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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread


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I don't think anyone realized that my pseudoscientific methods were intended as an exaggeration to show that KD, Valleyfair, and WoF are due for new coasters within the CF chain among others, and I was literally using division and subraction. Did you really think that an obsessed fan like me would actually have time to do legitimate math? I have enough Precalc homework as it is.

In all seriousness, however, I think that there's a consensus that in the next few years, unless Kings Dominion gets the Geauga Lake treatment (yikes!), which is unlikely due to attendance and proximity to DC, they will receive a large coaster of some sort. It's mind-boggling to me to think that Paramount put in coasters more consistently than Cedar Fair has.

 

P.S.

If you keep chasing the future you will miss out on the present
Hey man, don't hate on me for looking forward to Fury 666, Dorney's 2028 coaster
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It's mind-boggling to me to think that Paramount put in coasters more consistently than Cedar Fair has.

 

To be fair, the park only had 6 coasters when Paramount bought them. They added 7 (1 now closed). They had to do this to keep up with market area (It was almost the same thing with Carowinds). Of the 6 they put in still operating, only a couple are even really noteworthy: Flight of Fear & Volcano. The park already had 13 coasters when Cedar Fair took over. They closed one and added a decent used floorless and from my understanding a kick-@ss Intamin giga (hadn't been since CF purchased).

 

You have to remember as well that Paramount only had 5 parks...Cedar Fair has triple that if you include the separate ticketed waterparks. They don't need to add a coaster every year/every other year like Paramount needed to do to keep up. I think Cedar Fair knows what they are doing.

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I don't think anyone realized that my pseudoscientific methods were intended as an exaggeration to show that KD, Valleyfair, and WoF are due for new coasters within the CF chain among others, and I was literally using division and subraction.

 

I think these statements are why people thought you were being serious

 

I'm going to compile a list of when each CF park received its most recent or most recently upgraded roller coaster, along with each park's average interval for adding a new coaster, so we can get a better look at when to expect a new coaster at KD and other parks . . . . . . for most of the other parks this is fairly accurate. My system is unbiased and based upon park websites and simple subtraction. . . . . . Do you agree with all, most, or some of the list, or just think I spend too much time obsessing over KD and CF in general as a Platinum passholder? Let me know by quoting and replying below.

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[...] assuming parks are "due" for new coasters based on the time since the previous installation is a bad assumption. Many factors determine what is added to a park at any given time, as putting in a great attraction at the wrong time can be just as bad as not adding anything.

 

Having been to most of the Cedar Fair parks, I honestly think Kings Dominion has one of the best coaster collections in the chain. In fact, if a couple of the woodies received some significant trackwork and Shockwave was replaced, I'd say it would be second only to Cedar Point. Compare the park to it's competitors...other than perhaps Hersheypark, it's got them all beat. Now, I'm not saying the park wouldn't benefit from a new coaster, but I just don't see why it is in more need of one then somewhere like Worlds of Fun or Knott's Berry Farm (or any of Cedar Fair's other smaller properties, for that matter).

 

A good park is not just about the roller coasters. Cedar Fair knows this and they are doing what they feel is right for their parks. I'm sure Kings Dominion will get a big new thrill ride in the next few years, but until then just enjoy the park you've got. I'd trade my local Cedar Fair park (Knott's Berry Farm) for it.

 

I'd love to see KD do some major (total) maintenance or ride improvements instead of replacement, but doesn't seem to be their style. I think I305 was a short and long-term strategy, get the coaster first so to have time to do other things. I also think it may be the last coaster they add without replacing one. They're probably bracing themselves for "end of service lifetime" for Shockwave and Anaconda, but don't want to hurry it.

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The untold story of Diamond Falls: "In January of 1985 the Kings Dominion Maintenance and Construction department was drumming its fingers, wondering when the new ride was going to show up. It was like waiting for the pizza guy to deliver a $4 million pizza. The park had contracted with Intamin AG to construct and build a “spillwater” ride that was going to be placed in an unused corner of Lake Charles in the Congo area of the park and it was late.

 

The ride, going by the manufacturer’s name of “The Lost Diamond Mines of Zanzibar” straddled the family/thrill categories, and was running down to the wire. The lake had been drained, the footings had been poured and part of the station had been built. All that was needed was the ride.

 

Then, one day in late February, just as the park VPs were about to bust a blood vessel, several trucks showed up with huge chunks of galvanized steel strapped on them. The ride had arrived, and all other work stopped dead, with all park resources thrown into building and piecing together this weird hybrid in time for a March 30 opening – about 30 days away.

