The Beast at Kings Island is being improved with new track and structural changes from The Gravity Group

Posted Sunday, December 26, 2021 11:42 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From the blog post:

The Gravity Group, which installed 600 feet of its new engineered precut track on the park’s Racer roller coaster last winter, is breathing new life into the ride’s first drop and through the first tunnel and turn towards the second drop and 540-degree helix tunnel, while Kings Island’s carpenters are retracking approximately 1,090 feet of track in other sections along the 7,359-foot long course.

The first drop will see a change from 45 degrees to 53 degrees. This change isn’t being made to add more speed or thrill element to The Beast, but to come in lower in the tunnel to provide the proper parabolic arcs due to reprofiling of the track in that area of the ride. This change, along with The Gravity Group’s vertical track design, will deliver a buttery-smooth transition through the tunnel and onto the second drop.

The Beast helix crossover will see a redesign and installation of new bents. With the redesign, the forces through the structure will be more evenly distributed to the foundation, the rigidity of each bent more consistent and therefore resulting in a smoother ride experience.

Read more and see photos from Kings Island.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021 3:18 AM
Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

These seem like the most significant updates to the ride since its first season in 1979 when they were still tweaking it. That picture of a chunk of the helix completely missing is pretty shocking.

I always thought a big issue with Beast was the first turn after the drop and tunnel. It is pretty much a 90 degree turn to the left, with a lot of force being redirected in a very short space. I can't seem to find anything at the moment, but I could swear that Kings Island has rebuilt the first turn multiple times over the years. Seems like altering the first drop is the latest plan for improving this portion of the ride.

I think the trims stay though. These updates all seem maintenance related, not related to making the ride faster.


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Tuesday, December 28, 2021 8:08 AM
Bakeman31092's avatar

I think the trims will stay throughout the ride unless/until they update the trains. MFs would be great.


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Tuesday, December 28, 2021 11:33 AM

Yeah, I don't see the trims going anywhere unless the rolling stock is changed and perhaps following a multi-year overhaul like they have started with the drop and helix to 'fix up' and improve the structure. Those trims kill a ton of energy between the first drop, 2nd hill crest and the long stretch in the middle of the first half.

As some are aware (when nostalgia isn't fogging up their perception), the Beast is basically one big brake run the entire first half.

Last edited by SteveWoA, Tuesday, December 28, 2021 11:36 AM
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Tuesday, December 28, 2021 7:10 PM

Bakeman31092 said:

I think the trims will stay throughout the ride unless/until they update the trains. MFs would be great.

I've long dreamed of MFs on The Beast.

This new track design brings up quite an interesting thought. I don't know the weight differences between the current PTCs and MFs off the top of my head, but weight (and thus momentum) has been a consistent reason why wooden coasters rarely get different trains. Assuming a better conservation of momentum with the new track design, maybe that possibility is now more real? Or is it worse?

However, since the park is working with TGG on these updates, it'd be surprising to see them undergo all of this to go with GCI's rolling stock.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021 10:07 PM
Jeff's avatar

MF's are comfortable, but I suspect they're a lateral move or heavier in terms of weight.

The new track is certainly more rigid, so depending on whatever structural changes are made, I would assume that less energy is lost. I seem to recall the biggest problem on the helix is that the trains just laterally bounced around most of the time. It's been years, so I might be wrong.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021 10:20 PM

I would assume the trailered design of MFs would reduce the lateral bouncing around the helix. That's one of the benefits of the design.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021 10:54 PM

I haven't been to KI since 2014 so I can't relate on the recent roughness. Just the boring aspects. I miss The Beast of yesteryear! I never thought the ride was that rough. But apparently it's gotten bad. Of course, many out there really exaggerate the roughness of rides. Hell, I liked Son of Beast and never considered it to be that rough.

Guess I am just missing Ohio! Would love to get back to CP & KI some day!


Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
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Wednesday, December 29, 2021 12:51 PM
Bakeman31092's avatar

cmwein said:

However, since the park is working with TGG on these updates, it'd be surprising to see them undergo all of this to go with GCI's rolling stock.

Agreed. I don’t see it happening for this reason. The Beast uses three-bench PTCs that are essentially box cars that are hooked together, very similar to Magnum. Because of this, there has to be an inherent amount of slop between the inside rails and the guide wheels, otherwise the cars would bind up in the track when trying to corner. Also, fixed axles on the front and back of each car means the track cannot quickly roll into a banked curve because, again, the cars would bind or twist severely. It’s why on both Magnum and The Beast there are long, straight transitions into each curve where the tracks banks very gradually before entering the curve. Trailered trains like MFs or the GG equivalent (I forget what they’re called) don’t have either problem, so they can navigate curves more effectively and hug the track tighter, thus less jostling. The MFs have been around for 20+ years so they are field validated, but GCI recently unveiled a new train that has a steering mechanism similar to GG’s.

