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Oktoberfest Discussion

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I'm sorry, but I need to put this out there: OKTOBERFEST ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO BE REDONE!!!!!!!

Why, you might ask?

Well, if you have been strolling through the area at all for about the last 10-15 years, you will have noticed that there are only three rides (none are original), its one of the smallest areas in the park, and the German theme is 95% gone. 

Here are some examples:

Related image         

https://goo.gl/images/92aTFJ

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https://goo.gl/images/XLTSGK

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https://goo.gl/images/4K6vg4

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https://goo.gl/images/rSBB2v

And yes, the countless other rides that used to be here (Der Spinnen Keggers, Ferris Wheel, etc) and the bands. Kings Island should bring them back.

(btw this is in no way roasting or making fun of Kings Island; I am merely making a suggestion to better this area of the park)

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Here are my suggestions:

1. Re-Germanize the Festhaus and the Bier Garden & Hall

2. Expand the area by removing Sling Shot and ending it around Banshee and Adventure Express with flat rides such as a Ferris Wheel and a new Der Spinnen Keggers.

these are my ideas so far; if i think of any, i'll put them down.

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This should be a major priority. There needs to be an increased amount of Gemütlichkeit throughout the entire area. With more mature trees and shade, this is totally doable. As mentioned, re-Germanize the Festhaus and lakeside beer garden. More German food options. Roving bands..at very least German music on the speakers. Sling Shot can go-and use the area behind it. 

Oktoberfest should be a refuge where you can relax either in the shade or in the AC of the Festhaus and grab a bite and a beer and enjoy some music in a comfortable, beautiful setting. I'd turn the food and beer operations of Festhaus and the beer garden totally over to Hoffbrahaus if they'd do it. 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, HandsUp said:

This should be a major priority. There needs to be an increased amount of Gemütlichkeit throughout the entire area. With more mature trees and shade, this is totally doable. As mentioned, re-Germanize the Festhaus and lakeside beer garden. More German food options. Roving bands..at very least German music on the speakers. Sling Shot can go-and use the area behind it. 

Oktoberfest should be a refuge where you can relax either in the shade or in the AC of the Festhaus and grab a bite and a beer and enjoy some music in a comfortable, beautiful setting. I'd turn the food and beer operations of Festhaus and the beer garden totally over to Hoffbrahaus if they'd do it. 

 

 

I absolutely agree 100%. As for the Festhaus, I would LOVE if Hoffbrahaus ran it! the real catch is getting them to do it.

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 That area of the park seems forgotten for some reason. I noticed the last time that I was there that there just isn't a feel to that area any longer. I looked at it as possibly they're thinking of a complete revamp of the area, or that it truly is forgotten. I miss the German theme it once had, and it needs to have some form of continuity come back to it! 

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I'm in the minority here but... I personally think the oktoberfest area has been completely lost and they have no intention of bringing it back. The area is very small but they could fit a couple flats in there. I have no idea what they could potentially theme the area to if they dropped oktoberfest entirely, but I could see them seeing it as an extension of Coney Mall or whatever they call Action Zone now. 

However, removing Tower Gardens and that air brush building would open up a lot of space for an oktoberfest revival or complete area retheme. Only time will tell!!

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Great ideas. Would be nice to see the Festhaus go back to what it looked like, the detail just draws you to the building!  Bringing back the Ferris Wheel there (or on IS behind the Eiffel Tower), the Skyride,  and a new Keggers ride, it would bring people to the area.  It seems like it’s just a area you pass though right now, if you’re hungry you stop and eat. 

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After Xbase presumably gets an upgrade with the new coaster, I would like to see Oktoberfest be the next area get some love.  

The first thing I would do is give Festhaus some love.  If you have ever been in Busch Gardens Williamsburg Festhaus, it is gorgeous with big sweeping art vistas on the wall.  Call up one of the local college art departments and have them work on putting some great paintings, mosaics, etc.  Expand the building and redesign the layout to be more like Harmony Hall at Carowinds.  Have multiple food kiosks with one of them focused solely on German food.

Have German themed music.  You walk in front of KI theater, you hear German music.  You cut between Starbucks and the Emporium headed towards Festhaus, you hear German music.  You walk past Delirium on the way towards AE, you hear German music.  You get the idea.  

