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What Are Your Earlies Memories of KI?

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Everyone has a story and this is where to share yours. It's without a doubt that KI is a big part of our lives, in one form or another, so I'm asking what your earliest memories are of KI. Have you gone your whole life? What was your first ride? What did you most enjoy at KI when you were younger?

Have fun!

Ryan

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I can still remember waiting in line for The Beast at the base of the Eiffel Tower back in '79(four hours!). I was able to ride it in the morning, but in the afternoon I was unable to get on due to my height (I was 6). So my parents put paper towels in the heel of my shoe to get me a little taller to get on at night. It worked!

I can also remember all the times we would go to KI and look at The Bat SBNO and being frustrated that the ride never ran (we did get on ONCE). You have to remember, I live in Erie, PA- 350 miles from the park, so that one day at the park was all we could do all year. I still live in Erie, but now I have season passes for my whole family and we go down about four times a year.

We would also get reservations for International restaurant everytime for dinner, and eat lunch in the parking lot.

There are so many things to remember that I could go on for hours.

It is too bad that some of my fondest memories of the park are just that- memories. I.E.- IR, Wild Animal Habitat, Flight Commander, KC.

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My earliest memories would be my dad measuring me before opening day, enjoying hanna barbara land, the smurfs. Thinking I was tough stuff by riding in the last seats on viking fury. There are just so many it really would take hours. But my fondest would have to be the 7 years I worked at ki and now how my two daughters love ki just as much as I did.

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My first ride on King Cobra my step dad put paper towels in my shoes. And my first ride on Beast my shoe got stuck between the car and platform, so my dad freaked out because he didn't want to wait for me to put my shoe on so he sat on it. Yes the first time I rode beast I only had on one shoe. Hahaha

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I remember i was about 6 and the midway was all light up with the fountins and i had one of those light up toys with the 3 faom stars that light up.

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I first went to KI on Mother's Day 1987, I have no idea why my Mom decided to take her 2 Son's to KI on her day, but regardless we went. I was only 7 years old. I remember riding Vortex for the first time with my Brother and coming down the first drop and literally coming off my seat. We both had to run to the bathroom to pee after that first ride. Great memories.

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I do not remember the exact date of my first visit to KI. I do remember however that I was with my mom and sister and grandma and Grandpa. I was around 6 years old and had just moved to Fairborn, Ohio. My mom, sister (who was maybe two), and I moved in with my grandparents while we were getting back on our feet. Anyways one day, we decided to all go to KI and I remember jerking the tubs left and right on the Flying Eagles as being my first real memorable experience of an amusement park while my grandpa leaned up against the fence and watched, I hated coasters at that time! So I remember riding the tiques and the Flying Eagles, and the other thing that I still remember so vivid to this day is that in the Action FX theater they had Days of Thunder playing, which has always been one of my top favorite movies. And I remember riding along in the famous Mellow Yellow car driven by Cole Trickle, while my red seat gyrated back and forth! Wow the memories, this is why I love KI!

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It's amazing that some of guys don't know the park other then by the Paramount Years. Some of you make me feel so old, even though I'll be 27 in 3 weeks.

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^Places don't need to be the greatest to create memories! Im quite content knowing only the Paramount years. It gives me a different take and view on history than the rest of you! I wouldnt wish it to be anything different than what it is! Paramount created lasting wonderful memories for me!

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I remember back in the day when they had those hand power car/trains in Kiddie land which were taken out only last year. I also remember back in the days when there was a large tubes playset thingy where reptar is now and playing in those. Also there were the good old days in waterworks before it expanded. I remember also being able to bring food into the park and we would pack our lunches and eat at Bubba Gumps :rolleyes:

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Opening year - going from I-75 past the prison to downtown Lebanon. That road had so many hills and dips - it still does - and back then, only The Racer had better air time.

