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Kings Dominion ... What To Expect?


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We have now officially booked 2 nights at kd campground which means we will be spending at least 1 1/2 days at kings dominion. From everything I have seen online, this park looks extremely like Kings Island (which is my favorite park!), is this a correct statement?

I was just looking at the major attractions, and most of them are quite similar. I really hope it is close to as nice (and clean) as KI so that I can garuantee(sp?) a great vacation for my family.

Any inside information on Kings Dominion would be greatly appreciated! I am traveling with my lw 39, and dd 7.

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Stay tuned and watch this space. A contingent of KIC'rs went to Kings Dominion this weekend for the opening of Intimidator 305, and will doubtless be posting wonderful trip reports, full of detail. Meanwhile, don't miss Volcano: The Blast Coaster, Avalanche and Grizzly. Rebel Yell is a somewhat bumpier, tamer version of Racer...and Hurler...well...someone else can tell you about that one!

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This is a short "review" I wrote last year after my trip in August. It doesn't really merit its on "trip report" so I'll just post it here. If you have any questions, there are probably those more knowledgeable than I, but I'll do my best!

Overall: Kings Dominion really is beautiful. I guess you have to be when you're up against Busch Gardens, but I feel like the whole park was build in the dense forests of Virginia. International Street really is like, fountains dug through dense foliage which has clearly been around for years and years. If you ask me (many have disagreed) you can immediately tell that Kings Island ended up being a "prototype" and that Kings Dominion was built after Taft has some moolah. The International Street buildings are all beautifully textured. And the entrance to the park has castle turrets and lanterns... Very well-themed!

As far as atmosphere, I am literally jealous of Kings Dominion. The Congo area is so incredible. It's ground is brick work similar to our new Rivertown, but throughout. And to make things even better, the entire Congo area plays (literally) the score from Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Trust me, I have it on my iPod. The movie score is literally broadcast throughout the Congo area. At night, the area is consistantly lit by flames from The Crypt and Volcano, with the incredible score playing... It's literally like being in a Disney or Universal park.

Dominator - A must-ride. It's a B&M Floorless coaster, used to operate at Geauga Lake up here in Ohio. As expected, it's smooth as the day is long.

Volcano: The Blast Coaster - Truly a surprise for me. I knew this ride's wait was the longest in the park on most days (and it was so today - 40 minutes in the morning, 20 at night), and that after the launch, the rest of the ride was sort of coasting with some inline-twists. And while literally seconds after the launch you do realize you're at "cruising" speed and will be so for the remainder of the short ride, the inversions (which turned out to be heartline rolls - my first ever!) are incredible. I'd never been through a heartline roll, and they're so unbelievable. Inline-twists / barrel rolls usually leave me feeling drained. But these rolls were incredible! Relaxing, almost. Obviously I'd love a longer ride, but I'd say that no matter how long the ride was.

The Crypt - Original Tomb Raider music... Fire... Fountains... This ride was, as expected, great. It does nine complete inversions. To be honest, though, it's more fun to watch than it is to ride. Most top spins are that way when they're special-effects-laden. This only amplified by belief that Kings Island needs to get a suspended Top Spin with an identical blueprint and setup with identical effects and music in place of the current Crypt. I can't even explain how amazing the Congo is at night... With Volcano exploding, The Crypt sending up fire and water, pulse-pounding music... It's unparalleled. I'm very jealous of Kings Dominion for having this section of the park.

Flight of Fear - First of all, the queue. Be happy we have the one we do. All of the inner queue's switchbacks are taken up by a haunted house that took place (will take place?) inside the building. That means all of the switchbacks are guarded by eight foot tall black plywood, so you can't see the saucer til you're at the steps of it. Also, all of the hanger lighting is off. The house lights are on, and none of the "effect" lights are utilized. On the flip side, the lights within their ship still work, and their station is lit very beautifully. Surprising, their ride takes place in pitch black darkness. It caught me very much by surprise. I know that's how Paramount used to run it (right?), but to be honest, I like the red and purple lights in the spaghetti bowl. The launch passes right through the center of the knot, and it looks incredible to see all the track around you. It was literally pitch black inside. You couldn't see a hand in front of your face. It definitely made the ride more intense, but I truly do prefer it with the lights on.

