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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

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Great report there, @cfc Now for mine....

Photo TR: Sunday, October 3rd

So, after my brief detour to the Virginia State Fair (<-click there for the report), I made it to Kings Dominion slightly before opening at 1:30.  Decent crowd built up, and glad I spent the $45 for Fright Lane here.


Made my way in to the park....


...and got stopped at the rope heading in to Planet Snoopy.IMG_20211003_134626999_HDR.thumb.jpg.e66ba3355eb356483b5bc19c2787aa34.jpg

Dominator and Berserker were operating, but meh to both of them...I needed me some Woodstock Express!  While waiting, snapped a picture of the Halloween decorations under the Eiffel Tower.


At rope drop, I made my way to Woodstock Express for a one train wait for back row.  This ride was glass smooth...I don't think I've ever had a smoother ride on any one of these that I've ridden.  I didn't notice any new wood anywhere, but man was it nice.

I then made my way through Safari Village, in which part of the old path toward Avalance had been turned into a scare zone....unfortunately I didn't get to experience that tonight.  Anyway, made my way past Flight of Fear after getting a thumbs down from the greeter (chain was still up, guess they were still doing their tests), and instead hopped on Intimidator 305 for a one train wait for front row.  Still super, super awesome.  The last couple of times I got on this I was in the back; I forgot how insane the speed and wind are in the front.  Here's a video of it, even:

On the way back out, Flight of Fear was now operating, so I hopped on for a one train wait for front row.  Amusingly this is on Fast Lane, despite not being indicated as such on KD's website.  Ed.Note: Apparently, it is now listed on the website, but as of a month ago it wasn't, I swear!

I then hopped on Anaconda for a walk-on, solo-ride, in the front row.  This piece of shit was shuffling on the straight climb into the first loop.  WTF?  Time for it to go.  As much as I love these old Arrow multi-loopers in theory, yeah, its time has come.

Continuing down Candy Apple Grove, I finally was able to stop in at Mac Bowl for a delicious custom Mac & Cheese...my first from here since 2019.  Sadly, the portions have shrunk and the cost has risen (now $15 for a standard bowl).

Next up was Rebel Yell/Racer 75, for a train and a half wait for the front row on the left side (only side operating).  Was very smooth, especially given that I don't think this has gotten anywhere near the track work that its sibling at KI has gotten recently.

At this point, it was time to check in to my hotel, so I started making my way back towards the front of the park, but not before stopping at Grizzly for a four train wait for the front row.  New wood in a bunch of places for a more tolerable ride than usual, but yeah, this can go die in a fire.  I'd almost want to see it RMC'd but if it'll run like Cedar Fair runs their other RMC's, maybe the GCI Titan Track would be a better option.

At this point, I left to check in to my hotel.  Once back in the park, I headed back to Twisted Timbers area, but stopped to take some pictures of all the old Haunt maze signs first:


Then it was time for a lap on my #2 hybrid, Twisted Timbers.  Back row, of course, 21 minutes from locker-to-locker.  I still hate this system, mostly for the combined FL/standby line after the locker checkpoint.  It doesn't help that you can go ride a RMC at a SF park without having to go through any of the metal detector/locker nonsense.  Insanely great ride, insanely stupid policies.

Outdoor mazes weren't open yet, so I took a walk through Condemned.  Nice and long maze, plenty of actors, well done artistry, but a couple of the areas were way too dark and I needed to feel my way around.

Headed to Trick or Treat next, which was very well done...much better than its sister at Dorney.  Spectacular artistry, and one of the actors actually got me, a true rarity!

Blood on the Bayou was up next, and was also super impressive.  Great artistry, tons of actors who were awesome at their jobs...all around very well done as well.  I also stopped to grab a picture of the only remnants of the sole coaster at Kings Dominion that was around while I was alive (and of adequate height) that I never got to ride:


At this point, it was time for the opening ceremonies:  Blood Reign / Heads Will Roll at the end of International Street.  So I made my way up there for that show.  Blood Reign was great, with the scareactors for all of the scare zones for the park assembled and then mingling with the crowd when told to "Go forth!" by Queen Majesty.  Heads Will Roll was incredible, and I'll talk about that at length at the end of the report.

