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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

P. 767: WinterFest Media Night Report

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Hopefully Anaconda can get some new trains with this refurbishment. I dont recall the old ones being all that great.

 

And those anniversary t-shirts are ugly. I'll stick with the new pins instead. I cant wait to see the park release those designs.

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I really want to know what the 12th day/christmas day surprise will be. Hopefully it is somewhat big.

 

Well, we shall find out later today. It could be the Rebel Yell getting a paint job; more info on the International Street Fountain overhaul; which rides in Candy Apple Grove are getting the new lighting packages; more info on the 2014 entertainment lineup; or maybe a former flat ride or two making a comeback.

 

I'm not sure, with the end of the "12 Days of Christmas" announcements, if the park is done disclosing the 2014 anniversary "surprises" or if they are keeping a couple more things up their sleeve to announce later in the off season. So, if no announcement happens today for a return of a former flat ride or two, I am not going to punch Santa out tonight.

 

A couple of these overhaul/refurbishment projects are multi-year efforts; The just announced Volcano Mountain makeover and the ongoing Carousel restoration [in its 2nd year of restoring the horses; with 2-3 more years to go. I assume the park is trying to finish the restoration project by the 2017 season when the Carousel will celebrate its 100th anniversary].

 

Even without the return of a former ride for 2014, Kings Dominion is getting quite a bit of love from Cedar Fair this off-season with all these new and improved projects going on. It is something I felt is long overdue and will hopefully put back into the park some of the charm and atmosphere that was stripped out during the Paramount years of ownership.

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I didn't hate Anaconda but I'm a pretty tall guy and for some reason I never get much headbanging on arrows. About 10 years ago when I was still growing I hated them so I think my height plays a role. Last year when we rode Anaconda I mentioned something in the brake run about how it was actually pretty decent and my girlfriend looked at me like I was an idiot and said that it was the worst coaster she's ever ridden... so I guess it just depends.

 

She hates every Arrow looper except for Tennessee Tornado which we both think is great.

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Never got a chance to ride one of these, but it looks kind of cool.

 

I highly doubt it would be their final announcement because of it's past checkered history at their (then) sister park in Ohio, but I have to admit that it would be nice if they could get some unique, crazy flat ride like this.

 

I found it interesting that Intamin never made any more of these...anyone know if it was because the death at KI scared off other parks from purchasing one, the ride was a total maintenance nightmare, too many G-forces, or all of the above?

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Sky Pilot at KD.

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I didn't hate Anaconda but I'm a pretty tall guy and for some reason I never get much headbanging on arrows. About 10 years ago when I was still growing I hated them so I think my height plays a role.

 

I'm the same way. I'm 6 feet tall and I don't experience headbanging on Arrow coasters since my head is above the restraints. Anaconda is a fun ride in my opinion, and it could definitely use some TLC.

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Never got a chance to ride one of these, but it looks kind of cool.

 

I highly doubt it would be their final announcement because of it's past checkered history at their (then) sister park in Ohio, but I have to admit that it would be nice if they could get some unique, crazy flat ride like this.

 

I found it interesting that Intamin never made any more of these...anyone know if it was because the death at KI scared off other parks from purchasing one, the ride was a total maintenance nightmare, too many G-forces, or all of the above?

 

I had the chance to ride this back in the day. If I recall, they had a lever you could control the spinning motion of the car as the ride spins around. It did have ALOT of downtime, but I was fortunate to ride it each time I visited the park. MANY people just stood by to watch the ride, so the lines were never that bad at all. It was a fun ride-I actually missed it.

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The 12th Day of Christmas surprise was the already mentioned blue ice cream. It's only going to be sold at Sweet Tooth also, supposedly. They hardly saved the best for last. However, it's good enough for me.

 

Well, there could be a few disappointed folks out there who thought the 12th day announcement would be the blockbuster climax.

 

But, you did leave out the 2nd paragraph from today's Facebook announcement from Kings Dominion.

 

"Continue to watch our Facebook page this winter for "First on Facebook" news updates, surprise annoucements and special content related to the start of our 40th Celebration in April 2014!"

 

It looks like Kings Dominion is not quite finished with declaring all the 40th anniversary stuff for next year. Seems the public relations/marketing department will be teasing/baiting us for the next 3 months!

