I grew up with Cedar Point as my nearest park and became a coaster freak. I remember when KI opened Son of Beast. I remember the commercials. I remember all the records it broke. I thought it had the best name ever. I soooo wanted to go, but I never made it to King's Island then. My first (only) trip was in 2017. I feel like I missed so much.

I waited in line for over two hours the summer this ride opened. We got to experience the ride, loop and all, and I was thrilled! I disagree about how rough it was. Don't get me wrong, it was rough, but not as rough as it's daddy! The thing I remember most about it was the shock that came after going through the first part of the ride and coming to what felt like the end due to it leveling out, was not even close to the end. It was definitely full of thrills and even after they removed the loop, it was still a great coaster. I will never forget either ride I got to experience this monster. S.o.B. you will be missed!

In reply to by Michael (not verified)

It's called Mystic Timbers and should be open with the park this spring. I've seen them build it last year. I've checked out the specs of this ride, and it doesn't seem to be anything groundbreaking or record setting, but still could be a very good ride. I can't wait to find out.

In reply to by Dave B (not verified)

I rode this monstrosity when it first opened. The Beast was always my favorite ride ever, so I was amped for this one. The pain this ride inflicted on me overwhelmed whatever joy I may have had. After the first ten seconds I just wanted it to end. I can't even tell you what the thrill was like. It's cool to think of what the ride may have been like if properly implemented, but I'm not sad to see it go at all. Banshee is a much better coaster.

I grew up at King's Island and still spend a lot of time there now with my kids. I was one of the first to ride Son of Beast when it opened. It was a brutally amazing ride that was ahead of it's time. I just visited the park on Wednesday with my family and was telling my daughter about SOB. We rode Banshee and I showed her the SOB headstone.

One of the biggest reasons for me even finding this article is due to the fact of the rumor I heard from one of the worker's at the new White Water Canyon entrance. I was talking to him about the watch for falling tree's signs they have posted up and told him we were getting ready to go ride The Beast "Best ride at night." And he asked me if I was going to ride it's grandson. And I thought I miss understood him and started talking about SOB and he said no not SOB Grandson of Beast and he told me that's why they are cutting down all the tree's. He said he heard it was going to be a RMC launch wooden coaster like Lightning Rod at Dollywood. He said they are going to be making the announcement soon on what they are doing. Just thought I would share what I was told.

Really good article. Son of Beast was one of my absolute favorites ever. It was a bit rocky, but it didn't throw you around in the seat near as much as the Beast, and I could ride it several times in a day no problem, where the Beast is once only unless you want your back killing you the whole rest of the day and the way home. I absolutely loved how the big hill wasn't an immediate drop, but you dip around and ride this very tall, thin rail of toothpicks before the real drop.

Excellent article! Interestingly enough, Beast was my very first roller coaster (aside from kiddie rides) that I ever rode, and Son of Beast was the first coaster with a loop for me. Let me say I was absolutely terrified, but it was an amazing experience. It might have been rough (that's an understatement, seriously that thing hurt), but man it was like nothing you've ever experienced before. RIP SoB!

I grew up visiting this park in the late 90s/early 2000s. PARAMOUNT'S Kings Island will always hold a special place in my heart, so i was naturally torn when Cedar Fair acquired and subsequently removed themes from rides that meant so much to me as kid. However, I am still able to visit the park. (I cant imagine the anguish of Cleveland/Aurora fans who watched Geauga Lake be completely dispatched from existence. But, the ability to watch Kings Island grow and expand as a child and make memories with my family is a gift that we as guests sometimes take for granted in the competitive realm of modern theme parks. We can bemoan the fall of attractions and rides from our youth such as SOB and Tomb Raider, but these places are special to each of us because of HOW we experienced them as individuals thru the lens of family, youth, growing up, and inevitable change in our lives. These are symbols of time, and snapshots of when life was still so fresh. We are lucky to have and share such experiences with the ones we love. Whether it is Six Flags, Disney, Universal, or Cedar Fair: We should be thankful to ever have such symbols as part of our lives. So i thank all of those involved in these great places to allow me a landscape to create memories that I will cherish forever. And a special thanks to Brian Krosnick who so elegantly researched and provided a way in his writing for us to reflect on these special places in our hearts and memories.

This ride was by far my favorite ride at K.I. I rode it on its opening day and in its last season running. It was rough but I don't think it was anymore rough than its "father". I cried watching it fall and almost bought a momento from its rubble. (who pays that kind of money for a toothpick) I will always remember SOB even when I ride the Banshee which is amazing also! R.I.P. SOB we miss you

I rode SOB with and without the loop. Heard all of the rumors, and heard the stories.

