Monday, October 08, 2012

Sad Day in Roller Coaster History: The End of Son of Beast

A little something different today.

I am a die-hard roller coaster fan. About 14-15 years ago, my husband took me to Busch Gardens, just to see how I would handle riding a big coaster. It scared me to death even as I fell in love with the thrill. Hundreds of coasters later, I still enjoy it.

That is why the following news saddened me:

On October 4, destruction began on this record breaking coaster at King's Island:

From the Dayton Daily News:

“When the Son of Beast opened it 2000, it was promoted as a “sequel” to the park’s most famous ride — the Beast. When it opened, the ride set world records as the tallest wooden roller coaster at 218 feet and fastest wooden coaster with top speeds of 78 miles per hour. The roller coaster also contained a mammoth 118-foot loop, a rarity for a wooden roller coaster.”
Wikipedia Photo


After several reported injuries, the ride was closed late 2006 and reopened in 2007 minus the loop. After more injuries, it was closed again in 2009 for the final time. (Only one incident was blamed on the design by the Department of Agriculture.)

Wikipedia Photo

I was fortunate enough to ride this coaster the summer of 2005 and before the loop was removed. Like any twisting wood coaster, it was rough, but far less rough than The Beast itself. I remember the loop, as it was a surreal feeling to enter a loop on a wooden coaster. I enjoyed it and road Son of Beast several times.

Now it is gone. And all I have is this t-shirt:



Any ride or park from your memory now wiped from existance?

29 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

At least you have the tee-shirt! You're a lot braver than I am with the roller coasters. :)

I miss the Pavilion at Myrtle Beach. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What a waste of money.

Em-Musing said...

If you rode the Beast, I bet you've ridden the Magnum and Millennium at Cedar Point, no?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Elizabeth, I don't mind height and speed, but I'm to the point where intense shaking is not my thing.

Em-Musing, I've ridden both and have a t-short for Millennium Force. I preferred Magnum though. Funner ride. However, did NOT like Cedar Point. Too busy. I didn't even ride five of the coasters and spent most of my day standing in line.

Jo said...

I no longer ride coasters of any kind. But many years ago I rode the one at the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. I assume its still there. Today it would probably be considered tame, but for me, plunging into dark tunnels was very scary. I rode it twice.

Stephen Tremp said...

I've been to Kings Island but before Son of Beast opned so I missed that one.

Karen Lange said...

While I'm not a coaster fan, my kids love the coasters at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. Haven't been there in a long time. Sorry about the Beast!

Karen Walker said...

Have you ever ridden The Cyclone at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY? I was hoarse for 3 days from screaming.
Karen

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jo, I checked their website, and all of the coasters are recent, so the one you rode probably isn't there anymore.

Stephen, now you'll never ride it.

Karen, Busch Gardens is my favorite and I LOVE Apollo's Chariot.

Karen, I landed at LaGuardia airport in NY, and that's it!

Laura Marcella said...

That's cool you have the t-shirt! I love roller coasters too! There's nothing like that thrill. I haven't been to an amusement park in a couple years, though. Dorney Park and Hershey Park are two of my favorites! It's too hard to pick a favorite roller coaster. I love them all!

Jo said...

Never thought of doing that Diane. How sad, it has great memories for me.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I went to Busch Gradens (eons ago) but when I went, it was Lochness Monster, The Big Bad Wolf, and some other roller coaster. I remember it was light blue...No Son of Beast though. :(

Carol Kilgore said...

That's a scary ride just to look at. I'm not a huge coaster fan, but I've ridden my share. The things we do and call it fun :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I can jog to Hershey Park if I want to, which I never do. Not a ride park fan, mostly because I hate crowds.
The park seems to put up a new coaster about every three years.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jennifer, Son of Beast was at King's Island in Ohio. However, The Loch Ness Monster is still at Busch Gardens. The Big Bad Wolf and Drachen Fire (the blue one you remember) have since been torn down.

Susan, I would love to go to Hershey Park. I'd be the only guest not tempted by the chocolate.

Donna Hole said...

I used to like roller coasters as a kid. The older I get though, the less adventurous I am.

You know; people JUMP from tall buildings and bridges and I don't see those coming down.

.......dhole

LD Masterson said...

End of an era.

KarenG said...

I can't do roller coasters. I get that whirly feeling inside like I'm dropping from the sky. *shudder* Love the t-shirt!

michelle said...

I think I've been on a rollercoaster ride ONCE in my entire lifetime... and certainly not one as magnificent as Son Of Beast...

Lynn said...

Cool t-shirt but unfortunate about the ride. The Canadian National Exhibition grounds has/had my first 'grown up' wooden rollercoaster I rode called The Flyer. I am not sure if it is still there but definitely, like yours, in my memory.

Southpaw said...

Bummer. I use to live close to an amusement park and and seen many roller coasters come and go.

Mark Koopmans said...

I remember driving with my dad when I was younger in one of those old Minis - the original ones, not the bigger Coopers you see today.

And that's the end of my story.

It was just terrifying to get on the road in a tiny, tiny car and have 18-wheelers miss you by a slice of lemon...

Pheww... breaking out in a sweat :)

Nick Wilford said...

I don't think I can even remember riding a wooden rollercoaster. I'm not sure there are any in the UK! It would be a very different experience, I'm sure. A great shame for the Son of Beast.

At Alton Towers, part of one of the dismantled rollercoaster's tracks is preserved as a sort of monument at the entrance to the park. I thought that was pretty cool.

Arlee Bird said...

This looks like a great coaster. I haven't been on a roller coaster in a long time, but I used to love 'em.

The park from my childhood that is long gone is Puritas Springs in Cleveland, Ohio. They had a wild old wooden coaster (the only kind back then) that went through the trees and looked very scary to me as a child. I never rode it though my mother did and confirmed its scariness. There are some great stories and pics on line about this classic old park and the roller coaster, parts of which still remain as a relic to the past.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Jai Joshi said...

If people were injured then it makes sense that they got rid of it although I understand your sadness. Big hug, hon.

Jai

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Donna, good point.

Lynn, you can always do a search to see if it's still there.

Mark, that sounds scarier than a coaster.

Nick, the rcdb has a whole list of UK parks and many do have wooden coasters - http://www.rcdb.com/r.htm?ot=3&ol=26828

Lee, there's a site called Defunct Amusement Parks - I bet it's listed there - http://www.defunctparks.com/

Jai, only one injury was blamed on the ride, which is sad.

Ciara said...

I'm a huge roller-coaster fan, but not in love with wooden ones. They always hurt me. It's is sad to think of the waste of money, though.

Gwen Gardner said...

Awww, RIP SOB.

I don't really care for roller coasters, but I do enjoy seeing other people enjoying them:)

John Jarrells said...

I'll give you $45 for this Son Of Beast shirt because I'm a die hard Son Of Beast fan:):):)!!!