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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread


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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.

The best meal I have ever had at a park was at the Thanksgiving place at Holiday World. I couldn't believe how good and cheap it was. I even got seconds for FREE!!! Why can't more parks be like this? I can understand not giving free food, but at least make it good and reasonably priced.

 

I have noticed from the three CF parks I have been to this year (CP, KI, KD) the food is getting better. Not anything to get excited about, but it's getting better. It's kind of hard to get any worse (I'm talking about you Cedar Point).

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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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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 lived in Virginia since the mid-1980s, and I feel that KD has lost a lot of charm since then by becoming more of thrill park and less of a theme park. I think it's best visited before "heat advisory season" begins, too.

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I went through a "hating-on KD" phase about 10 years ago. When I started getting back in to coasters again I decided to change my view of the park and realize that I've got several great coasters in my backyard. It's definitely lost a lot of the charm it had from 20 years ago and I hate some of the decisions they've made--clearing out the woods around Grizzly, Hypersonic, and the general transformation from a somewhat themepark to a blacktop thrill park. I think some of the comments in that tirade were a bit overblown but there was some merit hidden in there.

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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.

 

True,I skipped a planned trip on the 24th because of the extreme heat only to find out that it got up to 106 at the park that day so I made a wise decision in holding off on that visit.

 

Unlike SFA I havn't found any problems with KD's staff being rude or ineffecient & I usually go on saturdays,now I will agree that rebel yell's queue/entrance could use a redesign or reconfiguration though but other than that no real complaints about the park from me.

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I think it is because of the ramp. If memory serves me, for every foot of height, you have to have 10 feet of run off for wheel chairs.

It's the ADA that sets these rules.

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I think it is because of the ramp. If memory serves me, for every foot of height, you have to have 10 feet of run off for wheel chairs.

It's the ADA that sets these rules.

 

Yes, but when you finish with the ramps there is EASILY a section where you could exit, but it drags on longer. You know what I'm talking about? Like before Americana or something?

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^^It's actually 1 foot of rise for every 12 feet of run now. Making ramps actually meet this requirement is one of the biggest pains of architecture. They don't fit anywhere.

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I went through a "hating-on KD" phase about 10 years ago. When I started getting back in to coasters again I decided to change my view of the park and realize that I've got several great coasters in my backyard. It's definitely lost a lot of the charm it had from 20 years ago and I hate some of the decisions they've made--clearing out the woods around Grizzly, Hypersonic, and the general transformation from a somewhat themepark to a blacktop thrill park. I think some of the comments in that tirade were a bit overblown but there was some merit hidden in there.

 

Honestly, family parks like Canobie and Funtown are the best parks to have nearby one's home. Larger corporate parks lack the charm that the family parks have in my opinion and just aren't as fun if you constantly visit them. For example, Six Flags New England was a blast the first time I went; however, I've gotten sick of the park after how many times I've visited it in the last few years. I left bitter for some reason almost everyday last year, so I've decided not to visit the park this year.

 

Again, I loved Kings Dominion when I visited the park, but I'm not sure I would if it were my home park.

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First of all, I want to say "thank you" to everybody that implied I was either stupid or lying; I realize that my review may have sounded harsh, but there was no reason for personal attacks. For instance, I made mention of having trouble finding the station for "Intimidator", which somehow got twisted into "not being able to see the bright red lift-hill".

 

Skycoastin Steve

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

 

I was wrong about "Hurler" and "Avalanche", I definitely remember them now. "Rebel Yell", however, did not have the sign up; the metal supports on the side were there, but not the Rebel Yell sign itself. I know there was at least another "major" ride or two without a sign at the beginning of the queue (as opposed to on the Station, which is not always visible from the entrance).

 

Skycoastin Steve

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

 

It's not like we didn't see the coaster, we were just having trouble finding the correct path to get to the station.

 

Skycoastin Steve

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

 

Actually, no, I didn't know the layout - personally, I try NOT to see much of coasters that I plan to ride. Granted, I saw the promo art and some full-circuit photos, but it's not like I traced them from beginning to end. And since when does "knowing the layout" equate to knowing how good or bad a ride will be? Isn't that one of the things Robb and Elissa always say in "Debut" threads, that we shouldn't judge the ride until we actually ride it?

 

Skycoastin Steve

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.

 

Fifteen years is a long time; I remember bits and pieces (I spent most of the day riding "Anaconda"), but it's not fair to automatically assume what I should and shouldn't remember. I also enjoyed different rides and food at thirteen, and

 

Also, your statement about how everything is "exactly the same since 1994" seems to be in stark contrast to those that say the park has been on a steep decline in that same amount of time. So maybe I'm not the only one who isn't remembering correctly.

 

Capitalize

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.

 

///

 

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...

 

Thank you for being more civilized than the previous poster. Anyway, I definitely may have been overly negative in my initial post, especially since the entire experience was still fresh in our minds. With two days of rest, however, I realize that some of my frustration with the park was exacerbated by the heat and sardine-like crowds in the water-park; lots of parks have dead-ends, but we happened to be having a bad day, and were running low on patience when it came to getting from Point A to Point B.

 

Capitalize

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?

