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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread


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Normally I feel for the parks and all of the crap they have to deal with on Facebook, but they really had it coming this time.

 

They used the word "Thrilling" to hype the new area. That's just asking for trouble.

 

Maybe not "Thrilling" for you, but for families with kids, plenty thrilling.

 

My kids are out of this age range but I still think it's a great addition to the park.

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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 think it's a good idea, and I don't have/or want kids. After I-305, coaster wise, what can you do to not compete with it, but do something entirely different...Most of the rides are standard fare for this type of area, and it'll please the parents...at least until Little Johnny comes off bored, points to I-305 and says...'I want to go on THAT!'

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Ah Ha! I knew it, I deep down knew it that it was going to be the expansion plans for Planet Snoopy! In my second to last post, I reported that I saw two unused areas that might be candidates for the next, new attraction that Kings Dominion was going to put in. Now after seeing the announcement and seeing the video of four new rides they are putting in, I am well pleased. "Finally!" I said to myself. "Kings Dominon will have its own Kite Flyer, its own Woodstock Express, its own Rocking Tub, and a Tea Cup ride". With those additions, it makes it easier for me not to mourn over the lost of Treasure Cave (although I mourned the lost of "Yogi's Cave" when I visited the park in '98 and saw a lowbrow excuse for a replacement. Of course, I should stop mourning for the lost of "Smurf Mountain" as well, but that's another story.).

 

But anyway, congrads to Kings Dominion for finally doing what they should have done seasons ago, but didn't have the capital handy at that time. And why should this rider and amusement park flyer be happy about the expansion to Planet Snoopy? Because I too can ride those attractions (Hey, at my age and condition I will often need to ride the fun low-impact rides in between the thrilling rides once in a while.)!

 

Can anyone say Platinum Season Pass next season?

 

"Hey, I'm waiting for you to say 'I'm tired and I want to sleep with you for a thousand years'!"

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As I don't have kids I don't mind one way or the other if they are expanding the kids' area (actually I had been thinking that if anything else they might have been getting some kind of new flat ride, but that wouldn't matter a whole lot to me anyway as I only ride certain flats anyway). The only problem I see with the teaser is it is like the old saying about crying wolf....in a year or two when they prepare to announce a new coaster (or flat ride - meaning something more adult and and enthusiast oriented) many people will just yawn and not expect much of anything, especially the GP. We all know what happens when something (whether it's an amusement park ride, the "New Coke", a movie, or whatever) doesn't live up to its hype - not much is expected from the source of that over-hype the next time something new comes along. Like a movie director who makes a movie that is hyped up and it turns out to be not what people expect (again, nothing wrong with a new Planet Snoopy, but not what most people were expecting based on the teaser), when that director comes out with a new movie there will be far less interest in it from the general public because the last one didn't live up to expectations.

 

That said, I still really like I-305 (it's in my top 5 steelies) and Volcano and therefore I still have at least two good reasons to pay a visit to KD every year (will be gong there this October).

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This should be great for the park, since their kids area did seem a bit lacking from the brief time I spent in it when I visited. From the video and announcement, it looks like a kite flyer, rockin' tug, teacups, and aerial track ride will be added and the existing Kidzville rides will be rethemed. I'm sure a lot of parents are happy about this news, and I also think that despite the slightly deceptive marketing, anyone expecting more than an adult flat ride was probably setting themselves up for disappointment.

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A much needed revamp to the dismal children's area? Seems alright to me.

 

2014 is our year for that multi-launching-wooden-wingrider with 10 inversions

 

Built by Intamin A.G of course...with prefab supports

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I'm all for sharing the wealth and keeping the entire family coming to the park, even if the teenagers in the family will split apart from Mom, Dad, and their younger siblings. I'm just confused why Cedar Fair keeps marketing the Peanuts characters. Other than Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, and Dad does anyone even know who the Peanuts characters are anymore (besides the Great Pumpkin and Christmas special every year)? I would think there would have to be at least some other available more popular kids characters that would have them screaming to go to the parks to see their favorite characters in person or ride on their rotating firetrucks of doom.