Being as Kings Island was only about an hour south of me, I went quite often.

I have a soft spot in my heart for this ride. The original will always be better, but whomever thought this up should get a hand shake and a smack on the head.

All I can remember is holding on for dear life, damn near pissing myself, almost in tears, and loving every minute of it. Was it worth the bruised ribs? You bet your ass it was. I was a bit younger then, still in middle and high school, so my size was an issue, bareley tall enough to ride, so I got tossed around like a rag doll. Everything was all fine and dandy on the first hill. Such a smooth, and quiet decent...at least until the G force of the (almost) 80mph drop slams your head down as you shoot upward almost vertical, and roll damn near 90° to the right, up and over and into the Rose Bowl, wondering "how did I get here...." it all happens so fast, by the time you get your bearings, your banking and being jolted to the right as the ride flings itself through the Bowl.
At this point you basically started to regret the decision you've made (for the 3rd or 4th time that day).

All said and done, you hurt... but your heart is pumping, and its an almost High feeling. Worth it.

Did I complain and tell myself No?....yes. I hated this ride and loved it at the same time.

I was really actually happy when they announced it would be demolished. It was just a huge accident waiting to happen. More cost effective to just cut their losses than deal with lawsuits.

After explaining everything happening at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville at the time: "Meanwhile, a few hours north near Cincinnati..." ;)

Great read-just like many on here. I'll admit that at first I deemed SoB to be too rough while also lacking the allure and theming of the original. But with experience I grew to love the ride--If I had the car to myself and could brace each foot in the corner while also holding tight to either side of the bar. This way you could shift your weight accordingly - letting your limbs be your body's shock absorbers. It was as if you were riding a wild animal and the challenge was to not get rattled-the most participatory experience of any coaster. Still, it was tiring and a one-ride-per-visit situation. It is rare that a coaster demands so much from its riders and too bad that many couldn't rise to the challenge. RIP SoB

Kings Island is literally 30 minutes at the most from Cincinnati. "A few hours north of Cincinnati." Did you walk there?

Was the best adrenaline rush of all rides. Yes it was rough but worth it. The end train always whipped harder believe or not. Its nothing you can imagine . Only experience. EPIC!!! Sad its gone. Was a gloomy day in Cincy when he was murdered.

This ride was AMAZING!!!! I was one of the firsts to.ride it and I loved it. My mom was the first to.ride the beast so it was fitting. I miss this ride so much. The double helix was better than the loop. It was an awesome coster!

In reply to by Brian Krosnick

Yes, it is true I quoted (though I didn't put the quotes on, my poor proofreading) from Wikipedia. I should have also provide additional sources on the fair board expansion rejections and financial troubles. Fact is, Premier Parks had a plan when they decided to purchase KK in 1998 and Kings Island responded. Which you did address. Not disputing that. I only took objection to " had successfully scared Six Flags away. Defeated, the company more or less let the Kentucky park wither." This implies, that was the ONLY reason SFKK met its demise. Which is not true, nor fair to say. Yes, I agree, Kings Island did scare them into trying to expand quicker, but was not the sole reason for their demise. IMHO, they were just too dumb to make sure the Fair Board approved ALL of their expansion plans before purchasing the park. I also think the injury lawsuit had significant impact as well. I’m sure you know how many injury lawsuits SF has received over their history. We maybe differing over semantics, that’s just my opinion. Like half full/Half empty  Other than that, I thought it was a GREAT article! Much like your SF Geauga Lake (Miss that place!) article. Again, great article.

I grew up with King's Island in the late '70s and early '80s. Such great memories from that park.

That thing was AWESOME!!!! painful in the smallest amount of rain. Lloyd it with the loop, disappointed when it was taken out. This will ALWAYS be my favorite! Rest in peace my friend, thanks for the incredible rides!

Another great article, thanks for thanking the time to write this up! I rode SoB once, without the loop, in 2008. Having heard the stories and dismissed (but noted) the rumors, I rode it thinking it would be a brutally rough but worthwhile experience. I remember thinking the 216ft drop was FAR SMOOTHER than I had anticipated, perhaps lulling me into a "maybe this won't be so bad after all" sense of security. But then when the train banked right into the rose bowl, the initial shuffle felt like someone had managed to instantaneously re-position my hips and legs about a foot to the left of the rest of me...and it proceeded accordingly for most of the rest of the course. Not so good with the side-to-side, this ride. That being said, I'm very glad I got to ride it, and I do miss it. From a business standpoint, though, I think Cedar Fair probably made the right call to remove it.

