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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

P. 767: WinterFest Media Night Report

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Tumbili can only load one of its two trains at a time? Cedar Fair isn't expecting this ride to be too popular I take it? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey everyone,

Thanks for the advice for my trip on March 27th for a few hours late in the day.  Definitely headed to twisted timbers first then.  I'm really surprised about I305, I thought that would be a tough one to get on and honestly, its the coaster I'm most looking forward to.

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21 hours ago, garyman6 said:

Hey everyone,

Thanks for the advice for my trip on March 27th for a few hours late in the day.  Definitely headed to twisted timbers first then.  I'm really surprised about I305, I thought that would be a tough one to get on and honestly, its the coaster I'm most looking forward to.

You'll probably be able to ride it a ton.

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Photo TR: Saturday, March 19th, 2022

My friend Ian and I made the trek down to Kings Dominion on Saturday, March 19th, for my first park trip of 2022.  Though the park hours were short (only 11-5), this worked out since we had a concert (Alice Cooper!) to get to in the evening anyway.  This was my first trip to this park in probably 5+ years without Fast Lane/Plus, so yeah it was a bit of an experience haha.

We arrived around 10:15, then just hung out in the one very-out-of-the-way smoking zone at the park, outside the gate, way down in the corner behind the old Season Pass office, until 10:30 when the entry line got moving.  Man did it feel good to be back.  I figured the overcast skies would lead to lower crowds, but not so much. The temperature turned out great for the day (starting in the mid-50s and ending at almost 80, with moderate wind but no rain).

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Yep, definitely good to be back (me on the left).

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International Street looks so weird with bare trees.  Guess it's been a while since I've seen the park open this early in the year.

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Our first stop, since there was no early entry (and Ian didn't have it anyway), was Dominator.  A one train wait for the 2nd row, I was in the right middle seat.  Running all three trains!  Usual rattle in the second half, but overall a great first coaster to start off 2022; amusingly, this was my next-to-last coaster of the 2021 season!

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After that ,we grabbed a quick ride on Berserker (half-cycle wait for the second row from the left).  Took normal than longer to get to an inversion, but got the standard 3 full rotations once it got going.  I see you peaking through the trees over there...

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We then hopped on Woodstock Express before the lines of kids got too bad (3 train wait for the back row).  Notably, they were only running one train here, and the graphics from the front of the lead car were missing.

Afterwards, we made our way into the new Jungle X-Pedition area to check out the changes there.  Here's a whole ton of pictures of the revised area:

No more Outer Hanks/Bubba Gump Shrimp...

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...No more Hungry Hippo...

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...and no more sea of blacktop!

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Pretty sure this should have a sign on it?

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Some other decorations:

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Poor old Volcano queue house/station.  Hopefully being saved for whatever will eventually go there.

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Still nothing going on behind the fence.

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So I had some super-high hopes for the Scrambler re-theme into Arachnidia.

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While the new paint definitely looks nice, it appears that the went from a shitty 1980s lighting package to no lighting package whatsoever.  It was still only the second weekend, so maybe it's still in the works?

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Avalanche Reptilian is also back accessible, and looking great, but was sadly not running first thing in the morning.  It did open later, but had a line backed up past the old Volanco building, so we decided to pass.  So glad they decided to save this, being the only one in the US and a rarity throughout the world.

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So here's what everyone's really excited about...Tiki Twirl!  Sorry, I guess I'll start using it's real name:  Tumbili.

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Okay, new ride review time!

Tumbili:  Though this is a shorter model than the "standard" that has been cloned ad-infinitum at most Six Flags parks, I figured that would actually work in my favor, since I was not a big fan of Joker at SFGAdv.  Yes, it's braked around each of the turn-arounds, just like all of the others, and has spin-inducing magnets on top of the first hill and just before the second turn around.  Yes also, the station is only designed to load/unload one car at a time (there are two total), and they use the same parking position for both activities.  In good news, there is no mandatory locker situation; instead there is a box for loose articles/bags accessible directly before entering the loading area, which is also completely accessible to the next group and anyone exiting or waiting to use a disabled-access-pass.  Wasn't the biggest fan of this from a security standpoint, but I guess it's better than mandatory-use lockers.  There is a nice soundtrack as you climb the lift, and in the back set of seats you get a great view of the park from the lift.  Also note that there is a Fast Lane queue built; it merges before the split to go to either side of the station.  It was not in use this day, nor was there any signage indicating that's what the second path was for. Here's a video of a complete cycle:

What did I think?  Meh, just like Joker.  30-45 minute wait.  Ian and I got three full flips, and noticed our side-mates (two small children) got like 7, so if you're lighter you'll get more rotation.  I think it's a great addition to the park and will help draw crowds away from other lines, but one and done was enough for me for my lifetime.  Ian felt exactly the same way. Unfortunately it will also draw more crowds to Reptilian, which is still my #3 ride in this park. 5/10.