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My earliest memory was from 1972. I was 3, and my Dad got us and some friends and relatives rooms at the "fancy" new KI Resort. I remember seeing the Eiffel Tower up close for the first time (I remember being fascinated with it, with its flashing light). I remember the train whistle from the KI/LMRR echoing off the trees (I think there was a nature trail or something). The whistle was very loud, (and you could hear it from the Western Row Elementary playground in those days). I remember my Mom pointing out the Sky Ride to me, and I thought it was the coolest thing. I slept a lot, so it was a day of waking up and seeing neat stuff and falling back to sleep in my stroller. I remember seeing characters such as the Banana Splits, etc., and that's about it.

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While there are tons of memories for me, my most vivid is when my family went on Witch's Cauldron. My sister and I sat in one cauldron with my parents while my older sisters and brother sat in one next to us. Back then you could ask the ride operator to get you spinning before the ride started. They got theirs spinning pretty good and my mom was yelling at them to slow down because they were going to get sick. The ride started and they continued to spin more. When the ride stopped, my older sister stumbled out of the cauldron, looking pretty green and proceeded to puke by the exit.

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Being able to walk up to the first deck of the Eiffel Tower

Riding the Scooby-Do Coaster 13 straight times

The Bayern Curve

Having one of the train villains ask me "What are you laughing at boy? Do you think it's funny to see people shot and hurt and robbed?"

The early Winterfest show in the FestHaus

The Kahn's hot dog place on the corner of International street where they made the hot dogs in front of you

Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal

The big roulette wheel ride

The canoe ride

The wooden shoe ride

The Tumble Bug

First ride on Screamin Demon

There are many many good memories.

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One of my favorite memories of Kings Island, was when my mom just randomly woke me up at like 4 am, and told me we were going to Kings Island.. So we got in the car and left ( which its quite a haul for us) .. I remember Splat City, and the colorful slide.. I don't remember riding anything other then anything in Hanna Barbara..

But then I remember going in 2000, when Son of Beast was new. I remember me and my cousins were in line for Drop Zone, and it was night time and soo warm out, and the breeze would blow into the que line and since it was late we all were'nt really talking and we were so worn out.. anytime Im at the park now and its late and breezy I go right back to being in line for DZ that time. Good stuff, good stuff.. :)

( ( That was before the que was cursed with those darned dancing cats wearing masks. Lol ) )

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I remember that the first thing that my family would do is take the right turn into HB and ride Phantom Theatre.

I remember being stopped by a rhino on the Wild Animal Habitat. It wouldnt move off the track for like 10 minutes.

Scrappy's Slide, which was right in front of the Elephant fountain.

I still remember when Cheers was in Festhaus.

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I remember opening day. The pageantry, the pomp, the balloons, the ceremony, the tiny little saplings. Yes, THAT opening day. My father made it possible for me to be there...something I will always remember. I was soon to be a senior in high school, and was determined to NOT like Kings Island, the place that caused my beloved Coney Island to be closed. Such was not to be. Kings Island enticed me, and drew me in. It was as if the place was determined to make me like it, and it did.

I remember Zodiac, the skyride, Bayern Curve, Enchanted Voyage and Scooby Doo when it was yellow and had another hill and no tunnel. I remember Racer when it had fantastic air and another hill than it does now. And the lines into the station came in from the outside of the coaster trains, both coasters ran forwards, and the trains ALWAYS raced. I remember red, white and blue on The Racer. I even remember two of The Racer trains from their Shooting Star days.

I remember fantastic Montgomery Inn ribs in the International Street Restaurant. I remember ribs and chicken cooked outside in Rivertown. I remember when funnel cakes were prepared from scratch, when the best shows I had ever seen were at Kings Island, when the best coasters I had ever ridden were at Coney Island (Shooting Star) and at Kings Island (Racer, Bavarian Beetle), and when the park was for me a place of glitter, glitz and fantastic fantasy. I remember luscious fruit on a stick in a stand on the pathway from Beast's LaRosa's to the Eiffel Tower. I remember grannies and grandkids sunbathing on the grass on that same path. I remember when no one knew what a waterpark was, and the train not only was a train, but a show.