Backlot Stunt Coaster Kings Dominion's Backlot Stunt Coaster needs some TLC. We rode at 9:30 (it was very dark) and none of the lights on the ride were turned on. No police cars, no billboards, no road signs... Just darkness. It sucked, because BLSC really is one of my favorite rides to ride at night. The fire, the signs, the police... It's such an experience. Also, only the fire closest to helicopter works correctly. The one closest to the train doesn't ignite (its pilot light does, but it never plumes) and the large upward explosion happens (get this) just as the final car passes under it. So riders in the blue and red car don't see it. People in the first row of the back car only hear it, and the very last row can catch a glimpse if they look up as they pass under it. And yes, it does that every day. I asked.

Drop Zone The world's other and proper tallest drop ride... Kings Dominion's Drop Tower is some pretty ugly colors. I love how ours is different colored sections all the way up, very bright and attention-grabbing. Kings Dominion's is alternating pink and orange back and forth all the way up, with avocado seats and catch car. It doesn't rotate on the way up, which is actually to its advantage... It goes up and comes down in probably 30 seconds total... It's a people eater! The catch car comes down just as quickly.

Scooby Doo & The Haunted Mansion - Sorry, but their SDATHM is a billion times better than ours. You enter the mansion by crossing a bayou (complete with crocodile, bubbling swamp water, and life-sized, stuck-in-the-mud mystery machine). The queue line has "profiles" of all the Mystery Inc. (ex. Shaggy. Real Name: Norville Rogers. Hair: Messy. Height: 6' ... Who knew Velma was 15 and Fred and Daphne were 17?!). The ride itself is better not only because it features so many more scenes and more intricate props, but also because you can actually see where your lasers are shooting at. I always feel embarassed on our SDATHC when I have to tell my friends "Oh yeah, and you can't see where you're shooting." I really don't know why you can't see with ours? KD's guns are the same, and you can see a red dot wherever you hit the wall.

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I went to KD last summer, and really enjoyed it. The option for discount tickets were not to be found anywhere, not that there weren't any, but I asked around. The park was kept really clean(like KI) and the overall atmosphere was compareable to Kings Island. I loved Volcano, and Grizzly(good woodie) but I guess the length of The Beast has ruined it for me, because all other Woodies seem too short. A small family coaster I thought was cool is Avalanche which is a Bob-sled type coaster. Dominator is also great, and since GL is closed, I get to enjoy it somewhere else. Hurler was o.k. at its best and Anaconda (steel looper was pretty fun) FoF and Stunt track or whatever it is called today, are repeats to me. My fave flat ride was the Crypt. I gotta say I loved it, nice themeing and the ride program is INTENSE. I would trade it for our lame Crypt ride anytime. The only weird fact about the park I found was, day two for us, we went straight back to the Volcano coaster for an early spin but, it was not open, when the rest of most of the park were operating. A park employee told me the maintenance crew were inspecting other attractions and they would open in about an hour. One hour after the park had already been running full speed ahead. Volcano, FoF and Anaconda opened about one hour late. Ohhh, one more, the swinging inverter ship "Bezerker" was cool, I rode it a few times. I give KD a 9/10 for my rating. Hope this helps and please go enjoy I305 for me ok? If you have a little extra time.... Busch Gardens is a short trip from there......just a thought. I went on a Tues/Wed for my trip in the first week of June.

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I hope to make it out to Kings Dominion this year. Last time I was out there was 2000, so its been a while for me. I really enjoyed Volcano when I was there last, and also liked Avalanche and the Grizzly. With Dominator and Intimidator, I really hope to get out there this year. And the fact that Busch Gardens is so close, is also very tempting, considering I`ve never been there either. Alas, a lot depends on my job situation and when I could spare more than a two day weekend. It stinks not knowing if my current "real" job will last past April 30th, or whether or not it will actually turn into a real job. So much is still in limbo, nearly a year after I graduated with my Masters degree.

