The Beast Tours Available

End of an Era

JANUARY 12, 2013 AT 11:39 PM

On a day in July of 1999, an announcement was made that the most insane roller coaster was going to debut the following year at then Paramount’s Kings Island. The coaster was the sequel to the already famous Beast roller coaster, The Son of Beast. It was to be the tallest, fastest and only looping wooden roller coaster. Now if that’s not insane, I don’t know what is.

The following year, 2000, Son of Beast opened to mixed reviews. Some of the reviews were positive, where it was said that the ride was interesting and a great concept. There were also some reviews that were negative, where it was said that the ride was too rough to really enjoy the ride and that the loop was the only part that was smooth.

PKI-Son_of_Beast
I took my first ride on Son of Beast in 2001. From what I remember, it was a bit rough, but didn’t seem to bother me incredibly much. I loved the loop! I remember sitting in the trains thinking that they seemed way to big. Son of Beast grew to one of my favorite coasters at the park. There were two things I remember disliking about the coaster, one being the loud lift hill and two the first drop since I was semi-afraid of heights. Throughout the years I rode the coaster, year after year it got a little more rough.

The on-ride photo from 2004. I’m in the orange shirt.

In late June 2006 I remember riding Son of Beast with my cousin. She wasn’t a big coaster fan, but loved riding with me. We rode it a few times that trip. I remember passing through the rose bowl section of the coaster and feeling like I was going to die. My chest felt extremely sore and I felt whiplash. We got off the coaster and I sat on a bench probably for about an hour if not longer until the pain started to ease. A week later, the accident happened in the rose bowl. My cousin from that point was now afraid of coasters.  I didn’t visit the park until the following season after the new trains were added to Son of Beast and the loop was gone. I never understood why the loop was taken out as it didn’t cause any problems and it was the smoothest part of the coaster but I guess it was so that lighter trains could be used on the track.

After riding Son of Beast in 2007 with the new trains, the ride to me improved on smoothness, but lacked something without the loop. I only rode it a few times that season and the 2008 season. I remember riding Son of Beast once in 2009, well before the next accident. What I remember of the 2009 ride was that I absolutely hated it, it was extremely rough and I wouldn’t go back on it. I had a similar incident to the 2006 ride and spent a few hours on top of the Eiffel Tower to get away from the roller coaster action. Son of Beast closed in June 2009 to never reopen.

From mid-2009 until mid 2012 I heard numerous versions of what was going to happen to Son of Beast. Here is a list of my top favorite going to happen to SOB:
1) The park is going to tear everything down past the lift hill and rebuild. The rebuilt track will again feature a loop and topper track.
2) The park wasn’t going to open the ride ever again, but keep it standing to remind people of what happened.
3) The park was going to replace the newest trains with a re-vamped version of the first Premier trains.
4) The entire ride was going to be rebuilt in the 2010 off-season and renamed to Grandson of Beast.
5) (From an Eiffel Tower ride attendant) The park bought a new set of trains and is waiting for them to arrive to test.
6) The ride was going to be tore down, rebuilt by Rocky Mountain Coasters and will feature an underground section that will go into a loop.

Needless to say, the rumors of this ride were entertaining. Over the years, as you can imagine there were numerous occasions of rumors being posted on Kings Island Central. I grew really tired of hearing about what may or may not happen to it. After my last experience riding the coaster, I couldn’t have cared less what would happen to it. I had caught wind of the destruction from a few people around the middle of the 2012 season and waited to see it take place. Seeing the coaster I almost became sad that it’s life was over. I remember looking at the coaster as I would walk back into Action Zone from Flight Deck and looking at the support structure and thinking man, that doesn’t really look safe!

As I started seeing pictures pop up from numerous friends on Facebook and from Kings Island, I was sort of excited. I was excited to see a change of skyline at the park. I was excited to see what the future is going to hold. I was also excited that this era of semi-okay and not-okay rides was over. There is still a part of me that is reminiscent of the past of this coaster.

This coaster was a spectacle for sure, but it’s now over and I am looking forward to the future of Kings Island especially at the plot of land.

Here are some pictures of the construction and destruction of the coaster! Click to enlarge.