Kings Island, OH – May 11, 1999 – Paramount's Kings Island's two-year multimillion-dollar capital improvement plan for '99 and '00 will include the world's tallest, fastest and only wooden looping roller coaster, the Son of Beast, which will claim five world records for the Midwest's most popular theme park when it opens in the year 2000. This two-year investment is more than it took to build the entire park when it opened in 1972.
"The addition of the Son of Beast at Paramount's Kings Island is appropriate for the magnitude of the millennium, and it fulfills our commitment to invest more than it took to build the entire park in 1972," said Tim Fisher, executive vice president and general manager. "With the addition of the Son of Beast, we have clearly become the wooden roller coaster capital of the world."
The Son of Beast hyper-coaster will be a "sequel" to Paramount's Kings Island's The Beast, which is acclaimed as the best wooden roller coaster ever made by enthusiasts and experts around the world. "The Beast is my favorite wooden roller coaster," said Tim O'Brien, author of "The Amusement Park Guide," and the southeast editor for Amusement Business, a trade publication for the amusement industry. O'Brien rated The Beast as the best classic roller coaster in the world in an article that appeared in USA Today. He has ridden approximately 300 roller coasters around the world. "I can't think of a steel roller coaster that can take its place. With The Beast in its name, Son of Beast has got to be great. I can't wait to see it for myself; I'll be there on its opening day."
"The appeal of certain types of rides runs in cycles, just like fashion, " said Dave Focke, vice president of maintenance and construction at Paramount's Kings Island. "Now, it is back to basics; tallest, fastest, and wooden -- not steel."
The world-record-breaking 218-foot height on the Son of Beast was a by-product of this being a "sequel" to The Beast. "We had two requirements; we wanted this to be a "terrain coaster" -- one that follows the wild, hilly contours of the land, like The Beast," Focke said. "And, we wanted to it to be the only wooden looping roller coaster on the planet. With those two requirements, this had to be the world's tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster."
At 7,038 feet, the Son of Beast will also be the second-longest wooden roller coaster on earth, next to its namesake, which has 7,392 feet of thrills. It will take approximately 2 million board feet (that's more than 378 miles!) of lumber to build the Son of Beast. Steel plates will be bolted on top of eight layers of wood throughout the entire course of the track.
"The entire ride will take about three minutes, but you will live a lot in that three minutes!" Focke said. "There are so many design elements in this ride; world record heights and speed, banking, helices, a variety of g-forces, from the feeling of near weightlessness, up to 4.46 g's, the world's only wooden roller coaster loop; this may be one instance where the "sequel" surpasses the reputation of the original!"
The five world records that the new Son of Beast will bring to Paramount's Kings Island are: The world's tallest wooden roller coaster (the 218-foot first hill will be the world's tallest wooden roller coaster hill); world's tallest wooden roller coaster drop (the 214- foot first drop and 164.11-foot second drop will both beat the current world record for tallest wooden coaster drops!); the world's fastest wooden roller coaster (78 mph); the world's only looping wooden roller coaster; a combined total of the most feet of wooden roller coaster track at any park in the world (22,619 feet -- almost 4.3 miles).
"The Son of Beast will be the millennium coaster; it will stand as a monumental symbol of Paramount's Kings Island's commitment to quality in world-class rides and entertainment," Fisher said. "This history-making, one-of-a-kind hyper-thrill ride will bring Paramount's Kings Island a total of eight world records. We are the undisputed leader in providing the best family entertainment in the Midwest."
The park's two additional world record thrills are for The Beast, the world's longest wooden roller coaster, and for the new DROP ZONE, at 315-feet tall, the world's tallest gyro drop, which opened in May 1999.
Paramount's Kings Island opens for the 2000 season on April 15.