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All Wood, All Good at Kings Dominion?

Kings Dominion: A "renaissance" for wood? Not at PKD, it seems.

From Chuck Campbell
Posted August 16, 2005 at 9:25 AM
That's a slogan on a t-shirt you can buy at Paramount's Kings Dominion, the only park in Virginia with wooden coasters, including one "ACE Landmark" (the Rebel Yell, designed by the revered John Allen) and the recently rehabbed Grizzly (a wild ride through the woods).

But is it all good with the wood? I was at PKD last Sunday (August 14), and when I'm there, I always make it a point to ride the park's three wooden coasters (and to avoid the Anaconda, which I'm convinced was designed by the Spanish Inquisition). There wasn't a huge crowd that day, but the place was bustling, despite the heat. But the lines for the Rebel Yell, the Hurler (the roughest of the three), and the Grizzly were so small that waits were practically nil. In fact, it took longer to walk through PKD's rambling queues than than it did to wait for a ride once I reached the stations. (I half-wondered if the Grizzly was even open because the queue was so empty.)

Anyway, depending on where one wanted to sit, the wait was three trains, max, upon reaching the station. And, get this, PKD was running only one train per woodie. That's right--almost no wait to ride only one train.

I've read about a "renaissance" for wooden coasters at other parks online. Hmm--not at PKD, it seems. Granted, these are older woodies, and they're a bit on the rough side, but you'd think there'd be a little more interest.

So, "all wood, all good"? For the diehard coaster geeks, maybe; for the average tourist, maybe not.


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

From George Gray
Posted August 16, 2005 at 3:14 PM
I take my son to PKD quite a bit. We try to go at least once a week. We, too, love the Grizzly and he loves Hurler. The longest we've waited was, maybe, 10 minutes for Grizzly right after it re-opened. That was the only line I've seen for it. I remember, back in the day, when the whole queue would be full and the line snaked out of the queue.
Hurler, on the other hand, has been empty all season. We have not had to wait more than one train. It is by far the roughest coaster at the park. I always have a headache afterwards.
We have'nt done Rebel Yell. My son is'nt crazy about it and, frankly, is damn near as bad as the Hurler. It has not aged well and PKD does'nt seem to maintain it very well.
We tend to go to the park during non-peak hours and rarely wait for anything except for the Avalanche. This is one I just don't get. There is always a decent sized line and the park generally runs two or three trains yet it always seems backed up. Anyway, that's off topic.

From Robert OGrosky
Posted August 17, 2005 at 10:42 AM
Sad to hear that the wooden coasters in your area arent improving.
Im surprised though that in my neck of the woods, Wsic, which isnt known for wooden coasters has added 2 top notch wooden coasters at Wisc. Dells, Hades at Mt Olympus which already had 2 good wooden coasters and Avalanche at Timber Falls which is a few blocks away.
So if you are in this area of the country you can ride these good woodies and a couple hours away you have Holiday World which has 2 excellant woodies and is building a new one for next year.

From Chuck Campbell
Posted August 17, 2005 at 3:38 PM
Well, PKD did rehab the Grizzly, and it is smoother than in years past (and still a lot of fun). But the Hurler--ouch! I downgraded my old rating of that rattletrap from a "7" to a "5."

From Jeff Sohns
Posted August 18, 2005 at 11:42 AM
Wooden coaster are soooo hard on the back. I do really like that some of them use the woods & trees for the track to go through. That does make your ride very enjoyable scenery wise. Most wooden coaster everywhere have little or no line almost anytime of the year.

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 18, 2005 at 8:27 PM
They don't seem to be as well maintained as the steel ones, or the woodies at other parks for that matter.

From Chase Harrison
Posted August 19, 2005 at 11:35 AM
When i rode the hurler at PKD in 2003 and loved it when I rode the Hurler at Carowinds in 2004 I pulled three muscles is the Hurler at PKD as rough as the one at Carowinds now?

From Dustin Kern
Posted September 14, 2005 at 5:41 PM
The problem with haveing wooden roller coasters there is temperature. There is such an extreme difference in them in Virginia. In the summers, it can get up to 110 degrees. In the winter, it can get as low as 0 or below. Just think of what that does to the wood.

From Christy Shuman
Posted September 29, 2006 at 6:35 PM
I cant believe every one thinks hurler is so rough, grizzly is 10 times rougher than hurler to me.

From Jacob Palmer
Posted September 29, 2006 at 10:39 PM
Well, this thread was created last year, before the Hurler was rehabbed...and unlike the start of this discussion says, i'm pretty sure that the only thing that was rehabbed on the grizzly was the line...I could be wrong...but I'm pretty sure that's true...Or, at least they didn't do any major work at all...because it still beats the crap out of you...but it's still awesome at night.

