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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread


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Hello all,

This is my first post on these forums, however, I'm a long term reader of these boards. I am taking a trip down the Virginia this upcoming weekend and I'm stopping at Kings Dominion on May 1st (my birthday). I was wondering what to expect from I 305. The only other Intimans I have been on are El Toro, Kingda Ka, and Volcano. As you can see, all these coasters are really in separate categories and are hard to compare. So what I really want to know is does I 305 really give you that same feeling like El Toro does through its "twisty" area or am I trying to compare apples to oranges? Also, I'm curious to how filled up the queue gets and what the wait times are like. It sounds to me like Volcano and FOF still have longer wait times and I understand that I305 has a larger capacity. Would you say the line is about the same as Dominator?

Sorry for so many questions but I'm eager to ride my first giga and still don't know how I'm going to drag my girlfriend on it. (She cried on KK but loves El Toro )

Hey John,

 

Welcome to the boards. The first thing I'd do is probably read about the last 10 pages of this thread and I think you'll find a lot of your questions may already be answered just in people's trip reports over the past few weeks with i305.

 

Enjoy the coaster!

 

--Robb

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(I'm sorry admins if this post is a bit long as I just wanted to address an issue I've been hearing regarding SRL's lately.)

The grouper should NEVER let singles ride together if they are indeed part of a group, or put singles together just because the single riders line is getting too long...Really though, I don't have a problem with people using the SR line if they are indeed part of a group so long as they are willing to split up once they get to the station. It still makes the standby line shorter.

 

So if me and a friend walk through the single rider line and 2 seats next to each other are available, we're not allowed to sit next to each other because we "know" each other? Because to me its seems like it doesn't even matter. Things are probably different at a company like Disney because I know the have their set ways, but I have had the blessing of working single rider lines in my day, and I never had an issue letting 2 people stand at the SRL and wait until 2 seats opened up next to each other. Sometimes it took 2 minutes, sometimes it took 15, sometimes they were better off waiting in the regular line, either way it was a risk on their part and I had no problem with it.

 

This relates to other threads where discussions regarding ride ops these days have a problem with crowd control/moving things along efficiently. As long as you communicate with guests and let them know whats going on, a SRL can be run efficiently and believe it or not even more effectively if a good ride op is staying busy and filling available seats in any way. This doesn't seem to be the case with ride-ops these days whether it be KD and other parks where this is a constant issue. Because it doesn't matter if theres a group of 4 waiting for a B&M row to open up, or a group of 2. Let them stand there and wait as long as they want, while pulling single riders in from behind them in filling in spots. Its not that complicated.

 

Most of the time from my experiences both working and visiting parks, some SRL groupers (and ride ops in general) are too busy riding their "high horse" of authority, and therefore restrict these practices instead of offering good "customer service," filling up trains as much as possible. In fact it I found it took less time going the extra mile and providing guests with these opportunities when it doesn't make a difference either way. Eventually, (like you said SouthPuddle) for some waiting in the SRL, if the wait begins to get too long, they just split up and ride alone anyway, but in my experience it's always nice (and not hard) to give them the OPTION of trying their luck. I wish it was this easy for all the other parks too!

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(I'm sorry admins if this post is a bit long as I just wanted to address an issue I've been hearing regarding SRL's lately.)
The grouper should NEVER let singles ride together if they are indeed part of a group, or put singles together just because the single riders line is getting too long...Really though, I don't have a problem with people using the SR line if they are indeed part of a group so long as they are willing to split up once they get to the station. It still makes the standby line shorter.

 

So if me and a friend walk through the single rider line and 2 seats next to each other are available, we're not allowed to sit next to each other because we "know" each other?

IMO, if the ride ops can't fill those two seats, *quickly* with someone else in another row, then yes, the single rider line grouper should fill those two empty seats with single riders.

 

The single rider line does not say that "You absoultely can not ever ever ever sit next to someone you know" it just says that you need to expect to be split up. I see it happen all the time on Test Track or Men in Black, a ride that seats 6 people, and they'll have 4 people in the car, and you end up sitting either next to your friend or in the row right behind them, but in the same vehicle.

 

I have had the blessing of working single rider lines in my day, and I never had an issue letting 2 people stand at the SRL and wait until 2 seats opened up next to each other. Sometimes it took 2 minutes, sometimes it took 15, sometimes they were better off waiting in the regular line, either way it was a risk on their part and I had no problem with it.

Now THIS example. IMO, this is wrong..wrong...WRONG! IMO the grouper should be removed from the ride if not flat out fired.

