It isn’t the biggest, fastest or wickedest wooden coaster but it is the longest – and in my opinion one of the best. Although I would not classify it as a high thrill ride and would have to agree with those who find it lacking in airtime, I think it has enough going for it to merit the popularity it has achieved. Particularly noteworthy is the length and duration of the ride – 7,359 feet and 4 minutes 10 seconds or 4 minutes 50 seconds, depending upon which version you believe (website with stats says 4:10 but printed material given to me at Kings Island says 4:50 so take your pick). And The Beast manages to pack a lot into those almost 5 minutes. From the loading area it makes a right turn, proceeds up the lift hill and drops 135 feet into a tunnel. This is followed by a number of twists and turns and a couple of excursions into total darkness. One of the tunnels is underground, which would explain why everything was pitch black. After the second lift hill, the train goes around a curve and then descends 141 feet into a covered helix. For me this was the best part of the ride because the train is banked sharply left and in the darkness this is a blast.
Rarely have I had so much fun on a wooden coaster. When I’m enjoying a ride this much I tend to laugh – and on The Beast I laughed my head off. OK, so with trim brakes it isn’t as ferocious as it used to be but it’s still worth riding. I would have ridden it over and over except for the fact that the wait time to get on it was just over 2 hours and as I had also had to wait 2 hours to get on Diamondback, this simply wasn’t an option. (Note that on weekends, the ride lines and food lines tend to be very long at Kings Island.) Kings Island does offer Fast Lane passes to avoid the long wait but those are pricey – $55.00 as of May 2012. So one ride on The Beast was all I got and I couldn’t get a decent photograph of it because it’s not out in the open like Diamondback – although the fact that it’s mostly hidden from view actually adds to its allure, because you don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for. 4 ½ out of 5 stars. For more information about rides at Kings Island, go to
Last but certainly not least, the photograph courtesy o fwww.coasterimage.com/ , a fabulous website for coaster pictures: