The Beast is still growling and prowling after all these years and shows no signs of slowing down.
In fact, The Beast remains Kings Island’s most popular attraction, despite competition from other world-class roller coasters at the park like Banshee, Diamondback and Mystic Timbers.
Here are 12 things you may not know about the world’s longest wooden roller coaster – something to keep you busy while waiting to ride:
- By the time workmen had completed the massive Beast construction in March of 1979, they had used 650,000 board feet of southern pine lumber; 37,500 pounds of nails; 82,480 bolts and washers and 2,432 square yards of concrete.
- The Beast has given 53 million rides since its debut in 1979 – third most in park history behind the Racer and K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad.
- Each of the trains has traveled more than 900,000 miles. That’s the equivalent of 35 times around the world!
- The drop on the first hill is 135 feet, descending at a 45-degree angle; the second hill is 63 feet at a 32-degree angle; the drop on the second lift hill is 141.5 feet at an 18-degree angle.
- Members of the Kings Island maintenance department walk every inch of The Beast track every morning before the park opens. It’s a nearly four-hour trip they start at 5 a.m.
- The Beast has three tunnels: The first is 125 feet; the second is 269 feet and the third is 628 feet, for a total of 1,022 feet of darkness.
- It cost $3.5 million to build The Beast from 1977 to 1979. It would cost over $20 million to re-create it today.
- The Beast’s debut at Kings Island was followed the next year by its debut in the Guinness Book of World Records. It set the record and still holds it today for the world’s longest wooden roller coaster at 7,359 feet – making it a 4 minute, 10-second trip.
- The Beast was constructed in less than a year, after two years of research and design – all by Kings Island personnel. Al Collins and Jeff Gramke were the chief designers of the ride.
- The original design was modified multiple times, so many times in fact the finished product looked nothing like the one envisioned when the project began in 1976.
- Coaster enthusiasts consider The Beast a “terrain coaster.” That refers to the way it follows the contours of the land, using the hills and gulleys to add height to the ride.
- Whatever Al Collins and Jeff Gramke did, they did it right!
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