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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

P. 767: WinterFest Media Night Report

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On 8/12/2021 at 1:43 PM, CP_RULES said:

I am trying to say something good, but I am so tired of seeing these rides get built. It might as well be a boomerang in my opinion, 

I'm late to the game, but you might be right about this being the modern day boomerang... I don't have a problem with this addition, but I bet people aren't complaining about a wing ridger now.

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While I don’t love the addition…. I also don’t hate the addition. I usually enjoy the free spins that I’ve been on. However, I’m surprised they went with the smaller model. 
 

I feel like we all know this isn’t a volcano replacement. It seems like a small addition to hold people over while the park recovers from the loss of revenue after being closed for basically an entire season. Once they recover I bet we will see a large addition to replace volcano! :) 

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On 8/11/2021 at 10:38 PM, jconsolmagno said:

 

LINK REMOVED

We'll have a report from the official media event later. Please do not post any links to "leaked" information. Thank you,

cfc

Moderator

Was it any different than what I posted? Don't think so! This forum exists as a discussion, not a PR mouthpiece of the park.

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5 minutes ago, jconsolmagno said:

Was it any different than what I posted? Don't think so! This forum exists as a discussion, not a PR mouthpiece of the park.

Yeah, and parks often hook up Robb/Elissa/other TPR members with special events.  They're (we're all, really) trying to stay on the good side of park management, so those things continue.  So, don't post leaks, because it tends to annoy park management when their message isn't the one getting out first.  Don't like it?  There's plenty of other park/coaster forums out there at which you might be more welcome.

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1 hour ago, Mike240SX said:

Yeah, and parks often hook up Robb/Elissa/other TPR members with special events.  They're (we're all, really) trying to stay on the good side of park management, so those things continue.  So, don't post leaks, because it tends to annoy park management when their message isn't the one getting out first.  Don't like it?  There's plenty of other park/coaster forums out there at which you might be more welcome.

Mr. Obvious here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Photo TR:  A quick stop on Monday, September 6th

So, on my way back from SFoG by way of Carowinds, my route took me right by Kings Dominion, and I figured I owed it to the park to stop in for the first time in 2021.  After all, I hadn't been on my #2 steel and #2 hybrid since 2019!

I got to the park a little after noon with a 11:00 opening, and the lot was already pretty decently packed.  Made my way through the front gate and saw a huge line at the redemption center, so ducked into a store to grab my FL wristband, and then made my way over towards the Safari Village construction to check on the progress of Tiki Twirl (yes, I will continue to call it that.  Sue me.).

But first, I definitely forgot how much better shaded this park's International Street area is compared to Kings Island's.

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And Woodstock Express got some new paint.

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As for Tiki Twirl, has there been any actual construction Progress?

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No.  I see you hiding back there, my #3 at this park.  Stay rested.

What they have done though is decorate most of the walls blocking off access to that area of the park.

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Hopped on I305, one train wait for row 14.  Still awesome.  Grabbed another shot of poor, sad Avalanche, only made possible by the sadder removal of Volcano....

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And continued down Candy Apple Grove, hoping dearly to finally get some delicious mac & cheese from what is possibly my second favorite theme park restaurant ever...

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...but it was not to be. :(

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Oh well indeed.  Had to settle for some Auntie Anne's pretzels, and then took a lap around the water park to grab some images of the new for 2021 stuff:

First off, the permanent food truck circle (only two were open, the bar and pizza):

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Next, the kiddie-sized wave pool:

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And finally, the new splash-play area, which is honestly probably the biggest one of these I've ever seen:

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Made my way back to Twisted Timbers, and found that yes, they have in fact kept running the stupid double-sided locker system like at Steel Vengeance, which merges the Fast Lane and standby queue before them and does not re-separate them.  If all of the queue in the station would be used (it wasn't this day), that means that even FL holders get a 30+ minute wait.  Not cool, Cedar Fair, not cool.  Its not like I didn't just ride another RMC two days ago with zero procedures for loose articles haha.  Due to limited crowds, I did get on the back row with only a one train wait, but I blame that more on the lack of a grouper in the station leading to everyone lining up for the front row and the rows right in the middle.  Still, an incredible, awesome ride.