Outdoor mazes were now open, so I took a walk through Cornstalkers.


Still a very tired theme, but at least this one smelled like corn instead of fire retardant spray.  This one did have a decent amount of actors in it, a few of which were very well placed, but still...meh.

Of course the giant skull was back:


Made my way through the Pumpkin Eater area, to some nice decorations:



Last of the mazes was Grimm Woods, the one I had been looking forward to the most.


As has been mentioned, this takes place during a large portion of the old Dinosaurs Alive path (but not all of it), but was still quite long indeed.  You'll take a stroll through three of the Brother's Grimm fairy tales:  Red Riding Hood, Little Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty), and Hansel & Gretel.  All were very well done in terms of artistry and costumes and actors, but there could have been more of both given the sprawling walk-through area.  I also have to say that it was a total missed opportunity at the end, where (spoiler alert) there's an oven in the Hansel and Gretel part that is big enough for two people to fit in.  How awesome would it be if there were actors in there acting like they were getting cooked alive?

After Grimm Woods, I took in the Riff Raff show near the end of Candy Apple Grove.


A great cover band rocking out to 80s hits, including this awesome rendition of Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell"

Eagerly looking for more shows, I ventured into the Cleaver Brothers Carnival area...


...and found that they also had a Fortune Teller booth set up, much like the one at Cedar Point.


Unfortunately this one was just one booth, and you only spend about two minutes with the fortune teller instead of the 10-15 as at CP.  Similar process through, you draw one card from a tarot-like deck, and she explains what it means.  Entertaining enough.

I then took in the Burnette the Barker show as well as the Black Widow Burlesque dancers.  Burnette was entertaining enough, and the Burlesque show was more risque than I was expecting for a park, but still quite tame by burlesque standards (the girls were all quite covered despite what the following image may show).


As the night was winding down, I grabbed a $15 Jack-and-Coke from the bar-truck that they drove up from the water park (the normal standing bar near the Carousel had one person working it and a line 20 people deep), and stopped to listen to the Riff Raff set again.  I did not hang around for the other show, The Ruckus, as I did not recognize more than one of music acts listed on the website.

After finishing the tasty adult beverage, I took a trip up the Eiffel Tower and grabbed a bunch of pictures of the skyline at night.  Apologies for the quality of these pictures, for some reason the camera in my phone sucks at night when there are multiple light sources.


While I was up there, I saw that the Heads Will Roll show was getting started again, so I headed back down and took in that show again, before heading out for night.

All in all, Kings Dominion easily had the most impressive overall Haunt lineup of the three that I've been to this year (Cedar Point, Dorney, and here).  Great mazes for the most part, and a spectacular show lineup.  I'm going to try to get back here later in the year just to experience some of them again.

I said I was going to talk about Heads Will Roll at the end of the report, and here it is:

This was hands down the best song-and-dance show I've ever seen at an amusement park.  From the costumes, to the acting, the choreography, and especially the singing...OMG was this just incredible.  The main male and female leads had insanely powerful voices (it didn't hurt that they were both super cute too!).  Both performances of this show I saw were so on-point.  I can't possibly say enough good about it.

I'll leave you with a bunch of pictures of the show as well as some select video highlights:


"Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads

"Hungry Like a Wolf" by Duran Duran

"Falling" by Trevor Daniel

"Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga

"Heads Will Roll" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the grand finale.

So long, Kings Dominion!  Thanks for a great night!




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I visited with my family on Saturday, but honestly, there's nothing I can say here that hasn't already been said by Chuck and Mike up above. Great time at the park, super glad Haunt is back, rides are running fantastically (except for the perennial headbasher Anaconda), really missed this park last year. Here's looking forward to more fun next season!

