Friday, December 05, 2008

King of the parks

So back in the 1970s, it wasn't Disneyland or Disney World that got the most theme park attention on TV...it was a Cincinnati park called Kings Island.

The "Brady Bunch" went there, supposedly on a work assignment for Mike's job. And dumbhead Jan somehow lost his blueprints in her quest for a Yogi Bear poster, like, Jan had to be 14 at that point and there is no way she was getting a poster of anyone other than David Cassidy or some such. And Greg, always the horndog, fell for Madge (Madge? was she a 55-year-old waitress?), who worked at a game of some type, and he ended up having to wear a costume and mosey around the park. As you do.

Kings Island was also seen in a "Partridge Family" episode. Now I would think it would have been easier for these L.A.-based productions to just go to one of the giant local theme parks, but apparently they were just dying to get to Cincinnati. Apparently, Paramount eventually bought Kings Island (they've since sold it), and they produced "The Brady Bunch," so there's some kind of synergy there.

If you watch the "Banana Splits", (and who doesn't? it's rerunning on Boomerang!) you think you see Kings Island again. The credits show the Banana Splits goofing it up at a theme park widely believed to be Kings Island.

But according to the "Banana Splits" Wikipedia entry linked above, the first season shot scenes at Six Flags Over Texas, the second season shot at a different Cincinnati Park, Coney Island.

Says the entry: "Contrary to popular misconception, the amusement park scenes in the original series were not filmed at Kings Island, also in Cincinnati, Ohio, which did not open until 1972. (Filming for The Banana Splits Adventure Hour wrapped in 1969.) However, some of the rides seen in the series eventually were relocated to Kings Island (following a flood which led to the closing of Coney Island; the park later reopened on a smaller scale) and the live-action scenes in the 1972 production The Banana Splits In Hocus Pocus Park were indeed filmed at Kings Island in Cincinnati."

So there you have it, folks. By the way, the lion in the "Banana Splits," Drooper? Voiced by Allan Melvin, a.k.a. Sam the Butcher on "The Brady Bunch" and Archie's pal Barney on "All in the Family." Classic.

7 comments:

Rachel said...

Cedar Point is waaaaay better than Kings Island, but KI does have its merits.

Kris said...

I remember that Brady Bunch episode, but for some reason I always thought it took place at Disney. Odd.

Anyway, I made a post about amusement parks NEARLY SEVEN YEARS AGO that somehow turned into a discussion of the various urban legends about rollercoaster accidents at Kings Island. I eventually had to turn off commenting, but the damn thing still gets hits from people googling for "ZOMG PEOPLE DIED BAT KINGS ISLAND" every now and then.

Shannon said...

I have fond memories of going to King's Island every summer as a kid. My sisters and I had a contest to see who could spot the fake Eiffel Tower first, because the person who did was the winner! What we were the winner of was nothing but prestige for a moment. Ah, to be a kid again!

Anonymous said...

hee, "dumbhead Jan".

Julie said...

Jan wasn't buying the Yogi Bear for herself--it was for a kid she babysat for. And I'm terribly sad for knowing that.

seas811 said...

I can guarantee you if your group splits up at kings island the odds of finding each other without a cellphone are almost nil.
This summer that happened to us we didnt bring cellphones because of the water rides. And they will not page anyone for you.

Anonymous said...

The Banana Splits WERE filmed at Kings Island; I have pictures of me dancing with them on stage. What a great park that was back then. The last time I was there (in 2004), it seemed dirty. May have to go back and check it out with the kids this summer. "Everyone meet at the Eiffel Tower for LaRosas pizza and the fireworks!"