I rode the Son of Beast when it first came out. It was Easter Sunday and rainy and cold. There was barely anyone at the park and my brother and I rode the ride over and over. In the beginning, it was smooth. After they took the loop out, I returned to the park happy to be there and ride this ride again. It was so rough that when I got off the ride, I couldn't move my neck. My shoulder was messed up for a year afterward. I was sad to see it go, but I totally understood why.

In reply to by RAY HILL (not verified)

Except it IS true, Ray! A planned expansion in the 1990s would've built-out Kentucky Kingdom. Paramount saw that the Kentucky park was readying for a growth spurt and launched a preemptive strike, building out Kings Island with $40 million over two years, adding an entire themed land with three mega-thrill rides including Son of Beast. Like the feature says, the plan worked; Six Flags all-but-abandoned Kentucky Kingdom and added practically nothing else to it for the rest of their ownership. Instead, they took the planned expansion and gave it to Six Flags Ohio.

Sure, a decade later, the story you (literally) copied-and-pasted from Wikipedia happened, and Six Flags' lease was rejected, ultimately closing Kentucky Kingdom until Ed Hart returned to re-open it. And THAT is an interesting story. But it's very much separate from the story told here, of a never-built expansion in the late 1990s. So to say "Not true" isn't entirely fair. The expansion never came to the Louisville park under Six Flags, but it DID go up north to Geauga Lake, which then became Six Flags Ohio with its own $40 million build-out... the one originally targeted at Kentucky Kingdom.

It's a very strange story to imagine how Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, Son of Beast, and Geauga Lake are connected, but that's the way things work in the industry... A story isn't complete without a look at what ELSE was happening in the industry at that time! Those are the stories we try to tell. :)

I was fortunate to have been beaten & thrown around on my ride of the Son and loved every moment of it!! Sad to see him go :(

In reply to by Kurt (not verified)

Not true...KK wanted to expand, but they were landlock AND the land was owned by the state fair board. After a couple injury suits, SFKK entered into Bankruptcy....Amid a corporate bankruptcy, on February 4, 2010, Six Flags announced the park would cease operations immediately due to the rejection of an amended lease by the Kentucky State Fair Board. This left the fair board and Six Flags to negotiate the ownership of rides and attractions. On July 25, 2010, this dispute was settled with Six Flags receiving a ride of their choice (Road Runner Express), and $2.8 million in lease related payments owed by Six Flags were forgiven in exchange for Six Flags' property rights (which included the offices, furniture, fixtures and equipment relating to the park, and all intellectual property). The Kentucky State Fair Board also used $2.35 million from Ed Hart to purchase Six Flags' 20-acre (8.1 ha) stake in the park. Six Flags removed all of the Looney Tunes and DC Comics/Batman related content from the park along with inner tubes, overhead shades from rides, and some parts from rides to use at its other parks.

I loved Son of Beast. I rode it on its inaugural weekend back in 2000, just after the birth of my little brother. I was 9 years old. I squeaked by the height requirement with socks placed in my shoes by my roller coaster junkie father. Hard to say how many times I rode it over the next several years. Dozens and dozens, easily. It was my first coaster over 200 feet and man, was it formidable as a 9 year old. I vividly remember climbing up that hill for the first time and thinking "OMG....this is TALL!"

Personally, I do not remember it as smooth. Nor do I remember it as rough. But I was young. I didn't think any ride was rough back then. However, I always considered Mean Streak to be the roughest coaster and I still believe that. SOB was an incredible ride. My heart aches for those who never got the opportunity to enjoy it. I am glad that it was front-and-center in my Kings Island-going childhood. Banshee is great, but it is no Son of Beast.

I live right outside of mason. Its a 20 minute drive, so I had season passes growing up with all my friends. SOB was my favorite ride. I remember one year when they did the fear fest thing they do around halloween. No one was there to ride the rides, but they were open. Me and a buddy went to SOB to discover NO LINES. WE sat on that coaster and road it time after time without having to go through the line, we just changed seats at our leiser. We must have rode it 5 or 6 times back to back. Being so young (17ish at the time), we could handle the abuse it threw, and we loved it. It was sad to see it go. Im 29 now and its a coaster I wont forget.

I was lucky enough to enjoy both the wooden loop and the steel loop before it closed and was torn down.
It was a rough ride but each time you returned to the park you would stand in line with the anticipation of the thrill! It was always worth every second you spent in line! I still love the wooded roller coasters and enjoy the uniqueness of them! The authentic thrill and the bumpiness of the ride!!!
The Beast, The Son of the Beast and The Beastie will always be a fawn memory during my childhood, teen years and adult years...