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Went to the park yesterday and had a lot of fun! The park was super packed and I highly recommend getting the Fright Lane passes if you want to do the mazes and still have time do night rides. Also, White Water Canyon and Shenandoah Lumber Company (log flume) are now closed for the season. 

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On 10/11/2021 at 9:20 AM, CoasterNerd87 said:

Also, White Water Canyon and Shenandoah Lumber Company (log flume) are now closed for the season. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find Shenandoah still running the previous weekend. (Especially because it was still a pretty hot day out that Saturday!)

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44 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

It normally runs until the end of haunt. That's a bummer.

KI also had Charlie Brown closed even though it was 85 degrees all weekend.

Guess I just got used to SFNE having a rapids ride open every year from opening day through the end of fright fest, 35 degree temps and snow on the ground included.

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58 minutes ago, anonymouscactus said:

Nah you haven't lived until you wait in the i305 line that goes farther back to the dippin dots stand.

Seriously though, good luck. We went last Saturday and it was insane (and hit capacity) we left pretty early just to get the hell out of the mass of people



Thanks!  Luckily tomorrow is my full day at the park, tonight was just a little bonus after checking in to my hotel.  I don't think I've ever seen I305s line that long, even opening year.

In the two and a half hours I was there, I managed to get on:

-Intimidator 305 (23 minutes including ride time for back row)
-Blue Ridge Toll Way (3 cycle wait)
-Drop Tower (1 cycle wait)
-Dominator (20 minutes for row 2 left wing)

I also got a bowl of Mac & Cheese from Mac Bowl, and took in the Ruckus show after skipping it on my last trip here.  Not bad, if you think about it.  It was busy, but not to the point where you were always shoulder-to-shoulder with people on the midways.  Hell, they didn't hit capacity tonight (unlike last Saturday).

I took off around 11:00 to beat the crowds out of the park (I've been up since 5 AM and really didn't feel like sitting in an hour of traffic to get out of the park haha).

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Photo TR: The End of Haunt 2021

After working one of my University's football games, I made the 4 hour drive down to Doswell for my last Halloweeny amusment park trip of the year.

But first, a note about my hotel:  With the on-property Travelodge being closed for the year, and a disappointing stay at the Days Inn across VA-30 at the beginning of the month, I decided to stay a little farther away this time, and chose the Best Western Plus Thornburg in Woodland, VA.  A quick 20-minute drive down I-95 from the park, this hotel was worlds above any of the places right near Kings Dominion.  Quality rooms, breakfast buffet (that was actually operating, not "closed due to COVID" still like many other hotels), and there's actually more than a Burger King and 7-11 right near by.  Highly recommended.

Anyway, I got to the park on Saturday around 8:30, and found the lot more full than I've seen in a long time.  Making my way into the park, I found this line for Intimidator 305:


Yikes.  I'd never seen the line for this ride that far back, even during opening year.  Even the Fast Lane line was nuts:


It proved to be a 23 minute (wait-and-ride) for a back row experience.  Still awesome.  I did a lap of the park, coming back to Blue Ridge Tollway for a 3-cycle wait.  Unfortunately, not a Haunt this year, but still a bit eerie in the dark woods.  I love how this one weaves through the forest, unlike the drive-'em cars at some parks (*coughKingsIslandcough*).

I was quite hungry, so I decided to stop in Mac Bowl for some delicious custom mac & cheese (got with shredded cheddar and bread crumbs).  Though tasty, this is probably my biggest disappointment about Kings Dominion:  in years past, $12 would get you two scoops of mac, three if you weren't getting a protein.  Now, $15 gets you one scoop of mac, regardless as to if you're getting protein or not.  I get it, budget crunch blah blah blah, but seriously?

