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Kings Island 1972 Guide Book

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I've been slowly scanning my collection of vintage Kings Island maps and brochures for archival purposes and thought others would enjoy looking at all the old collectibles. Here's the first, the 1972 Kings Island Guide Book. Guests were handed this as they entered the park its first year and, unlike the single-page maps of today, this thing was 40 pages long. It highlighted park areas, attractions, and sponsors, using primarily custom artwork (Also, I believe KICentral previously included this specific guide in its history section, but it doesn't appear to have a live link anymore).

I'll mix in some history facts and tidbits alongside the images. Feel free to share additional information if you have it, and please don't hesitate to correct me if I say anything wrong.


Cover- featuring a trio of Hanna-Barbera characters on Enchanted Voyage. Note the ride's TV facade isn't finished - it wasn't until the end of the 1972 season that the ride's name was painted over-top the rainbow.



2-3 - Sherwin-Williams ad. The company sponsored Eiffel Tower 1972-1974 and included this advertisement in each of the guidebooks. Interestingly, the 4000 gallons fact jumped to 6000 gallons in the 1974 guide.



4-5 - Hosts and Hostesses and Table of Contents. The 1,500 high school and college students operating the park in 1972 were selected from a pool of 11,000 candidates. Today, the park employees approximately 5,000 seasonal associates.



6-7 - General Information. Some interesting things to highlight:

  • Cameras could be rented from the Fotomat Camera Shop
  • Different International Street buildings used to have mailboxes for postcards and letters
  • Hand-stamps for re-entry has been a thing since the park's first year (anyone know if it was Hanna-Barbera character stamps back then?)



8-9 - BankAmericard Service Center and northAmerican Van Lines Storage Center, both in the main entrance building. Note that strollers used to be provided for free (albeit, if you've ever seen a photo of the old strollers, you know they're almost barbaric when compared to today's :lol:). Also I love the incorporation of Hanna-Barbera characters into the artwork.



10-11 - International Street map. It's interesting how many sub-shops were in the five buildings, whereas today a single shop (ie, Sweet Shop) takes-up the whole building. It's also interesting how unique all the different wares were... I don't think you can still buy pottery or candles at the park today!



Inset 1 - This was one of two insets in the guide. It listed park sponsors, all of which were also featured on their own pages.



12-13 - Kahn's Sausage Haus, the "world's smallest sausage kitchen". It's interesting that the guide book included such a detailed description of the sausage making process. This was located where Skyline Chili is today.



14-15 - Rainbo Mini Bakery and Fotomat Camera Shop. The former was replaced in 1975 with Magic Shop (and today is part of Starbucks' seating), the latter in 1974 with a generic camera shop.



16-17 - Oktoberfest. I bought this brochure from eBay a few years ago and it includes small notes and comments from whoever used it almost 50 years ago. They appear to have marked attractions they rode (Sky Ride), but also added-in Bayern Kurve... everything I've ever read/heard says the ride didn't open until 1973, so I'm intrigued by this being written-in. I have some theories, but does anyone know more?



18-19 - Toys Internationale and French Bauer. The 1972 guide is a little out-of-order, but this was fixed by the 1973 guide. Also, note the attention to detail with French Bauer - "The counter, back bar and mirror are for real, actually acquired from a classic Ice Cream and Candy Shoppe in the Old South."



20-21 - Park map. Very simplistic, and probably not to scale :P



22-23 - Old Coney, otherwise identified as Coney Island. Couple things to note...

  • Items 18 and 19 are both "Refreshment Stand". I wonder if these had real names that just weren't used in the 1972 guide (they were identified as Thrill Burger and Antique Treats in the 1973 guide)
  • It's interesting Something New!!, the name of a show, is listed instead of Kings Island Theater, where the show took place
  • A small stage, Show Wagon, is not listed or depicted, but it was immediately to the right of Flying Carpet. It wasn't there opening day, but had been installed by mid-season.



24-25 - Entertainment offerings opening year.



26-27 - Rivertown. I've always found it interesting the park considered both antique cars rides (Les Taxis and Ohio Overland Auto Livery) as part of Rivertown, despite one side only being accessible from Old Coney. Also of note, check-out the original train layout. It was re-routed right before Winterfest 1988 to accommodate the new WaterWorks.



28-29 - And the last area, The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera. It seems whoever used this guide in 1972 must've had children, as they heavily focused on this area of the park.



30-31 - Marathon Turnpike, an Arrow Development turnpike ride. The attraction consisted of two intertwined tracks (like antique cars), but I don't think there were any differences in ride vehicles between the sides. The two tracks were also ultimately merged into one for the 1982 children's area overhaul.



Inset 2 - The second inset, a pretend Marathon credit card. Marathon sponsored the turnpike through the late 1970s.



32-33 - Shops and stores. It's interesting to see how diverse the collection of merchandise used to be. Note that Schmuckwaren and Cristaleria both appeared to feature a glassblower.



34-35 - Food and refreshments, also pretty diverse. A few of these locations (Whistle Stop, Refreshment Stand) have been demolished over the past couple years.



36-38 - Outside of the amusement park, the entertainment center also included a campground and golf center. The campground was removed in the early 2000s, and it appears the last remnants of it are now being transformed into an employee dorm. The golf center remains to this day, albeit without the Jack Nicklaus name attached.



39-40 - Kings Island Inn, later known as the Kings Island Resort and Conference Center and closed late 2014. The $3 million inn was built by Taft Broadcasting and managed by Carrousel Motels Inc.



Back - And finally, the back cover.


I'll try and share the 1973 guide in the near future. There's a lot of similarities between the two, but also some interesting additions and edits. Hope you enjoyed the 1972 guide though; let me know if any questions or comments!

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Thanks for your great finds and nostalgic shares both here at KIC and on your FB page, Shaggy! 

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2 minutes ago, Joshua said:

Thanks for your great finds and nostalgic shares both here at KIC and on your FB page, Shaggy! 

We have to give @TombraiderTy credit for the original post. The insight and knowledge @Shaggy brings is very much appreciated.

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4 hours ago, Shaggy said:

Guides from 1972 were used temporarily when the park re-opened in '73 until new ones were printed.

Ah, that'd make sense. I had half a conspiracy going that Bayern Kurve was added late 1972 and somehow, 47 years later, it went unnoticed :lol: Recycling the guides at the start of 1973 is a lot more logical.


4 hours ago, Shaggy said:

FYI also, all early KI park guides can be found at Sit on It on FB. ;-)

True, and for anyone unfamiliar, they're all compiled here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SitonItKI/photos/?tab=album&album_id=320284191708215. I figured sharing my own scans could potentially create some conversation and be easy to find via searching.

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I want to guess that the reason why HB Land was so detailed may have had something to do with the brand standards that Taft had laid out for the characters.  Same was true for Nickelodeon - people from Viacom would come in and have final say on shows, artwork, etc.  It's probably far more intense with Peanuts since they aren't owned by the same company as the park. A lot has changed in nearly 50 years, but I could fathom this being the case with why the HB Land maps and details were different.

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2 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

We have to give @TombraiderTy credit for the original post. The insight and knowledge @Shaggy brings is very much appreciated.

Man, you're right! I must've been in zombie mode earlier. 

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1 hour ago, chugh43 said:

I find it interesting that you used to be able to make your purchases and pick them up later....honestly would love for this to come back, I'd even pay a little fee for it.

I THINK you can. I know that they hold games prizes for $5, although I’m not 100% certain if that service is extended to merchandise or not.

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I know you can do it with the caricature portraits. It'd be nice if you could that with merch, but you know, gotta sell those locker rentals! :P 

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