May 26, 2012
I’d been trying to get to Kings Dominion for I305 since it opened but no such luck. Since I was in the area, though, I couldn’t pass a trip up since I was so close. I got up slightly later than I’d planned, but was hoping for light crowds on a Sunday. After arriving at the park and finding the season pass/preferred lot right near the front gate, I snapped some photos and walked on in. The park was already opened and the rides were running. I hadn’t been to the park since 2007, so I walked around the newer area around Dominator, and thru the Peanuts area, then back to Intimidator 305.
Intimidator 305–The drop was great and the first hill hill was absolutely insane. I greyed out on the first turn. The ride was very intense, and delivered major airtime on the hills. After the second hill there are some very quick turns with major lateral forces in the infield of the ride. The lateral forces were kind of rough with the restraints, but not totally unbearable. Then you hit the 2 bunny hops near the end of the ride. The trim was definitely noticeable, but didn’t kill the end of the ride, which consisted for a couple of more tight turns and a turn/hop up to the final brake run that gave major airtime.
The ride delivered. I didn’t get a chance to re-ride, but I definitely enjoyed my one ride with hopes to ride it again soon. Next up was the closest coaster to me, Flight of Fear. There was no one in the queue inside the building until you got to just outside the station.
Flight of Fear–I really love these rides. I will say, though, I don’t know if I’m just jaded but the launch didn’t seem nearly as powerful as it used to. Plus, the ride comes almost to a complete stop on the mid course brake run. But it’s fast, fun, and doesn’t beat you up like it used to.
I planned to ride Volcano next, but the line was way too long so I headed to the Ferris Wheel, only to find out I needed a partner. So instead I walked back by Windseeker. I didn’t ride since I have one in my back yard. But I did ride Hurler.
Hurler–I rode near the front and it was actually really good. Kings Dominion and Carowinds added trims after the first drop, but it wasn’t hitting so bad today. It wasn’t jackhammering much and actually gave decent airtime.
The line for Ricochet was long but I decided to wait it out.
Ricochet–Wild Mice freak me out. The first drop was much better than the version at my home park, but the rest of it was normal Wild Mouse fare. The trims weren’t hitting too hard. It’s not the best, nor the worst. It’s a very adequate coaster.
Next up I got some food and went to find Rebel Yell. I kept missing the entrance to it, so I ended up going to Grizzly instead. I got to the station and it was empty so I walked right on to the back of the train.
Grizzly–This thing was running so well! Grizzly has such a good layout. The first drop was wonderful, and the rest of the ride had speed, airtime, and some aggressive laterals. The tunnel has that one hill the throws you up every time. It is so much fun. I should have went back for a re-ride but I had limited time in the park.
After riding Grizzly I ended up riding Shockwave right after it had opened for the day. It had a nice new paint job. But it needed a nice new restraint job.
Shockwave–I forgot how terrible the trains were. Honestly, I felt very unsecured and uncomfortable. The layout was fun, I love the Togo stand up airtime. But the restraints were just terrible. There was ample airtime on the hill before the really intense helix. And then it’s just a bunch of hills and a turn or two. Fun, but not fantastic.
I did end up walking back and finding Rebel Yell’s entrance. I planned on riding both side but didn’t in the end. And that’s okay.
Rebel Yell (Left)–Rebel Yell was running very good this year. I’m surprised at how good the wooden coasters were for this visit. I loved some Thunder Road at Carowinds, but it had been a bit rough as of late. Rebel Yell was giving great airtime, a smooth ride, and nice views of Intimidator. What else could you ask for?
Up next was another walk-on, the Backlot Stunt Coaster.
Backlot Stunt Coaster–The launch on this was fun, but boy was the helix intense. Swerving thru the cop cars and then up, down, and around was fairly tame but sadly Kings Dominion had let the mid course show effects go. The Helicopter didn’t rise up and barely spun, though it’s kind of at an angle so that you could still see it. I didn’t see any of the ‘gun shots’ from the helicopter hit the wall, and no fire. Then of course you launch into darkness and out of the sign. Meh. Its fun, but I wish the effects still worked.
I walked by Anaconda but wasn’t planning to ride, then I bit the bullet and went to Volcano. The line was long. Really long. It always was. But what I found out, after 90 minutes, was that every third train was used only for Fast Lane. Now, let me preface this tiny rant by saying I love Fast Lane, and had recently used it at Kings Island. It can be worth the money. But it needed to be implemented correctly. No other ride did this during the day. It was terrible. Every. Third. Train. That killed capacity. Shame on Cedar Fair and Kings Dominion. There were plenty of empty seats on the regular trains, and you could have just put some people in some of those rows, or mark off some rows like other parks do.
Volcano–I still loved the launch. It really was a fun coaster, with a very powerful launch. The inversion out of the top of the volcano was great, and the rest of the ride was smooth. I loved the last drop in to the mountain after the 3 consecutive barrel rolls. I just wish there was more theming in the tunnel after the second launch.
I wish I would have rode Boo Blasters but I didn’t. I did ride Dominator. I wasn’t going to, but the line was so short. I didn’t need the credit, but wanted to see if it was still as good as it was at Geauga Lake.
Dominator–The drop was still really good but I’m just not a huge inversion fan. The ride was good, but inversions often make me queasy. It wasn’t terrible this time, and Dominator was as good as ever. It’s not as pretty as it was at Geauga, where it was over water, but it was a good ride that rounded out Kings Dominion’s lineup.
I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower for some photos and then left the park. I could have rode more, but I needed to get back home. I hoped to make it back to the park later in the year, but I’m definitely not going to wait as long between trips. That the park is closer to where I lived now really worked so much better for me than when I lived in West Virginia.