I remember the roving entertainment, the canoes where Beast is now, the lake around The Beast, KCKC (even somewhat fondly).

I remember The Flying Eagles, the Tiques and when The Magic of the Movies Met The Thrills of a Lifetime. I remember Come On, Get Happy! I even remember when all the thrills were paramount.

I remember how hard it was to go back to Kings Island again after my beloved father passed away in 2003, and barely going to the park at all in 2004. In 2005, I remember spending more than two hours discussing taking care of aging parents and death and life on a closing Sunday near the end of the season in 2005. Just a few weeks later, the person I had this discussion with passed away quite unexpectedly.

You may say some or all these things were not there that first day, and you'd be right. But Kings Island is to me all these things and more.

Most of all, I remember the many friends I have made over the years at the place that is Kings Island, the premier theme park in the midwest.

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Kind of a story as to how my first experience at KI came to be...

Our family was an Americana family. We'd make one trip there a year and I absolutely loved it! The prices were low and you could bring in your own food. Not that really mattered to me... I was about 6 years old, but my family was never one to drop several hundred dollars on a true day of family fun.

Anyway, one day we had my aunt over for her birthday party. My aunt isn't exactly the richest person in the world. In fact, she's been on disability for problems with her nervous system since I was little. She never had kids of her own, so she would do things with my older sister and I, such as enroll us in, and drive us to and from swimming lessons, and do things that were normally labeled as family activities at her church with her. Anyway, off my tangent: she blew out her birthday candles and said that he wish was to have nice weather the following Friday. We of course inquired about such an odd wish, which is when she announced that she was taking my sister and I to Kings Island the next Friday with the money she got as birthday gifts. I tell you what, that next week couldn't have seemed longer!!

Zip ahead to the next week - we finally made what seemed to be the longest drive ever up there. Of course, the drive is only 40 minutes or so from northern KY, but it could have been a 10 hour drive as far as I was concerned.

We made our way up there and walked straight back and hopped on one of the first rides I had come across at KI... Shake Rattle & Roll. I'm not going to bore you with a 15 year old trip report, but I will say that the day climaxed with my first ride on The Racer, which terrified me at the time.

You see, people make their way through life only to make grand plans for themselves with only a few instances in their lives which embed them, mold them, and change the course of their lives forever.. even if they don't realize it at the time.

If you want to know the true secret to the success of this site then this is what I'll tell you. That park up there in Mason creates a moment like that every singe day that it's open. If, by doing this site, I can enhance one family's experience... or even one person's experience at the park then all of the hours and pennies put into this is well worth it. That is why you see such a commitment, such a passion, and such care put into everything we do here. If we loose site of that for just one instant, I assure, you we will fail.

Ryan

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I remember driving with my parents down I-71 and being able to see the Eiffel Tower off in the distance and being so excited. My brother and I would scream "there it is!!!" and now my kids do the same thing.

My brother was the first person to take me on The Beast because his best friend was too scared to ride it. We left him to ride The Enchanted Voyage with my mom. He was even too scared to ride The Beastie, and now his kids are too scared to ride the Fairly Odd Coaster. It’s funny how things tend to repeat themselves. The Beast back then still had water under it, and like someone else posted… a four hour line. It was worth every minute that we had to wait.

I took a break from going for a few years and then ended up back there for my 17th birthday with my boyfriend. We had a great time riding all of the coasters together and I have a wonderful picture of me sitting on a bench with the Smurfs. We still go every year for my birthday. This year it is opening weekend, so we will be there with our kids and their best friend to ride all of the rides. We are all looking forward to it!!

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I'd have to admit that my family was more of a Kings Island family, though we visited once a year, maybe twice tops, before the 1990s. The only time I visited Americana was in two years, 1993 and 2002; the former being because of free tickets for a public safety weekend. We thought KI was better of course

My mother made her visit in 1973, around when she began her first marriage. (Which reminds me, I need to scan and post some of these photos). Fast forward to another marriage, about 9 years, when I ride the monorail as an infant in 1982. During the 1980s, we visited at least once a year just about every year, because my grandfather (still alive to this day) a retiree of GE Aircraft Engines, would get us tickets to GE day. I would remember the fun times in Hanna-Barbera land riding the Smurfs Enchanted Voyage, The Beastie, and some of the smaller rides.