Oh, and why does a restaurant called "Grain & Grill International Cuisine" serve exclusively Chinese food?

After that, eager to get home, I hit the road for the rest of the drive back to Delaware.  And that about wraps up my Labor Day Weekend trip, and actually catches me completely up on pending trip reports from this year.

Next up is Cedar Point for my first ever Halloweekends experience, September 17 and 18.

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15 hours ago, Mike240SX said:

Oh, and why does a restaurant called "Grain & Grill International Cuisine" serve exclusively Chinese food?

Has anyone told the Naan bread, hummus, Au Gratin potatoes, apple salad with feta cheese, or steak with Chimichurri sauce? 😜  They do have Hoisin pork, but their rice is basmati, maybe they eat that somewhere in China, they do go together wonderfully. 

While I miss Panda Express, the G&G is turning out to be about as good a always-open restaurant, except a bit slower due to the options.

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18 minutes ago, bill_s said:

Has anyone told the Naan bread, hummus, Au Gratin potatoes, apple salad with feta cheese, or steak with Chimichurri sauce? 😜  They do have Hoisin pork, but their rice is basmati, maybe they eat that somewhere in China, they do go together wonderfully. 

While I miss Panda Express, the G&G is turning out to be about as good a always-open restaurant, except a bit slower due to the options.

My mistake.  I glanced at the menu and didn't really recognize anything, then when stepped in detected the distinct aroma that Chinese food has, so made a premature assumption.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Haunt Has Risen from the Grave
As you can tell from the Evil Boogie Boogie Eyes atop the Eiffel Tower, Haunt has begun at Kings Dominion. Yes, the annual Doswell scare fest is back with a new outdoor maze (and four returning indoor mazes), scare zones old and new, and a lot of techno-dancing and heavy-metal head-banging music--along with the usual assortment of evil clowns, zombies, witches, and other children of the night. 

It’s great to see Haunt back after its COVID hiatus. The event doesn’t seem quite as big as in past years, with fewer mazes and scare zones, but KD did a very good job with what it had.  I think they were wise to stick with the stronger mazes from previous years.

Theme Park Review was invited to be a victim, er, guest at an RIP Party on Friday, October 1, with plenty of good food and drink and a complimentary Fright Lane pass for all the mazes. The latter came in pretty handy, as the lines got a bit long as the shadows of darkness lengthened (the park was open from 7:00 pm-midnight).

So, how do the mazes stack up?

Grimm Woods (next to Grizzly)--This new maze gives us a decidedly non-Disney version of the old standards in which evil comes out triumphant. The twisted takes on fairly tales include Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel. This one starts out slow as a long walk through the woods but finishes pretty strong. The old Dinosaurs Alive path is ideal for a Haunt maze, and I’m glad they’re using it--lots of spooky lighting and sound effects here.

Blood on the Bayou (behind Windseeker)--This voodoo cannibal maze has excellent sets and a dark, confusing layout (which the scare actors use well). 

Trick or Treat (next to Drop Tower)--Another oldie but goodie, evil witches have made unsuspecting trick-or-treating kids into their minions. I think this maze, and Bayou, were originally featured at Knott’s Scary Farm a few years ago. They worked in California, so why not in Virginia?

Condemned (Action Theater)--A haunted hotel provides the scares in this one. Not sure you’d want to book your next vacation here, though, as the staff seems a bit, well, “off.” It’s a decent maze with pretty elaborate sets.

Corn Stalkers (International Street)--This is the oldest maze of the bunch, and even though it’s a bit long in the tooth, it’s still fun. Watch out for the bungee guy!

I dare you to look at these photos from KD’s Haunt!

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“Hey, Ma! Load up the kids in the Death Wagon! We’re goin’ to Doswell, Virginny for Haunt.”

 

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This Jack O'Lantern told me that KD has been doing Haunt for 20 years. I see no reason to doubt him, but . . . why was he talking to me? Get out of my head!

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First things first--dinner and drinks. This is also the site of the Masquerade scare zone.

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The park out a great spread of all sorts of food. I went for the beef, of course.

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The Redrum IPA comes directly from the Center of the Universe, which is conveniently located in Ashland, Virginia. Those aliens make good beer.

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Great cookies for dessert, too. I had a shortbread ghost and a gingerbread witch’s house, but these masks looked good.