After Tumbili, we made our way over to Mac Bowl for some always-delicious Mac & Cheese.  The portion size is back up slightly, but still $15 a bowl and still no extra scoop if you're not getting a protein.  I did like the little flags.

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We then went to get in line for Racer 75 (right side only running), but the queue was halfway to the entrance and they were only running one train, so we passed.  Twisted Timbers had an empty train stuck on the lift hill, so instead we made our way to the hidden Grizzly.  As always, no real line here, and we had a three-and-a-half train wait for the front row.  They were only running one train here as well.  Saw a bunch of new wood throughout the course, which this ride has always needed, so it's good to see the park investing in it.

We took a walk up to the log flume and found it dry (normal for this time of the year, but was hoping), and made our way back down Candy Apple Grove to the not-formally-themed Alien Invasion: NASCAR Edition area of the park, and found Flight of Fear closed and Intimidator 305 with a line 3/4 of the way back to the entrance (but no switchbacks open), so we passed there too.

I checked the app and saw Twisted Timbers was running again, so we made our way back over there and grabbed a back-row ride (45 minutes)  I've said it before, and I'll say it every time, this is such an incredible ride with a stupid loose article policy.  The locker-area attendant was also doing a horrible job, since once we got past the checkpoint we had a straight shot into the rows for the station and only had two pairs in front of us for the back row.  Several rows were going out empty on every train.  It seemed like they were only allowing one or two people into the locker area at a time, and holding up everyone (even if they didn't need the lockers) until those in the locker area finished.

I checked the gift shops for any Reptilian shot glasses to add to my collection, but found zero merchandise for it.  There was plenty of Tumbili, though.  Maybe in the re-designed shop in Jungle X-Pedition, which was not yet open?  We headed out after this, since we had to get north to Hanover Maryland for the concert, and DC traffic is always a bitch and a half, even on a Saturday.

All in all, a good, if not short, day at the park to start my 2022 park season.  I've also learned my lesson about trying to do parks without skip-the-line passes...nope, not going to happen again.

Bonus!  They were handing out "First to Ride" pins after people got off Tumbili, and Ian had managed to grab one before we even got on the ride, so I've got three.  I don't collect coaster pins, so if anyone wants them, shoot me a PM and we'll work out the details.

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That's all for Kings Dominion on their second operating weekend of the year...next trip I have planned is to Kentucky Kingdom/Holiday World/Kings Island/Stricker's Grove around the 4th of July, but I'll probably get somewhere else before then.

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I haven't been on Reptilian before (formerly Avalanche).  It's one of the rides we seem to have missed on previous trips.  I've only been to Kings Dominion a few times in my life.  If I'm going with 5 buddies of mine (6 of us total) are we supposed to occupy 6 out of the 7 cars to all ride together, or are we supposed to sit two per seat?  Is it awkward?  Any insight on the logistics of this ride or suggestions?

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That depends - how close are you and your buddies? Sitting in your buddies lap is only going to be awkward if you make it awkward. Also, are any of you going to die if you can't all ride together?

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1 hour ago, boldikus said:

That depends - how close are you and your buddies? Sitting in your buddies lap is only going to be awkward if you make it awkward. Also, are any of you going to die if you can't all ride together?

I've known these guys for a few months.  What do you suggest?  Ideally, we'd be on the same trains on each ride that day instead of splitting up.

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7 minutes ago, dkepler said:

I've known these guys for a few months.  What do you suggest?

Its only gonna be awkward if one of you gets a boner. (Kidding, the ride ops would probably not let two grown men sit in one car, but then again its Kings Dominion where nothing makes sense so ymmv.)

7 minutes ago, dkepler said:

Ideally, we'd be on the same trains on each ride that day instead of splitting up.

So you're willing to deal with the clusterf*ck of the six of you trying to line up in six rows just so you can ride in separate rows on the same train? JFC. Just jump on where you can and move along to the next ride. Bill is 100% right, you're putting way too much thought into this.

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I don't think it's weird at all to want to ride on the same train as your friends. Part of the fun of riding coasters is seeing the in-the-moment reactions of the people you're with.

Dkepler, my friends and I wouldn't think twice about sharing a car on Avalanche. But everybody's different.

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6 hours ago, boldikus said:

Its only gonna be awkward if one of you gets a boner.

At least you will have a cool nickname for  when it happens that you will never forget... THE REPTILIAN. Now that's all you're gonna think about. Better get seperate seats.

Look what you got yourself into. 

