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Old 04-08-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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Here is a little test to see what you remember about Coney. Feel free to add your thoughts

Coney Island | Cincinnati.com
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
29,879 posts, read 53,349,123 times
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I got 9 of 11, a "shooting star."

Ironically, that was one of the questions I missed. Coney Island in its first incarnation was before my time.

I did know who invented the Coney, though.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 12,560,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I got 9 of 11, a "shooting star."

Ironically, that was one of the questions I missed. Coney Island in its first incarnation was before my time.

I did know who invented the Coney, though.
That was a very respectable score. What a number of people are not aware of is that Coney Island was one of the most respected amusement parks in the US. Of special significance was their emphasis on cleanliness and the number of flower beds and plantings spread through the park. I especially enjoyed the flower bed near the main entrance which featured a large clock decorated in floral displays.

Back when Walt Disney was developing Disneyland in Anaheim California in 1955, he sent teams of people to Cincinnati to interface with the Coney Island people to get their advice on what was required to operate a first rate amusement park. Coney was well regarded in the business far outside of Cincinnati.

Some of their attractions will never be duplicated. Start with the Island Queen, the river steamboat which plied between the public landing downtown and the landing at Coney Island. My mother and father danced their way up and down the river on most Friday nights on the Island Queen. Name me another amusement park anywhere in the country where one of the main access methods was by river steamboat. There were none. When the Island Queen burned one winter while docked in Pittsburgh I knew an era had come to an end. There was no way the finances would permit it to be replaced.

The second major attraction was Moonlight Gardens, the semi-enclosed dance hall which hosted so many of the big band era bands. My parents would talk about dancing their way up the river on the Island Queen, going to Moonlight Gardens and dancing for several hours more, then dancing their way back down the river on the Island Queen. It was no wonder they were totally worn out by the time they caught the streetcar downtown out to their apartment in Norwood, sometimes only arriving home when it was becoming dawn.

I was lucky enough to experience Moonlight Gardens near the end of its glory days. This would in the the later 1950s, 57,58,59,60. The big bands were dying off but there were still enough touring during the summer to fill Moonlight Gardens. What a blast it was.

Go to Coney early on a weekend morning. Go to Sunlight Pool and swim the morning and afternoon away. Later in the afternoon change clothes and go to the dinner restaurant in a building out in front of Moonlight Gardens. Then go to Moonlight Gardens when the band started. During band breaks, go out and ride the Shooting Star in your dancing clothes, or rent a boat on Lake Como. Keep dancing until the last set of the band. Then go home, thoroughly exhausted. If there was a better weekend date place other than Coney Island, I never saw it.

I had a 2nd cousin whose company dealt worldwide in machinery. He of course traveled extensively. I remember him saying people in Cincinnati do not realize how unique Coney Island is. And they doubly do not realize Moonlight Gardens is absolutely the best outdoor dancing, big band venue in the country. When they finally closed the original Gardens it saddened me deeply. When they closed Coney to replace it with Kings Island I was doubly saddened. I at least saw the tale end of an era todays youth will never experience. It was just a kindlier, gentler place back then. OH YES, and a WHOLE LOT SEXIER!
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 12,560,467 times
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Coney Island has been restrengthening its position. Sunlite Pool never did close. The remainder of the park has been rebuilding, at least on a modest scale, in recent years.

One of my favorite memories of Coney Island is the company picnics my employer, the only one I ever had, held there every year until Coney's initial closing to move to Kings Island. The picnic grove was the center of attraction, with the softball fields, horseshoe pitching, games of all sorts including
tug-of-war, one-legged sack races, and bingo under the picnic pavilion. The smell of weenies, brats, and hamburgers on the grills, along with the draft beer booth. The envelope of tickets handed out to families as they arrived. Ride tickets for the kids, tickets to Sunlite Pool for those those wanted to spend the time. It was just a grand and glorious family day.

I understand the Picnic Grove has been reopened and the athletic fields refurbished. And enough small carnival type rides installed to satisfy at least the little kids. Hopefully today's companies will decide to again hold their company summer picnics there. Kings Island is nice, but can't hold a candle to the intimacy Coney Island held for company outings.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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I suck. I got 2 of 11 right and I admit I was just guessing on all of them.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
29,879 posts, read 53,349,123 times
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Where have you been, kjbrill? Not at Coney, obviously.