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Haunt kicks off with Blood Reign, a show where Queen Majesty (easy name to remember, I guess) welcomes guests to her “Bloody Ball.”

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This is where all the classy monsters hang out.

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“Oh, very well, peasant. You may take our picture--but it will cost you your liver.”

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As I cross the bridge into Old Virginia, I am filled with foreboding. I don’t understand why.

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I reserved a room via the hotel website, but they never sent me a confirmation.

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Perhaps that’s just as well.

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If you’re looking for sliders and stilt-walking scarecrows, Pumpkin Eater is the scare zone for you.

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There’s old Peter Pumpkin Eater himself.  His biggest fear is being made into a lousy pumpkin-spice ale by a mass-market brewery. 

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“No need to be so hasty,/'Cause you’re lookin’ might tasty,/So I’m gonna eat your brain.”

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These post-apocalyptic dancers raised quite a ruckus, so that’s what they named the show The Ruckus. I guess.

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This is the front of the Trick or Treat house. But it’s used as the exit, as the main entrance is on the left side of the building. Don’t ask me why.

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You can’t have any sort of haunted event without an evil circus. I think this is in the Constitution.

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This circus has a fortune teller and a Subway. Classy, eh?

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“I’ll have a turkey sub on whole wheat . . .”
“I’m not the Subway clerk, sir. besides, all Subway sandwiches taste the same no matter what they’re made of.”

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“Yeah, you and I got the opposite problem. All the guys are too short for me.”

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Burnette the Barker and his Band of Homeless Guys. Buy him a $15 cocktail, and he might end up in the backseat of your car.

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Welcome to Uprising . . .

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 . . . where the zombies are revolting!

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“You can say that again.”

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Join the Zombie Uprising! They promise all the brains you can eat!

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Snoopy and the Great Pumpkin team up to quell the Zombie Uprising.

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“Yes-s-s-s, kiddies, join us during the day for family-friendly fun! We have music and candy and brains and spleens . . .”

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“Country roads . . . take me home.”

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It’s always good to see the ol’ homestead again. Why, I can smell Grandma’s soup a-simmerin’ on the stove. Yessir, Grandpa should be mighty tasty tonight.

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Grimm Woods is the anti-attraction in which you enter through the gift shop, which is closed, as is Grizzly. I'm sorry Grizzly fans (I imagine there are a couple).

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Blood on the Bayou’s façade looks a wee bit like a redressing of the old Zombie High School entrance. 

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Welcome to the Post-Apocalyptic Cemetery of Haunts Past.

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The steampunks have joined the Borg, and the Zombie High students graduated by eating everybody else. 

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Time to head out. At least that's what this guy told me . . . or did he? It's all a blur.

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All in all, a fun evening. Thanks for inviting TPR, Kings Dominion! Happy Haunting!

 

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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.

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Made my way in to the park....

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...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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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

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

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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.

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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...

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

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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).

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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.

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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:

IMG_20211003_213840506.thumb.jpg.dd605f2c701ca2cf25da05ed37687a15.jpgIMG_20211003_213933333.thumb.jpg.18c1fe6d82b59f2a9e6f69171f988128.jpgIMG_20211003_214255998.thumb.jpg.0c519afd8b4efa157db4c7013fe86429.jpgIMG_20211003_214600308.thumb.jpg.a1ad6f9bd0ff7d3055a5b4de97ff3048.jpgIMG_20211003_215002405.thumb.jpg.2d57eb3f866c2d2cfe187b2a90902668.jpgIMG_20211003_215041466.thumb.jpg.3b05e2f69e56c4e17790172cf6aae499.jpg

"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!

IMG_20211003_221017362.thumb.jpg.d22e80ad01cc16d655ba6742feca45e4.jpg

 

 

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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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So I just got to KD...eep.

Screenshot_20211030-202225.thumb.png.629cb72d8161aae864561e0e7acde385.png

 

For perspective, here is the line for I305:

IMG_20211030_203722807.thumb.jpg.4289dee144ce395a83e600b3fef16990.jpg

And the Fast Lane line:

IMG_20211030_205023739.thumb.jpg.8be3dcc4cc29fac49816ffd0c17ceaf7.jpg

Eep indeed 

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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

 

 

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