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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

P. 766: Haunt Has Risen from the Grave

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Going back a few post I noticed discussion on the smaller crowds at KD. I was curious to what people thought because Ki has been more crowded this year than I can remember. I know there is a shiny new coaster but I don't think that is the primary reason. Is KD not crowded because of BGW? I was shocked that coasters were walk ons with 1 train ops. For the last couple of years at KI they run full train operations and usually have at least 10 minutes wait. Any theory on why KI has a larger crowd when the parks are very similar? Any concern about KD with the smaller crowds?

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Crowds have been a issue for a few years now. Outside of the normal busy Saturdays(occasional Sunday I think most days are pretty much walk on. I have been numerous times over the past few years since since i305 was added and I rarely see much of a line for it. Most of the time its one train operations. I would be curious to know what the attendance numbers have been over the last few years because I'm guessing it's been on a steady decline. Don't get me wrong it's great for those of us who enjoy walkins but I am concerned about the long term viability of the park. I'm sure it will have an impact on what type of future investments the park will have in the near future. You take parks like CW, KI and CP (huge attendance) they will continually invest heavily in those parks. CW is already rumored for another coaster next year.

 

I can remember the glory days of this park and waiting 2+ hours to ride RY, 2+ for KK, Haunted River, Safari Tram, ETC. Literally elbow to elbow walking down Candy Grove. I would love to see this park thrive in the future and return to its former glory.

 

I truly don't think BGW is impacting attendance. They have been battling each other since the mid-70's and both have always done well and both parks cater to a different class of people. Enthusiast will choose KD and Families will choose BGW. BGW is also a travel destination where as KD is just and amusement park.

 

just my 2 cents

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So, Medieval Macabre is out?

 

Yes, getting replaced by the return of "Maze of Madness" to celebrate the 40th Anniversary. We're still waiting to hear how they're going to tweak Miner's Revenge to make it non-offensive as there's rumors the name and anything miner related are out.

 

As far as attendance goes, I was just at KD and BGW the same day on Tuesday. If I had to guess both parks had roughly the same amount of people, if not slightly more at KD. What many people don't realize at KD is the fact that many people are very hidden in the back portion of the water park, especially in the wave pools. This is why KD is and needs to invest in the water park next season, it's one of the most popular attractions and can people shoulder-to-shoulder crowded on the hottest days of summer.

 

To put this past Tuesdays wait-times in comparison:

BGW

Griffon, Alpengeist, Verbolten - all walk-ons

Apollo's Chariot - 5 mins

LochNess Monster - 10 mins

Flats - 0-1 cycle wait

Shows - decent crowds

KD

Coasters not listed - walk-on to 1 cycle wait

Flight of Fear, Dominator - 10 mins

Intimidator 305 - 15 mins

Volcano - 30 mins

Flats - 1-2 cycle wait

Shows - decent crowds

 

Also, remember that some Virginia schools are already back in session even though we do have the Kings Dominion Law.

Edited by Intimidator305
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Hey guys,

 

If you've learned anything about me is I'm a strange bird. I'm in love with amusement park nostalgia. Seeing things from the past come back to an amusement park gives me the fuzzies. Like nuts.

 

Why am I saying that? Because I'm very proud of KD for bringing back the past this year. The singing mushrooms are giving me the fuzzies and the flower clock is just outstanding. A SFI park wouldn't do that. Kudos Cedar Fair!

 

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Crowds have been a issue for a few years now. Outside of the normal busy Saturdays(occasional Sunday I think most days are pretty much walk on. I have been numerous times over the past few years since since i305 was added and I rarely see much of a line for it. Most of the time its one train operations. I would be curious to know what the attendance numbers have been over the last few years because I'm guessing it's been on a steady decline. Don't get me wrong it's great for those of us who enjoy walkins but I am concerned about the long term viability of the park. I'm sure it will have an impact on what type of future investments the park will have in the near future. You take parks like CW, KI and CP (huge attendance) they will continually invest heavily in those parks. CW is already rumored for another coaster next year.

 

I can remember the glory days of this park and waiting 2+ hours to ride RY, 2+ for KK, Haunted River, Safari Tram, ETC. Literally elbow to elbow walking down Candy Grove. I would love to see this park thrive in the future and return to its former glory.

 

I truly don't think BGW is impacting attendance. They have been battling each other since the mid-70's and both have always done well and both parks cater to a different class of people. Enthusiast will choose KD and Families will choose BGW. BGW is also a travel destination where as KD is just and amusement park.

 

just my 2 cents

 

Most of the time, you cant just eyeball attendance levels. So much more goes into it than simply how long the lines are (which, in my experiences, are actually pretty healthy...sure, Intimidator is often dead but Flight of Fear and Volcano consistently draw large waits anyway).

