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Apparently the park sent out an email saying that Kings Dominion will open on March 22nd! Oh, did I say March? I meant May. Alpengeist, InvadR and Verbolten are open tomorrow. This comp

Kings Dominion is a very good park with some great rides but KD and BGW are headed in very opposite directions right now. Those things can both be true.

Too bad Volcano isn't still around. It was ahead of its time not only technologically, but it already had limited capacity down to a science.

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Hey everyone - been a long time since I've posted anything (mainly because it's been years since we've gotten a chance to venture outside of our general "local park" radius), but I wanted to get something off my chest:

 

"King's Dominion" absolutely SUCKS!

 

Ok, let me back up a bit. Today is my wife's 30th birthday, and to celebrate, we spent the weekend at "King's Dominion" and "Busch Gardens, Williamsburg". Now, granted, the heat got to us rather quickly and made us somewhat irritable, so it's possible that our unhappiness wouldn't have been so extreme on a cooler day, but we both came out of "King's Dominion" feeling like it was the worst park we'd ever been to. I had been to "King's Dominion" about fifteen years ago, and was excited to go back; now I feel like I never want to again.

 

A few of our nits:

 

Poor Layout - Maybe it was just us, but for such a large park, there seemed to be an awful lot of dead-ends and empty space; the lack of "short-cuts" and connecting paths from one section of the park to the other made every walk inordinately long.

 

Poor Map - Upon entering the park, we went straight for "Dominator", since it was the closest to the entrance; after that, we literally spent an HOUR trying to figure out how to get to "Intimidator"! We saw it on the horizon, we knew it was behind "Anaconda", but just could NOT find the proper path over there; only after VERY careful inspection of the map did we notice the narrow passageway needed to get there, hidden behind drawings and text for "Volcano". We've been to a good number of parks, and have never had so much difficulty finding our way around.

 

Lack of Signage - Ok, so we couldn't find the proper paths on the map, we'll just follow the signs in the park, right? Wrong. There was very little signage in the park [nor was the staff too helpful, more on that later], and even once we got the general vicinity of a ride, we couldn't believe how many signs were either misleading, or just outright missing! For instance, we wanted to ride "Avalanche", which is next to "Volcano"; we headed down that path, until it became obvious that we were heading straight into "Volcano". Well, "Volcano" was closed that day, so we weren't going to bother walking towards it, right? Wrong. Turns out that you're supposed to go under the big "Volcano" entrance sign in order to get to "Avalanche". Huh? Why would you have to GO THROUGH ONE RIDE'S ENTRANCE TO GET TO A DIFFERENT RIDE??? Even worse than that, several of the rides had NO sign at the beginning of the queue! Off the top of my head, I believe there were three different coasters ["Avalanche", "Rebel Yell", and "Hurler"?] that had the usual "Warning" signs ("Do not ride if..."), but they didn't even have the name of the ride! And how about, if you're supposed to pick-up your on-ride photos by the Stroller Rental facility, you put a sign up at the Stroller Rental facility? People kept telling us that we were supposed to pick them up "BY" Stroller Rental, not "AT"!

 

Blacktop - Just what you want to be walking around on all day: Hot, reflective blacktop.

 

Rude, Inefficient, and just downright Depressing Staff - Obviously, I can't lump every single person into this group, there are always going to be good and bad employees, but the ratio seemed to be WAY off. We had the same problems with rudeness and inefficiency when we went to "King's Island" four years ago (while it was still a "Paramount" park), so I assume it has something to do with the chain - granted, it's been four years, but old habits die hard, I'm sure many of the same managers are still working there. The biggest shocker of all, though, had to be the complete lack of enthusiasm from the ride-ops. Hey, I understand being depressed about having to work the long-forgotten "Hurler" while others get to work the bright new shiny "Intimidator", but how about a little professionalism? So many of the ride-ops were obviously bored out of their skulls, and made no attempts to hide it; they were slumped over, slow, and having idiotic conversations over the speakers. Their miserable attitudes often created a miserable environment.

