Is Son of Beast Really dead?


Theme Park Reviews readers were singing the praises, Coasterdom was lamenting on it. Son of Beast is…dead. It’s not on park maps anymore. The signage is gone, and all the merchandise is out of the park. Even more so, readers have posted pictures showing off fencing gone, and paths blocked off giving the feel that a coaster that was once an innovative high tech ride, was never there. But are all your joyous celebrations and doleful lamenting premature?

It reminds me of a movie from the 80’s, The Last Starfighter. In it, the bad guys are trying to kill the lone gunner that stands between them and ruling all of the universe. In one scene there was an alien assassin that was reporting when all seemed lost that the Last Starfighter…..and his transmission was cutoff. The powers that be jumped to the conclusion that the Last Starfigher is……dead. THE LAST STARFIGHTER IS DEAD! Of course he wasn’t and the armada ended up losing to the lone gunner.

Perhaps all of the nerds and the “ride warriors” out there are doing the same thing. You’re counting the old boy out before he’s ready to have the towel in. I firmly believe you are all wrong, just as you were before. Oh yes, you were wrong.

The Texas Giant ring a bell? Many coaster enthusiasts said the same thing about the Texas Giant. This was of course before the park announced that it would be closing it for a year long renovation. As we all know this panned out to be a drastic new addition that makes this historic coaster a hybrid. But it also fixes the problems that it once had.

Kings Island officials have gone on the record as saying that it would not open for the season, and it would be very unlikely that it would ever open again. Unlikely. That word has doubts that swing both ways. Just a few days later WHIO reported that park officials said the coaster “will reopen sometime during the summer”. It also has been cleared by the Department of Agriculture to reopen, but will remain closed until a “longterm fix” can be made.

So what does this mean? If you’re an avid reader of Screamscape, (and who isn’t?) then you’ll know what he’s heard. Yeah, a big fix in the same vein and with the same company that’s fixing Texas Giant. And it makes sense. As Screamscape reports (right here) this is one of two wooden coasters that need help in Ohio, with the Cedar Fair family. Plus you have to really look at the numbers. The coaster opened in 2000, underwent renovations in 2007, and replaced the trains. Plus it’s undergone more smaller renovations every year. The park has invested over $30 million dollars into the coaster, and while other parks (Busch Gardens) have taken coasters out completely and spent more money on them, it seems unlikely that this will be one of them.

So, my friends…the Last Starfighter may not be dead after all, and he’s going to unleash the death blossom to annihialate all you naysayers..hopefully.

On a completely unrelated note, we have just received word that Don Helbig from Kings Island is scheduled to be on the podcast this week. Get your questions ready. And listen here.