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Son of Beast

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I was there when Son of Beast was brand new and there when it was being torn down. I had a special relationship with it from being to scared to ride it but also disappointing that I didnt. I always got as close as I cared to get to Son of Beast on Top Gun and Adventure Express as a kid. It to me was very fun to look at from below and growing up with it right there in front of me as a kid but it also scaring the hell out of me with its screaming riders and rumors. I remember it climbing its lift hill while I climbed on Adventure Express and looking up at Son of Beast and thinking no, never will I ride that wooden monster! I never did but I will cherish my memories with it and I even in 2012 made a special visit to pay visit to the Son one last time during Haunt. It actually was very sad as I grew up with it and remember when it was brand new and now in a flash a part of my Kings Island childhood was gone. I do have one of its structural bolts that got released shortly after its removal in 2012 and I also have stood on the track that remains two years ago during Haunt. Banshee is a great replacement, but I always will remember and cherish my childhood with Son of Beast! MaestroJr

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Yep. Rode it in all forms. The one year I never rode it was the year it had the major accident (2006). Also the same year that the old Premier trains were shortened to 5 cars for the short time it was open that season.

 

Was only 10 or 11 when I rode it for the first time, and I freaking loved that first ride. It seemed so impossibly large to me at the time, and I was just so overwhelmed by the intensity and aggressiveness of the ride back then, and my naive little self couldn't get enough. Then I got older, and the ride got rougher and rougher, and I started to understand what makes a good roller coaster, and suddenly it became my worst coaster I had ever ridden. That first helix had gotten especially bad. The shaking was so violent I felt like I legitimately took a hammer to my head after riding it. Still, strangely, there was something about the build-up to that loop that made the ride worth it somehow. I can remember when the train hit the midcourse brakes, there was a buzz of excitement across the train. "Oh here comes the loop!!" Someone would say. It was THE focal point of the layout, and everyone knew it, so that made that loop one of the best loops on any coaster, despite the fact that the coaster it belonged to was one of the worst ever built. It helped the ride feel oddly satisfying by the end, and that made me grow fond of the ride. Despite the horrible experience, I would always appreciate its towering presence over Action Zone, and honestly thought it would be there for years to come, until the incident happened.

 

When the loop was taken out, that REALLY emphasized how bad the rest of the ride was. It felt like a blockbuster movie without a climax. Giant and eye-catching, yet incredibly dull all at once. Although personally, I felt like the ride got smoother with the Gerstlauer trains, but only slightly. It also felt much slower since the new trains were so much lighter and had less momentum through the course. When the ride reopened, my appreciation for the ride went way WAY down, and soon I just wanted it gone. Thankfully that was right around the time that it closed for good, and Diamondback was introduced, a proper 200+ foot coaster for the park that had something Son of Beast had absolutely none of: AIRTIME, and plenty of it.

 

I'm glad I got to experience it, with and without the loop. It was such an infamous piece of roller coaster history. A hard lesson on what NOT to do when building a coaster.

 

 

Banshee is better in every way imaginable. Tied with DB as my favorites in the park.

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Did I ride it? Yes both with the loop and without.

Did I like it? Not really, the best part of the original ride was the loop. Beyond that I kept trying the ride every once in a while and never found myself enjoying it.

Would I ride it again? Even with no line I rarely rode it when it was open. Maybe once a season, but I doubt I would even do that.

The ride was a complete disaster and the park is better off without it.

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The sad thing about Son of Beast not being at the park anymore is that all of the criticisms that GP and some enthusiasts alike gave it have sort of shifted those opinions towards Vortex. Yes it can be rough but people who don't know how to ride it and those who are so used to the new and smooth rides KI has added in recent years think that it's about the same as Son of Beast. I used to love Vortex and I don't think it's as rough as Son of Beast was, but it has now become a once or twice a season ride for me as well. That's not to say it's a bad ride by any means, it's a fantastic coaster, but it is starting to gain a larger reputation for being rougher and rougher every year. I went with several different friends and groups this past season and a lot of them didn't want to ride because it was rough and many even compared it to Son of Beast.

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The sad thing about Son of Beast not being at the park anymore is that all of the criticisms that GP and some enthusiasts alike gave it have sort of shifted those opinions towards Vortex. Yes it can be rough but people who don't know how to ride it and those who are so used to the new and smooth rides KI has added in recent years think that it's about the same as Son of Beast. I used to love Vortex and I don't think it's as rough as Son of Beast was, but it has now become a once or twice a season ride for me as well. That's not to say it's a bad ride by any means, it's a fantastic coaster, but it is starting to gain a larger reputation for being rougher and rougher every year. I went with several different friends and groups this past season and a lot of them didn't want to ride because it was rough and many even compared it to Son of Beast.

 

I can tell you that Vortex just kills me now.  The way that I fit in the cars, there is almost no way to keep my 6'6" frame from being punished.

 

The only thing that will fix the ride for me will be new cars and restraints. 

 

I see the ride going away before being retrofitted.

