What I love about The Beast is that it is a very unique ride. There isn't a thing about it that is like any other wooden coaster. It may not offer a lot in terms of forces (although the helix finale has plenty of that) but it offers a ride that can't be found anywhere else. I love the fact that you really can't see any of the park while riding it other than when you are on the two lifts.
For me, there are many reasons why I love The Beast. It was the coaster that made me fall in love with coasters. Up until my first ride on The Beast, I hated roller coasters and avoided them at all costs. But The Beast changed all that, turning me into a coaster nut.
The thing I love about the ride is its originality. I've never ridden another coaster that makes you feel so alone and isolated. The ride is buried so deep in the woods, and it gets faster and faster as the ride goes along.
And I don't care what anyone says; no other single coaster element can top the double helix finale. It is just simply incredible. Having said all of this, I can understand why you wonder, because I ask the same questions about The Raven. I have ridden it, and I just don't see what all the fuss is about, but that's just me. So there's my 2 cents. *** Edited 6/29/2004 12:26:44 AM UTC by Bakeman***
Lord Gonchar said: ...another coaster I didn't seem to 'get'
I left with a kind of "huh?" feeling.
Agreed. I rode it 2 years ago and wondered what all of these people who gave it rave reviews were smoking. I also felt that way about Raven. I guess growing up less than an hour from Phoenix kinda has me biased. ;)
In fact, it is the only one in my top ten that does not have airtime. Why do I like it so much? Power, sustained speed, decent laterals, and a helix that is only matched by the second half of Raven for an incredible out-of-control insane feeling.
After the late (early?) night rides at BeastBuzz, I'll have to say that it has gone from one of my least favorite coasters at PKI to knockin' on my top 10 woodies door. I don't have an exact list, but that's my guesstimate. The laterals throughout the entire layout were impressive and the so-dark-I-can't-see-the-person-next-to-me feeling in the tunnels and parts of the woods was kind of terrifying. The video was really interesting as well and shows the nostalgia around it. I don't know any other coaster built prior to The Beast that still holds such a following and continues to break in thousands of new riders each year as one of the main reasons to visit PKI. It's a hit and miss coaster for me as well and the night rides really *hit* hard.
I am an airtime whore but the Beast tops my list. I think that the uniqueness of it, the character, the longevity of the ride, and the mistique of the ride get to me. Oh did I mention the night rides, they are the best; while I never visited KI in its glory days I have gotten a wiff of them some nights in line for the Beast. Dont worry though Moosh everyone doesnt "get" some classics, mines the Phenoix.
I have a question about the Beast's "glory days". The main host from PKI that was leading the event (I forget his name) told a group of us that Beast has always had the trims since 1979 and that this year was the fastest that Beast has ever been allowed to run. It made sense to me because the turn after that long shed is too sharp and flat to be taken at the speeds you start that shed at and there are even trims before that starting on the first hill. Are all of you positive that it was faster before?
While the Beast isn't my favorite woodie, it still impressed the heck out of me. The uniqueness of the ride, and the sheer power... it's like nothing else I've ever experienced. I wouldn't say the Beast is the best wooden ride out there, but it's certainly about the most notable.
For me, I've grown up with it! It was one of the first coasters I rode when I was 9, and it helped me greatly overcome my fear of coasters, (also credit goes to Screamin' Demon, also at PKI back then, and Screechin' Eagle at Americana). As I've gotten older though, I love it because it's a classic, and a one of a kind "terrain coaster" IMO. And it's still a blast no matter when you ride it!
Yes, the ride has always had "trims," but the key difference is that prior to last year, these were long skid brakes. The long shed had these, and you'd slide across them for a fair amount of time until you came out of it. Now, you fly through the entire thing and hit magnetic brakes toward the end of it.
You can see in some on-ride photos of the drop into the helix the same skid brakes. They too have been replaced with a few magnetic brakes, but the net amount of braking has most certainly been reduced. The intensity with which it completes the helix is insane compared to pre-2003.
So yeah, it's certainly running faster than it ever did before.
I'd really like to get back to PKI and give Beast another try. But last year I think I got it on one of it's bad days. It was way too rough and painful. So much so that I didn't want to get back on it.
At this point it would definetly not top my lists. I'd rank Ghostrider,Boulder Dash, and Phoenix ahead of it with ease.
Beast is very rough. If you are hoping for it to be smoother, you may be disappointed. In my opinion, it was rough in a good way and it did not hurt like SOB because you have room to move around in the restraints, but that helix is one wild ride.
I have only ridden the beast once, years ago. I remember the first hill and a turn and thats about it until I hit the second lift. I didnt know what just happened. I got off the ride with an intense headache and havent been back to pki since.
