2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Kings Island's The Beast
Published: February 1, 2010 at 12:28 PM
Built by Kings Island's in-house design team, led by Charlie Dinn, The Beast opened on April 14, 1979 and is the oldest ride in this year's Best Roller Coaster bracket.
Dinn went on to form his own coaster design company, which built a dozen coasters, including Mean Streak at Cedar Point and the old Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas. His daughter, Denise Dinn Larrick, co-founded Custom Coasters International [CCI], which built some of the country's top wooden coasters, including The Raven and The Legend at Holiday World and GhostRider at Knott's Berry Farm.
CCI went under in 2002 and Denise Larrick went on to create the wooden coaster division at S&S. Others at CCI went on to form Great Coasters International [GCI], builder of Dollywood's Thunderhead, and The Gravity Group, builder of Holiday World's The Voyage.
So you can make a strong argument that The Beast is, literally, the father of all great modern wooden roller coasters in America.
At more than 7,000 feet, The Beast is one loooong coaster. Noted for its tunnels and deep-woods setting, many consider The Beast a better ride at night, when a claustrophobia-inducing darkness envelops nearly every section of the track. If there's a knock on The Beast, it's that the ride lacks the airtime you'll find on newer woodies, though its helix and long runs give The Beast a unique ride.
Fans and foes, here's your chance to share your thoughts about riding Kings Island's The Beast. Let's hear what you have to say about this classic wooden coaster, in the comments.