On February 6, 1979, the world’s longest wooden roller coaster was given its name: The Beast.
Everyone thinks of a beast as a large, frightening, unusual animal. That description certainly fit the ride. It accurately conveyed the image of the awesome physical characteristics of the 7,359-foot long coaster and its unique use of the rugged, wooded, previously raw and undeveloped forest.
To see what avid roller coaster riders thought of the name, Kings Island conducted interviews with members of five special groups. They included males and females in their early teens, late teens and early twenties. All had visited Kings Island during the previous two seasons in 1977 and 1978 and had ridden the Racer.
The group felt the name conjured up impressions of wildness, fright, challenge and power. Some of the responses included:
“Something that’s out in the woods and kind of sitting there and terrifying.”
“That name would really make me want to get on it.”
“It says, ‘This isn’t going to be cotton candy and snow cones; this is going to be something special.’”
The iconic logo for The Beast was created by a national advertising firm, Lawler Ballard Little, and later that year won a creative design award from the prestigious New York Advertising Club.
Since its debut in 1979, The Beast has given more than 53 million rides, the third-most in park history behind the Racer (104 million) and K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad (55 million). Its record year was 1980, when 2.1 million rides were given.
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