Retheme and rename Hanks.  You could easily turn this into a German quick service.  Keep half of it as the mac and cheese bar and then the other half can have kielbasa, hot dogs, brats, German potatoes, cabbage, and similar foods.

Move Slingshot over by Backlot.  There is room between the diner seating area and the basketball game that it could go.  Tear down the airbrush stand and build a smaller location elsewhere.  Put a Ferris wheel in its place.  Build a new set of Keggers close to Viking Fury and also put in an extreme flat like a sky roller between KI Theater and Chicken Shack.  Put in a Musik Express where Slingshot is now.

I doubt the park would give Oktoberfest that much love.  But for the cost of a mid size coaster you could add three or four flats and really rejuvenate that area of the park.

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Agree with others that the key to revamping this area I feel really comes down to theming the building. Festhaus needs to be brought back to it's roots (at least on the outside at minimum) and make it like the pic in the OP. Then do some better theming around the Biergarten and QS restaurant. Give it a more Bavarian feel, maybe drape red, yellow, and black fabric for shade in the biergarten area. These small changes would go a long way.

Outside of those other recommendations would be good too. Move Slingshot elsewhere and add a new flat there and tear down the air brush stand for a new pad as well. Could move the ladder game too and put in a small shop/stand there as well to either house the airbrush stand or preferably move the glass figurines back to that area and put the air brushing elsewhere. Definitely need a return of Der Spinning Keggers and then an additional flat. Musik Express would be fun but think one of the newer style ones that are open air with the rotating cars (forget what the actual ride type is) could be themed to fit in better. One other possible change would be a retheming of Adventure Express (I know breaking the 11th commandment). Love the ride but it needs some TLC like everything else in the area. Could keep the layout and feel as is but change  up the theming to a crazy ride through the Black Forest, something similar in theme and tone to Verbolten at Busch Gardens. Just tear out/cover up the old theming wit something to fit bridge tunnels and woods and maybe plant some more trees. to give a more woodsy feel. Then do some retheming on the vehicles to make them more like cars or something to fit the theme better.

Unfortunately as mentioned I don't see them spending the money to move buildings and attractions for additions as minor as these, just doesn't have the same ROI as a big coaster, but hopefully they at least do some revamping of the area to a certain degree. Wouldn't cost them too much money to update the buildings at least to look better for the German theme.

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This is slightly off topic but still Oktoberfest related. Does anyone know who designed the buildings in Oktoberfest? Der Alte Deutsche Bier Garten (Hanks) was built with the park in 1972 and the Festhaus opened at Winterfest in 1982. I'm familiar with Bruce Bushman designing International Street as one of his last projects, as well as Darrel Daniels and the SkyRide stations, but is there some insight regarding who designed the other buildings in the park, specifically Oktoberfest?

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I don`t know who designed the Octoberfest buildings.  I know Anthony Daniels (a UC grad), designed many of the original buildings at Kings Island (as well as many of the buildings at Coney in the 60s, with the current games building being one of his projects).  More recently, the buildings have been designed by two Cincinnati architecture firms, RSL Commercial Architecture (http://www.rslarch.com/) and TRA Design (http://tra-design.net/portfolio-type/entertainment/).

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On 12/9/2018 at 11:26 PM, BlondyRidesOn said:

This is slightly off topic but still Oktoberfest related. Does anyone know who designed the buildings in Oktoberfest? Der Alte Deutsche Bier Garten (Hanks) was built with the park in 1972 and the Festhaus opened at Winterfest in 1982. I'm familiar with Bruce Bushman designing International Street as one of his last projects, as well as Darrel Daniels and the SkyRide stations, but is there some insight regarding who designed the other buildings in the park, specifically Oktoberfest?

 

50 minutes ago, CoastersRZ said:

I don`t know who designed the Octoberfest buildings.  I know Anthony Daniels (a UC grad), designed many of the original buildings at Kings Island (as well as many of the buildings at Coney in the 60s, with the current games building being one of his projects).  More recently, the buildings have been designed by two Cincinnati architecture firms, RSL Commercial Architecture (http://www.rslarch.com/) and TRA Design (http://tra-design.net/portfolio-type/entertainment/).

