Every year my parents and I like to find another park to go to that we have not already been to. Having been to Kings Island earlier this past May that was already out of the question so with much thought we came up with the suggestion of Kings Dominion. I have heard alot of bad things about the park such as the rides sucking and the park not being as clean as Kings Island but hey, its always worth a risk to find out of there is a hidden gem out there!
We ended up buying season passes for the three days we would be there. No, we are not heading down six hours just for the park more than this trip rather it would have been much cheaper this way over a two days pass along with a single day pass for the waterpark. $75 plus free parking is quite reasonable.
Aug 4th: We finally arrive to the park after a 15 minute drive from the hotel the night before. Being a tuesday, the park is empty like no other which is great for us. Rather than give you a long paragraph or so on the rides and ratings I will quickly give you a summary of all the big ones.
Volcano: The ride is everything its hyped up to be and more. Fast and intense really worth any wait. Night time was the best. Overally number 2 favorite ride of all time.
Dominator: Amazing addition. never ridden it at GL before but it was as well fast smooth and intense. The back was our favorite spot. Awesome layout and a great location at the beginning of the park
Flight of Fear: Still one of my favorite rides. Always sit in the back. I preferred this one over KI's because it seemed smoother for some reason.
Drop Tower: Favorite drop ride of all time. Beats KI's because the brakes did not kick in until the end and the drop seemed much longer.
Hurler: rough woodie with great airtime. Semi long ride good if no wait.
Backlot: Im not a hater for this ride! I love both parks BL;SC's and does not need speakers and working theming to appreciate the more intense than it looks launch and smooth ride.
Shockwave: biggest surprise of the trip by far. The ride was short and some parts were jerky but you didnt have a moment to catch your breath and it was far more intense than it looks as well. Nothing hurt too bad on it and the bunny hops at the end were actually fun. I never came off a ride with so much laughter before.
Avalanche; Every park needs one of these. It was so relaxing and unique. The ride got pretty intense towards the end and is easily my favorite bobsled over the two I have been on.
Grizzly: Smaller and more rough than The Beast but was still fun with the tunnel and being in the woods.
Anaconda: disapppointing and not much thrill. I can withstand rough but the majority of the ride was lacking.
Rebel Yell: Racer is ten times better despite an almost exact layout. I did not have the same airtime filled experience as I do on Racer and the ride had some pretty brutal spots.
ricochet: My favorite wild mouse now. Long and intense with few braking spots until the end. Definetly wild!
Berserker: I hope they do not get rid of this ride. It was a classic but still fun and intense. Its very intimidating looking.
The Crypt: I have not ridden the new Crypt program at KI but I do not think my opinion would change much because not only is the program better on the KD version, the fact of it being outside at night with the fire and everyong watching but the floorless seats and nothing in front of your view on the ride really made this my favorite top spin by far.
The shows: I do not know if I have ever seen a more disappointing collection of entertainment ever. Cedar Fair can be the blame for this but the "feeling Groovy" and the "hot Island Rythms" were the worst I hve ever seen in a park. Both were performed by the same group of bored teenagers who showed no wanting to actually entertain you. You could not even say they were cheesy or cute. Not worth the time at all.
Waterworks: I think that the waterpark was much better than Boomerang Bay. The slide collection was much better and the park had alot more shade to offer compared to BB. The Pipeline peak slides were downright intense!. Very well kept as well. The only negative was the only way to get in the park was to go through the main park entrance and walk all of the way to the back.
Now after being to both of the parks in one year I can do some comparisons. In terms of ride variety and the collection I will give the nod to Kings Island, especially with that beast of a ride being built ( no pun intended). Volcano and Dominator are world class rides, but the others can be ridden at other parks with similar ride quality or layouts. Park cleanliness and atmosphere easily goes to KD. Next to Busch Gardens I have not been in a nicer looking park. There was shade everywhere and everything was kept clean and in nice condition. Action Zone in KI hurts the rest of the park because that is the only part needing to rid itself of all that concrete. The staff at KD were very friendly and everyone operating the rides seemed to enjoy themselves as they would joke around with everyone on the microphones. The park was empty on all three days we went ( stopped for a few hours on the 8th so did not count that) and all rides were dispatched very quickly. Had the park had a hypercoaster or another top notch ride I would have given the park a 9 or 10. Overally 8-10 is excellent and anyone should at least make one trip over there if they had not already.