"The Legend and the Raven were great. As some who read this know, they are ranked as some of the top wooden coasters in the world. While – for me – they didn’t beat The Beast, they were still great."
I see similar thoughts expressed on many different forums. It seems there is a segment of the enthusiast population who holds PKI's Beast in very high regard. I don't think there is anything wrong with that opinion, we all like what we like. Still, as someone who feels Beast is highly overrated [it ranked #50 out of 84 woodies on my ballot for Mitch's poll] it's difficult for me to understand why someone would prefer it over coasters such as Raven, Legend, Cornball, Phoenix, Boulder Dash...heck, even Shivering Timbers!
So to those of you who really, really like The Beast please explain to me why you like it and why you prefer it over coaster that offer so much more in terms of G-forces? I'm not asking you to defend your opinion...as I've said before we all have different likes and dislikes when it comes to coasters. My reason for asking is that I wonder if perhaps I've overlooked something?
*** Edited 6/28/2004 10:19:25 PM UTC by Mamoosh***
It had a power that no other woddie provided....none came close. Now adays, it's not in my top 10. I still enjoy it, but Legend, Raven, etc just deliver more for me.
On it's best days, Beast can have a ferocity in those tunnels that is unparalelled. Other days, it just hurts, or makes you look at your watch.
Since 96 to today it's been hit or miss for me.
It is hard to categorize what I really like about The Beast. I guess it would have to be the uniqueness of the ride. The two lift hills. The crazy ending helix. Finally, The Beast is like an adventure in the wilderness. You are detached from the rest of the world on The Beast.
The Beast is certainly not the best wood coaster based on the criteria that they are usually judged by. But it is a lot of fun. *** Edited 6/28/2004 10:14:25 PM UTC by DragonRider***
So it is a case of nostalgia of those great rides artificially boosting a person's perception of the ride?
What I loved? The speed, the woods, the helices, the tunnels, the time of day (night), the length.
Of course, riding SoB, FoF and Racer before immediately before the Beast, just about anything would look spectacular by comparison, huh?
Here is why I love The Beast
1) The Unknown. You never know what is coming around the corner. You can't see the layout very well from any point. What is coming is a surprise. Even if you have ridden it 500 times.
2) The Tunnels. The first drop that doesn't stop and goes underground. The second tunnel that you enter fast and exit faster, without even realizing you picked up speed. The tunnels on the helix that enhance the out of control feeling that makes The Beast memorable. The roar they create. The disorientation that comes from going from dark to light to dark and back.
3) The trees and terrain. It makes the speed seem faster. It makes it seem like you are no longer at a amusement park, it transports you to another place. And makes it all so dark at night.
4) The speed and power. Shadow if its' former self? That I do not get. My first ride was later than yours, in 1986, but the ride is actually faster now than it was then. The power has never left, that I have noticed.
All that being said. I will admit over the past few years it has had some rough riding times. They have performed quite of bit of "re-engineering" to the ride and it is running better than it has in years. To me high positive G forces are uncomfortable, and that may be the thing that differetiates people's views on The Beast. I love the negative Gs, and The Beast gives them to me with speed and power, without feeling like my back has been dislocated when I get off. <cough> Son of Beast <cough>
There are other wooden coasters I like, but none can come close to this one for me.
Nostalgia certainly plays a part in it. I actually remember the original TV spots they showed at BeastBuzz. There aren't many rides, scratch that, there aren't any other rides that I've essentially been riding my entire life other than Gemini. Any thirtysomething or younger that grew up in Ohio had The Beast at all times.
Is it the best wooden coaster in the world? In my opinion, not quite, but if I had to rank them, there are only two or three others I'd put ahead of it. Again, that's based on its 2003/2004 performance.
The Beast, to me, is the ultimate, the ULTIMATE roller coaster of ALL TIME.
This past Saturday were my first rides. 3 laps within 15 or 20 minutes, no waits, in the dark with a group of enthusiasts.
I left with a kind of "huh?" feeling.