Next up I decided to take in the Ruckus show, which I had skipped on my last visit due to not recognizing any of the musical acts listed in the show description.  Which was probably the right move, as I in fact did not recognize any of the songs in the 3-song, 7-minute long set.  Definitely not my preferred genre of music.  That said, the dancing was on point, so it was decently entertaining.  Here's some photos and videos of the show:


Continuing around the park, I decided to hop on Drop Tower (one-cycle wait).  It had been a while since I went on this parks drop tower, and it was a lot more intense than I remembered.

I then made my way back up to the front of the park, and got a ride on Dominator (20 minutes wait-and-ride for row 2, left edge).  Always a solid ride, and probably my favorite floorless that I've been on.  This was the standby queue:


I also noted that the park was playing a song that sounded a whole lot like the Mystic Timbers queue music in the Dominator area; I'm not 100% sure it was the same song but if it was, nice touch.

At this point, it was 11:00, and having been up since around 4:30 AM, I decided it was time to beat the traffic out of the park and make my way back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

The next day, I got to the park at 12:45 (for a 2:00 opening) to be greeted with this sight:


Hooray for another busy day.

After parking (I was the first car in the season pass lot, at least), I made my way to the designated smoking zone and kill some time (and some more lung cells) and snapped this awesome picture of Dominator testing:


Once inside, I noticed the preparations for Winterfest have begun.  Planet Snoopy and Candy Apple Grove had many of their lights strung up, and the conversion of the fountain into the ice skating rink has begun:


One of my goals for today was to hit all of the adult flat rides.  First up on that agenda was Berserker, a walk-on for row 7.  Decent cycle with two complete rotations.

Next up was another ride on Dominator, a half-train wait for the back row, left edge.  Amusingly, this ride was triple-stacking the entire early afternoon.  It was clearly the end of the season and employee enthusiasm has dropped off from earlier in the year.  Though, I did get to snap a pic of the Tiki Twirl supports and some track in the parking lot:


Now that the rest of the park was open, next up was a ride on Woodstock Express, a one-train wait for back row.  Chatted with another enthusiast with a Kings Island shirt on, whose first visit to Kings Dominion was today, and then made my way back to Intimidator 305, for a 20 minute wait-and-ride for front row.  This is definitively the place to ride this coaster.  Made my way down the back half of the park, grabbing an Auntie Anne's pretzel, and then hit Rebel Yell (right side) for a two-train wait for the front row.  Next up was Twisted Timbers, with a one-train wait for the back row.

I then decided to try Delirium for the first time on my life.  I had a bad (read: sickening) experience on a ride that spun me sideways in the past, and have generally avoided anything that does since, but since trying out some spinning coasters earlier in the year, I figured I'd give this a shot.  Had a one-cycle wait, and wow this was a lot of fun.  The spinning is so slow that I didn't really notice it.  I really need to try some of the bigger versions of this style of ride now.

Hopped on Bad Apple, their Troika, for a walk-on ride.  These are always so much fun.  Twisted Timbers was next, a 25 minute entry-of-line-to-retrieval-of-phone-from-the-locker for front row.  I really can't decide if front or back is better here, both present such intense rides but in different ways.  Then I got on Wave Swinger for a half-cycle wait, and then made my way to Grizzly for the busiest I've ever seen this station in years:


This provided a 19 minute wait-and-ride time for the front row.  Still not as bad as it used to be in years past.

Next up I decided to take in the Blood Reign Haunt opener and the Heads Will Roll Show, honestly my biggest drive for coming back to the park again.  This show is just so incredible.  I'll spare you more pics and videos of it, since I captured it pretty well in my report from October 3rd, but yeah did not disappoint.  Okay I lied, here's a quick clip of their rendition of Roar by R.O.A.R., showing off the female lead's stellar pipes:

Now that it was dark and Haunt was in full swing, I took a stroll through the Safari Village scare zone, uprising, and then a quick ride on the Scambler (walk-on) with it's way-out-of-date lighting package.


I then took in the 8:30 performance of Heads Will Roll, capturing the entire show on video utilizing an actual camera and mini-tripod clamped to one of the stanchions holding the velvet rope.  The video came out incredible, even if the audio wasn't as good as recording on my phone (WTF?).  It's a little big to upload here, but if anyone is interested in seeing it, PM me and I'll try to find a way to get it to you.

