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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

P. 767: WinterFest Media Night Report

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^I know, but believe me, the trims on 232 can have just as big an impact on the ride as the first drop trims did on 305. Sometimes even worse. There were times I rode it last year and never came out of my seat because of how hard the trims grabbed. Somehow those have gotten overlooked, but they're still there and ruining the occasional ride.

 

Personally, I like the B&M version better. Those trims bother me too, but for some reason not as much. I guess I was expecting more out of 305. We'll see what happens this year when I visit.

I guess my personal beef is with the new Intamin "signature element" lately. They seem to like the quick direction changes (Maverick, 305, Cheetah Hunt, etc). I like to ride with my hands up and let my body be tossed to really experience the ride. I can't do that with the first 2 rides I mentioned (especially Maverick with the hard restraints), and we'll see with the new Cheetah Hunt. Looking at the construction and final pictures I'm guessing Cheetah will be on my list too. Fahrenheit at Hershey has some mild direction changes that I don't have a problem with. I'm hoping Cheetah will be the same.

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I feel like there's this divide between the enthusiasts/GP that love the way Intamin's been headed, and those who reeeally don't. It's really a matter of personal preference!

 

I, for one, really hope that Intamin keeps heading in the direction they've gone with I305, Maverick, and iSpeed. These aggressive rides (throw in El Toro, too) are the ones that I just can't stop riding. I throw my hands up and don't fight the ride, and I end up just fine at the end.

 

^Have you ridden it with the new straps? Not having to worry about the hard restraint giving you a concussion is really conducive to letting yourself be thrown around by the ride!

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Finally made it to KD today. It was a perfect day weather wise--mostly sunny and in the 70's.

 

My buddy and I arrived at the park at around 2 and got our passes processed then headed for Dominator. Fun ride and good way to start off the year.

We then headed by Volcano but passed as the line seemed long.

We then rode I305 times--1 in the very front and 2 in the very back.

It's definitely as good, if not better than the first 2 months of last year. Both my friend and I had some gray-outs but we think they were intensified because neither one of us had had much to eat.

We decided to head across the park and got a ride in on Rebel Yell. We sat in the 3rd seat and I'd say it was an ok ride. My friend enjoyed it a bit more.

Next up was Volcano which ran really well.

We finished the day off with 2 more rides on I305.

 

We were only there about 4 hours but the crowds were light and rode enough I305 to whet our appetites for more rides throughout the year!

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Just got back home from my trip... I still am proud to say that 305 is better than ever before! I rode the ride 10 times today, yes 10, mostly in rows 2 and 16. I actually rode it 8 times in a row and then went back right before I left to get 2 more rides. The ride ops were doing an amazing job getting the trains in and out of the station!

 

Other notes:

-Mostly walk-on/one train waits on rides today except for Volcano and Shockwave.

-Row 3 on Shockwave is down for some reason on one train?

-Shockwave is smooth with the new paint on the drop, loop, and airtime hill... then once you get to the helix and second half of the ride its DEATH!

-I think I counted 5 new tree/flower beds in the Grove!

-Racing Rebel Yell again today... and NORTH side is really smooth!

-KD got 85 bucks out of me on souvenirs.

-Full trip report will be posted sometime this week.

 

305 still has my number one spot, and its going to be hard to beat now with this new version...

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Well, to start off I305 was amazing. Loved everything about it and it is much better than the original version. I rode it 5 times, every time basically a walk-on. Volcano had a row back which caused the line to move slowly because the last two rows weren't being used. Shockwave was down part of the day. Plus I love the new colors. Overall a good except for hurler and its trims. My friends kept saying that FLight of Fear just randomly stopped in between the launch and cobra roll which makes no sense at all. How would that be possible and it would have only been down for 10 minutes.

 

Funny thing about volcano:when I went on opening weekend they only had the very last row blocked so we rode in row #1 of car #4 & good lord was it worse IMO than any SLC.I'd love to see them change those OTSR's to the straps like on 305,same should be done on DT as well.

