Rides: How Kentucky Kingdom Died & Will Be Reborn

Theme Park News

Chang formerly at Six Flags Kentucky KingdomEver wonder why Kentucky Kingdom was the black sheep of the Six Flags chain? I have. A new video posted by the new developer of the park charts the immense attendance growth that the park saw in its initial 9 years as notable and World-record setting (yes, WORLD) were added. And then its shows the sad decline after Premier Parks and then Six Flags managed the park. Basically, when Kentucky Kingdom became Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, the park chain removed several popular rides that had likely become local favorites and added very few new attractions.

The video is long, but pretty telling:

This video was produced by the former, and new, park operator. So it’s obviously just from his view, but it’s kind of hard to argue the attendance numbers when put next to the ride additions and removals. And this video doesn’t speak to the park’s operation before and after Six Flags ownership. When I visited the park in 2006, I was surprised by how much potential the park had. It wasn’t a bad looking park at its core, but the operation was definitely lacking.

Re-opening Efforts & a New B&M for 2012!
Ed Hart, the former, and new, park operator is leading efforts to get Kentucky Kingdom re-opened in 2012 with $20 milllion dollars in rehab and $30 million dollars in new rides. His plans were recently discussed during an interview with ParkThoughts. The $30 million dollars includes a new B&M coaster. The rehab will go into projects like smoothing out the ultra-rough, but potentially cool duelling woodie Twisted Twins. Hart outlines his plans in YouTube video clips on the new Kentucky Kingdom website and on his YouTube channel.

I’m very excited for this park’s re-birth. There might as well be a new theme park opening in 2012, if Ed Hart can pull off all of the ride improvements and add a marquee new ride to replace Chang. I’m already thinking of doing a Holiday World/Kentucky Kingdom trip like I did in 2006 again.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of this video and Kentucky Kingdom’s chances of a comeback? Leave a comment below.

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. Holiday World/Kentucky Kingdom is definately high up on my 2012 list. Does anyone else think a larger version of the X-Raptor B&M prototype would be a fitting replacement for Chang? At least I can dream…

  2. i think any rollercoaster even close to what your thinking would suit the park greatly

  3. If you build it they will come 😉 ! So it seems unanimous that six flags operations stinks. That 2012 seems great. I want to go to Holiday World in the worst way and am thinking about 2012 also. This season i want to hit all the cedar fair parks nearby. So many parks i haven't visited.

  4. Anyone else think that everything will be renamed? Twisted Twins could be something else entirely by when it reopens.

  5. Great to hear that Kentucky Kingdom is being "reborn"! Judging from the video, Six Flags clearly messed it all up. Thank goodness Ed Hart is park operator again, I really hope he can turn it around! Does Six Flags not own Kentucky Kingdom now?

  6. Yay Kentucky Kingdom! I'm so happy for them! Watching that vid was pretty sad since you realized how six flags single handedly ruined that park but theyre back! i'm guessing a b&m hyper or floorless for theyre new ride

  7. I'm happy someone other than six flags is taking on this project. Six flags just didn't pay enough attention to the park, but I have a feeling the original owner will be able to fix this park back into it's original place in the theme park community.

  8. Yeah, i hope Kentucky Kingdom comes back. I've never been, but it's always sad to see a theme park go. Now that it has a second chance, let's hope poor managing doesn't ruin it again.

  9. Actually, I think it's going to be a ground-hugging flyer like Manta…

  10. I think it is pretty clear that this was done by an financial analyst and not somebody closely looking at Kentucky Kingdom. While I certainly think that removing the Vampire (which itself was an old antiquated coaster when it showed up) hurt the park, as it was a great ride, I don't fault Six Flags for removing a ride that cuts a girls leg off and puts you in financial burden.

    That said, I haven't felt the need to go to Kentucky Kingdom since 2002, and certainly have spent many many days at Kings Island and Cedar Point since then.


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