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Photo TR: PKD 4/9/06


DerekRx
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I haven't been to Kings Dominion since they got their last new coaster, which I guess was 2002 so since I was in Virginia and the rest of the team was heading there on Sunday I thought I would join them. I noticed a few days before that it was cheerleading weekend, which I think is pretty much EVERY weekend at a Paramount park since my visit to Canada next month will also be a cheerleader weekend. With that little tidbit and the fact that Italian Job wasn't going to be opened until later next month (even though commercials in the area say "now showing" which is TOTAL false advertising!) I figured I'd pick up a season pass, since I knew I'd need a few days this season at the parks.

 

Well, Greg (Glutenfree) drove up with me since we were going to both buy passes and use the 2 for 69.99 each special. We got there just before opening at 10:30 to find a huge crowd to get into the park. Not a problem though, as we still needed to get our passes and then process them. Well, only 2 out of 12 of the season pass sales windows were opened, and each had a line of about 10 people. 10 minutes later we were 3 people away from getting our tickets when the computer went down. 10 minutes later it was still down, yet no one came over to help us, open another window etc. Then someone mentioned how long the line was to process the pass. Since it was already 11:00 and Greg and I were already frustrated (as was everyone else in the line) we said screw it and used our ACE discount to just get in for the day. When you're having a bad day before you even get INTO the park, you really don't want to give them more money than you have to. You would think that at the beginning of the season a park who keeps advertising sales on season passes would actually have more staff working the sales windows and processing stations, instead of 13 people there to take your picture when you get inside the park. Things like that and their metal detector set up really make me dislike that park (along with their operations as of late). I think of all the parks I've been to, Magic Mountain of all parks has a great set up for metal detectors, you go thru them BEFORE you go thru the turnstile, thus not slowing the lines into the park. Luckily we had plenty of friends to hang out with and keep things fun once we got inside.

 

It was a pretty poor day though, we managed to ride 5 coasters in 5 hours. Italian Job is NOWHERE near complete (it may compete with El Toro for which takes longer, and El Toro may lose that battle!). Hypersonic, Rebel Yell, and Grizzly were all running only 1 train until around 3pm; Rebel still only ran 1 train, but at least they attempted to race. Drop Zone broke when we were next in line to ride, and we got linejumped right in front of the op by about 15 "island folk". The op didn't care though, he was too concerned with people sitting on the handrails.

 

So, that concludes my PKD visit for the year, I'll stop by next year on my way home from Busch for a quick (LOL!) ride on IT. I think I'll spend more time at Busch though, the beer may not be the greatest in the universe, but the park is much better than anything Paramount can attempt to throw at us.

 

Enjoy the photos from the day!

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Lunch was at Bubba Gumps, because it was one of the only *safe* places that was opened

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This IS an acceptable level of water, but it is NOT an acceptable level of nutcracking

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Here's Tomb Raider, it sits by Volcano, shoots fire, sprays water, and attempts to destroy scrotums.

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Tim is pumped, but I'm not sure if its because he's going to ride Volcano in the front seat or because he likes the cheerleading going on in the station

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Oh yeah, it was cheerleading weekend, I almost forgot. Here are some chicks ready to lose all their curlers on Volcano

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It has no vertical loop, but I still like it, probably because it has fire, 2 launches, and a really hot sister

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This is Volcano, its the reason I came here, and it actually opened with the park, unlike its cousin in Spain

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I guess you'll enter over by Volcano and Tomb Raider by the Grille

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Yeah, this is the Italian Job Turbo Stunt Track Something or Other Coaster: The Ride, but it ain't gonna be ready for a while.

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Rebel Yell was running both sides after 12, but only 1 train on each. At least they attempted to race them

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Because its got a vertical loop! However it does not have 2, and therefore not interlocking. If you want interlocking loops, you'll have to go to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg

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This is Shock Wave, its a Togo death standup. We chose to skip it. But I took a picture of it, why?

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Hurler was closed because its too difficult to get rides operational by opening day.

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If you look closely, some toolbox lost their hat on the ride

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Oh, there's the wait, that's right they're running only 1 train

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Cool, no wait in the station.

