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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread


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Well, I just got back from a quick 3.5-hour jaunt into KD to check out their Winterfest offerings this year. Fun fact: I spent literally double the time driving to and from the park than I actually spent in the park. Anyway, photos will follow in another post, but here are some observations, mainly in comparison to last year:

 

The good:

-Kudos for them offering Fast Lane, and making it valid on almost every adult ride that was open. Bonus points for the "Season Fast Lane" still counting (even though it was only $35).

-As a result, I got on the following rides in that 3 and a half hours:

3x Twisted Timbers (2x front, 1x back)

1x Dominator

1x Wave Swinger

1x Bad Apple (Trokia)

1x Blue Ridge Tollway (their drive-'em-cars that they decorate the path to the 12 Days of Christmas)

-Kudos to the park for opening Twisted Timbers instead of Racer '75. The 45-minute standby line at 7 PM, while people were still pouring into the park, should be a clear indication that this event draws more than the families they target.

-No one seemed to notice that Fast Lane was an option - I saw literally no one else utilize it while I was there. Did I feel like a little bit of a dick cutting in front of 30 minutes worth of families at the Wave Swinger? Sure, but I gotta get my money's worth on the Season Fast Lane.

-Surprisingly cheap ($7) three-cheese Grilled Cheese from what appeared to be a KD-operated food truck was delicious.

-Awesome decorations and craft vendors as last year.

-Juke Box Diner was offering a "donut burger," which is exactly what it sounds like. I did not try it, because a) It was $16, b) Juke Box's burgers are usually very dry, and c) people were waiting up to an hour for their food to come out, but believe me I wanted to.

-Moving the Coke Polar Dance Party DJ-thing to an area with alcohol service was a good move.

 

The not so good:

-$14 for an 8oz Jack and Coke. I get it, they don't want people getting blitzed (but then why do they have bars every 100 feet?), but c'mon. A few years back it was $7 during Haunt.

-Some areas where you'd expect lights had nothing installed, which seemed weird in contrast to the awesome decorations otherwise.

-Some lighting displays were in and out. Even part of the Eiffel Tower went out towards the end of my trip. I get it, fuses blow and some such, but this is their second year and it was a Saturday.

-No changes to the show lineup from last year whatsoever (I asked).

-Last year, the lighting displays in Candy Apple Grove were perfectly synchronized with the music. This year, not so much.

-PLEASE, please offer the $30 all-day-dining option during Winterfest next year!

 

Overall, the park was packed, and it seemed to be a big success just like last years. I don't want to seem like I'm complaining, because I'm not...it was a great time despite the duration of the trip. Here's hoping they keep it up and keep expanding.

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Wait, there is actually going to be a safari-themed ride in Safari Village? Is that allowed? 🤣

My money, in all seriousness, is on Tiki Twirl.  CF already has a logo drawn up and everything.

He has a lot more history with Kings Dominion than just 2 years. You also forgot that Carnival and Winterfest also came in under him (I know they aren't rides, but I feel they are big improvements for

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$35 (or season) fast pass sounds like a good deal on that type of night. Well played. Good write up. If all/most of the coasters were open I would have made the 7 hour drive to visit the park and friends in the area.

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It's unlikely you'll need FL on non-Saturdays. However it did pick up a lot this last Sunday (and TT was down, had the weather sign out but I don't think that made sense, hopefully it's all fixed). If we'd get a night of warm weather, it would be worth needing it at that price! Doesn't look likely though.

 

While only two coasters are open, they're goodies. Dominator gets the best view of the lights and really feels like part of the event, although not quite as much as last year with the dance party also there. TT is running great. For me it's a nice evening out, slightly more casual than usual visits. Not worth as much of a drive for those not nearby, but true addicts have to hit at least one event this season. I've yet to do much anything Christmas-y except eat and the Four Drummers show -- they make a weird and cool sound.

 

If they're not offering the all-day dining, maybe because they're not open all day? I've only once used my Dining Plan twice in one day in ~5 years of having one, I'm rarely there 4 hours and it would be more than 4 to be very hungry.

 

Anyone else think the giant inflatable snowman looks kind of scary?

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If they're not offering the all-day dining, maybe because they're not open all day? I've only once used my Dining Plan twice in one day in ~5 years of having one, I'm rarely there 4 hours and it would be more than 4 to be very hungry.

