Jump to content

Kings Dominion 5/16 PTR/VTR


Recommended Posts

So I took my trip to Kings Dominion a little early, at that made it possible for me to get some extra coaster credits I wasn't expecting before Cedar Point, including my 50th coaster!

My husband and I spent last week in Washington D.C. for police memorial week. I'll have a TR up for that trip as well, but I want to put up my coaster trips first. On Friday afternoon, we were intending to leave, drive to Sandusky, and be at Cedar Point right at opening. We ended up not doing that and staying an extra night at my brother's apartment in Virginia. Saturday morning, I got a text from two different people saying Cedar Point was packed, so my husband and I decided we didn't want to drive 8 hours, get there in the late afternoon or evening, and have to wait forever for rides we've already ridden. Plus, Dragster wasn't running, so my chance for a rollback was dramatically reduced.

Considering my brother lives just over an hour from Kings Dominion, we decided we'd take the world's most random detour and head south first instead. After packing up the car, eating a late breakfast with my brother and sister-in-law, cashing a paycheck, and a pit stop at Target to pick up a few things we needed for a day at the park (like sunscreen), we approached Doswell at about 3:00.




First glimpse of their Eiffel Tower.


Dominator lives up to it's name, dominating KD's skyline.

Entering the parking lot, I had to take a picture of an interesting car.


Look closely, you'll see that there are two chandaliers hanging inside!


Their entrance gates look very nice. The metal detectors are after the ticket takers.


The sheer amount of trees in this park amazes me. You can see how many surround the fountains and International Street, and it continues throughout the entire park. Their midways are very nicely shaded in almost all areas of the park.

I knew I only had one 'freebie' coaster before my landmark 50th coaster, which I wanted to be on Volcano. After looking at the map, I saw that Shockwave, their Togo stand-up, was located conveniently behind the Eiffel Tower and was the closest coaster to us at that point. Approaching the ride, I was hit with a big wave of nostalgia for King Cobra. King Cobra was one of my favorite rides at Kings Island before its removal, and hearing that loud clattering of the train running through the helix brought back a lot of fond memories.


You enter under the second hill, which gave me a nice photo op.

After an issue with a line jumper (I was honestly expecting it to turn physical, luckily it didn't), and a 40 minute wait because the park was packed, we were in line for the front seat. I saw several things that reminded me once again of King Cobra, such as the Togo ride plaque:


and the seating directions:


Finally, we climbed aboard the front seat and I got my first Togo ride since 2001. It really was everything I remembered. Shaky, loud, a little on the violent side, but lots of airtime pops and somehow still a ton of fun and way better than Mantis.

While in line, of course I shot a video.

We took a walk through the midways, exploring the park a smidge and trying to decide if we wanted to get something to eat, because by this time it had been about 6 hours since breakfast.


I wanted to get my 50th coaster in before heading out, so we went towards their Congo section, where Volcano is located.


The line was long. Very long. The people in front of us said they'd never seen it this long, that usually it's a 20 or 30 minute wait, not an hour and a half.

Either way, I wanted to ride it, so we stood for an hour and a half in the well-themed queue, where I got a few pictures.




Ooo creepy tunnel!

First set of queue switchbacks is inside the mountain.



Second set of queue switchbacks looks like you're in a grass hut.


In between the two areas you get a nice shot of the top of the mountain where the ride shoots you out the top.



You can still see parts of the former rides in many areas.



Mmmm twisty track.


Here comes our train!

We rode back seat, because back seat on launch coasters usually rocks, and Volcano did not disappoint.

I was actually incredibly surprised by the launch. It really launches you! You don't immediately shoot out the top of the mountain. First you are launched, then you go flying around a corner outside the mountain, go back inside the mountain where you are launched again, just to gain a little extra speed, and come flying out of the mountain upside down. The rest of the ride is a lot of rolls and fast corners, and overall just a lot of fun. This ride definitely jumped into my top 10 steel and I was very glad to have decided on it for coaster 50.

