Son of Beast, If only a couple years Later

Friday, March 7, 2003 10:51 AM
I am not sure if this has been brought up before, but only a year or two after Son of Beast opened in 2000 at Paramount Kings Island, Intamin with the consulting work of Werner Stengel,developed a new wooden track system called plug and play. This new system was first used on Colossus, which is almost 200 feet high and has been reported to provide a smooth ride with very low maintenance. This new plug and play system is also being used on Balder, a new wooden coaster scheduled to open this year. So obviously the Intamin plug and play system could be considered somewhat sucessful because another park is using this new track system to open a very large wooden coaster.

What if Paramount Kings Island decided to wait a year or two and build Son of Beast using this new system. The track system might have to wider because of the loop, and a new restraint might have to be designed for the ride, but it seems plausible that this new track system could have been used on Son of Beast.

Colossus opened on time so theoretically if Son of Beast was using the same system it would not have opened late like it did in 2000. Also the new sytsem is much less maintenance then a traditional wooden coaster so Son of Beast if it used this system would not have as much downtime as it did its first year. Also typically the most common complaint about the ride is that it is to rough, and would be much more enjoyable if it gave a consistantly smooth ride in every seat. Perhaps the block brake would not be used to trim if the Son of Beast was using this new track, because it would be much smoother and less of a maintenance problem. The layout could have been even more daring because the Intamin wooden track system allows for steeper banks and hills. The lackluster second half could have designed with more intensity.

With a smoother ride, a turned off block brake, and a more daring second half, Son of Beast could have been an amazing ride. Not that the ride is unliked by everybody, but I think most would agree that this would have made Son of Beast a much better ride. Paramount Kings Island would have definately benefited by perhaps using this new plug and play system on Son of Beast.

The ride theoretically would have opened on time and likely would have had much less downtime during the year. Also the amount of maintenance this ride requires, is very costly and timely. The park would have easily benefitted if the this track system was used. The attendence probably would likely have increased and not decreased that year, if Son of Beast opened on time and was delivering incredible rides.

However much credit does have to be given to Paramount Kings Island for deciding to construct this complicated and expensive project, Son of Beast. It is likely that after the problems, Werner Stengel decided that a new track system for large wooden coaster was needed. So perhaps their would be no plug and play system by Intamin, if Paramount Kings Island never took the risk and built it.
*** This post was edited by David Siegel 3/8/2003 11:44:18 AM ***

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 10:58 AM
Hind sight is 20/20. If they knew then what they know now (That they'd end up with a huge investment in a ride that many people can't stand) I'm sure the Intamin track might look attractive now. At the time, however, they were looking for the biggest 'bang for the buck', and as a result, unfortunately accepted some low bidders that I'm sure they now regret. Even if the Intamin system was available then, theyd never have paid the serious cash required to get it (As I understand it's a pretty expensive way to build a coaster).
--------
Pun is the death of wit.
*** This post was edited by ThemeDesigner 3/7/2003 3:59:31 PM ***
+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:10 AM
I thought Plug 'n Play coasters were less expensive when compared to other coasters? With pre-fabricated parts, all they have to do on-site is put the thing together. Less Time = Less Money.

By the way, David Siegel, try using paragraphs in your next post. It makes it A LOT easier to read. :)
------------------
Intelligence is a God given gift: Know how to use it.

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:15 AM
I believe I've heard somewhere that it is more expensive way to build than a standard woodie... could be wrong.
--------
Pun is the death of wit.
+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:15 AM
Until I see one of these "plug and play" woodies have a convoluted layout, I will stick with what Son of Beast is...an phenomenal ride!

But what do I know? I like Hercules :)
lata, jeremy
------------------
"I will break away, I'll find myself today"

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:21 AM
IIRC Intamin's plug-n-play woodies cost more *to build* but cost less *to maintain* so in the long run they end up being less expensive than standard woodies.

Or am I wrong yet again?

