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Kings Dominion ... What To Expect?


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but dont forget for many people KI is the home park and we know the bad and the good of KI. For some its a first trip to KD and they may love or hate the park and compare it to KI. KD people may infact like KI better than their "home" park. When I went to KD (way back during the paramount days) I did not enjoy the park much as it seemed just like another KI. But it was dirty that day and it made me not enjoy it as much.... but thats just a personal opinion from when I was 15. Now that I am older I would like to head back to the park and see it and maybe ride Volcano(it was just opening my only trip I went there.) But I did like anaconda....

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Kings Island has a better collection of rides, but as far as atmosphere, Kings Dominion eats us up and craps us out (no offense). It really looks like an Anheuser-Busch Park... Waterfalls, streams, mile-high trees... Their international street looks like ours, but built in the middle of a dense forest. Trees everywhere. It's really beautiful and incredible.

And I cannot say enough good things about their Congo area - it has the brick paths we just received in Rivertown. The Crypt is surrounded by ancient carvings in the ground. They built a tiny little amphitheater if you will around The Crypt for folks to watch it from staggered levels. As with the rest of the park, trees everywhere. Plus, the entire Congo area plays literally, track-for-track, the score to the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. So there's drums, flutes, violins, all pumping out this adventurous score. Then, come nightfall, the entire area is lit up by flames shooting from The Crypt and Volcano, The Crypt is shooting geysers and blasting this really incredible synchronized music... Their Congo is easily the best themed area I've ever seen at a Cedar Fair park. Easily.

The rest of the park is also beautiful. Old Virginia (their version of Rivertown, essentially) feels like Cedar Point's Frontier Trail - densely wooden, water rides, ponds, waterfalls, and much more. The Grove (their version of Coney Mall) is also very nice looking for what it is, though it has a very awkward empty plaza at the northern-most tip (vacated by Hypersonic and awkwardly filled with El Dorado and Americana from Geauga Lake). Even their kids area is just in the middle of the forest and everything feels very natural.

The only complaints I have are their water park which, like Kings Islands used to be, is called "Water Works." It's very generic looking and sounding and, as any fan of Kings Dominion will tell you, was placed rather awkwardly and overtook one of the park's most picturesque features - Lake Charles. The only other problem is their Backlot Stunt Coaster's placement. Of all three, Kings Dominion's was placed worst, and it's not because it's "in the Congo area" (which is what so many people complain about - Though on the map, it is in the Congo area, it really is located in its own mini-car-themed area, which is quite clear when you're actually there). My problem is that it's tucked into the water park, essentially, so when you launch, you launch towards a water slide. That also changes the placement of the "parking garage" structure and looks odd. Not to mention, theirs has fallen from grace the most - no music, no water, no fire, and when I rode it at night, no lights. It's a shame, because BLSC is actually one of my favorite night-rides, with the fire and the illuminated highway signs surrounding you...

It's an incredible park. And really, it had to be with Busch Gardens so close. I truly believe that if one averaged out Kings Island and Kings Dominion, they'd have the best seasonal theme park in the United States.

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Most likely. I also think Kings Island was lucky to get the Boomerang Bay re-theme. Even though it's not attached to a movie any longer, the idea of an Australian themed water-park just seems to have more draw than a generic "Water Works" or "Splash Works." Australia = bright colors, fun music, kangaroos, etc. and people appreciate that. Plus, I have a few Australian friends who come here during the summer (their winters) to work at the summer camp I work at. Of course, we make it to Kings Island, and they find Boomerang Bay to be humorously stereotypical, but fun nonetheless.

As for Kings Dominion and it's "forested-ness" that I keep touching on, here's a little example:

Here's Kings Island's International Street in "full bloom." You can see the grassy slopes around the fountains, etc. Also notice that the fountains troughs are painted with "SeaWorld blue," as I call it - just a bright, bright blue that gives the illusion of cleanliness and pristine water. You can see in the image (and know from experience) that many of the trees are small, Probably 20 feet tall or so.

pkicentral%20037.jpg

Here's Kings Dominion's... And this image can't capture what it's like from the ground, because those trees are tall. Plus, the fountains are not in big "bowls" the way ours are, but spouting up directly from the water level. It gives it a natural, geyser appearance, especially when paired with the darker, more natural pool. You also must use your imagination to know that these trees continue completely through the park - almost every inch of the park is in shadow (it's a good thing, it's not depressing), while our trees taper off immediately past International Street in either direction.

