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PHOTO TR: Dombot's Virginia 'Ventures


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Hey all!

I don't know how to write TR's, but I really wanted to share this trip. Please bare with me.

About a month ago I took my very first "official" coaster trip with my family and some friends over to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion. I'd been to BGW before, back during Verbolten's opening year, but never KD (or any other Cedar Fair park for that matter) so to say I was hyped for this trip was an understatement. BGW was the first park we visited, and I had an awesome time here. It's still my favorite park I've ever been to. The park was dead all day, too, due to an all-day overcast. But it didn't rain once. Score.

 

REVIEWS:

 

Loch Ness Monster: This was our first ride of the day and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I rode it first in the second to last row, and holy crap that first drop in the rear has borderline ejector, kinda weird with Arrow OTSRs. The loops are pretty forceful, I love the new tunnel effects, and the setting is unparalleled. Rode it three more times over the course of the day, once in the front and twice in the back. Long live Nessie. 9/10

 

Alpengeist: Easily the king of the park in my eyes. While the big bad B&M hyper and legendary Arrow is hard to ignore, this is still the best coaster at BGW. The first half of the ride is complete perfection; it's just one inversion after another at insane speeds. I actually greyed out during the Immelman, that tiny tunnel after the loop makes for a really good foot chopper, the cobra roll was just as insane as I remembered, and that transition into the MCBR is still hilariously snappy. The second half gets a lot of flack for killing the pacing of the ride, but I think it's the perfect way to end the ride. The zero-g roll is filled with hangtime, and I love the way the ride interacts with the theming during the final turns. Say what you want, but when put against my hometown invert, Montu, it's no contest as to what's the better ride. 10/10

 

InvadR: I love GCI coasters a ton; in fact, my first ever "big" coaster was one of their most infamous creations, Gwazi. I loved that ride up until it's closure, and while I was sad to see it go, I could still get my wooden coaster fix at two certain independently-owned parks in Central Florida just a short drive away. That being said, I think Mine Blower may have been dethroned as my favorite wooden coaster. I know, I know, I'm crazy, but seriously, this little thing surprised me SO much. It's a bit on the short side layout-wise, but it crams everything into it's layout. That first drop is perfect in the back, the laterals throughout the ride are some of the strongest I've ever felt on a non-wild-mouse ride, and there's awesome floater on almost every hill. It's a perfect addition to BGW's lineup, and I hope it lasts much longer than SeaWorld's other wooden coaster. 9.5/10

 

Verbolten: I remember loving this ride during my last visit. I loved it so much, in fact, I loved it so much that I rode it three times and immediately called it the best coaster ever after my first lap. Oh how foolish I was back then. In all seriousness, while it has gone down in my rankings over the years, it's still a hell of a ride and the perfect family coaster in my opinion. The indoor section was surprisingly intense, and I still think that drop track is one of the best parts of any coaster ever period. The second half is definitely weaker (and a bit rougher) than I remember, but it's still one of the most fun coasters I've ever been on. 8.5/10

 

Apollo's Chariot: Okay, I'm gonna get a lot of sh*t from this, but this is my least favorite coaster at the park. Yeah, I understand your concern, but let me just say that I love this ride with every fiber of my being. It was my first hyper, so I have a history with it, but compared to Mako, this is just not that great of a ride. The first drop is great, especially in the back. I love the way the layout goes through the forest, and it's probably the smoothest coaster I've ever been on bar none. Floater air on almost every hill, that weird banked drop is always fun... I don't know, I'm just not the biggest fan of this thing. I like it, but I don't love it. Sorry Apollo fanboys, I just don't get the hype. 7/10

 

Tempesto: This was my first Sky Rocket II. Prior to my visit, I heard that the comfort collars are complete bull, it had horrible rattle, and as far as these models go this is the weaker one. So needless to say I didn't go in with the highest of hopes. Um, what the hell? This thing is AMAZING! Sure, the restraints are a hassle to get in and out of, but in the back car, this ride is crazy intense. The backwards launch up into the non-inverting loop is crazy disorienting and possibly my favorite part of the ride. The roll gives terrifying hangtime too; so crazy, in fact, my eleven year old sister thought she was gonna fall out, and I didn't blame her. She hated this ride and called it "The Death Coaster" for the rest of the day. Thumbs up for Tempesto. 8/10

 

Griffon: It's a dive machine, so I knew what I was getting myself into. I remember the last time I rode this, getting off and basically thinking "that was fun, but SheiKra is way better". Again, I was very dumb back then. I love the layout, the second drop and inversion over the river is super fun, and as usual on dive coasters, back seat is absolutely insane. Sorry SheiKra, but you've been dethroned. I still love you though. 8/10

 

Grover's Alpine Express: Yes, I got the credit. I'm sad. 5/10

 

Onto the pics! NOTE: I use Google Photos to store my pictures so I don't lose as much storage on my phone, and for some reason they kinda changed the size of some of my pictures. So that's weird, but at least they're there. Enjoy!