My main thing is that it didn't do anything. It was just a fast ride through the woods.
I'm not a huge lateral fan, so the ending helix really felt "tacked on" to the end. I'm an airtime fan and Beast is full of shallow hills. I even thought the second lift broke the ride up in an unusual and ride killing way.
However, it was fun. Just not the kind of timeless, do it again and again fun my favorite coasters seem to have.
I'm glad I got to ride and I'll certainly make a point to ride next visit to PKI, but if we're putting a rank on The Beast - I'm guessing it'll fall around 14 or 15 of the 46 woodies I've ridden so far when Mitch's poll rolls around. Top third, yummy, but leaving me kind of empty - like junk food.
Maybe my braids were too tight? ;)
For me, the main reason, as others said, is the disconnectedness it has from the rest of the park. Even from the Eiffel Tower, or from the very end of the loading station, you can't see anything but the lift hills and the helix. It's like an accident - a runaway train where somebody hit the wrong switch and sent you on an old abandoned track to nowhere.
I also love how bizarre it is. It's so close to the ground most of the time, and that looooong straightaway is something you'll *never* see again. I love the final sharp curve before the second lift that freaks out first-time riders, because you have plenty of time to see it coming and worry about flying off the track.
Of course the helix is awesome - so suspenseful and terrifying. After probably 200 rides, I still can't understand how the train can hit that curve at that speed and not crash right through the other side of the tunnel wall.
Nostalgia's also a big part. I remember riding at night in junior high and high school, when the queue was a huge party. They used to play actual hit music in there - not the latest stuff, but quirky songs everyone knew and could (and did) sing along to. I remember specifically, Queen's "Bicycle Race" and Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al." People absolutely *screamed* every time a train pulled into the station. The excitement level was simply amazing.
So there's my reasons. If it didn't have the trim brakes, it'd probably still be my favorite coaster (though I admit I haven't ridden it at night for more than five years).
For me, The Beast has alot of character. Many coasters are 'fun' but I don't really know others that have non-contrived ambience or 'personality." It has a lot to do with the smell of the woods and tunnels, and the feel of the air out there, especially on a foggy evening, as well as the unrelenting power. It's quite possible that this is all nostaliga related.
I guess it all comes down to this. I ride Mill Force and have a little grin on my face, like 'ok, this is pleasant" Same with TTD. X is pretty exciting, but after a while, it's common. But still, after riding the Beast many, many times, I still find myself hooting & hollering and just feeling great!!! Now that I say that, I realize that's the exact reason it's still my favorite. For some reason or other, I just enjoy myself more, have more fun on it than any other ride.
In fairness, I haven't ridden too many of the other woodies you mentioned. I would really like to, but haven't yet. But somehow I suspect I will always love the Beast.
However, I love it for quite possibly the same reasons that other people loathe it. It proves that a wooden coaster does need airtime or a completely twisted track to be fun. No matter how many times I ride it in the front there is still that inherent fear factor about the first tunnel drop and the final helix. That sense of "Where in the Heck are We" one gets way back in the far end of the ride before the turn to the second lift hill. The out of control feel of that final helix and such a creative buildup to it. Yes, it may be a bruiser at times but unlike the bruising one gets at SOB, it almost seems right on The Beast. Even despite the added lights, night rides are still an amazing thing.
I don't think it even matters anymore if it ranks as a top ten coaster in certain polls because its legendary status is already cemented. It is one of those coasters that even a lot of casual people from coast to coast have heard about.
Although I'm an airtime whore, I love the fury and the trees and the sound. They could have made a much better profile though. I think they should completely reprofile the middle of the ride...ok, the 1st third so that there's more up n' down and no trims. Why waste all that kinetic energy on hot brakes?
Also, why not a good pop of air just before the station?
I'm sure a major reprofile would not be nearly expensive as say, it's Son, and could put it back up top in this world of Ravens and Phoenixes.
*** Edited 6/29/2004 12:10:04 AM UTC by jomo***
NO WAY IN HECK!
You must be logged in to post