 

A steady parade of cranes, loaders and forklifts unloaded the pieces off the trucks, and teams of maintenance guys and contractors began piecing together parts of the ride in the parking lot. There wasn’t a lot to the ride: the lift hill was the most complex, with 3 steel sides and dual lift chains tied by lift boards that carried the boats up the hill. There was a topside trough that carried the boats through the treetops, then a “camelback” style drop that sent the boat with a huge splash into a runout, where the boat drifted through a “diamond mine” tunnel complete with a fiberglass dragon. Once through the “mine” the boat re-entered the station and unloaded.

 

Busch Gardens’ “Escape to Pompeii” is basically the same ride but with more extensive theming.

 

There was speculation that Intamin forgot about the ride then threw it together at the last minute. Many of us truly believed that scenario, as it quickly became apparent that hardly any of the pieces fit. Parts had to be forced to fit and holes had to be re-drilled. It was as if different departments at Intamin made individual pieces and never consulted with one another. Once sections were finally forced together they were carried down to the ride and set in place, where a whole another round of forcing, prying, reaming and re-drilling took place. Guys worked from 6 AM to 11 PM seven days a week to make it all fit.

 

28 days later, after being congratulated by the General Manager for the “Yeoman’s job” putting the ride up in time for opening, it was time for a test run. The ride worked on a reverse-vacuum principle: Lake Charles filled the ride naturally, then three large submerged pumps pumped water out of the ride, pulling the boats around through the diamond mine and into the station instead of pushing them. Another pump sent water up the hill to the trough to propel those giant heavy boats around the curve and down the drop.

 

When the ride was started the whole thing leaked like a colander. So much water ran out of the trough onto the ground it actually temporarily lowered the lake level. Everything was shut off for the final remaining days to plug all the holes and squeeze a thousand tubes of silicone around the upper trough especially.

 

With two days left before opening day a boat was put in the ride for cycling. The boats were massive, with four rows of 5 seats for 20 people. They had 4 giant rubber running wheels and smaller side (friction) wheels to minimize the side-to-side motion of the boat in the ride. The ride was started, the boat climbed the lift hill then squealed to a stop in the upper trough. The side wheels needed adjusting.

 

Once adjusted the pumps were restarted and the boat roared down the hill, losing a wheel and tearing up a bunch of guardrail in the process.

 

The ride was shut off and guys worked 24-hour shifts to get the guardrail fixed and the boat wheels reinforced, as it was obvious they were horribly insufficient to carry the crashing weight at that speed.

 

Opening day finally dawned. The ride opened on time at 10:30 and exactly one load of people rode it before a boat lost another wheel and the ride shut down the rest of the day.

 

Every new ride has opening day jitters, but Diamond Falls’ opening day problems and repairs were beyond the pale. The next month after that was spent making major modifications: Extra support columns had to be added under the upper trough because the weight of the boats made it sag to the outside. The water inside the upper trough was not turbulent enough to “kick” the boats around to the drop, so dozens of wooden weir strips had to be bolted to the trough floor.

 

It was discovered after a couple of cycles the boats accumulated so much lake slime on the bottom they would slide on the lift, so all 450-some boards had to be removed and thick rubber grips screwed on them. The boards – made from ultra-hard Bengasi wood – could not be cut or drilled with conventional saws and drill bits, so diamond-point drill bits and concrete saw blades had to be used. It was time-consuming, back-breaking labor.

 

It was also discovered after a few cycles that not only would the boat shear all the Volkswagen lug bolts that held the running wheels on, but would bend and break the side wheel brackets. Bolted brackets that held the seats started breaking. All had to be removed and modified.

 

After the splash, you drift.

Notice the King Kobra in the background and the boat on

the repair dock - a common sight.

Concrete had to be poured in the runout, an unloading dock was designed (by this writer) and built and the station drive units had to be extensively modified. It was like building 2 rides. And it didn't stop after the first year - every winter major modifications and improvements had to be made to keep the ride running just one more season. It seemed to get worse, not better.

 

All in all, thousands of man-hours were put into a ride that little more than splash riders and onlookers on the exit ramp with stagnant lake water. And, by the end of summer, everything in the station and especially underneath the station was so disgusting with mold and that lake slime that powdered lime had to be sprinkled to hold down the smell. The ride periodically became home to water snakes, and at least once a snake turned up in a boat full of guests.

 

Still, the ride is remembered fondly by those guests who stood on the exit ramp and waited to not just be splashed but deluged by the enormous splash generated by a billion-ton boat roaring down a hill. But to a bunch of exhausted and frustrated park employees and contractors, it was all a big yawn."