 

The grouper should not...in any circumstance...EVER let two people come up the single rider line and then hang out there and wait for two seats to open up next to each other. If this happens, these two people are just cutting in line. As someone who uses single rider lines ALL THE TIME at parks, I know damn well that if Elissa and I enter the single rider line, we're probably going to and will get split up. That's fine. That is the condition we agreed to by entering that line.

 

But two people asking to wait until there are seats together. That's rude and obnoxious of the guests to ask that.

 

And a ride op that allows it? That's even worse! It's not fair to the other riders who have stood in the normal line, and it's allowing guests to take advantage of a policy that helps increase ride capacity.

 

If I were an area supervisor and I saw you do that on my ride, you'd be fired. No question.

 

--Robb "It's just like those assholes who stand near the exit of a ride and fill in empty seats...get back in line asshole!!!" Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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I have to agree with Robb.

 

Letting people in the single rider line wait to ride together completely defeats the purpose of the single rider line. However, if it just happens to work out that way...so be it. The point of a single rider line is to fill empty seats. No ride op should ever let people in the single rider line wait for two empty seats to open up (not fair to anyone waiting in the regular line), nor should they ever not allow a group to ride together if by chance there are two open seats and no other way to fill them except through the single rider line.

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My take on 305,

 

Being that I really like intamin coasters I had been planning to get up to this thing for some time because frankly it seems very interesting. I was dreading and nervous it was gonna be like my SFGADV trip when I was eager to go and el toro was down. I dragged along my brother (more like he wanted to go badly with me) and we headed up to check it out. When we got to the park we headed right for intimidator. He's a big thrill seeker that hasnt really been to a real park lol. After reading alot on the net I really wanted to get a front seat and by luck, and me sweat talking the ride opt, we got it! The verdict of my first ride:

I loved the first drop, didnt gray out (really as someone stated "blacking out" sounds deathly), I did feel the airtime (but I was really stapled in), tried to prepare myself for the turns but wasn't that successful, and the speed was awesome.

 

My gripes: The OTSR, I dont care how you call them, straps...restraints...they have the same feel as traditional OTSR negatively effected the ride. They, to me, made a very very awesome intense ride less enjoyable due to being slammed into them. I read how some say they didnt get slammed at all but on my 2 rides I def was slammed and even chopped. Also the trim really hit those trains hard.

 

My brothers reaction: "Ouch, those turns hurt my neck!"

 

Suprisingly, to me, the airtime was the same on both intimidators as far as intensity. The only other similarities both coasters share, to me, are the red track and same design/theme/decal for the trains...in their respected coaster design.

IMG00012-20100410-1523.jpg.d78d9916e15237335e06d47f7a5ffe69.jpg

Yeah...He didnt really care for it too much lol...

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That picture is priceless - lol - thanks for sharing, while I agree with your opinion of the ride. I didn't get stapled and understand why the OTSR are there, but I'd prefer it more if they weren't there. The trim brake does hit the train hard and really spoils the pacing (imho). Regarding the turns, there were 2 specifically that were uncomfortable, but enjoyed all of the others.

 

I do think Intimidator 305, even with it's drawbacks is one of the best coasters in the world (top 5 imo).

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At night time ERT at "Intimidation" (on Saturday 5/1), the ride ops were constantly quoting Robb's video to us. Asking if we liked the "Twisty" parts best or the "Insanely fast lift hill." The one ride op got really fired up at one point, screaming how I305 "Craps all over Cedar Point." It was pretty funny.

 

It was also my first chance to ride I305 at night and that was pretty intense. As that area of the park does not have much around it except woods, it get's pretty dark, making the first drop seem like a bottomless pit as you start to wonder if you will ever pull out of the drop. Cool Stuff!

 

Big_Al

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My girlfriend and I were at the Intimidation 2010 event put on by the Coaster Crew and Coaster Zombies on Saturday as well, and had a blast. We got to the park at 10:00 (they opened at 10:30) and were able to park right near the front. Once we checked in and got into the park it was 10:15, and they were already running Dominator with people on it (does anyone know when they opened Dominator?). Instead of going for it, we got in line behind the rope at the Planet Snoopy entrance, and did the walkback to Intimidator. By the time we got there there was a short line from the passholders who got in 10 minutes early, but we on in row two after about a three train wait.

 

The ride itself literally took my breath away. The first drop felt just as vertical as Kingda Ka's, and I actually think the train goes over the top faster on Intimidator. I got a bit of tunnel vision after the first drop (similar to what I get on Goliath at SFMM), but it immediately went away as I was thrust up into the restraints going over the first airtime hill. The rest of the ride was a blur of unexpected airtime and smooth twistiness, and I was unable to get the grin off my face until I made it to the photo booth. Given my recent disappointing rides on Bizarro at SFNE, Intimidator has taken the #1 steel spot for now (I haven't decided whether I'd rank it above El Toro or not as my overall favorite coaster, but it's close).

