Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email Newsletter

A Good Time at Kings Dominion... with a Few Caveats

Kings Dominion: Had a good time with a mixed age group, but some disappointment due to breakdowns of major attractions.

From Martha Moyers
Posted August 1, 2005 at 4:34 PM
Recently went with husband, 20 year old daughter and friend, 14 year old daughter & friend, 4 year old granddaughter. Very disappointed that Volcano & Anaconda broken down most of day, never got to ride them. Enjoyed Tomb Raider and Outer Limits which I had never ridden previously due to lack of time or ride lines. Husband and girls rode Hypersonic, admit I'm too much of a wuss to have ridden, but may next time. Woodies seem rougher than I remember, had bad headache after riding Hurler, daughter's friend hurt side and was in much pain after riding Grizzly. Rebel Yell backwards was fun though. Husband and girls wanted to ride Drop Zone (I don't do 300 foot high rides) but it was out of commission a good bit too.

I actually like cleanliness and theming at BG Wmsburg better but like the coasters here, and there was a lot more for my 4 year old granddaughter who was 43" tall, to ride. She really loved the Scooby Doo coaster, the Haunted Mansion thing (we even liked that, not exciting but fun) and the Triple Spin, which is more exciting than it looks, also the Avalanche. I think she is a budding coaster junkie. Kept asking why she couldn't ride the Volcano.

Things that could be improved: Compared to BGW, lack of places to put bags on rides. Breakdown of major attractions a disappointment. Was cleaner and better maintained than last time, though. Woodies too rough. Excitement is fun, pain is not. Also, why let people in the park at 10 am, advertise 10 a.m., and then not let anyone into anything other than International Street until 10:30 a.m.? Just say it opens at 10:30 a.m.

Food could be improved, but liked the Shrimp Po Boy at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Shack.

The whole day, I would rate a 7, due to downtime of Volcano and Anaconda.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Jason Jackson
Posted August 2, 2005 at 5:27 AM
I am glad that someone else liked Triple Spin. That was a fun ride! I am much more of a BGW fan, but I do like Volcano!

From ryan saunders
Posted August 2, 2005 at 3:12 PM
BGW and PKD r 2 totally different parks. BGW is pretty and boring and PKD is exciting and thrilling. I'm young so I choose to go to PKD!

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 2, 2005 at 3:56 PM
As long as your using adjectives like "pretty," why don't you add "littered" and "asphalty" to PKD's description.

From ryan saunders
Posted August 2, 2005 at 5:48 PM
I go 2 parks 2 have a good time, not 2 look at flowers and trash. I go 2 ride coasters and BGW just doesn't have enough. Cedar Point is my heaven on earth!

From Chase Harrison
Posted August 4, 2005 at 8:23 AM
what Ryan said.
PKD has more in the the ride capacity and BGW has more in the flower and B&M capacity(Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot are the two best coasters in Virginia.

From Daniel Williams
Posted August 4, 2005 at 4:06 PM
Is it really that hard to type out the word "too" or "to"??

Or, "Be" for that matter?

Enjoy PKD. The obviously have a much more complete ride package than BGW, but the intagibles really make a difference. I will say that PKD is making huge strides in changing their outlook on cleanliness and such, especially Live Entertainment, which I think is the backbone of a complete Amusement/Theme park.

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 4, 2005 at 4:58 PM
PKD has such a bad entertainment department, that the department head is also the hear of sanitation and security as well. I don't consider a pathetic stge show with bad singers and old lights loosely tied to the movie "The School of Rock" (whith as much movie footage as live "entertainment") to be a very big stride.

About PKDs rides, yes they do have quite a few coasters, but they are all very cheap (if not cheap-looking) for coasters, and all are very short, except for a couple of the woodies, and if you really think about it, Busch gardens coasters are all in the 2:30 to 3:00 time, while PKDs are anywhere from 0:26 to 1 minute (volcano) to 2:00 (Grizzly), so really, PKD only has a little more "ride time" than Busch. They just have it spread out over more coasters. The longest coaster PKD has is Volcano, with about 2,260 ft of track, which is about 1/2 the length of Apollo's chariot. So if you do the math,since Volcano is PKDs longest coaster, and Apollo is BGWs longest coaster, then theoretically, BGW has the equivalent of 8 PKD coasters, which is about the amount of good coasters PKD has. And as a note, i DO realise that it is not the same as having 8 coasters, but hopefully you get my point.

