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Shaggy

Sit On it - A nostalgic look back at KI...

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I'm not saying that I didn't love the ride, in fact, I was so blown away by it when I first rode it, that I kept wanting to ride it over and over again.  I was just saying that this concept art made it look like the ride was completely indoors.  In fact, it kind of reminds me of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.  I do wish, though, that they'd revamp AE a little and bring it back to it's original glory.  It's such a shell of what it used to be, that it's sorta sad.

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Also, worth mentioning, is the fact that when AE opened, there was no FOF, there was no SOB or Banshee, there was no Days of Thunder, there was no Top Gun/Flight Deck/Bat.  It had a great feeling of being "remote" because it was nestled in a valley surrounded by trees (and you also realized live animals were nearby.)  So that added a great deal to it's experience.

What I distinctly remember the first time I rode, was thinking "Why did they put it in the German section of the park?"  That made absolutely no sense to me - still doesn't.  I expect it was just prime land.  But I have always wondered if the original intent when Arrow proposed the ride to KI, was for it to have a Bavarian theme - especially since the station has a very Chalet look to it.  It very easily could have.

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Hello... only been about four years since I last posted...

19 minutes ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

Somewhere around here, there is a thread (I think by TombraiderTy?) that goes into detail about how Adventure Express was designed. I'll do some looking later to see if I can find it.

I don't think I ever posted a thread here on AE's design, but I did contact R&R Design years ago and spoke with the company's president, Rick Bastrup. He was kind enough to send me some incredible concept-art of the ride...

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21 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

*Side note*  Did you know in Adventure Express' first couple of seasons of operation, the Wild Animal Safari Monorail actually passed through the ride area?

Here's an incredibly-small picture of the Monorail crossing Adventure Express' track, from R&R's website...

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And here's an overview, circa 1993, of that... (source unknown)

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Love the Facebook page and everything you have posted, Shaggy.

 

TombraiderTY. nice posting of the concept art. I too, remember when Adventure Express opened. Twas a great ride with all of the theming, lights. fog, etc. Now, it's a great mid coaster with minimal theming.

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Whenever I see older pictures of the the old Wild Animal Safari monorail station, it takes me back...

In 1994, I went to KI and was dismayed at the fact that the Monorail was no longer in operation (If I recall properly, throughout that season the station, or at least the land it sat on remained empty.)  I attended opening night (my first) for the unveiling of "Days of Thunder" simulator in 1994 and while there, I discovered the monorail had been demolished - and possibly the original entrance to the Wild Animal Habitat area was completely re-done.  (In addition, the water under King Cobra was gone.) Then, fast forward to mid-season 1995, I saw what appeared to be a GIANT STEEL COASTER LOOP being assembled in that area of the park.  The excitable and non-rational side of my brain thought "They tore out the monorail to install a GIANT coaster!" (even though the practical side of my brain thought "Naaaah, they just installed Top Gun.")  Well, as the weeks wore on, imagine my dismay when I saw that the "GIANT STEEL COASTER LOOP" was actually the Skyflyer being installed.  Wah waaaaaaah.  (As far as I recall, the Skyflyer was actually installed while the park was already operating for 1995.)  It was, actually, the first one I ever saw in person, but none-the-less I was really bummed.  

However that very same time period, I started noticing earth being moved back behind Racer... and we all know what happened back there...

It's all a bit fuzzy, and I may have some of the timeline a bit twisted, but there were LOTS of changes in those days - not the least of which was the Paramount takeover.

That having been said... I do distinctly recall a big SECRET from that time...  Most don't know what ALMOST happened in 1995... and it involved the monorail NOT being removed.  One word... MOVIERAIL.  

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57 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

In 1994, I went to KI and was dismayed at the fact that the Monorail was no longer in operation (If I recall properly, throughout that season the station, or at least the land it sat on remained empty.)

...

It's all a bit fuzzy, and I may have some of the timeline a bit twisted, but there were LOTS of changes in those days - not the least of which was the Paramount takeover.  

I think your memory may be a little bit fuzzy here. I don't know the source of this photo, but it seems clear it's '94 - Top Gun is present but there's not yet Xtreme Skyflyer. Note the Monorail station is gone and paved over.