Later on, I would remember standing in line to ride, with my parents, the Kenton's Cove Keelboat Canal, and walking past this big steel looping coaster in Coney Mall (the one that happens to be called Vortex) - I admit I never remember seeing The Bat or Demon in person. Probably the first year I really had a clear memory of my visits was 1988, when my kindergarten class visited the park during the week for an educational ride on the Wild Animal Habitat Monorail, for which weatherman Ira Joe Fisher of WKRC Channel 12 (at the time) was the (recorded) narrator. We ate our packed lunches at the Kafe Kilimanjaro, next to the new Amazon Falls. I was, though, unsure, if my family visited that year, but we did do so the year after and so on.

I probably had my first ride on The Racer in 1989, our first WaterWorks visit in 1990 (they stayed open for GE weekend in mid-September prior to Paramount), and my first Beast ride in 1991. Of course, I strongly remember doing Adventure Express that year, when the line actually spilled out into the main pathways - it was the first time I ever rode a coaster in its first year. Oh, and I can't forget a WinterFest visit or two in some of those years - the place was so cold, so busy, and so... magical! And 1992 felt like a great time, I ever so anticipated the chance to help celebrate Kings Island's 20th anniversary!

1993 was a major stepping stone for me (and the park), as I added two coasters to the record - the new Top Gun, and Vortex. And of course, the addition of Paramount. I also remember it being when a big storm of lots of rain and thunderstorm hit the park that day, which was a damper. My dad and I were in line for Top Gun, and mom and sister were riding the monorail - I sort of wished after then I too had done the monorail, because Top Gun would shut down due to the storm, and this would be the last season for the monorail.

With 1994, one tradition ended while another would begin - we got our first season passes, and for some odd reason, I made it an effort to visit about once a week! This seemed to be the year I was becoming a coaster enthusiast, and began my affection for even looping coasters, especially King Cobra. I strongly remember the Festhaus show "Game On!" and waiting over an hour (maybe even two) to ride The Beast on an average day. The common visits would continue over the next few years, through 1997, when my parents would split up and divorce.

1998, though, only meant more time at PKI, as I became a ride operator at King Cobra, then Amazon Falls, and I managed to survive the whole season of a crew that went down to four (self-inclusive). Another full season at the Falls and new Drop Zone would follow the next year. 2000, I did not work for the park, as I would find other employment, and begin my college education, but I finally joined ACE for the first time, for some great early rides on Son of Beast and The Beast. I came back in 2001 as an employee, but briefly, but my love for the park still lasted the whole season.

From thereon, (Paramount's) Kings Island would continue to be one of the cornerstones of my social life, as I have met many great friends, either through employment or simply as an enthusiast, who has a love for parks and rides, that mirror my interests. In the next few years, my park visits would diversify, as I have ridden coasters since then all the way from Las Vegas, NV to Williamsburg, VA, and so many places in between. Also, my home park would change drastically before my eyes, for better or for worse, mainly in its operations, attitude, and ride lineup. Eventually, its ownership would change, as well as its name.

To say that Kings Island has been a part of my life is an understatement. Even though I worked less than 2 1/2 seasons there, it's been my second home. My relationship may be challenged beginning this fall as, I may possibly, for the first time in my life, relocate to another city, away from home. Yes, I've been accepted to study architecture in graduate school... in Chicago. All that aside, I surely hope this point, this is the end of the first 25-years having visited Kings Island. I wish to visit this great park, at least once a year, for the next fifty-plus years of my life.

In 2057 (when I will be 75), will Cedar Fair still own the park? Will The Beast still be running? How about The Racer? Will the Eiffel Tower still be the chief landmark in the park? Will Kings Island still exist? While those things are uncertain, I have a great feeling that people will celebrate KI's 85th anniversary, and still create memories, whether its their first visit, or just one of many, many thousands of visits, the first being in the 1970s or 80s.