 

Rude, SMELLY People - Class is not about color. Hell, class isn't even about money (you can be rich, but still lack class; likewise, you can be poor, but carry yourself well). So when I say that the majority of the clientele was very low-class, please don't think that I'm commenting on anything other than all the loud, obnoxious, pushing, shoving, running, line-cutting, bumping-into-you-or-stepping-on-your-foot-and-running-away-without-apologizing, cursing-in-front-of-little-kids, sh*t-heads that were all over EVERY INCH OF THIS PARK! Also, note to all water-park fans: Water Slides are no substitute for a shower! Chlorine is not an acceptable replacement for soap!

 

Disorganization and Lack of Punctuality - Again with the photo pick-up at the Stroller Rental facility, we made an appointment to pick-up our on-ride photo at 6:00. We happened to get there at about 5:58, and our photos weren't there. 6:00, still not there. 6:05, the woman behind the counter (after some eye-rolling) calls the ride-photo-taker-people; finally, at 6:15, we get our photos. Is it really that hard?

 

No "Fast Pass" - Ok, I can see both sides of the argument on this one; why give somebody special service just because they happen to be able to afford it? However, when you only have a few hours to do a park, or would rather pay for the "Fast Pass" instead of an extra day's admission and night at the hotel, is it really that bad to think that a park should offer that option?

 

Dilapidated Looking - So much of the park is ugly and run-down, that it really made it depressing to be there; you could just see the story in your head, that of a once-thriving business that has fallen on hard times as of late. How about a fresh coat of paint every once in a while? How about restoring some of the busted wood on the ramps? Or how about doing something smart, like tearing down that RIDICULOUSLY long queue line leading to "Rebel Yell"? On a hot day like this past Saturday, my wife and I agreed that we didn't want to do a second lap on "Rebel Yell", just because we didn't feel like walking through that whole queue, and we heard several others say the same.

 

Lack of AC - I may be wrong, but I felt like there was a severe shortage of indoor eateries; a break from the hot weather would have been nice.

 

Lack of Decent Food - Again, maybe I'm an idiot, but it seemed like there was an awfully small selection of food - do they offer anything besides Burgers, Hot Dogs, Pizza, and Chicken Nuggets? And I don't mean "snack" food, I mean stuff that would actually constitute a meal?

 

"Just Not Worth It" - Overall, though, we could have dealt with most of the above, even in the extreme heat, if it had some killer rides. Unfortunately, in both of our opinions, it just didn't deliver. "Intimidator" began well, with a huge drop and the blur-inducing first turn, but after that, it just meandered around; the air hills didn't provide much air, and the "Twists" were about the lamest elements I've ever experienced. Do people really like helices that much, that Intamin felt that just spinning around in circles would be more fun than actually using all that built-up speed to deliver some insane air? "El Toro" is one of the best air-time machines on Earth, why did this feel like such a step backwards? And really, if you're going to be putting OTSRs on your hyper coaster anyway, why not just add some inversions? Yes, yes, I know, it's supposed to be a Hyper, but look at how well "Stormrunner" does at blurring categories, a barrel-roll or two would have been much better than those pain-inducing "Twists". We enjoyed several of the rides ("Intimidator", "Dominator", "Rebel Yell", "Hurler"), but weren't blown away by any; we're both upset that we missed "Volcano" (it was closed that day), but I doubt one ride would have swayed our opinion too much. Honestly, my favorite ride was actually "Avalanche", THAT'S the type of wild, out-of-control ride I love; it always seemed to be going too fast for its own good, like we were about to fall over the side, it was an amazing illusion of danger and chaos. This will probably sound ridiculous, but it actually reminded me of "The Voyage", the type of ride that really felt like a run-away train that was threatening to tip over at any second. Overall, though, for the amount we spent on admission and food, it felt like a huge rip-off.

 

So, all that out off my chest, I have to ask - are we being too hard on the park? Did we happen to catch it on a bad day? Were we just cranky from the heat?