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Hmmm...  Not sure how that picture negates my memory?  LOL  It actually confirms it.... ;-)

I said I went in 1994 to find the monorail gone... (I just couldn't recall if the station remained or if it was an empty plot of land in 1994)  then I said that in 1995 the Skyflyer was built.  That pic could be from 1994 or possibly 1995 before the Skyflyer was added (if indeed, the Skyflyer opened mid-season)  Remember, Top Gun was built in 1993.  I distinctly recall Top Gun operating for a season with the Monorail, and then a season without it, then the following (95) Skyflyer appeared.  (It was as I drove past the park... sometime in 1995 that I saw Skyflyer being constructed - not while IN the park.)

What I am fuzzy about is not when the Monorail was or wasn't there, or when the Skyflyer was or wasn't there... what I am fuzzy about are details like whether the monorail station sat vacant or was demolished for the 1994 season - or the entrance to Wild Animal Habitat was altered in 1994 or 1995 - or if the Skyflyer appeared mid-season as I recalled or if it was ready to go with the start of '95.

If we had a specific date of that picture, it would answer a ton of those "fuzzies" I have about the minute details mentioned above.

Bottom line, when the Monorail left, it solidified the trend of negating the overall theming of areas within the park that it followed all the way through the Paramount tenure.  The "De-theming" of areas IMO started with AE - totally misplaced - by the Linder staff.  Then Paramount jumped on board and decided to try and make it a poor man's Universal - and commercialize the park with no regard to it's history.

I DO think some good came from the Paramount days - and it gave us lots of good stuff to talk about.  But one of the really bad things was how mis-focused the park became.  Since Cedar Fair has taken over, IMO, there's been a concentrated effort to adhere to the themed areas.  For instance Mystic Timbers is a great theme for Rivertown.  Had that been Paramount, we'd be looking forward to "Star Trek: Beyond - The wooden coaster" in Rivertown.

*Edit* - I was able to track down an online video from Jul 1995 that shows the Skyflyer (then Drop Zone) was in place by then.  So, that answers some of my fuzziness - I probably saw Drop Zone being constructed as I passed by in early 1995 before the park opened for the season.  If the above picture is from 1994, that means the entrance to Wild Animal Habitat was altered before it was taken - so that occurred in either late 1993, or early 1994.  Here's the video...  

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Shaggy said:

Hmmm...  Not sure how that picture negates my memory?  LOL  It actually confirms it.... ;-)

I said I went in 1994 to find the monorail gone... (I just couldn't recall if the station remained or if it was an empty plot of land in 1994)  then I said that in 1995 the Skyflyer was built.  That pic could be from 1994 or possibly 1995 before the Skyflyer was added (if indeed, the Skyflyer opened mid-season)  Remember, Top Gun was built in 1993.  I distinctly recall Top Gun operating for a season with the Monorail, and then a season without it, then the following (95) Skyflyer appeared.  (It was as I drove past the park... sometime in 1995 that I saw Skyflyer being constructed - not while IN the park.)

What I am fuzzy about is not when the Monorail was or wasn't there, or when the Skyflyer was or wasn't there... what I am fuzzy about are details like whether the monorail station sat vacant or was demolished for the 1994 season - or the entrance to Wild Animal Habitat was altered in 1994 or 1995 - or if the Skyflyer appeared mid-season as I recalled or if it was ready to go with the start of '95.

If we had a specific date of that picture, it would answer a ton of those "fuzzies" I have about the minute details mentioned above.

Bottom line, when the Monorail left, it solidified the trend of negating the overall theming of areas within the park that it followed all the way through the Paramount tenure.  The "De-theming" of areas IMO started with AE - totally misplaced - by the Linder staff.  Then Paramount jumped on board and decided to try and make it a poor man's Universal - and commercialize the park with no regard to it's history.

I DO think some good came from the Paramount days - and it gave us lots of good stuff to talk about.  But one of the really bad things was how mis-focused the park became.  Since Cedar Fair has taken over, IMO, there's been a concentrated effort to adhere to the themed areas.  For instance Mystic Timbers is a great theme for Rivertown.  Had that been Paramount, we'd be looking forward to "Star Trek: Beyond - The wooden coaster" in Rivertown.

*Edit* - I was able to track down an online video from Jul 1995 that shows the Skyflyer (then Drop Zone) was in place by then.  So, that answers some of my fuzziness - I probably saw Drop Zone being constructed as I passed by in early 1995 before the park opened for the season.  If the above picture is from 1994, that means the entrance to Wild Animal Habitat was altered before it was taken - so that occurred in either late 1993, or early 1994.  Here's the video...  

