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SonofBaconator

What's up with Kings Dominion?

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They haven't gotten a coaster since 2010. Shockwave is gone and Hurler is SBNO. Their last major announcement was wifi, more snoopy attractions, and more guest perks and they didn't even announce Winterfest for next year. KI has gotten a pretty generous amount of coasters since the Cedar Fair buy with one being a re location and the other three being ground-up. Even parks like Carowinds and Canada's Wonderland have been getting some more love in the ride department. What's up with Kings Dominion? 

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I agree it must be really frustrating to be a KD fan as of late. I assume they aren't getting as much investment since their attendance puts them as a mid tier Cedar Fair park. KI is a top tier park and we have been very fortunate under the Cedar Fair ownership. I would think that KD would get more investment than they do simply because of the competition from Busch Gardens an hour up the road.

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Fact is exactly what IndyGuy stated..... there is a reason that KD did a large waterpark expansion a few years back, and that reason is that a large waterpark expansion will bring in a LOT higher per cap increase than any one roller coaster will.  Now, for myself personally, Id much, much much rather see a couple of flats and one mid sized coaster than a freakin water park of any sort (or one very large coaster for that matter), but from the standpoint of a Corporation who very honestly couldnt care less WHAT is installed... provided their yearly bonuses keep coming in and the shareholders arent asking for their heads on a platter... if those per caps are the highest with a Planet Snoopy expansion or a large waterpark expansion, thats whats going to be installed.  As far as I am concerned, I am quite happy with the current line up at KD, especially once Hurler has been converted/reconfigured.  With Dominator, Volcano (when it runs, Intamightwork), Grizzly, a refurbed Hurler, very snappable Flyers, and night rides on I305, Id be happy if that was the park I lived 2.5 hours away from.

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One of the cities(or the state) that has jurisdiction over Kings Dominion turned down tax incentives that Cedar Fair asked for, Charlotte, NC gave the tax incentives that Cedar Fair wanted and Carowinds got the $50 million that could have went to KD if Cedar Fair had gotten the incentives.

I dare guess that KD got a reduced budget and Carowinds got an increased one.

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Re: Carowinds...Per Cedar Fair press release back in 2014, "Carowinds was the 6th largest park in the portfolio with significant attendance and guest spending potential. Cedar Fair is committed to investing in the future growth of Carowinds while maintaining and enhancing the park's historic legacy" 

 

We obviously don't know what the future holds for Carowinds but I say with confidence that with all the transformational capital investments they are making in the Charlotte region, they are "somehow" wanting to turn this into a destination park much like Cedar Point/KI. It has long been rumored that we are to get an on-site hotel/resort since CF purchased over 61 additional acres back in 2011. We did't necessarily need a GreatWolf lodge next door since we already have one within a 30 min drive, but we do need something to promote lengthier stays. While we do have similar market demographics to Kings Island, Carowinds has the unique opportunity to increase capacity through the addition of iconic new thrill rides, expansion of children's areas and the waterpark, of which they just completed in 2016. It is quite possible that we are no longer #6 and have been bumped up in the chain with all of the additions in during the last two years. IIRC, that $50 mil was for a three year plan including our 2017 re-do of County Fair with the 4 new flats, so we'll have to see what happens next.

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Honestly KD has a good to great coaster line up already. It has just about every coaster type out there including 3 launched. It has a good amount of thrill rides. As someone posted Carowinds has huge growth potential and Canada's Wonderland is the seasonal park with the most foot traffic in the CF chain. I mean there are 3 parks out there that get far worse treatment from CF than the Dominion

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Didn't want to start another thread but does anyone think the park is poorly designed? I'm not trying to bash the park at all but I always thought the park was designed kinda odd. Soak City takes up a huge chunk if real estate and a lot of their more popular rides are on the left handside of the park. 

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Part of the weird layout is because their back of house buildings are more into the "park" territory. As an example, their International Street  doesn`t have an  entrance off of it in the middle on each side like KI`s.  Also the water park kind of is odd as it is right by Candy Apple Grove and straddles both sides of Racer 75 (the former Rebel Yell).

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I went this past September and found the location of some of the rides to be odd. Intimidator 305, Backlot Stunt Coaster, and FOF are all part of the Safari Village section. Dominator is right by itself in the front of the park, with Planet Snoopy being in-between it and the rest of the park.

 

 

 

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KD is bizarro KI to me. Almost everything is opposite. IS is kind of jutted into the parking lot, probably much more notable before Dominator. Also find it funny that is Safari Village, you have a Volcano next to an Avalanche and an Anaconda next to a Backlot filming location. And a Crypt mixed in for good measure. Nonetheless, I love this park. It is charming, unique and full of memories for me.

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I know some people will disagree with me but I'm actually kind if grateful we never got an Intamin coaster at KI. I feel bad for KD because Volcano was down for most of the 2018 season and it had a lot of maintenance woes in seasons prior. I think Cedar Fair is trying to push reliability and certain coasters, like Volcano and Firehawk, don't fit that bill anymore.

It makes me curious if Cedar Fair will continue to invest in KD as much or if competition with BGW will continue to be a plague for the park. Their focus on Carowinds, Canada's Wonderland, Kings Island, and Cedar Point suggests that KD doesn't have the opportunity for growth that the chain is looking for.

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I feel as if Cedar Fair really struggles with this park...in part of being out of touch in the early days of ownership and the local enthusiast group.

 

As far as out of touch in the early days of ownership, they installed I-305...which I think is where the park started to go wrong. While the general coaster enthusiast community love the coaster, it was too intense for the general public. It didn't bring in as many guests as it hoped, not to mention the ride had to be re-profiled as well. Had they installed a different model coaster, whether B&M or Intamin, they could have benefited from a less intense, people eating coaster such as a hyper coaster. 

As far as the local enthusiast group, which I can kind of understand, they publicly dog the park on Social Media about everything....when they announced Shockwave was leaving, the enthusiasts complained about how the park never invests, then Delirium was announced and the enthusiasts complained that it wasn't a new coaster.....then they announced Hurler was closing....the enthusiasts complained about another losing another coaster....when Twisted Timbers was announced the enthusiasts complained because it wasn't as big as they wanted....etc. 

I understand that when they have announced 2 coasters closing (now 3) how disappointing it can be, but it also seems as no matter what the park does, the local enthusiasts are never satisfied. It's like KD and Cedar Fair cannot win with whatever decision they make (whether it's viewed as good or bad). 

I hope with Volcano leaving as sad as I am, they can be redeemed...especially hoping they announce a new coaster that is a people eater and highly rated. 

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