Son of Beast to be partly rebuilt

Posted Saturday, August 5, 2006 11:05 AM | Contributed by CoastersNSich

Part of the Son of Beast roller coaster at Paramount’s Kings Island must be taken apart and rebuilt under state supervision, a time-consuming process that raises questions about whether the ride will reopen this season. “If they want to operate it again, that’s what they have to do,” said Melanie Wilt, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the state agency that regulates amusement park rides. The Son of Beast has been closed since July 9 when 27 people were injured after a particularly rough ride.

Read more from The Enquirer.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 11:24 AM
To be honest with you all, this is actually more than I expected to happen. Thinking about it now, though, it's strange that they'll only be working on the one problem section. If the Department of Agriculture is involved and lawsuits are at hand I'd be surprised if there's not more going on than what is noted in the article - wouldn't the park want to take this opportunity to rework the entire track, ensuring an incident like this doesn't happen again.

I realize this is probably an issue of cost, but let's face it, they're putting a band-aid over the wound that happened on July 9. If there are honest problems with the ride, present since it's construction, nothing is stopping other problems like this one from popping up elsewhere on the track. If this happens again, I can almost guarantee the lawsuits will far outweigh the cost of a large-scale reconstruction.

From an enthusiast's perspective, I was really hoping to read in the article that new trains would arrive. During my rides on Son of Beast, I found the trains to be my biggest problem with the ride. I understand that the park (and, probably even more so, the ride's insurance company) wanted a new restraint system because of the loop, but I still to this day wish they would have just shoehorned an appropriate restraint into PTC trains.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 11:30 AM
Anyone else see Kings Island using the word "sue" as well? Knowing that they take care of their rides fairly well, KI shouldn't have a problem providing matinence and inspection records to prove its not their fault. I think this will be/already is a major event in roller coaster history. How many other times has a ride been re-built because it was built wrong? I'm not counting the ones that were taken down totally (The Bat).
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Saturday, August 5, 2006 11:50 AM
Tear it down! It won't be the first time this happens! (See "The Bat")
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Saturday, August 5, 2006 12:09 PM
jkpark's avatar You have it all wrong, CPcyclone. Try this: Taer it down !!!!11111!!!! ;)

Anyway, I was at the park just two weeks before this incident occurred and had the most awful ride experience on this coaster. I was really hurting and thought my neck was going to snap. The last time I rode SoB was a couple years before, and remember having a smoother ride. This coaster makes a ride on MS feel like an Intamin or B&M.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 12:52 PM
Okay, two things...

One is based on this statement
"The park closes for the season on Aug. 23, except for a re-opening during Labor Day weekend. "
we clearly cannot trust this article as thoroughly researched, as they cannot even manage to get the operating schedule correct.

Secondly, the headline here on Cbuzz is misleading, as it's a twist on a quote from the Dept. of Agriculture spokesperson. All they're saying is "If they want to reopen, they HAVE to replace this section of track"

This doesn't mean they won't rework more track, and it also doesn't mean the ride will ever reopen. Let's wait on official word from the park before we assume anything is or is not going to happen. The only thing we can assume is that if it DOES reopen, they will have replaced this section of the ride.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 1:51 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Just one lawsuit so far? That's surprising.

The coaster DOES continue to be popular, especially among the general public. For the life of me I can't figure out why it's popular. I guess its fans like the crap beaten out of them. :-/

In a perfect world PKI would have torched it and replaced it with the Screechin' Eagle, but that's just my fantasy. ;)

-Tina

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 2:13 PM
^ Popular?

How so?

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 2:29 PM
Long lines, full trains, etc. The riding public is there.

I think the wildcard here that could and in my opinion, will lead to SoB's demise is that the park is now under new owners. Cedar Fair has no real vested interest in keeping the coaster going. It's like buying a new house with a troublesome appliance. That appliance cost the previous owners a chunk of change and they'd probably put some money towards trying to repair it before tossing it in favor of a new one that isn't a lemon. But, if you buy the house, that appliance is included with the cost. You really have no vested interest in keeping that going, you're more likely when presented with a repair bill to junk the thing and buy a new one you know will work.

