Atmosphere and the Beast

Wednesday, March 28, 2001 3:37 AM
I'd have to say, one of my best memories, coaster or non-coaster, is the first time I rode the Beast at night, when I was in junior high.

It was pitch dark out. The park was mostly dead; people were filing out into the parking lot...but in the Beast line, way back in the woods, there was a party going on. Bare lightbulbs glared, industrial fans blasted, and the music pounded.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, sang along to cheesy great songs like Queen's "Bicycle Race," Starship's "We Built This City" and Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al." People babbled excitedly in anticipation of the terrifying ride they were about to experience.

Then the next train would come in, and everyone on it would be cheering, hands waving in the air, and everyone in line would respond, cheering back, pumping their fists.

Finally it was my turn. I took my place in the second row, pulled down the single lap bar (which stopped about two inches from my scrawny legs...with no seat belt back-up) and we sloooowly inched around the first curve. The party faded, and it was just us, a few dozen people about to share the ride of a lifetime.

We crested the first hill and plunged into the impossibly small tunnel, saying goodbye to the last light we'd see for two minutes. Rattling hard to the left, we dip down deeper into the woods, catching some surprising air. A hard right and we're flying deeper and deeper into the trees.

Suddenly we're going uphill...into the hill...and our screams are tripled in volume, echoing off the tunnel walls. Out of the cavern, right turn, right turn, and then there's a light...we can see yet another right turn, a frighteningly sharp one! We're going to fly off the tracks! No, we make the turn and zoom halfway up another lift hill.

As we crest the second hill, we face the park, and all is quiet. We're the last ride running. Then we turn slowly left and are forced to face the Beast's lair. A double helix. Incredibly banked track. Incredibly low clearance. Speed...64.77 mph is nothing in a car, nothing compared to today's steel machines...but in an open train, in the dark, rattling, shaking, hurtling toward a dark tunnel, where inside you know awaits the sharpest, scariest helix of all time?

Then we're inside, and the world is a blur. All too soon it's over and we start to slow...but wait, we enter the same tunnel again, on top this time, and the speed comes back, threatening to tear the train apart.

Then...it's really over...we hit the brakes and everyone takes a breath, shaking and screaming. Slowly we glide into the station, where only a few riders are left. They cheer nonetheless, and I step out of the train, my legs shaking as I walk down the ramp, knowing I'll never forget this ride.

>>>>Thanks for reading my memory. Before the days of Paramount and Q-TV, one could actually have an experience like that.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2001 4:22 AM
Thank you Den for putting into words the many great memories of riding the Beast from years back. :-)

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E Blitz Entertainment
Bay City, Michigan
A division of LCA Entertainment
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Wednesday, March 28, 2001 6:05 AM
And one day may I be able to have those memories of my own rather than the recollections of others... Here's hoping!

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Po!nt of View: A different look at Roller Coasters.
http://www.crosswinds.net/~justmayntz/thrills/index.html
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Wednesday, March 28, 2001 6:28 AM
Den, I had the same experience when I was about 13 or 14. It's was an overwhelming experience that everyone should have the pleasure of being there for themselves. That's why I'm taking my husband there this year, so he understands what exactly it is about this ride that is so great.

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Thank you for riding America's Roller Coast
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Wednesday, March 28, 2001 11:39 AM
I as well. Great story!! I remember when I was in junior high singing "Call me Al" and the other songs! The way you described the ride was one of the best I've heard. Gave me goose bumps just like when I'm actually riding. Can't wait until next weekend!

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UCSigep
"Did you make a copy? Because if you made a copy, we could watch the copy."
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Thursday, March 29, 2001 2:34 AM
I rode the Beast for the first time last year, and even with the seatbelts, individual lap bars, head rests and brakes - it's still the BEST.

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#Life is a rollercoaster you just gotta ride it#
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Thursday, March 29, 2001 3:02 AM
When did the Beast get seat belts?? :)

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Scott W. Short
scott@midwestcoastercentral.com
http://www.midwestcoastercentral.com
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Thursday, March 29, 2001 3:27 AM

Even with Paramount and Q-TV you can have a memory like that, people do all the time. The BEAST will forever be the BEST rollercoaster ever built.
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RIP Flop, 1973-2000. You will be missed :(
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Thursday, March 29, 2001 9:49 AM
Shivering Tim, i can never recall seat belts on The Beast!
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Thursday, March 29, 2001 11:07 AM
The best ride I ever had was last year. I had about two fists worth of space between my lap and the bar, and I just loved getting tossed around! That coaster has been my dad's favorite coaster since it was built, and it continues to be my favorite woodie.

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UCSigep
"Did you make a copy? Because if you made a copy, we could watch the copy."
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Friday, March 30, 2001 12:23 PM
I can remember being a teenager when the Beast first operated. The "feel" of the line and station are things that will probably be imprinted in some far region of a failing memory.

Those "early years" were as much about the wait as the ride. The loud music, the rocking crowds, and a ride that was defin. unique in its early days.

Having ridden and stood in too many lines/coasters to even count these days, I still remember those days fondly. I have ridden quite a few better coasters, and been in festive atmospheres, but those were some of the more memorable waits/rides.
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