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Brady Bunch invades Kings Island, v2.0

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Published: August 26, 2008 at 10:13 PM

Sometimes, I have to report information on this website that makes me uncomfortable. This is one of those stories. But I will attempt to put aside one deeply disturbing episode from my youth, and get to it....

The Brady Bunch is coming back to Kings Island.

Why the discomfort? Let's keep in mind that I watched waaaaay too many episodes of The Brady Bunch when I was a kid. One of my proudest moments as a child came when my mom got assigned as a substitute to teach Maureen McCormick's high school English class. (I demanded she recount every detail, again and again, for days after.) As an emerging theme park fan, the Kings Island episode was a must-watch for me, too. I could not get enough of the Bradys.

Of course, by the late 70s, I'd overdosed on the Bradys like a drunk swimming in a pool of Mad Dog 20/20, and would have been happy never to see or hear from them again. And I didn't, until my lovely daughter "discovered" the Bradys while watching cable TV on a sleepover at a friends' house. She just happened to mention this little fact to my parents, who this past Christmas dutifully presented Natalie with the DVD boxed set of every damned Brady Bunch episode ever made. Thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks a lot.

I cannot escape the Bradys.

And, if you visit Kings Island this weekend, you won't either. Actors Barry Williams (Greg), Susan Olson (Cindy) and Mike Lookinland (Bobby) will perform in a Brady Bunch reunion show in the park on Sunday, August 31.

(FWIW: Interesting additional theme park tie-in. Robert Reed, the actor who played father Mike Brady, lived in Pasadena until his death, in a home just a couple blocks away from... the original Busch Gardens.)

Readers' Opinions

From Amanda Jenkins on August 26, 2008 at 10:26 PM
Isn't it amazing how your past comes back to haunt you, especially through your kids. My son, Samuel, unfortunately inherited my need of watching a movie or show that he loves over and over and over and over again. I tortured my own sweet parents with this through the invention of the VCR and now mine does through the power of DVD. I don't even get a break since you don't have to rewind a DVD; and wouldn't you know it, our Jeep came fully loaded with a DVD player. Life is ironic.
From Robert Niles on August 27, 2008 at 11:59 AM
I kid about the Brady Bunch, but the video that is most seared into my soul is "The Aristocats." When we moved to L.A. from Denver eight-plus years ago, we put most of our stuff into storage while we lived in temporary, corporate housing. Well, we allowed Natalie to pick a few videos to take with us to the temp home, and one of them was "The Aristocats."

Every morning at 6, Natalie (then 2) wanted to get up and watch it. Needless to say, I was thrilled the day the moving van showed up at our new place, and we had other videos to choose from again.

From steve lee on August 27, 2008 at 2:11 PM
I totally misread that as "The Aristocrats" and was seriously starting to question your parenting, Robert. Reading comprehension FTW.
From Robert Niles on August 27, 2008 at 3:08 PM
Hey, I actually typed "-crats" the first time through the post and had to change it.

I do chuckle to myself imagining some near-sighted grandma in a video store, finding a copy of The Aristocrats and saying to herself, "Look, it's a new version of that Disney movie about the cats. And it's got Bob Saget in it! He was so nice on Full House. I'll get this for little Suzy."

From TH Creative on August 27, 2008 at 4:21 PM
Laughing along with Robert ...

I grew up in Chicago and before 'Great America' and the long lost (indoor) 'Old Chicago' parks opened their gates my family made a couple of trips to Kings Island during the 1970s.

I was thrilled when the Brady episode made it to the small screen.

But here's another interesting "theme-park-fan-boy-geek-trivia-thing" about that episode: Didn't the family travel to the park because Mike's (Robert Reed) architect firm was supposed to present the design of a new park attraction (or maybe hotel)? As I recall the "foil" in the episode was the kids had purchased a poster of Scooby Doo and had placed it in a cardboard tube that was identical to the one holding the blueprints. Mike gets to the pitch and unveils the poster. The show climaxes with the kids racing through the park ... and ... they search ... and find ...

...geez I watch too much TV

From Derek Potter on August 27, 2008 at 6:11 PM
It's pretty crazy watching that episode and the way Kings Island was compared to what it is now. There wasn't a whole lot there at the time, as he episode was filmed 1 year after the park opened, so watching rides like the canoes, the Skylab, and the Der Spinning Keggers operate is pretty cool. I've gone pretty much every year since 1983 (3 yrs old) and many of those rides were gone by then. I really don't care about the Brady Bunch, but I like that episode because it features my home park.
From Robert Niles on August 27, 2008 at 7:59 PM
If you search on YouTube for Brady Bunch Cincinnati Kids, you'll find the whole episode (though split into three parts).
From Scottland Jacobson on August 27, 2008 at 9:10 PM
I must admit to owning the "shag carpeting" boxed set of Brady episodes myself. And the reason I bought it? Last year was my very first visit to Kings Island and I had to watch the Brady Bunch episode when we got home - thus shelling out the bucks for the entire DVD set. And with it being so small way back then - it's hard to imagine spending more then one day there - which the Brady's did then were allowed to stay longer at the end of the episode! The only ride I recognized was the Racer.

And, funny enough, we went to the Grand Canyon last summer and Hawaii this summer. Fits in with the other Brady vacation episodes.

Why would you bring your maid with you to an amusement park? That's just odd...

From Ed Newman on August 28, 2008 at 9:00 AM
Robert, thanks for reporting on this. Digging up and making us aware of interesting (and wacky) news like this reminds me of “why” this is one of the best theme park sites out there.

Even though I watched more than my share of the Bradys during my childhood, I can’t specifically recall that episode.

I must apologize for going slightly off-topic. My strongest memories of a TV show promotion for KI was on a Saturday morning cartoon show that featured the “Banana Splits”. They were some sort of costumed characters who played in a band and were sometimes filmed having fun at Kings Island. I mostly recall images of them riding the Racer together (with that silly music of theirs in the background). Made me wish I could go to Kings Island, but I never got there until we took own kids in 2001 (they were teens at the time).

Wow… the stuff that sticks in your head from your childhood.

Anyway, I’m just glad to see KI getting a B&M hyper. Thanks for giving us the scoop on that earlier this season. Gives us reason to maybe return again next Summer.

From Robert Niles on August 28, 2008 at 10:46 AM
The Banana Splits! OMFG. I can't believe the memory of that show is still rattling around in my brain. (And others... Witchiepoo, anyone?) No wonder I didn't have room in there for a proper understanding of eigenvectors.
From TH Creative on August 28, 2008 at 3:56 PM
Fleagle, Bongo, Droopy and Snorkie, right?
From Scottland Jacobson on August 28, 2008 at 11:16 PM
You do know they're remaking Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell. Can't wait to see the new Sleestaks!

Ah...the 70's. How I miss them...

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