Kings Dominion TR 7/25

Kings Dominion: A good time at Kings Dominion.

From Ian Kampert
Posted August 3, 2008 at 10:17 PM
On the way down to our North Carolina beach vacation, part of my family decided to stop in at Kings Dominion. After years of looking up at that big old sign on I-95, it was finally time for a stop. The relocation of Dominator helped too.

THE CREW: Me (13)
My mom (middle-aged)
Chris, my cousin (22)
Shelby, chris's sister (20)
Matt, Shelby's boyfriend (25)

THE DAY: Friday, July 25. We woke up at 5:30 and were on the road by 6:30. The drive from Harrisburg, PA to Fredricksburg took about 3 1/2 hours. We stopped at perkins for breakfast, and, thanks to a slow waitress, we arrived at the park at about 10:45. My mom and I ran to the entrance because the others were having trouble finding a bag. We were greeted with a long metal detector line and very chatty bag inspectors.

After the horrendus mess at the gate, we proceeded to Dominator. I like how KD has the surrounding area set up. You are a lot closer to the loop, which is the highlight of the ride(literally, it is yellow while the rest of the track is orange; I never got that). I was surprised with the size of the queue area. It is TINY! for such a high-capacity ride, I expected 3 or 4 areas the size of the current queue. When we arrived, the queue was half-full with two trains running. It turned out to be about a 25-minute wait for the seventh car. The ride was just like I remembered it in Geauga Lake. Very intense second turn, fast Cobra Roll, great airtime after the block brake, fast corkscrews, and an akward ending. Still a fast, fun, and enjoyable ride. 9/10

After Dominator, we waited for the other group, who waited for the back. Then we proceeded to Volcano, and were greeted with a 55 minute wait. However, it passed quickly, but not without incident...

We were towards the end of the main queue house when I saw a teenage (18, maybe) black girl cutting through the line like it didnt exist, pushing people out of her way with a gym-bag. I was standing on the left side of the queue, leaning against the rail. When she drew up next to me, she had to cut around a bigger gentleman. She brushed up against me, and passed on through. Just as I shook my head at chris to show my opinion, she hit me with the bag hard, forcing me into a bunch of strangers. I couldn't believe it! I guess she thought I was 'in her way'. Later on, on the ramps, I looked up, and there she was again, running her mouth, with her friends cheering on. I just looked away. We decided not to report it, because what could the park do about it? There were no employees around to see it, so it was our word against hers. We just let it go and enjoyed the rest of our day.

Back to the ride- Upon arriving at the station, we saw that the front was the same as the other cars! We shot to the front queue before anyone else noticed. Watching the cars go around the first turn, I was surprised to see that the cars kept moving before the launch. I guess I'm just used to Storm Runner.

Our whole group rode in the front car and everyone loved it. Here's my two cents:

Overall, Volcano is an excellent ride. The low capacity makes for long waits, but the ride is worth every second. I just wish they could have concealed the support beams inside the mountain from view. The first boost was a little disappointing, but I guess I'm still used to Storm Runner. The first turn is very fast and exciting. The second boost took me completely by surprise, and so did the twist before the sidewinder. The rolls were incredible, especially the second one against the mountain. overall, 9.5/10.

Next up was Anaconda. this was a walk-on. I soon found out why. On the lift hill, I saw some cleared-out land to the left...but I didn't think about it. The drop was OK, couldve been steeper, but you picked up speed fast. the water splashes were a nice touch, too. The loop and Sidewinder were not very rough, just bouncy. However, from the brake on it was pain. You get slowed down WAY too fast, and are banked way to hard. The banking shift between the helixes couldv'e ripped my ears off. The corkscrews were fun, though. I like how Arrow pulls these off- one continuous roll. I could tell the brakes were going to be bad even before I hit them, so I braced myself. Also, the harnesses were way to hard to push off. Chris and I rode again because of the lack of a line, but it wasn't much different. 6.5/10

Continuing our sweep, we hit Backlot Stunt Coaster. The line was halfway over the bridge, but 2-train operation made for a 15-minute wait. Ridden in the front, this is a pretty cool coaster. Launch was weak, but got stronger towards the end. I'd seen videos of this coaster, so I knew what to expect. Overall, it was a fun little coaster with excellent theming. 7.5/10

After Stunt Coaster, we hit Wave Swinger. This model is smaller and slower than Hershey's but still enjoyable.

Next was Shockwave. Just by looking at the station, you can tell it's Japanese. Bright colors, no queues...wait, no queues? That's right! I was, well, SHOCKED(get it, SHOCKwave, hah hah hah...)to see no queues. And with such a long dispatch interval, I can't imagine how bad this line gets on Saturdays. But, anyways, the ride(ahem).It was pretty good. The lift is agonizingly slow, but maybe they make it that way so that you don't sit on the brake run longer than you already do. Loop was fun, good G's, helix was OK, air-time was good...wait AIR-TIME? On a standup coaster? Right again! One of my biggest pre-criticisims of this ride was the bunny hops without air-time. Now I see that air-time is good on a standup. 7/10

Due to a big breakfast in Fredricksburg, we had no lunch. Rebel Yell was up next. This woodie was running 1 train per side and was still a walk-on. Too rough for my liking, and with no superb air-time. 6/10

Now it was time for Ricochet. This mouse is very fun, unique, and long. The first few turns are weak, but it picks up speed. The brakes at the end are some of the worst ever. My head whipped forward and slammed back. still a fun ride, though.

