"THE BEAST"- rollercoaster
Kings Island in Ohio's "Monster"!!
If you are ever in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and want a very fun day, riding a "hallmark" coaster then The Beast at Kings Island will more than satisfy. Built in 1979, it quickly became the tallest, longest and fastest wooden coaster in the world. Since then, it has lost the tallest and fastest title but still retains the longest at a whopping 7,400 feet. Featuring speeds of just under 65mph, tunnels and a large covered 540 degree banked helix, this is one ride you won't soon forget. Lets take it for a ride...
I can still recall the first time I rode this monster back in 1979 and that is what I will describe in the way of my feelings. I've ridden many times over the years and still enjoy it immensely.
The anticipation mounts..
As you wait in line, usually outside of the ride station, you weave through all of the turnstyles anxious for your adventure to begin. Rock music is playing through various speakers, everyone is excited and it feels like a party. You inch further and further toward the boarding spot and you can see and hear the trains as they arrive and depart, smiles are everywhere. You make it to the final place where you determine where you want to sit in the train, up front, middle or rear and you join the particular line, thats usually 4-5 people deep. As the riders slowly advance, it is now your turn when the next train returns. You hear the sound of it rumbling along its track and then it appears, you get your first good look at the logo on the front of the car and your wait is over.
Off We go!!
You climb into your seat and lower the restraint bar, position yourself, take off your hat etc as the ride worker makes their way up and down the train making sure everyone has their bar locked. Everything checks out, the "go ahead" signal is raised and here we go.
The car leaves the station and makes a left circle and then a right, on its way to the first lift hill. When the ride first opened, the beginning part of the ride was over water, with a fountain in the middle, it was very cool. Now it is all just land, not sure why it was changed? As the car rolls along, you catch a glimpse of the monstrous first hill and then you start your ascension into the sky. The familar chain sounds as the car is pulled up the hill and it seems like forever. You look to your left and see treetops and then the anxiety really starts to build, when you look down at the other trademark coaster, the Racer, and you still aren't to the top?
Finally you reach the "Do Not Stand Up" sign, go under it and start to lean over the hill. This presents the view that you've seen pictures of and heard about but never experienced, in fact I included a pic on this hub of this sight. The main things you see are the second lift hill, the huge covered helix and a small hole at the bottom of the hill that looks like will snap your head off! No turning back now.
As you race down the 135ft drop at over 64 mph, you scream through the first tunnel and into darkness. Several seconds later, you emerge into the light again and rocket down another hill and then a straight away, that quickly becomes a hard banking right turn and you spy another tunnel, this time its above ground but very long. It used to be two small ones that they made into one large one.
Once through, you pick up a lot of speed on an incline and then right back into a sharp right turn. I felt like the car would just keep going straight, right through the woods and off of the track because you are flying. Here comes another sharp right and then one more as you slow down as you reach another chain lift. You hear the car suddenly get grabbed by the chain as it starts to pull you up the second hill and ready you for the finale. As you near the top, you can look straight across and see another train making its drop into the first tunnel. Here is the part where you literally lose your breath.
The train slowly begins to pick up speed as it descends 141 ft toward a double helix that is covered into a long winding tunnel. The train reaches full speed at a slant as you are propelled through the helix, your body is plastered to your seat from the "G" forces. Once through, you pick up speed and soar through one more time before exiting and making your way back to the station. "What a rush"! You start to breathe again and you can't believe how fun that was, but you are fatigued. I usually had to take a few minute rest or slow stroll after getting off just to feel my body again.
Because of my spine surgeries over the years, I haven't been on it for a while. I did ride after my first one and did fine, I was a little worried but I couldn't resist. I now have the complete ride on my ipod touch so I can relive it over and over. You Tube has videos that were taken by front seat cameras and some are very good. It does feel like you are on it again, at least the next best thing.