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TimelineOn April 29, 1972, Kings Island opened its $30 million royal gates to a mere 7,000 curious guests. The slogan used to entice their visit was "C'mon Get Happy!" It didn't take long for the word to get out, though. By the end of the first season, Kings Island had set an amusement/theme park industry record by playing host to more than 2 million guests. Since then, nearly 120 million visitors have experienced the park's world-class thrills making Kings Island one of the most celebrated amusement/theme parks in the nation. The 1972 attendance record was just the beginning of a long string of firsts for the park has accumulated over the past 40 years. It's an exciting and impressive evolution to recount.
KI By the Year
A fifth themed area was added this year - the 100 acre Lion Country Safari (later known as Wild Animal Habitat). During early stages of construction, developers decided to take the then popular drive-through nature park a step further. By adding a monorail ride, a new concept in animal preservation was born in the country. Grand opening guests this year witnessed a record-breaking high wire walk by 69-year-old Karl Wallenda.
Areas of Rivertown and Hanna-Barbera Land are re-themed into Nickelodeon Central. New attractions include Rugrats Runaway Reptar, the world's first inverted roller coaster for kids, and the Wild Thornberry's River Adventure, which had formerly been known as the Log Flume. The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear is renamed Flight of Fear. The 7th Portal is the new attraction in the Action FX Theater. This year marked the final season for King Cobra. Gold Season Passes are introduced and include free season-long parking and other exciting VIP perks.
The Italian Job: Stunt Track opens as a new, fully themed action stunt car experience in Coney Mall. Happy Days Diner replaces Preston T. Tucker's Roadside Cafe just around the corner from the park's newest roller coaster. Chick-Fil-A, Graeter's Ice Cream and Starbucks open at the park. In November, a long-time Cincinnati favorite holiday tradition returns for the first time in more than a decade with Winterfest.
The Soak City Waterpark highlights Kings Island's 40th Annivesary season. Soak City is a $10 million expansion of Kings Island's waterpark and is the premier waterpark in the region featuring mroe than 50 water activities, including 30 water slides, tropical lagoons, rushing rivers, and surfable waves. Newest attractions include Splash River and a 650,000-gallon wave pool, Tidal Wave Bay Four new live stage shows debut this year: "Yesterday Once More: The 70's", "British Invasion", 'Charlie Brown's All-Stars", and "Ed Alonzo's Psycho Circus of Magic & Mayhem".