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Remembering King Cobra


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Back in 2006 during BeastBuzz we toured the sign shop...and the King Cobra sign was still there.  

A few of my favorite King Cobra souvenirs...although they didn’t get very creative, just slapping the same logo...I still like them.  

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17 hours ago, rlentless said:

Not sure if anyone posted this video but it show the loading station at the 6:20 mark.

As someone who was 1 when this was recorded, this was a really interesting look at the park for me

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On 2/16/2020 at 4:50 PM, RandyV said:

I was going through some old video tapes and found footage I shot of KC from the lower Eiffel Tower observation deck.

This was taken on April 7, 1989 at The Beast 10th Anniversary event held for ACE and others.  It was the day before the 1989 season opened.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AuNvMH5MAYNOks9mtQBhvIzIMNmV5Q?e=peQeQb

Enjoy!

I've never seen a video of the ride from that angle - thanks for sharing!

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On 2/16/2020 at 1:50 PM, RandyV said:

I was going through some old video tapes and found footage I shot of KC from the lower Eiffel Tower observation deck.

This was taken on April 7, 1989 at The Beast 10th Anniversary event held for ACE and others.  It was the day before the 1989 season opened.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AuNvMH5MAYNOks9mtQBhvIzIMNmV5Q?e=peQeQb

Enjoy!

I remember when they used to let people on the lower deck! This is great. This whole thread has really made me miss the Safari section. Such a great theme with so many possibilities. I remember when Paramount converted it to Action Zone thinking it was super cool and felt new and current and having everything attached to Paramount IP felt really legit, and everything else felt so old and outdated to me, but I was the target audience for that kind of branding as a teenage boy. Now I'm just sad that it's all gone because without Paramount IP, Action Zone just feels generic and theme-less.

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12 hours ago, KIguy2004 said:

Here is the video. I also have a Vortex, Flight of Fear (extremely inaccurate), and Invertigo recreation on my channel if you want to check that out. @Klabergian Empire Did you check out the video?

 

Yes. It all look better than the stuff I tried to create in there! Keep it up!

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On 2/9/2020 at 12:23 PM, Shaggy said:

The Gift Shop at King Cobra's exit was the "Congo Curio Gift shop" originally built in 1974 as a part of Lion Country Safari.  When King Cobra opened, the exit was routed through it.  Later, they altered it so you didn't have to exit through the shop - rather around the building.  The current "Ice Scream Zone" is located EXACTLY where Congo Curio was - however when Action Zone was built, they demolished Congo Curio completely and built the Ice Cream stand in its place.

As far as KC...  I am pretty sure I rode it during its first year of operation... or at the very least in 1985.  It was always my favorite of any standup coaster - and I've ridden a bunch.  Let's see, off the top of my head, I've ridden King Cobra, Shockwave, Skyrider, Scorcher, Chang, Riddler's Revenge, Mantis, Vortex, Iron Wolf and Batman the Escape... maybe more.

The Togos, in general, were much more enjoyable than the B&M's have ever been.  Skyrider was on par with KC... Shockwave a distant 3.  (Shockwave suffered from a more jarring ride, especially in its second half.) The first drop into the loop on King Cobra was terrific - you got "yanked" down the hill and there was an enjoyable split-second "pause" at the top of the loop and then you got air at the top of the hill leading into the helix..  It really was a fun ride - and the most enjoyable of the bunch.  The only thing I always felt was a miss was the "trick track" portion of the ride... it just kind of tilted sideways... and was "meh."

Here is a picture I dug up of the former "Congo Curio Gift Shop" in its final year before the area was re-themed to Action Zone.  (By then it was called Outback Trading Company or such.  You'll notice in that picture that Cobra's loop was in the midst of being primed for it's repaint.)  Also, there are 3 subsequent pictures of it's demolition and the foundation of "Ice Scream Zone" being poured during the winter of 1998.

As far as the opinion that Action Zone was tacky...

Adventure Village was, IMO, the worst that area of the park has ever looked.  From about 1995-1997 the area was a shell of its former self, a ghost town as far as foot traffic and void of all of its previous lush theme elements.  (Even the hay & bamboo thatching was removed from all the building rooftops and shingles took their place.) For those of us that lived through the terrible Adventure Village years, Action Zone was a welcome change.  A major shift happened around 1994 and then in 1995 when Skyflyer was installed - the area was stripped of all theming and was just a bunch of brown buildings. 

If I recall properly, it was during the opening of the 1994 season at the preview for "Days of Thunder - The Ride" that I first noticed the waterway in "Adventure Village" had been removed.  The stream that led from under Cobra under the footbridge entrance to the area was gone and the path had been widened and paved.  (Mostly likely for congestion control following the premiere of Top Gun the year prior.)  By the time Skyflyer was added - the whole area had become a large, flat plaza - very blah.

 

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There’s no doubt that Adventure Village needed a heavy facelift, but Paramount Action Zone was so, so ugly. Especially so in its later years with an abandoned Son of Beast, a water tower with no purpose, and all the faded and peeling paint, which were ugly colors to begin with. No shade, no landscaping, absolutely nothing distinctive about the area at all other than being an eyesore. I guess you could say it was a return to the 1994-1998 days for that area!

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21 hours ago, Shaggy said:

Here is a picture I dug up of the former "Congo Curio Gift Shop" in its final year before the area was re-themed to Action Zone.  (By then it was called Outback Trading Company or such.  You'll notice in that picture that Cobra's loop was in the midst of being primed for it's repaint.)  Also, there are 3 subsequent pictures of it's demolition and the foundation of "Ice Scream Zone" being poured during the winter of 1998.

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Wow!  I love how the first two pictures are a before-and-after... I wonder why Congo Curio wasn't adequate to turn into Ice Scream Zone, considering the two look very similar in size (and if it wasn't for these photos and your previous comment, I'd assume it was the same building).

Thanks for sharing those shots!

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I guess my favorites are the weird ones! I loved KC though id do mostly night rides because it wore out my legs lol But I loved the standing position. I wished i could have rode Mantis before the refurb to try a bigger badder stand up.  Glad i got to ride this one though as there aren't any left anywhere near by that i know of.  Scratch that Carowinds and Kentucky kingdom still have operating ones.  must get to those parks in the near future :) Also miss Firehawk but thats another for a another thread lol  

I honestly can't remember if KC or Vortex was my first looper though. but its been fun watching and experiencing how KI has evolved through the years. 

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7 minutes ago, LuckyluvsKI said:

Scratch that Carowinds and Kentucky kingdom still have operating ones.

Kentucky Kingdom's Chang was relocated to SF Great Adventure as Green Lantern in Trenton, NJ

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Riddler's Revenge and Georgia Scorcher remain operating as stand-ups, too.  Also Shockwave at Drayton Manor and a bunch of Togo's in Japan and including the coaster formerly known as Skyrider at Canada's Wonderland operating in Italy. 

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4 hours ago, Zader said:

Kentucky Kingdom's Chang was relocated to SF Great Adventure as Green Lantern in Trenton, NJ

I misread KK box on wiki. Unfortunately I have no plans to travel outside the US for coasters. Probably never to have the funds for a trip like that. But Carowinds Georgia etc might happen before they changeover or are taken out. :)

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Thanks for the pictures @Shaggy! That first picture with King Cobra and the nearby store looks almost unrecognizable to today (but I do like the decorative fencing and plentiful benches; was the place where the picture was taken where Chicken Shack's patio is today?

Also, I always assumed Ice Scream Zone and the Congo Curio building were the same... never knew they were two different buildings!

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