 

By: Dale Brumfield

10151274_395192180621539_7559997181233734587_n.thumb.jpg.a5099228167d180d37843e4879a565ab.jpg

Edited by KD Golden Years
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The ride periodically became home to water snakes, and at least once a snake turned up in a boat full of guests.

 

Holy crap, I never knew that.

 

That was a good read, I remember riding the ride back in 2001 the day after we went to Busch Gardens and thinking that the ride was a bit on the disgusting side (but like I said, we rode Pompeii the day before). I never really understood the cave at the end either. That ride always seemed a little odd. One thing that was kind of fun was standing exactly in the middle of the bridge though because you didn't get wet at all, but if you stood off to either side you were in for a soaking.

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That was an excellent read. I'm not sure, but I think that KD may still have some concrete footers from Diamond Falls under the Volcano.

 

Did anyone else think of this when they read about the snakes?

The ride periodically became home to water snakes, and at least once a snake turned up in a boat full of guests.

Holy crap, I never knew that.

929757-snakes-on-a-plane.jpg.eb22f049088d729c663b0293626f40eb.jpg

"Snakes on the Anaconda" sounds too redundant, but the old Arrow Looper is already a horror movie during normal operation - long ago abandoned and flat-out terrifying. I'm not sure, but I think that the coaster may cause permanent drain bamage.

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That was an excellent read. I'm not sure, but I think that KD may still have some concrete footers from Diamond Falls under the Volcano.

 

 

I think you're speaking of The Haunted River far as Volcano . I'm not sure, but there is some green remanence from Smurf Mountain left behind. Also, you can still see a few of King Kobra's framed footers under Anaconda's left.

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First of all, I would just like to say that I really like hurler and I don't understand how people don't like it. I mean it's fine it's not great but I don't want to tear it down. What I don't like is grizzly. It's boring and they CAN tear that down (for some new type of coaster)

Second of all in that diamond falls pic, aren't the 2 bridges in the same place generally? I think the lift was like the break run of backlot, then the drop was around the splash for backlot. Am I wrong?

3rd idk if I've said this befor on here, but it want them to connect the path from ricochet/hurler to the back of the water park. There's already a road there. Why not? It would make the wart park a loop instead of a dead end.

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^I thought the exact opposite. Hurler to me is boring, not much excitement, and I didn't want to ride it again. I felt the same way with the one at Carowinds. Both of them hurt too. Grizzly on the other hand was good I thought. I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would, plus got some big airtime heading into the tunnel which was unexpected. I would rather them bulldoze Hurler, keep Grizzly (maybe RMC it). Agree to disagree though right?

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I used to love Hurler. The trim brake they added for the 2010 season ruins the ride. They now bill it as a milder ride but it's not that comfortable. I think it's totally boring and it even loses so much momentum by the end I wonder for a moment if the train will complete the course. It may have hurt before, but it hurts me worse to see it like that. The wheel seats did cross the line, but then a lot of the best woodie experiences are with another row diverting the punishment away from yours.

 

I presume by RMC the Grizzly you mean their full treatment. I think it may be a little too good now to justify that. However, adding partial Topper Track to the Hurler would be one of the most cost-effective upgrades imaginable. 2 big, smooth fast banked curves replacing the jackhammers. Maybe even faster and more ejector through the bunny hops. The third elevated turn was never a big problem, and the last was one of the best profiled turns I can think of. It wouldn't be the best coaster in the park, but it would do its own thing, as intended by the designers, for the first time in company of a great coaster lineup.

(Yeah, I know I've said all that before.)

 

P.S. Diamond Falls story, amazing. I rode it and liked it but it was kind of scary, think I was too young to realize it wasn't really supposed to be like that.

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The untold story of Diamond Falls: (snip)

 

this is amazing, thanks for posting!

 

I remember when Diamond Falls was built. Since day one, I always thought the cave at the end was weirdly pointless. And I remember the three huge concrete silos underwater, you walked right by them in line, which must have been part of that reverse-vacuum pump system.

 

Amazing what a piece of crap the whole thing was from an engineering standpoint. Did Intamin even test the design? it sounds like there's no way any of the wheels and other components on those boats could have stood up to normal usage. And it sounds like the design of the trough and lift both had huge and obvious problems -- boats sliding down the lift, and the trough not being anywhere near water tight, to the point that it was draining the lake? crazy!