From Chase Harrison
Posted August 4, 2005 at 5:03 PM
I hope the rumors of a Floorless coaster are true for PKD they could theme it after War of the Worlds and have fake tripods all around it. But if BGW also adds a Floorless coaster next year then neither will be unique at all. I think we may see a Flyer or a Floorless or a Dive Machine in Virginias future. Possibly a Giga coaster and a 1% chance of a Strata Coaster at PKD(they should put one of those beasts in if they take out Hypersonic

From ryan saunders
Posted August 4, 2005 at 5:34 PM
BGW is more likely 2 add a floorless and PKD is more likely 2 add another short launch coaster. I'm gonna scream if PKD adds a fourth. Both parks need a giga coaster, plain and simple. I would always start a new park out with a giga coaster. More people wait 2 ride a giga than any other coaster out there.

From Robbie Crockett
Posted August 5, 2005 at 5:54 AM
I live kind of smack between PKD and BGW and honestly couldn't compare the two. I love BGW because of the wonderful B&Ms and the lushness of the park in general. I love PKD because it's got a couple of woodies*, it's a little closer (20 min vs. 45 min) and soooooo easy to park and get in. I actually went there on my lunch break once. I grabbed a slice of pizza and rode the Rebel Yell and made it back to work on time.

I'm thrilled to have two great parks with world class rides within an hour's drive of where I live.

*I don't include Hurler in thier line-up of woodies anymore until it gets some work done on it. The "seeking" on the curves has gotten unbearable. At least on Grizzly you have a choice--ride up front for a crisp and perky ride, ride in the back if you want to crack a rib. Every seat on the Hurler now feels like a malfuntioning footsie wootsie. Hopefully this off-season they'll give it a little of the treatment that the Grizzly got last year.

From Pete Brecht
Posted August 5, 2005 at 1:12 PM
There will be no new ride of any consequence going in at PKD next year.

Here's why I think that: I noticed at PKD yesterday that they're offering 2006 season passes for $60 as long as you buy 2, and you can use them for the rest of 2005 as well (last year the deal was $65 each with a minimum purchase of 4, and even that was a price drop from the previous year).

Generally, a park either lowers prices or adds major rides between seasons, but not both, so my interpretation is that it may be a while before PKD gets another worthwhile ride (Tomb Raider doesn't count).

BTW, I could be wrong, but I think that this so-called rumor about a floorless coaster going in at BGW was started by my speculation in another thread just a week or two ago. Don't read anything into it, it's just idle speculation and wishful thinking. I certainly have no insider knowledge as to BGW's plans in the near or distant future. I do think that a floorless would be logical for that park, though.

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 5, 2005 at 1:39 PM
I live 10 miles from PKD, have a pass there, and still find myself driving 60 miles to BGW 2-3 times a week (I visit PKD once every month or two, and leave after about 1/2 the day). Why do I have to live near the worse park?!

From H. Seto
Posted August 5, 2005 at 3:09 PM
Funny you mention living closer to a bad park. I would rather drive the 1.5 hours to PKD than go to Six Flags America. Six Flags America is the WORST amusement park I have ever been to. On a technicality, Six Flags has better rides, but they are almost never running properly. Every time I've been there this year, Superman or Batwing or both, the park's best ride is down. The last time I went last weekend, no power in the whole park. PKD is infinitely better than Six Flags America, but I do like Busch Gardens better than PKD.

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 5, 2005 at 3:52 PM
I meant the worse of the two VA parks. Six Flags America is the worst theme park in America, which is why the name fits! LOL. It actually makes PKD look good, which is a really sad thing. One time I went to ride Batwing, and it was broken down in the morning for 2 hours, and then finally they let us in the queue, and then we waited 4 hours, and got to ride with a group of coaster-people who were trying to break a 36-hour record, so I don't really know if it was truly safe when we rode it. It broke down for the rest of the day after we got off. I only rode it because wqe had ridden everything else on a previous visit and it was new. I wish I hadn't waited. It was rough and not at all exciting. I did like Superman: Ride of Steel, though it seemed almost like Apollo's Chariot. The park basically looks like a carnival with permanent rides, and a new section built with a few carnival rides with new names and a few decent coasters. Absolutely dreadful. I feel sorry for you.

From Doug Martin
Posted August 5, 2005 at 7:04 PM
Just got back for PKD today. Some church group was there of maybe 1000-1500 folks, but they split up and spread out to the whole park.

Funniest part of the day was when we sat in the School of Rock Show. The church group was there in force and you could see parents squirming in their seats when the women on stage started gyrating and covered songs about sex and drugs.

I hope there's some effort to tear down the unused rides like the old log flume. I would like to see PKD embrace the concept of a single rider line. Too many rides move ahead without a full car which can be frustrating to folks used to visiting parks with single rider lines.

From Jason Jackson
Posted August 5, 2005 at 10:46 PM
When did the log flume close down? I was there last year and I thought it was running/

From ryan saunders
Posted August 5, 2005 at 11:56 PM
I'm just glad 2 b gettin out of Va 2moro as I'm heading 2 Ohio and we all know wats in ohio. I could ride MF all day long as it is so smooth it feels like ur gliding/flying with no track below. Build a giga next year Pkd. make us virginians proud 2 live here lol

From Pete Brecht
Posted August 6, 2005 at 6:30 AM
The log flume was running 2 days ago! I'd be very surprised if they removed it, although it could definitely use some freshening.

