How can someone reminisce about a theme park he's never visited? I will show you how. That someone is me.

THE 1970S THEME PARK CIRCUIT

As a kid, we very nearly hit them all--Santa Claus Land (pre-Holiday World), Six Flags in Texas, Opryland (who knows how many times), and Beech Bend in Bowling Green.

Of course, back then in the 1970s, theme parks--or amusement parks, as they were called at the time--were not what they have become over the years. They are BIG business and BIG fun and BIGGER than they ever were.

The exception is Opryland, of course, which is no longer there. Since we've all written about how much we wish it was still around, I'll move on to one my family actually MISSED when I was growing up.

That would be Kings Island.

KINGS ISLAND UPGRADES FOR 2022

My guess is that since we didn't have anywhere else or anyONE to visit in the Cincinnati area, we didn't go. We certainly wouldn't make that mistake if I was a kid today. Speaking of which, check out the improvements Kings Island has made for 2022.

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KINGS ISLAND IN 1972

It figures to be a banner year for the legendary park in southwest Ohio...just like it was when it opened in 1972. The iconic Eiffel Tower set Kings Island apart and it figures prominently in this magnificent home movie of the park from that year.

And fans have been eager to post their memories.

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That's weird. That's exactly what we did at Six Flags in Texas in 1978.

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HOW TO SPEND A DAY AT KINGS ISLAND ON ONLY $20

Despite the fact that I have never been, I do remember those loaves of bread. My sister brought one back from a church trip in 1975. No, my whole family never went, but she did. And one of the souvenirs she saved has always been backed up by a favorite story of mine.

In 1975, she took a $20 bill to Kings Island and returned with a penny. That's right; everything she did that day was covered by that twenty. Thanks to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' invaluable inflation calculator, we know that that translates into $110.37 in 2022. What do you think? Is that enough for one person these days?

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS

Listen, before we go any further, you need to check out a list of must-rides from Chad, our resident roller coaster expert. He posted in celebration of Kings Island's 50th anniversary. If there's an extreme coaster out there that he hasn't ridden, I can practically assure you it is on his bucket list.

By the way, Kings Island opens this weekend for the 2022 season and plans a day-long extravaganza on April 29th to celebrate its milestone golden anniversary.

If you're visiting for the occasion, have a safe trip. While you're doing that, I'll get Kings Island onto my ever-growing bucket list.

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