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I was at least hoping the park would announce a Christmas dvent to wrap up the season. Those events are becoming increasingly popular. If Knotts has a Christmas hit on their hands, I can definitely see more CF parks in good climates getting Christmas events to capitalize on their popularity.

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Never got a chance to ride one of these, but it looks kind of cool.

 

I highly doubt it would be their final announcement because of it's past checkered history at their (then) sister park in Ohio, but I have to admit that it would be nice if they could get some unique, crazy flat ride like this.

 

I found it interesting that Intamin never made any more of these...anyone know if it was because the death at KI scared off other parks from purchasing one, the ride was a total maintenance nightmare, too many G-forces, or all of the above?

 

Wasn't there another at Flamingo Land, UK?

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I had no KD was announcing all these cool little announcements to go with the 40th announcements. Curious to see how the new line will work on Volcano. I also want to eat some blue ice cream. I really like the direction the park is heading. That goes for all cedar fair parks next season. Bringing back the charm.

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So if this was really an "off year" for KD like that article about the Annual Report seems to say, I hope more Cedar Fair parks have off years, lol. What a great line up of small announcements. Not going to draw as many as a new coaster, but going to bring in a lot more people than not doing anything.

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So if this was really an "off year" for KD like that article about the Annual Report seems to say, I hope more Cedar Fair parks have off years, lol. What a great line up of small announcements. Not going to draw as many as a new coaster, but going to bring in a lot more people than not doing anything.

 

Ironically, the park probably will draw as many people in 2014 without a new coaster as a year where the park does install a new one. I'm sure there is a "little" spike in attendance when a new coaster premiers. But, my guess would be around 3% or less in total yearly attendance.

 

Most of that increase are folks who are not regular visitors or season pass holders. They visit when it is a major new ride or attraction that interests them enough to make the trek to the park that season. That spike in attendance will drop by more than half during the 2nd year of operations for the new ride/attraction. By the 3rd year of operations, the park attendance level is almost back to normal. I assume they might get a few thousand new regular visitors or new season pass holders from that spike. But, that would be like a .50% - .75% increase in total yearly attendance.

 

I'm sure any increase in attendance, at any of their parks, would make Cedar Fair happy. But, it would not be enough to install a major attraction in the park every other year or dump a dozen flat rides into a park in one season. It certainly did not work for the Six Flags chain.

 

Sources have stated that Cedar Fair's current operational philosophy is getting away from "chasing that coaster rabbit down the hole" in hopes of getting significant gains in attendance. Cedar Fair wants to hold on to and maintain their current market share and find ways to promote more spending from the guests they already have. And this is a trend that is happening across the U.S. Theme Park industry; SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has stated the same thing.

 

To me, that translates making places like Kings Dominion into more well rounded parks. Bringing back some of the theme elements and charm the park once had. Increasing and improving the live entertainment options at the park. Working on food quality and variety.

 

Don't get me wrong, rides & attractions, are still going to be the bread & butter for Cedar Fair. Major new coasters are still coming to Kings Dominion. I just don't think they will be installed every 3-4 years like they used to be; more like every 5-7 years. And Cedar Fair will fill in the gap with installations of medium-large flat rides, water park stuff, and maybe a mature dark ride like Canada's Wonderland's "Guardian"; and, yes, there will be "Off-Years" as well.

 

Your view on increasing attendance would be more appropriate during the 1970's and 1980's when there was explosive growth in Theme Parks in the U.S. That same explosive growth is what is now happening in China and other Asian countries as well as in some parts of the Middle East. The U.S. Theme Park industry is now mature and been stable for about 20 years. Currently, most major growth spurts have been the big players like Disney and Universal as they expand or makeover existing areas.

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Hmm, never really thought about it that way. Thanks for the info.

 

And as far as raising per cap spending, I am all for that. I think Universal has been a pioneer of this the last few years with Hogsmeade and Fast Food Boulevard. I would totally be behind the CF parks figuring out ways to add in well themed lands with themed food, drink, and retail opportunities. Obviously they aren't going to bring in the huge IP's like Universal, but neither did Disney back in the 50s and 60s.

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