 

Because I gotta be honest, right now, I feel really guilty about taking my wife to such a crap-hole for her 30th birthday. Sure, we did "BGW" the next day (which was AWESOME, even with the same horrible heat), but I think we'd both feel better if someone could relieve our minds of this incredible disappointment that very nearly ruined what should have been a great celebration.

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A few things. First, you're wrong on the ride signs for those three rides.

 

 

 

 

Second, was it really that hard to find a 305-foot, bright red coaster?

 

Third, you knew the layout of I305 before going, so you knew what to expect.

 

Sometimes you gotta look in the mirror for "problems" such as these.

 

 

Now on the other hand, I will agree about the clientele and operators, but they've been the exact same way since my first visit in 1994. As has the layout, the asphalt, the food, and the less-than-stellar ride collection. So if you had been there before, even a long time ago, chances are you should have at least remembered some of this.

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Wow... I'm far from being fan boy of Kings Dominion (I share some of your complaints) and hardly consider myself a local since the drive down there is so hellish in traffic, however I have been a pass holder there for a good number seasons and feel I need to clear some stuff up or correct you on a few things.

 

 

Poor Layout - Maybe it was just us, but for such a large park, there seemed to be an awful lot of dead-ends and empty space; the lack of "short-cuts" and connecting paths from one section of the park to the other made every walk inordinately long.

 

There's a dead end over by Intimidator, and Ricochet that are both pretty short and lead you to major attractions. I really don't see it as a big deal or too bad compared to most other parks with similar layouts and dead ends. For example SFA up north with its several dead ends and even BGW and the dead end that is the Italian section jsut to name a couple.

 

Poor Map - Upon entering the park, we went straight for "Dominator", since it was the closest to the entrance; after that, we literally spent an HOUR trying to figure out how to get to "Intimidator"! We saw it on the horizon, we knew it was behind "Anaconda", but just could NOT find the proper path over there; only after VERY careful inspection of the map did we notice the narrow passageway needed to get there, hidden behind drawings and text for "Volcano". We've been to a good number of parks, and have never had so much difficulty finding our way around.

 

I never had any trouble finding my way around including my first visits, but I've been going there for ages so its hard for me to really comment one way or the other...

 

Lack of Signage - Ok, so we couldn't find the proper paths on the map, we'll just follow the signs in the park, right? Wrong. There was very little signage in the park [nor was the staff too helpful, more on that later], and even once we got the general vicinity of a ride, we couldn't believe how many signs were either misleading, or just outright missing! For instance, we wanted to ride "Avalanche", which is next to "Volcano"; we headed down that path, until it became obvious that we were heading straight into "Volcano". Well, "Volcano" was closed that day, so we weren't going to bother walking towards it, right? Wrong. Turns out that you're supposed to go under the big "Volcano" entrance sign in order to get to "Avalanche". Huh? Why would you have to GO THROUGH ONE RIDE'S ENTRANCE TO GET TO A DIFFERENT RIDE??? Even worse than that, several of the rides had NO sign at the beginning of the queue! Off the top of my head, I believe there were three different coasters ["Avalanche", "Rebel Yell", and "Hurler"?] that had the usual "Warning" signs ("Do not ride if..."), but they didn't even have the name of the ride! And how about, if you're supposed to pick-up your on-ride photos by the Stroller Rental facility, you put a sign up at the Stroller Rental facility? People kept telling us that we were supposed to pick them up "BY" Stroller Rental, not "AT"!

 

That massive Volcano sign has been there since its opening season, I guess it was a good idea to the park back then. Honestly though, did you not notice that several rides, in fact practically the entire Congo section and ALL its rides is located on the other side of that sign? Avalanche had its sign removed from its old spot over the line to a new spot directly attached to the station. Rebel Yell has a sign at the beginning of the line, not sure how you missed it (or maybe it was removed some point over the past 2 months since I last visited?). I can't say about Hurler, I haven't been over to that side of the park this season since Hurler was still closed last time I was there. I guess I can see how Volcano's large sign can be a bit confusing... But I really don't see how it could perplex anyone too much or be seen as a problem.

