Closed: 2009 (demolished 2012)
Location: Action Zone
Manufacturer: Designed by Roller Coaster Corporation of America
Model: Wood Coaster
Length: 7,032 feet
Height: 218 feet
Drop: 214 feet
Vehicles: The ride opened with three six car trains with six riders per a car, though it only ever operated with two trains simultaneously. The trains were later reduced to five cars each in 2006 before being replaced with new five car trains with four riders per a car in 2007.
Description: Son of Beast was the world’s tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster. For the ride’s first seven years, it was also the only looping wooden roller coaster in the world.
History: Kings Island was approached by the Roller Coaster Corporation of America of Atlanta, Georgia in 1997 with the concept of creating a new wooden roller coaster for the park. The ride, Son of Beast, would later be announced with the help of actor Montel Williams on May 11, 1999. The announcement was staged on the maintenance road beneath The Beast, as the new roller coaster was considered a sequel to the classic ride. The announcement included the reveal of a large-scale model and a computer rendering of the ride.
Son of Beast faced a variety of issues before it even opened, including an OSHA inspection in August 1999 following safety complaints, the collapse of a 50- by 100-foot section during strong wind gusts in January 2000, and the citation of eighteen safety violations in February. Son of Beast opened to the public on April 28 but was almost immediately shut down to make adjustments to a rough 15-foot section of track. The ride reopened in May.
The ride and its trains, which were manufactured by Premier Rides, underwent minor changes during the first few years. This included new lapbars (2003), the placement of new anti-rollbacks (2005), and the reduction of six cars per a train to five cars (2006).
On July 9, 2006, an incident occurred on the ride that resulted in the hospitalization of over twenty riders. A cracked/split timber caused the track to sink along a portion of the ride and resulted in an extremely rough experience for riders. The attraction was immediately shut down and did not reopen until the following summer, now with new trains (which were manufactured by Gerstlauer and previously operated on the Hurricane: Category 5 roller coaster at Myrtle Beach Pavilion in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) and sans the signature loop. The loop itself was not responsible for the incident, but in order to accommodate the new, lighter trains, the loop had to be removed.
Son of Beast closed in June 2009 following claims from a park guest that she had burst a blood vessel in her brain after riding on May 31. The ride was cleared by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, but Kings Island elected to keep the attraction closed. Son of Beast merchandise was sold at a discount shortly after.
The ride’s signage was removed before the end of the 2009 season and its marquee crate was removed in early 2010. A haunted house, Wolf Pack, was added into the station starting with 2010’s Halloween Haunt.
Kings Island announced plans to remove Son of Beast on July 27, 2012. The demolition spanned several months, culminating with the toppling of its massive lift hill on November 20. In conjunction with the ride’s demolition, Kings Island sold 250 slices of the track for $99.99 each.
Son of Beast’s station, queue, and exit remain and continue to be used for the Wolf Pack ride. Part of the ride’s area was replaced with Banshee in 2014. The queue for the new inverted roller coaster included a memorial and “eternal flame” to the former ride.
Son of Beast’s trains, both the ones manufactured by Premier Rides and the ones by Gerstlauer, originally remained on park property but have since been scrapped. Before their removal, they were occasionally used as FearFest and later Halloween Haunt props.