Next up is Kings Dominion, I visited on October 11th the Saturday of Columbus day weekend and there was an ACE event that day called Fall Thrillfest. I had first visited Kings Dominion earlier in the year for the first time in forever and claimed a new number one coaster in Intimidator 305 so I was eager to return to the park. Plus their Halloween Haunt event was going on as well so should be a great time!
Here’s the Kings Dominion 40th Anniversary cake.
The somewhat empty entrance plaza of coaster nerds trying to hide under the roofs from the early morning rain.
My event badge for the day. Definitely like how it’s personalized with my name and city on it.
The line-up of events today.
We spotted this awesome sign display while we waited.
Bunch of skeletons with the parks Eifel Tower in the background.
Our first coaster of the morning would be Dominator, relocated from the former Geagua Lake Amusement Park.
Testing had just begun as we lined up for the morning ERT. Testing was probably delayed due to morning rain.
There was one employee doing his final test run sitting in the back left seat. He must really like that seat on this ride.
The back interlocking corkscrews bring back so many memories of my time with this coaster back at Geauga Lake.
Who’s ready for a ride?
Choose the front row for this one as I used to ride this coaster in the front all the time.
Dominator navigating it’s final corkscrews.
A look back at the coaster. It sure does look purdy.
Dominator is still a great coaster, while it is has aged a bit since it’s time at Geauga Lake it’s still a very good ride. However the setting just isn’t quite the same as it’s former lakeside location. 🙁
A nice little waterfall we spotted in the kids area on the way to…..
Intimidator 305 of course!
Some of the information displays in the plaza for the ride showing off it’s incredible layout and giving homage to Dale Earnhardt.
First ride in the back?
The train hauling around the turn after the first drop. It is here where you might experience a grey out. This is where your vision might get blurry or vanish for a second due to the G forces this thing is pulling at this point. It’s a very weird and unfamiliar feeling but really goes to show you how forceful this thing is.
The airtime hill that passes under the lift. It is here where you start to regain your sight from the grey outs experienced on the first turn.
Cruising into the second half of the ride. We’ll return to Intimidator 305 later but for now let’s go get some new credits!
So when I visited in April I didn’t get a chance to ride Flight of Fear. The line was really long and I had already been on Kings Island’s version so I passed on it, but good news for this morning was there was no line!
The creepy aliens in the tubes. At Kings Island these are missing from the tubes so it was nice to see these still here.
Next up was the parks Boo Blasters in which I actually got a pretty high score in.
Now how about a coaster in a mountain?
Volcano sure is an amazing coaster.
The queue takes you into the mountain for the beginning of the ride.
Anyone want some change?
In the station there’s a few artifacts on the floor of the Volcano.
Volcano gets quite the line, so make sure to get to this one early!
Front seat ride?
Volcano is an excellent launch coaster with multiple forceful launches especially the one up and out of the Volcano. Many more pictures of Volcano to come later.
It was time for another new credit and this one is tough to get. Normally the Great Pumpkin Coaster requires a kid to ride with but since there was an ACE event today our event badge granted us the availability to ride without a kid.
Just scored credit number 250!
The rider safety guide which probably states a kid was required to ride.
Credit number 250!!!!
Posing by Charlie Brown and the sign for the Great Pumpkin coaster in the background.
The kids area was even decked out for Halloween and had a trick or treat during the day for the kids.
So the next few pictures are signs that tell the history of the park. I’ll display them in order and I do think it’s a pretty interesting read. Not sure if these signs will be here in the future so figured I’d grab a picture of each one while I could. (You can click on the pictures to make them bigger and easier to read.)
The crazy thing was there was a safari in the park in the past.
The mushrooms first appeared in the 70s.
More of the 1970s.
Now we move into the 1980s.
The 1980s saw the formation of KECO, Kings Entertainment Company.
Shockwave was introduced in the 80s.
Avalanche was also added in these years.
Anaconda the Arrow looper with an underwater tunnel makes it’s way to the park.
KECO was purchased by Paramount Parks, thus becoming Paramount’s Kings Dominion.
Flight of Fear was introduced.
Volcano also introduced in the late 90s.
Hypersonic XLC introduced in 2001, a ride I never got to ride before it retired in 2007. 🙁
Italian Job Stunt Coaster makes it’s way to the park.