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We have arrived! Apollo's Chariot and Tempesto await your arrival.

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Obligatory "this shot has never been taken before I swear I'm original" photo.

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Easily the most beautiful park I've ever been to. You sure this isn't a botanical gardens or something?

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Esacpe from Pompeii is amazing. Rode it twice, and by some miracle I never got splashed. Don't ask me how.

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HORSE SHOT!

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Mmm, history.

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Awesome drop tower. The speakers on the ride vehicle allowed the ride op to troll us and I loved it. 10/10

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"Auf wiederseheeeeen"

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This > Montu. Change my mind

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Two coasters, one picture. Ain't I special?

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When you see this sign, you know that some crazy sh*t is about to go down.

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After spending my childhood at the former Land of the Dragons at BGT, it was pretty cool to see this version was still around.

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2007 flashbacks.

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Here's a terrible selfie to finish off the report. Thanks for reading!

 

Kings Dominion up next!

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InvadR's entrance plaza is truly stunning. May very well be my favorite part of the park.

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same

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I waited 15 minutes for this. It was okay, I guess. I really liked the concept, but the ride is just meh.

Edited by Dombot
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Nice report! I liked the reviews of the coasters.

 

I agree Apollo is basically all floater air but that combined with the setting is enough to make it an excellent ride for me. The slower second half is why I prefer inverts like Montu over Alpengeist. If it could continue the intensity of the first half, it very well could have been my favorite invert.

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Nice report! I liked the reviews of the coasters.

 

I agree Apollo is basically all floater air but that combined with the setting is enough to make it an excellent ride for me. The slower second half is why I prefer inverts like Montu over Alpengeist. If it could continue the intensity of the first half, it very well could have been my favorite invert.

Thanks! I forgot to mention how good Apollo's setting is. It's like a steel Beast and I love it.

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Nice report from your day at BGW! It's neat to think back to how certain rides were our favorites at one point or another and now a different coaster might occupy that spot. At the end of the day they're all fun and being at a park is a great way to spend a day. Looking forward to your next installment!

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Nice report from your day at BGW! It's neat to think back to how certain rides were our favorites at one point or another and now a different coaster might occupy that spot. At the end of the day they're all fun and being at a park is a great way to spend a day. Looking forward to your next installment!

Thanks! It was pretty fun to look back at my last trip to the park. I still don't know how I thought Verbolten was the best coaster I'd ever ridden period.

 

Great report, looking forward to more.

Same!

Thanks guys!

 

Great report!

Much appreciated!

 

Loved the TR, and some of your shots are wonderful! LochNessie,

Alpengeist and the Gardens, noted. Looking forward to more.

Thanks Bill! It's really hard to get a bad picture of anything at BGW, it's probably the most photogenic place I've ever visited.

 

agreed with everyone else. . great start to the report, with some nice pics.

 

looks like you had a great time, and looking forwards to reading more.

Thanks a lot!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alright, time for Part 2!

 

So funny story; Kings Dominion wasn't originally on the agenda for this trip. The day after visiting Busch Gardens, we were supposed to visit Colonial Williamsburg and check out Downtown Richmond. Which was fine by me, I'm not the biggest history person but I love those outdoor museum-like attractions. Always a good time. HOWEVER, my parents surprised us with a trip to the promised land, and holy GOD, when I put two and two together as we went onto the highway exit, I was ECSTATIC. Like, oh man. In retrospect, an overreaction may have occurred. I'm a mess

 

A few notes about the place:

- The park was really well landscaped! Almost everywhere I looked there was really nice theming. Was pretty surprised, considering what I've heard about most other Cedar Fair parks.

 

- Similar to BGW the day before, the park was almost a ghost town because of the overcast. We did have like a half hour rain delay, but it was fine, gave us a reason to get a bite to eat. Longest we waited for anything all day was 15 minutes for the front row of TT. Sweeeeeet.

 

-Volcano being closed was kind of a letdown for me. I've heard horror stories about how much of a maintenance nightmare this thing is, but a part of me was still holding on to hope. It's always been on my bucket list since this DVD my aunt gave me highlighted the ride during like a 20 minute segment. Oh well, gives me enough reason to return at some point.

 

EDIT 2/12/2019: Aw man.

 

-Holy crap, Outer Hank's is awesome. That fried shrimp may be the best meal I've had at a park in quite a while. Highly recommend.

 

Overall, KD is amazing. Go there now. It's got everything you could ever really ask for and then some, you can't go wrong with this place. It's easily one of my favorite parks.