I was fortunate to be able to ride both Son of Beast(with loop) and the Tomb Raider ride. Son of Beast was the roughest and most uncomfortable roller coaster I have ever ridden. I'm glad I was able to experience it, but wouldn't ride again if I had the opportunity. I loved the Tomb Raider ride! It was so different, exciting, and lots of fun! Was sad to see it go.

I have ridden every ride in this park from the kiddy park, the water park, and the regular park. I grew up with kings island I've had season passes since 1st grade and I just graduated college. My first job was even at kings island. I will say I enjoyed kings island more when paramount owned it the 2000s those were the best years and the best themes in that park. Son of beast was a jolting ride the loop was the calm before the storm and it was truly iconic. The beast has gotten rough over the years along with the racer but they are just classic you can't visit the park and not ride them along with adventure express. It's worth the bang up. Face off was by far my favorite coaster and the vortex was as rough as any wooden coaster. Top gun was a fan favorite for those just graduating from The beastie or now called something else planet snoopy. The newer rides may be smoother but they just aren't as fun or as amazing of a thrill as the wooden coasters. Kings island changed when cedar fair took over but for those of us who grew up there we will always remember the way PKI used to be

My son & I rode the SON OF BEAST Countless times.When it closed down we were heart broken. I wished I would have kept track of how many times we actually rode it. Even though it was Rough he always wanted to get back on it & ride again & again & again. We would try to get the front seat as much as possible. Back then Tuesdays were the best days to go because you could stay on & ride it twice without having to get back in line. He would ride it all day if he could. It would be the first ride we rode when we got there & be the Last before they closed. My husband went a couple times & rode it a couple times but he didn't like how rough it was. WE knew how rough it was so we braced ourselves the best we could. #LovedTheSonOfBeast #Memories

As an employee in the entertainment department, I remember getting to play the role of one of many explorers during the shooting of the unveiling commercial starring Montel Williams. A notable coaster enthusiast and fan of Kings Island.
When SOB finally opened, as an employee of the park I ride it countless times and honestly never thought it to be any rougher than your traditional wooden coaster. Sure it was faster, but you pretty much know what you signed up for when you board a widen coaster. Other than the accident with the jolt, I think the removal of it was not the best decision and as you pointed out, it could have been fixed if they would have held on a little bit longer. The day it came crashing down was a sad day. Especially for those of us who got to watch with great anticipation every piece of wood put into place and to be a part of the life it took on in the park. It will always be a great memory for sure.

Let me start by sharing that my favorite ride of all rimes is the Beast. it is at its best in the front car, and at night...nothing like it!

I rode SOB twice: once with the loop and once without. After each ride I swore I would never ride it again. I enjoy being scared but not injured. First ride resulted in a 6 inch bruise on my thigh. Second time was a serious headache. Head trauma is no joke. KI did the right thing. I was in my 20/30s and in great health.

The woman who suffered the brain annurysm did not sue. It is alarming how people jump to negative conclusions. Coincidentally, the main hill demolition (video posted) occurred on her birthday. Karma? I say justice ; )

A fiendishly vicious ride that was worth every moment. When it opened it was a complete monster that reminded me of the old days of its daddy. Since its demise and Cedar Fairs over protective ways, not only has The Beast been tamed to a shell of what it once was. But The Racer was squashed as well. Gone are the days of rides that took a little piece of you every time you rode them, I miss those...

What an awesome article! I have been going to PKI since I was a kid, living less than an hour away, we always had season passes. Son of Beast... omg! The anticipation for that ride was off the charts. I stood in line for hours! I rode it a total of 3 times. After 3 I was done. 1st time I rode, I was clueless and didn't think to take out my earrings. I have 7. When I got off the ride I was bleeding behind my ears. The head rattling was nuts. And the headache sucked. I was prepared the next time. No earrings and Motrin first. Still ouch!! The final ride I ever took, Motrin wasn't enough. My legs were covered in bruises and my head hurt so bad I couldn't ride anymore. I decided then I was clearly not tough enough for that ride. Even though I was only 22. I was sad, but not shocked when the ride closed. It was insanely rough and the negativity surrounding it after the accident & injury claim was a lot. RIP Son of Beast! Lol

You have no idea! I think this very possibly could have happened. That ride was so rough and painful. But I am sad it's gone.

