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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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My guess: they need to attract more families than thrill seekers. Families bring in the money.

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The park had a teaser video for Hurler which listed 2018. Most likely it will be RMC coming in and modifying the coaster.

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my guess: I305 didn't bring in the crowds they wanted, and it was too intense for the average family to enjoy 

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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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For me, KD was the perfect park.  The company seems to have relegated it to the lower percentile of parks, but  I hope that is reversed in the future.  They do so many things right there.

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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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I honestly think they're getting a B&M. From a reliability standpoint Kings Dominion has been at the short end of the stick for years. Love them or hate them B&M is reliable and worth the money.

A wing coaster would suit this park well

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I think a B&M Flyer would be intriguing... I put one in that area of the park (and also part of the picnic grove lol) in RCT2 with a KD recreation someone made. Not sure if Dominator was included, but I did put an awesome RMC near the front gate and a launched coaster in the woods (I think by Grizzly? I didn’t venture to that side of the park much the one time I went).

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I've been wanting to discuss how Kings Dominon is going to do this next decade so I'm going to do it on here. 

Kings Dominion has a lot of competition with its main competitor being Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Like @Benjamin22 mentioned on the KD freespin thread, BGW is becoming more of a high thrill ride park with additions like Tempesto, Pantheon, and the rumored shuttle coaster. Sure they also got family friendly Invadr but they've still been heavy on coasters since 2012 with four (five if you include the rumored) Now look at Kings Dominion whose lost a great deal of coasters and attractions in the 2010s. I'd argue the 2010s were a great decade for BGW and a bad one for KD. Even without Busch Gardens, Kings Dominon also has to compete with other parks in the east coast- Six Flags, Hershey, etc. Cedar Fair doesn't seem to be a driving force in the east like other chains do. So what does the chain do with Kings Dominon? Go smaller!

I think Kings Dominon could benefit from going smaller. I've never been to Kings Dominon but like @rhyano said, Intimidator 305 might not have been as much of a success as they wanted it to be. Fast forward to today where there's rumors of KD getting a clone of a wing coaster and a 4d freespin. I'd argue if KD went the Six Flags route and aquired some small clones from across the globe, they'd certainly be doing something different thn BGW. Imagine a more family friendly KD where their coasters are smaller and less expensive. I think if they got reliable clones from parks around the globe (parks most Americans have never been to) that would be an ace up their sleeve. Besides that, I think they need to keep focusing on the family aspect. Its a shame Paramount took out a lot of the park's charm by removing their train ride. I think having a train, along with other family type attractions, would help them out greatly. 

If Cedar Fair treats KD as a mid teir park that's not meant to have KI type attendance I think they'll be prosperous. Trying to take down BGW seems like a poor move when you can just change your target audience. Try to bring in more families and become THE Virginia family park while Busch Gardens continues to focus on high thrill rides.

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I think that's an interesting idea, especially since in addition to the thrill rides added to BGW, they lost their antique car ride (although that was around 14 years ago) and dark ride both of which Kings Dominion has. 

 

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On 4/2/2020 at 11:09 PM, SonofBaconator said:

I've been wanting to discuss how Kings Dominon is going to do this next decade so I'm going to do it on here. 

Kings Dominion has a lot of competition with its main competitor being Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Like @Benjamin22 mentioned on the KD freespin thread, BGW is becoming more of a high thrill ride park with additions like Tempesto, Pantheon, and the rumored shuttle coaster. Sure they also got family friendly Invadr but they've still been heavy on coasters since 2012 with four (five if you include the rumored) Now look at Kings Dominion whose lost a great deal of coasters and attractions in the 2010s. I'd argue the 2010s were a great decade for BGW and a bad one for KD. Even without Busch Gardens, Kings Dominon also has to compete with other parks in the east coast- Six Flags, Hershey, etc. Cedar Fair doesn't seem to be a driving force in the east like other chains do. So what does the chain do with Kings Dominon? Go smaller!

I think Kings Dominon could benefit from going smaller. I've never been to Kings Dominon but like @rhyano said, Intimidator 305 might not have been as much of a success as they wanted it to be. Fast forward to today where there's rumors of KD getting a clone of a wing coaster and a 4d freespin. I'd argue if KD went the Six Flags route and aquired some small clones from across the globe, they'd certainly be doing something different thn BGW. Imagine a more family friendly KD where their coasters are smaller and less expensive. I think if they got reliable clones from parks around the globe (parks most Americans have never been to) that would be an ace up their sleeve. Besides that, I think they need to keep focusing on the family aspect. Its a shame Paramount took out a lot of the park's charm by removing their train ride. I think having a train, along with other family type attractions, would help them out greatly. 

