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Ride The Beast SOON!


DBru
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I just got back home after a 3+ hour long drive from Kings Island. Five of my friends and I decided to head up for opening day and we had an awesome time despite the far-less-than-awesome weather.

With the exception of WindSeeker, which didn't run at all (or look like it would be ready to open next weekend---but what do I know), just like it hasn't run the past three visits I've had since last June, everything was running extremely well. HOWEVER, the shocker of the day was definitely The Beast.

I hesitate to use the term "butter" because I feel like it might cause me to lose credibility, but I'm going to use it anyway. On April 28th, The Beast, throughout the entire ride, tracked "butter smooth-ly." It felt like a completely different coaster than what I rode last year, or any year before, and every one of my non-enthusiast friends agreed. There was new track everywhere, most notably the turn after the second drop/before the brake shed, the approach to the second tunnel, and the scattered throughout the section leading to the second lift.

We were able to get one daylight and two nighttime rides in--the second because I lied to a ride-op that another had previously told me we could have a reride, which I sincerely apologize for--and while the latter rides were obviously beyond mind-blowing, the former was incredible as well. We were all extremely impressed and I just hope that the coaster continues to run in this condition. However, I'm not extremely confident this will be the case, so please, I beg you, get out to Kings Island and experience the early-2012 Beast SOON! I hope I'm not overhyping it, but I'm not sure that's possible at the moment. You will not be disappointed!

Thank you Kings Island for an amazing visit. We had a great experience on our first Opening Day and you can count on seeing us again soon! (But please get the big swing ride working. ;) )

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Rode The Beast today and I totally applaud the offseason track work done for The Beast. It was amazingly smooth (especially compared to last year). The right turn headed into the brake shed had NO Bouncing! It seems they worked on the the turn right before the second lift hill as well as the final double helix. I agree completely with DBru. The Beast tracks extremely well right now and is a must ride before the track wears down again. Kudos again to the people who worked during the offseason on the track. They did an awesome job!

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I agree with all the above; I only rode it once yesterday, but it wasn't nearly as rough as I remember it being. Its not Diamondback smooth, but for The Beast and for a wooden roller coaster that old, it was a great ride. Sometimes its hard to gauge one season to the next, especially when ride comfort can vary by seat, train, weather, etc, but I did notice a lot of new wood along the track.

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I was 8 years old when The Beast opened in 1979 and started my obsession with roller coasters, but as I got older my body began to hate The Beast, even though I continued to ride it. I rode it yesterday for the 1st time this year and I have to say that it was the 1st time in several years that I didn't walk off wishing there was chiropractic services in the park. The Beast was definitely smoother, and seemed to run faster, it definitely brought back alot of happy childhood memories.

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Rode it this morning. The turn right before the brake shed was re-tracked, you can tell by the lighter color of wood. This part was extremely rough last year, and now it's smooth as silk. When you're on the second lift, look down to your right, you can see a fresh stack of wood that seems to be left over.

The turn before the second lift was done last offseason. Two offseasons spent re-tracking The Beast has really paid off.

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Thanks for posting this, DBru! You are so right! It looked like there were a few places where they had replaced the wood...very recently (you could still smell the new wood!). Wow, I think it was the smoothest ever. Normally I get all bounced around and bruised up on that right to the point where it isn't even worth riding it. But this was a completely different experience!

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On opening day when i rode (First train of the year!!!) I was very surprised to see so much new wood but as soon as i didn't get beat to death in certain spots I was very glad it was there. (I hope that The Beast stays smoother like it is now.)

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I have had trouble riding Beast for the last few years because it had gotten so shaky and seemed to have lost its punch.

On Friday I reluctantly decided to ride Beast because my friends were riding. It screams through all the turns and flies over all the hills like a bat out of Hades. The helix.. OH MY GOD. I returned to the station out of breath with a grin on my face, ready to ride again. It is definitely back to its former glory.

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I rode The Beast in the 2nd row of the first car on Sunday. I was absolutely ecstatic about how smooth it was riding...night and day difference from last year. I was never in any discomfort, and I fell in love with this ride all over again.

I was overly confident in how smooth and fast my first ride was, and I curiously rode it in the 3rd seat of the first car (a dreaded wheel seat). This was a big mistake for me that I paid for. The ride still rode much smoother than last year, but I was really getting thrown into the seat divider on the turns. Then, on the final helix, I was strongly bracing myself to the left to avoid hitting that seat divider on the right. I didn't win against that force, and I slammed the middle seat divider so hard that I instantly had lasting pain. I must have bruised or pulled a muscle in my chest, as I have lasting pain in my chest when I breathe in. This dampened the rest of the day, as I had lots of pain in my chest when there were any strong forces. This was the first lasting injury I've ever had from a roller coaster.