 

After that, we were able to walk on to Flight of Fear (which I haven't seen open in years) and got in rides on Volcano (which is starting to really show its age) and Dominator (which was fun, but seemed a bit blah). The lunch put on by CC and CZ was great, and we joined the Zombie Invasion afterwards. We first headed to the drop tower, and the look on the ride ops face when we answered "56" to how many people were in our group was priceless. Unfortunately, high winds prevented us from actually riding. We did have a great time with the group taking over Rebel Yell and Grizzly before breaking El Dorado and ending the "invasion" on the carousel.

 

After the group split up we went and took a short nap in the car and grabbed some food, and by 7:00 the park had started to empty out. We were able to ride the Americana wheel, Drop Tower, Avalanche, Ghoster Coaster, Boo Blasters, and Backlot Stunt Coaster with virtually no wait. Avalanche and Backlot Stunt Coaster both surprised me with how fun they were, despite the fire not working on the latter.

 

At this point it was close to our evening ERT on Intimidator, but we decided not to wait and got in line for row 15. Riding in the back in the dark was a very different experience from earlier in the day. The first drop was much more intense, but the remainder of the course was a bit too rough for my tastes. We rode again right away in row 9, and since by this point the CC and CZ crowd had taken over the station, the energy was incredible. To take a quick break and let our necks recover, we went over the the Flight of Fear ERT at 10:30 and were able to ride with the worklights on, which was a real treat.

 

We went back and rode Intimidator in rows 4 and 11, and I noticed that I grayed out MUCH more in rows 9 and 11 than the rows nearer the front or back. However, on those last two rides everyone noticed that the ride started to develop a rattle, and by my last ride it felt like the train was running on square wheels. When the train came into the station, they took the ride down and called in maintenance, who said that a wheel needed to be replaced (which ended the ERT a few minutes early). Interestingly, they said that they couldn't bring the other train online because it too needed a wheel changed. I don't know if this was bad luck, or if this ride is eating through wheels, but given the intensity I wouldn't be surprised.

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However, on those last two rides everyone noticed that the ride started to develop a rattle, and by my last ride it felt like the train was running on square wheels. When the train came into the station, they took the ride down and called in maintenance, who said that a wheel needed to be replaced (which ended the ERT a few minutes early). Interestingly, they said that they couldn't bring the other train online because it too needed a wheel changed. I don't know if this was bad luck, or if this ride is eating through wheels, but given the intensity I wouldn't be surprised.

Im gonna leave that one alone...

 

But due to the darkness was there a "bug in you face" issue?

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When the train came into the station, they took the ride down and called in maintenance, who said that a wheel needed to be replaced (which ended the ERT a few minutes early). Interestingly, they said that they couldn't bring the other train online because it too needed a wheel changed. I don't know if this was bad luck, or if this ride is eating through wheels, but given the intensity I wouldn't be surprised.

 

They were working on a wheel on one of the trains yesterday, too. I hold your group personally responsible.

 

My compliments to the I-305 crew yesterday. They were moving the line pretty well, even with just a single train.

Edited by cfc
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I too made it to Kings Dominion on Saturday with my fiancee. We didn't take part in the Intimidation events; we just swung by in the morning and early afternoon for a few rides before heading further south to attend the NASCAR race at Richmond International Raceway that evening. It was kind of neat to see some familiar faces from the internet world of coaster enthusiasts, mostly from afar while in line for I305 and Volcano.

 

We got to the park about 15 minutes after opening and went straight back to Volcano. Thankfully the line was still on the smaller side as only the last switchback of line before heading into the mountain was occupied. We waited in all about 30-40 minutes for the front, had a good time.

 

Next we made our way over to Backlot for the first time this season. The line was reasonably short and we were on in the 3rd row after about 15 minutes. As usual this ride gave a nice ride.

 

Next we hit up Anaconda for the first time this year in the middle of the train with only a one train wait. The ride was smooth enough, only real head banging was in the butterfly element.

 

Finally we went to I305. The line was only taking up about half of the que. As we approached the station we noticed guests were allowed to choose their row, including the front and back seats. Since I had yet to get on in the front I figured why not, might as well wait it out now? It was a very long wait. Probably a good 25-30 trains or 45 or so extra minutes. The front was extreme, I could barely keep my eyes open due to the sustained high speeds. This time I learned from my first rides and kept my hands down and on the lap bars during the extreme turns which significantly helped with the snapping and getting thrown around. All in all a great time. I'm glad I waited for the front and got to experience it because I will likely opt for the shorter wait in the back from now on, the line would likely be only 30 or so minutes most the day for the other rows outside the front.

