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Kings Island Vintage Photos - 1973-1992


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A member of the Kings Island Season Pass Holders just shared 150+ vintage photos from his family's collection. The images include such rare and cool things as The Bat's construction, a Screamin' Demon evacuation, and lots of detailed shots of obscure Kings Island history.

I don't believe you need to be a member of the group or even have a Facebook to check them out. You can see the whole batch here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KISeasonPassholders/permalink/1188566601476455/

Here's a few of the highlights though (all courtesy Jeff Joiner):

Bat Construction.jpg

Top Gun Queue.jpg

Adventure Village Stadium of Stars Empty.jpg

Screamin' Demon Evacuation.jpg

Enchanted Voyage Facade.jpg

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These pics are incredible.  Apparently his father took them.  His Dad is to be commended on his foresight and ability to visually document things that simply did not get photographed.

They are among the absolute best amateur KI pictures I've ever seen.  And they absolutely capture the "vibe" the park had in those years. 

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Just wow! Brings back a ton of memories of how the park used to be. Always love the park, but looking back as a kid of the 80's, it was even more special!

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This had the rare impact of both showing me a park I'd never seen (I didn't start going to Kings Island until about '82) and then hitting me right in the feels with nostalgia (that Beastie sign! The Fightertown USA theming on Top Gun!). These are fantastic. 

Also, I have no idea who this guy is who posted them. But seeing the Detroit T-shirts and then AWANA T-shirts for a certain church made me realize that I think we grew up in similar areas (metro Detroit). 

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If you needed any evidence that the current fountains are, frankly, pitiful... here's photographic evidence of the best they ever looked.  Why on earth they removed the pedestals and switched to a light blue bottom I'll never know.

I love the current state of KI... and I think the park is making some terrific strides and decisions... but the changes to the "Royal" Fountains last year really diminished the "ooh ahh factor."

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16 minutes ago, Benjamin22 said:

^ I think the new fountains themselves are better then the original but I do think they should have added the topiary around the fountains back.

Totally agree! Plus the white bottom was done years before 2019. I’ve worked on the banks of the Royal Fountain since October 2017 and I think the current fountain is great. Even Gary Wachs thinks that the current fountain is an improvement!

But I still don't know why the park didn't bring back the landscaped shrubbery. 

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6 minutes ago, KIghostguy said:

Totally agree! Plus the white bottom was done years before 2019. I’ve worked on the banks of the Royal Fountain since October 2017 and I think the current fountain is great. Even Gary Wachs thinks that the current fountain is an improvement!

..and that right there is a primary example of why we could never be friends.  ;-)  LOL

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I'd think the main reason for the lack of topiary shrubs is maintenance.  Those white rocks are hard to keep in place.  The shrubbery would need to be trimmed weekly, and the cleanup afterwards would be dreadful.  It did look nice from above.  I'd love to see some of the grass replaced with more flower beds.

I miss the pedestals.  But I guess that is just the price of progress.  I was very pleased with the overall reno of I-Street.

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This may be a controversial opinion, but I think the area looked better without the Festhaus. 

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Those were absolutely fantastic photos.  Some of the best views of the park during the early years I have ever seen.  My parents took me once in 1975 when I was too little to remember (didn't start going regularly until 1992), so these views of the park always fascinate me.

The early years of Kings Island were definitely its most beautiful, and I definitely think its currently much closer to its original condition than it was 15-20 years ago.

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10 hours ago, Benjamin22 said:

^ I think the new fountains themselves are better then the original but I do think they should have added the topiary around the fountains.

 

9 hours ago, KIghostguy said:

But I still don't know why the park didn't bring back the landscaped shrubbery. 

On the subject of the shrubbery around the fountains, this is one of the photos from the collection... I never knew that there were lights inside the plants, which really made it look extra beautiful at night. I'd love to have them back, but I'm not surprised the park did away with them - maintaining all that could not have been easy.

Fountains Night.jpg

Edit - I guess lights "inside" the shrubs is just evenly-spaced garden lights down each side of the fountain... but the effect is still fantastic

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Awesome pictures. I'm sure these were taken by a good photographer with a good camera. I wonder if the top half of the 3D Amazon Falls Sign is still in the sign shop so they can get rid of the cloth "Congo" sign. I especially like The Bat teaser and station construction pic.

12 hours ago, Shaggy said:

If you needed any evidence that the current fountains are, frankly, pitiful... here's photographic evidence of the best they ever looked.  Why on earth they removed the pedestals and switched to a light blue bottom I'll never know.

I love the current state of KI... and I think the park is making some terrific strides and decisions... but the changes to the "Royal" Fountains last year really diminished the "ooh ahh factor."

Preach brother. The pedestals were what made the royal fountain unique. I wonder how much money they saved with that decision.

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9 hours ago, KI Guy said:

Awesome pictures. I'm sure these were taken by a good photographer with a good camera. I wonder if the top half of the 3D Amazon Falls Sign is still in the sign shop so they can get rid of the cloth "Congo" sign. I especially like The Bat teaser and station construction pic.

Preach brother. The pedestals were what made the royal fountain unique. I wonder how much money they saved with that decision.

Do you or @Shaggy know when the bottom of the fountain was switched to light blue?  The park had so much charm back then!

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1 hour ago, Imperial79 said:

Do you or @Shaggy know when the bottom of the fountain was switched to light blue?  The park had so much charm back then!

It went light blue in the 1990s, and continued as such when the fountain was refurbished in 2003.  I'm not sure if the base is white, or light blue at this point.  Doesn't matter to me though, I prefer the dark blue.

There very well could be a non-visual reason that the park switched to light blue/white... like how public pools are painted light so lifeguards can see the bottom should a kid fall in... but being so shallow I doubt it. 

 

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On 6/15/2020 at 11:12 AM, Shaggy said:

These pics are incredible.  Apparently his father took them.  His Dad is to be commended on his foresight and ability to visually document things that simply did not get photographed.

They are among the absolute best amateur KI pictures I've ever seen.  And they absolutely capture the "vibe" the park had in those years. 

It's kind of interesting to look back at pictures that were captured in the days of film. People had to take the time to actually take a quality photo. Also photos used to be taken to capture memories of great times. They were few and far between because you only had so many exposures on your film roll. Now, photos are taken to be put on instagram. You take 50 shots of the same thing so you can keep the best one, and most of them aren't of anything but the person taking the picture, and the best looking background that proves to 500 people you don't actually know that you were on a beach in some expensive destination. 

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