Beast lovers - why do you like it so much?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 9:46 AM
I can't tell you how the Beast compares to the likes of The Legend or The Raven as I have not been on either. The only one I can compare it to is Mean Streak and that really isn't fair because they are too different in style to compare. Anyway, I have been riding the Beast since about '83 and have always thought that it is a great coaster. First of all you have location, location, location. Great seclusion and speed. I really don't think it was built with air time in mind. Unexpected turns and tearing through the helix at high speeds. Gotta love those tunnels. For me, some of it is nostalgia because when it opened it was the tallest, fastest, and longest coaster. There was nothing like it out there. Seems to me from what I have seen in videos, the Raven copies the Beast a little with the use of the terrain.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 10:05 AM
enfynet: yes, Raven only has 2 airtime moments. But if the 5th drop left you wanting more, you probably did not get a good run. Raven does have a much larger gap in ride quality from the better runs to the slower ones than most other coasters do. I think most of the people who don't get Raven probably just got the slower runs. I would take just the one airtime moment from Raven over all of Phoenix's air. Phoenix may have the highest number of airtime moments, but none of them are nearly that good.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 10:39 AM
Dave has officially moved into the category of grumpy old enthusiast! Way to go Dave! :)
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 10:59 AM
I have tried to give the Beast a second chance 3 times (guess it's not really a second chance then huh?). My first visit to PKI in my pre-enthusiast days, my Dad took me on Beast in the afternoon and at night and both times I was mad he made me go on this boring coaster that did nothing beyond the first hill instead of letting me ride Vortex all day.

Subsequent visits haven't changed that opinion. I'm with Gonch on this (surprise surprise) that I just don't get it - at all. People keep mentioning power and speed through the trees. I felt that the biggest thing Beast lacks is power! It drops off that first lift hill ... then just takes a leisurely stroll through the woods at a (seemingly) painfully slow speed, followed by another slow lift hill into a helix that lasts longer than it should. There's no power until the laterals in the helix, and those last so long that they start to get annoying. The Beast did not excite me at all - it just left me wishing I had spent my time in line for Vortex, or FoF, or Racer even!

If the Beast was the only coaster in the park in the late 1970s, it's an amazing coaster. But, these days, it's antiquated, and I firmly believe that it's high ranking is purely due to nostalgia.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 11:00 AM
From a person who's ridden it every year, Including the night it opened. 4/13/79

It wasn't until 97 or so when I started going out and riding coasters at other parks. Sure I had been to CP a few times, Lesourdsville, Disney and a few others. I had not yet realized what makes a good coaster to me.

I was young, 14 when I first tackled the Beast. Front seat, Dark and the only time I've ridden it without trims. Yes the shed wasn't even done. It BLEW ME AWAY at that age as Screehin Eagle to me was just a hilly coaster at the time. I loved the speed and tunnels and I've always thought at the bottom of those two drops it feels like being shot out of a cannon up front. I mean you don't really feel the acceleration till your at the bottom of those drops.

Now that I have been on 75 wooden coasters and have ridden beast several thousand times. Beast is still a good coaster albeit much rougher than it used to be. I think the trains are wore out causing them to bounce much more than I remember it ever doing. I have found many coasters that I consider outrank it and some outrank it by a longshot to me but this might be because I know every square inch of the ride, I can close my eyes and know exactly where we are and what happens next.

People say they like the out of control feeling of beast and I agree it does have that factor expecially in the helix but I gotta tell you many coasters beat it in that catagory to me. Legend, Raven and Boss are totally off the hook when it comes to fast furious changes of direction and altitute.

I can tell you this, The ride you get now is better than the rides you got for the last 20 years (Unless they turned the trims down. The trains seem to keep momentum better in the mid section. With the skids the middle section of the ride was BORING as it took until the second curve after the middle tunnels to get any real speed back. Now Ive been getting latterals comming off the midcourse :)

No, it's not in my top 20. It doesn't have a ton of elements but what it does do, it does well.

Chuck, who likes Beast but thinks it was much better when it had buzzbars and no highbacks :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 12:04 PM
I'll never quite understand how people feel the ride lacks "power." Two years ago I might have agreed with that, but now? Not The Beast I've been on.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 12:27 PM
Just as I'll never understand how people can say Raven is "too short and does nothing." It just shows we all see things differently.

And thanks to everyone who has given their opinions thus far. I think my less-than-stellar opinion of Beast can be attributed to two possibilites:

1] I've just been unlucky and have not received the great rides other have, or

2] It's just not the kind of coaster experience I prefer and my opinion wouldn't change no matter what.

Either way I've enjoyed the discussion.


Tuesday, June 29, 2004 1:43 PM
The odd thing is, I rode Beast for the first time in 2000. I rode it twice during my visit--both times in broad daylight. The coaster instantly became my #1 woodie. So the nostalgia thing doesn't hold water in my case. It's currently my #2 woodie, nestled right between the two Holiday World coasters.

