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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

P. 767: WinterFest Media Night Report

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I'm super excited to be heading down to KD for the first time ever this coming Friday (18th). I wanted to ask you all if I should expect large crowds this late in August? Also would a Fast Lane Plus purchase be worth it? Even with lighter crowds I want to ensure I get to ride everything a bunch of times. Also, if I go with zippered pocket shorts for my wallet and phone, would they still make me get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo? How strict are they about loose articles?

 

But the most important question I have is: should I wait until later in the day when I305 has warmed up to ride? Or is it just as awesome in the morning as it is later in the day?

 

My only plan of attack is to get on Ricochet, Grizzly, Rebel Yell and Woodstock Express first, just to be done with them, then from there the Fast Lane Plus would get me on everything I wanted without worry for the rest of the day.

I wouldn't expect crowds to be too bad, since many local schools are heading back into session, although if you want to get re-rides on Volcano I would recommend a FL+.

 

KD is very lenient with its article policy; bring a string bag for your stuff and every dry ride has -free- article bins on the ride platform (this may change next year with Twisted Timbers, but enjoy it while it lasts). The only mandatory fluffy bunnies are in the waterpark, but cargo shorts should also be fine.

 

I would recommend jumping on I305 first thing in the morning to get a front-seat ride and a few rerides, since the front-row line is sequestered and inaccessible to FL+. I would also recommend jumping on I305 after dark for one of the best night rides ever. Have fun!

 

Hmmm, I hadn't even thought about certain sections of the train being inaccessible to Fast Lane users. That stinks about the front row being blocked. The last time I went to SFGAdv I bought the Gold Flash Pass which allows re-rides and all the ops were more than accommodating to put me in ANY row I wanted. I'd definitely spend the $$ at SFGAdv for another Gold Flash Pass if ever I return. Doesn't sound like KD offers that much freedom. I have new thoughts to ponder over the next few days. Thanks for the input @certifiedcoastergeek.

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^I doubt you'll need Fast Lane on a Friday. Remember to ride Volcano first, though.

 

You should be OK with zippered pockets.

 

As for I305, ride in the morning and later in the day, then decide for yourself.

 

Glad to hear my pockets and loose articles won't be an issue. I only go to parks with my wallet, phone and sunglasses. No need to weigh myself down with extra stuff I won't need.

 

I kind of want to save I305 as my finale coaster. I'm pretty sure I'll want to give it a good 5 - 10 re-rides in a row (if I can handle it). Volcano will probably be 3 to 4 re-rides and I've done Dominator back in it's Geauga days, so once or twice will satiate me there. Plus, I assume that once you ride I305 everything else at the park becomes crap, so culminating with I305 seems to be a logical choice for a first time visit.

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The last time I went to SFGAdv I bought the Gold Flash Pass which allows re-rides and all the ops were more than accommodating to put me in ANY row I wanted.

I'm sure that wouldn't hurt capacity at all for me and 3 friends to just camp in the front car of whatever ride we wanted for a half hour.

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Let me know about your thoughts on this, and feel free to roast my math!
You didn't account for the fact that the lift hill can be a block section. Once one train clears the apex, the second can be dispatched. That won't double capacity, but it will improve it.
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^I doubt you'll need Fast Lane on a Friday. Remember to ride Volcano first, though.

 

You should be OK with zippered pockets.

 

As for I305, ride in the morning and later in the day, then decide for yourself.

 

Glad to hear my pockets and loose articles won't be an issue. I only go to parks with my wallet, phone and sunglasses. No need to weigh myself down with extra stuff I won't need.

 

I kind of want to save I305 as my finale coaster. I'm pretty sure I'll want to give it a good 5 - 10 re-rides in a row (if I can handle it). Volcano will probably be 3 to 4 re-rides and I've done Dominator back in it's Geauga days, so once or twice will satiate me there. Plus, I assume that once you ride I305 everything else at the park becomes crap, so culminating with I305 seems to be a logical choice for a first time visit.

 

That's a risky strategy. I made the mistake on my one-and-only visit to KD of waiting 10min too long to get to Hypersonic XLC. It broke down and never reopened throughout the day. Obviously I will never get the chance to get that experience again. I would strongly reccomend hitting I305 shortly after Volcano and maybe FoF.

 

I will be visiting in 1.5 weeks for the first time in 12 years. I will be staying basically on property at the Centerstone Inn. I am very excited to see what CF has done with the park and cross I305 off my bucket list.

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I don't know why we're worried about capacity. Unless it's a Haunt Saturday, this place never gets that slammed. Volcano, Backlot, Flight of Fear, Ricochet and Avalanche all have extremely low capacity too and wait times aren't usually that excessive. RMCs have perfectly adequate capacity.

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^^--Yeah it may be overcrowded at first -- so was Hurler originally -- if so just give a few months or a year. I305 was wonderfully free of opening mobs, but that has higher capacity and people were afraid of it. Still, I noticed at SFNE that the lines for Superman were longer than for Wicked Cyclone, newness goes away fast. OTOH the whole park should be more crowded next year, but they need it, June was a ghost town. This definitely moves KD way up on enthusiasts' lists for sure -- maybe even above CP if they weren't doing anything new there, which of course couldn't be allowed.

