The ride has been faced with too many troubles, and to much bad press. It is time to retire the coaster. Recycle what wood they can for a ride that is not the tallest, fastest, or second longest-- but FUN!
Although seeing how Cedar Fair has kept the Mean Streak standing for this longs lets me think that SOB just may be here to stay.
If you saw the clips from the video deposition, it'd make you sick. There were nuts so loose that the official could loosen them with his bare hands. There were accusations of cheap timber.
I admit, that with the newer heavier cars, the ride is more stable. You pull some wicked G's in some of those curves. My 7 year old loved it. I liked the changes having not gotten on it since the loop was in place. I rode it once back then and thought to myself, well - that's enough. I guess we are glad that we rode it earlier this year a few weeks before it closed - for good(?)
The bad press alone is enough to close the ride and replace it with a BETTER BUILT and TESTED ride. Showing the computer generated models and scale models to the public at the park and on there website to help people feel safer.
I saw Son of Beast in action up close and personal during a backstage tour. Wooden coasters are designed to give and sway a little, but I've never seen a structure move like that. The forces exerted on the structure by the original, much heavier trains were pretty unbelievable. Watching entire sections of the first helix sway several feet back and forth after the train had passed through them was enough to tell me why they have had so many problems. The old trains were poorly designed, and trust me when I say that the ride on those trains was vicious, especially on taller people because there was little leg room and little padding for said legs. Those trains were much too heavy for a comfortable wooden coaster ride, but they had to be heavy because of the loop, and the structure took a beating from them, which goes back to the designer.
When they removed the loop and started using lighter, more standard wooden coaster trains, the ride vastly improved for me. It was intense, but in a good way...not as rough and far less painful, and I actually enjoyed the ride. I was sad to see it close, and I wish I would have gotten another ride.
I think that there comes a time when something just isn't working anymore. Son of Beast has been plagued with problems and injured more than it's share of riders. It now is gathering bad press and hence a bad reputation and I think the damage is done. Cedar Fair tried once to fix it with a reprofile (that was approved by the inspectors) and the curse continues with another injury. I can't imagine Cedar Fair continuing to pour resources into the SOB money pit, when people are likely going to hesitate to ride because of negative attention, regardless of the improved ride quality. I see a wrecking ball in SOB's future.
Or they could save the first drop, which is a good one, and build a whole new coaster after it. That's not out of the realm of possibility. I liked my last ride on SOB, and would ride it again, but I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority on that one.
Derek, I too would ride it again!
The biggest thing i dont understand is that after every inspection the Agriculture department did on the ride it was always cleared to reopen with out further repairs being needed each time. Was someone missing some things or are there gremlins hangin out on the coaster causin problems????
I can't blame Cedar Fair for the rides problems, those fall on the designers, construction team and Paramount.
I think Cedar Fair has two options, Pull the plug on SOB or perform some major and drastic surgery to compleatly revitalize the ride. If i had to make the decision i would unfortunatly hafta pull the plug and call in a new ride to take its place... and stay away from relating it to The Beast.
The above is just my opinion, i may be wrong and the balcony is now closed!!
I've ONLY ridden it since the loop was removed, and I never found it to be too rough. In fact, it's my favorite wooden coaster. Now, I only ride near the front, maybe further back is too rough.