The Brady Bunch filmed an episode of their hit show at Kings Island, in the summer of 1973 (Kings Island`s second season). The episode is #106 and is titled “The Cincinnati Kids.” It aired in the fifth season of The Brady Bunch on Friday November 23, 1973.
The filming in the park took a week, and was causing big disruptions to the huge crowds that had come to the park to catch a glimpse of the actors. The cast stayed at the Kings Island Inn right across from the park, and many cast members were confronted with leering fans and peeping toms.
The Brady Bunch was actually the second television show to film at the park, with The Partridge Family having filmed at the park in 1972. However, the Partridge episode was based mostly at the Kings Island Inn, and thus they only shot in the park for two and a half days. Both the Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch were produced at Paramount Studios. Paramount happened to be a large shareholder in Taft Broadcasting. Both the park and Paramount Studios saw filming at the park as a way to promote the park as a sideline investment.
The name of Kings Island is never verbally mentioned in the episode. Mike Brady mentions that he is taking the family to Cincinnati because his company has developed plans for an expansion in a large theme park there. However, the name Kings Island can be seen in the episode. O utside the main entrance, you see a Kings Island Inn bus pull up with signage on its side, as well as topiary shrubbery trimmed to say ” Kings Island .” The name is briefly visible on the front of a flume boat, but very briefly. The only other time the park name is featured is at the end, during the show’s credits.
VH1 produced a Pop-Up version of the Kings Island episode. Jeffrey Siebert sent in the factoids about the park to VH1 when they were compiling the show. Interestingly enough, VH1 is owned by Viacom, which owns Paramount Studios (Brady Bunch producers) and Viacom also owns Paramount Parks (Kings Island owners.)
-In those days, Coney Mall ended where the High Striker game is currently located. Halley’s Comet was positioned there and can be seen in the episode. The park expanded Coney Mall just a few seasons following this episode.
-The boardroom featured in the episode is an actual boardroom at the park. However contrary to popular belief, it is not the one in the International Restaurant facility. It is in the administrative building and its decor remains in tact today just as shown in the Brady Episode.
– The Enchanted Voyage can be seen although HB Land was not used in any of the filming. If you look closely as Marcia and Jan are running with the plans, you can see the giant TV Set Facade in the background.
– Of course the Football Toss game is still present at the park, but notice the difference in the size of the hole. The hole you must toss through today is only about 2/3 the size of the one in the episode. In other words, they made it harder for guests to win.
– As Greg and Peter run down International Street , pay attention to the front of the shops. The midway was much more narrow then with “yards” and street-scaping in front of the shops. The park later removed the landscaped areas to help de-congest the walking path and eliminate the amount of “accidents” guests were having. (Guests would often not pay attention and trip or fall over protruding curbs resulting in twisted ankles and broken legs� and lawsuits.)
– The Gingko trees that lined Coney Mall (that were uprooted and moved from Cincinnati ‘s Coney Island ) were still being meticulously trimmed in their cylindrical shape then. The park has since lost many of the trees and the landscapers ultimately stopped shaping the trees in order to save the few remaining trees.
– The music in the episode included carousel band organ music. And yes, it was recorded from the KI carousel. Depending on the day, and what reel they have in, you can still occasionally hear the songs used in the Brady episode playing on the Kings Island Carousel.
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