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Things you first experienced at Kings Island


Magenta Lizard
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When I was at the park today I started thinking about things I had never seen before I encountered them at KI. It's funny how ubiquitous both became.

Temporary tattoos The first time I saw them was at little carts set up around the park not unlike the current face painting or henna stands. The tattoos were not marketed at all like what they have become since. Now, they're mostly considered cartoony decorations for little kids. Back then, they were more marketed towards teens who wanted to look older and/or tough. They were larger than the ones you see now, three or four inches or more, featuring very traditional tattoo subjects like panthers, anchors, hearts that said "mom", koi fish, etc. The method of display was very reminiscent of "flash" at a tattoo parlor. They would specially apply your choice of tattoo at the booth. I seem to remember they started at $5 for the smaller ones up to ten dollars for the larger. Which was probably why I never bought one there but, oh, how I wanted to. A few years later when I was in high school, I perfected the art of making a temp tattoo look real enough to convince more gullible people I actually got inked. Oddly enough, I grew out of my desire for a real tattoo and never got any when I was old enough.

3D Bart Simpson These were keychains from inside a crane game. They were large, five inches or so, and made of a substantial weighty hard rubber. The Simpsons were quite new, and while I owned a t-shirt and matching Joe Boxer-style shorts with Bart Simpson, the keychains were the first I had seen a three dimensional rendering of him, as well as being among the very first Simpsons merchandise I ever saw.

I'm curious if, with the advent of the internet, it is still possible for an amusement park to stay ahead of the curve and introduce people to things they've never encountered before.

What are some of your memories of things you never experienced before KI? It doesn't have to be merchandise. It could be music, shows, games, even rides.

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The scale.  Growing up in a small town, and not going to places like Kings Island, the size of things like The Eiffel Tower, etc.  It still blows my mind even though I'm in my 40's and have visited regularly for 20+ years.  Things are just HUGE at Kings Island.

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When I remember my very first visit to Kings Island a few decades ago, I honestly can't remember very much.  At all.  Seriously.  But there is one thing I remember, and I remember quite vividly.

 

The Beast.
 

It's 2015, and I suppose times have changed a bit.  Today...I prefer Diamondback, as does my daughter.  But for so long The Beast was the most frightening and amazing thing I could ever have imagined or experienced.  An incredibly special ride.

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Blown-glass souvenirs.  Although Wayne doesn't make them at Kings Island anymore, the first time I saw blown-glass works was at Kings Island, and, on a special trip in 1978, my mom bought a 7•UP bottle, the neck of which was stretched to over 5 feet long (seriously! that's the kind of things you'd find at Kings Island in those days!)

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I smelled an illegal drug that is smoked in a que line for Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal.  I was in 6th grade.  My parents told me to hush up and not ask questions in a que line.  I guess they were fearing high teenagers.

 

This past Sunday in The Beast que, I witnessed a five year old use the most horrible racist and sexist language while his mother just laughed.

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I was, I'm guessing, 5 or so on my first visit to KI...maybe younger. In the decades since then I've lost the memory of my first visit/experience.

 

Some of my earliest memories, though, are riding the 'big' log ride with my cousins, waiting on my family to ride The Beast (seriously, those 4min in kiddie jail seemed an eternity), and The Racers being the pinnacle of my coaster world.

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I smelled an illegal drug that is smoked in a que line for Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal.  I was in 6th grade.  My parents told me to hush up and not ask questions in a que line.  I guess they were fearing high teenagers.

 

This past Sunday in The Beast que, I witnessed a five year old use the most horrible racist and sexist language while his mother just laughed.

 

KCKC always smelled like weed.  I still remember that...

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KI was the first and only place I ever experienced an Xtreme Skyflyer type ride. It was well worth the extra money! SO much fun. I think that was about 10 years ago.

 

It was also the first place I ever saw a coney. I was very young and very confused as to why there were no cones involved.

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My first memories that stand out were how everything was so large, how you could see the Eiffel Tower first coming in. Towards the end of our 3 hour trek to KI, all three of us kids would begn looking for the Eiffel Tower because we knew we had finally arrived. Then, we would get through the front gate, and I would just admire how nice the fountains were as we made our way to LaRosa's for lunch before we started our day.

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I do remember riding in the back seat down I-71 watching the horizon to catch a glimpse of the top of the Eiffel Tower. It seems it's harder to do now. Amazing how much taller trees are 30 years later hahahaha

 

I remember the traffic going home.  I always managed to stay awake long enough to make it to the RR/75 interchange before falling asleep on the way home.... also the "gum trees" on the way to WWC

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First roller coaster (The Beastie)

First backwards ride on a roller coaster (The Racer) (only other time has been on Faceoff/Invertigo)

First inversion (Vortex)

First Stand up (King Cobra)

 

Aside from that, I couldn't tell you much else that I experienced the first time at KI, I'm sure there are other things, but its been a long time.

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For me when I was a kid it was the excitement of who could see the "Eiffel Tower" first as we drove on country roads through Mason.  There was not much to Mason in the early days of Kings Island.

