Kings Island - 6-14-24

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

KI is my home park, and despite having a season pass, this was only our second visit this season. My wife and other duties to attend to so I took my thrill seeking kids on a Friday evening, arriving around 5:30. It was a beautiful evening, and much to my surprise the park wasn't very busy.

Soap Box Racers
I still don't understand why there isn't switch track on this type of ride to increase capacity, here or at other parks. With that out of the way, what a great addition. Much to our surprise, the g-forces through the curves were much stronger than expected. This will be a hit for many years.

20 minute wait, mostly due to a subpar ride crew. Which, is odd because this coaster always seems to have one of the best crews. Anyway, This had quite a bit of rattle this today. I wouldn't call it painful, but we had to wonder if they put square wheels on the train. Otherwise the ride is the same as it always is. Fun ride, ok floater air on the outbound, with the return trip after the brake run to be uneventful

Mystic Timbers
Walk on. I have NEVER seen this be a walk on before. It continues to deliver a fast, smooth, and intense ride. Not only is it the best woodie in the park by a mile, it's my favorite coaster in the park.

The Beast
20 minute wait. I've never understood the hype for this ride in the slightest. Nostalgia can only do so much. 75% of the ride is flat, straight track and it's incredibly rough. But back when GG completed a partial retrack, it felt like it had new life. It was still a mid ride in my book, but at least it was enjoyable.

Fast forward to now and HOLY SMOKES what happened? It was rougher than it's ever been. Perhaps the worst was the trim brake before the second drop (after the first tunnel) was grabbing HARD; so hard the whole train jolted and everyone around us let out a "OW!" The rest of the ride wasn't any better. When even my tween kids are getting off the ride in pain, that's a problem.

10 minute wait. I know it's small but man is it fun. The airtime on the outbound is pure bliss, and it's running as smooth as ever!

5 minute wait. This crew was absolutely cooking. We got two laps in, which included a brief breakdown. I don't know what it was but if felt like it was running faster than usual. I was even getting airtime on the turnaround; I can't remember ever getting that sensation there.

Bumper Cars
Always a good time!

The Bat
My oldest son and I got a night ride in back during Haunt, and have been hooked ever since. I'm of the opinion this is the most underrated ride in the park. But night rides are something else, it just feels completely out of control. We got three laps in, what a hoot!

I splurged and got the kids some ice cream; which now at $7(!) I don't do very often. A fun night in the park and looking forward to more visits.

kpjb's avatar

Agreed about Beast. I had heard that it had improved. Disappointed to hear that it's on the downhill again.


The Beast is that one ride that for the life of me I just cannot figure out why it has the following that it does. A friend of mine (who doesn't understand the hype either) referred to it as the worlds longest mine train, which I thought was perfect. Except mine trains don't beat the piss out of you. Right after the retrack it was fine but not any more. I tend to have a high tolerance for rougher rides but not with this. It was brutal.

Just RMC the thing already. It's awful.

Vater's avatar

I get that if a coaster becomes brutally rough from age and/or lack of maintenance, it won't be particularly enjoyable. But the Beast, when running well, is one of the best coasters on the planet in my opinion. Sometimes, airtime isn't necessary. Sometimes, being thrown around like a rag doll is part of the thrill. Wooden coasters used to be lauded for that. Seems now with all the B&Ms and RMCs dominating park landscapes, everyone wants butter smooth rides. They're great, but I'll take me some variety, too, please.

The Beast is a good, scary story with a beginning, middle, and one of the--if not the--best finales ever designed on a coaster. Sucks that it hasn't aged well...but it deserves the hype it's gotten for 45 years.

I would definitely say it was more enjoyable the days of the buzz bars and minus the headrests. That said…

There is nothing like The Beast. The roar of the tunnels. Two lift hills. The out-of-control helix that makes you feel the train could fly off the rails any moment. Racing through the woods. Night rides in the fog. High capacity trains.