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^I was there today, too, and had five great rides on the "new" I305. It was really hauling this afternoon after it warmed up (and with full trains). Overall, a pretty nice afternoon at KD (here's a few photos).

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I still gray out a bit here. That's a pretty steep climb.

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Yep--still a top-five ride for me.

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But let's not neglect Shockwave's nifty new sign.

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Nice new paint, same old ride. There wasn't a line so I gave it a whirl. It was OK.

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Personally, I think they should've gone with the ride's original Togo name. ;)

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One more look at I305--just because it's so good.

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"Supervisor's note to self: Need to improve our training when it comes to hanging the park flag."

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^ Good trip report. I didn't notice the flag out front though, that's hillarious!

 

I saw you at the park today, we were in 305's station and Shockwave's station at the same time I believe. I obviously knew you were from TPR with the shirt, but I didn't know your name... I was in the black Intimidator 305 hoodie with the brownish red hair.

 

But I'm glad to hear another person enjoys the "new" 305!

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^ I was actually next in line for FOF and saw the ride do that. It was a very weak launch and it only went to the very end of the launch tunnel right before the cobra roll. I didn't know how long it would be so I just went and rode 305.

 

Yeah, thats what I figured happened. My friends were making it seemed like it launched full speed and stopped abruptly. Although I knew it made no sense.

 

I will most likely be going back this saturday so that means a lot more INTIMIDATOR

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I was in the park today for a couple hours, even had my Club TPR shirt on. However, my jacket covered it up so I was in stealth mode. I do have one big identifying trademark though, but that's for everyone else to figure out.

 

305 is still awesome, but repeat rides are rather difficult. Volcano had its back two rows closed off and the line was moving about as fast as a snail glued to the sidewalk. Rebel Yell racing was a nice surprise, racing coasters are tenfold more fun when they actually race. And I stayed away from Shockwave like it was infected with yellow fever, plague, malaria, and syphilis at the same time.

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^ After riding it 8 times in a row this morning, I agree! I was completely whipped, especially my shoulders! When I went back to get 2 final rides in the afternoon I was fine, but 8 was a bit too much!

 

And speaking of FOF, I actually got to ride it 3 times in a row this morning (around 10:40-10:55), right after Volcano with nobody else on the train but my brother... The ride goes extremely fast when only 2 out of 20 seats are filled!

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Thanks for the photos, Chuck. The shot from the tower really shows the difference well. It's almost bizarre looking. Hopefully the changes can please all. I'll plan on making the drive down for the new version next year, once Busch Gardens' new attractions are open as well.

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^ Good trip report. I didn't notice the flag out front though, that's hillarious!

 

I saw you at the park today, we were in 305's station and Shockwave's station at the same time I believe. I obviously knew you were from TPR with the shirt, but I didn't know your name... I was in the black Intimidator 305 hoodie with the brownish red hair.

 

But I'm glad to hear another person enjoys the "new" 305!

 

Perhaps a ride more towards the back may provide different results? I find the G-s going into the "new" turn to be a bit much & actually preferred the original layout even with the trims.

 

I wonder how long it'll take staff to notice their little flag mistake?

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From what I've heard, a tornado touched down right around Williamsburg (BGW closed early as well), and my stepbrother was at his mom's friend's house when a tornado touched down and actually ripped right through their front porch in Northern VA. So I don't blame anyone for closing early!

 

Most of northern va. was under a tornado watch that expired at 9 pm saturday night,we had some pretty heavy rains up here as a result of the storms too.

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What are crowds usually like this week? My boyfriend and I are headed down on Thursday for the day, and we're curious what to expect!

 

From what I hear, Spring Break weekdays are practically empty. Last year I heard was a bit more crowded, but that is expected since i305 was brand new. This year, I think you shouldn't have much trouble with crowds. I'll be going Wednesday and am expecting very, very light crowds.