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The sad thing about Son of Beast not being at the park anymore is that all of the criticisms that GP and some enthusiasts alike gave it have sort of shifted those opinions towards Vortex. Yes it can be rough but people who don't know how to ride it and those who are so used to the new and smooth rides KI has added in recent years think that it's about the same as Son of Beast. I used to love Vortex and I don't think it's as rough as Son of Beast was, but it has now become a once or twice a season ride for me as well. That's not to say it's a bad ride by any means, it's a fantastic coaster, but it is starting to gain a larger reputation for being rougher and rougher every year. I went with several different friends and groups this past season and a lot of them didn't want to ride because it was rough and many even compared it to Son of Beast.

honestly, i'm starting to give in a bit, i last rode Vortex in July and it is becoming a bit rough, nothing unbearable but its something i'm still going to ride every few visits, i personally have never had a problem with the ride, if your going to ride Vortex once, Very back is the way to go, only ride in the park with ejector airtime! 

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The sad thing about Son of Beast not being at the park anymore is that all of the criticisms that GP and some enthusiasts alike gave it have sort of shifted those opinions towards Vortex. Yes it can be rough but people who don't know how to ride it and those who are so used to the new and smooth rides KI has added in recent years think that it's about the same as Son of Beast. I used to love Vortex and I don't think it's as rough as Son of Beast was, but it has now become a once or twice a season ride for me as well. That's not to say it's a bad ride by any means, it's a fantastic coaster, but it is starting to gain a larger reputation for being rougher and rougher every year. I went with several different friends and groups this past season and a lot of them didn't want to ride because it was rough and many even compared it to Son of Beast.

 

(emphasis added)

 

You should not have to "know how to ride" a ride in order for the ride to be enjoyable. A good ride is enjoyable no matter what. If you have to learn special riding techniques in order to enjoy a ride, then that is indicative of a fundamental problem with the ride.

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Exactly that!  Maverick, while a fun ride, was a turd with its original restraints.  Vortex is, and always will be, a turd because of having to have a "special way to ride it".  SOB fit that same bill.  If I CHOOSE to ride a ride in a certain seat or row because one gives different forces or feelings than the other, fine.  If I HAVE to ride a ride in 1-1 ONLY to not get the Hell beat out of me (SOB), then there is something wrong with the ride from the start.  See also, Rougarou.

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The bigger problem with having to know how to ride a coaster is the fact that the only people who might know are the enthusiasts.  The general public does not stand a chance.  The majority of park visitors are the general public.

 

Go to an enthusiast event, watch where people sit on a coaster.  At Coasterstock just watch The Beast and you will quickly notice the majority of people are sitting in the front row, back row, or a non-wheel seat.  But on smoother rides like Diamondback you will see people spread out and take every available seat just to get on the ride faster.  A similar effect occurs on Vortex with people riding in the "good" seats and ignoring the rough seats.

 

Maverick is one of the perfect examples of a coaster which went from crap to amazing just by replacing the restraints.  I used to maybe ride it once a year but now I try to ride as often as possible.  

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I rode it once when it didn't have the loop. I was like 8 tears old. I just remember the first drop being unbelievable, i held on for dear life. I hadn't been on many rides so I didn't know what a good drop actually was. I thought it was a little rough but not that bad. I do remember everybody around me groaning in pain though. I liked the ride but Banshee is way better. I really wish rmc could have built a complete recreation with some rmc features like airtime and wace turns. Easily could be a top 5 coaster in the US imo.

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^^ lol. On Mean Streaks last day Malem and I were doing some row shuffling with some people, they asked us if we wanted to move one row up (to a wheel row) so we could be right behind my two boys. Simultaneously we both said "NO!", they kind of looked at us funny. :)

Vortex beat my 11 year old up so much that he was miserable and still hadn't recovered after an hour. Ruined the rest of the day and we had to go home. A coaster that does that should be fixed or retired.

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Vortex used to be my favorite ride in the whole park, but when I rode it this summer I decided that would be my last ride on it.  No one even bothered asking the usual "welcome back riders, how was your ride?" because everyone was groaning in pain.

 

I never did get a chance to go on Son of Beast, but it never really interested me all that much.

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I guess I am in the minority, but I can enjoy Vortex now, and didn't enjoy it when it was newer.  Maybe that sinking is helping it? :wacko:

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I still quite enjoy Vortex now.  

 

You suffer from VES (Vortex Enjoyment Syndrome). There is no known cure for VES, but for some, it can be treated with Tylenol.

 

:P

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I ride Vortex just about everytime I visit the park, and I will say their is one point of the ride that I don't enjoy. Coming out of the second loop causes me to blur out, and I absolutely dislike the first corkscrew after the MCBR drop. I think new trains with new restraints would help, but I'm certain that is out of the parks interest.

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^ Being tall, my head stays above the OTSR, so I don't have to do anything special to avoid headbanging.

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I am curious about those who enjoy Vortex. Do you "know how to ride it" or do you enjoy it in any random seat?

