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Return of the Sad-and-Pathetic Photo TR: KD Opening Day '07


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Well, it's time for the first full season under Kings Dominion's new regime--Paramount is dead! Long live Cedar Fair!

 

Paramount may be dead, but its ghost still lingers. It doesn't appear that CF took a lot of care in "de-Paramountizing" the park, aside from the maps, a sign here and there, and the CMs' name badges. You'll still find the Paramount name and logo on shirts in all the shops (gotta sell that back inventory) and on many of the trash cans, and those Paramount movie props are still ringing the Eiffel Tower.

 

And there is one interesting, somewhat more irritating holdover from the old boss. Remember how they used to play music from different movies and TV shows, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Leave It to Beaver, all over the place? Today, except for the music in the Nick section and the jungle drums in the Congo, the only music being played in the park, from the main gate to the Grove to Old Virginia, was . . .

 

the theme from Star Trek: First Contact!

 

Yes, I heard that music pretty much constantly for the the six hours or so I spent at KD. Would love to know what the story is behind this. Is this the only music CF could get the rights to use?

 

Well, theme music aside, the weather was great, the crowds were pretty light, and I had a good time. And, yes, there was but one-train operation on all the park's rough and wild woodies. But Volcano was its usual awesome self, as was Flight of freakin' Fear.

 

And now here's a bunch of those things that are supposed to say a thousand words. Enjoy.

 

PS--if you have one of those temporary KD or CF Maxx Passes, just go to any open ticket window, and the cashier will trade it for a "permanent" plastic card (no muss, no fuss).

 

PPS--I have a suspicion that CF may be using a new vendor for KD's soft-serve ice cream. It used to be pretty good--now it really sucks. Yes, this pallid, stale-tasting twirl of gelatinous goo would probably better serve as a low-grade stamp adhesive than as a snack treat.

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Here's what $7.39 buys you at KD. Well, at least the pizza is decent and the napkins are free, right? Part two of photos to come.

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But "Canaba" is starting to close the gap!

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And now we turn to Curt Gowdy over at the bobsled run. Looks like Team USA has taken the early lead.

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Remember kids--clean poo is happy poo! (Note to CF: you might want to fix this sign.)

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Might as well catch the Tomb Raider show while waiting for Avalanche to open.

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I think this kid likes band. Just a hunch.

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Time to help Scooby and the gang get to the bottom of another groovy mystery (before the line gets too long).

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. . . by aliens!

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Remember--you will be under constant surveillance . . .

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We're now entering Flight of Fear! This is a restricted area!

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. . . it's (kersploosh!) Italian Job! (I must admit that I think this little coaster is fun.)

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And, for all of you who like rides based on mediocre remakes of old movies . . .

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Yep--sure beats the crap outta the Smurf train ride that used to be there.

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Launch good!

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Fire good!

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The early bird gets two rides (one in the front seat) in 15 minutes on Volcano.

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An eye full of the Eiffel . . . slap! Ow! Sorry--it won't happen again.

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A lousy picture of a good change--the entrance is no longer blocked by ticket booths. So, you actually get "lines" when you enter, as opposed to an unruly mob. (Tickets are sold in the bldg. in the left foreground.)

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At least this trash can got the memo.

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Here I am at Knott Paramount's Kings Dominion. Doesn't look like much has really changed.

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Part two of the pics.

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And we finish with the vertical loop of another coaster that wants to kill you--Shockwave Togo Machine of Atomic Mega-Death. Thanks for reading.

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Oops! Looks like someone broke Anaconda (which is just as well).

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Eye-to-eye with Drop Zone.

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Here's yet another new slide for the water park.

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And now we'll conclude with some shots from the Eiffel Tower. Here's the Congo, with awesome Volcano and the fun (but strangely out-of-place) Avalanche.

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The Log Nazi proclaimed "No flume for you today!" But there were some hardy souls on the rapids ride.

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Ten dollars down, and you can take this little beauty right now! Whaddaya say, mac?

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And here's the part that makes people say "Oof," "Ow," and "$%*$%!!!" Then it knocks over a bunch of trash cans.

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Here's the part that goes wobble-wobble-wobble-wobble!

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Allow me to point out some of the features of Hypersonic. Here's the part that makes people say "Whee!"