I thought the second lift was a waste, cause the take you all the way up there for a double helix, then you go into the station with the gigantic straightaway with tons of speed. Seemed like a waste to me.
I cant wait to get back to form a new opinion of the ride and maybe not blackout this time.
I, myself, did not go and read all of the posts left behind by the Beast lovers and other people, so bare with me if I repeat things said by other people. But I am one of those people that have ridden coasters like Raven, Legend, Thunderhead, Boulder Dash and so on that many people have found to be the best among all wooden coasters. I personally still find the Beast to be the best out there and here's why.
The thing that does for me is the night rides. I don't think the Beast would be even close to as good as it is if we weren't able to ride it at night. The night rides running through the woods in complete darkness has so much power, mentally. Yes, its not a very powerful of a coaster except in the double helix but the mental aspect of flying out of control through the woods in complete darkness is just insane. It's just something that no other coaster that I have ridden has been able to recreate, The Raven is the closest one so far and that is why it's my #2 fav. coaster.
And not to mention the double helix is by far the best element on any roller coaster, the power and the intensity is so stimulating that it by far exceeds any coaster experience out there. I thought for sure Thunderhead and Raven were gonna beat out The Beast from all the things I had heard about them. I thought long on hard about both candidates if they could beat out the Beast but the things I explained and others there is no way it can be beat. I can't wait till I get back to PKI at the end of July to ride The Beast again.
I rode it back in 1979 and still ride it today. I need to get out there this year. Last year, I did notice/feel the new trims, but it really doesn't compare to other woodies out there.
I agree with most folks about being secluded from the park and not being able to see the layout. Also the nostalgia comments too. I remember as a kid (12 yrs old) when it opened and that thing scared the heck out of me. Does it do it to me today? A little. Especially going down the second lift into the helices. I always hate the initial feeling of getting ready to get banged.
... Beast is just powerful, thats all there is too it. I wasn't at all impressed with Raven, it was just too short and nothing really happened in that short time. To me, Beast's helix was more exciting than the whole of Raven. I honestly don't see how "airtime whores" can like Raven either, I don't remember more than 2 spots of air. If you want airtime, ride Phoenix or Timbers (haven't been on it yet, but I know it will deliver)
NOTE: DO NOT ride in the 3rd row of any car on the Beast, it may make you never want to ride again. *** Edited 6/29/2004 6:04:28 AM UTC by enfynet***
The Beast is unique......its not about airtime at any means. It provides an EXPERIENCE. Especially at night. The feeling of rushing through the secluded woods and the long tunnels is what makes this coaster so special. Although the now-visible housing from the top of the lift hill has taken away some of that effect not to mention the ugly top-spin-in-a-warehouse you have to look at while queueing.
And any lack of air is made up by the ending helix.......probably the most special helix there is. Its like a combination of an earthquake and a top fuel dragster........
The Beast takes you into another world for a few mintues. Even far away from the attempted theming of Paramount..........I am surprised they haven't slapped Nickelodeon characters on it or tried to mis-theme it to some short-run Paramount movie like most everything else in the park..... *** Edited 6/29/2004 12:48:38 PM UTC by super7***
Beast is the ultimate Wooden coaster. It stampedes through the woods at high speeds, has such a great layout and provides one of the best rushes. At night the beast is a whole different creature and provides one of the best coaster experiences ever. Its dark and the ending is phenomenal. The beast is truly one of a kind and totally Rocks!
But this is just my opinion!
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Put me in the "The Beast is overrated" category. It has three of the worst wood coaster trains in the region, it bounces like crazy, it can't take curves at all, it has depressingly shallow roll-overs, absolutely no airtime whatsoever, and half the time it darned near runs out of gas in the long tunnel.
The Beast could be a much better ride. Start by shipping the trains off to PTC for a proper modernization and overhaul, with proper seat cushions and the new mechanical lap bar mechanisms so that I can ride with the bar in Position #3 where it belongs instead of Position #5 where Kings Island wants it. Also go with the modern seat divider, which is a lot taller and a lot softer than the bench divider on The Beast, and get rid of the seat back divider that usually leaves me with nasty bruises. Do whatever is necessary to remove the brakes from the second hill. Ideally, reprofile the second hill for a faster rollover (that would allow for a shallower pull-out at the bottom) so that instead of brakes at the top and hammering at the bottom, we can have airtime at the top and reduced force at the bottom. Perhaps even move the mid-course trim brake from the current location at the block brake shed to the end of the long tunnel so that the train can keep its speed up through the tunnel and still save the dip at the bottom of the ride.