride, and the world's largest animatronic dinosaur park, Dinosaurs Alive! With 15 thrill-inducing roller coasters, Soak City Waterpark, a 13-time, award-winning kids' area, high-energy live stage shows, classic family rides, and most unique Halloween events around, today's Kings Island remains one of the finest amusement/theme parks in the world.