A lot of companies -- and large groups and families -- never stopped having their picnics at Coney. The rides are not just kiddie rides, and some have been there for at least 25+ years (1984 is as far back as my experience at Coney goes). The arcade never went anywhere. There is live entertainment.

I think you need to leave Mason and get down to Coney some afternoon.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I think you need to leave Mason and get down to Coney some afternoon.
He needs to get uptown/downtown sometime soon too.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 12,560,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Where have you been, kjbrill? Not at Coney, obviously.

A lot of companies -- and large groups and families -- never stopped having their picnics at Coney. The rides are not just kiddie rides, and some have been there for at least 25+ years (1984 is as far back as my experience at Coney goes). The arcade never went anywhere. There is live entertainment.

I think you need to leave Mason and get down to Coney some afternoon.
It is nice to hear Coney Island is maintaining a good presence. But Kings Island is celebrating its 40 anniversary. So there was at least 10 years where Coney Island was a wasteland, with only Sunlite Pool operating. My most recent experience there was to take my two youngest kids to the pool, so they could experience what a real swimming pool was like, not just wave pools, etc. It has been some time now, maybe 20 years, but I remember looking at the rest of the park and feeling sad. Glad to hear they are making a return, but I just don't buy it things never shut down. Taft Broadcasting would have never entertained a competitor until Kings Island was firmly established. I am sure any sale agreement included a non-competitive clause covering a period of years.

And the reason Coney Island was originally abandoned still exists - the river floods. This is an expensive proposition to continually renew. You have to keep things simple, Sunlite Pool, Lake Como, picnic groves and athletic fields. These things can get wet and look terrible, but recover well when the river recedes. Other factors, such as the drive mechanisms for rides are a different story. Carnival style rides are designed to be mobile, and thus can be broken down and moved out of the flood's way. But even this requires money and an increase in operational costs.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud what Coney is apparently doing. But it has not been an easy road.

Also, I live less than 2 miles from Kings Island. When we first moved here and the trees were small, we would look at the nightly fireworks regularly. I can still see the replica Eiffel Tower very clearly above the trees. I will tell you, that iron structure produces some dazzling lightning strikes during spring thunderstorms. If late at night, they definitely rival the fireworks.

My younger children worked summer jobs at Kings Island back when Taft Broadcasting owned it. It was a great place for kids to work. They had organized activities, such as softball leagues, for their younger employees to participate in. The kids not only made some money during the summer season, but enjoyed themselves as well. But like everything else, economic circumstances change. Everything changes into a larger corporate entity, focused mainaly on profits.

At this point I can care less about Kings Island. They have successfully run a small competitor, the Beach Water Park effectively out of business by expanding their water park. So I go WTF, why did you not concentrate on some other area to expand your business?
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:24 AM
 
1,130 posts, read 1,908,556 times
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The first question in the survey is a little misleading...What was Coney's roller coaster? Sure, the Shooting Star was the premier coaster, but it only out lasted its older brother, The Wildcat, by a few years. There was also a kiddie coaster called the Teddy Bear. Incidentally, the my understanding is that the Teddy Bear is alive and well at Kings Island, and for many years was called the Scooby Doo over in Hanna Barbera Land. I'm not sure what it's called today. If you look carefully, you can still find rides from Old Coney at Kings Island today, including the log flume, flying scooters, the Monster, and the Carrousel.

Many other rides were transported from Coney to KI have been removed over the years. Remember when the Sky Ride stalled at KI and they had to bring people down on fire truck ladders? That was from Coney. Also the famous Tumblebug, the Dodgems, the giant slide, and the Trabant (which I think was called Cloud Nine at Coney). And, don't forget, they transplanted the signature sculpted Gingko trees from Coney to King's Island's recreated Coney Mall.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 12,560,467 times
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I just don't remember the log flume at Coney. The Sky Ride definitely.

And the Ginkgo trees, most positively. As I posted earlier Coney Island was well respected in their industry. The Ginkgo trees were an excellent representation. Out of the ordinary and lent a flavor of class to the park.

While I remember many Coney rides being relocated at Kings Island, I do not remember the Dodgems. They were a perennial favorite at Coney, but I cannot recall a pavilion at Kings Island where they were installed. If there was a pavilion constructed to house them, what is it today?
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