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Hello there! You may have heard that we have a little item for sale. Take a gander! Isn't she a beaut?

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"Think we should paint over that?"

"Nah--it'll just flake off on its own, anyway."

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Grr! Grizzly want to kill you too! But you have more fun when I do it than stupid Hurler!

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I'm Ricochet. I want to kill you, too, but I lack the power. Oh, well . . .

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Seriously--I want all you people dead!

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Hi--I'm the Hurler! And I want to kill you!

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Yeah, only one train on each side of Rebel Yell--but at least they were racing them.

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Ever read any of the Earl of Rochester's erotic poetry? I wonder what he'd have to say about Drop Zone?

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Here's one of the new slides opening in the water park later this spring (as seen from the pizza joint in the Grove).

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Seems like you had a great time. I was there as well, and you're absolutely right about Cedar Fair taking there sweet time with getting rid of the Paramount stuff. However as I was waiting for them to open up the parking gates, one of the attendants I spoke to said that they have until the beginning of next season to 'de-Paramount' the place, to include the electronic billboard that can be seen from all over the park and I95.

 

-Bill 'CoasterBill04' Yetman

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It'll be interesting to watch the "de-Paramounting" progress. I knew they were stuck with the big sign out by I-95 for a while.

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I know they took off the P-word from the big sign just inside the main entrance at Kings Island, and at Carowinds, too, but why not at KD.

 

the theme from Star Trek: First Contact!

Or they could have made it a Drew Carey theme park, where Mimi plays "Panama" by Van Halen all day long.

 

Also, did Ananconda get the seat belts?

 

P.S. I spent $10 for 2 slices of pizza and a Coke at KI last year...

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^^&^^^I don't know. Anaconda was closed early in the day but ran for a while. But the coaster was broken by the time I headed back to ride it.

 

Let's just say that Anaconda isn't very high on my "priority-ride" list.

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Thanks for the report! I'll be heading down there tomorrow (Sunday) I'm hoping the rain that is forecasted doesn't ruin the day too much.

 

It's good to see Hypersonic still running... how were the crowds? By the looks of your pictures it dodn't look too busy. I'll try to do a TP myself if the rain stays away long enough!

 

Thanks again!

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Cool trip report, Chuck, and nice pictures as usual. I think the light crowds will come in handy this year given the park really doesn't have any true people movers.

 

I'm also looking forward to getting back onto FOF this year... it's been a while. Thanks again for the update

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Im going today and it's suppose to thunderstorm. I hope it doen't thunderstorm too bad to get to the point that rides are closed for hours and hours. Photo TR when I come back. (in another topic)

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^You may have a strange desire to rent Star Trek: First Contact at Blockbuster tonight. Really, that music was the weirdest highlight of my visit yesterday.

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$7.39 for a small slice of pizza and a soda? Wow, that's almost as bad as SF's pricing for food.

 

That is worse than any SF park I have been too. The size of that pizza was pathetic.

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Great Tr Chuck! I know they don't have a bathroom by FOF but geez!

 

I have felt like total dung this week and this weekend is no exception, I might try to tough it out today, I need my grizz fix!

 

JEFF

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^I had that same thought after reviewing the "surveillance" pic last night, Jeff. I hope you're feeling better today.

 

You can buy a whole pizza for $21.99 at KD, Rich--still ridiculously expensive, but a better deal if you split it with someone. And it actually tastes pretty good. There's a Bubba Gump's there, too, which is OK, but food at KD pretty much sucks.

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^I had that same thought after reviewing the "surveillance" pic last night, Jeff. I hope you're feeling better today.

 

You can buy a whole pizza for $21.99 at KD, Rich--still ridiculously expensive, but a better deal if you split it with someone. And it actually tastes pretty good. There's a Bubba Gump's there, too, which is OK, but food at KD pretty much sucks.

 

We have been to PKD once when they actually kicked everyone out at 2:00 because they didn't have enough staff. We ate at that pizza place I believe, pretty close to Hypersonic and there is a flat you can see from the window? The food was fine when we went and seemed much larger. We will be revisiting the PKD and Euroburg a couple weeks after the Spain trip so we will eat before PKD.

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I was at KD yesterday also. I did not get there until just after 12 noon. I was surprised that more of the Paramount logo was not removed from the park.

