When the Son of Beast roller coaster opened 12 years ago, it was an interesting experiment. It set virtually every record record a wooden roller coaster could, save one. When it opened in the summer of 2000, the theme park’s largest store had a whole room of merchandise celebrating it. And Tuesday, in only a few seconds, it was reduced to a pile of rubble.
The Son of Beast roller coaster at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio had a troubled run of existence that came to an end Tuesday. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the $10 million roller coaster, the only wooden coaster to ever have a loop, was brought down with cables, a large section of it crashing down in fewer than 10 seconds.
The Son of Beast was plagued by complaints from some that it was too rough from the start. It suffered a handful of accidents and injuries, five lawsuits, and was even shut down for a year for reconstruction to remove the loop and make for a smoother and supposedly safer ride.
“We weren’t satisfied with the ride’s performance,” park spokesman Don Helbig said.
The Canton Repository reported that the Son of Beast was hailed as the world’s tallest and fastest wooden coaster when it debuted. It stood 218 feet tall and reached a top speed of 78 mph. Significantly, however, the ride did not earn the record of longest wooden roller coaster, as that title belongs to another ride at Kings Island, The Beast. While considered in many ways to be a successor and sequel to its more famous predecessor, the Son of Beast has now crashed into a pile of wood on the edge of Kings Island property, while The Beast, which opened in 1979, is still going strong.
The Son of Beast had been standing but not operating since June of 2009.
Kings Island has not announced what, if anything, will occupy the 12 acres of land where the Son of Beast was. Did you ever ride the Son of Beast? Share your stories below.
Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.”