Kings Dominion Experience (Theme park in VA, lots of pics)
By The Mana Knight 09-12-2010 11:23 AM
The next theme park for me to blog about is Kings Dominion. I previously wrote blogs on Hershey Park and Six Flags America. I already went there last year, but really wanted to go this year due to Intimidator 305 opening along with getting the chance to go on a few other rides I missed. I do apologize for photo quality because it decreases when they resize down on CAG, and had a hard time finding the right brightness w/ my Droid Incredible.
I left for Kings Dominion early in the morning (still only 50 degrees outside) and got there around 9:20am. Parking lot was mostly empty so I parked VERY close to the front. I got there and waited in line until the park opened at 10am. Once it opened at 10am, I ran right to Intimidator 305.
Intimidator 305 is the third gigacoaster in the country (fourth around the world). Its height is 305 feet, with a drop of 300 ft. at an 85 degree drop. Its drop is steeper than Millennium Force, but Millennium Force is still 5 feet higher and goes faster. Due to arriving early, I was able to jump right on the ride. It uses the elevator lift instead of the standard chain lift, meaning you wonít hear any clicking sounds and you go up the first hill VERY fast. After that, it was the steep drop and lots of banked curves. The ride was very smooth and definitely a thrill. Quite short though that is why it only had two trains.
I went straight to Volcano next because last year it had a long line. I got in line where I only had to wait for my seat (line got way longer later in the day). Volcano basically launches you from bottom to top (its an inverted coaster) with lots of twists all over a mountain. It was definitely quite a thrill and an awesome ride.
I decided to ride Flights of Fear next (use to be Outer Limits Flights of Fear). I already had been on it 9 or so times at Kings Island and once at Kings Dominion. Itís in an indoor roller coaster where you launch from 0 to 60mph, then you go through a tight track going upside down, tight turns, in a mostly pitch black area. Itís nice because the ride only has a lap bar. Was a thrill my first time back in 1998 and still a thrill ride.
I chose Backlot Stunt Coaster next barely knowing anything about it (use to be based on the Italian Job when the park was owned by Paramount). I thought it was going to be a small ride, but I was in for a surprise. I was instantly launched and taken through tome tight turns, hidden drops, etc. In the middle of the ride, you top and see a scene with helicopters and stuff shooting at you. You are launched again into a tunnel where thereís drops and turns (pitch black). I enjoyed the ride much more than expected.
I rode Anaconda next. When looking at the ride I think of Vortex, Shockwave (at SF: GA), Viper (SF: MM), etc. Itís just another one of those roller coasters with a banked drop, then you go upside along with a corkscrew. Nothing really special, but always fun to ride.
I rode on Ricochet next, which appears to be a small coaster, but a bigger thrill than youíd think. The trains only hold 4 people. The first drop is a decent size for that cart size. But what makes the ride interesting is how fast you whip around those tight turns. Feels like the Whip It ride.
Next I went on Rebel Yell. The ride looks exactly like The Racer at Kings Island. They only had one side open. Itís just a standard out and back coaster with a lot of hills (going up and down a lot). The coaster was very old which explains why it was extremely bumpy (my heart felt a little bad after all the bumps, but I just ate).
I headed off to Hurler next, which is a wood twisting coaster. The first drop was pretty cool and its turns were awesome (although nothing like the wooden coasters at Hershey Park). Felt a little bumpy, but not as bad as Rebel Yell.
I went on the Grizzly next. I usually think of The Beast (at Kings Island) when thinking of the ride, but they arenít much different. Grizzly is more out and back, but has a few turns. Its drops do feel bigger than the look. Itís also nice because the roller coaster is in-between a lot of trees.
I headed to go onto Drop Zone next. This one was only 274 feet (compared to over 300 ft. at KI), but still a lot of fun. I wish I went on it earlier when there wasnít much line. I always enjoy the drop rides, even if short.
I headed onto Shockwave due to finally opening up. I want to call it King Cobra because the ride is almost identical with that ride (use to be at Kings Island). Thereís really nothing special at the ride when looking at the track, but itís one of the earlier stand-up coasters. Itís still fun because I like stand-up coasters.
