King’s Island and the Halloween Display

Not too long ago Rex experienced the "first ride" on the new King's Island hypercoaster "Diamondback" in Cincinnati, OH.  During that time we interviewed park relations manager Don Helbig on our Audio Journeys podcast.  Don was cordial, well spoken, and clearly had a deep love for King's Island. 

So it came as a great shock to me that he did not see the potential disaster from a Halloween display for the park's Halloween Haunt.  King's Island constructed a Halloween display depicting in skeleton form the bodies of dead celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Steve McNair, Heath Ledger, and Billy Mays.  Obviously and rightly so, the public went nuts and Helbig removed the displays from the park.  I think Helbig is a stand up guy and just had a brain-shutdown moment on this one, it happens to us all.

The problem, of course, is depicting beloved people who have died so recently, and in some cases, so violently.  If the display would have been Billy the Kid or some other icon of ages past, then that would be one thing.  But even then you would have to be very, very careful.  For example, no matter how much time elapses, it would never be appropriate to depict the dead body of President John Kennedy.  Thus, this is one of the instances where you just "feel" that this isn't right and scrap the entire plan.  Unfortunately this one slipped through the cracks somehow.  Live and learn.      

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