676225266_10704e1978.jpg?v=0

This picture of Kings Dominion's Eiffel Tower sums up how wooded that area is, and helps to demonstrate how the streets around their International Street area are slightly taller than the ones here :rolleyes:

KD8.jpg

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I went to Busch Gardens & Kings Dominion in May and in August, and both times was astounded that I saw not a single bug. I was never pestered by bees or by flies or anything. Maybe I just hit them at the perfect time, and I'm certainly not suggesting they have any sort of defense that Kings Island doesn't have... It just astounded me.

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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?

There's a separate unload area just behind the load station,as well as a set of brakes following the final drop.It's this set of brakes that stops the train before going into a lefthand turn into the unload point.

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I too just returned from Kings Dominion, and having grown up visiting both parks since they have opened, I don't want to hurt anyones feelings but Kings Dominion is way better than Kings Island. Biggest thumbs up, for people who have spent much hard earned money on recreational vehicles, there is a campground still right next door. The shops on International Street sell items other than T-shirts. The landscaping is very good. I could sit in Congo all day, love that themed area. Still playing Tombraider soundtrack. Still have the Eagles and the Blue Ridge Tollway. The Grizzly proves you don't have to be huge to be great. I took on the I305 over 40 times in 4 days, Front seat is the greatest and I find it better than Millie. Also found two signs of Paramount still left: a sign on the Avanlanche and the trash cans in the bathhouse of the campground. I give two thumbs WAY UP to the folks at Kings Dominion.

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Kings Island has a better collection of rides, but as far as atmosphere, Kings Dominion eats us up and craps us out (no offense). It really looks like an Anheuser-Busch Park... Waterfalls, streams, mile-high trees... Their international street looks like ours, but built in the middle of a dense forest. Trees everywhere. It's really beautiful and incredible.

The only complaints I have are their water park which, like Kings Islands used to be, is called "Water Works." It's very generic looking and sounding and, as any fan of Kings Dominion will tell you, was placed rather awkwardly and overtook one of the park's most picturesque features - Lake Charles. The only other problem is their Backlot Stunt Coaster's placement. Of all three, Kings Dominion's was placed worst, and it's not because it's "in the Congo area" (which is what so many people complain about - Though on the map, it is in the Congo area, it really is located in its own mini-car-themed area, which is quite clear when you're actually there). My problem is that it's tucked into the water park, essentially, so when you launch, you launch towards a water slide. That also changes the placement of the "parking garage" structure and looks odd. Not to mention, theirs has fallen from grace the most - no music, no water, no fire, and when I rode it at night, no lights. It's a shame, because BLSC is actually one of my favorite night-rides, with the fire and the illuminated highway signs surrounding you...

It's an incredible park. And really, it had to be with Busch Gardens so close. I truly believe that if one averaged out Kings Island and Kings Dominion, they'd have the best seasonal theme park in the United States.

Well I'll agree with the atmosphere and the landscaping and such. I've always said this in all of my past TR's over the years for Kings Dominion, the Park is beautiful and the jewel of the former Paramount parks (with Wonderland being a close second). Yes Congo is absolutely awesome but I particular like the area you posted a picture of....its taken from the path that runs from Eiffel Tower back to the midway with Drop Tower and such. Also, the Grizzly area and Antique Car area are killer too. Their Antique Cars remind me much of what was taken away from us at KI. We, too, used to have that beautiful and serene area.....too bad that was ruined by Backlot Stunt Coaster. I'm gonna have to disagree majorly that KD's ride has the worse placement. Yes, while its in Congo the theme was carried out to the outer areas of the ride like you mentioned. I don't necessarily have a problem with its proximity to the water park. I do have a huge issue with Kings Island's placement as it simply destroyed what was one of the best looking areas in the Park. Its sad to see the state of any of the Backlot Stunt Coasters....they used to be somewhat fun and, as you said, pretty fun at night.

Oh and about Volcano, though KDCOASTERFAN touched on it, essentially yes....a train has to complete the circuit before the next train is dispatched. You are aware of how short the ride is, so clearly isn't as bad as it sounds. I honestly compare it more to Millennium Force and its 3-train operation. The seperate load / unload plus the additional block behind the unload allow for it, but as far as dispatching.....a train isn't dispatched until the one in front of it has pretty much completed its circuit.

- Todd

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