Moosh

------------------
"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:22 AM
There certainly seems to be considerable misinformation out there....bascially, we're talking about Intamin using laminated beams instead of conventional 2x6 framing lumber for the "running boards" (those that are stacked and hold the steel plates). This should reduce maintenance costs, SOMEWHAT, but will result in a more expensive coaster to build. This is not anything nearly as spectacular or dramatic as people seem to think. Because there aren't stacked 2x6s, the steel *should* sit a little more cleanly and result in less *bumping*, but this isn't the second coming or anything....;)
------------------
Dr. Thrill IS my family practitioner
Would you just LOOK at what you've done to CoasterBuzz - you're going to have to clean it up ;)
+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:33 AM
One of the biggest arguments against the Intamin track is that it is not, in fact, wooden track. Rather it is covered steel track.

Not trying to start an argument, but many purists do not consider that track type to be *true* to the art of wooden coaster building.


------------------
Shaggy

Proud A-lister!

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:36 AM
Thanks for the clarifications, Gator & Shaggy.

One of the comments I'd heard from a few who made the Europe trip was that while Colossos was fun it was "too smooth" for a wood coaster. While I don't like to be beaten up Psyclone-style I do enjoy a wooden coaster that has some "personality."

Moosh

------------------
"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:38 AM
Well seriously. People come back to what they like, and if they hate SoB for the roughness, then it would have been worth the extra cash. When i buy anything for myself, i usually pay more to get more so i dont regret it later. Im sure PKI might regret it now.

------------------
2003 season kicks off 3/22 w00t!! PKD here I come!
CoasterCount: 42

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:47 AM
Considering I've re-ridden SoB 11 times before, I don't think it's all that rough, and it's certainly unique. Granted, being 5' 9" and around 175, I don't have much problem fitting into the trains.

Here's a hint, guys-Woodies shouldn't ride like steel. If you don't like being tossed around a bit, I advise you stick to Rollerskaters.

------------------
SRM 2003-Look for the guy with my name on his chest

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 11:54 AM
But here's the thing Quad-dude, people *are* coming back to Sonny. If you were to poll vistors of PKI the response to Sonny would be overwhelmingly positive. It is only when you focus on the subset "enthusisast" do you see a proponderance of negative reviews. So I dont think that PKI has anything to "regret".
lata, jeremy
------------------
"I will break away, I'll find myself today"
+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 12:22 PM
First: Sonny's problem isn't with the track. Get that straight. Sonny's problem IS NOT WITH THE TRACK. Kings Island has a talented staff of expert wood coaster track builders, and they do a good job with their wood coasters including Son of Beast.

Sonny's problem is a combination of the ride layout and the design of the trains. First of all there is no cushioning in the train, so the coaster/rider interface is poor to begin with, second the train is designed with non-human body dimensions in mind. Next, the train is incapable of properly handling flat curves. Notice that it handles the first drop after the lift very nicely, and runs very smoothly until the curve at the top of the second hill, at which point it shakes like crazy. At that point, the train has slowed to the point where there is very little banking, and the train cannot take the curve.

That hill is followed by the gigantic first helix. Again, the train drops into the helix, and at the bottom tracks remarkably well, because the curve is built by banking the track and allowing the train to negotiate the curve with a pitching motion. When the train gets back to the top of the helix, it yaws around the upper curves (instead of pitching) and it rattles side to side. The pattern is repeated throughout the ride. Coming off the mid-course brake, the train runs great through the drop and the loop, but immediately following the loop is another flat right-hand curve, and the train can't handle it.

Now it is possible that Intamin has introduced a new train to go along with their new track, and if they have brought out a wood coaster train that can actually go around curves, that might solve the problem with Son of Beast. But track problems on that ride are not the cause, but rather a symptom of what is wrong with the ride.

There is another problem with the Intamin paralam track. Kings Island would never use it because of this problem. Each rail section is specifically manufactured for the ride. This means that if anything goes wrong with the track, the entire section must be ordered, manufactured, and installed. For all intents and purposes, it makes it impossible for the park to build its own track or to make track repairs. When Son of Beast valleyed in the first helix, the wood coaster crew chopped out a section of the outside rail with butcher-saws, hoisted the cars out with a crane, rebuilt the track, and had the ride running the next morning. With a manufactured wood track, that would have been impossible unless they just happened to have the proper track section on hand.