If Cedar Fair treats KD as a mid teir park that's not meant to have KI type attendance I think they'll be prosperous. Trying to take down BGW seems like a poor move when you can just change your target audience. Try to bring in more families and become THE Virginia family park while Busch Gardens continues to focus on high thrill rides.

CF wanted a intimidating ride to fit the theme of the nascar legend, they got it.  Intamin built what CF wanted.

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I really enjoyed KD when I was there in '18, but I think that KD and CF in a way are between a rock and a hard place.  It is much the way that Dorney is where it is located so close to a much more attended park, so does CF get the bang for their buck?

From a family flats collection they are actually in pretty good shape.  They'll probably need a classic pirate ship as I can't see Berzerker (Looping Starship) lasting that many more years.  They could probably put in a Musik Express or Tilt a Whirl but honestly they have a good collection.

From a thrilling flat collection, they could look to put in something like a Mondial Top Scan or a Gerstlauer Sky Roller.  A Screamin' Swing would be great but BGW just added one last year.

The coaster standpoint is where it gets difficult because they need to add stuff that is unique compared to what BGW has.  That takes out all of the B&M models except a Flyer and a Wing.  Both of those would be great additions but are they going to get people thru the door?

Something like Hangtime or Railblazer would fit in well but are they a showstopper attraction? Probably not.  If money were no object I would put in something like Time Traveler.  It would be unique to the region, reliable, and would also be a world-class ride.  But I doubt CF would spend that much on KD.

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One of the things that I often think about is what if I305 was a different coaster model. If it was a B&M hyper coaster could the story of KD be different? I think so... As I’m sure many of you know KD & Carowinds were both being considered for the large amount of investment money, which ended up going to Carowinds. If KD had built a hyper, I’m assuming they may have seen much more positive reception with the ride due to how many people like B&M hyper coasters. Theoretically if it performed well the investment money may have possibly ended up going to KD. Yes I’m aware BGW has a hyper but I feel like they would have been able to find a way to differentiate between the two, maybe a splash down and a more twister 2nd half for example.

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1 hour ago, Benjamin22 said:

Yes I’m aware BGW has a hyper but I feel like they would have been able to find a way to differentiate between the two, maybe a splash down and a more twister 2nd half for example.

I think you hit it on the head. I believe that during the Kinzel era they didn't want to over saturate Virginia with hyper coasters. However Apollo's Chariot is one of the first models of hypercoaster to ever open so having a modern hyper like Diamondback would have been enough to differentiate the two parks. (Heck San Antonio has two Batman clones)

You could tell KD was trying to heavily conpete with BGW- they called themselves "Virginia's Premier Amusement Park" afterall. I wholeheartedly believe that the company thought I-305 would make them superior to BGW and draw in more guests and thrill seekers. Then I-305 was plagued with problems and when they were fixed, the ride was simply too intense for most. 

With all this said, I think it would've been a safer bet to go with a B&M hyper like the other 3 main Paramount parks did. B&M is less intense and would've been enjoyed more by GP. I daresay people could have called it "better than Apollo's Chariot." Heck Diamondback was once called "Apollo's Chariot on steroids"

I think their fear of investing in B&Ms is what's holding them back. I hope they do get a wing or a flyer at some point.

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If this ends up being true I'm excited for this, I really don't see anything wrong with them replacing a Top Spin with a 4D Freefly, I think I said it in another thread, if you forget about Volcano for a second and look at this as a Crypt replacement, that's a darn good replacement that I'd be more than happy to have rather than an empty plot of land, and yeah, I think a true Volcano replacement is in the works, we'll just have to wait and see.

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Assuming it's original and not a Joker clone, it'll give the park a certain edge over other parks along the east coast. 

With that being said though, I don't think Cedar Fair has a need to clone the ride  I think once the 4d freespin is installed, it'll be a one-and-done thing for the chain. 

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2 hours ago, SonofBaconator said:

Assuming it's original and not a Joker clone, it'll give the park a certain edge over other parks along the east coast. 

With that being said though, I don't think Cedar Fair has a need to clone the ride  I think once the 4d freespin is installed, it'll be a one-and-done thing for the chain. 

An edge over Six Flags America and Morey's pier?

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5 minutes ago, coaster sally said:

An edge over Six Flags America and Morey's pier?

An edge over all the east coast parks by having an original 4d coaster. Not a big edge but something to set the park apart from others, albiet in a small way.

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