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I hope in the process of redoing the area they don't destroy a lot of the trees as it's one of the few kids areas that have a nice canopy of trees to shade you. Under Kinzel those trees would have been cut down and more concrete than needed would have been poured.

 

Anyway I'm glad that they are updating their kids area. When I walked through it back in June it did seem to have a "tired" look in some parts.

 

As for marketing the Peanuts that's like saying why does Six Flags still use the Looney Tunes, which are just as old if not older (the so-called "new" Looney Tunes are awful so they don't count).

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As I don't have kids I don't mind one way or the other if they are expanding the kids' area (actually I had been thinking that if anything else they might have been getting some kind of new flat ride, but that wouldn't matter a whole lot to me anyway as I only ride certain flats anyway). The only problem I see with the teaser is it is like the old saying about crying wolf....in a year or two when they prepare to announce a new coaster (or flat ride - meaning something more adult and and enthusiast oriented) many people will just yawn and not expect much of anything, especially the GP. We all know what happens when something (whether it's an amusement park ride, the "New Coke", a movie, or whatever) doesn't live up to its hype - not much is expected from the source of that over-hype the next time something new comes along. Like a movie director who makes a movie that is hyped up and it turns out to be not what people expect (again, nothing wrong with a new Planet Snoopy, but not what most people were expecting based on the teaser), when that director comes out with a new movie there will be far less interest in it from the general public because the last one didn't live up to expectations.

 

1. The General Public doesn't really give two sh's about park announcements. Most of the people who would be speculating on this announcement (and thus let down) would be people posting on this board, whereas normal people will hear about it through the news or in advertisements once it's open. People get their hopes built up too much, mostly because forums like this exist where people start speculating Xtremeocoaster8000 is going to open instead of a kids area.

2. The analogy you presented doesn't make perfect sense. Theoretical people aren't being let down by the theoretical attraction/movie itself, they are being let down by the announcement/teaser trailer.

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As for marketing the Peanuts that's like saying why does Six Flags still use the Looney Tunes, which are just as old if not older (the so-called "new" Looney Tunes are awful so they don't count).

 

Classic Looney Tunes still holds up though

 

I think Peanuts is a great fit - it's been around a while for sure, but still has appeal across multiple generations. And it'll still be around in ten years' time, unlike a lot of the newer cartoon characters who might only be popular for a year or two.

 

Definitely a ridiculous build-up for an announcement of this size though. The expansion is cool and all, but seemed like they were setting themselves up to disappoint. "Breaking records" seems to suggest something in the order of highest/fastest/longest as opposed to "more Snoopy".

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Normally I feel for the parks and all of the crap they have to deal with on Facebook, but they really had it coming this time.

 

They used the word "Thrilling" to hype the new area. That's just asking for trouble.

 

Maybe not "Thrilling" for you, but for families with kids, plenty thrilling.

 

My kids are out of this age range but I still think it's a great addition to the park.

 

I am in a family with kids... I've taken my 5 year old sister and 7 year old brother out to Valleyfair's Planet Snoopy a dozen times in the last two years (not everyone here is a complete coaster boy). We'll usually take a spin on the monorail, maybe ride the swings, and take a kiddie coaster lap. There is nothing "Thrilling" about any of this.

 

And suppose you make the argument that it would be thrilling for kids in the <3 category, they definitely didn't allude to that at all. It's not that I was expecting something massive; this is what I had thought the whole time, it's just the way they went about hyping it up. Why even go in a direction that is gonna piss people off? Why not say we've got a huge new family announcement to make right off the bat. Still do all of the FB hyping, just don't fool the idiots out there.

 

Trigger- "Planet Snoopy is the best addition at my home park in years" -Nel

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^I didn't say don't hype the announcement, just do it in a way that is either gonna A. not piss anybody off, or B. give yourself a way of saying "we already said it won't be huge new coaster".

 

I guess I've just never understood the "Any publicity is good publicity" thought, when it comes to enraging guests.