 

First off, you have to consider the capacity for the park to handle people. KD has 14 roller coasters...thats quite a bit more than the average park. And their flat ride selection isnt half bad either. So when youve got a ton of rides to disperse the crowds over, crowds are going to seem lighter. Sure, KI and CP have more rides and more crowds, but KI draws from a larger population of people and CP is an anomaly in that its a destination regional amusement park. A more fitting comparison would be something like SFA...similar location, but even lower crowds and less rides to put people through. Heck, even look within Cedar Fair; do Dorney, WoF, or VF draw monster lines for their big rides? Not really, and, once again, they have less rides to even people out.

 

Another thing to consider is the guest behavior at KD. Revenue doesnt come solely from ticket purchases. Cedar Point announced that guest spending was up, increasing their revenue despite a dip in attendance. If KD's guests are spending, then the park may be in very good shape as far as revenue is concerned.

 

I wouldnt worry about Kings Dominion, unless theres some hard evidence out there that its struggling. But you cant just look at a queue line and question the parks viability.

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Hey guys, just need some info real quick. I am traveling to KD for my first time and I was wondering:

1. What are the Sunday crowds normally?

2.What happens when the rain comes? Like, what shuts down...ETC.

3. Lastly, what order should I do the park in? Intimidator and Volcano are musts.

Thanks for the help!

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Sunday crowds can be a hit or miss, but mornings after church are usually dead.

I have not experienced a rainy day this season, there may be one when I go tomorrow, so it will be an experience.

Hit these first:

Volcano

FOF

I305

Backlot

Dominator (afternoon, evening only!)

 

Any flats, and other coasters can be hit in any order.

Hope this helps, this is just from my experience.

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I think that the line verses crowd issue would be solved if it weren't for the waterparks. I know Hershey rarely has any lines for their rides (during the day) but just look at the mass of people in the waterpark, and all of the cars in the lot. I think the same holds true for KD, If you take out the waterpark, the lines for the rides would be long all day.........kinda like Haunt times when the waterpark is closed.

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I spent yesterday at Kings Dominion on a trip that was postponed from June due to car problems, and I must say that the park did almost everything right for its 40th anniversary. Matt Ouimet continues to prove he has a certain knack for saying "yes" to all the right ideas.

 

It was great to have the singing mushrooms back, and the Candy Apple Grove signs were spot on. The return of Safari Village was fun, and the fountains on International Street looked awesome. The KD40 show was good (and, unlike Kings Island's 40th anniversary show, park specific and air conditioned... though they should have better proofed the park factoids that aired prior to the performance -- I spotted two typos), and I loved the historical displays inside the entrance gift shop (especially the original figure from Journey to the Land of Dooz). After having been denied by my parents two decades ago, I even finally was able to get a blue ice cream cone (though it didn't have much flavor, and the portion size was completely out of control). My biggest regret is missing the Clown Band, which is off on Thursdays.

 

My one complaint is the lack of quality 40th anniversary merchandise. Maybe it was there earlier in the season, and I just missed it? All I could find were some expensive cups and a few T-shirts featuring the mushrooms. I read online that there were commemorative pins, but aside from a framed set in one of the displays, I couldn't find any. During Kings Island's 40th anniversary season, I bought a throwback T-shirt with the park's original logo; I was hoping they would do the same thing for Kings Dominion, but I didn't see any. A 40th anniversary pressed penny would have been nice (I got one of them made during Kings Island's 40th, as well), but again if there was one available, I never saw it... and I was looking.

 

I also was hoping (though not expecting) for some additional singing mushroom merchandise, specifically maybe some plush. I saw one plush mushroom in one of the displays, but none for sale. Since all of the mushrooms' songs are either park specific or old (public domain) standards, it seems like it would be easy to issue a CD with all the songs (I have one from Monster Mansion at SFOG). There also was a video playing in the display with original park commercials and interviews with early executives that seems like it would have made a very nifty souvenir DVD, again at almost no extra cost since the source material was already there. But again... no such luck.

 

One more observation: If you've never ridden Boo Blasters on Boo Hill without shooting, as if it were a regular dark ride, there are some fun dialog and animation surprises in there that you've probably never noticed before. Not sure if most of it was there before the post-Scooby Doo re-theme or not.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have an all new Haunt website this year - and it's finally live!

https://www.kingsdominion.com/things-to-do/halloween-haunt

 

Quick Notes:

1.) I love the return of Maze of Madness - I feel like it's going to be No Vacancy/Zombie High attention to detail and a great facade.

2.) No replacement for Miner's Revenge? Wonder if they just haven't released it yet or nothing is actually happening, which would be rather disappointing because of the idiotic protestors.

3.) No new scare zones... kind of a bummer to me

4.) Only 3 shows? Not even one listed in the KD Theater or Grand Bandstand. I feel like this the show names/logos of the shows aren't complete yet and that's why they aren't on the website yet.

 

Keep in mind, the website hasn't been released to the public yet (only accessible if you truly hunt for it) and could very well still be a work in progress.