Now we were really hungry, and on our way out of the park we wanted to check a few lines. Anaconda was over an hour, Backlot Stunt Coaster was over an hour, Volcano was still an hour and a half. We'd heard a lot of the school groups talking about leaving at 6, and now it was 10 till 6, so we decided to head out of the park for dinner and hope that it'd be like Kings Island and clear out in the evening.

On the way out, I snapped a shot of their BLSC which still has working water effects, but strangely, the helicopter appeared to be missing, though the sound effects were still there.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leaving the park turned out to be the best idea we had all day. After an hour break for lunch at the Wendy's about 5 miles away (there is NOTHING at the exit for KD except a truck stop), we returned to find the parking lot mostly empty. We snagged the first non-handicap spot in the lot, danced excitedly at the lack of busses, and headed for Dominator.

What had been a 2 hour wait earlier in the day had shrunk to 20 minutes. We went for the very back seat, because of my great experience in Diamondback's back seat, though now I kind of wish we'd gone for the front of the train instead. I was a little surprised at just how violent Dominator was for a B&M. It banged me around a lot. Worse than Anaconda, an Arrow looper.

I shot some videos while waiting in line.

I thought the train would be coming from the other direction for some reason, which is why I'm staring at the same piece of track for a while then suddenly turn to look the other way. Whoops.

The way the floor comes up is pretty cool to watch.

After Dominator, we decided we wanted a good ol' woodie. By the time we got aaaall the way back to the back of the park to a walk-on Grizzly, it was just starting to get dark outside. Dark enough that the tunnel rocked. I'm a big fan of airtime inside of tunnels (like Voyage) and Grizzly had good airtime and a great tunnel. It was a tad on the short side, but otherwise a great ride. I rank it right next to Legend in my list of favorite woodies. And dare-to-fly - no trims!




I looked longingly at the flying scooters as we passed them,


but wanted coasters and the scooters had a long line (as well as "no snapping" signs, boo!!) so we passed them up to head for Anaconda. I wanted to ride this interesting looking Arrow because it's completely over the water except for a tunnel that goes under it! I've never been on a coaster with an underwater tunnel before, so I had to give this a try. After a short 10 minute wait, we decided to see if the magical 5-1 works on Arrows other than Vortex and away we went. The tunnel was ... ok. Nothing special after all. But being completely over the water was very cool. It jams on the midcourse just like Vortex does, making the rest of the ride almost painfully slow. And to answer the question, yes, 5-1 is the magic seat on Anaconda as well! No headbanging what so ever! My husband was very pleasantly surprised and is even willing to give Vortex another whirl with this discovery.

After Anaconda, my husband recommended Flight of Fear since he knows it's a favorite of mine and thought I'd like to compare the two. Kings Dominion has almost all of their theming still in place, something Kings Island lost long ago. The announcements made over the loudspeaker outside are still operational, the outside of the hangar is still completely themed, and the lights on the saucer still work. The biggest difference is that they use their interior queue as a haunt during the fall, so it's all blocked off inside and there's no movie going.


After about 15 minutes of waiting, we ran into another surprise - a ride op assigning seats! I haven't seen that on FOF since opening year! We had to practically beg her for the rear seat, which she did give us. The ride ops were having a lot of fun with the launches, such as counting down, or as seen in my video, saying "goodbye" right at launch.

And of course, the obligatory empty train shot.

By the time we got off Flight of Fear, we had about 20 minutes before park close. Watching Volcano shooting off it's fire and rumbly volcano noises made me really want one more ride in the dark. My husband didn't have a problem with that, so over to Volcano we went. I spent about 10 minutes trying to get the perfect video of the fire and launch before I finally did, and then it was into the short 20 minute line for our second ride of the day.

Once again, Volcano did not disappoint. That launch is really intense! Definitely the most intense LIM coaster I've ridden. Whipping around in the dark was a lot of fun too. A great end to a great but short day.


