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40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

11-18-2013, 06:59 PM
Post: #121
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

(11-18-2013 05:35 PM)Joe Wrote:  our hero the fitness coach swoops in to save the day...

Now referring to Ouimet as 'the fitness coach.'

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11-19-2013, 03:32 AM (This post was last modified: 11-19-2013 03:33 AM by b.mac.)
Post: #122
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

Just how famous are these singing mushrooms? Well they do appear in the movie 'Rollercoaster' 45 minutes in.



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11-19-2013, 06:48 PM
Post: #123
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

Does anybody know if Kings Island had singing mushrooms?

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11-19-2013, 08:52 PM (This post was last modified: 11-19-2013 09:11 PM by mwhinva.)
Post: #124
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

(11-19-2013 06:48 PM)Hoopla Wrote:  Does anybody know if Kings Island had singing mushrooms?

I don't think they did. Even though Kings Dominion was modeled after Kings Island, there were many differences between the two and I think the Singing Mushrooms/Frog was one of them. Course, the only way to prove that is to find a web site that has Kings Island "Old Timers" contributing their memories. I do know of two KI fan web sites KIExtreme.com and KICentral.com - How updated their web site and forums are, is unknown to me.

P.S. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Dennis Spiegel's interview this coming Thursday. (Per KD's Facebook site - Topic: Lion Country Safari).

I found this video on the history of Kings Island. It is just over 1 hour and 33 minutes long. (No, I have not watched the whole video. I skimmed though and watched a few minutes here and there.)

It features a guy named Gary Wachs, who got Taft Broadcasting involved in the creation of Kings Island. It also explained how KI and KD ended up with Hanna-Barberra characters in both parks.

Gary Wachs was the 1st General Manager of Kings Dominion. He tells stories of the effort to buy the land for Kings Dominion and getting know the local land owners. Also, he was there from the initial ground breaking through the fall of 1974.

He was then called back to the home office and Dennis Spegiel took over as GM and he was present when the whole park opened in May 1975. (Yes, Dennis is in this video as well). This video was produced about 4 years ago [Kings Island 40th anniversary?] I think this will answer many questions about the founding of Kings Dominion and the initial ownership set up and park chain philosophy.



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11-19-2013, 10:03 PM
Post: #125
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

If you are able, try to watch the 1st 23 minutes of this video (about that time frame, the interview will switch from Gary to Dennis). It fascinating to know that the predecessor park Coney Island was an inspiration for Walt and Roy Disney back in the early 1950's and the owners of Coney Island gave encouragement to Walt to bring his dream of Disneyland to life! Those same owners developed Kings Island and Kings Dominion.
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12-05-2013, 05:56 PM
Post: #126
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization



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Dennis Speigel tells some stories about Lion Safari Country. I'm watching currently and it's kinda funny about the stories that he is telling about the different incidents that had happened over the attractions life time.

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12-05-2013, 10:10 PM
Post: #127
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

Dennis was quite the character back then. He seems to have been a kid trapped in an adult body! Grinning

Dennis came to VA after the first operating season at Kings Island (1972). I believe he took over from Gary Wachs, (earlier post on this thread), in the fall of 1974.

I have found my 1980 Kings Dominion yearbook, "The Hot Dog", when cleaning out my junk room. That was Dennis' last year as park GM. He went on to be the Director of Operations and Planning with the Amusement Park Group (I don't know what this business entity is/was, I'll Google and see what I can find).

A guy named Mr. T. Lewis Hooper took over from Dennis at KD. He was the park GM from Carowinds (since 1977). I did not see Mr. Hooper's name mentioned as being one of the former park GM's to be interviewed for the 40th anniversary celebration. Course, looking at his 1980 photo, Mr. Hooper appears to be 16-18 years older than Dennis Speigel; who was probably between 32 to 35 years old when he left KD in 1980. If Mr. Hooper is still living, I guess he would now be in his late seventies or early eighties. I believe the person that succeeded Mr. Hooper, Mr. Wilson Flohr, is the other former park GM who was interviewed for KD's 40th anniversary.
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12-06-2013, 01:50 AM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2013 01:53 AM by Nora.)
Post: #128
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

(11-19-2013 03:32 AM)b.mac Wrote:  Just how famous are these singing mushrooms? Well they do appear in the movie 'Rollercoaster' 45 minutes in.