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Yeah I personally know a bunch of people who can't handle I305. I love it but one day when I rode it 5 times in a row I needed a break after the 5th time. A ride op told me once about a guy that literally rode it 92 times in one day. I'm wondering how that man is still alive at this time......

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A friend of mine invited me to Kings Dominion next week. How are the crowds like during the weekends in mid-August? Any tips on how to get on most of the coasters without the use of FastLane? He hasn't been to KD and wants to knock off Volcano and I-305 off the bucket list. How's it like on Sundays?

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A friend of mine invited me to Kings Dominion next week. How are the crowds like during the weekends in mid-August? Any tips on how to get on most of the coasters without the use of FastLane? He hasn't been to KD and wants to knock off Volcano and I-305 off the bucket list. How's it like on Sundays?

 

I recently visited Kings Dominion on a Saturday and Sunday, and crowds were perfectly manageable. Volcano can get crowded, so try to hit that first (even better, take advantage of ERT if you're eligible). The rest of the rides should have manageable waits, with none being longer than maybe 30 minutes. I'm sure by mid-August, when some schools are back in session I assume, it will be even less crowded.

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^^ I gone mostly on Sundays for the past 5 years or so and the crowds aren't bad. Get to the park for opening, or earlier, and go directly to Volcano. Don't be enticed by Dominator just yet. If you hustle to Volcano first thing you can get several rides with little or no wait. ( and your pick of front or back seats) Sundays tend to be slow in the AM as it seems most people in the area go to church or something first, leaving the park pretty quiet until 1 or so.

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I'm super excited to be heading down to KD for the first time ever this coming Friday (18th). I wanted to ask you all if I should expect large crowds this late in August? Also would a Fast Lane Plus purchase be worth it? Even with lighter crowds I want to ensure I get to ride everything a bunch of times. Also, if I go with zippered pocket shorts for my wallet and phone, would they still make me get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo? How strict are they about loose articles?

 

But the most important question I have is: should I wait until later in the day when I305 has warmed up to ride? Or is it just as awesome in the morning as it is later in the day?

 

My only plan of attack is to get on Ricochet, Grizzly, Rebel Yell and Woodstock Express first, just to be done with them, then from there the Fast Lane Plus would get me on everything I wanted without worry for the rest of the day.

I wouldn't expect crowds to be too bad, since many local schools are heading back into session, although if you want to get re-rides on Volcano I would recommend a FL+.

 

KD is very lenient with its article policy; bring a string bag for your stuff and every dry ride has -free- article bins on the ride platform (this may change next year with Twisted Timbers, but enjoy it while it lasts). The only mandatory fluffy bunnies are in the waterpark, but cargo shorts should also be fine.

 

I would recommend jumping on I305 first thing in the morning to get a front-seat ride and a few rerides, since the front-row line is sequestered and inaccessible to FL+. I would also recommend jumping on I305 after dark for one of the best night rides ever. Have fun!

 

Hmmm, I hadn't even thought about certain sections of the train being inaccessible to Fast Lane users. That stinks about the front row being blocked. The last time I went to SFGAdv I bought the Gold Flash Pass which allows re-rides and all the ops were more than accommodating to put me in ANY row I wanted. I'd definitely spend the $$ at SFGAdv for another Gold Flash Pass if ever I return. Doesn't sound like KD offers that much freedom. I have new thoughts to ponder over the next few days. Thanks for the input @certifiedcoastergeek.

 

Its not that certain sections of I305 are inaccessible to Fast Lane users, its that the line for the front row gets so long by mid day, it can be 20+ riders long while other rows are a walk on or one - two train wait at the most. FL for I305 dumps you out at the back row. You can still access the front row, you may just have to weave around other riders and back track through the queue to get there.

 

As Chuck mentioned, you really shouldn't need Fast Lane on a Friday in late August. I would hit the park and see how the crowds are before purchasing. KD might have one train ops on all coasters if it anticipates light crowds, so that could increase wait times. I would hit Volcano first (sometimes it opens later than 10:30am, FYI), then I305 for Front Row and a couple of rerides, then FoF, BLSC, then I would hit the rest of the park and return to I305 later in the day. Unfortunately, the park closes at 8pm this Friday, so night rides on I305 won't be possible.

 

Have fun!

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Well THIS is a very interesting leak indeed, but f*ck the RMC, I want to talk about Winterfest!

 

Normally I have a pretty good general idea of how these things will be laid out, but I'm stumped on this one. There are so many options here and I really have no clue what they're going to do. They'll want to cut off certain areas of the park so they don't have to staff and decorate them, but it's hard to say what areas those will be.

 

What's obvious is that Planet Snoopy and the main midway will be open. I'm sure they'll do exactly what Kings Island is doing and have ice skating in the fountain area and decorate the Eiffel tower.

 

Other than that though, where do they go?

 

At first I thought Old Virginia would be closed for sure, but there's a major problem with that and that's that their only indoor, heated show venue is over there and that's presumably where they'll host their main holiday show. Once you open that, you might as well go all the way back to Candy Apple Grove and you sort of open Pandora's box at that point because there's no easy way to cut the path.