After that, the park was nearing it's 10:00 PM closing, so I decided to try to grab another walk through of the Grim Woods maze, and did so as a walk-on. That said, they weren't really holding people or grouping them, so it ended up being one big conga line through it.  Still, lots of actors, and I was pleasantly surprised to see them actually using the oven prop at the end of the Hansel & Gretel section as a hideout for an actor.

And that was about it for my trip.  I left after that, deciding to head back to my hotel since I needed to be on the road early.  Thanks again, Kings Dominion, for the best Halloweeny park experience of the year.  Bring back the Skeleton Key rooms, and it'd be a solid 10 out of 10.


See you in a few weeks, KD, for Winterfest!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Photo TR: November 27th, 2021

On the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, I hit up Kings Dominion for their Winterfest event.  Disclaimer:  I generally hate Christmas music, but do appreciate a good stage show and very much dig Christmas lights (fun fact:  I once decorated my office at work with 4,700 lights in an area like 350 square feet).

So, Google maps tells me that Kings Dominion should be a 3 hour drive from my home.  Knowing Virginia traffic can be nuts just south of DC, I left at 12:45 for a 5:00 opening, thinking I'd still be able to get there around 4:30.  How mistaken I was...the traffic was even worse than normal, and I arrived at the park at around 5:05.  Though still twilight, the main entrance was nicely decorated.



Grabbed my Fast Lane band (yes, Kings Dominion does offer FL during Winterfest and honors the all-season pass add-on), and made my way to the bandstand just in time for the end of the Tree Lighting Spectacular show.





Made my way down Artisan's Alley, where various craft-makers were selling their wares...


...and across the Old Virginia bridge, where the skull was replaced by a glowing sphere....



...ducking past the Kings Dominion Theater momentarily...


...for a quick lap on Blue Ridge Tollway (walk-on), which for the holidays is transformed into 12 Days of Christmas.  This drive-through features light-up decorations for each of the 12 days, and I actually managed to sync my timing with the song, which plays on an endless loop.  I feel bad for those employees LOL.

After that, I took in the Charlie Brown's Christmas Spectacular show, which while no different from the last time I saw it in 2019, was still a nice production featuring a ton of costume changes.  Here's a bunch of pictures:











After that, I strolled down to the entrance of Candy Apple Grove and the Twisted Timbers area...


Unfortunately these LED sequenced lights that are on the trees were not as well synchronized with the music as in 2019.



..to take in the Holly Jolly Trolly show.  Impressive enough, but yeah remember the disclaimer above?  Not really my scene musically.  Nice costumes though.


I also hung around for The Mistletones show which immediately followed, but apparently neglected to grab a picture.

I took in some more of the sights...


See, we're not just about Christmas!  Hard to tell because of the light, but left to right that's a dreidel, a menorah, and a kinara.  Note that these were the only non-Christmas decorations in the entire park.  Get with the times, KD...I want to see a Festivus pole next year!


Grabbed a bite to eat at Mac Bowl (er, "Vixens Fixins") and made my way back up to the front the park, passing through the Jack's Frost Zone (yes, this is what it's called...I think the possessive is in the wrong place too).


There he is...


They had some cool plaster snow angels in various sizes for various people:


Here's a shot of where you can rent an igloo, which I guess is a thing?  Personally I didn't see the point...the event is only 5 hours long, and if you want to see all of the shows and get on some rides you really don't have a lot of time to spare.


They had these completely-open fire pits scattered throughout the park.  How the Fire Marshall allows this, I'll never know.


The Four Drummers Drumming show.  Live drummers playing to a techno backing track.  Entertaining enough, but not enough for me to hang around.


Now this really impressed me.  The area seen in the next photo is way off the beaten path, en route to the designated smoking zone, outside the park gates, and is probably only viewed by a handful of people each night.  Still, KD decided it was worth it to put some lights here...a very nice touch.


