KDCOASTERFAN wrote:Was looking at CP's live webcam for a couple hours & was thinking that KD sure could use one....they could mount it on ET & have it aimed at the grove/congo area or facing south toward rebel yell/americana/windseeker.
I believe there was one at one time many years ago but it only showed International street. Half the time it was working then rest of time it was down...
Hey, me and my dad are planning on hitting KD during our trip to DC in late July and we'll be at the park August 2nd. How crowded do you all think it will be, and do you guys have any tips or tricks for fitting everything in one day, also what to hit when and stuff.
How often do you go to Kings Dominion and learn something—other than fully loaded funnel cakes and the Triple Spin ride don’t mix? Starting this year, the park is offering you a chance to learn something about our planet’s primeval past and have fun doing it with Dinosaurs Alive, a six-acre “animatronic” dinosaur park next to the Grizzly wooden coaster in the Old Virginia section.
But not to worry—the park hasn’t abandoned thrill rides, thanks to the new 301-foot-tall Windseeker, which is just around the corner from Dinosaurs Alive.
KD invited Theme Park Review to take a closer look at their new offerings for 2012, and I was happy to accept their invitation last Thursday (June 7). Gene Petriello, the park’s manager of communications marketing, gave me a personal tour of both attractions that afternoon. (I squeezed in a few rides on Volcano and Intimidator 305 while I was at it, too.)
The prehistoric monsters have a great habitat in Dinosaurs Alive. The woods next to Grizzly are the perfect natural setting for the 3,000-foot-long path that winds around to the end of the coaster and back. Thirty-six animatronic, motion-activated dinos roar and strut their stuff as visitors wander along, taking in the sights and the numerous educational signs along the way. Many of the dinos represented hadn’t even been “discovered” until 2010, so I wasn’t familiar with many of them. (Your average eight-year-old kid probably know more about dinosaurs than me.) How many of you have heard of “Huayangosaurus,” “Ruyangosaurus giganteous,” or “Mojoceratops” (my personal favorite)?
There are three “interactive” dinos, as well, and I imagine kids would (and plenty of adults) would enjoy pushing their buttons and making them roar, lurch, and reach. Some scenes, such as “Pack Attack” and “Predator Trap,” involve multiple monsters, and there’s a “dig site” where kids can “discover” their own dinosaur.
Dinosaurs Alive is not included with park admission, and requires a $5.00 up charge. The prehistoric beasts were built by Dinosaurs Unearthed, a company in British Columbia, Canada.
But what about Windseeker? This ride provides a “different sort of thrill,” according to Gene. It’s a good compromise for those who want something more thrilling than the observation deck on the park’s Eiffel Tower, but less gut-churning than the plunge of Drop Tower. I’d say Windseeker is a very pleasant ride as it twirls around, giving you views of the park and of about 18 miles or so of the surrounding countryside. The ride even provides 19 different music tracks. (Gene and I heard “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” on our ride; the next cycle featured the theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.)
A ride on Windseeker lasts about three minutes, at a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour (or 8 rotations per minute). The manufacturer is Mondial, a Dutch ride company. Riders must be at least 52 inches tall.
Let’s have a look at Dinosaurs Alive and Windseeker.
"Welcome to Kings Dominion! Why don't you go in and enjoy some nice fattening food, like funnel cake, fried chicken, and ice cream, then come back here so I can eat you?"
This dino has the sweetest spot at KD, with all that shade and water. Too bad he doesn't eat fish.
The entrance and exit to both Dinosaurs Alive and Grizzly is through this gift shop.
You can buy your $5.00 ticket at one of two kiosks, or from a cashier in front of the shop.
Grizzly is to the left . . .
. . . and Dinosaurs Alive is to the right.
The "fossils" in the sidewalk are a nice touch.
Be careful--you just might learn something!
"Oh, gawd, a predator on my back. Lousy way to start the day!"
"And it's about to get a lot worse, pal."
Definitely not our dino!
What's this? A "yogabbagabbasaurus"?
"Push my buttons, and I will like fish for you."
Hmm--I wonder what the rocks say?
Very interesting . . . there once was a young man from Nantucket . . . hey!
This is the "Predator Trap" scene. These young predators are trapped in a bog. I think the wily vegetarian dino on the left suckered them in.
You don't say?
"Yes--I do say!"
Gene has made a discovery! What should he name it?
How about "Chuckasaurus" or "Campbellodon"?
Here's a nice thematic touch--a "dig area" that's divided into a grid. They use some ambient noise, too, such as distant rumbles and breaking branches.
Here is is, workin' his mojo, profilin' for the ladies!
What's that you say . . . oh, crap!
We escaped the T-Rexes and made it to Windseeker.
I thought the seats were very comfortable (more so that your average chair swing or Star Flyer seats).
Here's the control booth for you truly obsessive control-booth fans.
From here, you're probably thinking, "It doesn't look that high."
But when you ride, you realize that it is, indeed, "that high"!
The seats flare out at a 45-degree angle when Windseeker really gets going. The capacity is 64 riders in 32 seats. The ride carriage is 81 feet in diameter on the ground, but 110 feet when the arms are extended.
One other thing--they take two pictures of you at the entrance to Dinosaurs Alive (no obligation to buy). One is a peaceful scene with some pteranodons flying around in the background. Then there's this one. Thanks for reading.
Nice photos, Chuck.They did a great job with Dinosaurs Alive and I think a part of that is due to the natural wooded setting at KD. Glad you also posted a photo of the entrance as I probably would have had a hard time looking for Grizzly when I visit next week.
Intimidator305 wrote:And then we also had the world's worst webcam when Intimidator 305 was being constructed!
KD has stepped it up a bit on their wesbite and Facebook recently, so a webcam is possible now. Kings Island and Carowinds all have them too.
Did you take notice of the new blog KD's added to their site? this should prove interesting in the coming seasons.
I might be able to make two trips in the span of one week soon,first is a group trip during the last week of june & then the usual trip on the 23rd with the guys so I'll definitely end up with another KD hangover after that week is over.
^It depends if you are into dinosaurs or not, or have kids or not. I saw that many children had a blast moving the dinosaurs around with the buttons, and I saw parents enjoying seeing their kids have fun. I, personally, thought it was 'OK'.
My Top 5 Coasters -1). El Toro2). Intimidator 305 3). Thunderhead 4). Kingda Ka5). Apollo's Chariot
Coaster_Fanatic wrote:^It depends if you are into dinosaurs or not, or have kids or not. I saw that many children had a blast moving the dinosaurs around with the buttons, and I saw parents enjoying seeing their kids have fun. I, personally, thought it was 'OK'.
Havn't gone through it yet but I must say that I really like the way they revitalized that whole area of the park....now if they can just squeeze in a new ride or two back there to spread the crowds more evenly through the park so that congo isn't so busy I'd be really pleased.
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