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Kerry, we just got back from KD.

First off, I was not impressed with I305. While it ranks a 10 on the intensity scale, it comes in at closer to a 5 on the fun scale.

KD had such issues getting this ride open that IMO the rest of the park suffered greatly. Volcano was only running 1 train with looooonnnnggg waits. The second train was not to be found. My guess is that it is still in the maintenance shop delayed by the big turd next to it. There were many coasters that were not open that we knew about (Hurler & Shockwave) but there were others that were closed everytime we went by (Flight of Fear & Grizzly).

I don't see a date for your trip, but I would suggest waiting several weeks if not a month or 2 before heading to Doswell. Kings Dominion was not ready to open this last weekend IMO.

Now as to inside scoop. KD lists opening time at 10:30 but they really open the front of the park at 10:00 am. You can head over to Dominator first and get a quick lap or 2 on this before the back of the park opens. I would go to Volcano next as it seems to be a much slower load then I305.

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This is what I was talking about in the other thread about when to go. There is no way I would go on opening day thinking I was going to have a good time. Things are always better on the second weekend. We always go to KI on opening but I know what to expect so as to not be disappointed. There was no way I was going to Carowinds or KD opening day because of the exact things that have been posted over the last weekend. I have been there and done it.

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Thanks for all the great information, we are not going until June 23rd & 24th. My daughter has been asking what they have there, so I figured this would be the place to ask.

We are definitely looking for to trying out a new park. Also trying to find out information on the "Walk on Wednesday" platinum perk. Their website really doesn't go into details.

Hope everyone enjoyed their opening day trip.

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This is what I was talking about in the other thread about when to go. There is no way I would go on opening day thinking I was going to have a good time. Things are always better on the second weekend. We always go to KI on opening but I know what to expect so as to not be disappointed. There was no way I was going to Carowinds or KD opening day because of the exact things that have been posted over the last weekend. I have been there and done it.

Yep, I am pretty much done with opening days unless it is for a new ride. IMO KD's problems came from the terrible weather delaying much of the work on I305 which then diverted staff to get it open which in turn hampered off season work done on other rides.

The worst indignity were the naked eagles.

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If youve never been before or havent been in a while dont go until a few weeks after it opens with I305 at top priority for opening the other rides only had one train go through maintinance so 1 train for about every ride for the time being. I305 no one knows there is a single rider line so just go to that you get on really quick!

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Yep, I am pretty much done with opening days unless it is for a new ride. IMO KD's problems came from the terrible weather delaying much of the work on I305 which then diverted staff to get it open which in turn hampered off season work done on other rides.

The worst indignity were the naked eagles.

If the Flying Eagles were back at Kings Island, I couldn't care less if they were chartreuse or fuchsia, flat black or silver. It matters not.

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I went to Kings Dominion on Opening Day and agree with the above posts that it is a beautiful park. I also agree with Dave in that the park was not ready to open. Grizzly, Avalanche, and Volcano were all running one train ops ON THEIR OPENING DAY when it was reported to be about as busy as a Fourth of July weekend. wacko.gif Even I305 was running just one train when I got in line for it on two occasions.

Now for the good news - The park looked like a cross between Kings Island and Cedar Point (Two of my favorite parks.) to me. The midways look STRIKINGLY familiar when compared to Kings Island's (Especially in The Grove and I-Street.). The reason I say that the park reminds me of Cedar Point is because a lot of things like buildings and rides around you are tall just like at Cedar Point.

Hope his helps and enjoy your trip to Kings Dominion.

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Stay tuned and watch this space. A contingent of KIC'rs went to Kings Dominion this weekend for the opening of Intimidator 305, and will doubtless be posting wonderful trip reports, full of detail. Meanwhile, don't miss Volcano: The Blast Coaster, Avalanche and Grizzly. Rebel Yell is a somewhat bumpier, tamer version of Racer...and Hurler...well...someone else can tell you about that one!

hurler is not open this season so no worries ;) and i thought rebel yell was quite faster and *gulp* better then racer

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If youve never been before or havent been in a while dont go until a few weeks after it opens with I305 at top priority for opening the other rides only had one train go through maintinance so 1 train for about every ride for the time being. I305 no one knows there is a single rider line so just go to that you get on really quick!

