An Ohio man took the 50 millionth ride on a roller coaster that opened 35 years ago at Kings Island.
Mark Specht of Berea, Ohio took the ride Friday on The Beast during the park’s Halloween Haunt event.
Specht received a Beast t-shirt, cap and ornament, picture frame, a 2015 VIP tour for eight guests and a large sign proclaiming him as the coaster’s 50 millionth rider.
When The Beast opened to the public April 14, 1979, it was acclaimed America’s ultimate roller coaster. It broke all existing records as the longest and fastest ride in the world. The Beast is still listed in the prestigious “Guinness Book of World Records” as the longest wooden roller coaster in the world at 7,359 feet.
The Beast sprawls across a densely-wooded, 35-acre site at speeds up to 65 mph, with a ride time exceeding four minutes.
The ride was constructed in less than a year, after two years of research and design – all by Kings Island personnel. By the time workmen had completed the massive Beast construction in March of 1979, they had used 650,000 board feet of southern pine lumber; 37,500 pounds of nails; 82,480 bolts and washers and 2,432 square yards of concrete.
Each of the three trains on The Beast has traveled a total of 889,850 miles. That’s the equivalent of more than 35 times around the world!