 

Yeah, I know that's why they don't offer it, but with the one-day-purchase All-Day-Dining, the cooldown between meals is only 90 minutes, so you could theoretically get like 4 meals in the 5-6 hours that they're open. I know I use it during the regular season and and get 6 or 7 out of a full day.

 

And here are the pictures.

 

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Three-cheese Grilled Cheese and expensive adult beverage.

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The food truck from whence the Grilled Cheese came.

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Poor log flume, sitting all dormant...

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Somewhat washed out, but these were literally the only non-Christmas decorations in the whole place.

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At the very least, the "upgrade center" (for lack of a better term) directly to the right after entering the main gate (near the stroller rentals) sells it. It's also where you'd exchange the online voucher for it for a wristband, if you had bought it online.

 

Typically during the main season, almost every retail establishment also sells it, but I'm not sure if that's true during Winterfest.

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I can't speak to start-up temps, but it was mid-40s when I left at 7:30 on 12/14 and it was running strong then. When I was there for Haunt on November 1, I believe the ambient was in the high 30s/ low 40s and it was running.

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It is likely that they closed TT at 40 degrees last night, or slightly early due to having a line. Both it and Dominator were closed by 8:00 according to a combination of sources. Weather.com for Ashland said it was 39 degrees at 8, however the KD website was displaying 46 until somewhat later. Unless wind is also a factor, it appears their website is not a display of the operational temperature in the park. My rides on 11/24 were low 40's as far as I know and they ran it until close despite light crowds. However 12/8 it was closed, early or all night, for unknown reasons, so there is a random factor.

 

At least two nights this season I've seen the forecast improve from sub-40 to above-40 at the last minute, but yesterday it kept getting worse.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had a fun time at the park last night, so I figured I'd share a short TR.

 

My dad and I arrived at about 10 to 4 and did Dominator first because I wasn't sure how close the Fastlane queue got you to the front of the line (it actually drops you right in the station). Great ride with no rattle in the back row and some nice air off the mid-course brakes. We then walked back to Twisted Timbers and rode twice, both times with a station wait. I think it's interesting that the metal detector plays no function here and just makes an annoying beeping sound every time someone walks through it. I mean, you don't even need to pull out your cell phone! They do hand you a card that has instructions, including the important warning to not pull your own lapbar down. Even with this and four employees checking restraints, dispatches were 2-3 minutes... but they were running two trains! This was my first ever ride in the back row, and right into the first drop I felt the effects. Wow! The overbank turn is truly awesome, especially with the little airtime pops that both precede and follow it. The triple camelback is airtime heaven , the cutback is good, and I felt a good amount of "snap" coming out of the double-up and the outerbank. When I would later purchase Fastlane, I got to ride Twisted Timbers 8 more times that night, which increases my all-time laps on this coaster by five times! This thing is amazing in every sense of the word, and for a person like me whose track record barely tips 100, it's a top-ten ride.

 

From here, we just had a great rest of our day. Turnpike, Bad Apple (my first experience with a Troika), and Flyers would all occur. We also sat in for a few minutes in one of the "song-and-dance" shows, but we soon left because there were coasters to be ridden. Also, Fastlane was a VERY good choice on this day, even at $45 (pricey considering what you get), as the TT line reached 1.5 hours during the night. I felt bad walking that long stretch of queue past all of the people standing in the normal line... I was usually able to get a complete ride in about 15 minutes, so I heard a lady mention "That's the third time!" when I walked by at one point. Oh well, I guess I got my money's worth... As always, the Singing Mushrooms were awesome, too! Winterfest was a whole lot of fun, even on a busy Saturday, and I'd like to return sometime. I hope you enjoyed this report, even it was mostly just me rambling about TT!

 

One more note: Out of the rides listed on the website, Berserker was completely closed and blocked off, so that must've been a mistake. The carousel also didn't run all night, I guess because it's such a high-tech atraction. I deserve a complete refund of my Fastlane, which promised "eight attractions!"

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm seeing reports (from KD Fan sites) that Kings Dominion is in process of removing "the Crypt" prior to the start of the 2020 season.

 

I'm kind of shocked that the removal wasn't pre-announced, or that anything wasn't announced for that space - as with Volcano closed, that's a nice corner of the park that now only have Avalanche there, right?

 

hmmm. . wonder if a new flat is going in there, or if they need the space for whatever is going in to replace Volcano?

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I'd be really bummed to see the Crypt go, I really liked it during my visit this summer, and I had a much better ride on than on the one @SFGadv. Glad I rode it when I did.