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I am actually excited for this expansion. Then again I am a kid at heart and I think some of the ride concepts for kids these are days are kinda fun. Where the kiddie part is now is actually quite nice with all the trees so hopefully they try to leave some of them.

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^I didn't say don't hype the announcement, just do it in a way that is either gonna A. not piss anybody off, or B. give yourself a way of saying "we already said it won't be huge new coaster".

 

I guess I've just never understood the "Any publicity is good publicity" thought, when it comes to enraging guests.

 

Most people who have been following the clues, both released by the park and those found in the park (like the markers found in the kids area), were already pretty sure the announcement was for a Planet Snoopy expansion. They never gave any real indication of it being a roller coaster, and aside from the "record breaking" statement, released nothing that I think even pointed in the direction of a roller coaster addition. So why then should the park have to come out and say, directly or in directly, that it wouldn't be one when nothing really pointed that direction? Those people who after everything were still hoping for a coaster were clinging to a pipe dream and ignoring where the clues were pointing. These same people would have been angry if the annoucment was ANYTHING but a coaster.

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^^^^I think people took the word "thrilling" too seriously, yes. But at the same time, press releases aren't meant primarily for the fans, rather for the media and the general public who the media delivers the news to. While it isn't an 800 foot tall hypercoaster, people (not just the enthusiasts) need to realize that investments in parks are exciting prospects, even if they aren't always coasters. To better the overall quality of a park by refurbishing old attractions and areas, as well as adding new ones is a good thing. At the end of the day, how many people would go out of their way to return to a park that the only change each year is that the same attractions continue to operate until they wear out?

 

And one more reason to not complain... This park has added Intimidator 305, Windseeker and Dinosaurs Alive! all in the span on two years. There are parks like Canobie Lake and Knoebels that take years to add one major attraction at a time, and there are some that take even longer. No one who goes to this park should feel like Kings Dominion has been neglected.

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If I was in charge of the pre-hype marketing I would have stressed family. For example, instead of the "breaking records" space ship I would have opted for a simple picture of Linus, Lucy, and Rerun standing next to each other with a hint to 2013. Subtle, but appropriate as the three are siblings.

 

Continue it on with another picture of Charlie and Sally, then Snoopy with his siblings (Spike, Belle, Andy, Marbles, Olaf).

 

But whatever, spaceships are cool too. I'm good with the addition.

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^^ Again, the only people who are probably getting bent out of shape about this post on forums like this.

 

Have you seen their Facebook page? In the days leading up to the announcement, the page was abuzz with GP speculating about what the announcement might be. Then once the announcement was made, the page was blown up with hundreds of complaints, gripes, insults, etc. In all fairness, the facebook-fan demographic is probably outnumbered by the silent majority of parents with kids who will be thrilled by the announcement. But I do think they could have maybe made their little teasers a little more obvious so they could have avoided the slight embarrassment of their Facebook page being blown up by complainers for a few days. All in all, it's not really a big deal, and its certainly being blown out of proportion.

 

 

As for marketing the Peanuts that's like saying why does Six Flags still use the Looney Tunes, which are just as old if not older (the so-called "new" Looney Tunes are awful so they don't count).

 

I sort of think it's a wiser move for the parks to go with a "timeless" brand like Peanuts or Looney Tunes. Whether or not the new Looney Tunes are any good, kids today still identify with those characters. Look at all the "trendy" kids franchises Six Flags has gone through. Bob the Builder, the Wiggles, Thomas Town.... to me, it seems like it makes more sense to go with something kids like and have always liked, as well as something that is nostalgic for the parents and won't have to be renamed, repainted and rethemed in a few years when it becomes completely irrelevant. Just my two cents!

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If I was in charge of the pre-hype marketing I would have stressed family. For example, instead of the "breaking records" space ship I would have opted for a simple picture of Linus, Lucy, and Rerun standing next to each other with a hint to 2013. Subtle, but appropriate as the three are siblings.

 

Continue it on with another picture of Charlie and Sally, then Snoopy with his siblings (Spike, Belle, Andy, Marbles, Olaf).

 

But whatever, spaceships are cool too. I'm good with the addition.

