Skip to Main Content

This date in 1979: The Beast was unchained 

Skip to Next Section

This date in 1979: The Beast was unchained 

Don Helbig

Area Manager Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig 

  

After three years of design and construction work, The Beast roller coaster at Kings Island was officially, and quite appropriately, “unchained” in a steady downpour 41 years ago on Friday, April 13, 1979, for hundreds of newspaper, television and radio reporters from around the U.S. and Great Britain. The weather was of little concern, however, to those who showed up to experience the record-breaking 7,359-foot long wooden roller coaster for the first time.

The following 17 individuals climbed aboard the gleaming red, orange and yellow coaster cars for the first official ride:

  • Charles S. Meachem, Jr., Chairman of the Board, Taft Broadcasting Company
  • Dudley S. Taft, President, Taft Broadcasting Company
  • Gary S. Wachs, Executive V.P., Amusement Park Group, Taft Broadcasting Company
  • Charles Flatt, V.P. Construction & Engineering, Amusement Park Group, Taft Broadcasting Company
  • William C. Price, Vice President & General Manager, Kings Island
  • Frank Thompson, Operations Director, Kings Island
  • Walt Davis, Director of Park Services, Kings Island
  • Charles Dinn, Director of Construction, Maintenance & Engineering, Kings Island
  • Bill Reed, Director of Rides, Kings Island
  • David Palmer, Director of Marketing, Kings Island
  • Dick Fussner, Director of Loss Prevention, Kings Island
  • Chris Schaffer, Controller, Kings Island
  • Al Collins, Resident Engineer, Kings Island
  • Jeff Gramke, Assistant Engineer, Kings Island
  • Jimmie Nickell, Assistant Director of Construction, Maintenance & Engineering, Kings Island
  • Charles Swing, Maintenance Manager, Kings Island
  • Charles Wright, Carpenter Foreman, Kings Island

After that, members of the media and one ecstatic roller coaster enthusiast (Carl Eichelman) then spent the next four and one-half hours taking turns aboard The Beast, many attaching cameras to special mounts on the front cars to try and capture the sights and sounds of the ride.

It was cold, rainy and windy, but, oh, what a wonderful day!

Related Topics:

Share This

Don Helbig

Area Manager Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig 

  

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Kings Island announces plan to hire more than 4,000 associates for 2021 season

Kings Island has announced plans to hire more than 4,000 associates for the 2021 season. To prepare for the amusement park’s May opening, it will host a virtual National Hiring Day event on Saturday, March 13, 2021.
Read More

It's Not Magic, It's Science: Pendulum Rides

Keeping students interested and engaged can be a challenge. That is why we partnered with our sister park Cedar Point, Rockwell Automation and Global STEM Ambassador, Jay Flores to share a five-part video series, It’s Not Magic, It’s Science!
Read More

Terrie Zajo named General Manager of Kings Island Camp Cedar

Terrie Zajo has been appointed General Manager of the new $27 million Kings Island Camp Cedar, under construction less than one mile from Kings Island’s gates.
Read More

PEANUTS Sketch School at Home Episode 8: Snoopy

In this episode of PEANUTS Sketch School at Home, Sketch School teacher Noel is going to show you how to draw the world’s most famous beagle, Snoopy!
Read More

Kings Island Mailbag: Orion, pickles and turtles 

We hope you’re staying safe and healthy as we prepare for a new season of fun and thrills. This week, you had questions about a Winter Chill Out type event at the park, Orion, pickles, and turtles.
Read More

Kings Island blanketed in snow from winter storm

Want to see photos of Kings Island covered in snow? Of course, you do! Check out these photos and let us know which one is your favorite!
Read More

On this day 42 years ago, The Beast was named

On this day 42 years ago (Feb. 6, 1979), the world’s longest wooden roller coaster was named The Beast. During the two years between planning and constructing the ride, Kings Island officials tossed around many name ideas, but nothing stuck.
Read More

PEANUTS Sketch School at Home Episode 7: Charlie Brown

In the seventh episode of our PEANUTS Sketch School at Home series, Sketch School teacher Noel is going to show you how to draw Charlie Brown.
Read More

The Beast sees its shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter

Don’t go breaking out the Hawaiian shirts, sunscreen and flip flops quite yet. The Beast spotted its shadow at Kings Island on Tuesday morning, forecasting six more weeks of winter.
Read More

PEANUTS Sketch School at Home Episode 6: Linus Van Pelt

In this episode of PEANUTS Sketch School at Home, Sketch School teacher Noel is going to show you how to draw Linus Van Pelt.
Read More