So, you'd think I'd not dare ride The Beast again on Sunday after this, but I gave it one more shot considering how smooth my first ride was. I rode in the last car, 2nd row (the middle seat), and it was again, as smooth as can be with no discomfort. Moral of the story...it doesn't appear to matter where you are on the train, but just make sure to grab that middle seat of the car. There's no doubt that The Beast is riding night and day smoother than last year though.

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I'm glad to hear it is running better than it has in a long time. Honestly, I have been losing more and more interest in the ride over the last few years... the ridiculous shuffling and roughness being the main reason. I'm by no means one who would take a forceless glass smooth ride, but The Beast had gotten really bad.

Next up, here's to hoping they remove the airtime-killing trim on at least the second drop. Two trims on the first two drops has just plain neutered the ride compared to even ten years ago. There needs to be a balance between trimming to maintain safety and structure and laying off the trims to maintain some of the speed and airtime.

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I'm glad to hear it is running better than it has in a long time. Honestly, I have been losing more and more interest in the ride over the last few years... the ridiculous shuffling and roughness being the main reason. I'm by no means one who would take a forceless glass smooth ride, but The Beast had gotten really bad.

Next up, here's to hoping they remove the airtime-killing trim on at least the second drop. Two trims on the first two drops has just plain neutered the ride compared to even ten years ago. There needs to be a balance between trimming to maintain safety and structure and laying off the trims to maintain some of the speed and airtime.

I would imagine that the trims were put in place because of the roughness of the ride. Now that they have smoothed the ride so dramatically, hopefully they can remove at least the second trim, if not both.

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There are videos and threads that you can search for that will show trims on the first drop and second hill of Beast since the ride opened. What's changed most recently is the style - moving from skid trim (which is less forceful over the short run but typically longer) to magnetic trim which can feel like sudden deceleration at times. These changes are advertised as not having made a difference in speed on The Beast - although there are those who might disagree with that assertion.

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I'm glad to hear it is running better than it has in a long time. Honestly, I have been losing more and more interest in the ride over the last few years... the ridiculous shuffling and roughness being the main reason. I'm by no means one who would take a forceless glass smooth ride, but The Beast had gotten really bad.

Next up, here's to hoping they remove the airtime-killing trim on at least the second drop. Two trims on the first two drops has just plain neutered the ride compared to even ten years ago. There needs to be a balance between trimming to maintain safety and structure and laying off the trims to maintain some of the speed and airtime.

I would imagine that the trims were put in place because of the roughness of the ride. Now that they have smoothed the ride so dramatically, hopefully they can remove at least the second trim, if not both.

That was my thought too. But obviously I am by no means an engineer. Usually it is to help maintain the structure or for safety reasons. Since The Beast operated for decades without them, I'd imagine it's more to help make the structure last since it's aging. I can't imagine the trim on the second drop is hugely beneficial in that sense and it really kills the major section of air on that ride. I really miss the air time on that hill.

I would agree that the speed on the second half of the ride is the same, since it likely slowed to the same speeds... but there is no way the first half of the ride is the same speed, with a heavy trim on the first and second hill, which weren't previously there (I'm certain of the second hill, not so much the first).

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To re-enforce what terpy has said, here is a picture of the first drop from Beast's very early days I found (it was somewhere here on KIC):

page_16.jpg

And here is a video of the ride testing in 1979...

The wooden "beams" you see on the ride are actually what's known as "skid" brakes. They are an older style braking system, that slowed the train down gradually instead of suddenly, un-like the newer model "fin" brakes. However, the problem with the skid brakes was they wouldn't work nearly as well when it rained (thus making wet rides on Beast, I assume, very fast!). In October 2001, The Beast was closing down due to rain when a train coming into the station failed to stop completely, and it bumped an unloading train at 5mph. There were no serious injuries, however, for the 2002 season Kings Island removed the original skid brakes and installed brand-new fin brakes for safety purposes. The ride was, according to an old trip report I read, not even ready when the park opened in 2002 and opened a few weeks late. Also, according to our own Terpy, I have heard that when the brake change was first made, the trim before the final helix was missing for a few weeks.

And that's the story behind The Beast and it's trim brakes. Hope that cleared some stuff up for those who didn't know.

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The Beast did not operate for decades without them. As mentioned, only the type of braking has changed.

And, oh how I miss the old night rides in the rain in the last 80's. I just wish that they could figure out a way, given the current system, to ease up on the trim braking. Just so sudden.

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Oh, did anyone else notice that the lift music and automated announcements are gone on Beast?

Part of me enjoyed just hearing the lift, and the other part of me missed them. I'm assuming that was from the Paramount era?

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