 

Also, the Fountains with its manicured bushes and International Street seemed much more grand and regal.  Although I do love the mature trees today, back then (70's) it was all open and had a larger than life feel to it.  But I guess a lot of you inner kid memories are like that.

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I had never really ridden the big coasters until I went to King's Island when I was 12 with my sister. That day I rode The Beast, The Vortex, and The Racers...but then we got in a fight in line for Flight of Fear and she made us leave...

 

But I digress...

 

Anyways, I would have never imagined before then that I'd get on an upside down roller coaster. Granted, I haven't ridden it since because it still frightened me some. But I got to check something off my list!

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Those little fruit sippers that were plastic.  I remember the plastic orange and the plastic grape, but I can't remember the third one.  I believe they also came with silly straws as well.  You'd see quite a few ice carts with a canopy throughout KI holding those things in the eighties. 

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A roller coaster.

A date. (Not the fruit.)

The feeling of disappointment when a ride I liked is removed.

The feeling of apathy when a ride I disliked is removed.

If I had to guess, I probably rode a steam train the first time there.

The weird feeling that comes with visiting multiple parks in one day.

New ride announcements.

An acrobatics-/cirque-type show. (And what a show! Y'all need to post reviews of this year's Cirque Imagine on here.)

Blue ice cream!

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Those little fruit sippers that were plastic. I remember the plastic orange and the plastic grape, but I can't remember the third one. I believe they also came with silly straws as well. You'd see quite a few ice carts with a canopy throughout KI holding those things in the eighties.

I believe there were also strawberries and cherries.

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I do remember riding in the back seat down I-71 watching the horizon to catch a glimpse of the top of the Eiffel Tower. It seems it's harder to do now. Amazing how much taller trees are 30 years later hahahaha

 

I remember the traffic going home.  I always managed to stay awake long enough to make it to the RR/75 interchange before falling asleep on the way home.... also the "gum trees" on the way to WWC

 

 Uggh.....the "Gum Trees"!  So glad that that kind of stuff went away.  I never understood the idea of placing gum on tree trunks, or even attraction walls (see racer tunnels, etc).

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I've been visiting Kings Island almost my entire life.  I can't think of one particular thing that sticks out in my mind, but when I think back, I have some blurs and random split second flashes of memories.  One of the first ones would be riding the Enchanted Voyage. No not the Smurf version, the original version.  I have a brief, split second memory of Gulliver inside that ride and that's about it.  Seeing as I was born in September of 1980 and the ride was removed at the end of the 1981 season, I couldn't have been very old at all.

 

Next, I pretty much just have random flashes of memories from Hanna-Barbera land.  I remember things like the juice drinks with the green caps in the shapes of characters like Fred Flintstone and Yogi Bear.  I remember riding Scooby-Doo on the carousel, I remember the puppet tree, and the "Scrappy's Farm" playground.  I don't remember specific visits or events, all these memories just sort of run together.

 

I also remember the glow necklaces they used to sell at night by the entrance.  You know, the ones that you had to keep in the refrigerator?  Yep.  I always liked those.  Glowing things always fascinated me as a kid and I was always mesmerized by all the glow necklaces that the vendors were selling.  There were always so many!

 

I'm grateful I got to grow up near a park like Kings Island and visit every year.  It has left me with many, many fond memories!

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I agree Voicetek. KI has provided many great memories for me. I would say I have two separate sets. One set being from when I was a kid and enjoying HB land, many cool flat rides, being chicken of riding The Racer, catching a show, enjoying LaRosa's while just being enamored with the fountains and Eiffel Tower. I remember my grandparents going one year with us and I was too afraid to ride The Beast, which was new then, but it didn't stop my grandfather from riding. He really enjoyed it and for him, it was a record breaking experience.

 

Then, I have great memories of teen to 30 years old. My teen years it was myself, my brother, and my two uncles who made every trip really fun. Great times riding only coasters and the more extreme flat rides. We always separated at one point because my uncles always wanted to catch a show and my brother and I wanted to get more laps in on the coasters. We would meet back after they caught a show to do some evening/night rides on The Beast, Vortex, and Racer.

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I have gone to to KI for years so trying to recall first visit is really difficult. I vividly remember Zodiac scaring me. It looked like a creepy mutant robot octopus.

Enchanted Voyage was incredible. I watched (again) an old video of it and that song just gets stuck in my head.

The Banana Splits characters were pretty awesome back in the day. It would be wonderful to have a throw back weekend where they bring back the different characters throughout the years.

There are hundreds of memories over the years. I think I have had as much fun experiencing the park with my children. Like celebrating my sons 6th birthday at Kings Island and he was terrified of going in Phantom Theater.

The years of visits where I had to hear Princess Sparkles cry, "I want to go ride! I am not a baby!" To the sheer joy of her first ride on The Beast - which remains one of her favorite rides.

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  Like LoraX, my first visits become blurred.

  Enchanted Voyage was instantly etched in my brain. My first ride on Racer, traumatic, ecstatic, documented here before. Rotor, Haleys Comet, Bayern Curve, Wheel of Fortune, and a HUGE pickle barrel, are also faded memories.

  All precious to me, but none as precious as my first lift hill ride with MrsNoChickens, Vortex, just another reason to love it.  

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