The park was getting busier due to being around 1pm, so I finally had to wait in some long lines. I headed off to go on The Dominator. While Dominator is a newer ride at Kings Dominion, the ride is actually old because I rode it in 2002 at Six Flags: Worlds of Adventure (in Ohio) as Batmanís Knight Flight. Since Cedar Fairs bought the park, changed it back to Geauga Lake and shut it down, they moved Geauga Lakeís coasters around. Anyway, I waited around 30 minutes for the Dominator, but always worth the wait. Itís a floorless coaster, but the track is underneath you. The ride is very smooth with its awesome first drop along with inversions. The coaster is very fast too. Still a great ride after 8 years.
Lastly I rode on Avalanche. Had to wait 20 minutes to get on it, but its experience is different. Itís like a bobsled race ride, where instead of drops, you just make a lot of turns. Itís interesting because you lay back instead of sitting there tightly harnessed.
Here are some other pictures I took around the park (I took many more, but the majority are being left to my Facebook).
A few things I wanted to discuss about my experience. Itís true that I walked around the park alone. I did come across a few people I knew and talked to them for a bit. I chose to go alone because arriving for others to go may have been a hassle (due to time period), and most people just canít keep up with me at a theme park. I paid $12.89 there for chicken fingers, fries, and a 32oz Sprite. Chicken Fingers werenít bad, but the fries tasted stale and the Sprite was disgusting (tasted like they ran out of the sweet stuff and was down to soda only). It sucked because I dumped out most of that $4 Sprite. To avoid the same mistake, I went to a vending machine to get my next Sprite (even if $4). I played DDR Extreme at Kingís Dominion, but I played really bad on one of my favorite songs ďPink RoseĒ. After I ate the food, I did go on Rebel Yell. I had issues getting the lap bar on tight enough, so I was kind of floating. I wonder if floating too much is what gave me a terrible feeling in my heart (or if it was the food). First time I ever had that happen at a park, which made my other bumpy roller coaster rides not so fun this time around (compared to my previous park experiences). Thatís why at the end I rode super smooth roller coasters or Drop Zone and felt all right. Next time Iíll make sure to buckle tight on a wooden coaster. I also had a headache, but usually it happens when I ride tons of rides without a break (which happened early on since I rode 8-9 in less than 2 hours). It was also the first time I went on roller coasters wearing glasses. All other times I went I left them in the car, because my vision isnít horribly bad. But since I get major headaches when I donít wear them (due to the eye issue I have) and figured Iíd get a headache after banging my head a lot, it would be best to reduce my headache as much as possible. They never fell off (which worried me a little), but did bounce a little on Intimidator 305. Oh course I did buy a shirt at the theme park so I can remember my experience forever.
Overall, Kings Dominion is a great park. While it may have bigger thrills than Hershey Park, Iíll admit I may have preferred Hershey Park because of its good food and good roller coaster mix. I still probably even prefer Kingís Island slightly. Itís hard to rank parks because Iíve been to many around the U.S. (Iíve been to most all the best ones at least). I want to go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg (itís an hour away from Kingís Dominion), but I may not get there this year. I got home around 7pm yesterday (made a pit stop in a VA city to go to Super Target looking for things). After browsing the net a little and eating something, I went to bed early. I didnít get up until 7am this morning (over 10 hours sleep).
I know a few CAGs who have been to Kings Dominion and will definitely recognize the park/rides.
|Comments (Total Comments: 15)|
|NamPaehc - 09-12-2010, 02:36 PM|
|FroMann - 09-12-2010, 04:31 PM|
|LiK - 09-12-2010, 04:52 PM|
|The Mana Knight - 09-12-2010, 05:05 PM|
|LiK - 09-12-2010, 05:10 PM|
|WhipSmartBanky - 09-12-2010, 06:57 PM|
|lilytrabbit - 09-12-2010, 07:37 PM|
|joshnorm - 09-12-2010, 09:14 PM|
|The Mana Knight - 09-12-2010, 09:19 PM|
|johnnypark - 09-12-2010, 09:47 PM|
|Wet Ninja - 09-12-2010, 09:51 PM|
|The Mana Knight - 09-12-2010, 10:08 PM|
|MCalvert1 - 09-12-2010, 10:44 PM|
|DarkKenpachi - 09-13-2010, 12:50 AM|
|PrarieD0G - 09-13-2010, 08:03 AM|
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