 

Blacktop - Just what you want to be walking around on all day: Hot, reflective blacktop.

 

Agreed, thankfully the park has been gradually removing pavement and adding new walkways in their place so they're working on it.

 

Rude, Inefficient, and just downright Depressing Staff - Obviously, I can't lump every single person into this group, there are always going to be good and bad employees, but the ratio seemed to be WAY off. We had the same problems with rudeness and inefficiency when we went to "King's Island" four years ago (while it was still a "Paramount" park), so I assume it has something to do with the chain - granted, it's been four years, but old habits die hard, I'm sure many of the same managers are still working there. The biggest shocker of all, though, had to be the complete lack of enthusiasm from the ride-ops. Hey, I understand being depressed about having to work the long-forgotten "Hurler" while others get to work the bright new shiny "Intimidator", but how about a little professionalism? So many of the ride-ops were obviously bored out of their skulls, and made no attempts to hide it; they were slumped over, slow, and having idiotic conversations over the speakers. Their miserable attitudes often created a miserable environment.

 

I agree to an extent. But I don't find KD's employees to be noticeably worse then any other major park on a typical day.

 

Rude, SMELLY People - Class is not about color. Hell, class isn't even about money (you can be rich, but still lack class; likewise, you can be poor, but carry yourself well). So when I say that the majority of the clientele was very low-class, please don't think that I'm commenting on anything other than all the loud, obnoxious, pushing, shoving, running, line-cutting, bumping-into-you-or-stepping-on-your-foot-and-running-away-without-apologizing, cursing-in-front-of-little-kids, sh*t-heads that were all over EVERY INCH OF THIS PARK! Also, note to all water-park fans: Water Slides are no substitute for a shower! Chlorine is not an acceptable replacement for soap!

 

Agree totally, KD has become a chore for me to visit thanks to all the jerks who go there and cut in lines and in general act very rude. Unfortunately the park has little control over people stinking or being jerks unless they get caught breaking the line or something. I find similar stuff true of SFGAdv, but I don;t hold it against them because they can't really judge every guest coming in the gates to ensure they are smelling OK and not a jerk.

 

Disorganization and Lack of Punctuality - Again with the photo pick-up at the Stroller Rental facility, we made an appointment to pick-up our on-ride photo at 6:00. We happened to get there at about 5:58, and our photos weren't there. 6:00, still not there. 6:05, the woman behind the counter (after some eye-rolling) calls the ride-photo-taker-people; finally, at 6:15, we get our photos. Is it really that hard?

 

Sounds annoying. I've never dealt with the in park photo taking people so I don't know if that's a typical problem or what.

 

No "Fast Pass" - Ok, I can see both sides of the argument on this one; why give somebody special service just because they happen to be able to afford it? However, when you only have a few hours to do a park, or would rather pay for the "Fast Pass" instead of an extra day's admission and night at the hotel, is it really that bad to think that a park should offer that option?

 

I love that Cedar Fair doesn't do Fast Pass. So I personally love this. I hate Six Flags nickel and diming for everything, including being able to get on all the coasters in a single visit.

 

Dilapidated Looking - So much of the park is ugly and run-down, that it really made it depressing to be there; you could just see the story in your head, that of a once-thriving business that has fallen on hard times as of late. How about a fresh coat of paint every once in a while? How about restoring some of the busted wood on the ramps? Or how about doing something smart, like tearing down that RIDICULOUSLY long queue line leading to "Rebel Yell"? On a hot day like this past Saturday, my wife and I agreed that we didn't want to do a second lap on "Rebel Yell", just because we didn't feel like walking through that whole queue, and we heard several others say the same.

Never really thought the park looked too bad except Shockwave needing a new coat of paint. Rebel Yell's line is not that bad, I doubt its even a quarter mile long of a gently sloping ramp.

 

Lack of AC - I may be wrong, but I felt like there was a severe shortage of indoor eateries; a break from the hot weather would have been nice.