I remember my first ride I was 7 years old the year was 2004 and boy oh boy was I scared I remember waiting in line for over an hour with my cousin. I was nervous I had never been on a looping rollercoaster before. We finally entered the station platform we watched train after train exit the station until it was time. The gates swung open we climbed in I pulled the lap bar as far as it would go, and then we departed the station down a banked hill and over some small bunny hills flowing towards the hill. This hill struck fear into me more than anything I could ever remember. The slow crawl seemed like it would never end, as we approached the top I felt like I was on top of the world. We crawled through the first tiny hill up top letting the park know with the roaring sound this coaster made before it made the first drop. We flew down the first hill and up into the rosebowl before I even knew it I we where flying through towards the mid course break run. Then I saw it the loop it was menacing up close we flew through it smooth as glass, and hammered through the rest of the track, finally making our way to the final break run. It was over we had finished the son of beast. This ride holds a special place in my heart as the first big coaster I had ever rode. My first looping coaster I remember defending this coaster after the second accident look up save son of beast on Facebook I am still a member of the group anyways I hope you enjoy the read

My BFF & I rode this in 2000....I had no idea that it was its first year. I do remember that my BFF had bruises all over her legs after riding it. We honestly thought at the time it was the sheer # of coasters we rode that day. We rode all of them & several including Face-Off & Vortex multiple times.

I always thought it was supposed to reference the movie! lol

It was my favorite coaster at KK. It was red, and then they painted it black for the Batman (whether they actually got around to changing the name or not, I distinctly remember telling my friend that it looked better red). This was before the park closed... I haven't been there since the reopening.

In reply to by Jennifer L. (not verified)

Close! T2 opened at Kentucky Kingdom in 1995 (three years before it became a Six Flags park) and wasn't meant to be tied to Terminator at all. T2 stood for "Terror to the Second Power." It never became a Batman ride. The park was closed 2010 - 2014 and when it re-opened in 2015, T2 was renamed T3 (Terror to the Third Power) and got new trains.

That ride is an SLC (Suspended Looping Coaster) from a manufacturer called Vekoma. It's one of 41 near-identical clones at parks all over the world. It's sort of like a budget, off-the-shelf version of B&M Inverted roller coasters like Banshee or Raptor.

The B&M Floorless coaster that was planned for the park was instead built at Six Flags Ohio as Batman: Knight Flight. When that park became Geauga Lake, the ride was re-named Dominator. Then Geauga Lake closed altogether and the roller coaster was moved to Kings Dominion in Virginia where it still operates today as Dominator. Floorless coasters are unique, because you sit down just like a "regular" roller coaster, but the floor folds out of the way in the station so that you can see the track passing just beneath your feet.

In reply to by Kevin (not verified)

I remember that Kentucky Kingdom had T2 (themed around the 2nd Terminator movie), which became the Batman after Six Flags took over. The riders' legs dangled from that one. What would that be classified as?

I graduated high school in 2000 and couldn't wait for the Son of Beast to open. I had friends who rode it right after it was opened. A few weeks later I heard that a test run flew off the track and they had to stop allowing riders for a few weeks till it got it worked out, then it reopened. When I finally got to ride it, it beat me up and was terrifying. You really didn't know if you were going to come back from everything that you heard. It never was as good as the original Beast, but it definitely goes down in the record books for wooden roller coasters. It will be missed.

Very good read. If this story can get amended, I think it's important to note that the wait for the ride when it opened was somewhere around 6 to 8 hours, it just give the readers an idea as to how much people wanted to be a part of this new world record attraction.

My story: Born in the early 80s I grew up and watch Kings Island evolve into what it's become today. Including the rise and fall of SOB. I was really in the perfect age range (early 20s) when this was built. I know my dad would ride this with me, but it did a number on his body, just as today it would be rougher on my mid 30s body. Still, I have been to numerous parks, and have been on several rollercoasters; this coaster will always stand out as unique. I think that just knowing that you are privileged with the opportunity to frequently ride something that broke several world records; kind of makes you want to ignore the roughness of the ride and live in the moment. At the same time I understand life is precious and most people probably know their limits. If you don't have a high tolerance for coasters, this would definitely not be recommended. For safety purposes too, there are limitations on rides: some are too short, some are even too tall, and of course it's unfortunate but nowadays just being slightly overweight on a ride can make the difference between an enjoyable ride and an uncomfortable/painfull ride experience. That's why I say I was lucky enough to be in the right age and height range to fit in the restraints perfectly. As I mentioned before, I believe how strong your body is (i.e. age and size), both by weight and height is another key reason why a coaster of this magnitude would get mixed reviews.

