Rob Pastor

Published: August 27, 2014 at 3:48 AM

The Beast is, by far, my favorite coaster of all time. I'm partial to wooden coasters.
Tim Hillman

Published: August 27, 2014 at 5:16 AM

You're a brave man, James Rao. Sharing a hotel suite with four energetic teenagers is living dangerously. After that, the coasters are just a walk in the park. ;^)
Court E

Published: August 27, 2014 at 6:29 AM

Wooden coasters are a far better experience than steel coasters when they are properly maintained. It's a shame Cedar Fair has such a shotty spot record with wooden coasters. Anyone remember Ghodtrider pre Cedar Fair? Amazing coaster back then. Glad to see The Beast is still a gem.
Russell Meyer

Published: August 27, 2014 at 6:59 AM

We rode Banshee earlier this month and were pretty impressed. I think Montu, Alpengeist, and Afterburn still have it beat, but the design certainly is pretty. I really like the new train design that allows for a little more elbow room, but to me, the new seat mounts seem to transmit a bit more vibration to riders than the previous train design. Also, the inversions are just so big and sweeping that they loose some of that whipping that makes some inverts so incredible. I do love the return of the iconic vertical loop around the lift hill, but the dive loop in lieu of the Immelman didn't really do it for me. The slow roll at the end is the highlight (very similar to the Jojo roll on Hydra).

I definitely appreciate Kings Island using that extra crew member to queue guests into rows on the platform. It keeps the line moving, and reduces the chance of empty seats. Every park should consider this on any coaster that maintains lines over 30 minutes to expedite crowds. After all, you have to control the merge between regular guests and Fast Lane/Flash Pass/Fastpass, so why not just have the merge at the load platform and control the flow of guests from there. Six Flags could learn a thing or two from the way Cedar Fair controls loading of their most popular coasters.

Published: August 27, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Totally agree with your comments about the Beast and Diamondback...but couldn't disagree more about Banshee.
I wanted to love it. I thought I was going to. Instead, I had the most jarring uncomfortable rides I've ever had on an invert...and that includes Vekoma SLCs! I got rattled so badly, and the new restraints suck. So tight and constricting. Wish they would've stuck with the old style. (I hate the ones on the Wingriders too.)

Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

James Rao

Published: August 27, 2014 at 10:27 AM

My favorite attraction at Kings Island was Banshee, but that experience we had on the Beast, in the dark and in the rain, will probably never be topped. It was fantastic.

Russell, I've ridden Alpengeist, and I remember loving it, but it has been awhile. If it is indeed better than Banshee it is by a thin margin at best. And when we are discussing rides of this magnitude and greatness, the only real loser is the person who doesn't take the time to ride!

And Tim, those kids are really wonderful. Touring with them was an absolute joy. Honestly. Well behaved, funny, nice, and energetic but under control... Most of the time, anyway. I would travel anywhere with that bunch! Mornings were a little iffy, but hey, who likes to get up at the crack of dawn every day just to ride roller coasters? ;)

Brian Emery

Published: August 27, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Thanks for posting.... Looks like a great time.

And that picture of a wet tired family is what a vacation is supposed to be...

Have fun..

Tim Chatlos

Published: August 27, 2014 at 11:56 AM

There is a certain magic to nighttime rides on The Beast that just cannot be duplicated. I've had a couple in the pouring rain myself.
AJ Hummel

Published: August 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

This is going to be a great trip report, and I'm particularly interested as I visited both these parks in late July (two days at Cedar Point, one day at Kings Island with ERT). Banshee, Beast, and Diamondback were definitely the best coasters at Kings Island, with Banshee placing in my top 5 steel and Beast in my top 10 wood. I was particularly impressed by the operations at Banshee, as the operators were routinely sending trains out at 45 second intervals, about half of what most B&M Inverts seem to do.

That ride on Beast sounded epic. I had an hour of night ERT on the coaster, and I will say that it is probably the second best night ride out there (Boulder Dash beats it). During the day, I still liked the coaster, but there is something about flying through the dark forest that makes the relatively tame ride much more intense.

Looking forward to hearing more.

James Rao

Published: August 27, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Anon poster, I can only speak for the rides I took on Banshee (about a dozen of them over the course of our stay) and I never had any issue with the restraints or with the ride itself. I did ride Wild Eagle at Dollywood (a wing coaster) when it first opened and the restraints were very uncomfortable, but those issues did not plague Banshee, at least not for me.
Charles Reichley

Published: August 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Cool. We were at Kings Island on August 14th. We do the park once a year, for about 2 hours, on a family trip to ohio. Rode the Banshee twice, loved it.

We couldn't get a hotel in Mason because we waited too long, and because they have a big tennis tournament in town that week (which maybe you noticed while you were there). So we stay in Dayton, which isn't a bad ride to the park.

My kids got large and hardly fit on anything, so we just rode Banshee, The Bat, and then Beast before leaving.

My son also does those two add-ons, the slingshot and skyflyer. KI offers these for $5 each first thing in the morning, which is a fantastic price.

If I was there with kids who fit on rides, we'd also do firehawk and diamondback. Not a big fan of the rest of them, although we usually do the mine ride as well.

In the past, we've done this in 3 hours starting the half-hour before park opening, and then run up to Cedar Point to do an evening-morning thing before heading back to see my wife and her in-laws. This year we skipped Cedar Point.

James Rao

Published: August 28, 2014 at 3:34 AM

Charles, the Rao Family skips the up charge attractions whenever possible, but you're right, Kings Island offers some great deals for those interested in that sort of thing.