- Kings Island
- The Beast
The Beast is a wooden roller coaster located at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio. Designed and manufactured in-house for approximately $3 million, the ride opened in 1979 as the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster in the world. Decades later, it is still the longest, spanning 7,361 feet (2,244 m) across 35 acres (14 ha) of hilly terrain. Two lift hills contribute to the ride's duration of more than four minutes, which also ranks as one of the longest among roller coasters. A refurbishment in 2022 increased the angle of the first drop and lengthened the ride by 2 feet (0.61 m).
The Beast was designed over the course of two years without assistance from scientific calculators and computers. Lead engineers Al Collins and Jeff Gramke consulted with well-known coaster architect John C. Allen, who shared design formulas and strategies to assist during development. Issues discovered during early testing delayed plans to build an enclosure over the helix finale until 1980. Ruth Voss, the park's public relations manager who would often overhear construction crews calling it "a beast of a project", is credited with coming up with the ride's name in early 1979.
The record-breaking coaster was well-received at a press event preview held on April 13, 1979. Since its opening, The Beast has consistently ranked in the top ten among wooden coasters in the annual Golden Ticket Awards publication from Amusement Today. It has also earned a favorable reputation across the industry, including praise from American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE), which held one of its first official events at Kings Island in 1979. ACE awarded the ride its Roller Coaster Landmark designation in 2004. After more than 40 years, it also remains one of the most popular rides at Kings Island, having accommodated over 54 million riders.