Forty years ago, the phenomenon known as The Beast debuted. The ride’s opening in 1979 shook the roller coaster world to its very foundations, breaking all existing records as the longest, the fastest and, well, just plain baddest ride in the world. In roller coasters, there had been nothing else like it anywhere and it took riders to a place they’d never been before, delivering the next level of big thrill, adrenaline-pumping excitement. For sheer size, speed and thrills, The Beast stood alone in a class by itself.
The record-breaking features of The Beast included a 7,359-foot long track (1.4 miles) and ride time of four minutes, 10 seconds; vertical drops of 135 feet (at a 45-degree angle) and 141 feet (at an 18-degree angle); a 125-foot long underground tunnel at the bottom of the 135-foot drop; eight banked turns, some to 45 degrees; a massive, 540-degree helix tunnel near the end and speeds up to 64.77 miles per hour.
So where did it begin, this idea to build The Beast? It actually began as a dream of recreating one of the Midwest’s most popular old roller coasters.