 

Anyways, I'll be doing my last pre-Haunt trip to the park tomorrow. I'll post an update of how Haunt construction is going and if I hear any rumors.

cf_darknessasylum_interiorpage1.jpg.8fbbabcffe582b15be057ec29c46f2a6.jpg

Edited by Intimidator305
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great photo! Man I wish KD did behind the scenes tours. I would LOVE to talk a walk back to i305 or Volcano and get some photos and videos of the trains whizzing by.

 

So do I! I feel like with the park becoming more and more guest-friendly, it could happen eventually.

 

Also, update to the Miner's Revenge rumor - on top of the protestors last year, now Virginia's new ADA laws may not even be allowing the park to have a maze in the WWC line. Even though it was always a weaker maze no matter the theme, it's always a disappointment to lose a maze. I guess that just means more monsters everywhere else!

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great photo! Man I wish KD did behind the scenes tours. I would LOVE to talk a walk back to i305 or Volcano and get some photos and videos of the trains whizzing by.

 

So do I! I feel like with the park becoming more and more guest-friendly, it could happen eventually.

 

Also, update to the Miner's Revenge rumor - on top of the protestors last year, now Virginia's new ADA laws may not even be allowing the park to have a maze in the WWC line. Even though it was always a weaker maze no matter the theme, it's always a disappointment to lose a maze. I guess that just means more monsters everywhere else!

 

What protesters last year?

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^ On top of many complaints on their Facebook page saying they'd never return to the park again, it made local news all across the region.

 

www.wsls.com/story/23797028/miners-union-va-theme-park-attraction-an-insult

 

Americans are more sensitive than Canadians. This maze made a long-run at Wonderland.

 

Ah, now I remember. Although wasn't that maze protested in part because there was a deadly disaster at a mine not to far away?

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^ On top of many complaints on their Facebook page saying they'd never return to the park again, it made local news all across the region.

 

www.wsls.com/story/23797028/miners-union-va-theme-park-attraction-an-insult

 

Americans are more sensitive than Canadians. This maze made a long-run at Wonderland.

 

Ah, now I remember. Although wasn't that maze protested in part because there was a deadly disaster at a mine not to far away?

 

Yeah, the whole brouhaha was pretty dumb. Hell, Black Diamond at Knoebels is themed to coal-mining disasters and no one batted an eye about it.

Edited by cfc
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Highlight of my trip to Kings Dominion today: Getting on White Water Canyon in the pouring rain, turning to the man pressing the buttons and asking, "Excuse me, how wet do you get on this ride?" The death glare he gave me was priceless.

 

It was my first time at the park. Anaconda was down, but I'm not missing out on much when it comes to an old Arrow, am I?

 

+ Intimidator 305 might be my new favorite. I'll have to ride Millennium Force again to be sure, but I might just be in love.

 

Volcano rocked. Grizzly was much better than I expected. I accidentally punched myself in the face while riding Shockwave... it's a Togo. Sh!t happens. This park is very well rounded, and honestly I didn't think the water park was half bad. It was also virtually empty, so I could have just gotten a good impression of WaterWorks...

 

Overall, good day. I've been going to Kings Island my entire life, so it was an interesting experience. I can't wait to go back!

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Highlight of my trip to Kings Dominion today: Getting on White Water Canyon in the pouring rain, turning to the man pressing the buttons and asking, "Excuse me, how wet do you get on this ride?" The death glare he gave me was priceless.

 

It was my first time at the park. Anaconda was down, but I'm not missing out on much when it comes to an old Arrow, am I?

 

+ Intimidator 305 might be my new favorite. I'll have to ride Millennium Force again to be sure, but I might just be in love.

 

Volcano rocked. Grizzly was much better than I expected. I accidentally punched myself in the face while riding Shockwave... it's a Togo. Sh!t happens. This park is very well rounded, and honestly I didn't think the water park was half bad. It was also virtually empty, so I could have just gotten a good impression of WaterWorks...

 

Overall, good day. I've been going to Kings Island my entire life, so it was an interesting experience. I can't wait to go back!

 

Nice! I'll be there later this afternoon so hopefully crowds are still fairly light.

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I had a good time at the park yesterday. Crowds were fairly light and I got on most of the rides in 5 hours. Anaconda was still down. I didn't see anyone working on it though. The highlight of my visit had to be getting the last ride of the night on Volcano in the front seat. The second we were dispatched, it started pouring which made it an interesting ride.

 

Speaking of Volcano, how long ago did they reroute the station and change the side that you load on? Last time, you had to wait in that long ramp inside the structure, but this time the entire wait outside of choosing a seat was outside the volcano. The trains are also loaded in the same spot that they are unloaded now instead of being done in two separate spots. Did the park do this to prevent employees from having to wheel the carts with guest items to the unload area or do you think they may be planning on doing something like Wonder Mountain? The Smurf Mountain station is still standing if they plan to use it.

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