Son of Beast

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Son of Beast
Son of Beast (Kings Island) 2004 02.jpg
Son of Beast in 2004. Note the presence of the vertical loop, which was removed in 2007.
roller coaster
USA.png
Kings Island
Location Kings Mills, Ohio, USA
Status Defunct
Operated April 28, 2000 to June 16, 2009
Cost $20,000,000
Replaced by Banshee
Statistics
Designer / calculations Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH, Roller Coaster Corporation of America
Type Wooden - Hyper - Terrain
Riders per train 24
Hourly capacity 1600
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height218 feet
Drop214 feet
Top speed78.4 mph
Length7032 feet
Inversions0 (previously 1)
Steepest drop55.7°
G-force4.5 g
[1]HELP
Son of Beast (Kings Island) 2009 01.jpg

Son of Beast was a wooden hyper terrain roller coaster located at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, USA. When opened in 2000, it was marketed as the sequel to The Beast. It was the tallest wooden roller coaster and the only wooden hyper roller coaster ever built. It was also the first modern wooden roller coaster with an inversion, a 118 foot tall vertical loop which itself was made out of steel. During its operation it was the only inverting wooden roller coaster. The next wooden roller coaster with an inversion was Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City, which opened in 2013.

Multiple incidents occurred on the roller coaster before it was ultimately closed in June 2009. After standing but not operating for three years, it was demolished along with Thunder Alley and Banshee was installed where both rides once stood.

History[edit | edit source]

Son of Beast was originally manufactured by the Roller Coaster Corporation of America, who had been open to the idea of building a wooden hypercoaster from as early as 1997. However, Kings Island fired them early on in the project and undertook the ride's construction themselves, making many design corrections in the process.

Son of Beast was officially announced on May 11, 1999.[1] It was announced as part of the second phase of the new Action Zone area at Kings Island, while the first phrase introduced Face Off and Drop Zone: Stunt Tower that same year. It was revealed that Son of Beast would break seven world records upon its opening in 2000, including world's tallest wooden coaster and world's only inverting wooden coaster.

In January 2000, strong winds damaged the still under construction roller coaster, causing a section to collapse. At the time, the park still hoped to open Son of Beast at the start of the season on April 14. However on April 1, the park revealed that construction had been slower than expected due to a colder winter and that the opening would be delayed.[2][3]

Son of Beast opened on April 28, 2000, but briefly operated for a single day. According to the park, adjustments needed to be made to a 15 foot long section of track at the top of the second hill which was "a little rougher than we would have liked".[4] It reopened on May 26.[5] Son of Beast suffered several periods of downtime during the opening season. On June 24, 2000, the ride was closed for three hours due to issues with the computer sensors.[6]

Kings Island filed a lawsuit in November 2000 against three companies involved in the design and manufacture of the roller coaster, claiming defects in the design and construction led to negative publicity as the roller coaster was closed for repairs.[7] Halfway through construction, Paramount Parks fired the ride's manufacturer. This led to multiple flaws in the structure. Besides having a dull layout with massive helices, Son of Beast was widely criticized for being a very rough ride. The only smooth part of the coaster was the vertical loop, where riders briefly escaped the painful sections.[8]

On July 9, 2006, a cracked wooden beam caused one of the trains to stop, injuring 27 riders. Following investigations, it was found that a support beam had collapsed causing a dip in the track which jolted the train. It was found that the structure was not designed to bear the weight of the track and trains. Son of Beast was closed for the rest of the year due to the accident. The park announced in December that Son of Beast would reopen in 2007. It would receive new lighter Gerstlauer trains from Myrtle Beach Pavilion's old Hurricane coaster. However, the new lighter trains were not able to complete the loop and finish the rest of the track layout, so the loop got removed from Son of Beast. A straight piece of track was built in its place.[9][10] Son of Beast reopened with new trains and an inversion-free layout on July 4, 2007. The coaster would go on to operate for two more years. However, some sections of the layout were still rough.

The entrance in August 2009, shortly after Son of Beast was closed for the final time.

Following reports of a woman critically injuring their head while riding Son of Beast due to the rough ride on June 16, 2009, the ride was closed down.[11] Despite findings revealed on July 29, 2009 that showed nothing wrong with the ride, the ride remained closed in 2010 following a closure for the rest of 2009. Kings Island's general manager stated in early 2010 that nearly $30,000,000 had been spent to date on Son of Beast. The ride then remained closed during 2011 and 2012 with no clear fate. On July 27, 2012 Kings Island announced that the ride would be demolished to make way for future developments.[12] Demolition of the coaster would begin in September and by 2013, it was all gone. The ride's replacement, a B&M invert named Banshee, opened on April 18, 2014.

