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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

P. 767: WinterFest Media Night Report

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Regardless of all the disappointment and enthusiast entitlement currently happening in this thread, KD still has one of the best coaster lineups in the chain and undoubtedly the most intense giga in the chain (imo), so I can be patient and wait for a new coaster while I marathon backseat rides on I305 next summer.

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Lol,..after going back and reading some things in this thread, I don't think the 'enthusiast entitlement' claim applies. I believe most of the disgust is directed more at 'how' they announced for what was given. I really haven't heard the 'they were supposed to add', etc. My opinion is that this type of announcement didn't warrant the 'spectacle'. Some are upset about the teaser with Snoopy looking at plans with the coaster in the background. The teaser was probably met to mislead (get u thinking in the wrong direction) They got you..deal with it..lol... I'm man enough to say that they got me too. My hats off to them.

 

Bottom line is that they are going to pull some serious gate with family oriented stuff, especially with free 3-5 year old entry. People that would not have normally gone will go next year. Pairing the free pass with new family rides will be a hit. Family FTW; look how they cram into parks for holiday events, no matter the temp.

 

They still have I305, and my personal favorite: Volcano. Though, I still would ride everything, I actually could take a pass on most everything else.

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KD FANS MUST READ

 

Reasons to invest in families and kids;

 

1. Families come in larger groups then young adults and teenagers.

2. Families spend more money on tickets and food then young adults and teenagers.

3. Canada's Wonderland one of the chains biggest parks has had tremendous success with expanding the kids area to a very large extent so why not copy and paste?

4. Investing in families encourages repeats visits by these high average ticket spenders which in turn will eventually lead to large investments.

5. Yall started in the kids area at some point before coming to this forum and demanding coasters. Do you all want 5-10 million dollar coasters, or would you prefer the 30 million dollar ones?

6. Cedar Fair knows how to invest in the park beyond anyone on here. Stop trying to act like this is Roller Coaster Tycoon and you're in charge.. They have people in charge of studies and figuring out what's best. The fact that the park keeps growing, means they're doing their job well and to shut up and let them do their thang!

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It really seems like a great marketing strategy when you think about it.

 

I know that most everyone loves or wants to go to Disney, but let's face it...it can be a huge blow to the budget to get your family down for one visit per lifetime, let alone multiple visits. Simply stated, not everyone can afford it.

 

By CF gearing their parks towards lower (or free) ticket prices for kids and expanding their kids area(s), where do you think a lot of families are going to be planning their next summer vacation/theme park experiences? Throw in some online deals, coupons/groupons, family meal plans and hotel combos at a more reasonable rate and people will come whether there is a new thrill ride/coaster addition every year or not.

 

Granted, it still won't be cheap per say...but it will be cheaper (and closer) than any of the parks in Florida or California. And that certainly isn't a knock on the Florida or California parks because I personally love them ALL for what they are!

 

We have family that lives right outside of Richmond and for years, we have been going every year and splitting up time between both BGW and KD. Last year we went to BGW and by like 3:00, Michael's grandson was bored and wanted to go home because there really wasn't enough of a ride selection for him as he is scared to go on the coasters and some of the flats. He freaking LOVED Kings Dominion with their family friendly ride selection though, so where do you think that we'll be going when they do yet another expansion next year? Most likely KD, despite the fact that I would rather go to BGW myself!

 

I also think that RMC is coming to CF eventually, but people just need to be patient and trust the experts here...they know what they're doing!!

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TBH: Free admission to anyone 5 and under in an attempt to score per cap spending from the parents sounds like a desperation move. "We built rides for kids and not enough came. Double down!"

 

Go take a lesson in business and then come back. The park and Cedar Fair know what they're doing far better then you will ever grasp.

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TBH: Free admission to anyone 5 and under in an attempt to score per cap spending from the parents sounds like a desperation move. "We built rides for kids and not enough came. Double down!"

 

When I worked for a park, one of the biggest complaints we received was "I paid $XX.XX for my kid to get in and they're too small for everything!" I know, not the parks problem right? Well, this helps alleviate that. It's a good PR move and brings a lot of good will to families with small children. I wouldn't be surprised if this rolls out to more parks after a test year at KD. Most stroller age kids get in free anyways. This just expands that a little it now. They will still get cash from families buying food, merch, playing games, etc. It's kinda a no brainer.

