Kings Island to Remove Son of Beast

Roller Coaster News

Son of Beast Kings IslandYesterday Kings Island announced that it will be removing their troubled Son of Beast roller coaster. Built in 2000, it was the first modern wooden roller coaster with a loop. In July of 2006, an accident on the roller coaster sent two dozen people to local hospitals. During Cedar Fair’s ownership of the park, the loop was removed even though it was not thought to be the cause of the accident.

According to RCDB, Son of Beast was closed for a full year following the accident. And then it was open from July 2007 until June 2009. For three years it’s sat idle, presumably, while the park has been trying to figure out what to do with the ride. Speculation of its demise has been making the rounds for many years and now it’s official.

Here’s the entire very brief statement from Kings Island:

After a lengthy evaluation of all alternatives, Kings Island announced today the decision has been made to remove the Son of Beast roller coaster to make room for future park expansion.

The dismantling of the ride, which last operated in 2009, will begin later this summer.

– Kings Island Press Release

I think the writing’s been on the wall for years now. Although, some might have wondered if Rocky Mountain Construction might have saved this coaster with one of their Iron Horse track make-overs. It did wonders for the Texas Giant and Fiesta Texas’ Rattler will receive a similar upgrade. Maybe the design and layout of the coaster didn’t lend itself to such a redesign.

Unfortunately, I never got the chance to ride the Son of Beast in its looped or loop-less forms. Rough monstrosity or not, at least those of you who have survived ridden Son of Beast will have stories to tell your grand kids.

Read about more defunct roller coasters. And check out: 5 Most Missed Defunct Roller Coasters

What’s your take? Will you miss Son of Beast or are you just excited to read the phrase ‘future park expansion’? Leave a comment below. Image courtesy of CoasterImage. Image featured on the home page courtesy of Flickr user – jcgoble3.

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

17 Comments

  1. I am glad I got a chance to experience SOB in May 2009! I actually enjoyed the out of control ride and didn’t find it to be too rough, I had a more teeth rattling ride on Cedar Point’s Mean Streak since they added the trim brakes to the first drop. SOB was a record breaking coaster that will be legend for years to come. It had it’s design/construction flaws and they hurt the ride’s reputation and I think that ultimately the right decision was made although I will really miss this coaster. SOB was KI’s first “hyper coaster” and with it officially being taken down the park only has 1 coaster over 200 ft. Don’t get me wrong, Diamondback is a great coaster but I feel like now KI really needs another large attraction in their lineup. Hopefully something is already in the works for the Action Zone area of the park where SOB currently resides as that area has become rather “stale” with just a few attraction spread over a large space. I think removing SOB could be a major step towards the revival of “Action Zone” as SOB covers a HUGE area that could become home to a few more flats and a coaster or two. Of course it probably wouldn’t happen all at once but I’m excited which direction Cedar Fair is going to take with their planned “Future Expansion”, the next couple years should be interesting. If I had a vote for a replacement for SOB my choices would be an Intamin Plug-n-Play Woodie, a B&M invert, or maybe a B&M Giga (but longer than Leviathan lol).

    Reply
    • Was at KI last Thursday. Where SOB is standing now has very few rides (i.e., Flight Deck). Given that SOB couldn't be safely operated it is best to have it removed so that other things can go there.

      Reply
  2. I was hoping that they would be able to salvage at least part of SOB. The first drop was awesome and it would have been great to create an out and back from there. I am however glad that a decision has been announced and that the park is finally moving forward with the removal and eventual replacement.

    Reply
  3. What's wrong with it? I just did it on youtube (never road it in real life, as I live in Maryland) and it seemed good. I road The Beast on the POV youtube and it seemed more lame. The POV of SOB seemed smooth and awesome. Why would they tear it down? I mean, I think Hersheypark's Wildcat (which I have road, ONLY ONCE WAS ENOUGH) was horrible as it shook your head to death! Thanks, please respond.

    Reply
    • You are judging rides off of YouTube.

      Really?

      Reply
  4. I wish I could've ridden it. Even though my coaster repetoire is quite lacking, i would have loved to have this under my belt…

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  5. I know.. I wish I could have ridden it before it got to be too late… 🙁

    Reply
  6. As much as I wish I had gotten the credit, it even LOOKED like it would do a good job of beating the crap out of me. I wasn't really too upset when I went to KI while it was SBNO. Looking up at that massive structure, not able to hop on and ride was actually a bit of a relief. I hope whatever they do with the "future park expansion" is equally as landmark as building the first looping hyper woodie though as it was a good and daring idea, just poorly executed.

    Reply
    • I second that about it being poorly executed Gearhart, they went with the wrong company and paid the price, maybe if they went with CCI (who was in business at the time if I am correct), then maybe it would have been a success. But my ideal replacement would be the first RMC multi-looping wooden coaster with a loop and other inverts, a fitting homage to this failure,

      Reply
  7. Despite all the horrendous things I've heard about this ride, I still wish I had the chance to ride it. During my trip to Kings Island last month, I was awestruck by the sheer size of the ride, but it seemed like a matter of time before they decided to remove it. The park is going to gain a ton of land to put in new attractions. On the positive side, I can now say my homepark is home to the fastest and largest drop on a wooden coaster now. Go El Toro!

    Reply
    • Fastest and biggest drop in North America, thatis 😛

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      • Not to make an argument out of this, but those records are both for the world. At least according to RCDB. Feel free to correct me if I'm missing something though.

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  8. What I heard was that
    – The loop was removed so they could install new, lighter trains so they would have less maintenance
    – The structure wasn't stable enough any more.

    Here's hoping for a new Intamin or Rocky Mountain woody, even though I'd be very happy to see a Gravity Group one to!

    Reply
  9. I rode SOB several times between 2000 and 2009 with the loop, without the loop. with the new trains and with the old trains. The ride had major problems from the start. For starters yes it was an incredibly rough ride. The train shook side to side instead of skipping up and down like most rough wodden coasters. At 75mph with this type of roughness, it would cause your vision to blur for a few seconds. Between 2007-2009, I rode the coaster only three times( I have season passes) because of the roughness. Each time when the ride dropped down the 2nd hill into the helix and shook, I’d wish the ride was over because it was bordering on very painful and not fun. The only smooth part of the ride was the loop during the early years. The Mean Streak at Cedar Point is rough but you can catch your breath because it winds within intself up and down hills. The Son of Beast spent large parts of the ride above 65-70 mph, making the shaking or bad parts last more than a second or two. Also, what makes the beast famous is the number and length of tunnels. It always amazed me they never added any tunnels to SOB. This is the 2nd major (record breaking) attraction to fail Kings Island..see 1980’s The Bat! Now that ride I wish I was old enough to have ridden..:)

    Reply
    • I've seen old videos of The Bat, and it looks incredible. As much as I loved The Big Bad Wolf at BGW, the suspended-coaster action on that looks to have been a pale shadow of The Bat. It's too bad that the associated forces were simply too much for the reliability of the ride.

      Reply
  10. I rode SOB in 2002 with the loop…it was awesome. So glad I can say I experienced it.

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  11. I had plans to goto ohio this year to Kings Island and Cedar Point but didn't make it. But i have always wanted to ride SOB and The Beast as I'm told they are sister coasters of the Grizzly at KIngs Dominion. I think the Grizzly is by far one of my favorite wooden coasters and from what i've seen on the net and youtube and word of mouth The Beast and SOB are alot taller and longer coasters it's a shame I never got the chance to experience SOB. But hopin next year to do The beast, and of corse i can't go without my Kings Dominion and Hershey Park fix.

    Reply

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