MASON, Ohio -- Today is the day.
After weeks of speculation, Kings Island is set to announce changes coming to the park in 2019 and 2020 at 2 p.m. Thursday, August 16th.
Cedar Fair, owner of Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, may be dropping hints that something big may be announced Thursday, possibly even a reborn Son of Beast.
The latest clue: On Thursday morning, the Instagram group Emotional Rollercoasters shared a photo of what it claims is a State of Ohio permit for a new B&M coaster (from the Swiss company that built Diamondback and Banshee) to be built by "The Kings Island Company." The permit appears to have been issued on August 7th, 2018.
Earlier, the Instagram group posted a photo of a flier its members say was put up in the past few days around the Cedar Point amusement park in Northern Ohio.
"Number 5 is alive!" That's what cryptic poster says, apparently referencing the defunct Son of Beast, which was torn down in 2012 after a decade of troubles and injuries to riders. The launch building for Son of Beast (which still remains and is used for Halloween Haunt) was called "Outpost 5."
Kings Island guest Morgan Coleman told WCPO that she is ready.
"I think it would be exciting," she said. Her friend Colton Moore said "I think that would be awesome for a new coaster to come in."
Whatever it is, Kings Island is planning to spill the beans Thursday at 2 p.m. when they make their 2019 season announcement.
"We can't tell you much, but what we can tell you is that something old will be new again," Kings Island wrote in an email to reporters ahead of the announcement.
Clues popping up inside Cedar Point and Kings Island
One coaster enthusiast, who hosts a YouTube channel called Theme Park Crazy, shows why he thinks a new Son of Beast may be announced soon.
"First up, there is the obvious mention of Outpost 5, which was the name of the ride's currently standing but not operating station," he says in the YouTube video.
He goes on to say "the flier also mentions that after years of searching, the remnants of Number 5 have been found, and that officials are formulating a plan to bring it back. Moreover, the flier mentions southern yellow pine, which was the exact kind of wood used to build Son of Beast."
Don't look for any of these fliers posted at Kings Island -- at least, not yet.
It turns out, according to coaster enthusiasts, when Cedar Fair starts teasing a new ride at one of its parks, they put the posters up at first at Cedar Point, in Sandusky (which is what they did last year when they teased a new ride at their Canadian park).
However, there may be other clues starting to go up around Kings Island.
According to Theme Park Crazy, "discarded wood has recently been spotted under the ride's (Son of Beast's) memorial in the queue line of Banshee. Why put this wood here now unless they are teasing something for the near future?"
Regular Kings Island goers may know that there is a plaque and memorial for Son of Beast next to the waiting line for Banshee. In recent months, pine timbers have been added to the memorial, as shown in several photos posted on coaster forums.
Park issues cryptic comment
So what does Kings Island say? Park spokesman Chad Showalter told WCPO, "We have nothing to do with the speculation you are reporting on."
He also said Kings Island has not put up any such posters in the park (though no one reports seeing any in Kings Island, only inside Cedar Point).
However, a spokesman for Cedar Point, Tony Clark, told us, "Cedar Point does not comment on rumor or speculation. Fun stuff, though, isn't it?"
Indeed it is fun, which is why coaster forums are exploding right now with rumors that a new coaster may go on line in 2020, which would be three years after the park's last coaster, Mystic Timers opened.
Park goers are already excited by the thought.
"You know, Mystic Timbers just came out, but it's like the same roller coasters every time we come, so I think a new one would be pretty exciting," Madison Ledbetter said.
Several enthusiasts, though, say its unlikely a new ride would be called Son of Beast II, given the track record and bad memories of the defunct ride. Some speculate the park may be planning to revamp and expand Adventure Express, the most forgotten coaster at Kings Island. It, too, has a mining theme.
Are you curious? If so, go to Kings Island in the next few weeks and look for clues around the Son of Beast memorial next to the Banshee waiting line.
And as always, don't waste your money.
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