 

But I do wonder where the cut off is. My nephew is 7 but isn't even 46" yet, while his step brother who is 9 is almost 60". Do parents have to supply a birth certificate? Honor system? If a 5 year old is 48" are they still required to buy a regular jr pass?

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^^You're talking to someone who understands the business side of the industry fairly well actually. Unlike with 99% of the people on this site when he posts about these types of things it's worth listening to. You don't have to agree but it's not like he's just spewing bull*** like just about everyone else does on a daily basis.

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This feels like one of those years where the park did one of those things they "Just had to do". It suprised me because of the presence of Hurler in the marketing and the semi recent expansion done a few years ago. Now I'm gonna whine and be pissed at the park all season, even though I realize it was the best thing to do.

 

Overall, I'm unhappy but understanding. I just want me a rollie coaster.

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And yeah on the subject of Kings Dominion, I know I said this a few pages back but I prefer it to KD and Carowinds and the section that really sells me is the area back by the flyers and flume and international street which is much nicer than the KI version. I guess I have a thing for trees which those other parks are lacking in and KD has a ton of. KD is very underrated in terms of aesthetics.

 

How do the flyers at KD compare to, say, the flyers at Carowinds? Those are the only ones I've been on. We are new to the whole flyer thing and SO was able to get some serious snappage at Carowinds. We'll be at KD this week and I'd like to try to get the hang of this mysterious snapping thing for myself, if KD's are possible to snap.

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Are we completely sure the park isn't in a holding pattern or were told by corporate that they had a good chance at getting what they wanted done to Hurler and so set up the separate reveal that happened yesterday, but were told at a late date that the Hurler mod was still not decided on or was a no-go this year?

 

I'm not asking this because I'm suggesting it happened. Genuinely curious, as I don't know if it could happen that way.

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This feels like one of those years where the park did one of those things they "Just had to do". It suprised me because of the presence of Hurler in the marketing and the semi recent expansion done a few years ago. Now I'm gonna whine and be pissed at the park all season, even though I realize it was the best thing to do.

 

Overall, I'm unhappy but understanding. I just want me a rollie coaster.

 

 

Yes! Exactly! You stole the words out of my mouth!

 

While Kings Dominion's coaster lineup is great,(Though not as good as BGW, imo) their lineup is starting to get stale.

 

Also...the kiddie expansion is REALLY small. 3 rides? Even if they did do a Snoopy expansion, why not add a Vekoma (or less likely, B&M) family invert or a Pipe Scream/Surf Dog/Northern Lights style-ride that they falsely advertise as a new coaster? They have a bit of space where either of those options could possibly fit. (I think, haven't really seen either of those kind of rides in a couple of years.)

 

And Kings Dominion is my (as of now) unchangeable home park*, and with its relatively large scale, I think that they should be getting a new coaster.

 

*(I can change my home park, if I ask my parents** to move because KD hasn't gotten a new coaster yet. Yeah, right.)

 

**(I<18 years old)

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While Kings Dominion's coaster lineup is great,(Though not as good as BGW, imo) their lineup is starting to get stale.

 

To me, Kings Dominion has one world-class coaster (I305), two very good coasters (Volcano and Dominator), one "interesting" coaster (Flight of Fear), and two decent woodies (Rebel Yell and Grizzly). Not a bad line-up at all.

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I still contend that Flight of Fear is awesome and I never understood why nobody agrees with me. I love that thing, it's probably my favorite indoor coaster in the U.S except maybe Mummy. Backlot is also a great family coaster as is Avalanche and I'm one of the eight people that actually likes Anaconda so it makes for a pretty killer lineup for me.

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I still contend that Flight of Fear is awesome and I never understood why nobody agrees with me. I love that thing, it's probably my favorite indoor coaster in the U.S except maybe Mummy. Backlot is also a great family coaster as is Avalanche and I'm one of the eight people that actually likes Anaconda so it makes for a pretty killer lineup for me.

 

No one agrees? I do. Flight of Fear is superb. In an earlier post, I actually forgot to put that with my must rides at KD. I wish they had enclosed Jokers Jinx too; still one of my favorites at SFA though.