 

After this we were starving and my fiancee was exhausted with the rides for the day so we headed out to Aunt Sarah's Pancake House a few exits North before heading back South to the track to watch the race. All in all a very full and exciting day.

Edited by Capitalize
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Small TR from yesterday (5-7-10) KD's first May Friday before memorial day being open. Park was dead for the most part, with the only lines being on I305(1 train) & Volcano (2 trains)

KD advertised opening at 9:30am but only Dominator opened at 9:30, rest of the park opened at 10am.

I was there from 9:30-3 and managed these rides

I305-8

Dominator-3

Volcano-2

Rebel yell-3

Hurler- 3

Grizzly 3

Shockwave-1

Drop zone-1

 

I305 went down for about an hour from about 2-3 While I was waiting for it.

They will not run 2 trains on I305 unless it is really busy cause they are having a real problem keeping the wheels cool so they run one train half the day then switch them.

 

Hurler now has 2 trim Brakes at the bottom of the first drop and barely any track work was done (a few top layer of wood replacements here and there) so the only thing the trims accomplish is killing any airtime that was left on the ride.

Such a shame the ride used to be so good its first 5 years. I keep waiting for them to retrack the turns to make the ride more enjoyable but I guess that won't happen.

 

JEFF

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I305 went down for about an hour from about 2-3 While I was waiting for it.

They will not run 2 trains on I305 unless it is really busy cause they are having a real problem keeping the wheels cool so they run one train half the day then switch them.

 

JEFF

 

Didn't CP do the same thing with MF when it first opened. I remember the first season or so they kept switching trains off and on all day.

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I keep waiting for them to retrack the turns to make the ride more enjoyable but I guess that won't happen.

 

I keep waiting for them to dump the ride and build a GCI in its place.

Agreed. First of all it's really rough. No amount of retracking could prevent the massive spine alteration that ride provides. Second, and last, it's not a popular ride at all. Even on the most crowded days, I have only ever seen the line at the bottom of the stairs(about 10 minutes max).

 

In all honesty, it would be better to just replace the thing, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon .

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I keep waiting for them to retrack the turns to make the ride more enjoyable but I guess that won't happen.

 

I keep waiting for them to dump the ride and build a GCI in its place.

Agreed. First of all it's really rough. No amount of retracking could prevent the massive spine alteration that ride provides. Second, and last, it's not a popular ride at all. Even on the most crowded days, I have only ever seen the line at the bottom of the stairs(about 10 minutes max).

 

In all honesty, it would be better to just replace the thing, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon .

 

I agree,why continue to throw money into a ride that next to nobody is interested in riding due in large part to it's roughness?

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I still think it's funny (sad?) that people who go to Magic Mountain think that Terminator is a rethemed Psyclone. People who went to KD would probably think the same if a GCI went where Hurler resides.

 

I'd also like to add that I rode Hurler in 1995 for the first time and thought it was a fun ride. I rode it in either 2006 or 2007 and decided I'd never ride it again.

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^ If KD's Hurler is anything similar to what Carowinds Hurler does with the trim break then I probably wont be taking a ride on it anytime this season.

 

I have found grizzly a smoother woodie, which is quite sad. The best thing that the park could do would be to remove the Hurler and put an attraction back there that will draw a crowd.

 

BTW, is Shockwave (the forgotten coaster) still closed?

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Just got back home from a few hours at the park and both Shockwave and Hurler were open. I walked to Hurler around 1:45 and there was nobody in the queue and walked right up to the front row. This was with one train operation. It felt smoother to me than last year and I saw the two trims at the bottom of the hill but it didn't feel like they were doing anything to the ride.

 

I almost had a roll back on Volcano for my first time today but it slowly made it over the hill.

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Cedar Fair is ruining our woodies.

 

No backwards Rebel Yell, removing what little forest was left around Grizzly, trimming Hurler making what was a rough ride that at least had a couple moments of decent airtime into a rough airtime-less piece of junk. Oh well... I305 is awesome so it balances out.

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For those of you that were not around when Hurler was new it was an Awesome ride when it opened in 1994. Smooth as glass with monster airtime on most of the hills. Here is a video from 1995 that I took. Check out the Hurler scenes! Very smooth and fast and you can see the people getting ejector air in the front. Video is a good look down memory lane too.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=PKD95[/coastertube]

 

Enjoy, JEFF

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I went to KD today and I must say, as much as I used to love Hurler, it's now officially a piece of crap. The trim is at the bottom of the first drop and it is REALLY strong. I even heard the GP say "That was WAY slower than it used to be!!" Thanks Cedar Fair...

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