 

That would miss the whole point of trying to create hype though. If your planning an expansion to Planet Snoopy, and you want a bit of mystery around the announcement, you probably wouldn't want to be advertising the Peanuts gang in the teasers. Adding them to any of the pre-annoucement teasers would almost have been like showing all their cards in a poker game.

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I think people take the marketing hype way too seriously. As others stated, some people put blinders on and only think in a very narrow, limited way. When the end result is outside of the lines they have drawn, then they get all bent out of shape.

 

Planet Snoopy is a great thing for Kings Dominion and the families that will visit because of it. This expansion could very well bring in families that have small children who don't visit KD because of the old, out-dated kids section. This, in turn, could keep the families coming as the children grow older and migrate to the bigger rides. More money coming in now hopefully means new and better rides and attractions in the future for the tweens, teens, and adults.

 

Kings Dominion stated at least 12 new and revamped rides. I assume KD has not finalized the new rides they are getting, so we don't have much information on those at this point. They did say the 3 existing Planet Snoopy rides will stay (Flying Ace, Moon Bounce, Driving School).

 

Most of the revamped rides are located in the north-eastern corner of the kids section. The corvettes, 4x4 trucks, bi-planes, and Ghoster Coaster are getting the Planet Snoopy makeover. Taxi jam and the kiddie bump cars are getting a Planet Snoopy makeover as well.

 

Boo Blasters is staying.

 

Snoopy's splash dance is going away to be replaced with a fountain. not sure if this is a regular fountain or one of those pop jet fountains where you can run around and under the water.

 

The new stuff.

 

Based on the artist's rendition, (not the actual Planet Snoopy area schematics, just a drawing that depicts what the artist THINKS it will look like based on the current information the artist had to work with), as well as what was spoken about and/or shown in the video during the announcement:

 

Teacups replacing the Tree swing (spoken about & in video)

Kiddie train ride replacing Yogi's/Treasure cave (spoken about)

Unknown ride replacing the Ranger hat circular ride. (???)

Lay-down kite ride replacing the small circular car ride. (in video)

Balloon ride replacing the space vehicle circular ride. (spoken about)

Tugboat replacing the swinging ship. (in video)

Elevated Monorail Ride - new addition (in video)

 

So that give us 6 maybe 7 new rides. Keep in mind that the park could get maybe another 1 or 2 more rides above what is in the artist's drawing, spoken about or in the video from the announcement. Remember that the announcement stated at least that many new/ re-vamped attractions. Based on the previous history of other Cedar Fair parks that got the Planet Snoopy expansion/makeover, some of them received 1 or 2 extra rides over and above what was originally announced. Should be interesting to see how things eventually end up!

 

** Update **

I just read an article in our local Richmond, VA newspaper this morning that one of the new rides would be a scaled down version of the Drop Tower. This was quoted in the paper as coming from the parks general manager Pat Jones. I don't think that was discussed in the main announcement or in the video. I assume that ride is a "Frog Hopper"? (I think the other CF parks, with a Planet Snoopy, called it the "Kite Eating Tree"?). Not sure if the ride selection is still up in the air or if Kings Dominion is trying to keep some of the attractions a secret or surprise.

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^ The problem is it is a delicate balance. What they need to get hype up is to get enthusiasts excited - we increase internet mentions of their property which brings them higher in search results which gets people talking about it which gets the news to report on it. What matters when it opens though is to get the FAMILIES to visit. They are the ones who spend money by buying full priced tickets, buying full meals in the park, buying on ride photos, lots of toys, etc. What do the enthusiasts buy.... a coke... and then complain about the cost of the food.

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...you probably wouldn't want to be advertising the Peanuts gang in the teasers. Adding them to any of the pre-annoucement teasers would almost have been like showing all their cards in a poker game.

 

This may be true, I still like the idea though. I think it would have connected with families more and has more of that "warm fuzzy" factor that sticks with people. Doesn't matter anyway, what's done is done I suppose.

 

I would love it if they incorporated the "Peanuts Family" more in future adverts or things on their facebook page. They have the brand, honestly they should use it more.

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