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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread


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I have always loved kings dominion ever since i went alot as a kid. I moved to CT and have only gone once since but im going back this summer, and i will get to ride I-305 probably at its best. Nice to know they are doing things like planting flowers! I remember i used to think the park was so trashy next to busch gardens... that was before i visited a six flags park. I will never call KD or its Waterpark anything related to the word trashy ever again in my entire life. Oh how i miss being spoiled.

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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

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.

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.

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I can understand the problems with a negative attitude, and in this very thread I was irresponsible with my words, which I have since tried to rectify. I don't see why someone has to be called out for being excited about the removal of the trims though. He might as well have been saying "Kudos to the park for your latest efforts in making this coaster great!".

 

I too, am excited for this season, I'll be there at easter!

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I was furniture enough to convince my parents to take me to kings dominion this year. Although it was in the middle of june with the straps and trims, it was still by farm my favorite coaster. (out of a sad 40 some) Although I voted for Carowinds Intimidator I'm still glad to see I305 win. I hope to ride it again this year with out the trims. Ether way still an amazing coaster.

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Would sure love to see some singing mushrooms return...

 

Between the singing mushrooms and the Smurfs and Yogi Bear walking around, I'm guessing it was a pretty fun place to be a little loopy.

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I'm sure a lot of it is because people in the area surrounding KD are just spoiled. I mean, they have kick A$$ rides an hour away at Busch Gardens. They have a great hyper coaster an hour or so away at SFA. And of course some amazing woodies and steel coasters 3-4 hours away up the east coast.

 

That is a hell of a selection to have. I feel pretty lucky that I have 3 decent parks within 4 hours of my place here (Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion and Carowinds), each of which has at least two awesome coasters, if not more. Being closer to Kings Dominion just gives even better variety, since you are closer to the many good parks of PA, along with Great Adventure.

 

I would love to just have a park like Kemah Boardwalk within a 10-30 minute drive of my place, but I will certainly take having a park with a great new B&M and one of the best Inverts.....A beautiful park with a great selection of B&Ms, great shows and good food......and a park that just opened an awesome coaster that blows many others out of the water, even if I have to drive about 3 hours each time I want to go.

 

-Gary

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I was furniture enough to convince my parents

 

I was a washing machine once LMAO.....sorry but I hope you meant fortunate.

 

I would honestly rank KD coasterwise as one of the best parks in the US, just need to get some good flat action going.

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I agree with Robb! I live within 4 hours 15 minutes of Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Busch Gardens, and Dollywood.

 

Kings Dominion and Carowinds are exactly 3 hours away from my house and Busch Gardens and Dollywood are 4 hours 15 minutes away from my house. I consider myself to be VERY lucky to have two great amusement parks and two great theme parks so close! Each have their own "personality" and are so unique. Some may call me crazy, but Kings Dominion and Dollywood are my favorites out of the four. I visit them two MUCH more than Carowinds or Busch ever since KD & Dollywood have greatly improved their coaster selections (Dominator, Intimidator 305, Thunderhead, Mystery Mine) .

 

With the addition of Intimidator 305, I made the 3 hour trip to Kings Dominion (I book a hotel room each time I go so I can go two days in a row) 6 times this year (4 more than 2009)! I just am so greatful to have a giga-coaster at my home park, and in my opinion, one much BETTER than Millenium Force! I would have never guessed it in my wildest dreams that KD would get such a ride. I was fortunate to ride it 25 times this season, and can't wait to ride it 25+ more times in 2011! It is my overall #1 coaster, not just because I'm a KD fanboy, but because it packs in intensity, transitions, high speed turns, airtime, and a 300 foot drop in ONE ride.

 

I don't really understand the people (especially the locals since they still had a world class top 10 ride in their backyards) who complained about the trims... sure the ride went from the one of the most intense and insane rides on the planet, to an intense awesome ride. All that the trims did was provide a ride that you didn't have to hold on for your life for (like pre-trims) and you could actually keep your hands up... some complained about the airtime, but with the trims on the drop instead of the 3rd hill, you could actually get good air on the 3rd hill. Both versions had their advantages and disadvantages. I thought the best change to the ride were the kick-ass restraint straps. I love those! Best OTSRs EVER (IMO)!

 

Sure, I can't wait to ride 305 without the trims again to fly over the second hill, but I never once thought to myself that I was pissed off because of the trimmed 305. I would say it took off about 7-9 MPH with the trims (since it was still "unofficial" of how fast it went). I imagine it was going about 85-87 MPH, but it still gave you one of the most thrilling experiences ever!

 

Oh and don't argue with me that it was more than 7-9 MPH because it was just my opinion.

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Other than E:GF and Goliath at WW, I can't think of a better steel coaster than I-305 at KD. I rode it with the "evil" trims, and it kicked goddamn ass. To me, it's easily the best steel coaster in the US, and one of the best in the world, and certainly was deserving of winning this poll, popularity contest or not.