Last edited by Bakeman31092, Wednesday, December 29, 2021 6:08 PM
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Wednesday, December 29, 2021 12:57 PM

GG - Timberliners. GCI's new stock - Infinity Flyers. I'm not sure what the similarities/differences are between the two and Millennium Flyers as far as the steering mechanism.

Some one else may have insight on those details.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021 3:22 PM
Bakeman31092's avatar

The Millennium Flyer wheel carriers are rigidly fixed to the chassis, so they have no steering. The Timberliner and Infinity Flyer cars appear to have similar steering mechanisms (which are similar to modern steel coasters, for that matter) where the carriers pivot with respect to the cars.


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Wednesday, December 29, 2021 8:18 PM

During my June 2021 trip, the back row of the train was absolutely unbearable and painful. I've adored "The Beast" since I was a kid, and I'm glad they're re-tracking parts of it. It made a huge difference on "Racer", and hope the re-tracking will continue in the coming years.

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Thursday, December 30, 2021 6:50 PM

I'm glad to see everyone else saying how bad the Beast was this year. I rode it once in June and thought I was just getting old. I got off it and swore I would never ride it again. However this might make me change my mind, hope it turns out well and I hope they finish the rest of it next year.


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Thursday, December 30, 2021 7:25 PM
Jeff's avatar

The Beast has been loved and called overrated for as long as I've been interested in coasters. I think a lot of the criticism is valid, but I have to admit that I like it just for its length (giggity). So many rides seem to be quickly over, but you really get your money's worth on The Beast, even if a big section of it is a long piece of track that used to be a skid brake and is now a magnetic brake at the end.

It's kind of fascinating how the larger wood coasters are never really done. A ride the size of Blue Streak gets a nice rehab now and then, and control automation, but it doesn't really fundamentally ever change. Larger and more aggressive rides always seem to be evolving.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Friday, December 31, 2021 12:21 AM

I rode it many times this year but always a middle seat. I didn’t find it brutal at all and re rode repeatedly when there wasn’t a line. And I do not like rough coasters. I must have been lucky.

It’s a great unique ride Those that say it’s over rated are most likely only concerned with airtime The Beast is about the experience of racing through the woods and through tunnels I feel that the helix finale is one of the most exciting coaster moments.

With Cedar Fair and their disdain for trees, the wooded part of the experience becomes less and less as time goes on They have completely exposed the coaster to the midways and the deforestation for Orion took a huge chunk out of the “lost in the woods” feeling

Last edited by super7*, Friday, December 31, 2021 6:48 PM
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Saturday, January 1, 2022 1:01 AM
LostKause's avatar

CoasterDude316 said:

I rode it once in June and thought I was just getting old.

That's how I felt too. I skipped it the last time I was at the park this season because I didn't want to be sore like that again.

But I hope the ride still keeps some of its moxie. I especially love the out of control feeling when barreling through the helix tunnel and being violently shaken. My scream always reverberates through the tunnel with a hilarious natural tremolo.


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Saturday, January 1, 2022 10:33 AM

As long as I still feel a bit of impending doom as I go down the hill toward the tunnel helix, I'll be happy.

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Saturday, January 1, 2022 10:57 AM
Jeff's avatar

Hilarious natural tremolo > Rip Ride Rocket


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Saturday, January 1, 2022 1:39 PM

BrettV said:

As long as I still feel a bit of impending doom as I go down the hill toward the tunnel helix, I'll be happy.


Yeah, I think this concerns me more than anything else. I don't have a clear understanding of what the helix is going to look like post work, but that long straight descent, as the track gradually starts to bank and then the final "drop into" the helix were amazing.I still say nothing beats a moonless summer night rise over the second hill and drop into that ravine.

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Sunday, January 2, 2022 12:07 AM

Bakeman31092 said:

The Millennium Flyer wheel carriers are rigidly fixed to the chassis, so they have no steering. The Infinity Flyer cars appear to have similar steering mechanisms (which are similar to modern steel coasters, for that matter) where the carriers pivot with respect to the cars.

Interesting... Which newer GCIs (if any) actually run Infinity Flyers?


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Sunday, January 2, 2022 12:19 PM

None as far as I know. They’re GCI’s solution for loops so they’d be more restrictive than you’d like for a traditional wood layout.

Last edited by PhantomTails, Tuesday, January 4, 2022 12:14 PM
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