 

Honestly, no, we didn't notice it - when we saw it on the horizon, we just assumed it was the start of the queue and headed back. ASS-U-ME, I guess, but I don't think we could have been the only coaster-nerds to make a stupid mistake like that. I was just surprised at some of the insults and disdain from some of the posters for what was an honest mistake. Still, I do think it's stupid to put what is basically a large "Begin Queue Here" sign in the middle of a walkway.

 

Capitalize

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.

 

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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.

 

See, we're from Long Island, SFGAdv is our home park, and while the NY/NJ/Philly area isn't known for their manners, we've never experienced people (employees AND customers) like we did that day.

 

Capitalize

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.

 

///

 

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.

 

Again, that was just our impatience over the "perfect storm of negativity" - we wanted to eat indoors, and wanted it NOW (well, "then"), we probably should have just been more patient.

 

Capitalize

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.

 

It was actually nice to read a polite dissent, thank you for your replies.

 

fitchboy

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.

 

Just because a place doesn't have the money, themed surroundings, or gigantic rides of a "Disney" or "Universal" park doesn't mean that the staff can't be friendly and efficient - that's like saying that it's acceptable for a waiter to mistreat you at an inexpensive restaurant.

 

robbalvey

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.

 

I touched on this above, but let me explain: we tried to make a bee-line for the lift-hill, but wound-up stuck in the dead-end that is their water-park, which, due to the crowds (April vs. July), took far more than just five minutes to get through.

 

We began by following the lift-hill, causing us to walk towards the water-park; we pass "Tornado" and reach "Baja Bends". We still see the lift-hill on the horizon, but seeing that we can't cross at this point, we continue right, under "Rebel Yell". From here, we turn left, but just see "Tidal Wave Bay"; this, too, doesn't have a path towards "Intimidator", so we continue following the path up and to the right. We eventually come to the end, so we turn around; after making it out of the virtual sardine-can, we began heading down and to the left, towards "Volcano" - of course, as we round the corner, we see the giant "Volcano" sign, which we took to mean was the beginning of the queue line. We look at the map, and can't figure out why the line for "Volcano" seems to start further back on the map than it does in reality; we figure we headed too far, and try to head back to the right, following the lift-hill, but we end-up in the water-park again. (Mental thought: This sucks!) So we go back down, see what we think is the "Volcano" queue sign again, and head up towards "Backlot" and "Anaconda"; FINALLY, we realize that what we thought was the "Volcano" queue sign wasn't the actual queue, and find our way down and around to "FoF" and "Intimidator".

 

With stops for drinks, a few questions for the (non-helpful) staff, and the crowd, it added up - I don't know the exact over/under, but let's just say it was "roughly" an hour.

 

And the map was of absolutely no help - nowhere else on the map is the walk-way dark gray, why would anyone assume that that was supposed to represent the proper walking-path for the public?

 

Hey, people make mistakes, but the not-so-subtle jab at our intelligence was really uncalled for; you even state in your Policy that "personal attacks will not be tolerated".

 

chadster

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

 

That's what we did, you end-up in the water-park if you do that.

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Everyone needs to stop this now. There have been enough flame wars in this thread in the past--a new one will not be tolerated.

 

Imbordisux, I'm sorry that you had a lousy day at Kings Dominion, and I understand many of your criticisms. But posting such a long critique of that day does invite criticism in return. You've had your say, as have others. Time to move on.

 

Chuck

Site Moderator

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On a different note, I finally rode I305 with the trims and the new restraints earlier tonight. I rode in the back (with TPR member U2Rox) at night and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Definitely different and not as intense but still an excellent ride. I'd still like to see if they can adjust the trims at some point to make the first hill as awesome as it was "before" but I'm not going to complain if they don't.

 

On a side note, my riding partner preferred Millennium Force as she wasn't a fan of the gray outs on 305. She still liked it a lot though. Her favorites were Rebel Yell and Volcano. After getting beaten up on Grizzly earlier in the day and expressing her disgust with the ride, I convinced her to ride at night. She sort of changed her tune. Overall, she said she had a great first time at the park.

 

Peace out.

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^I would NEVER guess for you to say FoF is the best ride there.

 

Why not? It was running fast like it always does. Tones of nice people in line to talk to. They ask me questions like "Whats in this building?" And I reply by saying "It's an indoor roller coaster".

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^Change the batteries on your sarcasm detector.

 

Ohhh, you were being sarcastic. Now I get it. But yea, Flight of Fear was good. Here is how my day went. I got there at noon. Here is the order I rode everything in.

 

1) Dominator

2) Volcano

3) Avalanche

4) Flight of Fear

5) Anaconda

6) Back Lot

7) Drop Tower

8) Rebel Yell

9) Hurler

10) Grizzly

11) Flight of Fear(remainder of the day) = 20+ times ridden throughout the day.

 

All the rides seemed to be working in fine order with no delays. I was very impressed with the friendly service and how nice guests were. It's a good example of hard work and dedication being set forward to making sure park guests have the best experience at the park. This way, they feel happy enough to come back in the future. Only thing I did notice was that the AC unit in Flight of Fear's saucer was not on. Not sure how long it's been broke, but when I came there 2 weeks ago on a Wednesday, it was working. Not only that, but they could turn on the fan that sits right next to the wall where you walk through the door to come in the hanger. Tones of people that stand in there complain about the heat, and the reason for having a fan thats not on. Other than that, the park is good. I do plan to return sometime in August or possibly September.

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