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Following in The Beast's footsteps

Chad Showalter

Director, Communications - Kings Island

Twitter: @ChadShowalter

A few gallons of paint can go a long way.

In the days leading up to the start of the 2019 season, Kings Island revealed that the once-revered Beast paw prints would return to the park. After more than a decade’s absence, these tracks would once again lead guests to what is arguably one of Kings Island’s most popular attractions, The Beast. If you’ve been coming to the park for a while, you understood the significance of the announcement.

Throughout my high school days working at Rivertown Pizza in the early 90’s I would look forward to 10:01 a.m. each day when hundreds of guests would make their way past our food stand, heading toward the world’s longest wooden roller coaster, to get their first ride of the day.  They were literally walking in its footsteps, as the painted pathway featured one of the only pieces of ‘evidence’ of the ride’s namesake- footprints of the mythical, never-seen creature always lurking in the woods in ambush and simply known as “The Beast.”

In the following years the paint faded and the prints gradually became a footnote (pun intended) in the park’s history.  Gone, but not forgotten, fans made sure the park knew that the eventual return of the missing prints would be welcomed. 

Fast forward to 2019.  The season that Kings Island brings back antique autos, renovates International Street, returns the Glockenspiel to Festhaus and celebrates the fortieth anniversary of The Beast.  General Manager Mike Koontz greenlighted the return. When the plan was unveiled to the leadership team he said, “It may seem like a small thing, but I came to the park in 1979 and waited in line to ride The Beast following those footprints, and I will guarantee you that, for some, its return will make their 2019 season complete.”

It already has.

Join us this season as we celebrate the legacy of The Beast during its fortieth anniversary.  From extended ride time for Gold and Platinum passholders, to special giveaways and celebrating milestones, it’s certainly going to be a season to remember. 

Kings Island’s 1979 Beast promotional materials pleaded with guests to assist the park’s loyal employees “in the ongoing effort to subdue the disruptive Scourge and restore order to the Community.”  As far as we can tell, the battle’s lost and nothing’s going to subdue The Beast.   

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Chad Showalter

Director, Communications - Kings Island

Twitter: @ChadShowalter

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