The Wonderful King’s Island Theme Park
Cedar Fair Entertainment, the amusement park chain, owns the King’s island amusement park in Mason, in Warren County, Ohio. The park is located39 km north of Cincinnati, and covers 775 acres of land, of which 364 acres are developed till date. King’s island used to be a part of the Paramount Parks chain which Cedar Fair bought out in 2006 from CBS Corporation.
Kings Island has a long history of setting roller coaster records all over the country. The Beast was inaugurated in 1979 as the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster of its time. Even now it holds the record for the world’s longest wooden roller coaster at nearly seven and a half thousand feet. These days of course steel has become the construction medium of choice for record breaking roller coasters. Kings Island never stopped the race and went on to build The Bat, which was to become the first suspended roller coaster in the world. The Bat was, however, a prototype device, designed to test the plausibility and associated problems of suspended roller coasters, and was removed four years later. It was followed in 1984 by the King Cobra, which was a stand up coaster, the first one in the world to be initially designed as such. It was however dismantled and sold in 2002 when it became too expensive to maintain. The Vortex, deployed in 1987, was the leader at that time with six inversions, a never before heard of number. The Son of Beast, the supposed runner up to the Beast, was unveiled on in 2000, and is to date the tallest and fastest wooden coaster ever. It however also included a steel loop, and there was an accident at the steel loop in July 2006 which caused the coaster to be closed. When the coaster reopened on July 2007, the steel loop was removed.
A family water park named Water Works was inaugurated in 1989 and had a lot of slides, a lazy river and other water based attractions like a wave pool. It was expanded by 30 acres in 1997 and some more in 2004, and its name was finally changed to Boomerang Bay. You need King’s Island tickets to use these facilities.
Ever since 1982, King’s island has been playing host to “Winterfest”, a Christmas gala event, which extends from 25th November to the end of the year. During this event all the fountains on International Street are turned into ice skating rinks and there is a laser show near the mock Eiffel Tower. The rides are usually closed around the time of the carnival, and just a Christmas themed train ride is operative. A few specialty shops, restaurants, and some holiday themed activities are also active, but the major part of the park is closed down. There used to be horse carriage rides and handicrafts booths as well along International Street. Usually, a holiday themed show was arranged at the King’s Island theater as well. There also used to be regular caroling. The carnival ended after 1992, but an additional show was organized in 2005. Cedar Fair, the new owners, didn’t find the idea as profitable as running the standard shows as the holiday time King’s Island discounts were high. However the “Halloween Haunt”, which used to be known as the “FearFest” is a holiday themed event which is still on. It features 13 special attractions and has mazes, haunted trails and locations. “Halloween Haunt” runs from late September to early October”.
2007 saw the introduction of Firehawk, a flying roller coaster, which became the fourteenth roller coaster in the King’s Island portfolio. It was initially installed at Geauga Lake and was called the X-Flight. It now has a red track and steel grey supports with red and yellow trains. However, for those not into big league thrill seeking, there are other tamer options as well. Due to its all round approach at entertaining people of varied tastes, King’s Island has won the “Best Kids Area” award from Amusement Today seven times in a row from 2001 to 2007.