By Erica Solvig
Enquirer staff writer
MASON - A ride that's entertained an estimated 12 million people in Greater Cincinnati over almost 70 years will take a final spin at Paramount's Kings Island this weekend, before being shipped to North Carolina.
The Flying Eagles, a former Coney Island ride that moved to Kings Island when the theme park opened in 1972, will give its final ride at 9 p.m. Sunday. The ride is being shipped to the one of the parent company's other parks, Paramount's Carowinds in Charlotte, N.C.
Officials say the location, as well as the space that the antique ride occupied, will be used for next year's attraction, The Italian Job: Stunt Track. The park is not planning to remove any other rides for the new ride, spokeswoman Maureen Kaiser said Monday.
"Suffice to say, this is a fan favorite so there will be many people saddened," she said. "It's a really treasured ride, but we're grateful for the time we've had."
Kaiser didn't know Monday why the Flying Eagles wasn't relocated to another area of Kings Island. The theme park owns about 700 acres, but has developed only 364 of them.
Guests on the Flying Eagles can move their planes up and down as they circle. "I can't believe they're closing it," said 15-year-old Ronny Salerno of Fairfield. "It's a park landmark."
Heather Siemon-Dick of Loveland agrees. It's one of her 8-year-old son Austin's favorite rides, so the season passholders ride it nearly every time they visit.
"It's a classic," Siemon-Dick said. "They need to leave it. It was an original Ohio attraction, and it needs to stay in Ohio."
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