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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread


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Honestly I think Cedar Fair is clueless. Number one, they are so conservative that it comes across as annoying. I think only making big investments in your top few parks is complete greed. Cedar Point getting a dive coaster? Really? 3 years after GateKeeper? The reason other parks don't get the attendance is because Cedar Fair won't allow them to. Six Flags knows how to distribute care fairly to their parks, and that's why we're seeing new coasters at places like Discovery Kingdom, Fiesta Texas, and Mexico.

 

Number two, they don't want to work with anybody except B&M, with the sole exception of GoldStriker. Yes, B&M is a fantastic company, but they are so expensive that you can only afford one coaster in the chain per year. RMC wants to work with Cedar Fair, but they won't let them. Intamin wants to work with Cedar Fair, but they won't let them. Even after seeing the success of coasters like Iron Rattler and Wicked Cyclone they won't work with anyone else. Not to mention CHEAPER!!!!

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As Robb stated earlier, its not just about the coasters. I can see why so many coaster junkies want their next "hit" and are agitated that Kings Dominion is going into their sixth year without a new coaster attraction. Yes, it is the longest gap in the park's history between coaster installations. But, on the the flip side, the park received Dominator and Intimidator 305 just TWO YEARS apart.

 

It's impossible to debate the fervent coaster enthusiast who goes to a park to spend 90% of their time there riding coasters and complains that the coaster line-up is stale and the park "needs" (i.e. "I want") another new coaster for the new thrill and to combat my "coaster boredom".

 

It today's amusement/theme park business, with the competition for people's money/time being so fierce, parks have to spend money across the board to improve all areas to appeal to the broadest cross-section of folks. Remember that Cedar Fair has undergone a transition in corporate management within the last 4 years. Dick Kinzel and around 50% percent of upper management have left; with Matt Ouimet and a good number of upper management now in place over the last 2-4 years.

 

I can see myself some general trends happening with the "Place Making" effort in parks, (Valley Fair's Route 76 area and Cedar Point's Gemini Midway makeover), and the "Amusement Dark" portfolio of dark rides being installed in the park chain. Food is being worked on in most parks with Chefs being hired over the last couple years and working toward better food quality and service. Improving/expanding entertainment options. Adding mini-events at parks like "Spring Bloom", "Taste of the Carolina's", BBQ & Brew, Food Trucks, etc. Lord knows the Halloween Haunt events have exploded across the park chain.

 

Kings Dominion is in the middle of the Cedar Fair group of parks. We don't get 3 million plus in attendance like the top 4 parks in the chain. I think it currently averages between 1.8 to 2.0 million visitors a year. In the whole history of this park, I don't think attendance ever exceeded 2.2 million visitors in one year. I do believe current average attendance is lower than its peak in the mid to late 1980's.

 

The attendance drop started after 2-3 years under Paramount ownership. Most entertainment in the park was eliminated (the park chain entertainment division Kings Production was removed). Most younger people don't understand that, back in the pre-Paramount days, the former KECO park chain was known as much for their entertainment as they were for rides and attractions. I think around 6%-8% of park attendance was driven just by the entertainment options alone. There were folks that visited mainly for watching shows while riding only a handful of rides. The closest you can come to that type of park entertainment today would be to visit a Busch Gardens or Herchend park.

 

While under the Paramount name, Kings Dominion's themed areas slowly eroded by neglect or placing attractions, with a movie tie-in, in park areas where they did not blend in with the existing theme. Themed areas, once distinct, blended in with a kinda "no man's land" look to it. The western end of Candy Apple Grove reminds me of this still. The last 3-4 years, before Cedar Fair took over, were not kind to Kings Dominion. The park was looking run-down and general maintenance was either put off or minimal work was done. I think the park received the reputation of being an "asphalt coaster park for teens" during this time and attendance slipped further.

 

Cedar Fair had their hands full just getting the park up to their standards over the first 3-4 years of ownership. But, they did keep adding attractions most of those years as well.

 

It appears that Matt Ouimet and the current corporate leadership are trying to fine tune each park based on its market region, competition, and what type attraction to add and how frequently that happens. The main focus has been to up-size parks in the chain that have the most potential for growth. Carowinds was under-sized for the market it serves. Cedar Fair got tax breaks from the regional governments and they started a 3 year accelerated development plan for Carowinds. That should wrap up next season with the water related attraction(s) for 2016.

 

For Kings Dominion, the current primary focus seems to be medium investments in new attractions while over-hauling the park's infrastructure, most of which is 40 years old. I think that started with "Place Making" efforts in the appearance of several areas in the park last year; the water park this year; and Candy Apple Grove next year. The mini-events were expanded/added with "Spring Bloom" last year and "BBQ & Brews" this year. Haunt is always evolving with new/revamped mazes and scare-zones each fall.

 

I think a new coaster is coming, and it could be in 2017. Other possibilities in the next 4 years could be a dark ride, the return of some former flat rides, or maybe another expansion of the water park.

 

 

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Carowinds was under-sized for the market it serves. Cedar Fair got tax breaks from the regional governments and they started a 3 year accelerated development plan for Carowinds. That should wrap up next season with the water related attraction(s) for 2016.

 

I truly believe the long term goal for Carowinds is Cedar Point South. And, as a result, KD could certainly be in for some leaner years ride addition wise. I think 5-7 years between big installations is going to be the norm as long as this management is in place. And frankly, imo, there is nothing wrong with that. A more complete park experience is the goal and I think every single Cedar Fair park I have visited in the last five years has achieved that.

