Opened: 1972

Closed: 1993

Location: Hanna-Barbera Land (today known as Planet Snoopy), in the area where Snoopy’s Barnyard Friends Petting Farm and Woodstock Gliders now are

Former Names: Marathon Turnpike (1972-1976), Turnpike (1977-1978), Speed Buggy (1979-1980), Firestone Speed Buggy Turnpike (1981), Firestone Wacky Wheels (1982-1983)

Manufacturer: Arrow Development

Model: Turnpike

Vehicles: Two person vehicles themed to sports cars

Description: Sunshine Turnpike was a classic turnpike attraction, similar to Autopia at Disneyland. Riders could control their vehicle as it traveled around a winding track. They were kept on the path by a central guardrail underneath the car. When the attraction opened, it was a pair of intertwined tracks.

History: Cincinnati’s Coney Island added a turnpike attraction in 1958 and retrofitted it with Arrow Development cars in 1966. Kings Island’s turnpike attraction had a different layout that the one at Coney, but it’s possible that the cars were relocated between parks. The ride had different cars during its run at Kings Island, or at least had major modifications to the original cars.

Sunshine Turnpike opened with Kings Island in 1972 and was originally named Marathon Turnpike, named after park sponsor Marathon Oil Co. The tracks were decorated with colorful cut-outs of Hanna-Barbera characters, including Penelope Pitstop.

The attraction lost its Marathon sponsorship and was rebranded as just Turnpike in 1977. Two years later, it became Speed Buggy, off of the Hanna-Barbera show of the same name from 1973.

The ride picked up a new sponsor, Firestone, in 1981. It was renamed Firestone Speed Buggy Turnpike. It would close before the end of the 1981 season to accommodate a huge overhaul to the children’s area in 1982. When it reopened in 1982, the two intertwined tracks had been reduced to a single track. This new track utilized parts of both former layouts. It was renamed Firestone Wacky Wheels. The station, originally built to load the two sides, retained its long length, but half was now devoted to other park attractions.

The attraction was renamed a final time in 1984, becoming Sunshine Turnpike. It retained this name through its closure in 1993. In 1995 a new children’s area, Nickelodeon Splat City, opened in its place.

During the attraction’s run it gave a combined 21,993,078 rides.