The Son of Beast rollercoaster has been removed from Kings Island's 2010 park map, fueling speculation that it will remain closed throughout the coming season.
There have been conflicting reports over the future of Son of Beast, with some suggesting that it could reopen later this summer and others pointing to a prolonged or even permanent closure. The omission of the ride from the map, posted online ahead of the park's opening day on April 17, suggests that there are no plans to reopen it in the near future. Son of Beast also no longer appears in attraction listings on Kings Island's new website.
Son of Beast has been closed since June 2009, after a woman claimed the ride caused a blood vessel in her brain to burst. Ohio state investigators later ruled that the ride design was not at fault for the injury, but the park's General Manager Greg Scheid has since said that it will not reopen the coaster until it is "100% sure that [park guests] will enjoy their time on the ride".
This is likely to involve making significant and expensive updates to Son of Beast for the second time since its opening in May 2000. The first update added new, lighter trains and removed the ride's signature vertical loop after a 2006 incident which saw 26 people injured. During the incident, a support beam broke and caused the train to come to a juddering halt in the station.
According to a recent report, Kings Island is in discussions with engineering firms over potential changes to Son of Beast. Options under consideration are believed to include replacing the ride's entire wooden support system with a steel structure, or removing the two giant helixes which have caused many of its previous problems.