Tkatobrucelee08 on Youtube that put a video collection of Before and After shots from the movie at Kings Dominion:



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12-06-2013, 08:21 AM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2013 08:23 AM by mwhinva.)
Post: #129
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

As someone who has visited KD the year the movie was made and worked there 3 years later, you have to be careful about the details of what you see in the movie "Roller Coaster". Some of what was seen in the movie was staged, using props that were never in the park, or came from other areas within the park.

The scene with the mushrooms and butterfly near the Carousel never existed there in reality. There was no mushroom phone in that location either. I think some of the mushrooms came from part of the Hanna-Barberra area and the phone was a movie prop. Before the age of cell phones, there were pay-phones; but, they were located at the front of the restroom buildings.

I've gone back and re-watched some of this movie on YouTube. It's fun to see what has changed over the years. And not just rides, but some of the buildings that are no longer there and changes to the areas themselves.
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12-06-2013, 08:53 AM
Post: #130
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

^Thanks for clearing that up. I was about to ask that very question.

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12-06-2013, 06:36 PM
Post: #131
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

(12-06-2013 08:53 AM)Pretzel Kaiser Wrote:  ^Thanks for clearing that up. I was about to ask that very question.

I think 80%-85% of what was shown of Kings Dominion in the movie was accurate. The major buildings and rides in the movie were accurate to what was in the park in 1976-1977.

Yes, the park did have hat stands in the park during that time period where you could have your name, monogram, or logo sewn on the front or brim, depending on the style of hat you chose. Tongue
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12-10-2013, 01:00 PM (This post was last modified: 12-10-2013 05:24 PM by Evan.)
Post: #132
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

Here's something that I have not heard anywhere else...
Kings Dominion Job Fair Site Wrote:Next season will see the return of our “Singing Mushroom” quartet, the shenanigans of our famous Clown Band, entertainment inspired by popular park shows from the 80's as well as the return of Candy Apple Grove with its giant oversized apples and iconic floral clock.

Job Fair Site

It sounds like the park will be producing new shows based on the shows that were at the park in the 80's. With the overall increase in show quality that the park displayed last season, I have high hopes for the retro-inspired entertainment the park has promised for 2014.

Candy Apple Grove will not only be receiving the old Candy Apples, but also the old floral clock!

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Picture from: Kings Dominion's 40th Celebration Site


Big thanks to Joe for finding this video of the Clown Band and 1991 and an even bigger thanks to Youtuber KDFansPre91 for uploading this video for us to watch!


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Digital Design of the frog and the singing mushrooms

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Notice the bottom of the Candy Apple...

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It seems that the bottom was cut or broke off at some point and they are now restoring it back to it's former glory!

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And now it's whole again! After some touch up work on the bottom, the apple will be the mold for all of the others!

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They are going to have several Candy Apples on a stick next year

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All photos are from the Kings Dominion Facebook Page

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12-10-2013, 02:14 PM (This post was last modified: 12-10-2013 02:16 PM by Evan.)
Post: #133
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

I just updated the last post with something VERY interesting about what is to come from the park's entertainment team next season!

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12-10-2013, 05:05 PM
Post: #134
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

Words cannot describe how excited I am about all of this! The floral clock! Street actors! High-quality show performances! The charm and theming being brought back!

Busch Gardens must be freaking out at this point...

Okay guys, it's your turn!
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12-10-2013, 05:08 PM (This post was last modified: 12-10-2013 05:08 PM by Joe.)
Post: #135
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Subject: RE: 40th Anniversary Celebration & Park Revitalization

(12-10-2013 01:00 PM)Evan Wrote:  
Kings Dominion Job Fair Site Wrote:the shenanigans of our famous Clown Band,
Look what I found! While I don't expect whatever this will be to be as grand as the Clown Band of 90's, this is very exciting news. Reminds me of the Busch Gardens Boogie Band a bit...


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EDIT: Sorry for the double post.

Okay guys, it's your turn!
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