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Janna finds a way to keep both herself and Borg entertained while in line

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And then you go SLAM! into your super-heavy-keeps-falling-down-on-you restraint

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Very powerful launch, very rough turnaround.

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Why are Adam and Tim so happy? Why, its because they're waiting for 1 train operational Hypersuckit!

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Yey! We're inside the park, we're having fun!

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Here's that Tower thing thats a replica of the one in Cincinnati

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Here we stood for around 15 minutes without moving. Part was because the "Southern Belle" (cheerleader mom) wanted 5 passes, but said she only wanted 1. The rest was because its Kings Dominion, and waiting in line is Paramount!

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More photos from the day:

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LOL! Dumb Fries and Man Asses. If the ACE Coaster Museum isn't being built here, someone needs to seriously consider relocating before ground is broken!

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At least Hanna Barbera survived after getting the boot from Universal Studios. Sadly, Meteor Attack is gone :''(

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This will become go-carts, because no other park in the world has go-carts

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Hooray, this ride is actually running 2 trains now! Tim and Greg don't have to wait more than 10 minutes for the front seat FINALLY

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PKD bigwig: "Grizzly isn't hard enough to find, lets remove the ride entrance sign. Another brilliant idea, I'm giving myself a raise!"

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Give us a beer and the park may have redeemed itself with this new VIP seating area

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Best thing at PKD, the closed Ham on Rye. Makes for a great waiting area while your friends are still in line for something running only 1 train

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"Congratulations, you've just been line-jumped by 15 Jamaicans, you're next to ride, and the ride is broken. What are you going to do now?!"

 

Me: "I'm going anywhere NOT operated by Paramount!"

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This guy is enjoying a nap while the ops take forever checking the restraints

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Oooh, Drop Zone, Intamin goodness...

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Random Paramount bigwig says "lets get some outside vendors. How about one that's closed 50% of the time during our early and late operating season. That sounds brilliant!"

 

Stupid Chick-Fil-A

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Everyone enjoys the wacky ending to the Treasure Cave, as well as the rest of the cute little walk thru

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Luckily the Treasure Cave still exists and has no line! (probably the ONLY thing at PKD that doesn't!)

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Scooby had too long of a wait, leaving my new since 2002 at PKD count remaining at zero

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Except they can't touch the bricks!

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While in line for Avalanche, everyone looks normal...

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Its not the best Mack bobsled, but its still lots of fun, and even the little ones can ride it

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Avalanche, the only Mack bobsled in North America, and one of the funnest rides at the park!

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Glad I'm not the only one who feels like all of the G forces on Tomb Raider are directed straight into your crotch (see my TR a thread down from yours). It's funny how different our visits sound, even though they were just a day apart; thank god for the rain on Saturday I guess!

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^^^Beer and Coaster Team

 

 

LOL this tr makes me REALLY want to go to PKD! Not!

 

I still think it's amusing how when I went, the ride I wanted to go on the most was Avalanche, and I could not find it for the life of me. Now that I think about it, I wonder if it was closed during Volcano construction. That might be why.

 

I also did not see the sweet Togo standup! I would have been all over that! Man, what was I doing that day? Yeah, I definitely need to head back there. Maybe it will be raining and/or cold when I go. Seems to work for me at PCW.

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What? They got around to running two trains on Grizzly? The gods have smiled on you! I can't remember the last time PKD ran two trains on any of their woodies (at least they picked the best one).

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I'll just add a couple of pictures as my trip went a little better than yours on Saturday. Hypersonic was a walk as pretty much every thing else with the rain. We pretty much sat in the V.I.P section as well for most of the day.

Welcome to Kings Dominion.

 

AAAAAaarrrrrnnnhhh ! 6 laps on Volcano

 

UUUUHHHHG -AAaaarrrnnh.

 

Volcano "as seen through trees"

 

Noooooooooooooooo! It's closed

 

Construction Photos of IJTC

 

Go-kart construction

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I used to love King's Dominion. Really, I did.