 

The entrance makeover was nice. It is weird seeing the main ticket booths gone and the area being open. I guess they are hoping people will use the web site to purchase tickets. They did a nice job getting rid of the asphalt and putting down paving stones instead. The front gate paint scheme was more muted. The used cream, gold, and brownish red colors.

 

I had to exchange my temp season pass card for the permanent one. Since I had to purchase seaon pass parking online, after the park had closed for 2006, I went to the season pass building to get the parking added. I must say that the customer service was great. The lady in the season pass processing room took my pass and parking e-ticket and had the parking added to the permanent pass. she even showed me that the parking was applied to my pass on the computer screen! The season passes does not have your photo ID on the pass. It shows up on the screen at the main gate.

 

After entering the main gate, I took a stroll along the right side of International Street. It looks like the Starbucks building got a new coat of paint. The Alpine Deli building was closed (new China Panda location). I did not see any changes to the outside of the building.

 

Old Virgina Area:

 

The log flume was down, it looks like the park is doing a refurbishing job on it. From the Eiffel Tower the Flume 1st hill conveyor belt lift was dismantled.

 

The Flying Eagles were running. I did not go back to the White Water Canyon area to see if it was running. Course, based on the pictures above, it was. I did not get a chance to ride the Grizzly. I poked my head into the Paramount theatre while the dance competition was going on. The stage area was striped out. None of the set pieces from the House of Rock were there. I assume they are getting ready to prep the theatre for the Twisting to the 60's show opeing on Memorial Day weekend.

 

I then was getting hungry and went to the Country Kitchen to get my BBQ-combo dinner (1/4 rack ribs & 1/2 grilled chicken). The food was good the meats were hot and moist. The ribs and chicken were meaty. It seems now they are giving you more choices for the 2 sides you get with any dinner. They had six side item to choose from: cole slaw, mashed potatoes, baked beans, corn on the cob, macaroni & cheese, and green beans.

 

My first ride of the day was the Rebel Yell forwards. Speaking of being short staffed, they had a KD Maintenance guy checking the bars. The ride was hauling butt and was pretty smooth, just a little jack hammering going up the last hill before the turn-a-round. I noticed the new stuff in the water park while riding. The zoom flume slide looked almost complete, still working on the splashdown area and the pathways around it. The new wave pool is still under construction. I'd say they are 80% done with the concrete work. The wave/pump house still needs to be done as well as the paths around it. I would imagine the new wave pool would be complete by the beginning of May.

 

I walked down the Grove toward the Congo area. I did not see much that has changed in this area. The new Tornado ride sure does dominate the water park entrance path. You can get good closeup views of the funnel from the DZ plaza and the swings.

 

Congo did not seem to have much change to it either. I did ride the IJST. The wait was about 20 mins. The nice thing was that the sound system in the trains was playing for the whole ride. It was fun watching the train pulling into the loading area with the music blasting and the loading instrcutions coming from the train itself.

 

I did take a ride on FOF (2 train operation). The line was on the saucer stairs. It did not take 20 minutes to wait. The mid-course brake did NOT bring the train to a complete stop. The brake slowed the train down then released and the train had momentum going into the 2nd half of the ride. it was its normal crazy dis-orienting self. The Anaconda was down during the time I was there. I did not get to ride the Volcano. I did not feel like waiting then.

 

The last ride I had was on the Avalanche bobsled. It is a fun ride and it was hauling buns as well. I did walk through the kids area and saw some new paint on some of the rides.

 

The main thing that felt different was the customer service. The employees were friendly and going out of their way to help. The park management was out in force in the streets cleaning up as they walked through.

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^Nice summary (and being as this is only your second post on TPR, welcome)--this jibes with my experience that day, too (but I guess I should've had the ribs).

 

The main entrance did look pretty nice and fresh, but the Rebel Yell needs paint desperately. Were all the Italian Job effects working when you rode it? All I got was fire and sound effects, no chopper or water. (The chopper's skinny little blades were twirling later that day, though.)

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Nice trip report, my TPR swimsuit calendar superstar friend! I can't wait to visit in a few weeks! KD is going to be fun! I can't wait to ride Volcano and The Italian Job. I am even looking forward to the Scooby Doo dark ride!

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