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Guest TombraiderTy

Lion Country Safari Spotlight

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I'd actually say quite the reverse. Yes, there were things like near Broadway quality shows, incredible theming and great roving entertainers in the park. But the park itself had comparatively few rides and not a great deal to do. It was a one day park, and barely that. As the years have gone by, some things have suffered, yes...but there is far more variety in thrills (albeit with fewer rides the whole family can enjoy TOGETHER).

To today's average park goer, the 1972 Kings Island wouldn't offer much...that which it offered was very high quality, but there wasn't much to consume more than a day....

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I'd actually say quite the reverse. Yes, there were things like near Broadway quality shows, incredible theming and great roving entertainers in the park. But the park itself had comparatively few rides and not a great deal to do. It was a one day park, and barely that. As the years have gone by, some things have suffered, yes...but there is far more variety in thrills (albeit with fewer rides the whole family can enjoy TOGETHER).

To today's average park goer, the 1972 Kings Island wouldn't offer much...that which it offered was very high quality, but there wasn't much to consume more than a day....

I can see your point, but still, as a kid growing up in the 70's and 80's (born in '72) and only getting to go once a year for quite a few of those years (until we got season passes starting about '85 or '86), that park with "not a great deal to do" earned a place of endearment in my heart and in those of quite a few others. So much so that I was absolutely determined to start working there when I turned 16, so I did. That seasonal job eventually turned into a career for awhile. Yes, there were a few years where that magic was tarnished, but it once again holds a special place for me. I am now a season pass holder again and come Haunt time, I plan on returning for my 20th season of employment at the park.

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Some souvenirs available at KI gift shops at one time:

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^Thanks for sharing.

I think it's so interesting that ashtrays were once such a common souvenir..."So what do we get Aunt Mary? Just grab her a ashtray, she can always use another one of those!". :P

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In the 70's cigarettes were game prizes! See the 1977 movie Rollercoaster as an example.

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Brilliant! I love the pictures. Now find a way to resurface this former glory to life and I will return to Ohio to assist in it's rise to fame.

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Nothing exciting...but I figured I would post these here...otherwise they'll just sit in my closet and no one will see them.

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s1p.jpg

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Thank you. For some odd reason, the sleeping lions make me happy.

Terpy, who will miss seeing the sleeping tigers at his favorite New Jersey theme park (but at least they are still in the Safari!)

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what a great job on the article

after one or two incidents with employees being harmd/in harms way, they should have shut the attraction down, i think thats the only reason why not alot of places have animal things like that any more

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That's a great overview. I believe it was in '83 that Train 7 caught fire and was taken completely out of commission. There were originally 7 trains, and all of them could be in the preserve at the same time, but after the fire, Train 7 never ran again. I was told when I was working there was that the radios that were permanently fixed in the trains were replaced with hand-held walkie-talkies because the driver had to escape the flames and was unable to radio for help.

The biggest problems we had in '84 were the Capybara getting out of their area, one of the drivers drove over a baby deer, and a train broke down returning to the station stranding the other five trains on the preserve for about 4 hours.

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We lived across the street from the Mcann's , they were obviously devastated by the loss of their son, we lived in centerville oh at the time and the Mccanns moved to morrow where his dad Jim either was or became a winemaster at Valley Vineyards. I'm not sure why I posted this, but I found a leather pouch at a yard sale over the weekend that was a Kings Island Souvenir and it got me thinking about that whole situation.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-LEATHER-POUCH-PURSE-KINGS-ISLAND-EIFFEL-TOWER-ROLLER-COASTER-RARE-/231277416789?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35d9355155

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I'll bump this one... Would be nice if someone could make a reply and fix the broken links from the OP.

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^Oh wow, this thing is six years old...

I probably still have all the pictures saved, but I don't have the time to re-upload everything and fix all the broken links. I imagine most came from KICentral's and KIExtreme's history galleries though.

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https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2017/august/lions-and-tigers-and-baboons-oh-my

 

I did some work at Kings Dominion last month that required driving through their Lion Country Safari remnants. There are all sorts of cool remnants there like perimeter fences and lock out boxes. Much of that land is undeveloped so much more of it stands today than does at Kings Island.

What would Lion Country Safari be like if it were still around at Kings Island today?

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^ Very cool; Kings Dominion certainly has a lot of acreage to play with.

I was only 7 when Lion Country Safari closed, so my first-hand memories are faint. It's hard to imagine an expansive zoo in the park's post-Lindner footprint. Evolving standards in animal exhibit design probably would have stretched the area well beyond its 100 acres, had it remained over the years.

 

On 5/24/2017 at 10:16 PM, TombraiderTy said:

I probably still have all the pictures saved, but I don't have the time to re-upload everything and fix all the broken links. I imagine most came from KICentral's and KIExtreme's history galleries though.

If you have time and want to send me pictures that got lost (via Google Drive, flickr, Dropbox, sftp/rsync, physical flash drive, etc), I can run a script to automatically upload them and fix your posts.

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