These Vintage Photos Show How Much Cincinnati’s Kings Island Has Changed


Kings Island amusement park has been a staple in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond for over four decades. The park, located in Mason, Ohio, opened in the spring of 1972, the year after Coney Island closed its gates. (Coney closed for a time while developers debated what to do with the park because of frequent flooding from the Ohio River, but the park was permanently reopened in 1973.) Many of the rollercoasters were transported from Coney Island to the new park, like the Tumblebug, Scrambler, Flying Scooters, Spider, Dodgem, Turnkpike Cars, Sky Ride and Rotor, some of which are still seen at Kings Island today.

The Eiffel Tower, the focal point of the park, is a one-third replica of the tower in Paris, France. Along with the tower, one of the most popular attractions at the park at the time of its opening was the Racer roller coaster, which was the fastest, highest and longest twin coaster at the time it was built. Kings Island also gained popularity by being featured in two ABC sitcoms: The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch.

More exhilarating rides like the Screamin' Demon, the first forward and backward-looping roller coaster in the country, and The Beast, the world's longest wooden roller coaster, were built over the years, bringing thrill-seekers from near and far.

The park is now the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest and has over 15 rollercoasters and an award-winning water park. They host multiple events throughout the year like WinterFest, Halloween Haunt and more.

Here's a few photos that show what visiting Kings Island was like in the 1970s and 1980s.

| Photos by Provided by Kings Island