Trip Report: Kings Dominion

August 12, 2018, 10:36 AM

Because of the weather at Busch we decided to go to KD that night and got there approx. 1 hour before closing. I don’t have a Cedar Fair season pass but don’t mind walking around getting steps in and taking pics, so I walked around the entrance and was able to get some sweet night time shots of Dominator and enjoyed the atmosphere of the park’s entrance.

It was pretty much empty (I assume it was raining earlier in the day) and it was funny to hear so many Disney and Universal songs like Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park playing at the park’s entrance plaza. We joke that Cedar Point always plays random music that was popular the decade before, so it was funny to hear KD playing movie themes that are clearly associated with other theme parks. I must admit though those songs do go nicely with the ambiance of the area, however I still find the music choices of Cedar Fair hilariously random. My friends were able to get on everything easily that night.

The next day we were doing the KD Half Marathon so we woke up early and it was cold and rainy. The few people that were there lined up and we went on the run, and about the time we ran past Twisted Timbers (close to the start of the course) it started to pour and everyone got completely soaked. The rest of the run pretty much sucked in every way as it was pouring rain, cold, and a very long course around the entire park and campsites, but it makes for a funny story. We got back to the hotel and dried off/changed, then it went down to a drizzle and we were able to enjoy the rest of the day in a pretty much empty park.

First ride was Twisted Timbers which was great as would be expected. Really nothing to complain about here the ride was awesome in every way. It is funny how in the gift shop they sell t-shirts that say “RMC” and “Wood, Steel, and RMC,” I guess with the internet nowadays enough people know what RMC is to the point where they would actually make money selling the merch.

I’ve been to KD before so I had no desire to go on many of the rides, and my friends in the group went in the night before and rode everything, so there wasn’t much of a sense of urgency.

The mouse was closed all day as was Volcano, so we walked around a while and looked at the theming and atmosphere of the park then decided to ride the old Scooby Doo dark ride which was pretty much as expected, a shooting dark ride that had all the theming stripped and now exists for the sake of existing. The next ride was “Racer 75” which was running one train on both sides. It was nice, not too rough, and it was actually racing which provided a lot of fun. My favorite thing about this ride is the view at the top of the lift: you get this great vista of the R75 track, Intimidator 305, Anaconda, and surrounding forest. I went around and rode it again on the other track in the front row just to get a picture from the top. It has to be one of my favorite views from any ride anywhere.

Funny enough on the second ride when the op said “Enjoy your ride on the Racer 75” on the microphone the lady behind us, who was white, yelled “You mean the Rebel Yell!!” and the operator was black. Now I don’t have any stake in this outcome and am fine with either name…but it probably wasn’t the most respectful thing to do lol.

We then went on some of the flats such as Delirium (which is not a HUSS like Cedar Points and Kings Islands, it is the Mondial version), the Troika, and Twisted Timbers a few more times. The park was dead and it was drizzling so this was all at a leisurely pace. It had started to rain a little harder so we decided to end the day with a ride on Intimidator 305…which hurt in the rain but it was fun nonetheless. Those quick turns were even more intense than I remembered, but last time I rode it was before the first turn was re-profiled, so there was a trim on the first drop. This time around definitely seemed more intense. When the ride was new I remember Dick Kinzel saying “We wanted to merge Millennium Force with Maverick” and yea…taking those quick turns at 80+mph…definitely an experience especially in the rain. I wouldn’t say it’s in my top 10 but it’s definitely a lot more intense than MF and Fury.

We then went up to the top of the Eiffel Tower which was cold/windy/rainy so we were only up there a few minutes to get some pictures and came right back down. One thing you’ll notice about my TR’s is rides that I have ridden that I don’t like that much at this point in my life usually I don’t ride them again so there are a lot of rides I didn’t go on.

I remember first time visiting KD I didn’t care very much for it, it seemed like a poor man’s Kings Island, however now it’s a pretty damn good park. It’s has clearly been cleaned up and much of the landscaping and theming was restored, it definitely looks much nicer now than it has in the past. With the addition of Twisted Timbers it has an elite 1-2 punch when paired with Intimidator 305 and a good selection of supporting coasters. Operations were OK (it was totally dead when we were there so hard to tell). It was a shame that Volcano was closed and apparently it’s going to be closed all year, but considering what company manufactured it and the era it was built in I can’t say I was surprised. I’m assuming the mouse and bumper cars were closed due to the light rain, so I won’t hold that against them.

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