Next up: Hurler. It was a walk-on with 1 train running. and I was about to find out why. This coaster is unbelievably un-creative(Turn,up,turn,down,turn,up,down,up,down,up,down,turn,up,down,up,down,turn,up,down,turn,up,down,up,down,brake run. Did I mention Ouch?!) and unbelievably rough. 5.5/10

After the torture of Hurler, we moped around for Grizzly. This woodie was running 2 trains, and a walk-on. The first drop was bouncy, but not really rough. The first turn was so slow that I almost fell asleep. The tunnel, however, was so fast and rough that I half-yelled half-cried. The rest went fast, though not quite as rough as the tunnel. I didn't love it, but it was the best woodie by far. 7/10

We then decided to go get our bathing suits and head to the water park. On the way to the car, Chis and Matt hit up Drop Zone and loved it. I don't really like drop towers, so I didn't ride.

We were walking down International street to the car, but coldn't leave not before a ride on Berserker. This rde is great. The lap bars hurt quite a bit, but it is so fun. We yelled out inside jokes and told people not to ride. In a nutshell, It made us happy. 8/10

After changing, we headed to the log flume (the name escapes me right now...). It was fun, fast,! The drop was really good, and also was really wet. 7.5/10

Next, we headed to the water park. The entrance
is hidden very well, so keep your eyes open. First up was the lazy river. I was hoping it'd be something like Dorney Park's, but was disappointed. The lack of any theme was accompanied by very strict lifegaurds, whose pleasure was to tweet their whistles at rule- breakers.

After the lazy river, we split up. Matt, Shelby and my Mom went to the wave pools, while Chris and I went to Volcano. Lo and Behold, the queue house was empty, with a little line of people just visible. We pounced and only waited 20 mins. Rode in the front again, with 1 extra car wait. I just didn't get it, but in a good way.

We met back up with the rest of our group at the first pool. Then we walked to Outer Hank's, which apparently used to be Bubba Gump's. I got the fish and chips, and it was delish. The second we got outside, volcano erupted in all of it's firey glory. The fire had been off all day for some reason, but now it was ON.

Flight of Fear was up next. 15 min wait. Not bad and well worth it. I absolutely love this ride. This version is rougher than the one in KI, except for the banking transitions, which are as smooth as glass. Another interesting thing: I lost my direction on the first 3 inversions. Now, I'm sure everybody here knows how these Premeir LIM coasters start-Cobra Roll left, Sidewinder left, yada yada yada. But it could've been 2 Zero-g-Rolls and a loop - I simply couldn't tell. One heck of a ride. 9/10

After the Fearful Flight, we went over to Avalanche. I had never been on a bobsled before, so I had no idea what to expect. I'll have to admit, this is the only ride in the park that scared me. The fishtailing before the block brake made me a little nervous. Overall, a 'cool' ride. 7.5/10

After Avalanche, we went to Volcano one last time. In line at dusk, on ride by dark. People finally seemed to grasp the fact that the front rocks, so we settled for 4th row. You can't beat this ride in the dark. You simply can't.

Now, we had a choice. Crypt and Berseker, or Dominator. We picked the latter. When we got there, Chris and I saw the line (or lack thereof) and sprinted. We were on and off the back car in less than 10 minutes. It was 10 minutes to 10. We were beat. Chris and I tried to coax Shalby and Matt to go on. They refused. Then, when it seemed like we were done, Matt said, "front car." so we got in line just in time. 5 minutes later they cut off the line. we waited 25 minutes. at about 10:20, we boarded our own private train and had a blast. We almost bought the picture of an empty row, but thought better of it. We staggered back to the car, one of the last in the lot, and headed off to our hotel.

From James Rao
Posted August 4, 2008 at 3:45 AM
Thanks for the detailed trip report. Sounds like you had a fun time riding coasters all day, despite a few bothersome guests. Every park gets a few losers who like to cut in line and ruin everyone else's day, but it sounds like you had a good time anyway!

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 4, 2008 at 7:21 PM
wow... GOOD JOB! Sounds sorta like the day I had last year, except much more empty when I went. It was a really foggy-light rainy day. But, they didn't have fire on Volcano. The longest line for it out of the 3 was only 15 minutes. I STILL wanna ride Domintor... I laughed when you said you almost bought the picture of the empty row! You now see why Volcano is second on my top 10 (12, for say), sadly behind Griffon (IT'S AWESOME

Oh, and belive it or not, they slow down backlot stunt coaster's boost if it's colder, and extra if it's rainy.

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