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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

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Eric (ernierocker) and I spent a great day at Kings Dominion on Saturday, April 13--perfect weather, light crowds, and Fast Lane Plus, which really came in handy when we rode Volcano. I also took some pictures are the now completed Planet Snoopy area, as I thought some of you might want to see what the place looks like when 1) it isn't full of construction equipment and 2) rides are actually operating, usually with people on them.


So, here's a look at Planet Snoopy, along with some "bonus" photos of a nice spring day at the park.


Good morning, Doswell.


Here's an overview of Planet Snoopy from the Eiffel Tower.


Hi there, old Smurf Mountain station. Looks like Gargamel finally won.


Woodstock's Express (formerly, Ghoster Coaster) looks great in its shiny new paint. They were even running two trains on it.


Remember, this is Snoopy's planet. You're just visiting.


The "iconic" Snoopy fountain, where Snoopy's Splash Dance used to be. Snoopy spits water out of his mouth at intervals.


The kiddie train and the "ride you'll never catch me on."


Being as this is Snoopy's realm, he gets special trash cans. Not even I305 can claim this!


Snoopy wants your child to become a leader--in his new Army of Domination!


Larry--new coaster sign!


Fresh coaster theming.


Unfortunately, Snoopy's Rocket Express was having some issues.


But you can ride Woodstock's train out of Snoopy's Junction, instead.


Lucy's Tugboat was down for the count that day, . . .


. . . so kids weren't able to learn about gravity.


But Snoopy wants, nay, demands, that you let your children play to build up their imaginations.


Play, blast you, play!


The Balloon Race looks like fun--it it weren't for all that spinning.


Theming on the Linus Launcher.


Here's the mini "George Foreman Grill Ride" in action.


Someone asked about the re-themed kiddie bumper cars.


Here they are.


Snoopy's Space Buggies are a sort of kiddie "Bouncy Bouncy."


Another look at Woodstock Whirlybirds, a tyoe of ride that many love--and that's OK.


I think this is the nicest looking ride in Planet Snoopy.


They did a very nice job on this mini chair swing ride.


There were two existing kiddie-car rides that got "Snoopified," as well.


Thank you, Snoopy we will--especially because we have Fast Lane Plus, . . .


. . . which includes Volcano.


Cell phones, cameras, and brief cases are not allowed in Africa.


We actually started and finished out day with Dominator.


And, yes, we rode this a number of times. ;)


An Elissa-friendly prize.


Guess who needs the Shock Wave credit.


Shock Wave's restraints are Spanish Inquisition approved.


Yes, we were once like those poor, miserable souls.


Fast Lane Plus came in pretty handy for riding Avalanche, too.


And while we're saying "hi there" to old stations, let's greet Hypersonic's and offer to buy it a cup of coffee. That's all.

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^I must agree with that statement; there are several new rides added to Kings Dominion that even I ( a six-foot tall, 250 pound rider) can get on and ride. Although my two favorite flat rides in Kings Dominion are the Scrambler and the Triple Spin, I might want to add a third one that is called Snoopy's Moon Buggies ( I must confess; that is a fun, little ride!).


As for the Shockwave, the restraints on that coaster must have been inspired by a Medievel Torture Device. I was able to ride it, but dog-gone-it if those tight restraints try to crush my chest. I think I'll stick to the other coasters, like the Rebel Yell, the Grizzly, The Avalanche, and Intimidator 305.


One more note about the Avalanche and the text shall be bold, in caps, and in silver:



The Fast Lane is good to get on the Volcano, Dodge 'Em, Avalanche, and the Windseeker ( When Oh when will that Windseeker seek wind/ It's been grounded for too long for me . . .), but it sure wasn't needed to ride the Wave Swinger on Saturday. While I rode the Wave Swinger, I noticed that the paint was beginning to peel, causing me to wonder if this old ride is on its final season. The park has a total of four swinging rides - if they could ever get Windseeker running again ( If only that Windseeker could be flying once more/ a happier rider I'll be!), so I wonder if the park will decide to take out Wave Swinger and put in another flat ride that can fit perfectly in that spot? Again, this is just speculation on my part.