 

And a special shout out to annoying, self-entitled enthusiasses. Your incessant moaning about everything is one of the reasons why most people don't like coaster fans. Morons whining at KD management last year during the TPR day to "turn the trims off" were exceptionally annoying. Oh yeah, a park is just going to jump right up and do whatever you say because you have an ACE membership. Idiots.

 

dt

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^Thank you. Sadly, most of the stuff I post on Twitter can't be posted here as it would cause peoples' skulls to explode. Plus there's lots of pictures of food.

 

People bitching about stupid stuff always annoys me. I was really irritated with people booing the KD management at the TPR day last summer. Really, booing the management? Because you're a self-entitled jackass that has no concept of how to clean a toilet, let alone run a theme park or engineer a ride? You're going to boo? Wow, most pre-schools contain more mature people. How about being appreciative of all the stuff Robb & Elissa and the KD management & staff did for you that day? Would it kill you to not act like a spoiled ACEr for one day? To be fair, self-entitled people that think the universe should revolve around them plague our society and are everywhere, but since we're talking about KD, I'm just focused on this particular instance of people thinking they're entitled to whatever they want. So immature and embarrassing.

 

I look forward to riding I-305 again this summer. I bet I won't be able to tell the difference between the rides this year and the ones I had last year...

 

dt

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^Exactly. I've ridden I305 both pre- and post-trims and with both the old and new restraints--thought it was great every time. Well, when BGW starts building their new coaster, that will give enthusiasts something else to bitch about.

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People bitching about stupid stuff always annoys me. I was really irritated with people booing the KD management at the TPR day last summer. Really, booing the management? Because you're a self-entitled jackass that has no concept of how to clean a toilet, let alone run a theme park or engineer a ride? You're going to boo? Wow, most pre-schools contain more mature people. How about being appreciative of all the stuff Robb & Elissa and the KD management & staff did for you that day? Would it kill you to not act like a spoiled ACEr for one day? To be fair, self-entitled people that think the universe should revolve around them plague our society and are everywhere, but since we're talking about KD, I'm just focused on this particular instance of people thinking they're entitled to whatever they want. So immature and embarrassing.

Again, another post I'd re-tweet!

 

I think a lot of people were actually both surprised and happy when I got up and apologized to the management for the behaviour of a few bad apples in our group. There were a lot of people who came up to me that night and thanked me for what I did, and felt bad for me that I had to do it. But it was the right thing to do, and I wanted those guys at KD to know that anyone who was booing them is not someone I would ever welcome back to one of our events. I never did find out who the people that booed were, and if I did I would totally kick their asses out of TPR, because I don't want unappreciated people like that as part of TPR. Then again, I'm sure some of them probably weeded themselves out via natural selection, aka, getting banned from the site for doing stupid crap.

 

--Robb

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That really sucks, I thought it was really ordinary for one person to be slagging off a coaster (admittedly a crap coaster) within earshot of management at an ERT session on an earlier trip, let alone that.

 

I do feel for you Robb because I really feel like that undermines the work you do with the parks, no butt kissing, that really pisses me off.

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^ It's one thing to have an opinion about something, and present it to park management, or even to be discussing it with someone else with a park representative around, but it's another thing when a group of people "boo" the hosts at a presentation. That's just flat out rude and disrespectful.

 

For example, had someone raised their hand and said "Mr. Park Manager - I'm really not a fan of the trims on I-305. Can you please give me some insight as to why they were added, or if they may ever be removed, because I would really enjoy the ride more without them."

 

THAT...is 100% totally fine.

 

Booing the park managers? No f**king way. Not at one of MY events at least.

 

--Robb "Appreciate the support..." Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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I hear they are on facebook now.

 

People just need to learn how to be respectful and learn the proper venue to air complaints. Like the candy bar refund question a few years back at WCB. That was totally ridiculous and a waste of time. It's like people honestly think that the leaders and managers of the industry have no clue what they are doing, or what people want. I really hate the era of internet 'professionals.'

 

As for 305 winning, I really can't believe people are complaining about the poll. Who cares if it's not scientific, it's just for fun! Can people seriously not just have fun anymore? There are millions of other popularity polls out their. American Idol, viewers choice, restaurant ratings, hotel ratings, rotten tomatoes, and even Zagat have the same type of polls! And really, who cares if people try to sway polls. If I like something, you can be darn sure I will tell as many people about it as possible. Also, no one is keeping the other side from doing the same thing.

 

Arthur Levine (the author of the poll) even points out that IOA dropped the ball in not getting the vote out.

By its nature, the Readers' Choice Awards are designed to give readers the opportunity to make their voices and opinions heard. And by extension, they provide an opportunity for parks to rally their fan base and support their nominated entry. Pound for pound, perhaps no other park rallied its fan base more than Morey's.