From Christy Shuman
Posted September 30, 2006 at 5:56 AM
Yeah, thats the only time grizzly is fun is at night, I remember coming to the top of the lift and could not see anything down below b/c it was so dark and in the woods. It was fun then.

From Jacob Palmer
Posted September 30, 2006 at 7:00 PM
Exactly.

From Dustin Kern
Posted October 1, 2006 at 3:44 PM
I gotta say that the Grizzly is way rougher than the Hurler. Mainly in the tunnel before the right banked turn by the station back out again. That one jolt kills when when I'm riding left side. Still love all the woodies there!

From Tombraider Ty
Posted October 1, 2006 at 5:00 PM
Paramount's Kings Island, one of Paramount's Kings Dominion's sister parks, has four wooden roller coaster and they maintain them pretty well. Son of Beast is shut down as of now, but when it was opened it drew crowds and was a bit too rough. The Beast is taken great care of, most likely because it is the park's signature coaster, being the world's third longest roller coaster and longest wooden coaster. Fairly Odd Coaster, a kiddie wooden coaster, is taken care of, and Racer, the last of them, is kind of in the dumps as of now, but everything is fine here. Are the coasters the only rides in the park that aren't doing too well?

From Dustin Kern
Posted October 1, 2006 at 6:21 PM
Other than the fact that most of the flat rides could use a fresh coat of paint (Drop Zone mainly seeing as how that's the biggest one), they all are pretty good. It'd be nice to see them build up the flat rides a little more. Most of them are for the younger people and their parents. I would love to see a HUSS Frisbee go in and some other more exciting flat rides for the older crowd.

From Jacob Palmer
Posted October 1, 2006 at 11:08 PM
A HUSS Frisbee would be great...I see that suggested a lot...and no, most of the rides are in fine repair...really, Grizzly is by far the worst off..not that it isn't rough anyway...but I would miss it if it were removed.

From Dustin Kern
Posted October 2, 2006 at 9:23 AM
I would love to see them take out Shockwave and put the HUSS in there. Perfect location for it, kind of helps split the 2 sections of the parks roller coasters better, wood on one side, steel on the other (with the exception of Hypersonic XLC).

From Jacob Palmer
Posted October 2, 2006 at 11:39 AM
Yeah, I've seen you say that before. That sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Shockwave is awful. Plus, it would be about enough space.

From Christy Shuman
Posted October 2, 2006 at 12:30 PM
I noticed alot of guys say they dont like shockwave, I guess b/c it hurts on your "parts" but I personally would be dissapointed if they took out shockwave, I love that ride. Even though it is a little short, I find it to be very fun. I would rather them get rid of Anaconda, its such a neck jerker. but they probably couldnt put a HUSS there b/c of the water.

From Dustin Kern
Posted October 2, 2006 at 7:57 PM
That lake was man made to begin with so it wouldn't be a big deal to fill in. Also they drain it every winter so it doesn't mess up the supports for Anaconda.

Shockwave isn't really that rough on the 'jewels' if you will. It's really rough on the shoulders and your collar bone. In very last turn before the brakes, it slams you into the restraints really hard. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that it's a stand-up and it is a fun little ride. I'd rather ride Anaconda over Shockwave anyday.

I think that both coasters (Shockwave and Anaconda) will be removed in the years to come to make way for better attractions or just because they are too old. Both of these coasters are showing their age (along with the wooden ones but those are still a lot of fun). In my opinion, Kings Dominion is way past due for a new 'real steel' coaster. True enough we have been fortunate to get some nice coasters and everything, but we haven't gotten a real coaster pretty much since Volcano. It's about time we got something that was taller than 200 feet and lasts longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds (seeing as how every coaster in the park lasts no longer than 2 minutes). Like I've said before, take out Anaconda and you've got plenty of space to put a fairly large coaster in.

From Christy Shuman
Posted October 3, 2006 at 6:56 PM
Hey guys, I am going to PKD on saturday, I see they are calling for rain. Do they still run the rides pretty steadily when its raining? Will the park stay open?

From Pete Brecht
Posted October 4, 2006 at 6:41 AM
A rainy day is a great time to be at King's Dominion since it really keeps the crowds down. They usually run all the big rides, and they run the most popular coasters with 2 trains.

From Christy Shuman
Posted October 4, 2006 at 7:08 AM
Thank u I was starting to get really down in the dumps b/c I was afraid they would close the rides or something.

From Jacob Palmer
Posted October 4, 2006 at 8:33 AM
No, a rainy day is a great day to go...no lines...you may have to wait through a few delays...but completely worth it. The ony coaster you really have to worry about it Hypersonic, Because they stop running it as soon as it starts raining, generally.

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