So I will close and say that I do miss this roller coaster and perhaps with the new technology maybe they will think of a way to reinvent something in 2019 or 2020 (40th anniv Beast)(20th Since SOB) season, but I doubt it. The great thing about King's Island is it's ability to expand. So much unused area just waiting for another grand attraction like SOB.

I was lucky enough to ride this ride for a few years before it was shut down. Living in the neighborhood right behind kings island and going to Kings right behind the park; I watched this mammoth coaster be built and I couldn't wait until it was opened and had a chance to ride it!! I absolutely LOVED this coaster!! The first time I rode it was in its opening year and it was at night when it was a bit cooler...needless to say because it was so rough i ended up with horrible bruises on the outsides of both my legs and i couldn't even lay on my sides because the bruises were so deep. If took me awhile to get the guts to get back on it but I did and my love for the ride was renewed!! I rode the ride with both the loop and without. It definitely lost its value when they took the loop out. I wish they would put Son of Beast back in!! The sky line of kings island isn't the same without it, but it's replacement Banshee is totally awesome and I HIGHLY recommend it to coaster enthusiasts!!!!

Although I was very young (under 10), I was fortunate enough to ride this amazing roller coaster, both with and without the loop. Now, at 20, the memories of riding the Son of the Beast with my cousins brings a smile to my face. It was and will always be my favorite roller coaster. The final accident in 2009 was the reason my grandparents stopped giving my siblings and I a Gold Pass every year. Although the Beast is a phenomenal ride, nothing, in my mind, will ever compare to the Son of the Beast, in all its glory.

I rode Son of Beast numerous times while it was in operation. I have to confess that my brother and I talked my mom into riding (lucky we survived that action after climbing out of the car at the end of the ride). My mom was petrified of heights and this ride scared her to death and she exited the ride a sobbing shaking mess. My dad loved it. I do miss this ride and I enjoyed Tomb Raider too. The older I get I understand my mom's reaction...or bodies don't recover like they used to. There is still nothing like The Beast after dark (even in a light rain/fog).

He goes on to say that Kentucky Kingdom never followed through with the plan. I hated to see KK go by the wayside. lots of good memories there. do you remember the star chaser?

SoB made me purchase season tickets in the 2000 season at KI. I rode it on opening day, and it was extremely rough. I rode it a couple more times that year even though it beat me up. The last time I rode it I got off, and told the operator something was wrong with the coaster, and somebody was going to get really hurt. I have rode Every wooden coaster mentioned in this article, and nothing injured my neck and back like this ride. The operator immediately told me that " i just wasn't used to riding wooden roller coasters" , and "that wooden coaster are supposed to be rough" I never rode it again. It was almost like they were coached to say that. The Beast is "rough" SoB was dangerous. I will say I enjoyed this article, and would love to hear about the days of the screaming demon and the bat. or the stories that led to the closing of flight commander and the zephyr. how bout the glory days of Star chaser and Thunder run at Kentucky Kingdom.

I stumbled across this post on Facebook, and I have to say, the amount of emotion I felt reading and reflecting on Son of Beast was almost staggering. When the ride was first built, I was a wee little tyke in first grade, and I couldn't wait to ride it. Fast forward to 2009, and it was an old friend. Volatile, and jarring at times, but a much loved addition to my memories at Kings Island.

I feel like I should clarify this. I lived maybe 20-30 minutes from the park. When there was nothing else to do, we went to ride roller coasters. I never cared much about how jarring or headache inducing the ride was, that was (in my opinion) part of the appeal. There was nothing better than the moment you stood up after it was over, and you felt shaky upon standing. The hardest part for me was saying goodbye to the Son of Beast. There was nothing I could do as they tore down my beloved coaster. One that grew up with me.

I understand that there were many structural issues, and I had no wish for anyone to get hurt because of them. That being said, I never pushed aside the rumors of death from the coaster when tourists would ask. I was young enough to know the magic of belief, and old enough to know the truth.

So what I would say for anyone out there about this ride; you never know what you have until it's gone. There was simply no compare for it, and perhaps I took that for granted. Living so close to the park made it easy to assume it would stand forever. There's simply nothing I would trade for the privilege I had riding it, and I know I'll remember it for years. Thank you for writing about Son of Beast. It made my day a little brighter, and made me reflect on a great number of things. God Bless.

I rode Son of Beast many times, but never without the loop. Reading this brings back so many great memories. The best one is when I was probably around 12 or 13. My aunt and I decided to ride in the front seat at night. I remember going up the first hill freezing my butt off because I only had a t shirt and shorts on. That hill, at night, in the front seat was INSANE and I'll never forget it. I think the helix, so they call it, was my favorite part, when you swoop down and feel those G's. I definitely miss this ride.

