While I love Kings Island and think it's still a great park, there's something missing from it today that you see in the photos here - the ornate decoration, the attention to detail, the feeling of americana, the lack of corporate branding, etc. At one point, Taft Broadcasting branded the entire park facility as an experience, a total resort destination. They had a full fledged zoo, heavily promoted their campground and its amenities, their own hotel and golf courses. Today, the zoo is gone, so is the campground, the golf course is under different ownership and while the hotel still carries the Kings Island name (but features different owners), it has a 2.5 star rating on Google.
I'm not implying that park has gone down hill by any means, Kings Island is still world class and a leader amongst seasonal parks, but where did the feeling in these photos go? Where's that sense of the classic American amusement park that they brought from Coney Island? Is it just nostalgia from a dated photo in a time that I was never alive to see? If I took photos of the park in August 2012, would someone look back 38 years later and feel the same way?
- Landscaped main entrance.
- Royal Fountains and their surrounding landscaping.
- International Street, the main entrance to the park. Note the sidewalks and streetscaping in front of the buildings that really gave you the feel of being on the street.
- View from the 50 ft. platform of the park's Eifel Tower, which is now closed. In the foreground is the "Scooby Doo" (known today as Woodstock Express), followed by maintenance shops and the parking lot.
- The replica Eifel Tower and the dolphin show stadium in the foreground.
- View from the park's skyride, which was imported from Coney Island.
- The Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad.
- Overview of the Wild Animal Safari station. The monorail is now in service at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, Ohio.
- Parrots on display in what was once an entire zoo themed area of the park.
Special thanks to Pat and Clare Brunner for contributing these photos!