I rode it for the first time last year since the early 90's, not knowing how to ride or where to ride.  I enjoyed it, but later learned that 5-1 or 7-1 give the best rides.  So those are my go-to seats now.  I also don't have to worry about headbanging, so that helps.

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I don't understand the 5-1 reccomendation personally.

My reccomendation isn't cued to a specific seat, but if you can get to the back car, you'll have less head banging (or none if you anticipate banks) and oh the airtime on the first drop makes it all worth it

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I have wondered if a new OTSR is the answer to headbanging on coasters. Something like the ones on standup coasters where the entire OTSR can move up and down not just pivot. If the entire restraint moved down onto the shoulders so that riders heads were above the restraint I would think it would be more comfortable for riders.

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I rode the loop version over 500 times. I am not tall but I had to cross my leg to ride it. The first drop was quite good but the second hill had some airtime with rather noticeable shake. The rose bowl helix felt like I was experiencing severe earthquake. The loop was the most peaceful part of the ride.

The biggest problem with the ride was the jackknifing. The train was too heavy for the structure. It was tolerable when you ride on the middle seat of the car. Too bad Intamin did not win the bid for Son of Beast.

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I never rode Son of Beast, as my coaster phobias weren't totally cured until 2009 and 2010 with the help of Diamondback and Vortex, respectively.

 

I did, however, ride Mean Streak (and I liked it) so I may have enjoyed SoB in the slightest had I faced a chance of riding it. Obviously at this point, I can only imagine what it would have been like. :P

 

As for Vortex, I've always found it helpful to relax and lean slightly forward so if you are caught off guard (a.k.a. your head goes to a side) your head won't hit the harness. I hope I can be of some help to you who are struggling (though I'm practically "immune" to headbanging from riding it so many times :P).

 

Back to Son of Beast: While I never rode it, I do remember the sight of it. In fact, SoB was the very first part of Kings Island I ever saw in person on my very first visit back on September 30, 2007. I clearly remember exclaiming "Hey, look! I see roller coaster supports!" to my mom as we were heading down Southbound Interstate 71 toward the park.

 

-BFF, who most sincerely thanks Rustbucket for bringing this discussion back on topic. :)

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Too bad Intamin did not win the bid for Son of Beast.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Intamin's pre-fab woodie technology came around as a direct result of Son of Beast's failure, and Heide Park's Colossos (which opened a year after SOB) was more or less an in-the-field test of the new track system to see if it was sound or not.

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I doubt it. SOB wasnt deemed a failure pre 2001 was it?

And even if it was considered failed BY 2000, I'd be surprised to see a new technology develop AND a new ride open with it within a year. Usually new rides take over a year to plan and open.

Also.. since when has Colossos been SBNO? And why? *been living under a rock!

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^I never said Colossos was SBNO. Never was. It's still operating (as far as I know LOL).

I should've re-worded what I said. I could've sworn I read some interview or article awhile back that said Werner Stengel had the idea for pre-fab track after observing the structural problems of SOB during construction.

 

EDIT: Weird, RCDB does say it's SBNO. I have no idea if that's actually true or not.

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I still wonder if others who bid on the job such as Intamin and CCI could have done better. I spoke to Premier engineer about the train and SOB coaster in general in 2008. She admitted that train was developed to withstand the force of rose bowl and loop but caused the train to be much heavier than regular wooden coasters during that time. It seemed that the structure may have been fine in the beginning but fatique caused repeated failure of the structure from lateral forces, particularly on rose bowl.

These were the exact findings from Failure Analysis that was done by SEA. This was the 2006 accident.

- The pattern of broken wood components in the area of the failure indicated that the structure had failed to restrain an outward lateral load, relative to the center of a double helix.

- The cause of the failure could be due to excessive stress imposed on the structure, or deficiency in the wood structural materials.

In other words, this coaster was not designed withstand the forces and stress on the rose bowl. I understand what PKI was trying to do but the technologies were not available to do what they wanted.

BTW, I did not know prefab was developed after SOB. Thanks.

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^I never said Colossos was SBNO. Never was. It's still operating (as far as I know LOL).

I should've re-worded what I said. I could've sworn I read some interview or article awhile back that said Werner Stengel had the idea for pre-fab track after observing the structural problems of SOB during construction.

 

EDIT: Weird, RCDB does say it's SBNO. I have no idea if that's actually true or not.

 

According to some random Youtube comment, it's under refurbishment right now; Don't necessarily care enough to look into it lol

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Here's what it says on Heide Park's website (link), as translated by Google: 
 

Due to unexpected repair work, our beloved Colossos logging line has been out of service since 28 July 2016. After intensive testing, it has become apparent that the exchange of rail parts is necessary.Since this is a very complex process, Colossos will unfortunately not be able to start operation this season. We regret this very much and are working hard to ensure that Colossos is ready for the 2017 season again.


So, there you have it. I think that's the first time I've ever heard of retracking an Intamin prefab woodie.

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