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The Beast needs to be updated


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Welcome to KIC.   The Beast has character all its own.  It does have its mean spots, but like adding sugar to a fine vintage, drastic changes to the overall ride would render it soulless - at least

Without the trims, the forces are unacceptable--on the ride and the riders. Thus why they have been there from day one. And how would you market the changes? The public doesn't see it as broken,

Speaking of Son of Beast, a certain change was "added" to it making the thing that made it unique, it's loop, gone. Even no loop on it, it was still special for it's height but even that and new train

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I mean something will happen to it; it's inevitable. It will either have a massive renovation or it will be removed. 

 

I don't remember the exact figure but over 90% of the ride is the original wood. I'll see if its on KI site when I have time but probably won't be for a few days. And there are far older things out there still kicking. (Trying not to look at Terp...)

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I mean something will happen to it; it's inevitable. It will either have a massive renovation or it will be removed. 

 

I don't remember the exact figure but over 90% of the ride is the original wood. I'll see if its on KI site when I have time but probably won't be for a few days. And there are far older things out there still kicking. (Trying not to look at Terp...)

 

 

I agree with both of those statements, honestly.

 

Eventually, something will happen to the ride. Maybe it becomes a maintenance nightmare (doubtful after all these years) or its popularity declines to a point where the business decision based on its value to the park needs to be made. 

 

Why would its value diminish? Every new coaster in the park, especially wooden, competes for ridership with The Beast. The only way to not have this happen is to install subpar rides. Why would a park spend the money on a new coaster and intentionally not make it the best it could possibly be?

 

I love the ride as it is, I just think a few changes to it could make it better. I'm not saying the changes I mentioned need to happen, really, or that I want them to happen just for the sake of happening, but if the ride eventually does need some sort of renovation (like a retrack), why not add a little more thrill?

 

Disagreeing is fine, it would be a boring world if we all thought the same things.

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The Beast is a great ride, don't get me wrong. I've loved the ride since my childhood, but after being able to go on other great woodies and terrain coasters, I realized how bad The Beast needs some updating. It is much rougher than Gwazu was, it's trimmed to death and there are a couple of brutal turns. The helix I don't believe should be modified at all, except maybe making the entry less jerky. The PTC trains are terrible as well. I would love to see really long millennium fliers on it or something. Maybe even add an airtime hill or double down, such as The Legend fro this past year.I would absolutely love to ride a version of The Beast with no trims, some airtime, millennium fliers, and possibly given the Ghost Rider treatment with GCI stripping the track and redoing it.

Rough?? I rode it at Costerstock this year. Smooth as glass on the back half. I think this is the smoothest it's ever been, well except when it was new. The Beast is still a good coaster, but I think many are being spoiled by all these RMC conversions. Wood coasters are not know to be smooth. Lol also, The Beast is not going anywhere. At least in the next 20 or 30 years, maybe longer.

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I have no complaints about The Beast. I've been riding it for almost 10 years now and it's just as enjoyable as it was the first time I rode it.

For the smoothest possible ride, sit in the middle row of the car. You aren't above any wheels.

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Honestly, any middle row seat on The Beast is far smoother than a brown train, row 16, end-of-season ride on Diamondback in my opinion. It really is one of the smoothest woodies around.

 

To my knowledge, the last year in which The Beast was rough was 2008, with work being done prior to the 2009 season. 

 

I also believe that the degree of braking on The Beast has actually been the same since Opening Day 1979; only the method of braking has changed.

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I love The Beast, always have since I was a kid. And I understand that it is a huge part of KI's history and coaster history in general. But I see that a few other members are ok with new trains, as I would be ok with them too! So I have to ask, if new trains are ok, rather original PTC's, non hacked, or Millenium Flyers, what makes some so against a small reprofile job like the GhostRider retrack?

Now please wait, don't get out the torches yet lol!

I'm not saying change as much as GhostRider did. Just more banking in some of the turns in the section after the brake shed leading into the 2nd lift hill, to allow less braking in said shed, and maybe reprofile the "airtime" hill after you pull out of the first drop to give a little pop of air. Again just my opinion, I love The Beast and always will, I have bought more KI gold passes that CP season passes in the last 10 years and that won't change regardless if Beast changes or just gets it's normal off season TLC.

Just a thought and wondered how other KICers felt about it?

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Ok so why can't they speed up the second one which in turn should enable them to speed up the first one.

The brake shed is no longer able to completely stop a train. So the only places a train can be held are both lift and the station. Remember The Beast was designed to run with 4 trains.

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I posted this elsewhere. Let's see what you guys think of it:

 

While The Beast is one of my favorites rides, I can understand why people wouldn't care for it. Its layout is very unorthodox, with an extended section that stays low to the ground and avoids actual hills in favor of turns and a gradual decline into ravines. It does have traditional elements to an extent, mainly being the first few hills until the long brake shed, and of course and final banked drop into the helix.

 
While I've agreed with people for a long time that the ride is fine as it is, I've traveled to many other parks in recent years that have changed my opinions. Here's my fantasy of list of changes (because why not) that I feel would improve the ride while not changing its spirit:
 