In 2006 Cedar Fair buys Paramount Park thus acquiring Paramount’s Kings Dominion and changing the name back to just Kings Dominion. Dominator is moved from the now defunct Geauga Lake Amusement Park to it’s new home.
2010 Cedar Fair invests heavily in the park and introduces Intimidator 305, only the second giga coaster from Intamin with the very first being Millennium Force over at Cedar Point. And the legacy of the park will continue into the future….
Very awesome history of the park that was detailed by these signs. Really glad they told the complete story of the park and I even learned some things I didn’t know before like how the park started as a safari.
In case you wanted to tell the time from a floral clock.
Are these the singing mushrooms I’ve heard so much about?
Hurler making it’s way up the lift. This was another credit I missed out on back in April as it was undergoing a re tracking.
The top of the carousel building has some nice statues on top of it.
The parks carousel.
Maybe I can ask the clowns where the singing mushrooms are.
So we waited for a good 15 minutes or so for these mushrooms to start singing. While we were waiting I was passing time looking at a map, and a Cedar Fair employee as their trained to do when someone looks “lost” asks me if I needed help finding something. I told them nah I’m just waiting on these mushrooms. haha
Digging the singing mushrooms. haha
Next up Holly tried her hand at some bowling.
Anyone think it’s time to go up there?
Of course it is! Ahh Intimidator 305 looks so good from up here.
Next up was a view of Dominator from the air. Still missing the lake setting.
One of the Kings Dominion signs and what is most likely the employee lot.
Here’s a wide shot of the back half of the park with Drop Tower, Shockwave, Rebel Yell, Anaconda, and Intimidator 305 way in the back.
The right side of the park features Grizzly and Windseeker.
Grizzly lurks in those woods.
The kids area and Volcano in the far back. Plus the blue coaster on the left Woodstock Express we’ll be riding later.
The front entrance from above.
A more closer look at Volcano and then Avalanche the bobseld coaster next to it.
Now for some close ups! I:305 about to crest the hill.
The airtime hill that provides some great speed and negative G’s.
This photo perfectly demonstrates how twisty I:305 really is.
It’s just such an incredible coaster and in my eyes the number one for many many years to come.
Windseeker looking awesome as it always does.
Hurler climbing the lift.
Anaconda navigating it’s corkscrews and reflecting off the water pretty nicely.
Avalanche in the back gliding through the turns.
The front row is ready for Dominator.
And here they go down the twisted first drop.
Through the cobra roll..
And finally through the final corkscrews, the whole time the front row looks to be having a blast.
Walking into one of the gift shops we noticed some neat 40th anniversary displays.
Oooh old park maps!
They even had mushroom plushes for sale.
Still crazy that it all started as a safari.
And then came opening day!
Creative use of the skeleton hanging from the Haunt signs.
A local radio station was in town and we won a bag full of goodies on the prize wheel!
Checking out some of the Haunt displays in the daylight.
Even stopping for a pose inside one of them.
Neat Liberty Bell display and appropriate since we are close to Washington DC.
Time to get a new credit? The Hurler was closed earlier in the year for retracking.
Unfortunately right before getting on the ride experienced a break down and we had to exit. Maybe I’ll get this credit eventually but for now it’s a no go.
So instead we gave the wild mouse a ride. Very fun ride indeed.
Since we couldn’t get on the other wooden coaster, let’s try for this one!
Doing my best bear pose. haha 😛
So the ride is hard to photograph since it goes into the woods, but we might have an opportunity later to grab some photos. Stay tuned.
It was time for lunch and ACE Mid Atlantic had some surprises in store for us!
We were told 10 US states were in attendance today as well as even some from Canada!
Next up a model of Volcano was shown off. Very detailed.
Some information on the ride.
The model was very cool and definitely something I’d love to have.
The station was even included on the model.
Another train is ready for launch!
After lunch we took a picture with a giant Kings Dominion flag which was then given away to one lucky member.
And here comes Dominator again.
A few members grabbed rides on Woodstock Express after lunch but we had other plans.
In an effort to make sure our lunch didn’t settle we returned to this bad boy!
Love this ride!!!
You can tell how amazing the ride is just by looking at the faces of the train, especially the front row. The trains even have the Chevy bowtie on them. Neat!
Air time hill and then some more twisty excitement.
Smiles all around.
Yup this will always be number one I have a feeling.
We got access to an early Haunt and it was actually pretty good
Next up though was a very special treat!