 

i didn't ride it very often (it was a pretty lackluster ride) but i probably wouldnt have ever ridden it if i knew how much jerry-rigging and re-engineering KD had done just to get boats to go around the dang thing without destroying themselves and the ride.

 

It is also pretty funny guests were volunteering to be completely drenched by stagnant lake slime, hahaha.

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Hmm--yeah, not a very cool move, KD Golden Years. Be sure to give credit where credit is due. (Or are you, in fact, Dale Brumfield?)

 

As for Hurler, it was a good, airtime-filled (believe it or not) ride. But it did not age well.

Edited by cfc
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Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion have sent us a joint press advisory regarding their upcoming announcement of a strategic marketing partnership between the two parks with details to be officially released on May 5th, 2015!

 

Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion are joining forces for the first time in 15 years to increase Virginia’s voice in the crowded Northeast tourism market. In partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Richmond Region Tourism and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, the parks will outline the plan for marketing the 75-mile corridor from Richmond to Greater Williamsburg as Virginia’s Gateway to Family Thrills.
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of course, we've already bought our "bounce" pass that gets us into BGW/WC/and Colonial Williamsburg for 7 days in a row. . .

 

but we haven't bought KD tixs yet.. maybe there will be an option to add in KD when we pick up our bounce pass.

 

guess we'll see!

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I am going to the park for the first time ever on July 25 which is a Saturday and I only got one day there because the next day I go to BGW, are the lines very crowded like I think they'll be and should I choose to go the Fast Lane route. I won't be going to the water park or any children rides, just the family and thrilling roller coasters, other types of thrill rides, and a few of the family rides.

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I am going to the park for the first time ever on July 25 which is a Saturday and I only got one day there because the next day I go to BGW, are the lines very crowded like I think they'll be and should I choose to go the Fast Lane route. I won't be going to the water park or any children rides, just the family and thrilling roller coasters, other types of thrill rides, and a few of the family rides.

It should be moderately crowded (typical for a summer weekend). Could you specify what "should I choose to go the Fast Lane route" means?

I don't think you'll need Fast Lane. Based on the fact that you seem to be out of town and have to be at BGW on Sunday, I'm assuming you have around eight to ten hours at the park. In that case, get there ~30 min early, even though you won't get Early Entry, and wait near the early entry gate to the right of the Dominator pavilion (Don't ride the Dominator first thing, as lines will accumulate quickly). Once normal ride operations begin at 10:30, go straight through Planet Snoopy (past Boo Blasters) to the Volcano, and ride that. Next, go ride I305 and hit Flight of Fear after that, to avoid lines. Ride the Backlot Stunt Coaster next - for some reason, this coaster has a considerable wait time on weekends, even though it has moderate capacity. The other stuff in the Congo (Anaconda, Avalanche, etc.) never draws more than a 15 min wait time, so go to the Grove and ride Drop Tower and Rebel Yell. Windseeker's worth the ride if you haven't been to a CF park before, Hurler's OK if you don't mind a pretty rough ride, and Grizzly is a little better than Hurler. (Note: to find Grizzly, you have to walk through the dinosaur gift shop - don't ask me, there's been some confusion recently). Later on, ride Shockwave and Boo Blasters or another smooth flat ride because Shockwave is a head-rattler, despite its fairly impressive airtime. When you have around an hour to an hour and a half left, queue up for Dominator, and call it a day.

Pro Tips:

1. Avoid Fast Lane, unless you want multiple re-rides. Fast Lane is usually not necessary unless you're planning to visit on the Fourth.

2. Don't buy Preferred Parking; KD's lot is well-designed and a short walk anyway. Buy parking online and save $5.

3. Avoid the "All Day Dining Plan", and KD combo meals in general (unless you're cool with paying $15 per meal). KD allows hand stamps and parking lot re-entry and provides pavilions outside the gates for outside food, so hit Martin's grocery store in nearby Ashland in the early AM and bring a cooler to pack lunch and dinner, or eat at one of the various fast food places nearby.

4. If you're going to buy ride photos, get the "All Day Photo Email Package" for $30 and get unlimited ride photos sent to your email from (I think this is the complete list: I305, Volcano, Dominator, Boo Blasters, and the Woodstock Expresss).

5. Don't bother packing $$$ for ride l ockers (for some reason, it changes the word without spaces to "fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo") - save it for BGW's mandatory l ockers and/or souvenirs. KD provides FREE article bins on every ride platform, a rare sight to behold.

 

All in all, enjoy your day at KD and your weekend of fun in the heart of Virginia! (Hope this miniguide helps).

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