Wow, this article is really well done. I am from Cincinnati and have been going to KI since it opened in the 70s. I remember riding Son of Beast the year it opened and thought it was fantastic, yet painful. Sorry to see it go, but I still prefer The Beast. There's just no beating that ride.

Yeah, the article says that Kings Island's expansion in Action Zone was a preemptive strike to STOP Kentucky Kingdom's expansion. It worked and Six Flags put the planned expansion at Six Flags Ohio instead. That's how those coasters ended up in Ohio and not Kentucky.

I was also fortunate to ride Son of Beast numerous times, with and without the loop. It WAS a rough ride and when going through the loop, I distinctly remember the sensation of my back being crunched down. While I wasn't injured, I didn't like it. S of B was one of those rides that you had to be aware of your position to get the best ride, which was a new concept to a lot of riders. I mentioned my ride experience to a friend who loved the coaster and he said, "Oh, you're not riding it right." We then went for a ride and he coached me through the ride. VERY different experience this time.

When the accident occurred, I was in the water park, which is at the southern end of Kings Island's property. This is where the employee entrance is located and also where outside emergency vehicles enter the park. I remember hearing the siren of the first ambulance, then another, and they kept arriving. We knew something pretty bad had happened.

Later, I learned that numerous people, more than had been on the ride that day, were calling the park, claiming injury. The number claiming injury later exceeded the capacity of the train. While there were video surveillance records to verify claims, this may have influenced KI officials as to the future of the ride. Why keep a ride that may cause problems in the future and open the park to real and fake liability claims?

I rode a post-loop Son of Beast last in 2007 and it was still a rough ride, but it had it's moments. Going through the second helix with that wall of timber bracing to the left will always be something I loved about Son of Beast.

Thanks for this tribute to a great ride! Your articles on Kings Island are always informative, especially on the history of the park. Sadly, KI fails to communicate and capitalize on the "backstory" of the parks many areas, seeming content to just operate rides while the theming fades into the past.

I remember riding Son Of Beast 3 to 4 times. All day rides. (A friend of mine said riding at night going down the big hill was like jumping off a building).

While I rode, I remember it sounded like nails were flying everywhere. Even after I conquered my fear of roller coasters, Son of Beast was STILL the one coaster I feared to ride. Not because it was bumpy, but there was the fear that I wouldn't come back. If I could go back in time, I'd ride SOB more.

I had the chance to ride Son of Beast. The company I worked for had our yearly company picnic there for quite a few years. Son of Beast was the only coaster that I waited in line TWICE for to get on the ride....I loved it, and it also had the loops in it as well. It was exciting, had me screaming, but always wanting more. My body wouldn't be able to take it now, but its really sad of the rides demise....it was amazing!!!

I remember be a little kid "too young" to ride the coaster. Staring up at the massive tooth pick tower with my grandma and sisters as my parents ran off to ride the unforgettable thrill ride. Every season I would ask them if I could go yet and unfortunately the year I could was the first season without the loop. But even so it was the best day of my roller coaster riding life. Some people hate the thrill and adrenaline of roller coasters but my parent raised me to love them, so much that I eventually went on to work in rides at Kings Island and drive some the coasters.
No matter what anyone has to say the Son of Beast will always be my favorite ride in the park. It was a mandatory wait in line every visit that was definitely worth the headache. And yes, you couldn't get off the ride without one. But no matter how much my head pounded I would run back in line and do it over again. Those imperfections in the old style of wooden coasters are what make the ride. Yeah, you got thrown around and beat up but that was part of the thrill. The day the coaster was torn down was an extremely heartbreaking day for me. No ride has yet to replace the glory of the massive coaster in my heart and I doubt there will be one that will. RIP Son of Beast.

I rode son of beast its opening season. Wooden coasters at 50 mph are amazing - so many good ones around the Ohio/Kentucky area. But the magnitude of violence when cranking the speeds up to 80mph just cannot be overstated. It was hard to even focus on the ride experience because you were just getting beaten so badly. I was about 20 when I rode it, and I've never, still to this day, taken a break after a roller coaster, except for that one ride on Son of Beast.

It was awesome and set a lot of records, but the experience was just not to be repeated given how violent it was. I love wooden coasters, but I'm not sure 80mph is a good idea. That's for metal coasters.

That POV coaster footage bring shot on such a gray day makes it look like a grainy sepia horror flick. Pretty cool!