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As Robb stated earlier, its not just about the coasters. I can see why so many coaster junkies want their next "hit" and are agitated that Kings Dominion is going into their sixth year without a new coaster attraction. Yes, it is the longest gap in the park's history between coaster installations. But, on the the flip side, the park received Dominator and Intimidator 305 just TWO YEARS apart.

 

It's impossible to debate the fervent coaster enthusiast who goes to a park to spend 90% of their time there riding coasters and complains that the coaster line-up is stale and the park "needs" (i.e. "I want") another new coaster for the new thrill and to combat my "coaster boredom".

 

I'm starting to find that this thread is getting just as bad as the VF and WoF threads. Every year it ends up with the fanboys complaining about wanting a new coaster. It's only been 6 years. At my home park, it has been 16 years since our last big coaster. I'm sure this thread will explode if the drought hits 10, let alone 16 years.

 

Delirium will be a great addition. The park isn't forgetting about thrill seekers. Shockwave is gone, but this will be a much more comfortable and re-rideable experience.

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We are lucky, but just don't want to see coaster reduction becoming a trend, hopefully it will be upgrade from here on out, even if slow. I totally admit wanting a new coaster is a "want".

 

Have to admit Delirium makes sense for The Grove aside from being less big (expensive) than a coaster replacement (it may be made up for soon enough though). Just like the I305 addition, it could be called a response to criticism, this time to settle the question of which park in the region has the best flat rides.

 

I'm pretty sure you'd get tired riding the same crap for six to seven years after a major ride was build.

 

I find the excitement of a new ride or a park for the first time, or for a long time, fades much more rapidly than that. I wouldn't want to stay all day at any park more than a few times a decade. However, for a shorter visit a park like KD is almost always enjoyable. The sheer number of different rides, esp. coasters, allows you to mix it up different ways every time. Any enjoyable ride contributes to that, even if the excellent ones are the stars. A "terrible" coaster in my local park is of more real interest and value to me than the ultimate coaster across the country that I'll never ride, even though knowing of such rides do cause desire.

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I think they're trying to update the park and make it nice FIRST then after that we'll probably see a new coaster.

 

It's already nice though. In fact it's probably the nicest Cedar Fair park behind Knott's.

 

I've heard some people mention something about some 40 year old outdated infrastructure or something.

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I think they're trying to update the park and make it nice FIRST then after that we'll probably see a new coaster.

 

It's already nice though. In fact it's probably the nicest Cedar Fair park behind Knott's.

 

I've heard some people mention something about some 40 year old outdated infrastructure or something.

 

Never heard that. Main complaint has always been asphalt ghetto for teens.

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^That was actually a pretty humorous read! Frankly, even though maXair is one of my favorite rides, I can't disagree with part about the OTS spike, and being blinded by the sun!

 

As for world record breaking coaster drought, MiA says hi...

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As for world record breaking coaster drought, MiA says hi...

 

What about this place?

 

I knew this post was coming!

 

I guess when a park in the same chain is a far better candidate, I don't worry about parks out of the country!

 

I think I'm continually surprised by this general feeling that KD has been slighted, when I see a park with some absolutely amazing coasters, including one of the best in the world! KD is going to get another coaster - and probably before MiA does! I would love to have KD be 2 hours away from me instead of MiA...

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They're not even close to as loud as Flying Dutchmans. I can't hear myself think on Firehawk at KI's lift hill.

I can't hear myself think within 3 acres of Goliath or Road Runner Express at SFFT (Goliath isn't even an Arrow)

Although I'm not surprised that Vekomas are loud. Just a Boomerang's catch car engaging sounds like a car wreck.

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Does anyone know the ride time for Delirium? I hope it's longer than Psyclone. According to Wikipedia, Psyclone's ride time is 1:58, in comparison to 2:30 for Delirium at Kings Island.

 

Wonderlands cycle is probably short for capacity reasons, I expect your's will be a bit longer. They are much more beautiful looking though just think of that positive

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Honestly I think Cedar Fair is clueless. Number one, they are so conservative that it comes across as annoying. I think only making big investments in your top few parks is complete greed. Cedar Point getting a dive coaster? Really? 3 years after GateKeeper? The reason other parks don't get the attendance is because Cedar Fair won't allow them to. Six Flags knows how to distribute care fairly to their parks, and that's why we're seeing new coasters at places like Discovery Kingdom, Fiesta Texas, and Mexico.

 

Number two, they don't want to work with anybody except B&M, with the sole exception of GoldStriker. Yes, B&M is a fantastic company, but they are so expensive that you can only afford one coaster in the chain per year. RMC wants to work with Cedar Fair, but they won't let them. Intamin wants to work with Cedar Fair, but they won't let them. Even after seeing the success of coasters like Iron Rattler and Wicked Cyclone they won't work with anyone else. Not to mention CHEAPER!!!!

 

What do you expect? it's cedar fair. Big parks like Cedar point, kings island, Canada wonderland, Carrowinds, and knotts seem to get all the special attention. Yes, Delirium is a great addition to the park, but with shockwave gone that just lowered our coaster count. I've been on the Canada wonderland part of the site and they're complaining about not getting a coaster while they just recently got a dark ride and getting 2 awesome flats next year. Until we get a coaster, people won't stop complaining on the forum. And Canada wonderland seems likely to get a coaster in 2017 so I guess that leave us until 2018 since cedar fair loves to give one park one big ride per year.

 

Now to change the topic once again, is anyone excited for delirium? I've always wanted to ride a frisbee ride.

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