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went to KD on monday.

 

oh wow. i am still in awe.

 

you know, I've ridden all the coasters that normally show up in peoples' top 5, and in my opinion i305 now surpasses them all in terms of intensity and pure enjoyment. so much airtime and speed throughout the entire course! it never lets up.

 

i tried the front seat and the back seat and couldn't decide which i preferred. i am leaning towards the back, because of the tremendous air you get over the crest of the lift hill. front seat was amazing too, though, and offered almost as much air time with a better view. decisions, decisions.

 

last time i rode i305 was last April (trimless, hard straps). the softer straps, the redesigned turn, and the reduced trims at the midway point all improve this ride so much over what was already a fantastic ride. i just want to stand up and applaud the job KD and Intamin have done building and then improving this coaster. i305 will make KD an essential destination for coaster enthusiasts for years to come once more people experience it in the current configuration -- of that i have no doubt. its reputation will grow with every new visitor.

 

By the way, it was an absolutely beautiful day. maybe a little hot in the late afternoon, but until about 3:30, it was 70 degrees and cloudy. just perfect. and the park looked great. other notes:

- loved the new paint and logo on shockwave.

- glad to see the ivy crawling back up and beginning to fill out a bit on the arched thingy over the walkway near Grizzly.

- i305 was somewhere between walk-on and 15 minute wait all day. heaven. the park wasn't empty, but it wasn't crowded either.

- my daughter (3 years old) rode her first rollercoaster ever: Taxi Jam! (also allowed me to pick up that elusive Taxi Jam credit!)

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TRIP REPORT: Kings Dominion - Tuesday, April 19, 2011!

 

I decided to drive up to Doswell, Va., today since I'll be interning all summer and may not have another change to get to Kings Dominion until August. The construction on I-95 around Richmond was annoying but I eventually made it around 12:15 p.m. I'm not sure who's "Spring Break" it is this week since most colleges and lower schools in North Carolina had it in March, but that's neither here nor there. The day started off cloudy and I was afraid weather.com had lied to me about there being little chance of precipitation. Although it was overcast most of the day, it was a nice cool 80 and the sun came out later in the afternoon.

 

This was my first 2011 visit to Kings Dominion and my first time back since East Coast Bash. Obviously, this visit couldn't possibly measure up to that day but I had a pretty good time nonetheless. The park was actually the most crowded I've seen it outside of my visit a couple of years ago in July. I was looking forward to trying Intimidator 305 after the off-season work, and it did not disappoint.

 

Intimidator 305

As of today, I have a new #1 coaster...Intimidator 305 has moved from my #3 to #1 spot, bumping back Maverick and Bizarro at SFNE. As all of you know, the first turn was slightly reprofiled and the trims are indeed removed from the drop. All. that. moaning. last. season. No one listened to me either about common sense dictating first-drop trims were not a permanent solution on a $25-million giga coaster, but whatever it's done now. The bottom line is that I305 is just about perfect and I still cannot believe it's only 3 hours from my house. I remember telling John Pagel this last season at East Coast Bash and I still maintain that Cedar Fair's takeover of the park has been amazing.

 

The ride was awesome last season, but the first drop is now supremely out of control. Ejector air all the way down the 300-foot plunge. It's great to no longer have that quick drag of the trims and I think it's the best drop on any coaster I've been on, beating out Millennium Force, any of the Accellerator coasters, etc. Front row gets wild air, back row gets wilder air as it whips you over the top thanks to the incredibly fast, smooth cable lift system. The first turn really isn't all that different. Yes, there is a slight (as in closer to not noticeable than barely noticeable) bump where the new track connects, but, as Robb pointed out, this will even out as time goes on. The big airtime hill now has EJECTOR air in all seats going all the way up, over and down. If you're getting a little loopy from the G's at the bottom of the drop, this will pull you back to earth.