Cool Yule Christmas was a show.  Tons of typical Christmas songs, with a couple of nice lyrically-tweaked renditions of The Chordette's 1958 Mr. Sandman (modernly known for it's role in Back to the Future), and The Flintstones theme.  Talented singers, and nice costumes with plenty of changes, but again...not really my thing. Here's some pictures and a few quick videos:







The Flintstones theme rendition:


I then took a trip into Planet Snoopy, which was decorated as per usual, with the dim but huge lights up in the trees...


...and light-up Peanuts character bushes.



The next show on the agenda was Tinker's Toy Factory.  Though clearly aimed at kids, it opened with some Trans-Siberian Orchestra music, so how could I not love it?  I had never seen this before and was impressed with another KD show with a cohesive plot.  Lots of renditions of Christmas classic songs, but some original songs too.  Despite its target demographic, it was a very cute story and I even teared up once.  Bonus?  The male lead was the awesome performer who was also the male lead in the Heads Will Roll Haunt show!  Enjoy some pictures and videos.




I just love this guy.



After that, I ducked back up in to Old Virginia to take a look at the Jingle Jazz show.  Again, not my taste in music, but talented enough performers.


I grabbed a walk-on ride on Bad Apple, and then some Auntie Anne's pretzels (which was my longest wait of the day at 20 minutes).  It was now nearing 9:00, so I staked out a good place in Candy Apple Grove to watch the Winterfest Wonderland Parade


Very well done, with a ton of floats, characters (including some from every stage show), songs, and audience participation (sing-along and candy canes being thrown at you).  Here's two clips containing the entirety of the parade show, for anyone not able to make it.  They stop twice, once in Candy Apple Grove and then again around the Eiffel Tower.



Now that I had taken in almost all of the shows the park had to offer (I completely skipped the Sounds of the Nativity and Peanuts' Guide to Christmas shows), it was time to hit some coasters!  Er...maybe not?  Twisted Timbers was totally dark, without even a greeter at the front of the queue to tell people what's going on.  So, I made my way back to the front of the park to see if I might have better luck at Dominator, and grabbed this cool clip from inside the base of the Eiffel Tower:


Captured some of the cool blue lighting in the Berserker/Dominator area...



And then was greeted with this sight:


*sigh*  Oh, Cedar Fair.  It was only 35 degrees.  So yeah, if you're planning on going to Winterfest with hopes of riding either coaster that's running, I highly recommend you do that first thing upon arrival lest the ambient temperature drop below 40 (confirmed with guest relations) and Kings Dominion does its nonsensical thing.  I could rant here about Six Flags and operating temperatures, but there's really no point.  Cedar Fair is gonna do what it does and be happy about it.  And you know what, that's okay too.  Not everyone is a coaster enthusiast, and this event is clearly not for coaster enthusiasts.  Judging by the crowd, they're doing just fine with that decision.

I did some shopping at the vendors, and bought a funny tote bag and a cute bracelet...


...made my way out of the park...


..and began my three hour drive home.

Overall impressions of Winterfest 2021?  Very well done.  Much better than the "Taste of the Season" event from last year, bringing back all of the shows (and then some) and lighting effects of pre-2020 years.  Though as I said, I'm not a fan of Christmas music, all of the shows were entertaining, and the lights were great.  I'll definitely be back at least one more time before the season's through.

Thanks for reading, everyone!


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Media Night at WinterFest
When last we left Kings Dominion, evil boogie-boogie eyes glared at guests from the top of the Eiffel Tower, and the forces of Darkness held sway. But on Friday, December 3, the tower sported brightly colored, ever-changing lights, and the air was filled with the sounds of Christmas music and the smell of gingerbread. Yes, it’s time for WinterFest, the park’s annual holiday celebration.