 

REVIEWS

Racer 75: First ride or the day and I loved it. The ride itself isn't too special, but I have a huge thing for classic out-and-back wooden coasters. One thing that surprised me was how smooth it was, there was like one rough spot and that's it. Pretty astounding considering its age. Rode each side once, both in the back car. Nothing astounding, but it sure is fun. 7.5/10

 

Anaconda: What the heck? Going in I was expecting this ride to be the coaster equivalent of getting in a fight with Mike Tyson and losing, but this old Arrow was SO SMOOTH. I don't know how, maybe it was just a fluke, but I loved my one ride on it. That first drop into the lake is super fun, the coat hangover turns after the MCBR were hilariously weird, and the corkscrew produced some of the best hangtime I've ever experienced. So much fun. 8/10

 

Flight of Fear: It was decent. That launch has some serious kick to it, and those first few inversions are so much fun, especially with the minimal restraints. Really the one complaint I have with this ride is the MCBR, it absolutely kills the pace of the ride. Like, the second half is still decently fast, but coming to almost a dead stop less than 45 seconds after the best part of the ride is kind of a buzzkill. It was still fun, and I'd love to try more of these Premier Spaghetti Bowls in the future, but I'm not going to be rushing back to KD just for this ride (as if anyone else would though). 6.5/10

 

Intimidator 305: OH. MY. GOD. The hype is real. This was easily the most anticipated coaster of the day for me, and it 100% did not disappoint. I'd love to give a play by play of this ride's layout, but honesty, I can't. After the absolutely mental first drop, the whole thing's just a blur. What I can tell you is that the infamous first turn is everything I wanted it to be and more, greyouts on every single ride. The transitions throw you around like you're a ragdoll, the last two bunny hops near the end of the ride give off amazing air, and... I mean, just go to Kings Dominion and ride this now. The entire day was worth it just to ride this thing. It's easily my new favorite coaster to ever be built, absolutely amazing. 10/10

 

Volcano: Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

 

Twisted Timbers: It's official- I have sipped the RMC Kool Aid. This was my first RMC, and I am now 100% behind anything these guys are doing. That first drop is insane in the back, I never though I'd ever experience honest to God airtime during an inversion, but lo and behold, Alan Schilke bestowed his blessing upon this ride, therefore miracles happened. This thing has the strongest airtime out of any coaster I've ever been on; 100% ejector on every hill, no exceptions. Seriously, you're out of your seat more than you're in it. So much fun. I do prefer intensity to airtime when it comes down to it, so Twisted Timbers is currently sitting at my Number 3 spot behind Kumba and i305, but this is an absolutely perfect coaster in my eyes. KD really hit it out of the park with this one. 10/10

 

Apple Zapple: Besides the life-changing name, it's just a mouse. Fun ride, but nothing to write home about at the end of the day. Still a really good ride, I especially love the color scheme. 6/10

 

Grizzly: Okay, I like rough rides most of the time. I usually have little to no problem with a little jolt here and there. I've talked about my love for Gwazi, and I never have a problem with Arrows and SLCs. However, there's a difference between shakiness and feeling like you're riding down the track of a coaster on a freaking jackhammer. Good God, kill it with fire. The first drop was fine, a little bit of floater in the front, but nothing special. After that, however, all hell breaks loose. I had to sit out for like 20 minutes and get some Advil from the Dinosaurs Alive gift shop. Never again. 4/10

 

Dominator: Easily my favorite floorless. The turn after the loop is super fun, and the final turns before the brakes are surprisingly intense. Just a good coaster all around, nothing bad to report here except a tiny case of B&M rattle, but that's just me being nitpicky. On another note, this was the first time I've been in the front row on a floorless, and holy crap it's a whole other world. Such a weird feeling having nothing but track in front of you. Nothing but love for Dominator. 8/10

 

Woodstock Express: This was actually really fun! Probably my favorite kiddie coaster period. Barely any airtime throughout, but it's just so much fun. Impeccably smooth, and a hands-up ride all the way through. Dare I say I liked it more than Flight of Fear? 7/10

 

Great Pumpkin Coaster: Credit denied, I was too tall and my little sister didn't want to ride.

 

Avalanche: Yeah... it was weird. I was actually pretty excited to get on this thing, for some reason bobsled coasters have always attracted me. It was fun, but it was just so... odd. You're sitting reclined at like a 45-degree angle all the way through, the restraints are comfortable albeit really funky, and the layout is interesting to say the least. Flying over the pathways was probably my favorite part of the ride, you get some serious height on the turns. I genuinely felt like I was gonna fall out. Weird, but fun. 6.5/10

 

Backlot Stunt Coaster: Short but sweet. The launch was great, and the helix has some serious force to it- not as muc as it's next-door Intamin neighbor, but it was definitely greyout inducing in the back car. None of the effects were working, but it didn't detract from the ride too much, the theming is still on point. The indoor portion was super disorienting and fun, and the dip under the queue is a perfect finish. Loved it, but I do wish it wasn't over in like 60 seconds. 7.5/10

 

Onto the photos! Because I'm very lazy, I didn't take as many pictures as I did the day prior. So there will be some Instagram story screenshots. Apologies in advance. Enjoy!

