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 Review of The Beast @ Kings Island
4 Rating Posted by: CoastrGlxy on 8/29/2007 1:04:00 AM
Once again, I traveled westward for another much hyped woodie. Ive been looking forward to riding the Beast for a decade. Between expensive Cincinnati airfare and that fateful April day in 05 when Kings Island closed for SNOW!, its taken me years to make it to Kings Island and the Beast.

The Pre-Ride Experience
As I neared the section of the park where the Beast lurked I found a pretty cool sign and a Coaster Landmark plaque from the American Coaster Enthusiasts. The sign also helps people find the Beast as the station is tucked away in a corner of the park and only parts of the rides track can be seen from other lift hills. Part of the mystique of the Beast is its location in 35 wooded acres in the back of Kings Island. The station was a lightly themed saw mill. I was pleased to find an excited station with a skinny, speckled DJ with the gift of gab. He kept the station abuzz with excitement as trains filled with happy riders entered and exited. Through my travels Ive found that a lively station is a trademark of world-class roller coaster and the Beast is no different.

An Unforgettable Night Ride
After hearing, "Enjoy your 4 minute and 50 second ride" we were off. The train took a smooth right turn out of the station and we approached the lift hill. As always, the lift hill built the anticipation of the drop to come, but on this particular ride there was an additional treat. A large pink moon hung over the dark wilderness. It lightly illuminated the forest below. Riders were awe-stricken by the beautiful sight and now we were about to be treated to an unforgettable night ride on the Beast.

We plunged down the opening 135-foot drop and immediately into the rocky mouth of an underground tunnel. The train flew out of the tunnel and banked to the left and our journey through the Ohioan wilderness had officially begun. The second drop was a memorable airtime hill that hugged the rolling terrain. At night the barely visible trees were accented with fireflies. This was one of the most remarkable sights Ive ever experienced on a coaster. The cool air in the woods was a welcomed relief from the humid stickiness of the packed station.

Next the train banked to the right and stormed through the long, flat covered section. After a right turn and a small dip the train charged into the second tunnel. This tunnel was much longer than the first and at times was pitch black, especially at night. After exiting the second tunnel there were a few more turns that set us up for the second lift hill. The real strength of the first half of the ride was the speed, just a touch of airtime on hill #2 and the sheer distance covered in an unusual atmosphere. For the second act the Beast really lived up to his name.

The Beasts Famous Helix Finale
On coasters like Big Bad Wolf, the second lift hill really steals the moment of the ride. Because most coasters would be over by this point I didnt mind the break in action. I had already been given a satisfying ride, the rest was like a bonus. Atop the lift the train turned to the left and began a long (141 feet), but very gradual 18-degree drop. It couldnt look more tame in pictures, but I had heard such great things about the mighty Beasts helix. And I wasnt disappointed.

At first, the train gradually gained speed, but before we knew it we were barreling towards what appeared to be a black dead end in the mouth of the first helix tunnel. Somehow the train stayed on the track and we experienced some vicious lateral g-forces. Its complete mayhem in the helix tunnels, but for some reason even after 28 years its not a rough or painful experience. After surviving the first covered helix the train marches around the downward helix and plows through another covered helix. Then, finally, the Beast released his grip on us. We coasted for a while back to the station where we passed over a dispatching train set to embark on the s

Review Comments

hrrytraver on 8/29/2007 8:53:17 AM said:
its great to hear something positive about this coaster after a menagerie of haten over the years. this thing changed my life 15 years ago. because of one phantasmic circuit i took on a cold april night ive decided that this has to be my number two coaster regardless of the fact that everyone says its gone to pot and i havent been anywhere close to it since that fateful evening.

i trust the haters of the beast, but this is a very sincere review. good work glxy.

CoastrGlxy on 8/29/2007 9:42:30 PM said:
Its pretty old, so Im not surprised that I may have missed the Beasts perceived "Golden Years", but what really has gone down hill (forgive the pun) with the Beast?
BobFunland on 9/13/2007 12:41:19 AM said:
Im curious... what makes the Beast better to you than Boulder Dash? I thought that Boulder Dash had some good airtime, played to the terrain much better, and it gave a far more enjoyable ride in terms of rider comfort... as for the Beast, well, my review will be posted shortly...
ginzo on 9/13/2007 8:09:31 AM said:
Glxy: there are at least three major ways that the Beast has gone downhill. And this comes from someone who used to spend all summer riding it in the early 90s.

1) Trim brakes. Ive counted at least four, including one on each lift hill. Since this coaster doesnt feature airtime its important that it at least go as fast as possible. Trims have ruined that.

2) Over restrained. The Beast gave a far better ride with just a buzzbar. No crappy seat belts, center dividers, or ratcheting lapbars. Half of the fun was trying to hold on for dear life, and getting slammed into the person next to you.

3) Maintenance. They do just enough track work to keep this thing from pulling a Raging Wolf Bobs. But not enough to make it track well. That would cost money!
hrrytraver on 9/13/2007 9:06:50 AM said:
^part of my incredible memory of the beast at night in 1993 was the fact that there was no center dividers in the trains. none of my compatriots wanted to ride again so i queued up alone and there met a middle-aged divorcee who told me the story of her life in the long line and then boarded the very front seat with me. in the final helix, with no divider to hinder me, i was crashing into her plump waist and the cold air was ripping tears out of my eyes. we were both laughing and screaming together. it was a totally unique bonding experience. putting dividers on wood coaster trains is a bummer to me.
coaster05 on 9/13/2007 1:36:12 PM said:
^exactly. I used to ride at night every April and it was insane. Tears streaking, laughs a plenty. Paramount should have been charged with criminal neglect for what they have done.
coaster05 on 9/13/2007 1:36:13 PM said:
^exactly. I used to ride at night every April and it was insane. Tears streaking, laughs a plenty. Paramount should have been charged with criminal neglect for what they have done.
CoastrGlxy on 9/24/2007 11:04:57 PM said:
Bobfunland, I put Beast ahead of Boulderdash partly because of the atmosphere. I just love terrain coasters, of course Bdash is a terrain coaster too, but Beast is basically what Id imagine my dream coaster to be. A coaster that literally travels out into the woods. Secondly, that final helix is a roller coaster landmark in its own right. It definitely lived up to the hype.
ginzo on 9/25/2007 8:47:00 AM said:
The Beast does travel out into the woods, but what else does it do? Give great airtime? Nope. Go really fast? Nope, killed by the trims. Have an out-of-control feeling? Nope, again killed by the trims.

I swear to God that this coaster has the most evil arrangment of trims on any coaster known to man. The trims are placed at strategic positions so that at the exact moment you start to enjoy the ride the trims come along and steal the thunder.

The day ride on this thing is just a waste of time anymore. The night ride is surprisingly decent, but nothing of the caliber of back when they used to really turn this sucker loose onto unsuspecting guests.
taylorb251 on 9/25/2007 10:24:55 PM said:
I still think the night ride is the best ride I have ever had. When you are going through the woods in complete darkness and dont know whats next is just great to me. So times I think air time is a little over rated. Dont get me wrong I love air time but that doesnt make a coaster for me. The whole ride and the fun you have on it, is what matters to me.
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