Kings Dominion invited Theme Park Review to experience WinterFest Media Night last Friday.  The center piece, of course, was the Eiffel Tower, which was lit up like an enormous Christmas tree. The pool in front of the tower became a skating rink named Snowflake Lake, and all of International Street offered all sorts of holiday cheer, drinks, shows, and food. In fact, the entire park, with the exception of Safari Village, was open and decked out for the holidays. There were quite a few rides running, as well, including Dominator and Twisted Timbers.

 What was new for 2021 was the WinterFest Wonderland Parade, which starts in Candy Apple Grove and swings by the front of the Eiffel Tower. The parade features all the characters wandering around the park that evening, including Scrooge and Company from Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and the big man himself, Santa Claus. It’s a nice way to finish your evening at WinterFest.

Prepare to be jolly! Or maybe merry. Possibly tickled.


Santa and his sleigh welcome all to WinterFest.


Busch Gardens isn’t the only park that has a tree with big balls.


Scrooge, Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Yet to Come wandered all over that park that night. They even chatted with guests in the restaurant where I had dinner, telling everyone who would listen that Scrooge needed to learn a thing or two about Christmas. Boy, they leaned him good, I'll tell you what!


I imagine this would be Robb’s first stop if he were here.


Jack Frost, the coolest guy in town, and two of his buddies hanging out at Starbucks. I think they all had iced coffee. What else?


You do not want to be the reindeer behind Blitzen if he’s been eating burritos.


Snoopy is here to get this party started. He's even more important than Santa.


One flick of this giant switch . . . 


. . . and WinterFest begins in a flurry of snow.


The Eiffel Tower really dominates the park during WinterFest.


I wandered through Old Virginia in search of dinner.


Hmm--this looks promising.


They serve a pretty good turkey dinner here. You can get Virginia ham, too. There are plenty of other food options, such as a donut bacon cheese burger and crepes.


What’s happening in nearby Tinseltown?


“I really can’t stay . . .”
“But baby it’s cold outside . . .”
Yeah, typical dude making Christmas time.


Coca Cola Santa--this one’s for Elissa.


I took two rides on Twisted Timbers that night. The second one was kind of chilly.


Candy Apple Grove featured music and synchronized lights.


If you miss the Nativity show . . .


. . . you can feed an honest-to-god camel instead.


My favorite decorations are in Planet Snoopy. I like the gumdrops in the trees and all the lights on the topiary Peanuts characters.


Of course, the best laid plans of mice and beagles oft go astray.


If you still need to fill some time before the parade . . .


 . . . you can always go skating on Snowflake Lake.


Or you could do some shopping.


Tumbili is all set to brighten up your Christmas tree.


Or this ornament could put your yule log in a twist.


Who’s up for some hot chocolate and a bit of ritual Christmas cannibalism?


A band of reindeer warm up the crowd for the parade. These guys were all over the park that night, too.


And here it comes. Jollity on the move!


One of Jack Frost’s buddies waves while a KD employee watches warily in the background (her eyes are on you, people).


Hey, less cavorting and more baking! Them cookies ain’t gonna make themselves!


Mrs. Claus is happy to finally get outside after decorating cookies all evening.


“OK, it’s sing-a-long time!  How about ‘Simply Having Wonderful Christmas Time’? Wait--where’s everybody going?”


The safest way to ski.


“That’s right. I am the coolest guy in town. I bestow my coolness on you by pointing.”


I failed at getting a good picture of Santa.


He’s going to leave this in my stocking for taking such a bad photo.


The crowd follows the parade out.


Thanks for the fun evening at WinterFest, Kings Dominion. Merry Christmas!

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I just discovered this TR, and it's a Ginger Snap Goody, Chuck! 🎄

Did the coaster ornaments feature all their main coasters, or just a few? Just curious.

Man, I wish I/we could go to something like this, locally. <sighs> Ah well....

