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Photo TR: Opening Day at Kings Dominion


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A park's opening day can be a bit of a mess. For example, Kings Dominion's opening day last year was a parade of technical issues and non-operating rides (Twisted Timbers was especially temperamental, but it was brand new). But the weather yesterday was perfect--partly sunny and breezy, with temps in the high 70s (a perfect Virginia spring day).

 

And, hey, KD did itself proud, with most of the coasters operating pretty smoothly. There was a bump here and there (Drop Tower was broken most of the afternoon and Windseeker found a bit too much wind, for example). But, overall, I think KD was pretty happy with how things went--and they drew a good-sized crowd. And, yes, the Mushrooms were singing.

 

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"In a gadda da vida, honey!"

 

I had a few objectives, aside from riding Twisted Timbers, I305, and Dominator:

 

1. Volcano--had they started dismantling it?

2. The old Dinosaurs Alive gift shop--what was it now?

3. The new Parched Pig tap room--was it open?

 

Let's have a look around.

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Good morning, Kings Dominion. You're looking very "springy" today.

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Sorry, but there will be no photos from on high in this report. But the Eiffel Tower should look great when they've finished painting it.

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For now, enjoy the floral clock.

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I should've hopped on Drop Tower earlier in the day. But, hey, this is a purty photo of it.

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Twisted Timbers was ready to rock and roll.

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This ride is in my top ten.

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Let's see . . . green train, whoa!

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Blue train, whee!

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But watch out for the Cell-Phone-Eating Tree! (They do have zippered pouches in the trains now for phones and other items, but they don't exactly advertise it outside the ride entrance.)

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Look--another ride in my top ten!

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Yep--still as intense as ever.

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They look sufficiently . . .

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. . . intimidated.

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Hmm--looks like Anaconda was so intimidated that its lift hill stopped. If you're evacuated from this ride, count yourselves lucky.

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"Yeah, I don't know why anybody rides Anaconda, either. Then again, I'm a zebra, and the restraints can't accommodate me."

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They did some retracking on Racer75, and their new control system makes it really "race" again. But I'd still stay off the wheel seats.

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The prettiest that Racer75's sign will look all year.

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But the old name is still there.

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Move along, people. Nothin' to see here.

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Well, no more rides on Volcano . . .

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. . . but you can always queue up for Avalanche.

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Did you remember to sign Volcano's card? I'm not sure who did this, but a number of enthusiast groups, including ACE, were at the park that day.

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There's even a wee tombstone.

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Can you hear the ghostly "br-a-a-ack whoo-s-s-s-s-s-sh"?

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RIP, Volcano: The Blast Coaster.

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The waterfall still works, though.

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This was the old Dinosaurs Alive gift shop. It's been rethemed to Grizzly, which makes sense as you have to walk though the gift shop to get to the ride.

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They added a little gemstone "mine," too.

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I like what they did with the place.

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It looks like a country store, which is also somebody's home.

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Old, ferocious grizzly.

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New, goofy grizzly.

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What's this? The Parched Pig is open for business? It's located in Old Virginia, across from the log ride.

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Center of the Universe in nearby Ashland makes all the "Kings Brews." But other Virginia breweries, such as Hardywood and Legend, are represented, as well.

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"Oink! This Kings Brew Amber Lager would go good with a nice, hot plate of pulled me!"

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There's beer-related merchandise, of course.

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Well, time head home.

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See you later, Tower--looking forward to your new paint job. Thanks for reading.

Edited by cfc
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Looks like a pretty good opening day! Thanks for the report, Chuck.

 

Gotta say, while I'm really not a fan of the ride it accompanies, the new Grizzly gift shop looks stellar. Such a great compliment to Old Virginia, fits in with the theme so well.

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Great report!

 

Are they changing the color of the Eiffel Tower or just applying a new layer of paint?

 

I think just fresh paint in the same color (or close to it). It was looking pretty rusty in spots.

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^There were some artificial flowers and a card you could sign.

 

Sad for Volcano...

 

Yeah, me too. May it rest in peace.

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