 

 

 

The Cincinnati Post says that Xtreme Skyflyer (then called Drop Zone) opened either May 31 or June 1, 1995.

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I do agree that Firehawk (2007, Cedar Fair's first full year) and the creation of X Base was a fantastic way to keep with the themed areas. But I do not believe Cedar Fair particularly cares too too much about the themed areas. Diamondback, a HUGE coaster, essentially took over Rivertown and got rid of the remaining ambiance of an old abandoned Ohio town by the river. Swan Lake had tons of trees before Diamondback, and some of you will remember that there was LOTS of more trees on the walk back to The Beast.

Need I mention the Coney Mall sign removal for....more Coke products??

Sure, Paramount felt they could shove their movie-themed rides anywhere they wanted without regards to the theme of area, but it doesn't seem like Cedar Fair can theme much beyond some random creature (sometimes real {Diamondback, The Bat}, sometimes mythical {Valravn, Banshee}) and few rare props in a queue line.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks for sharing that mid-1990's video Shaggy. I remember that climbing maze in Green Slime Zone from when I was a kid. Thanks to the video, I now know where it was in the park (I knew it was in the kids area(s), I just didn't know where exactly). I also remember going one day and it was gone. Anyone on here (someone probably does :P) know when it left the park?

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I think the theming for Banshee is pretty well executed.  It just doesn`t quite gel with the rest of the non-existant theme of the Action Zone.  

Like Shaggy said, I think the theme of Rivertown is being greatly enhanced by the addition of Mystic Timbers.  Even the new funnel cake building that was built last year has emphasized the theme.  Coney Mall could use some "new" classic flat rides to breath some life into that area.  With the exception of Windseeker, the last new flat ride installed in Coney Mall was Zephyr and the current Dodgems (Flight Commander was installed in 1990, but only lasted about five years) and they were installed in 1986.

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3 hours ago, Shaggy said:

Hmmm...  Not sure how that picture negates my memory?  LOL  It actually confirms it.... ;-)

I said I went in 1994 to find the monorail gone... (I just couldn't recall if the station remained or if it was an empty plot of land in 1994)  then I said that in 1995 the Skyflyer was built.  That pic could be from 1994 or possibly 1995 before the Skyflyer was added (if indeed, the Skyflyer opened mid-season)

...

What I am fuzzy about is not when the Monorail was or wasn't there, or when the Skyflyer was or wasn't there... what I am fuzzy about are details like whether the monorail station sat vacant or was demolished for the 1994 season - or the entrance to Wild Animal Habitat was altered in 1994 or 1995 - or if the Skyflyer appeared mid-season as I recalled or if it was ready to go with the start of '95.

In terms of fuzziness, I was only referring to Monorail station being or not being there. Assuming the overview I posted was from 1994 (which is a fair assumption, especially given KIghostguy's post), then the Monorail station was indeed not there in 1994. Of course, it could have been demolished mid-season 1994, but I assume that would have had to have been completed during weekend-only operation.

Thank you for sharing that video! I don't think I've seen it before. It's interesting that Scrappy's Slide and Nickelodeon Splat City coexisted for a season.

53 minutes ago, MDMC01 said:

Thanks for sharing that mid-1990's video Shaggy. I remember that climbing maze in Green Slime Zone from when I was a kid. Thanks to the video, I now know where it was in the park (I knew it was in the kids area(s), I just didn't know where exactly). I also remember going one day and it was gone. Anyone on here (someone probably does :P) know when it left the park?

1999 was its final season. Here's a picture of its space post-removal, either end of 1999 or beginning of 2000, from Shaggy's Sit On It page:

16507858_296687800734521_621831698361064

The attraction was called Crystal Slime Aerobic Mining Maze and opened with the area in 1995. In 2000 it was replaced by Wild Thornberry's Rainforest Insect Adventure, which was similar to Dinosaurs Alive!. Here is a YouTube video of it. It ran from June 24 through July 30, then in 2001 Rugrat's Runaway Reptar opened on that spot (which Shaggy also has a fantastic album of, here).

 

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41 minutes ago, TombraiderTy said:

In terms of fuzziness, I was only referring to Monorail station being or not being there. Assuming the overview I posted was from 1994 (which is a fair assumption, especially given KIghostguy's post), then the Monorail station was indeed not there in 1994. Of course, it could have been demolished mid-season 1994, but I assume that would have had to have been completed during weekend-only operation.

