At last the fate of Son of Beast has been decided, below is a direct quote posted on Kings Island facebook page this afternoon
"After a lengthy evaluation of all alternatives, the decision has been made to remove the Son of Beast roller coaster to make room for future park expansion. The dismantling of the ride, which last operated in 2009, will begin later this summer."
Son of Beast was announced on May 11, 1999, ironically at the 20th Anniversary party for the Beast. A big black box, covered in chains was place along a pathway as part of the hype. The box would occasionally growl and shake, scaring unsuspecting guests.
Designed by Werner Stengal and built by Roller Coaster Corporation of America, this record breaking coaster was to be the center piece of the Action Zone area, but from the start Sonny was a problem child.
The were many construction issues, delays, changes and cost cutting measures made by Paramount. And, this lead to disputes and eventually lawsuits.
The ride originally operated with three trains designed by Premier Rides. Each one consisted of six cars for a total capacity of thirty-six. The trains were shortened to five cars before the 2006 season. And then, after the rides first major incident, the trains were replaced with lighter weight models and the 118 foot steel loop was removed before the ride reopened for the 2007 season. While the loop was not the direct cause of the 2006 problems, removing it did allow the lighter trains to be used.
Another incident in 2009, Son of Beast was closed indefinitely And, even though there was this massive 7032 foot long structure with a 218 foot tall lift hill sitting in the middle of Action Zone, Kings Island tried it's best to ignore the White Elephant in the park. All references of Son of Beast were removed from the park's website, map, and gift shops. And, big black box that marked Sonny entrance was removed.
Son of Beast has been the topic of many discussions and rumors over the past three years. Would the park continue to pour more money into the $40 million or would they tear it down? Now, that the decision has been made, we can only wonder what will replace Son of Beast.
Before, the loopectomy
Back in 1999 we spent at lot of time visiting Kings Island and watching Son of Beast being built. We wanted so badly for it to be a huge success, unfortunately that was not meant to be. But, at least now the park can move on and use the space Sonny occupies for a new thrilling attraction.