As I mentioned earlier the Hurler had broken down so there would be no awesome shots of the Hurler in action today sadly.
One of the Haunt actors posing for us.
Coaster nerds trying to get the shot of…
Grizzly of course!
Walking down the path you get a nice look at the tunnel.
Grizzly rounding the corner.
Backstage at Kings Dominion!
The riders are enjoying Grizzly.
Hands up! Grizzly is a fun coaster, it’s not as long or nearly as epic as the Beast at KD’s sister park Kings Island but it’s a decent coaster that goes into the woods for just a little bit.
Next up we had some exclusive haunt time at Maze of Madness! Another fun haunt, nothing too original though.
Here’s one blurry picture from inside the maze.
Next we decided to see one of the Halloween themed shows at the park.
It was a singing show we a decent story to connect the songs.
The main antagonist of the story.
There was even a love story thrown in.
But in true Halloween fashion there was no happy ending.
Good show, definitely worth checking out.
We gave a ride to the classic racing coaster after the sun went down.
Drop Tower looked awesome at night.
Of course we had to get some night rides in.
Looks even better at night!
Here we go!
Afterwards we checked out the Skeleton Crew show which was set up on a temporary stage by Anaconda
The show wasn’t too long but of course it included the dancing skeletons.
Awww this coaster holds a special place now being my 250th coaster!
A neat walk through area themed to fairy tales gone wrong.
Walking through the area.
The Eiffel Tower sure looks good lit up orange.
This guy had a great disguise, blended right in with the plants.
And totally snuck up on people.
The entrance fountains also lit up orange.
Haunt has very strict re-entry rules, good thing we were done for the night, but not quite done with Kings Dominion yet!
So after wrapping up for the night, we came back on Monday October 13th which was Columbus Day. It’s rare for a regional park to be open on a weekday in October but since this park is located near Washington DC and it’s a federal holiday I’m sure that was the reason. So let’s stop again for a few hours to check it out!
Since I still hadn’t rode this park’s Drop Tower yet that was our first stop as soon as we arrived at the park on Monday.
And as you can see, we were the only ones in line and the only ones on the ride as well.
Drop Tower was good, but felt like it climbed the tower too fast and was not as scary as the Kings Island version. Which to me is still the scariest Drop Tower with the anticipation build up to get to the top. No matter what though, these are still great rides.
Next up was a stand up coaster that I don’t think are the worst ever.
The restraints surely are goofy and now this is the last remaining TOGO stand up in North America with the closure of SkyRider at Canada’s Wonderland.
As you can see there’s not too many people riding this or at the park today for that matter.
So we return and maybe today will be the chance we finally get to ride.
The Hurler is running today, lets hurry up and get on!
First drop speed!
No break downs today and we successfully got our credit. Though this version was rather bumpy, even with all the retracking earlier this year.
Hurler roaring into the final back half of the ride in which there are plenty of air time hills to enjoy.
The park is really empty today!
Another credit we didn’t get the other day was Woodstock Express!
It’s a simple junior woodie but still loads of fun.
Dominator is a hard coaster to resist taking pictures of. It’s definitely very photogenic.
Continuing the trend of riding coasters missed the other day, we proceed to Avalanche.
The bobsleds are different countries and you sit two people to a car. Definitely a close quarters coaster.
Climbing the lift.
Fun ride, and nice and smooth.
A closer look at the ride in action.
You didn’t think we were gonna leave without stopping here did ya?
A display of the car that I didn’t take a picture of the other day.
No line! This is great!
What’s not so great though was the one train operation. 🙁 sigh Though it really wasn’t too busy at all so it didn’t really affect the line at all.
As the train begins to climb the lift you hear a voice exclaiming “Gentlemen, start your engines!”. Definitely one of my favorite starts to any ride ever.
And with that train off, thus we wait for it to return for our chance to ride.
The train zooming by, as seen from the back half of the station.
And with that it’s time to call it a day and make the 8 hour drive back to Ohio.
Since it was Columbus Day decided to get a shot of the flag as well. Thanks for an awesome weekend Kings Dominion! I will surely be back at least once in 2015!
Kings Dominion is a very solid Cedar Fair park, and Intimidator 305 has that elite status. With another major coaster added to this park, I could see it being a heavy hitter in the chain. However it’s still one of my favorite parks to visit. Don’t miss out on Kings Dominion!