Of course it could always be improved; eliminating the trim brakes somehow, making the tunnels darker, and replanting trees along the brake shed where Orion hurt the deep-in-the-woods feeling, but The Beast has stood the test of time.

Bakeman31092's avatar


Regarding the layout: Yes, it has zero airtime. For some coaster people, it would seem that's literally all that matters. It also has very gradual changes in direction, so stacked next to something like Mystic Timbers (which unfortunately for The Beast is right next door), it seems very tame. But as Vater eloquently put it, the ride has distinct phases and a badass finale. It is a journey deep into the woods, where you're not only leaving the park; you're leaving civilization for about 5 minutes. And of course, there are the night rides. Now, my big complaint has been how much harder the trims have been grabbing in recent years, especially the ones at the end of the long straightaway just before the second tunnel. That second tunnel is my second favorite part of the ride (after the double helix finale) because you enter it at a fairly steady clip, but you pick up speed without really noticing because of how dark and long the tunnel is, so by the time you come out you are really hauling butt to the point that it feels like the fastest part of the ride. The trims being extra tight really kind of ruins it.

Regarding roughness: I'll believe it when I experience it myself. I've read online for so many years how "omg The Beast is brutal this season whaaa happened?!1!" and then I get it on it and think, "yep, same as it's always been."

Last edited by Bakeman31092,

It was running great in May, I’ll be on it again soon.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

eightdotthree's avatar

I used to ride it in the simulator at the mall and thought it was the coolest thing ever but when I got to ride it for real as a teen I blacked out. I seriously came to on the absurdly long brake run after the helix.

I’ve ridden it since then with the skid brakes and now with the magnetic brakes. It’s just so boring and slow. Any time you start to pick up momentum you are slowed to a crawl and then it just bounces through all the straight track. I actually looked at my wife at one point last year and started laughing at how stupid it was.

Last edited by eightdotthree,
Bakeman31092's avatar

Fast Beast > Slow Beast > RRR

Tommytheduck's avatar

Granted it's been 10 years since I've been to KI, but I just watched a week old POV of The Beast, inspired by this thread, and I don't remember so much fencing along the entire first half of the ride. Also, still looks as fun as I remember. Hard to get an idea how rough it is because this was a shaky hand held POV from the middle of the train. (Completely legal I'm sure.)

The gradual slowing through the skid brakes made for a much more dynamic and enjoyable Beast. I get that the mag brakes are easier to maintain, but they just ruin the experience for me.

Rich G

Jeff's avatar

After 20+ years of this, I'm still amazed by the psychological impact of brakes on enthusiasts.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

The length of the final brake run may not seem so absurd when you remember it was built to hold 3 of the world’s longest wooden coaster trains when necessary. When it opened there were three trains of 5 cars with 4 benches per car. They held 40 passengers each. They have since been altered to 6 cars with 3 benches reducing the max load to 36 passengers per train.

Jephry's avatar

I echo what everyone has said about airtime or elements stacked on elements stacked on elements. Coasters can be incredibly fun if you enjoy a diversity of experiences. While the Beast may not be everyone's cup of tea, it's far from a boring ride.

However, what I've found is that the Beast's weakness during the day is what makes it such an excellent night ride. Not only does the Beast take you out into the woods, but on a clear night, it's absolutely pitch black...there is no lighting whatsoever. This can be challenging on other coasters because you often need to anticipate elements so not to be slammed in a direction you don't expect. But because the Beast rarely has quick transitions, you're able to react in real time, especially if you haven't memorized the layout. The dark tunnels, loss of orientation, and of course the insane double helix finale. It's just a phenomenal experience.

There is certainly nostalgia built into the Beast, but I didn't grow up with the coaster. I only ride the Beast at night. It was my first night ride last year that moved it much higher on my list because you simply cannot get a ride like that at many parks.

Also...I rode the Beast recently and it is absolutely not rough...but we've had this discussion...

I had some great runs on the Beast last weekend, especially my last run Saturday night after the fireworks. There had been a downpour around dinner time so I was treated to a night ride with some light fog. Just fantastic.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

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