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Kings Island 1973 Guide Book

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I shared a scan of the 1972 Kings Island Guide Book a few months ago, highlighting all the interesting details from the 47-year-old park guide, and noted I'd share the 1973 Kings Island Guide Book soon. I've been slowly scanning my Kings Island collection for archival purposes and realized no time like the present to share. It's mostly the same as the 1972 version, but I'll do something a little different (and very nerdy)... I'll point-out all the differences between the guides with some commentary thrown-in. I find it interesting, but I don't know if that'll be a shared feeling :lol: Feel free to share additional information if you have it, and please don't hesitate to correct me if I say anything wrong.


Cover - Showcasing the park's fireworks and fountains. I personally like the cover of 1972's better, but it's interesting to see the long-exposure effect the Sky Ride cabins had on this one.



2-3 - Advert for Sherwin-Williams, identical to the one in the 1972 guide.



4-5 - The Host and Hostesses section on the left is identical to 1972's, but the Table of Contents was rearranged a little bit. Also note the "Kings Island costumes are styled to fit each themed area of the park" line - most employees now have department-specific uniforms, although Planet Snoopy associates have a unique polo compared to other ride operators.



6-7 - General Information is very similar to 1972's, with a few minor differences:

  • northAmerican Van Lines is correctly stylized (the "n" was incorrectly capitalized before)
  • Stroller rental is now "Strollers & Wheelchairs", although wheelchairs may have still been offered for rent in 1972.
  • Traveler check limits were raised from $20 to $50. Larger checks were also shifted from the Administration Building to Guest Services.



8-9 - BankAmericard Service Center and northAmerican Van Lines. Like before, the stylization of northAmerican was updated, but nothing else really changed between the guides. Also, free strollers - I wonder when that stopped?



10-11 - And into the interesting stuff... International Street. I love how diverse and interesting all the shops and restaurants sounded in the early 1970s. In terms of changes, it's interesting that item 6 (Refreshment Stand) was previously marked as "Schnell-Imbiss (Refreshment Stand)" and items 28 and 32 (Front Gate Souvenir/Shop and International Restaurant) were added with the entrance building expansion that year.



12-13 - Kahn's Sausage Haus description. The process for the sausage was changed a little from 1972's guide.



14-15 - Rainbo Mini Bakery (or Rainbo Backerei, per the map) Fotomat Camera Shop (or Fotomat Fotografia). The bakery page is mostly unchanged, but the description for Fotomat was completely re-written - no more references to Hanna-Barbera characters, but instead a more dry explanation of the store's location and purpose. Also a 50-cent coupon. 1973 was the final year for Fotomat's sponsorship.



16-17 - Oktoberfest map, featuring two of the new rides for 1973: Flying Dutchman and Bayern Kurve.



18-19 - Descriptions and artwork for Toys Internationale and the French Bauer, both on International Street. No changes between 1972 and 1973 guides.



20-21 - The order of the pages differs between the two guides starting here, but the Coney Island maps are comparable. The biggest difference is the addition of the new Arcade & Games Building, which remains to this day. Interestingly, items 17 and 18 (both Refreshment Stand) are referred to by their actual names at the end of this guide.



22-23 - Overview of the park... albeit not quite to scale :lol:



24-25 - Map of Rivertown. Few minor changes:

  • Salt Water Circus (dolphin show) was renamed to South Sea Excursion
  • Powder Valley Nature Trail added as one of the 1973 additions
  • Floral Clock now added, although it's technically more part of International Street than Rivertown. The clock was also present in 1972, just not featured in the guidebook.
  • Pizza Shop (Rivertown LaRosa's) was added. It was another one of the many 1973 additions.
  • Super X General Store is now identified as SupeRx General Store, although I assume the earlier naming was a typo.



26-27 - SupeRx General Store and South Sea Excursion ads. The General Store is today's DB Trading Post, and the location of the dolphin show is an empty field (as it has been for 25 years now).



28-29 - Last map of the guide, The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera. Only changes between the guides are Winsome Witch's Caldron to Cauldron, and the addition of the Fred Flintstone Floral Face. The piece of landscaping lasted 1973 through about 1977 I believe - anyone know its last year for certain?



30-31 - Marathon Turnpike spread, identical to 1972's.



32-33 - Shops and Stores, the majority on International Street. As previously noted, the only new things are the Front Gate Souvenir Shop and the SupeRx spelling change.



34-35 - Food and Refreshments. There are a lot of changes between the 1972 and 1973 guide:

