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GigaLover

The love for Son of Beast

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I am just 20 years but I remember riding Son of Beast a few times. I never got to ride it when it had the loop I wish i could have.. IMO Kings Island has not been the same without it.. It’s PURE size was so intimidating! You could see it for miles walking up to that structure just put people in shock.. just the feel of walking to it in line and the smell of all that wood.. Kings Island never has got that intimidating factor back (A giga 2020 will fix that though).. Even though the ride itself really wasn’t all that impressive just the pure size and feel of it at the park just is something people miss.. from what I do remember it was very rough.. I probably rode it in it’s last year or so, still the roughest ride I’ve ever been on, but you still miss it... anyways just wanted to share my thoughts on SOB that many people agree with...

Kings Island needs that intimidating factor back! GIGA 

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I never got to ride it (closest I ever got was in 2009, we walked up to it and before we could get in line it broke down for the day and then closed forever shortly after), but Son of Beast was a very beautiful structure. I remember it looming over Action Zone on my visits from 2000-2012, even when it was SBNO, and watching it on my first ever trip to Kings Island in 2000 is one of the strongest memories I have of that day even though it was 18 years ago (I was too chicken to ride it, though).

In some ways, Steel Vengeance (my current #1 coaster BTW) reminds me a little bit of Son of Beast, since it does have a wooden structure and is also over 200 feet tall, even if the ride is a steel coaster. Like how Son of Beast loomed over Action Zone, Steel Vengeance looms over Frontier Town, and it is intimidating just like Son of Beast was. It even has a super loud lift hill to boot! Granted, Steel Vengeance also has very twisted track obviously visible in places, adding to the intimidation factor. Though I did just look over a few pics of both coasters, and I would say due to the "dip" in the track at the top of the lift, I would give just a slight edge to Son of Beast still in terms of looks. Plus SOB really only had Diamondback as competition for looking huge and scary at KI, SV has to run against Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, Valravn, and Magnum XL-200 which are also all huge, intimidating-looking coasters in their own right.

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I guess I'll go against the grain and say I didn't find it very pretty or aesthetically pleasing at all. Intimidating to look at? Holy heck---you bet. Ride experience? Scariest coaster I've ever been on, though I am not an enthusiast that travels park to park just for coasters. For me it was just the helix that was so scary. It felt so unsafe, and you had to really use your muscles to get through it. I've never been on anything else like it.

 

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I got to ride it through its entire life.  I rode it as early as the gold pass preview night in 2000 (which was later in the season due to the late track work editing they made so late in the process, something it would endure through its entire lifespan).  12 year old me was impressed by it.  However, every day it aged, it got worse.  It was a ride I would only do early in the day and maybe twice a visit.  For all that impressive size, it sure didn't deliver in the ride quality department.  The first drop, while impressive, had to have a drive tire at the top to actually get the trains over the drop, and with the extremely gradual drop curve, it had no weightlessness to speak of.  The 2nd hill had a nice lateral jar at the top, but that was it in terms of any sort of fun forces.  The giant helices were way to spread out to have any sort of positive G that was of note and even then, it had too much of a jackhammer effect to be any fun.  The only 2 seats I would ride were the front 2.  Even riding in non-wheel seats anywhere past the front 2 was awful.  The loop was probably the best part of the ride, the trains went into it with good speed (the MCBR didn't slow the train at all), it was butter smooth, and had some decent positive G's for being so tall (the loop was one of the biggest at the time, 118 ft, up there with the bigger B&M loops of the era like Mantis, Chang and Riddler's Revenge).  Since it was so helix centered and so spread out, it had absolutely no airtime.   I know y'all get on B&M's and Millennium Force for being force-less, but SOB made those interesting by comparison in terms of the ride experience.   I mean, how do you have both a wooden coaster and a hyper coaster with no airtime?

It got even worse after the 2007 renovation.  Gerstlauer trains were sure never made to do 80 mph.  They made it over hills to the point where I thought it would stall and the jackhammering got worse, not to mention they were extremely uncomfortable.  This also had no good seats.  