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I remember when I used to get the best thrills and have the best time sheerly riding the old coney rides in Coney Mall.

I remember when the Phantom Theatre used to make me cry because I thought at the end the 2 guys were going to pick me up and throw me in the hot coals.

I remember when I used to think the people who worked at KI were the coolest people ever and I absolutely adored the thought of working at the park, it was my dream job.

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I remember my first ride on The Beast, I was just tall enough to ride it and scared out of my mind. I liked it unitl during the helix when I got my head slamed into something. My dad noticed and held my head away from the side for the rest of the ride...it really hurt. I dodn't remember what I hit my head on, but now I love The Beast and I think the helix is one of the best, if not the best part of a woodie ever.

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Opening year - going from I-75 past the prison to downtown Lebanon. That road had so many hills and dips - it still does - and back then, only The Racer had better air time.

Oh yes As a Kid I use to get so exicted when we were on RT 63, when we pulled on to 741 we used to play who can spot the Tower first. We still go that way to the park to this day.

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Used to be when the park first opened I was real little. We would be there all day. All worn down from a day of excitement. The best times over all was at night right before the firworks started. It was dark outside and all the lights were on they were selling lighty up thingys all over international street. Was so magical, as soon as the fireworks were over and he got into our seats we would pass out from exhaustion.lol good times good times. lol. Now its like "KIDS< hurry to the car so we can beat the traffic outta here before the end of the fireworks".

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In 1996 I moved to the Cincinnati area. For the previous three years before that I lived in Pusan, South Korea. Moving from Korea back to the USA was like moving to a foreign country it was so different. My life in Korea was where my 'ride junkie' experience began.

When we arrived in Cincinnati my mother gave me a brochure for a theme park called Kings Island. My first thought was that it was a renaissance park. Because it was 1996 it was the OL:FoF brochure. The first time I went to KI I was 7 years old and like all kids do, I spent my day at HB land and Nick Splat zone. The only ride I did not go on the Phantom Theater (Yes I was afraid to go on it).

Yeah, so that was my earliest memory.

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I remember my first trip to KI back in 1987 when I was 6 years old. My dad is a huge coaster enthusiast, although now that he's older his body just can't take the beating you get from some of the coasters. Anyways, I remember standing in line for The Racer's, my first coaster, and being so scared, but wanted to appear that I was brave and tough, and getting in the seat and then my dad saying, "oh no, we got on the backwards one! I spent the rest of the ride screaming in my dad's arm with my eyes closed, and was scared to death to get on anything else the rest of the day. My dad still loves to tell that story! Such good memories!

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Ok, my memories...

I've gone for about half of my life, I think my first visit was when I was 6

I think my first ever ride there was that Pixie and Dixie Swing (now the Backyardigans)

I also remember that my mom tried to get me on Adventure Express, I had never ridden it before and was scared to death, so I tried to make a fake excuse and say I wanted to go on King Cobra next door, which I learned was worse...hehe

When I was younger, I really enjoyed the Taxi Jam ride (now Giggle Coaster)

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I have been going to pki for my whole life. My earliest memories are enjoying Hannah Barbara land when I was about 4 or 5.

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I'm weird, in knowing the date of my first trip to KI, which was Oct. 2, of 1992. So I did get a glimpse of KI in the KECO days, which was cool. I was really excited, as I've never been to an amusement park at that point. Anyway, notable events:

-Seeing the Eiffel Tower from the bottom and top for the first time.

-Riding my first coaster, The Beastie. I was 8, but for some reason, we tackled The Beast and had a rather rough ride.

-Hanging out in HB, notably Scrappy's Slide. I thought it was cool... lol.

But that's about the extent of early KI memories for me. I think at one point I wanted to operate Top Gun when I was like 10, but I thought it was a pipe dream. Then I ended up being a ride op 9 years later. How strange... :lol:

-S

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