The park's smallest coaster arrived on park in 1983, when the Mini Dragon opened in the Talbot Centre. The coaster was originally located near where Th13teen's entrance is today. The coaster remained in what would become Festival Park for nearly a decade, but by 1987 became known as the Dragon Rollercoaster.
In its early years the ride had an oriental theme, the model's standard look, including a pergola at the crest of the lift hill and lanterns lining the upper storey of the track. The other notable theming on the ride was a canvas tunnel, painted with rockwork and a flying dragon.
The Dragon Coaster stayed in Festival Park until 1992 when it was relocated to Thunder Valley to operate as a family friendly offering, alongside some of the park's biggest coasters: The Beast, Thunder Looper and later Nemesis.
When the coaster arrived in Thunder Valley, it not only gained a new home, but also a new name - The Beastie; no doubt a reference to its new neighbour, The Beast. In fact, The Beastie would stick around long after the bigger coaster departed the park at the end of 1997. By then, The Beastie had found a new home, having moved to Adventure Land at the start of the 1997 season, taking over the site of the Trim Trail, which had fallen out of use a few years earlier.
When it arrived in Adventure Land, The Beastie received a new red and green paint job, but lost much of its original oriental theming, with only the canvas tunnel remaining. The ride's original gold pergola wasn't initially scrapped, however, and for many years could be found backstage behind Toyland Tours. The coaster would receive another makeover in 2004, when it was repainted to match its new neighbour, Spinball Whizzer.
Guests enjoyed the little green dragon for the final time at Alton Towers in 2010 and from 2011 it was SBNO. For the next few years, The Beastie was hidden behind a very large blue fence awaiting its fate until it was eventually dismantled at the start of the 2013 season. It was eventually replaced by Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure in 2015.
Although now long departed, the ride is fondly remembered by many as one of their first 'big' rides, and it was famous for being quite an intimidating 'kiddie' coaster, which could certainly pack a little punch on a good day.
But the story didn't end there... The Beastie found a new home after it departed from Alton Towers, complete with a bold new paint job, as Dragon Challenge at Barry Island.
And in Dark Forest, the retaining wall that once surrounded the ride still survives to this day, now painted dark green to blend in with the surrounding undergrowth; a little throw back to the mini dragon that once made it's home in those woods.