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I'm in disbelief at how much some people's panties are twisted, geewilickers. Kings Island admitted to holding out a little on what else they have up their sleeve giving everyone the major Prowlerish announcement first and a second one to come later. Makes me ponder.

 

In any event any improvement is an improvement and is always welcome. And while most enthusiasts and some season pass holders don't always get the why to an improvement, there is always a bigger picture in play, and once that picture is put on display in the gallery, it becomes clear.

KD_More_Coming.JPG.01f535b640cf5af82e7fb23550bf2ccc.JPG

Edited by chadster
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TBH: Free admission to anyone 5 and under in an attempt to score per cap spending from the parents sounds like a desperation move. "We built rides for kids and not enough came. Double down!"

 

I wouldn't call it desperation. Desperation is lowering your prices all around like Hard Rock Park did in its dying days.

 

It is building goodwill and trying to gain customers for life versus a quick money grab. Families will feel better spending money on games and souvenirs for kids when they haven't already spent admission for the child. It also keeps families coming back year over year as the pre-K kids grow into larger rides. They have seen a ride for years they couldn't ride and they want to go back every year to ride more.

Edited by larrygator
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I still contend that Flight of Fear is awesome and I never understood why nobody agrees with me. I love that thing, it's probably my favorite indoor coaster in the U.S except maybe Mummy. Backlot is also a great family coaster as is Avalanche and I'm one of the eight people that actually likes Anaconda so it makes for a pretty killer lineup for me.

 

I enjoy Flight of Fear, too--but it can give you a good bone shaking from time to time.

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I still contend that Flight of Fear is awesome and I never understood why nobody agrees with me. I love that thing, it's probably my favorite indoor coaster in the U.S except maybe Mummy. Backlot is also a great family coaster as is Avalanche and I'm one of the eight people that actually likes Anaconda so it makes for a pretty killer lineup for me.

 

I enjoy Flight of Fear, too--but it can give you a good bone shaking from time to time.

 

Ha! Should've ridden it when they had over the shoulder restraints. It really sucked hard then.

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I wouldn't call it desperation. Desperation is lowering your prices all around like Hard Rock Park did in its dying dies.

 

It is building goodwill and trying to gain customers for life versus a quick money grab. Families will feel better spending money on games and souvenirs for kids when they haven't already spent admission for the child. It also keeps families coming back year over year as the pre-K kids grow into larger rides. They have seen a ride for years they couldn't ride and they wan to go back every year to ride more.

 

Theme parks are inherently money grabs. You don't usually start letting people of any class in for no money at all because you're seeing that demographic spike in interest. You do it because they aren't coming and you need to lure them in. Maybe it creates a consistent Kings Dominion consumer because that market is extra special different than any other in the chain, or maybe BGW is eating their lunch for families with young kids, and giving away the gate for 3-5 year olds is the best strategy they have right now to lure them over to Doswell. I'm guessing it is the latter. It makes a whole helluva lot more sense. And you do it for all the reasons previously prescribed over the last 15 years of "family ride" discussions on the internet.

 

Cedar Fair also did something comparable back in the Kinzel days when they dropped prices on some of the goods in park at Cedar Point like popcorn and cotton candy to ultra low levels. My recollection is that attendance fell that year and they never repeated it.

 

edit: In regards to market research, I'm sure a lot of people on their Facebook complain Kings Dominion costs money, as they do any service or product on the face of the earth. Additionally, if they went out to an market research/survey firm, paid 50-100K for them to look at what families wanted, and their consultants came back with "Make admission free and build more rides," I'd laugh my ass off. If I had to do everything all over again, I'd enter that industry and happily accept money to tell corporations incredibly obvious things.

Edited by DirkFunk
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I still contend that Flight of Fear is awesome and I never understood why nobody agrees with me. I love that thing, it's probably my favorite indoor coaster in the U.S except maybe Mummy. Backlot is also a great family coaster as is Avalanche and I'm one of the eight people that actually likes Anaconda so it makes for a pretty killer lineup for me.

 

I enjoy Flight of Fear, too--but it can give you a good bone shaking from time to time.

 

I like it too, but it's not tall person friendly. I have to really fold up my 6'4" frame to fit. Sometimes it's pretty uncomfortable.

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