From the Vault: The Beast broke every record when it opened at Kings Island in 1979

Posted at 6:00 AM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 11:26:35-04

MASON, Ohio -- This spring, Kings Island is abuzz over Mystic Timbers, a 24-passenger wooden roller coaster that flies through 3,245 feet of track in the Rivertown area of the park.

Mystic Timbers will have some stiff competition for coolest wooden coaster in the park; After all, Kings Island is home of the "grandaddy" of wooden roller coasters.

Of course, I'm talking about The Beast.

BELOW: Video of a test run for The Beast in 1979


The Beast has been terrorizing and thrilling coaster-lovers for nearly 40 years.

When it opened on April 14, 1979, the 7,359-foot ride was the tallest, fastest and longest wooden roller coaster in the world. People came from all over to ride the 65 mile-per-hour roller coaster. It runs through 35 acres of woods, somehow tucked away in the bustling, busy park.

BELOW: One of The Beast's first passengers gives WCPO's Tom McKee a review of the ride


In its first year, more than 2 million people rode The Beast. 

Kings Island opened in 1979 in the wake of Coney Island closing. "The Shooting Star," a popular wooden roller coaster at Coney Island, served as a model for The Beast, according to WCPO archive scripts.

BELOW: Construction of The Beast


The Son of Beast -- built in 2000 and torn down in 2012 -- replaced his "father" as the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster, as well as the first wooden roller coaster with a vertical loop. Kings Island was sued after a crash on the Son of Beast in 2006. The ride closed after another complaint in 2009.

Today, the world's fastest wooden roller coaster is the American Eagle at Six Flags Great America outside Chicago; the world's longest wooden roller coaster is The Ultimate at Lightwater Valley amusement park in North Yorkshire, England.

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