In fact, this limitation is precisely the reason given for using a steel structure for Sonny's vertical loop. Apparently the park had considered using a manufactured wood structure for the vertical loop, but they opted not to because such a structure would not be repairable if it cracked or broke. By contrast, a welded steel structure can be easily re-welded, patched, braced, or otherwise worked on by park crews.

One of these days, Kings Island is going to come up with a redesigned train chassis to run on Son of Beast, and the result is going to be a fantastic ride, the same kind of transformation that we saw when they fixed Flight of Fear. Either that or they will replace one of the helixes with a long out-and-back section that the train can actually handle. Until then, they're going to try every other solution they can think of until they reach the inevitable conclusion. But Intamin's new track is not the answer. It may be an answer for parks that want big wooden coasters but don't have experienced track builders on staff. But that isn't a problem for Kings Island. Kings Island knows wood coasters, and Intamin's solution, from what I can see, would offer Kings Island a whole lot of risk, with not a lot of benefit.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 12:56 PM
''Son of Beast could have been an amazing ride''

It allready is an amazing ride. Sure its a little rough, but wooden rollercoasters are suppoused to be rough...I mean, if a wooden coaster is silky smooth like, say, Phantoms Revenge, who's to say you arent riding a steel coaster, even if the track is wooden. SOB has one of the most impressive layouts I know, and its one of my top 3 wooden rollercoasters. I think you need to stop focousing on what could have been and realise what you got.

------------------
Kennywood Park, America's finest traditional amusement park.

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 1:07 PM
OK you guys are missing something here, wooden coasters are designed to feel out of control and rough. thats there nature. if SOB was smooth I wouldnt like it as much. SOB's a great ride. I've learned in SOB sitting in the second row in the first car or the second to last provides a smoother ride then sitting on the train wheels. only problem I have is being 6'4 and trying to squeez into the damn things... lol. but live on wooden coasters!


Beast Ride Op in 02, 03

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 1:18 PM
I think they sould build plug-n-play woodies at parks like SFMM and PGA. With their woodie maintenence they will ride perfectly in a few years ;)

------------------
- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 1:20 PM
dave, Id settle for articulates on Papa. Sonnys doing ok if you choose your seats wisely.

Chuck, who ocationally goes for the maschist seat just for the latteral jolts at the top of the second hill. That seat is 2-1 :)


------------------
Charles Nungester.
I previously announce Lesourdsville as Confirmed. I now change that to POSSIBLE as I can get NO NEWS :(

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 1:26 PM
But that's just the point some of us are making, Chuck...you shouldn't *have* to choose seats wisely. You should be able to sit anywhere and get a pain-free ride.

Moosh


------------------
"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 1:34 PM

Mamoosh said:
But that's just the point some of us are making, Chuck...you shouldn't *have* to choose seats wisely. You should be able to sit anywhere and get a pain-free ride.

Moosh

Moosh, I only consider one seat on SOB pain inducing now. That is 6-1. For some reason on the second drop into the first helix it wheelies and sets down in a spine crushing motion. I've personally had that bad experience and Sean F. Also had that happen on closing day last year.

The rest of the seats are not painful per sey. If you ride multiple times you will get thigh bruised by the lapbars just like the Gerstlaurs did. Personally as Dave said, i think the trackwork (At least now) Is great. The bouncing in the second helix was gone last year and the first helix only had one bobble where it was comming out of it the second time around.

The trains with different lapbars and some better cushioning could be made acceptable but I would like better to see two bench cars on the two bench trains they are running with three benches.

Chuck, one of many who rode sonny 31 times at the travel channel shoot and woke up everytime he rolled over that night due to severe thigh bruising. Of course we sat in the front seat of a car most of the times :)

------------------
"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx


------------------
Charles Nungester.
I previously announce Lesourdsville as Confirmed. I now change that to POSSIBLE as I can get NO NEWS :(

+0
Friday, March 7, 2003 3:14 PM
The way I would change the trains is this....

I'm not too familiar about Chassis and all that so I don't know what would be best. But what I do know is that SoB never has terribly long lines. If they were to get new trains, I'd much rather them take out a row in each car, to just two bench cars. (I realise this would lower capacity) But the thing that it would do would allow more leg room and padding. It's a win-loose situation either way and I'd preferably rather have it this way.

What's everyone else think?

------------------
-Charlie Weingartner
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...