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Reader’s Mailbag: What roller coaster was more important to Kings Island, the Racer or The Beast?

Don Helbig

Area Manager, Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

Happy Hump Day! We celebrate by answering another round of Kings Island questions from our awesome group of readers.

Can you give some information about the Bavarian Beetle? Who manufactured the ride, when was it open, and what happened to it after its closing? – Julian D., Lebanon, OH

Your question brought back some great memories that I have of riding the Bavarian Beetle from 1972 through its final season in 1978. I rode it 20 times one day with my brother and sister in 1978. It was so much fun! The Bavarian Beetle was a S.D.C. Galaxy roller coaster and originally built for Cincinnati’s Coney Island. After operating there for a couple of years, it was among the rides transported to Kings Island for its opening in 1972. The Bavarian Beetle was located where the Festhaus now resides. It’s one of the most difficult former rides to find photos and video of. It wasn’t as well documented as other rides and attractions at the park in the 1970’s.

What roller coaster was more important for Kings Island, the Racer or The Beast? – William, C., Cincinnati, OH

That’s a great question. Without the Racer there may never have been The Beast. Prior to the Racer opening with Kings Island in 1972, the demand by parks to build roller coasters, and more specifically wooden roller coasters, had slowed down in the 1960s. Then along came the Racer with the opening of Kings Island and it re-ignited America’s interest in roller coasters and kicked off the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970s. The second golden age of the roller coaster had begun. Seven years later, in 1979, The Beast debuted and overnight Kings Island went from being known regionally to internationally. Year-after-year people from all over the world continue to plan a visit to Kings Island for the sole purpose of riding The Beast. The Racer was arguably more important for the industry but for Kings Island, how can it not be The Beast? I would love to see if our readers agree or disagree in the comments below.

Why does Adventure Express end with a lift hill? Was there something more planned originally? – Jonah Williamson, Cuba, NY

It’s the way the ride was designed to have a surprise ending; the complete opposite of what you were expecting for the finale as you climb the lift. When it opened in 1991, it was a ride that bucked the trend. At the time each new roller coaster built seemed to be higher and faster than the last one. But not this one. It offered a ride experience of a different sort, built on the theme of a runaway mine car. It’s fun and there’s enough speed and force with the wicked angles and sharp turns to make it thrilling. I think it’s one of the most underrated rides at Kings Island, and one of the five best night rides at the park.

My question has to do with my favorite part of Kings Island – the Eiffel Tower! I want to know if there are any differences between the one at Kings Dominion and the one at Kings Island, and also, where the idea for the Eiffel Tower replicas came from. – Melissa J., Blanchester, OH

The Eiffel Towers at Kings Island and Kings Dominion are virtually identical. Both are one-third scale replicas of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and stand 314 feet tall with observation floors 264 feet and 275 feet. The design and steel fabrications for the Eiffel Towers were done by Intamin AG of Zurich, Switzerland. Kings Island’s Eiffel Tower was built by Southern Ohio Fabricators, Inc., while Kings Dominion’s was built by Bristol Steel. They stand as a majestic symbol; almost like the caretaker of the parks. The Eiffel Tower at Kings Island was originally planned for Cincinnati’s Coney Island but it was put on hold in the mid-1960’s when plans to build a new park began to develop. When it was originally painted in 1971, it took 1,000 gallons of paint to cover it.

Can we see updates on International Street – Mason C., Hebron, KY

Hang tight! We’ll begin providing updates on the International Street renovation project on the KI Blog and social media channels as we get into March and there is more to see.

To submit your questions for possible inclusion in a future Kings Island Readers’ Mailbag blog, click here.

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Don Helbig

Area Manager, Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

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