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I saw this thread and I just had to comment!

So, as some of you know, Son of Beast was my first looping coaster (and also my first hyper coaster, but 9-year old me was more concerned about the loop) and I remember the first time I rode*. My step-dad and I were headed towards Top Gun (my go-to ride at the time) and he kept trying to get me to ride Son of Beast. I finally got in line, rode and ended up loving it (it quickly became my favorite ride in the park). I remember enjoying the first drop out of the station and that long first drop (I think I said that the first drop was so long,you could scream twice). I also liked the loop as well as the section after the loop where you dipped and turned before heading into the brakes. Over the years, it did get rough and I remember one ride in particular hurting my sternum. Once the loop was taken out, the ride was meh and I was ok with the decision to tear it down as it had been SBNO for so long.

As for Steel Vengeance being a spiritual successor to Son of Beast, I absolutely agree! The fact that it is a hyper-hybrid like Son of Beast as well as the fact that Son of Beast was my first looping coaster solidified my decision to make Steel Vengeance my 100th coaster. Steel Vengeance is actually crazier that Sonny with its outer banked turns and "random airtime". And better yet, it gives an overall better ride experience (although Son of Beast was pretty awesome in its own right!). In a way, it's harder to compare the two as I now have much more access to theme parks as I'm an adult that can drive vs. being a kid/teen and riding Son of Beast only a handful of times. Regardless which is better, I can certainly say that I'm pretty sure Steel Vengeance will be around for a while and continually prompting disembarking guests to ask the question "Is this real life?".

*I also remember Sonny's crate scaring me everytime we walked by.

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So basically your step-dad tried to kill you at age 9. Kidding! I'm glad folks have such fond memories of it. I do too---I rode it, and lived another day. Rode it some more, against my body's best advice. Some didn't even get that chance. I'll forever feel it had to go, though. And should not come back. Just one of those things.

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Son of Beast always seemed like it was just so short of being great. 

The park planned it...
...and the only manufacturer they could get was RCCA.

The park wanted a loop...
...and the only interested train manufacturer was Premier Rides.

The thing opened...
...and frankly, it was awful. 

In 2006, they removed a car on each train and rumors swirled that it was going to get better. I remember someone here claiming that it was going to be "a wooden B&M."
...and frankly, it was still awful. 

After the incident, they removed the loop and announced "new trains." They turned out to be used, repurposed, "crappy even if they were new." Gerstauler trains.
...and frankly, it was still awful. 

Then all of these RMC wooden coaster revamps debuted with things like Topper Track and steel conversions.
...and SOB was already gone.

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SoB was always better in theory than in practice. Looked awesome, held records, and at times was an enjoyable ride (if your feet were anchored to the corners of the car). Just a shame how it all panned out. Steel Vengeance has much of the same aura while the ride experience couldn't be more different. No way you could go hands up for an entire ride on SoB. 

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For me, The Beast is like the original Jaws. It's an unforgettable, wild adventure you want to relive and relive. Son of Beast was like Jaws 2, an okay experience that lived on the memories of the original, offered some thrills that satisfied a number of fans, but unfortunately was more of a shaky trip than a thrilling adventure. 

It could have been better. A lot better. 

 

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does anyone know what became of the old SOB crate,as for my opinion on SoB, I never got the chance to ride it,but i do remember the size of that thing up close while it was still SBNO,if they decided to keep it there a few more years maybe they would've considered making a RMC remake,but I am glad it was removed for Banshee.

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4 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:

Son of Beast always seemed like it was just so short of being great. 

The park planned it...
...and the only manufacturer they could get was RCCA.

The park wanted a loop...
...and the only interested train manufacturer was Premier Rides.

The thing opened...
...and frankly, it was awful. 

In 2006, they removed a car on each train and rumors swirled that it was going to get better. I remember someone here claiming that it was going to be "a wooden B&M."
...and frankly, it was still awful. 

