In July of 2006, Paramount’s Kings Island’s wooden roller coaster, Son of Beast, left riders injured after an accident involving the ride’s support structure partially failing. The accident itself occurred just after all of the Paramount Parks, including Kings Island, all of which were owned by CBS at the time, had been sold to the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. This now left Cedar Fair with the decision of what to do with the Son of Beast wooden roller coaster.
The State of Ohio’s Department of Agriculture was brought in to inspect the ride for obvious safety reasons, and a final report was recently released. This report describes the outcome of the incident and contains information about the near future of Son of Beast.
Son of Beast opened in 2000 as the world’s tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster, and it also became the world’s only looping wooden roller coaster. Well this massive wooden coaster will lose that title in the future months as construction crews make modifications to the 218-foot tall ride, including the removal of the 118-foot tall loop.
Kings Island plans to reopen Son of Beast next season, but not until the park is completed the project of reinforcing the ride’s wooden structure, removes the vertical loop, and installs lighter trains. Using these trains should reduce the load and create a more comfortable ride experience.
The Kemah Boardwalk is a small amusement park and boardwalk area located on the shores of Kemah, Texas, in between Houston and Galveston. The boardwalk area is home to many restaurants, shopping complexes, a hotel, and an amusement park, which will open an all-new wooden roller coaster in the late spring or early summer of 2007.
This new wooden roller coaster will be Kemah Boardwalk’s first roller coaster, and has yet to receive its named. This wooden coaster was designed by the Gravity Group, and will use two, six-car trains from the Philadelphia Toboggan Coaster Co. Martin & Vleminckx Rides LLC is overseeing the project and will also build the ride’s wooden structure.
The Gravity Group designed this compact wooden twister to where it can fit in a footprint that is less than one-acre. This new wooden roller coaster will feature the most crossovers in a single wooden coaster, and will include several tunneled sections.
The western-themed coaster will stand 96 feet tall, have a 92 foot first drop, reach a top-speed of 51 miles per hour, and riders will fly through a layout comprised of 3,236 feet of track. The new wooden coaster is sure to become a popular tourist attraction considering the Kemah Boardwalk draws about 3 million visitors per year.
Lagoon, Utah’s largest amusement park, recently announced the addition of a new one-of-a-kind roller coaster, and it will be the largest in the park’s 121-year history. This new launched roller coaster will appropriately be named, Wicked.
Wicked will launch riders to a top speed of 55 mph before climbing a 110-foot tall vertical tower. Then riders will be launched a second time over the top of the tower and plunge vertically back down to earth before completing the rest of the 2050-foot long course. Riders will experience 4.8 G-Forces, multiple highly banked turns, and a zero-g-roll as part of this 1 minute 46 second long whirlwind of a roller coaster.
Both the famous Stengel Engineering Company of Germany and the roller coaster manufacturer Zierer, also from Germany, designed this new roller coaster for Lagoon at a cost of $10 million. Wicked’s launch system will be made up of LSM’s or Linear Synchronous Motors, which will launch the eight passenger cars. These smaller cars will secure riders around the waist and the legs and will allow rider's shoulders to be free.
Wicked will be completed and ready to make its debut in the spring of 2007. Wicked is sure to stand out above all of Lagoon’s other roller coasters in being that it’s the most unique and the most thrilling roller coaster in the park’s history.