In addition to I305 both grizzly & rebel yell (south) had two trains going on saturday.

Shockwave needs to have it's lift components repaired/replaced from what I hear & should be open by mid to late april while hurler is undergoing a re-tracking but just isn't worth riding.

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If youve never been before or havent been in a while dont go until a few weeks after it opens with I305 at top priority for opening the other rides only had one train go through maintinance so 1 train for about every ride for the time being. I305 no one knows there is a single rider line so just go to that you get on really quick!

In addition to I305 both grizzly & rebel yell (south) had two trains going on saturday.

Shockwave needs to have it's lift components repaired/replaced from what I hear & should be open by mid to late april while hurler is undergoing a re-tracking but just isn't worth riding.

Volcano actually opened with two train operation Saturday, also. We chose to go there first, after learning on Friday that I305's line was not much of an issue! Unfortunately, two train operation lasted about.....well it didn't :-) First train of riders rolled back and they removed the train. My question for you, KDCOASTERFAN, do they still utilize the third train for Volcano? It had been a few years since I had last been to KD, but my last visit saw three train operation.

With that said, opening weekend definitely wasn't a great weekend to showcase the Park to new visitors. I've always been a huuuuuge Kings Dominion fan and much prefer it to Kings Island, but the operations quickly drove us right out of the gate and right down to Williamsburg.....we never even made it out of the Congo area :-/

- Todd

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Yep, I am pretty much done with opening days unless it is for a new ride. IMO KD's problems came from the terrible weather delaying much of the work on I305 which then diverted staff to get it open which in turn hampered off season work done on other rides.

The worst indignity were the naked eagles.

If the Flying Eagles were back at Kings Island, I couldn't care less if they were chartreuse or fuchsia, flat black or silver. It matters not.

Well I want OUR Flying Eagles back from Carowinds not Kings Dominions set that don't snap worth a darn in comparison.

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Well I want OUR Flying Eagles back from Carowinds not Kings Dominions set that don't snap worth a darn in comparison.

Would be great and I realized how much I missed them after taking a few spins Saturday night at Carowinds. Interesting about Kings Dominions though, I've never had a problem snapping that set either. They seem to take a little longer to get going, but once I start I usually have good rides on them.

- Todd

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Then again, YOU have made the set at Holiday World snap, causing it to shut down for inspection. Not many can say that.

Looooook, Terpy.......I have no clue what you are talking about and will not be held responsible for any such thing! biggrin.gif Ahhhh, good times indeed!

- Todd

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Where? I mean, the first launch is right out of the station and into a giant helix, and the second is the vertical launch through the volcano... Certainly not even a quarter of the way through the ride, and not enough time to fill, or even empty, another train... And I don't know where else on the short layout a block break would be...

p1396.jpg

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Where? I mean, the first launch is right out of the station and into a giant helix, and the second is the vertical launch through the volcano... Certainly not even a quarter of the way through the ride, and not enough time to fill, or even empty, another train... And I don't know where else on the short layout a block break would be...

p1396.jpg

the 2nd launch/mcbr is INSIDE the volcano. you don't see it from the outside

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Right, I know, I've been on it. But my point was, that means you pass the first and only two block breaks in the first fifteen seconds of the minute-and-a-half ride. It certainly doesn't increase the ride's ability to run more trains, does it? I mean, on most coasters, you can launch a second train once a train has passed the first block break, but by time Volcano's train passes the last block break, the other train probably hasn't even been boarded yet...

I mean, I don't know much about this stuff, but what I'm asking is, does one train essentially have to complete the entire circuit before a second can be launched?

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From a lot of people I herd it is better. Kings Island was the prototype for this park. From pictures it looks like a beautiful park, but I still think overall Kings Island looks like a better experience. One day I will go to Kings Dominion and be able to try it out for myself.

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