Paul Shortt (who also designed American Heritage Music Hall, today's Kings Island Theater) created design concepts for Festhaus and designed the building's original stage. The exterior of Festhaus was designed by Bruce D. Robinson Associates Inc. (today known as Bruce D. Robinson Design Group) of Cincinnati, Ohio.

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1 hour ago, lifetimecoaster said:

 People keep talking about getting rid of the airbrush building, and it dawned on me.... Does anyone even do airbrushed t-shirts anymore? They used to be huge, but it seems to have died off. 

I'd imagine they have to be making some kind of money or else I doubt Kaman's (the company that runs the art/tattoo shops for the park) would continue selling them. But I can't tell you the last time I've seen an actual person wearing them. 

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One of my fondest memories of Kings Island was going to Festhaus when I was about 14 or 15 and eating some kind of German sandwich!  They had waitresses walking around wearing traditional German clothing and serving huge mugs of beer.  Just an awesome experience, especially for a kid from Eastern Kentucky who had never been exposed to anything like that.

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11 hours ago, timfsu2k said:

One of my fondest memories of Kings Island was going to Festhaus when I was about 14 or 15 and eating some kind of German sandwich!  They had waitresses walking around wearing traditional German clothing and serving huge mugs of beer.  Just an awesome experience, especially for a kid from Eastern Kentucky who had never been exposed to anything like that.

Exactly. Most of the infrastructure is still there and that's the hard part when creating this sort of ambiance. Love to see them take advantage.

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There’s enough local beer and German cuisine/heritage in Cincinnati that it should not be that difficult. It’s almost like it was originally intended to serve that purpose during the park’s inception. 

I’ve never understood not only the misuse of Oktoberfest, but the straight up rejection the area receives. The tristate has multiple Oktoberfest’s throughout the fall. It’s something the park could take advantage of seasonally and throughout the whole operating calendar. 

The state of the (exterior) Festhaus is a crime against all things good. Seriously disappointing. The interior isn’t much better as far as dinning options, but that could be remedied. Coney BBQ is an example of successful food options within the park in regards to both quality and popularity. I’d love to see that applied to the Festhaus and Oktoberfest as a whole. 

And for god’s sake. Serve Goetta. People love Goetta. It’s German. It’s Cincinnati. Just do it. They have an entire festival dedicated to the stuff and people come out in masses for it. I’d turn the entire Hank’s Burrito Shack into a restaurant that would serve creative Goetta dishes. That would be awesome. 

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Yeah not only Festhaus but most the food lines and quality at Ki except for Coney BBQ the lines are crazy long, and they have 1 out of two sides open. What they should do is people that have drink and/or meal plan have a separate line for them kinda like a "fastlane" but for food type deal? lol Other than that Ki is doing a great job. :D 

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21 hours ago, beastfan11 said:

There’s enough local beer and German cuisine/heritage in Cincinnati that it should not be that difficult. It’s almost like it was originally intended to serve that purpose during the park’s inception. 

I’ve never understood not only the misuse of Oktoberfest, but the straight up rejection the area receives. The tristate has multiple Oktoberfest’s throughout the fall. It’s something the park could take advantage of seasonally and throughout the whole operating calendar. 

The state of the (exterior) Festhaus is a crime against all things good. Seriously disappointing. The interior isn’t much better as far as dinning options, but that could be remedied. Coney BBQ is an example of successful food options within the park in regards to both quality and popularity. I’d love to see that applied to the Festhaus and Oktoberfest as a whole. 

And for god’s sake. Serve Goetta. People love Goetta. It’s German. It’s Cincinnati. Just do it. They have an entire festival dedicated to the stuff and people come out in masses for it. I’d turn the entire Hank’s Burrito Shack into a restaurant that would serve creative Goetta dishes. That would be awesome. 

More themeing to the German heritage would be nice in that area of the park. I do not see a dedicated restaurant for German food like Goetta personally. Not when you got Larosa's flying off the counter. What would be nice though, is a weeks German festival and open an extra line in Oktoberfest for German food!

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And that is not without precedent at Cedar Fair.  Carowinds did a Great Carolina Fest this past year that featured food from the Carolinas.  Knott`s also does their Boysenberry festival.  I could see KI doing something similar.  

Remember the focus of late has been on having special events throughout the season that spark a sense of urgency to visit the park (thus increasing visits and the odds that pass holders will spend money inside of the parks).

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