 

After this visit, I'm not ready to give up the park just yet. Busch wasn't even in full stride (stacking 2 trains on Apollo?!?), so we'll give them some benefit of the doubt. Slow Virginia folks still shaking off the winter funk, or something.

 

But if things don't improve, PKD is headed in a bad direction...

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^Speaking of slow Virginia people, what the heck is up with everyone from Virginia driving in the left hand lane but not actually passing? That really got annoying on I-95 and I-64.

 

I just think a park like PKD who KNEW how many people were supposed to be there this weekend would have been better prepared, with more trains on coasters and more staffing at critical areas. Its not like it was a weekend where they were only expecting 1,000 guests in the park because there were no groups and then the weather was gorgeous and so 10,000 people showed up when they were staffed for 1/10th of that. They arranged the cheerleading weekend, and should have been better prepared to handle them as well as the usuals. Maybe I will end up there later in the year, but its pretty much the same thing as my last visit in April, 4 years ago. Really disappointing, considering how much I loved PKD back when I got into this hobby.

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I can't believe they removed the sign from Grizzly. I remember every time I walked down the exit ramp people were walking the other way thinking it was the entrance.

 

Hey, at least we can buy beer wherever we want in Virginia. I about died when I was in Pennsylvania trying to find somewhere that sold beer after 8pm. That was ridiculous...

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I was wondering, (as i'm going to PKD in 2 weeks on April 22nd) how is Hypersonic running? I've never been on it, is it like an intamin ride in that it's relatively smooth? I heard it has rubber, air-filled tires instead of running on steel coaster wheels, any more info on that, or a close up picture perhaps?

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^^^Hey, we're just slow because most of us sit in traffic several hours a day. But, that left lane thing gets me too, so I understand.

 

I haven't made my trip to PKD this year yet and by the looks of things I'll be in no rush. Probably just a quick trip for IJ when it opens. And Go-Carts next to Grizzly? WTF?

 

This year I may actually consider SFA my home park.

 

Gary

 

"Only a ManAssas resident for 2 more months"

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I was wondering, (as i'm going to PKD in 2 weeks on April 22nd) how is Hypersonic running? I've never been on it, is it like an intamin ride in that it's relatively smooth? I heard it has rubber, air-filled tires instead of running on steel coaster wheels, any more info on that, or a close up picture perhaps?

 

You are correct about the wheels. The launch is the best part of the ride by far and it runs smooth on the track after an abrupt launch up and over the top of the tower. After that the ride is a joke. It shuffles around the curves and it slams into the brakes. As an overall coaster operation it is pretty pathetic but the experience of the launch is world class. Dodonpa on the other hand is a great overall ride that also has a more natural launch, meaning that it doesn't go a minimal distance before climbing a tower but rather has a long straightaway launch.

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I think of all the parks I've been to, Magic Mountain of all parks has a great set up for metal detectors, you go thru them BEFORE you go thru the turnstile, thus not slowing the lines into the park.

 

Canada's Wonderland is done this way. The metal detectors are before the turnstiles/ticket booths.

 

The last time I was at PCW on cheerleader day I had to sit across from 2 chearleaders on Slegehammer. 10 year old chearleaders in mini skirts, sitting across from you on bucket seats is not a good thing. I spent the whole ride looking straight left.

 

At least one of the Paramount parks is run properly. Co-incidence that it's in Canada? I think not.

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I was wondering, (as i'm going to PKD in 2 weeks on April 22nd) how is Hypersonic running? I've never been on it, is it like an intamin ride in that it's relatively smooth? I heard it has rubber, air-filled tires instead of running on steel coaster wheels, any more info on that, or a close up picture perhaps?

 

When I rode opening day it seemed faster than the last 2 years when they just had it inch over the top but the shuffling is still very bad after the hill and the ending just sucks......PKD please put magnetic brakes on it (65mph to a dead stop on fin brakes is NOT fun) EVERY XLC train when dispatched goes to the "scale track" where it is weighed then the computer calculates the air pressure needed to inch it over the top...not like Intamins...Volcano rides by yourself (as in you are the only one on the train) are UNBELIEVABLE...I hit 79mph befoe on Volcano.

 

JEFF

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