From Daniel Williams
Posted August 6, 2005 at 8:23 AM
The changes that the Entertainment Dept at PKD are making are philosophical, not just show changes. Expect a much better product within the next year or so...

From Chase Harrison
Posted August 6, 2005 at 9:14 AM
PKD is far overdo for any type of B&M coaster they are B&M less and Hypersonic may be taken down soon because it is costing the park alot of money.(If they took down Hypersonic the attendence of the park would actually go downhill)If they did takedown Hypersonic they could build an Intamin Rocket Coaster without any guilt.

From Martha Moyers
Posted August 6, 2005 at 12:16 PM
Yes, the log flume is still running, I went on it last weekend when we were there. Nothing spectacular but my granddaughter liked it. Does have some rust setting in though. Maybe they are thinking of removing it and replacing it with something else? As water rides go, it's pretty lame.

From ryan saunders
Posted August 6, 2005 at 3:02 PM
PKD needs a intamin rocket and a intamin giga coaster. 500 ft 150 mph on the rocket and 325 ft and 100 mph on the giga. Talk about heaven. im buying a season pass 4 the rest of this year and all of next year for only $60 lol

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 6, 2005 at 9:06 PM
Well the PKD Entertainment department certainly can't get any worse, so I guess there's only room for improvement.

From Martha Moyers
Posted August 7, 2005 at 7:42 AM
Boy, isn't that the truth! I don't really go to parks to see shows, but I have taken in a few at BGW as most of their shows are very good. When we looked at the show list at PKD, except for cartoon character meet and greet, there were only two shows that I could see. The rock show and something else, maybe the karoke type thing they used to have in front of the Eiffel Tower. They really do need a little attention to their shows as there are people, strange as it may seem to us, who really don't like rides but go to theme parks anyway. I see them wandering around with strollers and infants and I think, they paid to do that??? They could wander around and shop at a mall. Maybe their family members are ride freaks. I remember seeing something about a park that offered discount admission for people who only want to see shows and shop. That would be a good idea. I do remember years ago when I was in college, KD (it wasn't a Paramount Park then) having some sort of marine animal show with a water tank where the Nicklelodean Slime Machine is now. Showing my age, I guess. Yeah, I hope they do improve the entertainment for people who like that sort of thing. Not at the expense of the rides, I hope.

From Daniel Williams
Posted August 7, 2005 at 3:46 PM
Yeah... I've worked in the industry for ten years (or so) now, and I spent three of them in the Live Entertainment department... My focus has completely shifted now when I go to parks... I'm always more interested in the show package than the ride package these days (Which is not to say that I don't catch all the good rides, too)

From Robbie Crockett
Posted August 7, 2005 at 7:09 PM
I was just at PKD tonight and there was a nearly unnoticeable sign that said "New for 2006--The Italian Job: Stunt Track." *sigh* Another launching ride. I'm so sick of launching. I think I've just decided to skip the season pass for 2006 and spend next summer taking road trips to classic woodies and B&Ms. Anybody else in the Richmond/Central VA area want to join me?

From Chase Harrison
Posted August 7, 2005 at 8:06 PM
u seriously saw that?

From Chase Harrison
Posted August 7, 2005 at 8:07 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 7, 2005 at 11:05 PM
PKD: The King of things that blast off: Roller Coasters, the price of food, and people after they've been there more than once. Paramount is the King of repeat rides.

From George Gray
Posted August 16, 2005 at 3:28 PM
Yes, Chase Harrison, it is true. Italian Job most definitely is coming to PKD. Not only are there signs, they are running commercials about it and the season pass deal on local tv.

As far as ride breakdowns go, I think Tomb Raider takes the prize this year. Three visits in a row and the thing was closed. The last time we went, it broke down while people were on it. The ride had actually ended, but the platform the rises up so the people can embark/debark never moved up. At least a half hour later, the passengers will still there. I hope PKD gave them free passes.

From Daniel Williams
Posted August 16, 2005 at 6:19 PM
Takes the prize as long as you pull Kinda-Ka out of the running :)

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 16, 2005 at 8:54 PM
I've been stuck on it before. No passes. You can ride again, though. We think it works. There are only 700 of them already built. So this is new technology.

It wasn't the fire or water because that had been cut off that day, it was BROKEN.

From Dustin Kern
Posted September 14, 2005 at 5:48 PM
PKD could do with a premier coaster. Not one that has already been opened in another one of their parks. If you haven't noticed, all of PKD's 'new' coasters have been opened farther north before they make their way here (with the exception of Hypersonic XLC which really isn't that great of a coaster). It would be nice to reverse that trend for once...or maybe more often.