There is a tribute to the ride in the queue for Banshee, it is an eternal flame and a gravestone with a marketing piece for the ride with 2000-2009 underneath it. The station is still used as a haunted house called Wolf Pack during Kings Island's Halloween event.[13]

Design[edit | edit source]

The ride was referred to as a wooden hyper coaster, which the ride's manufacturer, the Roller Coaster Corporation of America, had previously discussed the addition of to Kings Island. The ride was the second longest wooden coaster in the world after its "father" The Beast. It was also the world's tallest wooden roller coaster and (at the time) the world's only inverting wooden roller coaster. Despite the fact that other wooden roller coasters with inversions have been built by manufacturers such as Rocky Mountain Construction and The Gravity Group, LLC in recent years, none of them have thus far featured a vertical loop, meaning that Son of Beast is the only wooden roller coaster in recent times to have featured a vertical loop. The Son of Beast had three big drops, including a 214 foot drop after the lift hill. It had a terrain layout, like the Beast.

Ride experience[edit | edit source]

After rolling out of the station, the train makes a left turn and drops 51 feet. Following a left turn, riders head up the 218 foot tall chain lift hill. At the top, riders turn right and drop 214 feet at a 56 degree angle, reaching a max speed of 78 mph. The train moves through a hill, which banks guests to the right. Riders dive 164 feet at a 43 degree angle and approach a massive spaghetti bowl helix. Once at the top, the train plunges 150 feet at 37 degrees. After that, riders hit the block brake, drop to the left and approach a 118 foot tall vertical loop. The vertical loop was replaced by a straight section of track in 2007 after a major accident in 2006. Riders go through a second double helix, followed by a small hill. The train then makes a right turn. Then, riders hit the final brake run. A left turn leads back into the station.

Elements

Trains[edit | edit source]

The Gerstlauer-built trains, used from 2007 to 2009

Original[edit | edit source]

2 trains with 6 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows for a total of 36 riders per train. The original trains were built by Premier Rides.[1] After the 2005 season, one car from each train was removed which reduced the number of riders per train to thirty.

Final[edit | edit source]

2 trains with 6 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.

After the 2006 incident, the Premier trains were replaced with lighter Gerstlauer trains from the old Hurricane at Myrtle Beach Pavilion for the 2007 season.

Tease[edit | edit source]

Apparently, there was some teasing going on at HalloWeekends at Kings lsland. The teasing was of a casket with broken chains around and a tombstone behind it that said My beloved son. This was located in front of The Beast. It could have been a reference or tease towards the future.

Also, in early August 2018, pieces of lumber has been placed in front of the eternal flame monument in the ride queue of Banshee. Additionally, fliers were distributed at Cedar Point containing numerous references to the Son of Beast.

Photo Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kings Island to Build Worlds Tallest, Fastest, Looping Wooden Coaster - Ultimate Rollercoaster
  2. "Wind Gusts Cause Minor Damage To Son Of Beast". Ultimate Rollercoaster. https://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/news/archives/january00/stories/011400_03.shtml. 
  3. "Son of Beast could be late", Cincinnati Enquirer.
  4. "Coaster off-limits for third weekend". Cincinnati Enquirer. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/52905802/son-of-beast-closed-down-after-opening/. 
  5. "Defunctland: The History of Son of Beast". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8NMCyvaimY. 
  6. "Coaster shut down for three hours". https://www.newspapers.com/clip/58828897/coaster-shut-down-for-three-hours/. 
  7. Paramount's Kings Island Files Suit Over Roller Coaster - Ultimate Rollercoaster
  8. "10 Infamous Removed Roller Coasters". Theme Park Crazy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_wJwBsXAq8&t=1s. Retrieved October 25, 2019. 
  9. Kings Island Removing Loop From Son Of Beast - Ultimate Rollercoaster
  10. "10 Removed Roller Coaster Elements". Theme Park Crazy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8ZSCU0eoJU. 
  11. Niles, Robert. "Holiday World mishap sends dozens to hospital". Theme Park Insider. https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/200906/1258/. Retrieved 11 April 2020. 
  12. Son of Beast roller coaster to be removed to make room for future park expansion - Kings Island (Wayback archive)
  13. "10 Remnants of Removed Roller Coasters". Theme Park Crazy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkRrB1mjUN4. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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