While I congratulate the Morey's folks, recognize their incredible get-out-the-vote effort, and applaud what is, by all accounts, a wonderful attraction, I'm pretty sure even they would agree that Ghost Ship was not the best new theme park attraction of 2010. That designation surely goes to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey--which I consider to be the best theme park attraction, period (let alone the best new one of last year). Universal Orlando and its fans were so asleep at the wheel, Harry didn't even manage to come in second place.

http://themeparks.about.com/od/themeparkbests/ss/Best-Theme-Parks-2010_2.htm
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re: the above posts...

 

I have to say this: In my years of being hurtled around some of the best (and the worst) rides in the USA- let alone the world- I find it -deplorable- that people can complain like that. It's really awful. A park invests in an attraction for (Dare I SAY it?) THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

 

While Coaster Enthusiasts (TPR, ACE, etc.) are very important to a park, I can say that we can be a double-edged sword all over. We can be a BLESSING to a park with a good review, a good attitude and a great opinion of a ride.

 

It can also be a curse. I have (On more than ONE occasion) seen people in a certain group's apparal (sp- sorry- on painkillers here) actually SIT there in front of the media, while not paying attention, and bad-mouth a new ride costing a small fortune. We're not just talking 'It's intense' here- but actually sitting there- within earshot of reporters and media- and trashing a new ride. It's truly pathetic.

 

It is one thing to talk about a ride in 'private' (For what the Internet is worth) and say "The trims suck" or "The ride is like being beaten up by a few MMA fighters" when we're NOT in front of other people. It is something else where we do so in front of the people who are trying to bring a new attraction to the public at large.

 

It's one of the reasons I no longer associate with a few of the Coaster groups out there- as I really was embarrased by such behavior.

 

Remember: We DO enjoy our parks, coasters and attractions. We, however, are NOT the sole group responsible for their success. We can help MAKE it a success by giving a good impression in front of the right people- and not try to make a fool out of ourselves by bad judgement and actions.

 

As for KD (Gee, back on topic again)- they brought a -mindblowing- new ride to the park. Sure, it sucks that it had to be trimmed/modified over the past year- but there are very people out there who can tolerate a 'blackout' strength ride. Am I disappointed they modified it. Sure. I'm a Poz-G whore- I like it that intense. But if I see my friends getting off the ride and saying "Never again" I know it's not a good thing. And that's where a park has to do what's in the best interest of the General Public- the people who buy the tickets, the merchandise and the on-ride photos.

 

(And if I had my way, and my own park- I'd have made the first turn much tighter... and the hill 30 feet taller...)

R.D.

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Trust me Robb, to qualify my statement, the slagging was very loud and more along the lines of "dis coaster iz s***".

 

Moving along, how does it work when a coaster needs major corrective re-profiling after it's installed in terms of liability? I imagine it's a case by case basis, but I am curious about who is liable in these sorts of circumstances (or do they negotiate to split costs). Maverick, I'd expect it would have been Intamin, but what about i305 - I don't see experienced coaster engineers getting it wrong with estimating g-forces or anticipating wheel wear and tear but maybe they did.

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Moving along, how does it work when a coaster needs major corrective re-profiling after it's installed in terms of liability? I imagine it's a case by case basis, but I am curious about who is liable in these sorts of circumstances (or do they negotiate to split costs). Maverick, I'd expect it would have been Intamin, but what about i305 - I don't see experienced coaster engineers getting it wrong with estimating g-forces or anticipating wheel wear and tear but maybe they did.

 

Down here in VA, we had a record setting summer in terms of heat index and overall temperatures. We smashed some of our older records by over 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and that throughout the whole summer can make a huge difference in terms of maintenance and the wheel issues.

 

Not to say that I'm an expert, but I do have a local view of things that could have possibly affected how the ride ran last year.

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The impression I got that there were two big factors (correct me if I'm wrong):

 

*The experience was a bit too intense for the average guest

*The g-forces in the first first turn were wearing out wheels at a frequency, that long term, would have had major ongoing maintenance cost implications.

 

But good on them, instead of just leaving the trims on, they did some major work that should please most coaster enthusiasts (we'll see what riders think).

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Moving along, how does it work when a coaster needs major corrective re-profiling after it's installed in terms of liability? I imagine it's a case by case basis, but I am curious about who is liable in these sorts of circumstances (or do they negotiate to split costs). Maverick, I'd expect it would have been Intamin, but what about i305 - I don't see experienced coaster engineers getting it wrong with estimating g-forces or anticipating wheel wear and tear but maybe they did.

Engineering isn't an exact science. If it was we wouldn't see bridges needing reinforcements, buildings needing structural re-design, cars being re-called, or roller coasters needing modifications.