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I'm seeing reports (from KD Fan sites) that Kings Dominion is in process of removing "the Crypt" prior to the start of the 2020 season.

 

I'm kind of shocked that the removal wasn't pre-announced, or that anything wasn't announced for that space - as with Volcano closed, that's a nice corner of the park that now only have Avalanche there, right?

 

hmmm. . wonder if a new flat is going in there, or if they need the space for whatever is going in to replace Volcano?

 

When Valleyfair removed theirs a couple years ago, they didn't announce it. I don't think the last couple parks to remove theirs announced it either. And this was the last Huss one in the chain (good riddance); Canada's Wonderland has a Mondial version.

 

I doubt it was removed for whatever takes Volcano's place. Avalanche is still in the way. Although the entrance could be rerouted/Avalanche could be removed. Both options are doubtful. I think Crypt is leaving just because it's an old piece of sh!t.

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Oh well, I'm glad that I got to try it a couple of years ago. It wasn't one of my favorite flats, but I didn't hate it either. The theming (fire, fountains) was honestly the best part of the ride.

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Thinking about visiting on Sunday April 26th. Park is open 10:30-8 PM. Anyone speak to the crowd level this time of year? Reckon it shouldn't be too bad, but can get two tickets, parking, and two meal deals for $90, which seems unbeatable. We won't be purchasing fast lane. Possible to hit the coasters up in one day? Ate at Country Kitchen last time, would like to try something different for our meals. Thanks!

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Thinking about visiting on Sunday April 26th. Park is open 10:30-8 PM. Anyone speak to the crowd level this time of year? Reckon it shouldn't be too bad, but can get two tickets, parking, and two meal deals for $90, which seems unbeatable. We won't be purchasing fast lane. Possible to hit the coasters up in one day? Ate at Country Kitchen last time, would like to try something different for our meals. Thanks!

 

the mac & cheese place over near Bad Apple (in Candy Apple Grove) was really good last time I was there (in 2018).

 

but I'd trust any suggestion from Chuck

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https://www.kingsdominion.com/blog/2020/our-crypts-are-sealed

 

Nope – no special Haunt announcements…yet.

 

Today we have some news to share regarding one of our thrill ride attractions, the Crypt, in Safari Village.

 

Originally donned Tomb Raider, the Crypt debuted in 2005 and has given nearly four million riders a wicked spin through the years. And now, it’s time to seal the crypt for good.

 

Why? Like many decisions, removing the Crypt is about improving guest experience and in this case, even future adventures for our guests. While we aren’t ready to say what that means…get ready.

 

Things are lurking in the jungle.

 

[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be]
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I don't particularly care that that they're removing this thing but I'm also not buying into this teaser campaign at all and it seems like they're just trying to put a positive spin on something. When they started this teaser campaign last year I doubt that THEY even knew exactly what they were teasing. By now, who knows. They're probably going to put a coaster in Volcano's spot eventually and they can just sort of re-develop the whole area into something new that costs them much less to operate than it did when they had a Top Spin and a prototype multi-launched Intamin there but this is totally a budget move because it's a notoriously expensive, maintenance-intensive ride and parks all over the country are systematically removing them. It's not like they couldn't work around it.

 

Wow... sorry for being such a Madmax right there. I feel better now.

Edited by coasterbill
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I'm glad I was able to ride it back in June. I was surprised to see it operating when I was there, so I made sure to jump on it. It made me miss Riptide at Knott's a little. The ride and theming is fun, but I think my favorite part of the whole experience was watching a random guy's pockets get emptied during the ride. The fire at the bottom burning everything, including a credit card and $100 bill! That was entertaining.

 

As much as I like these rides, I understand their removal. I will still gladly take HangTime over Boomerang and Riptide. Volcano's replacement (and that whole area) will be great in a few years. Since BGW is currently losing their minds with their new additions, hopefully Kings Dominion can be a *little* competitive in the future.

 

But seriously how can you compete with two kicka$$ Intamins in back-to-back years at the world's most beautiful theme park

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Honestly I won't miss Crypt at all (I've never been a fan of flippy rides), but this does raise a concern that if their future plans involve both Crypt's spot and Volcano's, that Avalanche's days are numbered. Which would be a damned shame, regardless of what replaces it.

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it was the first (and only) Top Spin I've ever been on.

 

made a point to ride it on the USA tour in 2018.

 

wouldn't say I LOVED it, but I liked it a lot.

 

sad it's being removed, as even just for the theming, it was great - and it looked amazing at night.

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