Original Beast Design Rediscovered – Kings Island
Over the course of the last few weeks, we have featured several roller coasters in our “Lost Concepts” series. In doing research for the series, we came across an alternate design of Kings Island’s Beast that was present through the very early stages of the ride’s planning and construction.
The Beast was designed in-house by the staff at Kings Island, which is unheard of in current times. Throughout the course of the design-build process, numerous changes were made to the ride. The earliest known layout of the Beast is an image of a scaled model of the ride. In the KICentral image below, Charles Dinn (then KI Director of Construction, Maintenance and Engineering) can be seen showing off the model of the early layout concepts for the ride.
As you can see in the original model, the ride would start with the train gliding over a lake, before entering the first lift hill. The design for the lift and first drop is identical in both the original and as-built designs.
At the apex of the lift, riders would plunge at a 45 degree angle into a tunnel. The train would pull out of the first drop, before flying through an airtime hill. After the airtime hill, riders would be thrown into a rising left hand turn, which is very similar to the pull-out of the first tunnel on the Beast we all love today.
Following the rising turn, the train flies through a double down drop into the valley. Pulling out from that drop, riders would enter a sharp turn to the right, entering a brake section, similar to what is seen in the as-built Beast. From there, riders would meander in the valley until the ride approached the second lift.
The second lift on the original design is quite similar to the second lift on the ride seen today. After reaching the top of the lift, instead of the drawn out turn that leads into the second drop, riders would enter a sharp 150 degree descending turn, that would lead directly into a drop consisting of a trick-track element. After exiting the drop, riders would enter a descending 540 degree helix to the right. On the as-built ride, the 540 degree helix is a rising helix to the left. After exiting the helix, riders make a left hand turn to enter the break run.
It is unknown why the design was changed but, it’s interesting that the lake underneath the first lift eventually became the lake underneath the station. It seems that the first airtime hill was removed, creating a more compact ride. Furthermore, the descending helix appeared in several more iterations of the design before eventually being replaced with an rising helix.
Take a front seat ride on the original concept right now!
Do you think the ride that was built is better than the original design? Let us know in the comments below or on our socials!
This wasn’t the only coaster Kings Island changed or never built. Take a look at the Dueling Racing and Aeroplane coasters, that were proposed to the park but not selected. Click the images for the full story of each.
For tickets and more information about Kings Island, visit the official Kings Island website by clicking here.
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