 

The twisties are still insane, with wild airtime and laterals. Yes, they are fast and intense, but they throw you around in a good way; the heartlining is really excellent here, IMO. I'd say the strongest positive G's for me were felt on the turn before the smaller airtime hump; after a long day of riding I literally could not keep my hands up. There are trims back on the small airtime hump but there's ejector air that's even more intense than last year so I can't imagine you'd be complaining about this.

 

I think the Intimidator 305 experience can be summed up by a comment I overheard in line today: "What an incredible project; job well done." The ride is beautiful structurally and absolutely amazing as a thrill ride. Intimidator 305 doesn't pander; it whips your ass and knows you want more. Also, I heard nothing but incredibly positive comments about the ride all day. Everyone seems to like this ride: little girls, old men, teenagers, etc. People would immediately return to the line after riding. After the slight annoyance I'm sure the minority backlash caused last season, Kings Dominion has reason to celebrate this ride. It's that good.

 

The crew for I305 was awesome today and the ride ran perfectly. I really appreciate the enthusiasm and energy. Both trains operating, waits between 5-20 minutes except for front row, which is awesome. The line stretched through a lot of the queue but the coaster really eats people. The sprinklers are still there in the station. The red-back train seemed to run just a little more unhinged. The ride tracks incredibly smoothly. The restraints are amazing; they are comfortable, don't ruin the airtime and allow people of all shapes and sizes to enjoy the ride. Well, this has turned into me gushing about I305...so I'll move on.

 

Here's a bad video I shot of the new turn and speed:

 

et al.

 

The park looked great today. Cedar Fair really has embraced the natural beauty of the property, something people often overlook. There were trees and azaleas in bloom, lots of flowers, mulch, etc. No trash on the ground as employees constantly were sweeping and there are tons of trash cans (obviously) and recycling bins (is this new? good idea) The park continues to replace concrete with pavers, too. This is the best I've seen the park look and I know they have an eye out to continue improving in this area.

 

The staff also was really good for the most part today. I saw lots of managers and suits and supervisors. The I305 crew was great, as were the Anaconda and Volcano crews. Shockwave's crew was slow but that ride is annoying to load so that probably had something to do with. Most everyone seemed energetic, from the food service employees at Panda Express to the games attendants to the ride operators. Also, though the park closed at 6 p.m., lines were still open at 6:30 p.m.? Ok, that's cool.

 

Rides:

 

I rode I305 ten times, mostly in the back seat or in row two, which, as mentioned in another trip report, really is a hidden gem and basically provides a no-wait front-row ride. I rode Volcano once because the line was long all day. I waited about 30 minutes around 4 p.m. Two trains, running great this year. The ride didn't have any of the rattle it sometimes does up top. All seats were being loaded.

 

Dominator was running two trains. Its damn seatbelts have gotten SHORT. Doesn't Cedar Fair know that no one falls out of a B&M? It seems they would have cleaned up the trains a bit over the offseason, but both were extremely dirty. The ride ran fast today, no trim before the cobra roll. It was pretty rattly after the midcourse, but nothing life-ruining.

 

Rebel Yell and an unfortunate event. Long story short, as I was boarding Rebel Yell, this family caused a ruckus. There was a man, woman and two kids. The woman and one kid waited in one row while the man and other kid waited in another. They were not evenly spaced so they weren't going to be on the same train. When the airgates opened, the man jumped in front of a waiting group, pushing them aside and jumped right on the train with his kid. The people looked at me in shock but just let it slide. Cut to the lift chain, which was stopped abrupty. Apparently, the crew noticed as the train was departing that one of the aforementioned kids wasn't tall enough to ride (now I'd criticize the crew for being inattentive at first but these are the people that just jumped aboard so I can see how it got confusing). The whole train got to wait 15 minutes until a manager unlocked the restraints and evacuated the child and her mom. The man seemed really upset at his wife about this whole ordeal and I hope calmed down after the ride. On a side note, the general public really is unaware as to the workings of a roller coaster. When the train stopped on the lift, some people were FREAKING out. One girl had never ridden a coaster and was hysterically crying. Luckily, the ride op (Joe?) calmed her down and got her laughing, etc. She ended up staying on, despite the hysteria, and instantly started clapping at the end. Another convert. As for the ride...when the hell did Rebel Yell get ejector air? The outward trip was intense and smooth with this newfound air. The run back was rougher but still nice.