 

So what do they run? Grizzly is easy to cut off and they probably will, but do they run Rebel Yell? Do they run Ricochet? Twisted Timbers (it's tempting to go back that way because it gives you another indoor, temperature controlled dining location)? Then you go the other way and Drop Tower, the swings, bad apple and Delirium are sort of a given. The rides in that area all have awesome light packages and in some cases had their light packages upgraded... that doesn't seem like a coincidence now that we know they were thinking about Winterfest. What about Dominator? It's right up front but they COULD cut it off if they wanted (and they might since they have to open all of this other stuff, plus it cuts off that impossible-to-decorate path behind the kids area).

 

I honestly don't see how they can do this without opening basically the entire park except for Safari Village (where I305, Flight of Fear, Avalanche, Volcano, Anaconda and Backlot Stunt Coaster are). When I first heard about this I figured they would just open the main midway, Planet Snoopy, Berserker and Dominator and call it a day but the location of their theater is almost forcing them to make this a really ambitious project and open a huge chunk of the park. We were all kind of suprised when they didn't announce this last year but looking at the likely scope of the project I'm starting to understand why it took them so long to pull the trigger on it. I can't wait to see what they do.

Edited by coasterbill
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I think most of the rides could be open during Winterfest. I think Twisted Timbers and Rebel Yell are most likely to be open. Anaconda 100% won't be open.

 

Theoretically the entire park "could" run most days with daily average highs like this but it's a guarantee that a lot of the park will be closed based on the need to cut costs on decorating, staffing and overhead to make the event viable. They'll also have a tough time staffing the event (as most parks do).

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Analysis of KD's Winterfest potential offerings.

 

See, I was thinking more like the attached map (red areas are closed, green circled rides are open).

 

KDWinter.thumb.jpg.c5da0c29c0bc5f0c7f573c6cb8a64a36.jpg

 

From the Tower, keep the Right side of the park open for the theater and Blue Ridge Tollway (they do a great Haunt with this and they could do a great drive-through light display too). Keep the path open up to the Carosel and Ferris Wheel (and keep these running) so you don't dead end, but obviously everything else (Grizzly, Skyfler, Windseeker, GoKarts, Ricochet, Rebel Yell) stays closed.

 

Everything else in Candy Apple Grove stays closed. Going Left from the Tower, keep the entierty of Planet Snoopy Open and then select rides in Safari Village (thinking Avalance, I305, Backlot, Crypt and the Scrambler), and Dominator too for good measure.

 

I think that would leave them with a good variety of intensity of rides while still closing off almost half the park to reduce staffing/decorating needs.

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Analysis of KD's Winterfest potential offerings.

 

See, I was thinking more like the attached map (red areas are closed, green circled rides are open).

 

[attachment=0]KDWinter.jpg[/attachment]

 

From the Tower, keep the Right side of the park open for the theater and Blue Ridge Tollway (they do a great Haunt with this and they could do a great drive-through light display too). Keep the path open up to the Carosel and Ferris Wheel (and keep these running) so you don't dead end, but obviously everything else (Grizzly, Skyfler, Windseeker, GoKarts, Ricochet, Rebel Yell) stays closed.

 

Everything else in Candy Apple Grove stays closed. Going Left from the Tower, keep the entierty of Planet Snoopy Open and then select rides in Safari Village (thinking Avalance, I305, Backlot, Crypt and the Scrambler), and Dominator too for good measure.

 

I think that would leave them with a good variety of intensity of rides while still closing off almost half the park to reduce staffing/decorating needs.

 

This looks highly plausible. I think TT will be open too.

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Wait, so Intimidator 305 is running but the temperature controlled, indoor launch coaster right in front of it that could run in all weather is closed for a Christmas event in Virginia? I'm confused.

 

Also one thing to remember about these events is that the core demographic is families. I'd love I305 night rides in December more than anything in the world, but I think opening the grove and closing safari village makes way more sense, especially because it's easier to cut the path off. Rides like the Troika and swings would be really popular during this event and require way less staffing than something like I305. Your plan would also require an unbelievable amount of temporary walls / fencing. Generally they try to cut off paths where it's easy to do so.

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Wait, so Intimidator 305 is running but the temperature controlled, indoor launch coaster right in front of it that could run in all weather is closed for a Christmas event in Virginia? I'm confused.

 

Sounds weird, but yeah. FoF has an additional staffing requirement of two due to its separate unload platform, and is of similar intensity to Dominator.

 

Also one thing to remember about these events is that the core demographic is families. I'd love I305 night rides in December more than anything in the world, but I think opening the grove and closing safari village makes way more sense, especially because it's easier to cut the path off. Rides like the Troika and swings would be really popular during this event and require way less staffing than something like I305. Your plan would also require an unbelievable amount of temporary walls / fencing. Generally they try to cut off paths where it's easy to do so.

 

You may well be right, families are a big draw. But with your plan, considering Twisted Timbers likely won't be open for this winter, that leaves families and holiday enthusiasts as the only draw since there are one or two adult-sized coasters left open.

 

Either way, I agree, it will be interesting to see what they do.

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