The Beast – The Longest Wooden Coaster in the World
King’s Island is home to many long wooden coasters. However, none is as long or as woody as The Beast, otherwise known as the longest wooden coaster on the planet. Opening to the public in 1979, this “beast” of a coaster has been thrilling riders for many, many years. In fact, 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the ride, which is a pretty impressive milestone. That said, just because The Beast is a long ride or “a classic”, doesn’t mean it’s automatically a good ride. Let’s look more in-depth at the ride experience to see if this coaster is really worth riding or not.
A Coaster in the Middle of Nowhere
As soon as you enter the queue for The Beast, you’re automatically cut off from society. The queue itself isn’t anything amazing, as it’s just a bunch of wood and switchbacks, but it does really set the tone by sending you out into the middle of the woods. You really do feel like you’re surrounded by nothing but trees for miles, and definitely has to be one of the best atmospheres on a roller coaster.
Longer Isn’t Always Better
The secluded atmosphere continues on-ride. After strapping yourself into the slightly uncomfortable PTC trains, you pull out of the station and begin to roll along a curved track until you reach the first lift hill. Once you ascend it, you’re thrown into an above-average first drop for a wooden coaster, and then many, many turns and straight sections. Being the longest coaster in the world, The Beast does feel like it just keeps going and going and going. While the lack of any insane elements can make this coaster a bit boring, I wouldn’t say it is detrimental to the entirety of the experience. You do hit a max speed of 64 mph, which really does compliment a ride through a secluded forest. It feels like you could fly off the track at any minute and hit a tree, which really gets the adrenaline pumping.
18° Plummet to Your Doom
The ride does have a second lift hill and drop, which extends the duration even more. At first might seem just repetitive and boring, and the 18 degree drop might look weak, but don’t be fooled: this drop is unlike anything on a coaster. The drop is extremely long, and because of the slow decline, it takes a lot more time to pick up speed. As you reach the bottom half of the drop, you feel like the speed you’re flying down at is unsafe. Then you see what lies at the bottom of the drop: a tunnel. It seems like you are approaching this tunnel way too fast, and that worry really gets your adrenaline pumping. Then, you hit bottom, and the ride hurls you into the tunnel for its grand finale helix. Although the layout isn’t much and could use some more elements, it is still a very enjoyable and thrilling experience.
OMG THAT NIGHT RIDE THO
Okay…so…here’s where EVERYTHING changes. Instead of riding The Beast during the day, might I suggest waiting til night to ride? Sure, it’s an alright coaster while the sun is up, but at night….ohhhh my god. I feel like it can be inferred that because I’m a coaster enthusiast, I don’t get scared of roller coasters. HOWEVER, riding The Beast at night had me TERRIFIED. If you’re a Disney fan, you know how Space Mountain feels faster than it is because it’s in the dark? Same thing happens on The Beast at night. Except THIS RIDE WAS ALREADY HAULING TO BEGIN WITH.
Here’s a strange metaphor: If a night ride on Beast was a genre of movie, it would definitely be Horror film. Every amazing part about the ride (i.e. the drops, the atmosphere, the speed) is amplified x10000 in the dark. The second drop, which already got my blood pumping during the day, was completely HEART-STOPPING at night. I honestly can’t stop singing the night-ride’s praises. It was just such an incredible experience.
I’m torn on how to score The Beast. The day ride and night ride, while both good, are just so different that they honestly feel like they’re two different coasters. The day ride is fun, and if you are able to get multiple rides on the coaster, I’d say it’s worth your time. That said, if you only have time for one ride on The Beast, you NEED to ride it at night. A night-ride on this coaster is definitely a “must-ride-before-you-die” for all coaster enthusiasts.
Coaster Grade: B+ (day)/A+ (night)
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