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BoddaH1994

Son Of Beast: Out of the Loop!

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From the desk of Maureen Kaiser:

Son of Beast Statement

12.13.06

The State of Ohio’s Department of Agriculture released today its final report detailing the outcome of the extensive Son of Beast inspection. The report reaffirms initial indications that the incident was an unforeseen single event failure.

We will now focus our energies on the appropriate and necessary changes needed to reopen the ride in 2007. In addition to reinforcing the physical structure of the ride, we plan to remove the loop. Taking this extra step enables us to use lighter trains, which will reduce the load and lead to a more comfortable ride experience.

We are making good progress on Son of Beast and are fully committed to reopening the ride in 2007.

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Well, there you go. I guess they decided to foot the bill for new trains (not a cheap decision either) and the loop was a necessary casualty in order to get the new trains. Hopefully, this will make the ride fun and enjoyable. Although, I will miss the loop. It will be interesting to see how they reprofile that area. I also wonder what type of new trains they will be getting. Only time will tell. I wonder if they have a projected date for reopening Sonny.

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It will be interesting to see if they add a tunnel or two to off set the lose of the loop. While the loop was a very unique element on SOB, I really didn't find it that thrilling. I would much prefer a good air hill in place of the loop with a couple of tunnels. I will say this, PKI is a very busy place this off season. SOB, X-Flight (or some large foot print attraction), some new shows and maybe a new restaurant or two. 2007 should be fun. I just hope they do a good job with theming.

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This is incredibly disappointing, to say the least. Again, why remove the one positive attribute of the entire ride? A comfortable Son of Beast is mediocre at best, and that would be with the loop.

I would LOVE to know why trains couldn't be designed that are light and loop-capable.

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I'm not shocked, rather VERY pleasantly surprised. I'll miss the loop as well, but if its removal helps with the overall riding experience, I'm completely and totally for it. If I can ride SOB and walk off and say, 'LET'S DO IT AGAIN!' it's a step in none other than the right direction.

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I guess they decided to foot the bill for new trains (not a cheap decision either) and the loop was a necessary casualty in order to get the new trains.

Not necesarrily, they could alter the current Premeir trains to make them lighter and save money. It has been done before. However, I would love new trains.

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IMHO; I think for the removal of the loop is best because if they fixed only the structure but did not change any viewable structures of the ride, the perception of the attraction in the minds of many of the average guest would be “they just put a patch on the structure“. Therefore the old reputation would still be in the minds of the guest, Son of Beast without the loop and new trains will be something the guest can physically see and will allow the attraction to hopeful get a second chance with the guests and allow the Son of Beast to get a new favorable reputation.

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I understand the whole lighter trains angle, but was this the only way?

To take out the one aspect of the ride that was not complained about?

I know that my voice is a popcorn fart in the real world, but this is disappointing. SoB has just become Son of Mean Streak.

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Just a side note with all this new news PKIC has just smashed their most users online at one time record today at 2:06 pm with 162 viewers! Who would have thought that they would break the record in the middle of December. Congratulations PKICentral.com Staff on all your success!

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I understand the whole lighter trains angle, but was this the only way?

To take out the one aspect of the ride that was not complained about?

I know that my voice is a popcorn fart in the real world, but this is disappointing. SoB has just become Son of Mean Streak.

To answer your question in a preliminary way: yes, it is the only way.

Bear in mind that SOB is the ONLY looping woody and they went to great lengths to find a manufacturer and a design that would allow that. Unfortunately, the resulting yield was very heavy cumbersome trains which caused the bad experiences on the ride.

I just got off the phone with Maureen and she said they're looking into their options as far as getting new trains or modifying their current design. I suggested millenium flyers or PTC trains. haha

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Great suggestion, Boddah! I have a feeling that if any company was going to make new trains for sonny, the only way they would do it is to remove the loop, otherwise, it may have driven up the cost of new trains. I hope they stick with the color theme for the trains. I always liked the red/yellow combination. I am also personally hoping for an airtime hill in its' place or a good long tunnel.

Coastercrazy, I hope that was sarcasm. Otherwise, that's the dumbest idea I have read in a long time. The Beast doesn't need new trains. Nor does neither one need to be torn down. Ok, here it goes, taer it down 1111!!!!

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It's going to be VERY expensive to put anything in the place of the loop. Keep in mind that they would have to basically recalculate everything if they changed such a fundamental element of the ride. Personally I'd live to see a good pop of airtime. Seems like it would be a fair trade.

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Sonny cannot run "off the shelf" trains. Stadard wooden coaster trains... no matter M Flyers or PTCs, would have to be custom built. The reason is, the gage for SOB's trains is wider than typical wooden coasters.

I would suspect, that if they have yet to contract new trains from a manufacturer, then SOB will not open with the park in the spring.

The loop removal is nothing but a side effect of having to change trains. The trains (along with the overly intense rose-bowl) have always been the main issue with the coaster.

From a ride quality and enjoyment standpoint, the wisest thing would be removal of the rosebowl and replacement with an out and back jaunt. But this step is just another "fix" to the ride, that will not produce a more enjoyable experience at all.

SOB has, as predicted, suffered the same exact fate as it's predecessor... The Rattler... at Fiesta Texas. It was built prior to SOB (by the same company) and suffered the same exact fate. The Rattler still exists, but is one of the least noted and least enjoyed wooden coasters today. SOB will follow suit.

Well, correction... it will live on in legend. SOB will go down in history as yet another "Bat." Which people will be talking about 30 years from now. Mark my words... the tide will turn and people will begin to recall "fondly" their rides on SOB "back in the day."

Shaggy

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Oh, I agree Shaggy. It will go down in coaster history. I also expect, down the road sometime, that rumors will start flying around in similar fashion to the reasons of The Bat's demise. Someone will say that a rider died on Son of Beast or it got stuck in the loop. I can only imagine what will be said. And, are you saying that new trains will not make a difference in the quality of the ride? If so, then why change them at all?

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I actually disagree with some of the things Shaggy said. I really believe the overall ride quality will drastically improve with GCII Millenium flyer Trains. The trains would likely be modified due to the wider track gauge, but the Premier Trains now can't really handle the rides turns. They are very vibrational and shuffle through every turn. The restraints and seating position do not help either, in that ergonomically they are poorly designed.

I do give Kings Island credit for spending the money and time to try and fix the ride. This is the most major reprofiling and improvements they have made to the ride, so I see this as the last chance it has. If no major comfort and smoothness is acheived from this reprofiling/fixing, I see them taking it down. Unlike Rattler, which had its first drop raised 50 feet or so, the ride should still have its similar layout, of course without its verticle loop. Hopefully the ride will have more speed through the second half of the ride since it won't have some of its energy lost from going through that verticle loop. Also hopefully they don't trim the ride on the block brake, since I here the second helix isn't slow and boring , if the ride actually is not trimmed there.

The rose bowl section was actually my favorite part of the ride, and if it is actually smooth in that section, this ride could be good. I don't think its reasonable to expect that they would redesign that portion of the ride into and out and back. It is possible, especially if you look at examples such as Phantoms Revenge and Thunderbolt at Kennywood of rides that had major new elements added and redesigned.

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