Thank you for sharing that video! I don't think I've seen it before. It's interesting that Scrappy's Slide and Nickelodeon Splat City coexisted for a season.

1999 was its final season. Here's a picture of its space post-removal, either end of 1999 or beginning of 2000, from Shaggy's Sit On It page:

16507858_296687800734521_621831698361064

The attraction was called Crystal Slime Aerobic Mining Maze and opened with the area in 1995. In 2000 it was replaced by Wild Thornberry's Rainforest Insect Adventure, which was similar to Dinosaurs Alive!. Here is a YouTube video of it. It ran from June 24 through July 30, then in 2001 Rugrat's Runaway Reptar opened on that spot (which Shaggy also has a fantastic album of, here).

 

Got it, thanks for clarifying.  :-)

I wish I had been more attentive to the park details in the 80's-very early 90's.  If only I could rewind time and revisit those years and write down or photograph the subtle, and not so subtle changes at the park (which I started doing around 1996.)  Little things like "When did they tear down queue building #3 on Beast" or "For how many seasons did KI have The Vortex "tracks" through Coney Mall" or "When did the German Toy Store close" etc continue to elude me.   

Back in the 1970's and 80s, there was interest in the park, but it cannot hold a candle to today's microscopic analysis of all things KI.  Back then, you either read in the paper or park brochure (or saw a commercial) what was new at KI, then you begged your parents to take you to the park sometime during the season (if you were really lucky, you got to go MORE than once!) and you spent most of that visit running around trying to ride as much as possible - while shrugging off some of the changes. (I.E. "Hmmm... I think there was water running out of this chute last year when I was in line for Beast... Oh Well.")  But with the advent of the web, KI-watching took on a life of it's own and the media blitz that followed forever changed how we keep up with those changes.

To be honest, I have to give a shout out to people like Don... or my friend Roger who went to Coney Island as a kid - then Kings Island when it opened (and is still going today.)  They were ahead of their time because they DID take note of those things - and saw the significance of the changes that occurred in those early years.  Most of what I know about those early years is based off of their having witnessed them.

I guess that's partly why I created my little page.  I really want those that have a love of KI today to see how rich a past the park has had.  With so many mega parks today, its really hard to recognize that KI was always a top tier park... and it's very existence is *essentially* a result of an act of Mother Nature.

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Question regarding what was then Adventure Village- what was in the spot where the water tower used to be pre-Action Zone and what is that building across from King Cobra approximately where On Location and Drop Tower sit now?

Also, I miss when the log flume and the surrounding area looked like that, especially with the wood carving shop still in that area.  Rivertown used to look so cool.  My family used to get the Skyline footlong coneys at the Rivertown location by WWC and sit behind WINGS to eat.  It was a great view of Vortex and the lake on top of that with the Tiques and train chugging along nearby.  Oh, and KCKC. 

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Thanks Shaggy for sharing your wealth of knowledge about the park. I always look forward to your posts! I too grew up in the early years of KI and those photos and your insight bring back a lot of memories. I wish I would have been better at documenting all of it through the years.

Showing my age a bit, but I can remember passing by Fields Ertel and only passing a White Castle and Shell station (and that was it!) on our way out to the park. I love the park with a passion, but back then it always felt like going another world. Something about being an excited kid and the aura of the park when it first opened and especially after The Beast was announced. There was kind of a supernatural feel once The Bat and Demon came along...It was awesome! I would hover around the TV, just waiting for that awesome Beast and Bat commercials to play...ahh the days before the internet...Ha!

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I'm also really appreciative of your FB page (as well as this one!).  The fact that we have one of the best parks in the country, with such a rich local history and memories for anyone local, is a privilege.  I'm surprised at just how much it continues to evolve and change over the years.   Looking at pictures and reading about it's history is awesome.  This site and contributors like you have really enhanced my knowledge and turned me into a KI junkie!

It would be nice if the park embraced its history more and had a "museum" type of attraction some day.  Like what the Paramount Theater tried to do with it's films back during the PKI days.  A history / walk though of KI, enhanced with pictures, maybe pieces of older attractions, etc.  History and local tradition can go a long way, and something like this would be cheap to do. 