Edited by anonymouscactus
Sorry not sorry
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9 hours ago, DBru said:

I don't think it's weird at all to want to ride on the same train as your friends. Part of the fun of riding coasters is seeing the in-the-moment reactions of the people you're with.

By staring at the back of their head?  

Unless it's a slow day, or they have someone controlling the amount of people in the station (hint: they won't), I would suggest that you all don't try to ride it all at the same time. People trying to group together is one of the main things that creates a line on this ride.

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49 minutes ago, CoasterNerd87 said:

By staring at the back of their head?  

Unless it's a slow day, or they have someone controlling the amount of people in the station (hint: they won't), I would suggest that you all don't try to ride it all at the same time. People trying to group together is one of the main things that creates a line on this ride.

LOL seriously. Unless you're sitting in each others laps, seeing your friends reactions is going to be pretty tough on this ride. If anything, trying to crane your neck around while riding in order to see your buddies face will be what is going to make the entire experience awkward. 🤣

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How about just getting on the ride and enjoying it, whether you have to split up or not? I think that's the best policy.

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Meh. Especially on a low intensity ride like this, most of the fun is gone if you can't communicate with your friends. Sitting silently between a group of strangers is much less fun. Just try to take the whole train, nobody is going to care. 

 

On second thought. Just assess the situation. Does it feel appropriate to take up the whole train? How will people judge you? Do you want to sit in your friends lap. What will happen if you ask to sit in your friends lap? Can you still be friends, or is this a road you can't go back on? Think this over very carefully, it could change your friendship forever. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We were at the park last Saturday. We actually didn't get there until about 3 (you can read about why on the BGW thread if you care) and they were only open until 8, but since we had been there before and didn't need to get on every little thing and had FL+ we were able to do everything we wanted. It was not as busy as I would have thought it to be for a Saturday but it did close kind of early and it was a pretty chilly, breezy day. 

I thought the jungle retheme where Tumbili is was fairly nice looking, my son kind of thought it "eh". He rode Tumbili, it's too much flipping for me. He did say that it flipped way more than any other free spin he had been on. Racer only had the blue train going anytime we were near it, Dominator was dead most of the time we were there and of course water rides weren't open for the season yet. 

We got in line for I305 about 7:50 and got a ride on what would have been the second to last train of the night but as we approached the station after the brake run the ops got a no go light on the other train which was in the station; so, they kicked off those riders and sent them out which kind of sucks cuz it was after 8 by then so they couldn't get on anything else but of course that's the chance you take. Anyway now the ride is down, one train stuck in the station and one train with us in the front row and two other people in the back row stuck out on the track outside the station. After 15-20 minutes of messing with it they finally put the first train in some sort of maintenance mode to get it slowly pulled part way up the lift hill so they could get us into the station. There were about a dozen higher ups and maintenance people by the time the 4 of us were able to get off. I have to say even though we have done many many events and left parks very late I think that was the most deserted theme park I have every walked through on our way out. The jungle theme is much more intense when it is dark and the jungle drum music is blaring and there is no one else around, lol! 

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Agreed about KD being freaky at night when its empty. We've walked from I305 to the entrance at 12-12:30 at night after marathoning I305 in the dark during Haunt and between the music and the dark, empty, fog-filled paths I don't know if I've been nearly as creeped out at any other time in a park.

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Does anyone actually really like S&S freespins? Like, genuinely? 

I've been on both Joker and Batman (SFFT) now and I told myself I won't ever step foot on another. Incredibly uncomfortable, horrid rides. 

Will be at Dominion in a few weeks here and will happily skip this one... Give me a boomerang/SLC any day over these things. Oof. 
 

 

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I tried to approach it like that, as I do love top spins and other spinny flats... X2 is also one of my favorite rides of all time... But the mix of what these free spins do just doesn't mix poorly, haha. I'd probably prefer if they didn't have the 'kicker' magnetics to initiate spin and just did their own thing, or had a smoother control rail like traditional 4D's. 

I thought maybe I had a bad ride on Joker, so thought I would at least give it another go on Batman the other day, but that just sealed the deal for me. 

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1 hour ago, Invertalon said:

Does anyone actually really like S&S freespins? Like, genuinely?

Yes, I absolutely love them.  They're friggin wacky and I hit the brakes with an ear-to-ear grin every time.  No ride has ever made me scream with terror and laughter as much as a freespin.

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I'm not the biggest fan of the free spins either, but lately I've been taking the approach of stapling myself to oblivion on them to prevent sliding around, and it's actually helped.  Tumbili was an enjoyable ride.  

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3 hours ago, Invertalon said:

Does anyone actually really like S&S freespins? Like, genuinely? 

I've been on both Joker and Batman (SFFT) now and I told myself I won't ever step foot on another. Incredibly uncomfortable, horrid rides. 