On the way out, I snapped a pic of their version of The Crypt, which still has all it's theming and effects, such as water cannons and fire working, as well as what looks to be a pretty intense program. I counted at least 5 complete flips out of it.


Then it was into the car we went, stocked up on 5 hour energy, Mountain Dew throwback, and iPod tunes. We left Doswell at around 11 p.m. and switched off driving until we arrived in Sandusky at approximately 10:30 a.m. for a fun-packed day at Cedar Point!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say if you feel Kings Island would be worth an 8 hour trip just for it, than the same could be said for Kings Dominion. They have a great collection of coasters and flat rides, the park is very lovely and clean, though the employees left a lot to be desired. They weren't enforcing park rules (smoking, line jumping), weren't very enthusiastic (on both games and rides) and just seemed like they'd rather be somewhere else.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's disappointing to hear about their attitudes..I know in this economy, I can think of worse jobs than being in shorts all day, outside, interacting with people and doing a fairly easy job. sure, the pay may not be the best, but it's just a summer job and if you like coasters, what's better than free admission? Not to mention the friends you'd make.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joker's Jinx at Six Flags America (about 2 hours from KD) is the 'outdoor FOF' - it's the same model, but not enclosed and minus a mid-course brake run. I can't wait to ride it!

I was really amazed at how well preserved the atmosphere of Kings Dominion was. It reminded me of the old Kings Island (pre-Paramount), with the old trees and shaded pathways, real gas lanterns along the path, International Street really feeling international, all their theming working on the rides (except the mysteriously absent helicopter on BLSC), etc. They still have their vine tunnel too, it's over by Grizzly.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found the helicopter on BLSC! It sits much lower down than the one at KI, and is pretty much completely invisible from anywhere in the park except the ride itself and the Eiffel Tower. So, officially, all of their effects from what I saw were still working on all rides.

Which is more than can be said about Maverick's water cannons.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh my, i feel bad for you. It looked totally PACKED!... When we i went last year, it was on a friday and no one was there. longest wait was like 20 min for volcano. But let me tell you, Volcano's queue is awful, awful, awful. It felt so crammed once we entered the mountain and it was so hot and stuffy. In the end though it was worth it cause of how great the ride is. The only bad part is that its so dang short.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mountain has been there since pre-paramount, they then built the coaster around it. CF had no influence on the building of it, but the themeing still working is a miracle under CF.

That's what I was trying to say. CF takes out ALL of our theming, and they get to keep a ton. We have no left over TR:TR theming, no BLSC splash, no waterfalls in Rivertown anymore, nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice TR.The parking lot at KD looks so much smaller than KI's.The exit sign from the highway looks like they just removed "Paramount's" from it.I really like the way the entance looks with the turrets.And I agree about all the theming.Makes me wish I could go there. :rolleyes:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mountain has been there since pre-paramount, they then built the coaster around it. CF had no influence on the building of it, but the themeing still working is a miracle under CF.

That's what I was trying to say. CF takes out ALL of our theming, and they get to keep a ton. We have no left over TR:TR theming, no BLSC splash, no waterfalls in Rivertown anymore, nothing.

What theming has CF removed from KI that wasn't liscened and what theming have they installed at any of the acquired former Paramount parks?

Paramount is responsible for most of theming that is in the parks and they are responsible for most of it either being taken out or not working in an optimal fashion. CF is not in the theme park business... My humble opinion but KI is in a much better state now then it was under Paramount.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

KD has a backwards racing coaster,the kiddie wood coaster is still tehmed to Scooby-Doo,The Crypt and FOF still have their theming,BLSC has it's splashdown,there's a Togo stand-up coaster,and Kat said it felt like the old KI in the 80s.It seems like KD is the ghost of Kings Island past.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

KD has a backwards racing coaster,the kiddie wood coaster is still tehmed to Scooby-Doo,The Crypt and FOF still have their theming,and Kat said it felt like the old KI in the 80s.It seems like KD is the ghost of Kings Island past.

KD does not have a backwards racing coaster. No Cedar Fair park does.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...