I think if it's a relatively minor track replacement, CF will "patch it up" and let it run a season or two more, but I think you can be sure that in those seasons, SoB's replacement will be in planning and design.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 2:59 PM
OMG - Son of Son of Beast!

;)

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 3:04 PM
I can think of one other time that a coaster was rebuilt and a new layout due to riders having accidents. Does any one of you remember The Ontario Beach Cyclone? IF you have let me refressh your memory. It was built in the late 1920's and was very unique. The Cyclone had only one brake run and that was at the station house. It was billed as the roughest and terrifying coaster in the world at the time. It had a crazy * configuration which was popular back then. It close down in the mid 30's but was rebuilt in the last 30 years with a Out and back layout.

I say let PKI rebuild that section that was bad, you also have to take in consideration that most accidents on coasters are due to the rider doing something stupid.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 3:48 PM
heres a link to a better article

http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/15202677.htm

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 5:15 PM
Looks like Cedar Fair bought another Hercules.
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Saturday, August 5, 2006 5:55 PM
Rctycoon2k's avatar Majorcut... are you thinking about the Crystal Beach Cyclone?
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Saturday, August 5, 2006 6:05 PM
Whether it is Aug 23rd closing or 3 "loops", the news has not gotten this tory right yet! So who knows what the truth is.

timmyk31

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 12:44 AM
So if the cause turns out to be wood strength or design, what does that do to the lawsuit that alleges the cause was negligence and poor maintenance? Especially since you would think the current owners and defendants in the lawsuit couldn't be held responsible for either of the other two potential causes.
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Sunday, August 6, 2006 12:49 AM
CoastersNSich's avatar They mean that August 23rd is the last day of continuous daily operation - KI closes for most of the mid-week starting after that date.

About Cedar Fair's interest in SOB - I've heard the opposite from a few KI employees. They've said that Cedar Fair people rode it just before or after the acquisition date, and they really enjoyed it, and want to do their best to get it back open and be better than before. Then again, there was Hercules - will they put up with SOB like they did Hercules?

The headline in the article: I submitted the article, but the wording of the title was done by someone by the Enquirer... Maybe I was misled too.

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 10:11 AM
Yes I am. IF I am not mistaken that coaster was rebuilt in the 70's as a out-n-back and is still in operation to this day. I would say let PKI do the repairs and they will pass the inspections on if SOB is ready for next season. You might be surprised that they might go beyond what is required in structure supports to make it run correctly.
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Sunday, August 6, 2006 12:14 PM
DawgByte II's avatar Majorcut... you REALLY have to get your facts straight if you're going to be talking about the Crystal Beach Cyclone.

It was one of the most infamous coasters out there... built by the world reknown Harry Traver (1877 - 1961). He built Cyclone in 1927... AND two other similar coasters with a very similar layout in the same time period (known at the time as the "Terrible Trio"). The other two were Lightning at Revere Beach & Cyclone at Palisades Park. The Lightning had a death on the second day of operation when someone plummeted from the coaster... that only lasted 6yrs.

However, the CB Cyclone continued to run until 1946, when ridership was down & maintaince fees were up because too many people watching rather than riding. Most people got hurt from the figure-8 part of the track, not the initial drop or the raised helix. There is a trim at the end of the spiral before the figure 8. Anyway, it was decided to take a lot of parts from that coaster & make the Crystal Beach Comet. The Crystal Beach Comet was born in 1948 as a double out-n-back coaster that continues to this date.

Crystal Beach was closed in 1989, where the last few years, half of the train was turned backwards so riders faced each other. The Comet was preserved from ACE members and auctioned off... bought by Charlie Woods a couple years later, it sat dorment at Fantasy Island in Grand Island, NY until it was moved to Lake George in The Great Escape as The Comet where the coaster was painted white (vs. black), and re-opened with new trains.

It continues today as a high-thrilling ride hitting its 59th anniversary!!!

Soooo, just to let ya know, you really gotta do your homework first, Majorcut! :)

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 12:42 PM
Rick_UK's avatar That's more than I thought would happen. Well, it'd be a shame to see the ride going altogether, I did enjoy it when I took a ride on it a few years back. I know it's disliked by alot of people, both here and on other sites but it's a nice ride with a few problems, there's plenty of those.

R.

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