 

Bubba Gump Shrimp, Congo Grill, the BBQ place by Old Virginia all offer seating inside off the top of my head. I might be missing a couple.

 

Lack of Decent Food - Again, maybe I'm an idiot, but it seemed like there was an awfully small selection of food - do they offer anything besides Burgers, Hot Dogs, Pizza, and Chicken Nuggets? And I don't mean "snack" food, I mean stuff that would actually constitute a meal?

 

No offense, but the variety isn't that bad and you obviously missed some places. By no means is the food as good of quality or variety as a park like Knoebels, but its certainly comparable to any other major amusement park. Sea food, Chinese food, BBQ are all available off the top of my head.

 

"Just Not Worth It" - Overall, though, we could have dealt with most of the above, even in the extreme heat, if it had some killer rides. Unfortunately, in both of our opinions, it just didn't deliver. "Intimidator" began well, with a huge drop and the blur-inducing first turn, but after that, it just meandered around; the air hills didn't provide much air, and the "Twists" were about the lamest elements I've ever experienced. Do people really like helices that much, that Intamin felt that just spinning around in circles would be more fun than actually using all that built-up speed to deliver some insane air? "El Toro" is one of the best air-time machines on Earth, why did this feel like such a step backwards? And really, if you're going to be putting OTSRs on your hyper coaster anyway, why not just add some inversions? Yes, yes, I know, it's supposed to be a Hyper, but look at how well "Stormrunner" does at blurring categories, a barrel-roll or two would have been much better than those pain-inducing "Twists". We enjoyed several of the rides ("Intimidator", "Dominator", "Rebel Yell", "Hurler"), but weren't blown away by any; we're both upset that we missed "Volcano" (it was closed that day), but I doubt one ride would have swayed our opinion too much. Honestly, my favorite ride was actually "Avalanche", THAT'S the type of wild, out-of-control ride I love; it always seemed to be going too fast for its own good, like we were about to fall over the side, it was an amazing illusion of danger and chaos. This will probably sound ridiculous, but it actually reminded me of "The Voyage", the type of ride that really felt like a run-away train that was threatening to tip over at any second. Overall, though, for the amount we spent on admission and food, it felt like a huge rip-off.

KD has a fairly "mediocre" ride collection when it comes to coasters in that only a couple really stand out, and even those are pretty debateable. For example, I love Grizzly, but many hate it. But I think Dominator and Intimidator alone make the park stand out enough with the coaster offering, not to mention the nice full offering of non-coaster thrill and family rides. Intimidator pre-trims > post-trims as well.

 

So, all that out off my chest, I have to ask - are we being too hard on the park? Did we happen to catch it on a bad day? Were we just cranky from the heat?

 

I think you're being a bit hard on the park because frankly none of the stuff you described really stands out to me as something I don't see at other parks of similar size and ownership. Maybe I have low standards.

 

Because I gotta be honest, right now, I feel really guilty about taking my wife to such a crap-hole for her 30th birthday. Sure, we did "BGW" the next day (which was AWESOME, even with the same horrible heat), but I think we'd both feel better if someone could relieve our minds of this incredible disappointment that very nearly ruined what should have been a great celebration.

Not me.

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cough cough, you sound exactly like the people you're describing in you're statement.. Oh and there's no need to throw in comments about you're money here and there in you're statements.. Also the reason fast pass isn't offered yet at Cedar Fair parks is not cause it's unfair treatment, cause it is fair. Not cause of financial differences amongst the guests but cause the crowds arn't big enough to offer a fast pass yet..

 

Personally I just think you don't get the concept of amusement park versus theme park.. You sound like you were expecting a Universal/ Disney experience from an amusement park.

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Personally I just think you don't get the concept of amusement park versus theme park.. You sound like you were expecting a Universal/ Disney experience from an amusement park.

That's a good point, all of the stuff he described just comes off as being the kind of things I expect from a Cedar Fair/Six Flags park of that caliber.

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Do not let this turn into a 'Is paid Fastpass fair' debate...trust me, I won't LET that happen!

