You wake up, it’s Saturday morning. A glimpse through your bedroom window, promises a beautiful spring day ahead. A perfect day for Kings Island with friends. For some reason you get delayed and end up driving to the park alone.
The drive is uneventful, you park, and walk to the entrance. You step through the metal detectors and approach the ticket booth Distinctively, you remove your mobile device from your pocket and select the Kings Island app. Your friends are already inside the park, and you don’t want to keep them waiting.
Suddenly, the wind picks up, you feel a chill down your spine, and goosebumps on your arms. Your vision greys and familiar sights and sounds fade into the distance. You stumble and pause to catch your breath. As your senses return, you open your eyes and find yourself standing at the ticket booth. There are no familiar sights or sounds. You’re alone. In your hand is a paper entrance ticket.
A young girl with freckles attending the ticket booth beams a goofy smile at you, ‘Good morning, Mister. Welcome to Kings Island!’. You turn towards her and gingerly hand her your ticket. She happy tears the ticket in half and offers you a park map in return. ‘Enjoy your day at Kings Island!’, she giggles. With hesitation you accept and clench the map in your hand. Your eyes adjust to the light as you step into the park. You are standing in front of the magnificent Royal Fountains, but little if anything seems familiar.
The synchronized choreography of the Royal Fountains is gone. So is the fencing around the fountains. Looking into the distance, you see the park’s horizon is void of familiar roller coasters and flat rides. A series of cable cars are seen passing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Familiar name-brand stores along International Street are no more.
In disbelief, you look down at the park map still clenched in your trembling hand and turn to a passing park associate for help. “Where am I?”, you stutter. The associate laughs back, “Welcome to Kings Island, Sir, America’s Family Entertainment Center!” “What year is it?”, you respond. “Well, it’s opening day, Sir, 1974.”, the associate jokes, “Enjoy your stay!”