Published: May 1, 2013 at 11:56 AMI will begin with the disclaimer that i am biased, but i just think this is a half baked renovation that only seems amazing because it was expansive in the ground it covered.
Now for the bias part. I am a BGW pass holder, have been for years now. This really seems like the KD response to Forest of Fun at BGW in an almost tit for tat way. Don't get me wrong, I think it is great that they put in the work. And maybe I am bitter about the inevitable demise of Yogi Bear's Cave. But, I just don't think there is anything exciting about this beyond, it doesn't look run down anymore.
Another issue I have with KD as compared to BGW in regards to kids rides is that KD has every last kid ride aside from traditional family rides like the carousel and ferris wheel all piled into one place. This means that essentially parents can't go anywhere too far from this area if they want to ride an adult ride and keep the kids happy. BG on the other hand has two separate kids themed areas on opposite sides of the park and they have other kids rides peppered throughout the park too. Essentially, the only part of the park without a kid-centric attraction is France and New France.Ireland has dining with Elmo, Scotland has the Lil' Clydes, Festa Italia has the Elephant run, San Marco has the gliders and the balloons, Pompeii has the Forest of Fun off to the side, Oktoberfest has the roto baron and the junior autobahn, and finally, Rhineland has land of the dragons.
Ultimately, I just think KD is not a family park and if they want to be they have to try a little harder and think a little more about the whole park rather than just fixing up their current kids area.
Published: May 2, 2013 at 1:39 PMI would agree that parks with designated kids areas end up being dumping grounds. I will admit that while I could ride many of the new rides in Planet Snoopy with my son, I left him with my wife for 20 minutes when the park officially opened that day (media got an hour head start to peview the new area) to ride Volcano. I do very much prefer the parks, like Busch Gardens, that have kids' rides scattered throughout the park. However, Kings Dominion does have a few rides through the rest of the park that are family friendly like Americana (ferris wheel), Carossel, Scrambler, Flying Eagles, Blue Ridge Tollway, and the Shanadoah Log Flume. Depending on how tall and daring your child is, there's also Ricochet and Triple Spin.
Honestly, I don't think Planet Snoopy was a response to Forest of Fun. The old kids rides were far beyond their usefulness, and many dated back to the old Hannah Barbara theming when the park first opened nearly 40 years ago. The old miniature pirate ship, jeeps, cars, and mini swings were really showing their age. If nothing else, this was a necessary upgrade to replace some rides that would have needed to be removed in the next 3-5 years anyway.