Will be at Dominion in a few weeks here and will happily skip this one... Give me a boomerang/SLC any day over these things. Oof. 
 

 

I rode Joker at Six Flags Great Adventure once, and that was one too many times for me.  I go on rides to have fun, not to be scared out of my wits.  I didn't find it uncomfortable, though.  I just found it to be too unpredictable.

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On 4/4/2022 at 12:39 PM, teacherkim said:

We were at the park last Saturday. We actually didn't get there until about 3 (you can read about why on the BGW thread if you care) and they were only open until 8, but since we had been there before and didn't need to get on every little thing and had FL+ we were able to do everything we wanted. It was not as busy as I would have thought it to be for a Saturday but it did close kind of early and it was a pretty chilly, breezy day. 

I thought the jungle retheme where Tumbili is was fairly nice looking, my son kind of thought it "eh". He rode Tumbili, it's too much flipping for me. He did say that it flipped way more than any other free spin he had been on. Racer only had the blue train going anytime we were near it, Dominator was dead most of the time we were there and of course water rides weren't open for the season yet. 

My son and I ended up visiting KD on Sunday! It also ended up being pretty dead during the four hours we were there (11 to 3). Fast Lane was not only not necessary, it would have been a total waste of a purchase. With the exception of Twisted Timbers and Tumbili, we were able to get on every ride on our list as either a walk-on or a station wait.

At opening, we power walked over to Tumbili to get it out of the way before the lines got too long. Apparently this only has two trains on the track, which was a little surprising to see. I absolutely agree that Tumbili flipped a TON. I've been on the similar free spins at Great Adventure, New England, Discovery Kingdom, and the Texas parks, and the only one that came close to this was the one at Fiesta Texas. And this was more insane than that! After getting some hangtime on the first dip after the lift, we did four full rotations in a row going over the first major drop, then got another two full rotations in the opposite direction on the second major drop. It legitimately felt like we were on a Zipper on rails. It's easily the most intense one of its kind that I've been on to date, and was a real shock to the system considering I went in with zero expectations. Definitely works as a good replacement for the Crypt... now here's hoping they can get a replacement as equally good for the missing coaster across the way.

Once we got off, we hit up Reptilian (first public train of the day). Love the repaint! Clearly though there must have been a sale on orange paint this past offseason, between Avalanche and their Scrambler getting the orange coat, not to mention all the random rides throughout the Six Flags chain that have gotten orangeified. Afterwards, we made our way over to Flight of Fear to be greeted with a completely empty queue. We got a front row ride with a station wait, then a reride in the back row with no wait at all. 305 was up next, and I guess I must be getting soft in my old age because I'm finally starting to grey out a little on that pull out from the first drop. Still, two rides in a row here as well! Love this beast of a coaster.

Afterwards, we knocked out Anaconda and Backlot Stunt Coaster in short order. My son wanted to do Delirium as he hadn't been on a pendulum ride in some time, and we got on with no wait, only for the ride to shut down due to another rider accidentally dropping their crutch over the edge of the platform. They had to completely turn it off and wait for maintenance to retrieve it, otherwise it could have been crushed when the platform lowered. Rather than waiting around for that, we ended up heading over to Racer (1 train wait, only 1 train on the blue side running). Not a ton of airtime on it this year, might have just been because it was still relatively early in the day and early in the season. Hopefully when we visit again in the summer it'll be back to its usual self.

Next on our list was Twisted Timbers, the only ride to have a significant line all day. When we entered through the queue, the line was back to where the wrecked pickup truck is, and it was pretty slow moving. Couldn't help but notice that most of the trains being sent out had between 3-5 empty rows in them. Unfortunately after about 10 minutes of waiting in line, it started moving quick... and that was because the ride went down for maintenance and they were clearing out the line. Instead, we took a short detour over to the antique cars, then back to Delirium which was up and running once more. While on Delirium, we saw that TT sent a test train through the course, so after we got off the pendulum, we hightailed it back to find a completely empty queue. This was also our first experience with the new locker system, and suddenly, it made so much sense as to why most of these trains were being sent out with empty rows. Only two of the three kiosks were active, and the process to rent out a free locker took about 60 seconds. I can definitely see this being a huge bottleneck on busier days.

We did one lap on TT before realizing we were running up against our self-imposed time limit of leaving by 3 PM. We were trying to make it back home to northern NJ by dinnertime. (Well, 95 had other plans.) And so, we decided to head back towards the front of the park and make Dominator our final ride before hitting the road. Still our favorite floorless! Overall, even though we were only at the park for 4 hours in all, it was 4 hours well spent. Great to get back to one of my favorite parks for the first time this year and hope to be back down many more times over the next few months!

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