Those photos of the overview of Kings Dominion are beautiful, proving once again what amazing sights await for those that ride the elevator up the Eiffle Tower so they can view Kings Dominion below them.



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Was at the park last weekend - Planet Snoopy looks great! Great froyo at Sweet Frog, as well.


Something else we noticed - Rebel Yell got some trackwork done over the off-season! That slight turn at the bottom of the first hill after the turnaround has been completely smoothed out, no jolt or anything.

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As Chuck posted above, we had a great time at KD this past Saturday.


A couple of things to add from my side:


- I305 is an awesome coaster. While it will not be my #1 coaster, it is firmly in my top 5. However, after I get the RMC trilogy this summer, that might change.


- I was really impressed with how much improved the park was from my last visit 5 years ago. The staff, ride-ops and the general park appearance were all great.


- Finally, got my Shockwave credit, so I don't ever have to worry about that ride again.


- Was pleasantly surprised by the crowds for a Saturday. Fast Lane Plus was still worth it though to skip two 45 min. plus waits on Volcano.

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^They've been putting in new pavers and doing some other sprucing up around the park, in addition to finishing Planet Snoopy. The improvements are noticeable, and I'm glad they're taking the time to do it.

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- Was pleasantly surprised by the crowds for a Saturday. Fast Lane Plus was still worth it though to skip two 45 min. plus waits on Volcano.


Thank you both for posting about the crowds as I used that as an excuse to go that evening for a few rides on Dominator and I305.

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i went to the park yesterday and it was fantastic. despite the light crowd, all rides were open and i didn't see any problems. the weather was overcast but not rainy. cool but not chilly until the evening. perfect. the longest line of the day was Volcano at 22 minutes. most rides were near-walk-on.


the new Border Cafe was excellent. love being able to specify exactly what ingredients go into my burrito. i picked the "spicy" (corn) salsa, but i think i'll try something else next time. it wasn't spicy at all. like ... about as spicy as Chipotle's "mild". it was weird. but at least there was hot sauce on the table i could use to augment, and the burrito certainly tasted delicious!


i was also pleased to discover that Outer Hanks has a microbrew on tap - Main Street Virginia Ale by Center of the Universe Brewing Company. it's a malty and tasty ale, but a bit slight. i'm not complaining -- it was refreshing, but i would absolutely love to see a higher gravity IPA or (imperial) stout offered. but hey, i'll take what i can get, and kudos for stocking something other than the standard macro brew triad of miller lite, yuengling (made from rice and corn), and blue moon (a fake microbrew produced by coors).


i305 was running phenomenally as usual. greatest ride on the planet, bar none. front seat and back seat are both great in their own ways. can't figure out which i prefer.


Dominator was MUCH smoother than the last time i rode it (two years ago). it was rattling quite badly then, but yesterday on 3 laps in 3 different seats, that soft B&M glide was in full effect.


Rebel Yell was running significantly better than i remember. it looked like it had received some rehab recently, and whatever they did certainly worked.


Grizzly was an enigma. it's normally my favorite woodie at KD. i rode it twice, both in the same seat (near the rear). one ride was awesome, and the other was an unpleasant rattly mess. the only thing i can figure was that maybe the train was full for one ride and empty for the other. honestly i can't remember which was which, though. oh well.


Volcano, Flight of Fear, and Ricochet, were all much as i remember them -- that is, extremely enjoyable!


Anaconda and Hurler were much as i remember them as well .... *awkward silence*


the ride ops on all rides were enthusiastic, fast and efficient. Shockwave's line was slow, but i mean what can they do. those restraints suck. not their fault. i was especially impressed with the folks operating Backlot Stunt Coaster -- that thing seemed like it was dispatching every 30 seconds. good work.


the new Planet Snoopy area looks great. can't wait to take my kids, they're gonna have a blast!

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i305 was running phenomenally as usual. greatest ride on the planet, bar none.