After the incident, they removed the loop and announced "new trains." They turned out to be used, repurposed, "crappy even if they were new." Gerstauler trains.
...and frankly, it was still awful. 

Then all of these RMC wooden coaster revamps debuted with things like Topper Track and steel conversions.
...and SOB was already gone.

My understanding is that the Premier trains were either bundled with, or a peace offering from Premier due to the park getting the new FOF trains. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but they did come at the same time.

Also, RMC had a lot of those products in 2008. I really just think that either they wouldn’t touch SOB (I know a lot of people in the industry and if you would mention it they’d preface any suggestion with, “now, I wouldn’t go anywhere near that thing, but...”) or the party determined that either the reputation was so bad that any conversion would just be seen as “another attempt” or the ride wouldn’t be very receptive at all.

I must admit that there are times when I’d kill to have one more ride on Phantom Theater, King Cobra, Flight Commander, and many others... I’ve never had that feeling for Son of Beast.

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1 hour ago, BoddaH1994 said:

I must admit that there are times when I’d kill to have one more ride on Phantom Theater, King Cobra, Flight Commander, and many others... I’ve never had that feeling for Son of Beast.

This. There are rides in which I'd love to see make comebacks, Son of Beast isn't one of them. I much prefer the ride that's there now. 

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I remember the year it was announced and seeing the very awesome detailed model of it that they displayed near the park entrance. I was so hyped for it. I live near Dayton but my friend and I would make trips out to the closed park in the off season just to sit in our cars and look at it in different stages of it being built. It was definitely a beautiful structure and was a sight driving up to the park.

When it opened I made 3 different trips to the park in the mornings to ride and it seemed to be down whenever I got there. I would only have an hour or so to wait so I'd have to leave without riding. 

It wasn't until the 4th trip that I finally got to ride and I knew something wasn't right. It just was too shaky for a brand new coaster. I thought maybe I had a bad seat, but each ride it just felt like a jack hammer through the helix's. The smoothest and most enjoyable part was the loop.

It eventually got to the point where I'd ride it once a season just to do it, but would have no desire to go back. It's a shame that they couldn't make it work, but I'm with some of the other above; I have no interest for it to return.

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For me, The Beast is like the original Jaws. It's an unforgettable, wild adventure you want to relive and relive. Son of Beast was like Jaws 2, an okay experience that lived on the memories of the original, offered some thrills that satisfied a number of fans, but unfortunately was more of a shaky trip than a thrilling adventure. 
It could have been better. A lot better. 
 

SOB was more like Jaws 3D


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Oh, the memories of the fallen son. I was just a young lad of 19 when the Son was announced.  With great anticipation my friends and I waited for the summer of 2000 to ride the Son of Beast. We figured we would pay homage to the father, and ride it first.  After a magnificent ride on The Beast we turned our attention to the Son of Beast. We walked to the massive structure very excited about experiencing the much hyped ride.  We waited for an hour or so to ride the Son. Once we entered the turnstiles butterflies, and intimidation entered my system. Never had I rode a ride so big and assuming intense.  The train exited the station heading towards the most massive lift hill I had ever seen. What seemed like an eternity we reached the top. Next was the most breath taking drop I had ever experienced, we roared about the first drop towards the massive helixes. I remember thinking wow this is intense, but something is wrong, why do I feel like a pair of shoes in a dryer? As we approached the loop the ride appeared to get smoother. We entered the loop which was cool because we had been told it was the only looping wooden coaster in the world. After the ride, I remember we all complained about how rough it felt, but we liked the speed. I rode it 5-6 more times before it was closed, but it never entered my must rides. I only rode it if the line was really short, or a friend had not rode it yet. All in all I'm glad I experienced, glad it's gone, and glad the Banshee replaced it.

 

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1 hour ago, Bansheelover said:

 All in all I'm glad I experienced, glad it's gone, and glad the Banshee replaced it.

Do note that Banshee was not a replacement for SOB. If SOB was still operating today, Banshee would be standing somewhere else in the park. Now, would we have gotten MT? 

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