KINGS ISLAND Mason
BY DAMAINE VONADA; PHOTOS COURTESY OF KINGS ISLAND
Location: The Rivertown area of Kings Island, a 364-acre amusement and water park in Warren County.
Provenance: With input from renowned wooden roller coaster designer John C. Allen, Kings Island personnel created and constructed The Beast during the late 1970s at a cost of $3.8 million (about $22 million today). The massive “terrain coaster” roars through the hills and ravines of 35 densely wooded acres. Building it required 650,000 boardfeet of southern pine lumber, 37,500 pounds of nails, 82,480 bolts and washers, and 2,432 cubic yards of concrete. Its awe-inspiring name was prompted by workers who called the coaster a “beast of a project.”
minute and 10 second ride time, The Beast runs at nearly 65 mph, leaps down drops as high as 141.5 feet, tackles eight sharply banked turns, and plunges through 1,022 feet of darkness in three different tunnels. It’s a little-known fact that: Since the day it opened in 1979, The Beast has provided more than 54 million rides. Its trains have logged upward of 900,000 miles, a distance comparable to traveling around Earth roughly 35 times.
Significance: Unleashed on April 14, 1979, The Beast made a colossal impression and was considered the nation’s ultimate roller coaster. It not only offered riders unprecedented thrills with its twists, turns, and tunnels, but also set new records as the world’s longest, highest, and fastest wooden roller coaster. Although its design and operation have been modified during the last four decades, The Beast remains a legendary coaster and an enormously popular Kings Island attraction. The American Coaster Enthusiasts honored The Beast with its Coaster Landmark Award in 2004.
Currently: In celebration of The Beast’s 40th anniversary this year, its three trains once again are sporting their original red, orange, and yellow colors. With 7,359 feet of track, The Beast still holds the Guinness World Records title for longest wooden roller coaster. During its 4
8 OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING • JULY 2019
The Beast at Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, OH 45034. For additional information, call 513-754-5700 or visit www.visitkingsisland.com.