Evan Postingle is a bright 17-year-old who has spent the past few summers working at the Kings Island gift shops. Something struck him as strange during his time behind the counter, though.
"One of the questions I got the most working at Kings Island was, 'Do you sell any books about the history of Kings Island?'" he said.
The Mason High School senior was surprised to learn no one had ever written a detailed history of the Ohio amusement park. He found several books about sister park Cedar Point but nothing about Kings Island. So he decided to write his own.
It's called "Kings Island: A Ride Through Time." And his fellow students and teachers are fans of the book.
"They are very impressed," Postingle said. "They think it is going to be one of those little passion project things, and then can't believe it when they see the book."
Book gives a definitive history
"Kings Island: A Ride Through Time" is a 300-page volume depicting Kings Island's history from the very beginning, which theme park consultant and former Kings Island Assistant General Manager Dennis Speigel said is very accurate.
"It's an amazing job," Speigel said. "[Postingle] really captured the story of the last 50 years."
Postingle interviewed park founder Gary Wachs, current general manager Mike Koontz, former ride engineers and many others.
"I got to interview 41 executives all together, for the entire history of the park," Postingle said.
The book is filled with surprises, such as the fact it was a 13-year-old girl who named the park in a naming contest after the founders wanted to call it Tivoli Gardens.
It also describes how The Racer started the roller coaster renaissance of the 70s and 80s, and how competitors like Six Flags rushed to keep up with the new coasters popping up at Kings Island.
It describes an excited 10-year-old boy running about the park, who happened to grow up to be George Clooney.
And the book reveals that the new giga coaster Orion was originally intended for a different Cedar Fair park, and that it ended up at Kings Island almost by accident. You'll have to check out the book for that info, though.
"The story of Orion, that is exclusive. It had not been reported anywhere else," Postingle said.
Describes warts and all
However, the book is no puff piece.
It delves into the the Son of Beast debacle, how the Paramount takeover almost ruined the park and other things that did not work out well over the years.
"It's really a story, and it's so well-written," Speigel said.
Whats Postingle's next act? He said he has no desire to be an author.
Instead, he is heading to Bowling Green State University in the fall, to study theme park management.
If you are interested, the book goes on sale April 15 at Cincinnati's Joseph Beth bookstore and online, at the publisher's website.
Postingle also hopes to sell it in his Kings Island gift shop this summer, where you might be able to get a signed copy.
For $21 you'll learn hundreds of things you probably didn't know about Kings Island, and you really don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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