 

Shockwave's new paint looks so much better in person than pictures portray; it's really quite striking. I hadn't ridden this in years because I have broad shoulders and it's a tight squeeze and hurts like hell on the bunny hops. Anaconda was running really well this year. As with Shockwave, I'd expect to see Paramount's signature multi-colored paint jobs go by the wayside in the near future. I suspect Anaconda and Drop Tower will get painted soon and probably in a more solid scheme.

 

Backlot Stunt Coaster was another ride I haven't been on in years. It seemed less pointless than I remember. The second half actually is pretty great. The helicopter still doesn't move, but fire has returned. It was interesting to witness human nature when someone vomited on the exit path. Some people warned exiting riders, others watched them step in it and laughed. I skipped Hurler because it was one train op with a huge line. For some reason, Grizzly and Drop Tower were closed. I saw everything else running, including the El Dorado, Americana, Cyrpt, Troika, log flume, etc.

 

There seemed to be a lot of shows going on for families, too, which seems like a change from the past. I heard several parents saying how much their little kids enjoyed Kidsville, too, so that's good to hear.

 

I hadn't intended to write a novel but here ya go. Overall, it was a nice visit. The teenagers in the park were annoying and KD needs to keep a watchful eye on line jumpers, but I'll give them a pass because I was once their age, too. It should be a great season for the park in terms of staffing, rides and ambiance. Hell, with I305, KD could be in the middle of a landfill and I'd still go. It's nice to be back on the tracks.

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No, I don't know those people but you gotta have an establishing shot.

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What're we here for? This guy.

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Going up!

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Not going up.

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Now with ejector air!

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Really; look at that hairtime!

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Racing.

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The sex part.

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Also enjoyable ejectiness.

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Back in the pit.

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Two-train op.

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That's the transfer track. That yellow thing is not an indoor Port-a-John.

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The double-secret blue compound. FYI, Uremet is a company that makes wheels.

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It's....the Anaconda.

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Best part. Really good. I love Arrow.

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Porque no los dos?

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New wood and paint on the exit ramp; a nice touch.

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The new sign for ShockWAAAAVE.

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Togo or not Togo.

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The new paint really looks excellent.

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How it looks in the Grove.

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Hey...kiddies.

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All gussied up and nowhere to go.

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This was disappointing.

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Had I waited I'm sure this would have been disappointing.

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Big yellow loop.

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With a side of rattle.

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I see you B&M Ball.

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Best deal in the park. Well, not the Powerade.

Edited by willh51
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^^Anaconda was partially repainted(on the brakerun) last season but they still have yet to finish the rest of the ride & Grizz won't be open for another few weeks as they're doing retracking.

 

I so hate it when families or groups try to synch up on coasters at KD.I always find myself telling them while in line that it's easier to just have the members of your party wait for you at the exit instead of all that crap.

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^^Anaconda was partially repainted(on the brakerun) last season but they still have yet to finish the rest of the ride & Grizz won't be open for another few weeks as they're doing retracking.

 

I so hate it when families or groups try to synch up on coasters at KD.I always find myself telling them while in line that it's easier to just have the members of your party wait for you at the exit instead of all that crap.

 

I thought I noticed some fresher paint on Anaconda. Well, I'm glad they continue to retrack parts of Grizzly, I should have know that was the case. And the syncing happened all damn day. FORTUNATELY, most people were sensible and just let me in front of them, but not everyone. There were TONS of little kids skipping people in line, etc. I didn't even try to care enough to say anything.

 

Also...I believe the Shockwave trains WERE painted.

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