So if what Jeff is saying is true, I'm really looking forward to heading back to PKI in the future. I found that Beast had unrelenting power and speed--the dive into the final helix is one of the most unbelievable moments I've experienced on any coaster. I was riding solo in the front seat, and I remember muttering something like 'Oh my God' or 'holy sh**' to myself while bracing for the turn as the train kept picking up speed. We just seemed to be going way too fast to navigate that turn.

And that helix is indeed rough (as is the rest of the coaster), but not uncomfortably so. I felt its roughness was fitting, considering the coaster's name and reputation. The power was just impressive.

The feeling I had when I walked down the exit ramp after my first ride has only been duplicated on a handful of other coasters. That joy, elation, and complete fulfillment is why the Beast remains one of my all-time favorite coasters.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 5:22 PM
I applaud those who can tolerate, let alone praise the Beast like the Lord's second coming. I rode it back in 2000, on a hot 96 deg summer day. All I can remember is that it was the only ride I ever I wished I could get off post haste. Atleast Viper at Great Adventure is short. It punches you three times and before you know it, the horrifying 40 seconds is over. The Beast on the other hand......

Sorry...... for those who love it, but I am one of those who do not.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 5:28 PM
Autuan: I ran into two girls at BeastBuzz that said, "I finally can see why people like the Beast." I believe cool, smooth night ride can make a believer out of most.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 7:46 PM
The only i know how to discribe the beast at night to people who have never rode it "try driving in the woods at night with the lights off going about 70 mph"
Tuesday, June 29, 2004 11:43 PM
As a rollercoaster it is only average or even slightly below IMO.

As "Chasing Red Riding Hood:The Ride" at night it is the best dark-ride in the park.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 9:54 AM
I still remember my first night rides on Beast (granted, during events) coming off the ride thinking that THE helix was God's gift to people who crave INTENSITY.

Now, I'm a little more *experienced* (OK, a lot more), but I still find it amazing that WAY back then a coaster would be built that spends SO much time, space, and money doing a TON of *meandering* through the woods, and then basically lets all hell break loose at the very end. If the coaster utilized more BANKED turns and less BRAKING, the first half could be SO much better....but even as is, the second half of the ride is GOOD, really good....IMO, YMMV, yadda yadda.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 11:25 AM
Okay, Jeff, what has happened in the last two years (besides the "BeastBuzz" connection;)) that has changed your opinion from declaring Beast akin to "Amtrak in the woods" (direct quote mind you)?

Having only ridden beast in 2000 and 2001, I can only say that the helix felt like how I envision a true 'runaway mine train'. I like how the shallow slope just keeps picking up speed more and more. But other than that, the ride is forgettable. Not *bad*, just not all that entertaining. But the helix is good enough for re-rides.

All in all though, I'd rather ride Son of Beast instead! :)

lata, jeremy

--who does NOT smoke crack

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 3:48 PM
Actually, it was Ellex King that declared the ride "Amtrak in the woods." I just happened to agree with him at the time.

Like I said, the changes were entirely positive as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 6:55 PM
I rode it for the first time three years ago and was very unimpressed. There wasn’t really any force at all it seemed, not even in the helix. Now, to me it seems quite powerful in the helix and some other spots, like the turns right before the 2nd lift.

What’s funny is it took riding the Legend to appreciate the Beast. I wasn’t a lateral fan at all until I rode Legend. Legend does not let up at all and offers some nice spots of air so in my book, the Beast does not come close with it’s lackluster spots. Still, the Beast is a fun ride and with it’s history I can see why it is a favorite.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 7:41 PM
Well, I've never been especially enamored with The Beast, but you can count me as being in the anti-changes camp. The only rides on it that I ever really enjoyed were just after a rain shower when the non-shed skids were largely ineffective. Only then did I feel a real out of control feeling. Now, with the magnetic braking, the ride seems more controlled then ever. :(
Wednesday, June 30, 2004 9:06 PM
Reading some of this makes me want to ride it again today just because people are saying how it is running pretty good. Personally my night ride in 2002 was very impressive. It gave me a good bit of shaking and was pretty out of control in the back. My memories of a few rides in 1996 are not too strong probably because I'm not that old and didn't appreciate the experience at the time. I do remember having the Beast as one of my favorite woodies after 1996, and it stayed that way after a follow up in 2002.

Personally, I like the shaking in the helix. I really can't compare it to anything else. I really don't think it is painful, and any pain is the good kind of pain. I'll take a little shaking to getting my legs bruised by son of beast in the same day, and there was no comparison. It is a pretty unique ride and just something about going out in the woods at night has its charm.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 10:50 PM

Carpetarson said:
"try driving in the woods at night with the lights off going about 70 mph"

Dude, that's a pastime here in Central PA... ;)


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