From Robbie Crockett
Posted September 14, 2005 at 6:24 PM
The only new coaster that KD is opening that's already been done at another park is the forthcoming Italian Job. Paramount has doubled up in past years (1994--PKD and PC both got Hurlers; 1996 PKD and PKI both got Flight of Fear) but I don't think there's a single other "clone" rollercoaster at PKD. Rebel Yell is sort of identical to Thunder Road at Carowinds, but was built a year earlier and by a different designer (same company, though).

I don't mean to seem pedantic, but your post made it seem that PKD is just trailing along behing all of the other Paramount parks.

Oh yeah, and the Grizzly was built a year after PCW's Wild Beast (4 years before PGA's Grizzly), but they're all Wildcats, which is a design that's been around since the 20s...so, uh, what was the question again?

From ryan saunders
Posted September 16, 2005 at 6:20 PM
PKD is stupid 4 not building a world class coaster. who runs that dumb park?

From Cameron Rust
Posted September 16, 2005 at 9:19 PM
Thankfully not you...

From ryan saunders
Posted September 16, 2005 at 10:49 PM
Cameron my lil boy, have u hit puberty yet? i don't think so. Howl o scream was so wack as usual this year yall!!!!

From Cameron Rust
Posted September 17, 2005 at 9:14 AM
It was "Wack" was it? That's a great phrase...

From ryan saunders
Posted September 19, 2005 at 12:11 AM
yep ur wack 2

From Amanda Banks
Posted September 27, 2005 at 3:57 PM
I'm looking into buying a season pass for next year. I'm not sure if I want to buy it for BGW or PKD. I have a 3 year old son. What do you think would be better?

From ryan saunders
Posted September 27, 2005 at 4:38 PM
PKD for sure, alot more 2 do for kids.

From Greg Maxwell
Posted September 27, 2005 at 4:58 PM
At that age my daughter liked both parks. We would do each multiple times a year from our home in upstate New York.

From Cameron Rust
Posted September 27, 2005 at 7:09 PM
This is like beating a dead horse, but PKD is not the kind of place to bring a small child. BGW is family-friendly, clean, and has great food and shows. PKD has some coasters, asphalt, and 30 different types of funnel cake (cholesterol ball with sugar on top, whichever you prefer).

From Robbie Crockett
Posted September 28, 2005 at 3:19 AM
Honestly, for a three year old I'd have to say neither one. A day at an amusement park with kids that young seems to me like a kinder, gentler hell on earth. Plan a couple of trips to the Children's Museum/Science Museum/IMAX. It'll cost less, be as much if not more fun for him, and be air conditioned. Leave him with Grandma and take yourself to both parks, though (don't listen to all the KD vs. BGW arguments--they're both tons of fun in thier own special ways). Wait until he's 48" tall to get him his own season pass, then there will be a lot that you can do together, rather than you watching him go round and round on the monster trucks, then go round and round on the little airplanes, then go round and round on the ...

Just my two cents.

From Martha Moyers
Posted September 28, 2005 at 10:34 AM
Well, Amanda that's a tough call. Both parks actually do have a good amount of rides for the under 40" set. The difference I think is that PKD has a whole kid-themed area, while BGW has at least a few kiddie rides in each country but they are spread out more and no grouped kid theme. And PKD has the advantage of having rides and things based on cartoon characters that little kids love, like Scooby Doo and the Nickolden characters. My granddaughter loved the rides at BGW, especially the Land of the Dragons, but she was thrilled beyond belief at encountering Dora, the Rugrats, and Scooby-Doo. She is now 4 1/2 and 43" tall so she got a lot more out of it. I believe the season pass for PKD is cheaper. But then, I don't know if I would try the season pass thing with a little kid. I think I would wait until he gets to be about 42" tall at least and can ride more stuff.
I personally like both parks very much and although BGW has an edge as far as I'm concerned, but for a smaller kid, I would go with PKD.

From Cameron Rust
Posted September 28, 2005 at 6:02 PM
I think children 3 and under get in to BGW for free.

From ryan saunders
Posted September 29, 2005 at 12:58 PM
BGW should b free 4 us all. Build sum more and better coasters u idiots!

From Martha Moyers
Posted September 30, 2005 at 7:02 AM
Actually both parks let kids under 3 in free. 3-6 is a cheaper rate than the adult ticket. I think they should charge by height, with the full price not coming into effect until the child is 48" high, which lets them ride pretty much everything but the most extreme stuff. Like for example you have to be 54" tall to ride Apollo's Chariot, for example. I also wonder if they shouldn't have some weight requirements. I can see instances where a kid is 48" high but very thin and could slip out of a restraint. Especially lap bars.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

Stories from a Theme Park Insider

Stories from a Theme Park Insider

What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)