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Tunnel Vision: How The  Beast tunnels came to be

Don Helbig

Area Manager, Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

The world’s longest wooden roller coaster, The Beast, celebrates its 40th anniversary season this year. Among the many exciting elements of the 7,359-foot long coaster are the tunnels. They’re located at the base of the first drop, mid-course and the 540-degree double helix finale.

In planning the ride, the tunnels were nothing more than an afterthought. There were no plans to incorporate tunnels into the ride but because of the way the topography was, the designers of the ride, Al Collins and Jeff Gramke, determined it would be better to go underground or dig trenches out versus building the coaster another 20 to 30 feet taller.

That realization led to enclosing the first drop and two short mid-course sections of The Beast for its debut season in 1979. Because riders found the tunnels to be such an exciting element of the ride, to enhance the ride experience heading into its second season the two mid-course tunnels were connected to make for one long tunnel of darkness and the double helix was enclosed.

And that is the story behind how The Beast tunnels came to be.

VIDEO: Take a virtual ride on The Beast

The Kings Island Blog will serve as the hub for all Beast 40th Anniversary news and content. Fans of the ride will be encouraged to visit the blog and share stories of their favorite Beast memories. Other blog features will include a timeline detailing significant moments in the ride’s history, fun facts, behind-the-scenes meet-up opportunities and more.

 

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Don Helbig

Area Manager, Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

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