Best Holiday Wishes to you and your closest, Chuck! Jolly Jolly!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mini-TR: December 30th, 2021

Since I wasn't able to get on any coasters during my first Winterfest trip this year, and since I missed the Tree Lighting Ceremony show that time as well, I decided to hop down I95 for another quick visit.  I was at the park from before opening at 5:00 and left a little after 7:30.  A couple of notes:

-The weather was much warmer (mid-50s), so everything stayed running while I was there...everything that was running, that is.
-As far as rides go, the only adult ride I noticed as completely closed was Americana, the Ferris wheel.  Dominator also tested with two trains, but they pulled one off right before opening (in front of me, so nerd bonus there), so AFAIK it ran with one train all night.  The third train was nowhere to be seen.  Notably, the coasters were running with minimal crews (for CF, anyway):  Dominator had a greeter, two checkers, and a panel op.  Twisted Timbers had a greeter, two metal detector enforcers, two checkers, and a panel op.  I don't think I've ever seen them run the rides that short staffed.
-Food and shows were a much different story.  Every drink refill station: closed.  Mac Bowl: closed (major bummer for me).  Funnel cake place behind Drop Tower: closed.  Food trucks: Nonexistent or closed. Blitzen's Brass Band, Tinker's Toy Factory (another major bummer), Jingle Jazz, and Four Drummers Drumming:  "No Shows Today."  I was told that apparently the COVIDs have infected a lot of the stage performers staff by one of the attendants at Sounds of the Nativity.
-Rides Ridden: I did get on Dominator, before the official opening at 5:00, for the first public train of the day (front row, left wing).  I'm now convinced that this is a front-row ride; the back just has too much rattle. I also got two laps on Twisted Timbers, a three train wait for the front and a train-and-a-half wait for the back.  I guess I hit them at the right time, since they were posting 60 minute waits in the app when I left.
-I also tragically lost my Platinum Pass card from Michigan's Adventure that I got in a fluke in 2017 to the stupid pass-through lockers at Twisted Timbers.  Quickly got a new one at Guest Relations (no charge!), but now I have to memorize a new pass number LOL.
-With Mac Bowl out of commission, I instead opted for a "Donut Burger" from whatever they're calling the Jukebox Diner during Winterfest; it was quite good - the burger meat itself was dry, as usual for this place, but the whole concoction was delicious and it was absolutely slathered in frosting.
-I couldn't see Avalanche painting or the Tiki Twirl construction site, but here's a picture of the supports out in the lot as of this date:


-I was highly entertained by the fact that they reprogrammed the Singing Mushrooms to do Christmas songs.  This might not be new, but it's the first time I noticed it.
-They have repainted all of the lines in the parking lot since my Thanksgiving Weekend visit.  Lipstick on a pig, really, since the lot seriously needs repaving.
-The programming on the Eiffel Tower tree needs some work...didn't exactly sync properly during the Tree Lighting Ceremony and quite a few bulbs were stuck on one color.

I leave you with two videos; one of the tail end of the Singing Mushrooms' performance, and one of the entirety of the Tree Lighting Ceremony show.  I totally dug how they grabbed a random family out of the crowd to come up and have the kids throw the switch.




I might make it back one more time before my 2021 pass expires.  If I do, you know I'll post about it haha.

Thanks for reading!

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On 12/31/2021 at 12:01 AM, Mike240SX said:

-Rides Ridden: I did get on Dominator, before the official opening at 5:00, for the first public train of the day (front row, left wing).  I'm now convinced that this is a front-row ride; the back just has too much rattle. I also got two laps on Twisted Timbers, a three train wait for the front and a train-and-a-half wait for the back.  I guess I hit them at the right time, since they were posting 60 minute waits in the app when I left.

queue-times has been posting 60 minutes or closed on the coasters all this event, and the wait times at the entrance usually are 60 min. also, and this has been almost always wrong. More like max. 30, less off peak, rerides towards close.

I mostly ride Dominator back row, row 6 is the roughest, right side is hard on your neck. 

Yeah donut burger was good. 


LAST DAY of Winterfest is Jan 9 !!!


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