I rode Son of Beast 2 wks after it opened in the front seat. I was 19 and had been spoiled on Cedar point since i was young; it was my first trip to Kings Island. To be honest, i remember it as a LOUD, rough, visceral kind of ride. It was not a comfortable ride, but that was the fun; i was used to the tallest and fastest from Cedar point and i remember a few times having that slight pang of fear saying, "...was this a good idea?" Anyway im sad it is gone now.

I rode Son of Beast twice, both times with the loop. My train was stopped about half way up the massive hill were we all got a great view of the fireworks. Then we saw employees walking up the track double checking our restraints because something was set off. I rather be safe than sorry. I feel bad that people got hurt. The ride is well missed.

I got to ride Son of Beast with and without the loop. I loved it with the loop! Without the loop it was just...bleh...nothing more exciting than other wooden coasters. I was sad to see it get torn down. Of all the various theme parks I've visited the original Beast remains my favorite all time coaster!

(Facebook suggested this article for me, and I was so excited when I saw who wrote it! Great article, Brian! :-))

I experienced this ride in 2008. I had ridden The Beast earlier in the day and really enjoyed it. I guess I was expecting something more similar to The Beast, and didn't prepare myself for what was coming, because I was shocked at how rough it was, and was just wishing for it to end! At one point my head was thrown to the side and my neck cracked painfully! But I'm still glad to say I experienced it, the coaster junkie that I am. Maybe if I had been a little more well prepared and had braced myself a little better, it wouldn't have been so bad.

Again, great article! I am such an amusement park history nerd, and could read articles like this all day!

So one woman "claims" she was hurt and ruined it for all of us who would have loved to ride this!!! I bet she sued too and got a bunch of money!! It's not that she was hurt and didn't want to see anyone else hurt, she just wanted money! All these people getting "hurt" and filing lawsuits ruin so much good stuff.

I got to ride Son of Beast on a warm late summer evening the first season it was in operation, 6 times with out getting off the train. It started out rough, as it aged it got more rough. Once they replaced the cars and removed the loop is was just OK.

It was a pricey mistake, but it was great when it was shiny and new.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon this ride with on one of my High school band trips in 2002. Never being to kings island before or even hearing about Son of Beast, I convinced one of my girlfriends to go with me. I LOVED it, I couldn't say the same for my friend as she would not go on another coaster with me. It's sad that I only got to experience it the one time, I would have ridden all day. Son of Beast has a very dear place in my heart as the only thing I remember from that band trip. I still tell my husband the story from time to time, about the wooden coaster with a loop.

Kentucky Kingdom never had a floor less or an impulse. They had a stand up (chang) and a Schwartskoph shuttle (greeted lightning).

The floorless and impulse were at six flags world's of adventure (Geauga lake)

Growing up in Cincinnati, I saw Son of Beast being built, saw it running, saw it sitting unused for years, and saw the skyline of Kings Island change once it was torn down. I personally only rode it one time, with the loop. It was by far the roughest and most terrifying ride that I've ever been on. It was downright painful and gave me a headache that lasted the entire rest of the day. I also remember Tomb Raider. That thing was terrifying. Kings Island has changed so much over time since its days of being affectionately known as "PKI" to me. I will still always say that The Beast is my favorite ride of all time, especially in the dark. Ridden it too many times to count. Such a classic. The Son of Beast and Tomb Raider rise and fall stories are both unfortunate.

But isn't that like saying, "Why do we even grow avocados? They rot so quickly and are so hard to grow. Apples are just as delicious as avocados and more people like apples than like avocados, so we should let avocados go extinct and just grow more apples instead."

You've named three wooden roller coasters that are infamous for their roughness, but not all wooden roller coasters age poorly. They DO require more upkeep and care than steel ones. But they continue to be built, rehabilitated, and reborn today precisely because they have a place. Steel and wooden roller coasters are compliments to one another in my mind. Have you ridden The Beast? The same ride made out of steel would be horribly boring – long, flat straightaways hugging hillsides. The fact that the ride is wooden gives it personality.

Just as wooden coasters can't do what a steel coaster does, a steel coaster can't do the things that a wooden one can.

As impressive as large wooden roller coasters are as an engineering feat, they simply are not necessary. Every wooden coaster gets rougher year after year until the ride is simply unbearable. See "Mean Streak" at Cedar Point, "The Raven" at Holiday World, or "Timberwolf" at World's of Fun.

I was fortunate enough to be able to ride Son of Beast 3 times. 2 times with the loop. The Ohio winters were not good to this coaster. The first time I rode it was great. The second time it was getting really rough. The last time in 2008 without the loop it gave me a headache that lasted the rest of the day. That being said.... I would still ride it again if I could.

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