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And so the day begins. Never did go up on the Eiffel Tower, but it did look pretty cool.

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AND NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE MAIN EVENT

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I honestly have no idea why I took this. If you wanna use it, Larry, be my guest.

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Legendary.

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Hey Bill, how's it going?

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Frickin' bad.

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My current phone wallpaper. Twisted Timbers is such a photogenic ride.

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After posting this I got five messages asking what RMC stood for. lol

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The hype is real and I am now a believer. Get yo butt to Doswell right now and ride this. Everything you've heard about it is true.

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It's basic, but Dominator's entrance plaza is really aesthetically pleasing. I don't know why, it just is.

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The IMPORTANT yellow loop and Berserker. The latter was really fun! Some awesome hangtime to be had, I love these Intamin Inverting Ships.

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And we're gonna end the report how we started it, because why not. Thanks for reading!

Edited by Dombot
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Good report!

 

Rebel Yell was retracked when it was transformed into Racer 75,which is why it's so smooth. I actually like Grizzly and found it reasonably smooth back in April. I think I rode in both the front and very back.

Many thanks! I actually didn't know the ride was retracked during the off-season, I guess you learn something new everyday.

 

I actually rode Grizzly in the very front, and I absolutely despised it. The layout was cool, and I can see why it has a fanbase, but it's just not my ride.

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More love for Hank's. The food was really fresh, the employees were extremely friendly, and the service was quick! All while it was down pouring and people were flooding in. Probably the best non-chain/generic food I've had at a Cedar Fair park.

 

Can't do much about Volcano, we all knew it was/will be down for a while. Still cool it see it in person, though!

 

It's amazing what they did to Racer 75, so hopefully the same team can give some attention to Grizzly. I with you - I'm usually very tolerant of rides with a rough reputation, but Grizzly needs some help. I rode the front seat at night and it had some obvious rough patches. The layout is so basic and compact it's pretty much a bigger version of the junior wooden coaster but it could be a fun night ride for the family if they fixed it up!

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Great update, love this park and can't wait to get back down there next month!

 

Outer Hanks is a nice little spot to catch a brew, their food was alright.

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Fun report.

Makes me want to get to KD soon.

(Love BGW -- and I couldn't agree more on Alpengeist vs. Montu. I love them both, but there is just something about blasting at break-neck speed down that ravine, through the hut and into the cobra roll. That entire section down the ravine has always felt super-intense, especially at night. And I always liked the themeing of Alpengeist.)

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Thanks for the comments everyone!

 

More love for Hank's. The food was really fresh, the employees were extremely friendly, and the service was quick! All while it was down pouring and people were flooding in. Probably the best non-chain/generic food I've had at a Cedar Fair park.

 

Can't do much about Volcano, we all knew it was/will be down for a while. Still cool it see it in person, though!

 

It's amazing what they did to Racer 75, so hopefully the same team can give some attention to Grizzly. I with you - I'm usually very tolerant of rides with a rough reputation, but Grizzly needs some help. I rode the front seat at night and it had some obvious rough patches. The layout is so basic and compact it's pretty much a bigger version of the junior wooden coaster but it could be a fun night ride for the family if they fixed it up!

 

Hank's was such a surprise to me. I also forgot to mention that I tried out the new Mac Bowl place right next to Bad Apple, and hoooo boy, that's some good stuff.

 

I actually was unaware of Volcano's extended closure due to me avoiding the KD for a while prior to the trip. Oopsy daisy. I was aware of how much of a maintenance nightmare the ride can be, so I wasn't 100% depending on the ride being open, but we all know how it turned out in the end. Oh well, I probably would've spent more time at the other Intamin anyway.

 

I loved Grizzly's layout, especially the return leg; those final hills did give some solid floater. If the park did decide to give the thing some TLC, I'd be overjoyed. I could definitely see Millennium Flyers or Timberliners benefit the ride, but that's really just wishful thinking.

 

Great update, love this park and can't wait to get back down there next month!

 

Outer Hanks is a nice little spot to catch a brew, their food was alright.

Thanks! I'll be looking out for your report. Don't let me down.

 

I honestly think I was just surprised to see stuff like Po' boys and fried shrimp at a Cedar Fair park of all places. As a Florida native, the chef absolutely knows what they're doing when it comes to seafood. It was legit.

 

Fun report.

Makes me want to get to KD soon.

(Love BGW -- and I couldn't agree more on Alpengeist vs. Montu. I love them both, but there is just something about blasting at break-neck speed down that ravine, through the hut and into the cobra roll. That entire section down the ravine has always felt super-intense, especially at night. And I always liked the themeing of Alpengeist.)

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