This might mean that I have to turn in my "coaster enthusiast card" but I highly disagree and I don't understand why this ride is so popular. I rode I305 for the first time on Saturday, hated it, but rode it again in a different spot. I wouldn't ride it a third time. Even with the adjusted turn, I still greyed out, almost to the point of blacking out completely. I don't see the joy in a coaster making you almost faint. Am I the only one?


The middle of the ride was fun, although slightly jarring. And what could have been a great ending was ruined by the brakes going up into the final 'airtime' hill.


Sorry but I like my coasters to be fast, fun, smooth and preferably to not cause a brain hemorrhage. Bad I305, bad!

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^ Absolutely nothing wrong with that, to each their own. I personally loved the intensity, but almost graying out on that first turn was slightly annoying. It certainly isn't a coaster that I would marathon.

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I love i305 and think it's a top 10 coaster for sure, but I do think it's slightly overrated (that may be partially due to the fact that I had hyped it up so much). I don't really understand why it has over the shoulder restraints and due to the lack of anything near the track to enhance the sensations of height and speed it didn't seem as fast and amazing as the statistics show. It has some really good airtime but the over the shoulder restraints take a lot away from that. I absolutely love the coaster and the fast changes in direction but I enjoy coasters like El Toro, Phoenix and even Nitro (flame on) more because I love the sensation of airtime without any restraints above the waist. Also, while I'm not saying it's better... I think a coaster like Millennium Force feels much faster because of the fact that you're flying by objects that you give you a point of reference to how fast you're actually going.

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This might mean that I have to turn in my "coaster enthusiast card" but I highly disagree and I don't understand why this ride is so popular.


i think it goes without saying that the phrase "greatest ride on the planet, bar none" is a subjective opinion to the point that prefacing it with the qualifier "in my opinion" would be redundant.


but since you asked about the appeal, i'll go into a little more detail on why i love it more than any other coaster. note that the following sentences are merely my opinion : Intimidator 305 delivers a level of pure intensity that is unmatched by any other coaster. i love the insane speed, and the out of control feeling throughout the course -- the high speed turns low to the ground, quick changes of direction, the insane air time on the first two drops, and the quick airtime pops on the laster descents. all of this is achieved at the upper limit of positive Gs, yet without roughness or headbanging. it feels intense in an intentional and well-engineered way (as opposed to say a Vekoma SLC which is rough and painful through poor design). furthermore, and again this is subjective, but greying out just doesn't bother me at all. i get the same effect when i stand up too fast sometimes. really no big deal to me, and actually i think it's kind of cool that a coaster can be so aggressive without being rough. it gives me appreciation for how much Intamin is pushing the outer boundries of human tolerance of positive Gs with this ride.


Sorry but I like my coasters to be fast, fun, smooth and preferably to not cause a brain hemorrhage.


coaster preferences (smoothness, fast, fun) are of course subjective. but the bolded part i do have a bit of a problem with -- a grey out is not and cannot cause a "brain hemorrage". in fact it's the opposite -- a hemorrage is burst blood vessels in the brain, caused by too much pressure, and is very bad, obviously. a grey out is caused by reduced blood pressure in the brain, and is medically harmless (unless you're like ... in the process of operating an aircraft at the time of the grey out ). (of course, if you simply find grey outs unpleasant, that's your prerogative)

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^^ That goes ditto for me as well; I get grayouts everytime we go down that first hill and head into the first tight turn, but it isn't painful and I don't need to do anything else except go along with the ride. And by the time we reach the top of the first hill I'm back to normal.


Intimidator 305 isn't the only ride I've gotten a grayout on, I also got grayout while riding Goliath at Six Flags over Georgia and Bizzaro at Six Flags New England. I guess getting a grayout every now and then isn't so bad as long as you're still consious, still awake, and still breathing by the time you come back to the station, but I still don't want to get too many of those.


Of course, there is always PLANET SNOOPY to fall back on whenever I need a break from riding those big, bad rides.



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