Jungle and Joani with the Monorail
Food & Drink

Trek Through the History of Jungle Jim's Monorail

Reinvigorating Local History

Photo Credit: Jungle Jim's International Market

Jungle Jim’s International Market established itself as more than the average grocery store since its inception in 1975. Amongst over 6 acres of shopping space and 200,000+ products stacked throughout the aisles, there are attractions and fun waiting to be discovered. 

Jungle Jim's Weekend of Fire Monorail

Some of the most notable include the safari animals located by the entrance and exit, the singing Elvis lion located in the candy section, Corn & Butter, and the smiling Campbell’s Soup can swinging above patrons. 

Jungle Jim loves collecting unique knick knacks and historic doodads including a plethora of Kings Island memorabilia such as statues, decorations, and vintage popcorn machines. But one attraction adopted from the amusement park holds immense history and mystique: the monorail.

1974: King's Island Origins

In 1974, the Lion Country Safari Monorail, also named Wild Animal Safari and Wild Animal Habitat, opened during the park's third year of operation. The popularity of drive-in zoos in the 1970s inspired this attraction, adapting the concept of driving your own car to taking a 20-25 minute ride on the communal monorail. The monorail took guests on a 6 mph ride, showcasing animals like lions, tigers, elephants, and more. 

1993: Monorail's Closure

Nearly 20 years later, after Paramount purchased the park, the monorail took its final ride. During its run, the monorail became one of King's Island's most successful and popular attractions, welcoming over 15 million guests. The ride cost an additional admittance fee ranging from 50 cents to two dollars during its 20 year run and embraced an hourly capacity of 2000 guests. 

1994: Monorail's Removal

In 1994, King's Island removed the monorail from its location in the safari park, moving it into storage where it would remain during the coming years. 

Photo Credit: Jungle Jim's International Market

1998: Second Chances

In the years since the monorail's removal, the train cars sat idle on the parks property. In 1998, Jungle Jim purchased all seven of the train cars for $1 plus the cost for relocating the vehicles. 

Trams sitting Idle

Photo Credit: Jungle Jim's International Market

2008: Shifting Plans

By 2008, the fleet of vehicles still sat in storage at Jungle Jim's. A small section of track had been built, and the plan moving forward was to follow a two train operation, with passengers disembarking and loading at the maintenance facility (station 1) and the banquet center (station 2).

Construction on the monorail

Photo Credit: Jungle Jim's International Market

2011: Up and Running

By 2011, the monorail had been fully modified to run on bio-diesel propulsion as opposed to an electrified track as was used at Kings Island. The monorail accepted passengers during special events, including Jungle Jim's annual Weekend of Fire.


Photo Credit: Jungle Jim's International Market

2019: Reviving the Monorail

Fast forward to 2019, the original monorail station and storage track were fully converted into event space running between the Oscar Station and The Oscar Event Center. Since this renovation, the monorail only operates during special events taking place at either of the Oscar facilities. Oscar Station is a bourbon bar specializing in a selection of premium bourbons, cocktails, local beers, and domestic favorites on tap. The Oscar Event Center can accommodate up to 750 guests, and hosts events ranging from corporate get-togethers to weddings. 

Next time you visit Jungle Jim's, make sure to pause for a moment and admire this piece of local, repurposed history. 

Monorail 2023

The monorail carries passengers from the event center during Weekend of Fire 2023. Photo Credit: Jungle Jim's International Market

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5440 Dixie Hwy | Fairfield, Ohio 45014