Kings Dominion Announces Planet Snoopy in 2013
“Kings Dominion is breaking records again” was the tagline for today’s media event. While there was no indication from sources that this announcement would be the addition of another record breaking roller coaster or thrill ride, many were probably hoping for something a little more thrilling than what was actually announced with that tagline. Kings Dominion did announce that a multi-million dollar expansion to their kids area would be completed in the upcoming off-season and create the “World’s Largest Peanuts-themed Children’s Area.”
Planet Snoopy will be a complete revamp of the existing children’s area, Kidzville, and unify all of the children’s attractions under the Peanuts theme. For those who have been to Kings Dominion, Kidzville was created in 1997 under Paramount Parks’ management, and added a number of new attractions to the former Hannah Barbara themed children’s area. In fact, a few of the old attractions were not dramatically changed from their Hannah Barbara roots (Boulder Bumpers, Jeep Tours, and Treasure Cave, which has been closed this season) during the Kidzville expansion.
Planet Snoopy will feature 12 new and re-themed attractions, 2 new live shows, an expanded family care center, and an open air marketplace featuring fresh fruit and food. Based on conceptual drawings, it appears that there will be 5 brand new rides for the park, 3 flat rides, an elevated track-based ride, and a Peanuts-themed railway. The 3 new flat rides will include a teacup-style ride, a lay-down glider-style ride, and a spinning tugboat ride (Zamperla Rockin’ Tug based on the drawings). The elevated track-based ride looks somewhat similar to The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride at Islands of Adventure, but featuring individual spaceship-themed cars instead of long trains.
To make room for the new attractions, it appears that Space Port, Virginia Clipper, and Hot Rods will be removed along with Treasure Cave based on the conceptual map of the new area. Aside from the elevated track ride and Peanuts-themed railway, there doesn’t appear to be much expansion of the existing area’s footprint.
Park officials were clear to note the importance of having attractions and activities for the entire family, and creating exciting rides for young thrill seekers to enjoy before they’re ready to step up to the big rides is key to the park’s future growth. By refreshing and expanded their children’s area, Kings Dominion is introducing youngsters to the world of theme park rides, and is hoping to create future theme park fans. As the father of a small child, it’s always great to see parks make a concerted effort to target younger children and families, especially those that focus so heavily on bigger, taller, and faster. However, the billing for this media event was perhaps a bit much for a refresh of an existing area along with a few new small attractions. Additionally, by referring to the expansion as “record breaking” is a bit dubious in the theme park world, especially from Cedar Fair, a company that boasts a number of record breaking roller coasters. I don’t have an issue with parks touting the size or number or rides, but making up silly records is just a marketing trick.
Planet Snoopy is a much needed renovation of the aging Kidzville, and a welcome addition to Kings Dominion. It may not be the “record breaking” addition many fans would have wished for, but it should serve the park well, and entertain the next generation of theme park fans for years to come
And no Snoopy dark ride? That's a fail.
Thanks for the update Russell. And note that my venom in this post is definitely
"divide-the-family"? Let's not get carried away. Some of these rides are designed for toddlers and small kids. You might not fit in them. These kids need their own rides and not have to compete with adults especially when the parks are largely catered to adults. Those roller coaster have height minimums of 40 to 48 inches.
Anon, for the record, I like a good carousel as much as the next father of three. However, KD's carousel is in the Grove section of the park and will not be part of the Planet Snoopy expansion.
There is Disney and everyone else. So Walt Disney created something special as intended.
I agree 110% with James.
It is nice to meet a kindred spirit, Ted!
"And, Anon, Disney does not hold exclusive rights on quality family experiences. Universal, Busch (Williamsburg more than Tampa), SeaWorld, and Herschend also do a pretty good job. Furthermore, even their "kiddie" areas are a notch or two above most regional parks."
Interesting way to twist my comments, Anon.
Good lord! That was a facetious question! I must be losing my writer's touch!
I know most of the Cedar Fair parks have been adding the tack Snoopy/space theme but do many young children actually know or care about who Snoopy is?
James is right on this. If Cedar Faire is going to bother with Peanuts IP, then they should do it right with real immersive themeing. This is just lame with a big Snoopy statue in the middle of a spinner. It's lazy, cheap and insulting, even kids would know the difference.
Yeah, I have no problem with the Peanuts IP, but as Tony and others have said, the execution of that theme by Cedar Fair is an epic fail.
Cedar Fair has been adding the Planet Snoopy concept to their parks for several years now. I'm pretty sure they have done this consolidation in all their parks now expect Knott's Berry Farm (which has the older concept of Camp Snoopy), Michigan's Adventure (no explicitly themed area), Cedar Point (with both Planet Snoopy and Camp Snoopy), Canada's Wonderland (KidZville and Planet Snoopy), and of course King's Dominion (which currently has a small Planet Snoopy and Kidzville - but being combine as this article states.)
"80% of the people going to KD are thrillseekers, so why cater to the 20%?"
Anon, I really don't think I can state my case any clearer, so we may just have to agree to disagree. However (and I mean no disrespect), I would humbly ask that you reread my previous posts as you seem to have missed my point entirely.
James: I moved beyond the original discussion of "divide-the-family". I thought I addressed that. Were we not discussing your new point about 80/20? Both questions are completely different, yet you thought it was wise to relate them.
I think there's a bit of overreaction here.
@Anon - Previous to your most recent posts I already "re-addressed" my 80/20 comment....twice. Also, I don't hate KD, I just want them to be
@James: You only addressed the 80/20 in response to "64.134", not to me, the person who you addressed originally. The approach that "64.134" took and you embraced is not something relevant to what I'm discussing. Regardless of whether the kids will grow up to like the park, they will still need a section of their own at their ages.
My comments on the 80/20 point stand. If you want the 20% to return, then give them things that are unique to your park, not run of the mill carnie rides.
James: I love how you keep trying to restate your argument to win it and to act like I don't understand you. I understand you fine. You just can't accept what they are doing with KD. Maybe you need to read the original post about why they are doing to Planet Snoopy at Kings Dominion. Just so you know.
I agree with the first half of your second paragraph. Completely. The rest of your post, not so much.
I am not saying KD has no choice. They do have a choice just like you do in not going.
I guess we are saying the same thing... We both want a perfect park that everyone can utilize in absolute togetherness. Where we differ is in the approach. No worries...the amalgamation of our ideas would make one fantasitic park!
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