 

That being said, any of you CF Fanboys that think that CF doesn't offer a paid skip the line program because they're being 'fair', you're wrong and ignorant. CF Parks offer paid VIP Tours that skip the line, and they also offer skip the line passes for passholders and groups. So they do it, it just may not be as visible to you and it costs a crapload more!

 

My short opinion on the guys long post about KD going down hill? I totally agree. The caveat to that is that I believe that 95% of all parks on Earth have gone downhill the last 5 years!

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^ Is English not your primary language? Or do you need Elissa to re-post in Spanish or something? I think she was pretty clear.

 

we literally spent an HOUR trying to figure out how to get to "Intimidator"!

I just have to comment on this.

 

Ok, if you spent an hour trying to figure out how to get to Intimidator you're either lying or really dumb. That's the only two options.

 

I spent two days filming up at that park in April and I probably ran back and forth across the entire park about 10 times and it took me all of about 5 minutes to get from one side of the park to the other.

 

There is ABSOULTELY NO WAY that a person, that is not dumb, spent an hour wandering around the park and couldn't find the ride. It's just simply not possible.

 

--Robb

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With the exception of the crappy food and high prices for that crappy food, I had no issues with kings D. I actually really like this park. I think besides cedarpoint, Kd is the 2'nd best park in the chain.

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My first visit to KD was three years ago and loved it, and since, I've gone out of my way to visit the park when in DC for training or just in the area for whatever reason. Unfortunatley as noted in my east coast trip report, I found the park starting to slack off in the cleanliness and friendliness area. The attendees all look like they just came from the NASCAR track up the road and have no regard or respect for others. The ride attendants didn't seem to enjoy their jobs, however, I wouldn't either if I were in the ultra hot volcano and domintor as a ride-op. I had spoken to an older gentleman at BGW, who said he only lived 5 miles from KD and had been a season pass holder for many years, but as of four years ago won't go there anymore, not becuase of his age as he said he still rides all coasters, all the time, but becuase of the metal detectors. His opinion was that any park that makes you empty your pockets is not safe and he won't go there. To an extent I can see his point, however, all SF parks I've been too make you go through the detectos, but not all CF parks make you, so that in all honesty, tells me KD expects problems with the clientel and is trying to be proactive, while causing longer entry lines into the park. Now, I will say if going thru a metal detector prevents a stabbing or shooting, then it's worth it, but, come on people, this isn't an airport.

 

The layout is odd, but not hard to navigate, just takes a while to get to where you are going, and CF didn't design the original layout so you can't knock them for that.

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There is ABSOULTELY NO WAY that a person, that is not dumb, spent an hour wandering around the park and couldn't find the ride. It's just simply not possible.

 

--Robb

 

haha, yeah, all you need to do is look for the big a$$ lift hill and walk towards it, it can't be missed.

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I haven't visited Kings Dominion since 2006 when it was still owned by Paramount, but I actually really enjoyed the park.

 

First off, I found them to have a pretty strong coaster lineup even without Dominator and Intimidator 305. Volcano is one of my favorite inverts. The launch is just so forceful and the barrel rolls are actually quite fun in my opinion. They gave me a lot of hang-time. Too bad you missed it. Then, I found their wooden coaster lineup quite solid. Hurler is my 6th favorite wooden coaster. I had the fortunes of riding it the year after it was retracked, so it was riding glass-smooth for me. As a result, I was treated to a really fast coaster teeming with some strong air. Also, Grizzly and Rebel Yell were really fun coasters as well that weren't excessively rough. Then, I also found the Backlot Stunt Coaster (then Italian Job), Ricochet, Avalanche, and Shockwave to be pretty fun coasters.

 

Second, I had no problem navigating the park. I studied the park's layout prior to entering the park, so once I was in the park I was able to successfully navigate the park without a map. I found the signage at the park to be adequate. The only issue I had was finding the entrances of Grizzly and Anaconda, but after asking a couple of people nearby, I found them.

