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Coney Island
Coney Island Cincinnati logo.svg
Location Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Owner Brenda Walker
Opened 1870
Previous names Parker's Grove (1870–1885)
Ohio Grove, The Coney Island of the West (1886)
Coney Island (1887–1975)
Old Coney (1976–1985)
Coney Island (1985–)
Operating season May–September
(water park)
(Christmas Nights of Lights)
Total 5
Website Coney Island
Status Operating

Coney Island is a small water park located on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of the downtown area in Anderson Township. It no longer has the old-time carnival rides pictured in many review sites and promotional materials still in use. As of the 2021 season, about one-third of the deep end is occupied by an inflatable obstacle course not pictured on the park's website. The park sits directly adjacent to Riverbend Music Center and Belterra Park. Beginning in 1870, the original owner called the area Parker's Grove, which was later renamed Ohio Grove, The Coney Island of the West after the Ohio Grove Corporation purchased the park in 1886. The name was shortened to Coney Island the following season. Growth over the years spawned dozens of rides and attractions which led to its popularity as an amusement destination.

Coney Island was sold to Taft Broadcasting in 1969 with intentions to move the park to a new, larger destination away from frequent flooding. The new park opened as Kings Island in 1972, although Coney Island's Sunlite Pool remained opened. Rides eventually returned, and additional investments and improvements were made to the Sunlite Pool area. These changes, along with the opening of the nearby Riverbend Music Center in 1984, allowed the park's attendance and profitability to recover. In 2019, Coney Island focused its operations exclusively on its water park amenities and removed other amusement rides.


Coney Island's beginnings date back to 1867 when an apple farmer by the name of James Parker purchased 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land along the shores of the Ohio River. James soon realized in the early 1870s the popularity of the farm's location, and that renting it out was more profitable than his apple orchard. He eventually added a dining hall, dancing hall, and bowling alley. He later sold the land in 1886 for $17,500 to a company called Ohio Grove Corporation headed by two steamboat captains. In time for the opening on June 21, 1886, the name was officially changed to "Ohio Grove, The Coney Island of the West" in an effort to link the park with the famous New York destination. Fortunate enough to be on a riverfront location, riverboat soon became the most popular method of transportation for park visitors. In 1887, "Ohio Grove" was completely dropped from the name as the park became known simply as "Coney Island".

Over the years, the park became a full-fledged amusement park, complete with rides and carnival games. In that capacity, Coney Island was a Cincinnati institution. However, the park's proximity to the river made it prone to frequent flooding. In 1968, park management entered into talks with Taft Broadcasting for the purpose of developing a new park on higher ground. Taft responded by buying Coney Island outright in 1969, and construction began the following year on a new site located in Deerfield Township of Warren County 25 miles (40 km) north of Cincinnati along Interstate 71. Coney Island closed its amusements on September 6, 1971, as most of its rides were moved to the newly completed Kings Island theme park.

After Kings Island opened in 1972, Taft Broadcasting intended to sell Coney Island's land for redevelopment. However, with the company's decision to open another theme park in Virginia (Kings Dominion) and its acquisition of Carowinds on the North Carolina-South Carolina border, the property's redevelopment became a low priority. Less than two years after closing, Coney Island would reopen permanently in 1973. The park was only a shadow of its former self but still featured several popular attractions. The Sunlite Pool — still the largest recirculating swimming pool in the world — was one of those attractions that helped Coney Island remain a popular summertime destination.

The park donated 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land for the construction of Riverbend Music Center which opened in 1984. The land was the former location of the Wildcat and Shooting Star roller coasters. The amphitheater serves as the summer home of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, as well as a concert venue for other musical acts. In 1991, Coney Island was purchased by Cincinnati businessman Ronald Walker. No longer held back by a corporate entity, management has been able to restore Coney Island as a traditional amusement park with familiar rides such as the "Tilt-A-Whirl", bumper cars, carnival games and musical shows.

Roller coasters

Ride Year Opened Removed In Description
Python 1999 From Splash Zone Water Park (1996–1999)
Coney Island Pipeline Plunge
Pipeline Plunge

Sunlite pool slides

Ride Year Opened Description
The Twister 2009 The Twister is the replacement of the Zoom Flume. The Twister is a 4 slide attraction. 2 of the slides are body slides, and the other two are double or single tubes. They are not fully enclosed. They end in a 4 feet pool.
Pipeline Plunge 1994 Pipeline Plunge is a dual enclosed innertube slide. It replaced the Zzip. It was revamped during the 2011 season including new floats in which you lie on your stomach down the flumes.
Cyclone 2006 The Cyclone is a yellow enclosed slide that goes into the pool near the deep end. The bottom is 4 feet deep.

Flat rides

Ride Type Year Opened Description
Ferris wheel Eli Bridge Ferris wheel 1990 Riders ascend 40 feet (12 m) into the air above Lake Como.
Como Cruisers Individual Controllable Boats 2013 Individual boats that riders can steer in Lake Como, replaced Bumper Boats
EuroBungy Bungee Trampoline Attraction 2010 Riders are attached to bungee cords and can jump on a trampoline inside a dome, it costs money and is only available on certain days.
Scrambler Scrambler 1991 Standard Eli Bridge Scrambler
Tilt-A-Whirl Tilt-A-Whirl 1992 Standard Tilt-A-Whirl painted green and purple. Relocated from defunct Fantasy Farm park.
Super Round Up Round Up (ride) 1993 Mass-produced "Round Up" ride.
Flying Bobs Matterhorn (ride) 1994 Chance "Matterhorn" ride.
Carousel Carousel 1998 Merry Go Round consisting of 30 horses and 2 chariots. Chance Rides model.
Dodgems Bumper Cars 2000 Oval shaped Bumper Cars ride with a center island. A one way sign is posted, though it is not always followed.
Tempest Grover Watkins Tempest 2001 "A tornado-like whirling dervish that cannot be found anywhere else in the state of Ohio." Relocated from Americana/Lesourdesville Lake Amusement Park.
Giant Slide Giant Slide or Fun Slide 2001 3 lane, approximately 25 feet (7.6 m) tall Giant Slide.
Frog Hopper S&S power Frog Hopper 2003 Bouncing spring ride with frog theming.
Scream Machine Moser Spring Ride 2005 50 feet (15 m) tall Moser Spring Ride
Rock- O- Plane Eyerly Rock-O-Plane 2007 Originally opened at LeSourdesville Lake in 1949.
River Runner Pirate Ship (ride) 2008 Relocated from Wild West World after closure. Canoe themed.
Paddle Boats Pedal Boats unknown Located on Lake Como
Wipeout Spinning Lift Ride 2014 Opened at Coney Island in 2014, flips riders upside down in circles 20 feet in the air. Built by Moser Rides.

In addition to these flat rides, there are five circular kiddie rides near the front of the park.

Former Attractions


Coney Island serves as the location for several festivals, including Summerfair Arts Festival, the "Cincinnati Celtic World Festival", The Appalachian Festival and the Cincinnati Flower and Farm Fest. Concerts are also held in the Moonlite Gardens area of the park, most notably by Over the Rhine.

Scenes from the old children's TV show The Banana Splits were filmed on location at Coney Island.

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