 

I don't have all the answers for I-305 because I'm not an engineer, but as a "somewhat educated in the amusement business" guess, there were probably some mis-calculations made in how the design would be carried out by the ride vehicle, and there could be a number of factors that are involved in that with everything from human error, computer error, weather, construction, etc, etc...

 

You also have to keep in mind (and I constantly remind people of this) that Intamin and KD lost all of their pre-opening "tweaking" time prior to the parks season opening.

 

I'm sure they discovered a few issues within those first couple of days that needed fixing, but they weren't serious enough to shut the ride down. Remember, there have been many other rides out there, like Chiller & the Mr. Freeze coasters, that had even more serious issues that shut down those rides for an entire year!

 

It's very possible that if Intamin had those weeks leading up to the park opening to tweak the ride, you might have seen another piece of track made and the ride look exactly like it does now.

 

Changes like this happen on rides all the time. This is not out of the ordinary. And when you're building a roller coaster to which there are only a handful in the world that are as tall and as fast and NONE in the world which use the same system that I-305 was built with, well, there is going to be trial and error.

 

Just be happy that the "error" part wasn't as serious as something like Battlestar Galactica, Mr. Freeze, Deja Vu, etc which has delays of months to a year prior to opening to the public.

 

Many people will argue that this happens to Intamin more than it does B&M, but that's a really naive thing to say as B&M doesn't push the envelope like Intamin does. Of course you're going to have more technical challenges with something that is by far more custom made.

 

Like I said, I'm no expert on any of this stuff, but my opinions and thoughts do come from having worked in and around this business for most of my life...

 

--Robb

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^Exactly.

 

Well, KD is currently in the process of planting new flowers in the Grove, and from what I've heard it's quite a bit of flowers. It's crazy how much this park's changed since Paramount...

 

How many here actually remember it from the pre Paramount era? It would be nice to see that kind of retro turnaround......I really miss the park from those times and the amount of "fun" that was all around. Maybe it is just my inner child talking, but it just seemed a lot nicer then.....

 

bring back the skyride, the old dominion line, and, most importantly, the singing mushrooms!

 

maybe i'm just being nostalgic, but it seems like back in the hanna-barbera days, the park was filled with a lot more weird, exotic, inexplicable sights for a kid to find magic in. i don't mean to knock cedar fair -- it's a just a difference in philosophy, i suppose, and i couldn't be more grateful for i305 and Dominator.

 

my 3 year old daughter will be visiting kings dominion this spring. it will be very interesting! we've been watching youtube videos, and she can't stop talking about Taxi Jam! reminds me of when i was her age, and i couldn't wait to ride the monorail safari and hug Yogi Bear and ride those red and green slide things while sitting on a burlap sack...

 

there were probably some mis-calculations made in how the design would be carried out by the ride vehicle, and there could be a number of factors that are involved in that with everything from human error, computer error, weather, construction, etc, etc...

 

My uneducated theory is that the new super-beefy track with the double spine and conical ties is so rigid that it vibrates and sways less than previous designs, and therefore absorbs less kintetic energy from the train; the practical upshot being that the train retains more energy (speed) throughout the course than Intamin's physics models typically account for. but that's just a guess. whatever the reason, it's totally understandable that there would be a learning process, since it was the first coaster (as far as i know) to open with this type of track (beating Formula Rossa by ~9 months) and only the third giga-coaster in the world (and first of its type).

 

i am so psyched to have this unique beast just an hour from my house.

Edited by greenspandan
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WOW! What is wrong with people???!! I would love to know what coaster(s) these locals are comparing I-305 to, because in order for it to suck, they must have some coaster that is of higher quality in mind. If they felt that way they should have stayed home. I only rode it with the trims on the drop. I still grayed out. I loved it - went back for more! My daughter and I were determined to figure out if it was something we did, and if we could maybe have less of a situation going over that first hill. (We tried eating, drinking lots of water, breathing differently - to name a few..lol) And the ride still kicked @$$! I cannot wait to get there again! I had the pleasure of getting to Cedar Point last year too, and rode MF & I-305 within one week of each other. They may be the same height, but IMO different enough, that I cannot really compare them. Equally awesome though! I also have a great line up in my home park. With El Toro & Kingda Ka in my back yard - and I am eternally grateful to KD for bringing I-305 to their park.

 

Shame on the boo-ers. The nerve and audacity they had to act that way - just embarrassing. How on earth did they think that would be O.K.? Here I am so excited to finally have the opportunity to attend a TPR event this year - why on Earth would I want to screw that up?? You don't like something, have enough respect for the awesome management team that allowed the most awesome coaster club come to the park and do what they do! Without all the hard work of the Alvey's and probably countless people, we would not even have these opportunities! Something like that could ruin future events!

 

That really made me angry to hear that.

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