 

Third, Kings Dominion's crowd didn't seem all that bad during my visit. Granted, I went on an off-day, but I find the crowds that go to Six Flags New England and Doreen Park to be worse. Those two parks have had the worst line-cutting that I have seen at any park.

 

Personally, I just think that you caught the park on a bad day so I hope you give the park another chance in the future since I doubt that the park has gone downhill that quickly since my last visit.

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The ride attendants didn't seem to enjoy their jobs, however, I wouldn't either if I were in the ultra hot volcano and domintor as a ride-op.

 

 

The employees should know it's gonna be hot. It's a volcano.

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The ride attendants didn't seem to enjoy their jobs, however, I wouldn't either if I were in the ultra hot volcano and domintor as a ride-op.

 

 

The employees should know it's gonna be hot. It's a volcano.

 

Plus they're working outside in the middle of the summer. The heat index in the sun was approaching 120 at Carowinds yesterday, I was working an all day shift, and I had just worked until midnight the night before for Coaster Stock ERT, and I still treated every guest that rode Sky Flyer like they were royalty. It's not that hard to just build a bridge and get over it when it comes to heat. I really have no sympathy for poor/boring/sluggish/slow/rude ride operators.

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You know, I can totally see how someone that had not been to the park in fifteen years would be disappointed by it. KD used to be a great park, one that I would visit every year (and I lived on the west coast!). The park has just really gone downhill since then, and it's nowhere near as nice as it used to be. My last visit in 2004 just made me not want to go back. Like Elissa, I agree that most parks in the US have really gone downhill in the last five-ten years, so it's not just KD. But to someone that had not visited the park in a long, long time, I can see how they would not necessarily be happy with the experience.

 

And while I'm sure the food is awful, pretty much every US park has horrible, horrible food. Though I am a total food snob, so I'm likely biased...

 

dt

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^^ Steve, I wished more ops had your attitude! I don't really care for the rudeness either, afterall, even if the pay is small and temp is high, one is being paid to do a job, and that is ensure the guest is safe, and has a good time, which includes saying hi and thanking people for coming. SF's is getting good as this, just hope they keep it up.

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You know, I can totally see how someone that had not been to the park in fifteen years would be disappointed by it. KD used to be a great park, one that I would visit every year (and I lived on the west coast!). The park has just really gone downhill since then, and it's nowhere near as nice as it used to be. My last visit in 2004 just made me not want to go back. Like Elissa, I agree that most parks in the US have really gone downhill in the last five-ten years, so it's not just KD. But to someone that had not visited the park in a long, long time, I can see how they would not necessarily be happy with the experience.

 

And while I'm sure the food is awful, pretty much every US park has horrible, horrible food. Though I am a total food snob, so I'm likely biased...

 

dt

 

I've found that the chain parks are the ones that have seemingly gone downhill most from my observations. Family run parks like Canobie and Funtown U.S.A. have gotten better with each visit in my opinion. In this economy, I just think that you need an owner who is completely in touch with their business. Unfortunately, I think that corporate parks tend to be more centered on the bottom line than smaller, family run parks are. Don't get me wrong, these family parks still look at their bottom line, but they tend to care more about customer satisfaction.

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I just got back from a trip where I hit Seabreeze, Darien Lake, Marineland, Canada's Wonderland, and Martin's Fantasy Island and I just loved the charm that the smaller parks like Seabreeze and Martin's Fantasy Island had. Additionally, the employees always seem to be friendlier at these parks as well.

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So true...

 

When you go to a smaller park, the lines are not as bad, and you don't feel fleeced when you leave. In my opinion, a coaster does not have to be 700 feet tall to be good. I like ravine flyer or even skystreak at lakemont, better than a coaster like....the racer, wicked twister, superman...ect.

 

Not to mention the charm as well. There is more to the smaller parks than concrete and garbage cans. Smaller parks have a great atmosphere and things you will not find at the larger corpoate parks. Not to mention the food and prices are always better.

I had some of the best food ever at an amusement park, when we went to knobles.

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