  • International Restaurant was added, as it was a new-for-1973 addition
  • Munchen Cafe (today part of Emporium) now lists the "Kings Island Julienne Salad Bowl", plus pastries
  • The former Schnell-Imbiss has been renamed Refreshment Stand (today's Funnel Cakes). The Bavarian Sundae, served in an old-fashioned double-head cake cone, is no longer listed.
  • La Fiera Pizzeria (today's LaRosa's) now lists pizza by the slice or whole, and beer. Both may have been offered in 1972 though.
  • French Bauer (previously referred to as French Bauer Gelato) now includes coffee and Danish pastries.
  • Der Alte Deutsche Bier Garten (today's Hank's Mexican Grille) removed reference to serving frankfurters, but includes several new items in their place.
  • Sweet Tooth (today's Subway) now includes sundaes, ice cream, parfaits, and caramel corn.
  • Lunch Basket (today's Skyline Chili) now includes french fries, onion rings, and sandwich platters
  • Thrill Burger (removed for Coney Bar-B-Que) and Antique Treats (today's Refill Station near Dodgem) both received names, whereas in the 1972 guide they were referred to as "Refreshment Stand". Thrill Burger also now includes fish sandwiches, onion rings, and sandwich platters... is there anywhere in the park you can still get fish today?
  • Pizza Shop (LaRosa's) is added
  • Whistle Stop Patio (removed for Mystic Timbers) now serves fish sandwiches, french fries, and onion rings... and "Kings Island's own 1/3 pound double deck 'Burger Biggy'"
  • Watermelon Wedge, a stand serving exclusively fresh watermelon slices, is added
  • Columbia Palace Dining Hall (today's Miami River Brewhouse) now includes "deep-water clams and Icelandic whitefish".
  • Humble Pie also includes fish sandwiches and a couple other items - fish seemed to be very popular in 1973.
  • Granny Sweets Treats (today's Snow Cones, next to Woodstock Express) includes nutty bananas now
  • Kings Island Cooler becomes "Kings Island Kooler" and the Antique Popcorn Wagon is added



36-37 - Kings Island Campground and the Jack Nicklaus Golf Center. Both were expanded for the 1973 season - the campground jumped from 200 to 300 sites, and now includes Wayfarer Motor Homes and bicycle rentals. The golf center's Executive Course was also lit for night play, starting in the 1973 season.



38-39 - Kings Island Inn was also expanded for the 1973 season, with the new Brauhaus cocktail lounge and an indoor swimming pool. And whereas the 1972 guide has Kings Island Inn over two pages, the 1973 guide uses some of that space for the entertainment offerings. There's a handful of new shows, like Saturday in the ParkGive My Regards to Broadway, and The Family Jewels.



40-41 - The 1973 guide included two more sets of pages than 1972's. This was used to highlight the new-for-1973 rides and attractions. Here's some additional information on each:

  • Bayern Kurve (often misspelled "Curve") was a Schwarkzopf Bayern Kurve attraction in Oktoberfest. It was removed after 1982 and relocated to former Kings Island sister park Australia's Wonderland.
  • Games & Arcade Building, featuring over 90 mechanical and skill games, remains today. It's the large arcade next to Monster.
  • Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal was an Arrow Development hydro-flume, a variation on their classic log flume model. It operated through the 2000 season, then was replaced with Tomb Raider: The Ride.
  • Rivertown Pizza Shop remains, today known as LaRosa's. I don't believe Kings Island served LaRosa's pizza initially, but I cannot find a definitive answer either way. Anyone know more?



42-43 - Last two pages, highlighting even more new-for-1973 additions:

  • Flying Dutchman, a swinging suspended ride. After it was removed in 1990, it found a new home at Kentucky Kingdom, where it still operates.
  • Powder Valley Nature Trail, a 1/2-mile walking path in Rivertown. Remnants remained into at least 2007.
  • International Restaurant, featuring the panoramic view of International Street. The restaurant was originally intended to operate year-round.



Back Cover - And finally, the Back Cover.


Whew... that was a lot :lol: But Kings Island grew a lot between its first and second seasons. 1974 was also big, although a lot of that expansion was focused in a single area. I'll try and upload that at some point too, but hope you enjoyed the look back at 1973's guide. Feel free to leave any comments or questions, and please don't hesitate to correct me if I said anything wrong.

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Amazing work. I love the park now still-but back then it really exuded an other-worldliness that has since faded. The overall classiness and details was next level stuff. I can't imagine maintaining all those food options-and that ice cream shop-WoW! I know American tastes are boring and basic these days but I would love to see a revival of truly international flair (at least re-do Octoberfest!)

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22 minutes ago, SnakePlissken said:

You asked if you can still get fish in the park. Miami River Brewhouse serves fish sandwiches. Sometimes Coney BBQ serves fish too.

Today I learned - thank you!

10 minutes ago, KIghostguy said:

Always enjoy reading your posts @TombraiderTy and I am looking forward to more "installments!" 

To answer your question, the park has always served LaRosa's. I've attached an ad from the 5/26/1972 Cincinnati Post.


Aha! Thanks a ton for sharing that - answers one of my long-standing Kings Island questions. Probably only like 100 or so more to go :P I was searching all the combinations of "Kings Island" and "LaRosa's" I could on Newspapers.com, but it appears Cincinnati Post isn't included. Even if it had been though, LaRosa's probably wouldn't have popped-up with that stylized logo.

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I'm really impressed by the fact that Kahn's and Rainbo made sausages and bread respectively IN the park.

Also the German food selection in the Bier Garten is impressive.

Why not try this at the park again? I think it'd be a hit! Think like Busch Gardens! 

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Thanks for posting these.  It is always interesting to see how flat ride centric the park was back in the early days.  It would be great to see Oktoberfest get some expansion in the future as now it is Viking Fury, Adventure Express, Slingshot and two eateries.  Bringing back some old-style flats would really re-enliven that area.

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