  • Either modify the trains or replace them with something newer. PTC trains haven't been made with headrests since the early 2000s. Ideally I'd like to see them restored back to buzz bars, although keep the seat dividers as the ride does have some laterals. Phoenix's trains come to mind as ideal. However, this is at a chain park, and almost none of the wooden coasters at Cedar Fair parks have buzz parks anymore (High Roller at Valleyfair! received new trains this year). The headrests annoy me the most, however, as they blocks views of the scenery and the track ahead of you.
  • Maybe steepen the drop a little and keep the transitions into and out of it tight so you get a good kick of airtime like first drop on the Raven at Holiday World (which is ironically based off of The Beast).
  • Make the fake stone above the first tunnel flush with the ground (nitpick).
  • Get GCI or whoever to redo the turn after the first tunnel properly.
  • Shorten the long brake shed substantially by adding a third drop to ground level that rises up into the shortened brake shed. Maybe even make the brake shed a true MCBR again, which would allow a train to crest the first lift before the previous train crests the second.
  • Ditch all the trims except for maybe a small one in the brake shed, as I feel without any trims at all the portion leading up to the 2nd lift hill might be too fast. The 2nd drop (The 60 ft one or so into the ravine after the first tunnel) should have excellent airtime now. The low to the ground sections should have much stronger laterals now for those who say it's boring.
  • For the portion before the 2nd lift, narrow the access road and plant trees/shrubbery. Remove the fences here to increase the sensation of speed and the "lost in the woods feeling."
  • Keep the helix the same, besides removing the trim going into it.
  • Have GCI rebuild it Ghostrider style and get rid of the weird bouncing feeling in the back seats.
  • Redo the station brakes so the train stops only once in it's final position. Why do the brakes stop the train halfway in the station? This pointlessly decreases capacity and could be redone with some simple programming.
Of course, the ride doesn't really need this. Based on the line length and most people's opinions, it's fine as it is. I just feel the idea behind the ride isn't fully realized, as the trims remove many of the would-be forces on the traditional portions of the ride, and the whole safety-focused philosophy of chains these days has resulted in the trains and the new fences...
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There would be a change in the flow. People will load and unload at the same pace they do presently.

Having the trains speed up (or not slow down due to the brakes being changed or eliminated) will get you back to the station faster.

Most of the time with how it operates today, train #1 has to wait for train #3 to dispatch because people do not necessarily hurry into their seats, get buckled in etc. for many reasons (some legit, people with disabilities, some just don't care about someone else's best day ever). Therefore, you'd have stacking a good portion of the day, everyday.

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Speaking of Son of Beast, a certain change was "added" to it making the thing that made it unique, it's loop, gone. Even no loop on it, it was still special for it's height but even that and new trains couldn't save the Son. I remember in like 2008 on my first visit back since the loop was removed, I was like where did it go? My point is that The Beast's layout is special, it always makes me feel like 1979, and always feels like a new experience every time I ride it. When riding it a few weeks ago, last ride of the night, at 10:00, in the pitch black darkness, with a 2 hour wait, I thought of how special and fun it is, and even a friend I took, who had never ridden it before said it was the best thing he'd ever done. When the Son of Beast lost it's loop, it lost it's trademark. In my opinion, besides new trains which wouldn't bother me, The Beast should be left how it is not only for me and it's fans, but for future generations of people who will enjoy it's wooden terrain and dark and fast atmosphere. The only change that I wouldn't mind is new trains, beacuse that doesn't change the ride itself, just the things you ride it in.

 

The Beast is a great experience, I was talking to a guy in line who hadn't ridden it in 15 years in pitch black darkness, and he said it was his best ride ever. The Beast is an experience that my parents, me and my family, and millions of others have enjoyed since 1979 and I look forward to many more rides in the future. In my personal opinion I'd leave it how it is, but even if it changed I'd still love it, kind of like the "Special Editions" of Star Wars for those of you who know what I'm talkin' about. I still love those versions, but I prefer the original theatrical version of the Star Wars Trilogy, but now I'm going of track so I'll get off my soap-box now, I hope The Beast stays the same, but even if it changes I'll still love it as I always have since my first ride on it, it never gets old! MaestroJr

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I guess I'm still a part of the minority that doesn't even like The Beast that much. On my list of favorite roller coasters at KI alone, I rank it #4.

So to me, it doesn't need "updating". If it became any smoother it would be even more boring.

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Last time I was at a KI Q&A session they talked about making The Beast better. They talked about moving the track out as far as they could in the helix to make it smoother. They would have liked to go bigger but they don't have the budget to do so. They talked of a different type of wood they used to replace the tracks with as well. There was talk of different types of wheels they was testing but that was long ago. Some of the experiments was done on the son and we seen now how that went.

 

The brakes was upgraded in a year after the trains bumped into each other in the station in the rain. That same year Kennywood had about the same kind of accident and upgraded all their wood coaster brakes. I recall that the lifts ran full speed before the new brakes. It either takes longer to get the first train over the second lift or the second train is getting out of the station faster. They may be putting the trains where it's the safest as it would be best not to have a loaded train or two in the station when one is coming into it.

 

I haven't been there for many years so I don't know how they are running it now.

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^ On the subject of the different type of wood: Back in 2009, Beast's helix was retracked. I can't find the exact source, but I swear I read on Kings Island's old Blogspot blog that Ipe wood was used. I remember being surprised at learning that it is so dense that it doesn't float in water. Maybe I'm confusing my sources, because Gordon Bombay posted something in a thread from early 2009 that has a lot of the information I remember. Link.
 

I just want to point out something in that photograph - Diamondback should not be the only roller coaster at Kings Island that you look forward to riding. That is some very extensive work going on, on The Beast there. That wood they're adding to the re-tracked section of the helix there is called Ipe wood. It comes from Brazilian trees and is commonly also used to make patio's and decks. The wood is so tough that you can't hammer in nails by hand, you have to pre drill the holes then hammer in the nails, thats how tough that wood is. Not to mention, KI's Wood Coaster team is top notch in the industry and I'm sure they're doing a great job on this project. I wouldn't be surprised if The Beast gave some of it's best rides in years this coming season. I had the opportunity to meet some of those guys and work with them on a photojournalism project with the help of Mr. Helbig and the park and as this photograph shows....they do a wonderful job on the wood coasters.


I also remember reading speculation that the banking of the helix was increased then. I don't think I ever heard if that ever officially happened.

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