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On 2/18/2017 at 5:16 PM, silver2005 said:

Question regarding what was then Adventure Village- what was in the spot where the water tower used to be pre-Action Zone and what is that building across from King Cobra approximately where On Location and Drop Tower sit now?

 

The area has been 3 themed areas through the years - Wild Animal Habitat, Adventure Village, and then Action Zone.  It was re-named Adventure Village long about the time the monorail station was removed (this is the same location as the Skyflyer is now.)  The area in front of it, which when converted to Action Zone housed the Water Tower, was not home to an attraction - rather it was just landscaping/entrance plaza to the attraction.  

The building I think you are referring to was the Congo Cooler stand.  It was a food/beverage location that serviced Adventure Village and Timberwolf (when there was an event taking place.)  On Location was built for the expansion of Action Zone.  Prior to it being built, that land was vacant as part of Adventure Village.  It was basically a big empty plaza.  

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Do you think it's possible that Cedar Fair may re theme Action Zone. I think Action Zone has become a husk of what it used to be, when it was first introduced in the 90's. They got rid of the water tower, Banshee (while a fantastic ride) doesn't fit the theme of Action Zone, they re themed Flight Deck into The Bat so now that doesn't fit the theming, and they repainted Invertigo from yellow and red to light blue and dark blue.

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^^For some reason, I thought there was a small amphitheater there, or at least some sort of pit that was filled in.  :wacko:  The earliest clear memories I have of KI was after the monorail was retired.  

However, I do remember Rivertown, HBL and Coney Mall from back then fondly. ^_^

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As I've said on here before, I'd love to see Action Zone/part of Oktoberfest become Adventure Village once again, and I think Bat, Banshee, and most other rides would work (with the exception of maybe DT and Invertigo - which ironically, were the 2 big rides that opened with (Paramount) Action Zone in 1999).

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And I think that both of those rides still fit with the Adventure Village theme.  

I still think it would be cool if Coney Mall got a revamp with classic midway theming like Carowinds is adding with their new flat ride package for this season.

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27 minutes ago, CoastersRZ said:

And I think that both of those rides still fit with the Adventure Village theme.  

I still think it would be cool if Coney Mall got a revamp with classic midway theming like Carowinds is adding with their new flat ride package for this season.

Don't go full Carowinds, we like our racing coaster!

RIP Thunder Road

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Thunder Road at Carowinds  had the chips stacked against it for decades.  As the park developed, it's odd placement became a barrier to growth of the water park. (It was actually the 2nd coaster scrapped for the water park expansion through the years.) Ironically, Ocean Island (the original Carowinds water park name) was the first water park I ever discovered INSIDE an amusement park.  (I found out about it when I picked up a Carowinds brochure at a tourist center in 1982 as my parents and I traveled through NC/SC on our way to Disney World.)  When the rumors persisted about Thunder Road being removed - I consistently thought "Nah."  But then the boom was lowered.  I have to say that scared me quite a bit for Racer.  However, I pray that Racer's historical significance, coupled with the fact that the real-estate it occupies isn't restricting growth of the park's attractions, will keep it there for a long long time.

If I could wave a magic wand at KI, it would be a complete Coney Mall overhaul including a multi-million dollar Racer restoration (Rebuild of final bunny hills, complete re-tracking, re-paint with the original Red, White and blue paint scheme, new trains etc.) That section of the park is perfect, and desperate, for a facelift harking back to old school days.  Add in lots of new (old) flat rides, scrap the un-used buildings and take it back to it's glory days.  

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^To this day I still don't understand why TR couldn't have stayed in the park. I know there are some that say the wood was deteriorating and such but just a few years back, they spent millions on a 5 year retracking on TR so it boggles the mind why the decision was made to scrap it when they could have very easily taken a page out of KI's   handbook and simply extend the waterpark by allowing an access area somewhat like where X-base is now. In fact, if you were to do an overlay of Google Earth (then and now), the only real attractions that needed the room to be installed were Blackbeard's Revenge and Surf Club Harbor and to be fair, those could have simply been originally designed to be built around the coaster's structure. I guess it is what it is but being I grew up near KI and now relocated to Charlotte for work. Carowinds holds a special place for me as it's the closest thing I can get to my original home park.

The only good thing that could possibly come of this is if CF pays close attention to the surveys they send out and replace TR with a nice new GCI like MT.!!! 

We'll see what the future holds. 

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