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Feb 6, 2013
Portsmouth, Va
My company rented out the park yesterday for a private event. This was my first time to KD, and I must say, no matter the budget issues, I am so thankful for my BGW passes. This place was dirty and the customer service was terrible. There was a smokers pole (tall ashtray thing) that was full at 10:15am and still full when we left at 8pm. Anaconda and Hurler beat the hell out of me. The best coaster was Dominater, but that was a little rough as well. I only really enjoyed Boo Blasters and Avalanche. The Dinosaur 3D movie was cool as well. The fact that they only have chicken tenders for kids meals, in every restaurant, was disheartening. I was also unhappy with all of the upcharging. Overall experience, GARBAGE!
RE: 090713 Private event trip report

KD has terrible pretzels. THANKS YOU BGW!!! :D
RE: 090713 Private event trip report


I honestly don't think KD is that bad. It certainly isn't as green, pleasant, and charming as BGW, but there are some really fun rides, and it has Chick Fil A.

Really, the Grove is the most overwhelmingly concrete area.

At least in my opinion.
RE: 090713 Private event trip report


I'm just seeing your post now, and I'm sorry you didn't have a good time. Personally, I love Kings Dominion more than ever before. I respect your opinion, and like seeing what die-hard BGWFans think of the "other" park. However, in my opinion, I think the park is wonderful. International Street is drop-dead beautiful. I'd say it easily vies along with Busch Gardens' prettiest areas, and it's one of the most spectacular entrances to any park I've ever seen. I don't usually find it dirty, either. In fact, it's cleaner now than I've ever seen it before. Part of the problem is that the asphalt they're working on replacing with pavers is kind of nasty, and leaves that fall look bad on it. It also may be possible cleanup staffing was lessened due to only your company being at the park that day. Also, I think the costumer service is fine, and incredibly friendly and engaging. Gene Petriello, the Public Relations & Communications Manager of Kings Dominion, said they are working hard to become even friendlier and more helpful, and I've personally found them to really make visiting the park more fun and special. I don't know if the smoker's pole being full is really the park's fault, though. I agree that the chicken tender kids meal thing is kind of stupid, coupled with Cedar Fair's miserly food prices, but there are plenty of other restaurant-specific foods in smaller portions at some restaurants (Trail's End Grill in the Congo has mini sliders for kids, plus a great free fixin's bar, Outer Hank's has popcorn shrimp, and of course there's Panda Express with its stuff).

As far as rides, some rides are too rough to be any good. Really. Some rides should just be ripped out. I mean, on some rides (Grizzly, Rebel Yell) the roughness is part of the fun, but others (Anaconda, Hurler, Shockwave) are just too rough too be enjoyable. Dominator is great, and I love Boo Blasters to pieces.

Lots of people look at Kings Dominion as just a thrill ride corral, but I look at it from a different perspective. I know it's not, as Nic put it, as green as Busch Gardens, but I see it evolving from what really would be considered "garbage" to a wonderful place. I guess you have to see it evolving, and look at it from a perspective of a theme park, not a ride haven. New improvements made all over (fountains, pavers, gardens, trees, nice music, theming, the beautiful new Planet Snoopy) really make it a great place. Some may have noticed that I've come to Kings Dominion's defense more often than in the past, and that's because I've begin to love the park. I used to think it was a dump, but between Busch Gardens' declining of quality and Kings Dominion gaining a soul again, I've seen Kings Dominion as a wonderful place. Hopefully someday more people will think the same.

RE: 090713 Private event trip report

Artist Formerly Known As JOE1,

I think I was in such a rush, I really didn't do a good job of explaining myself. There are things I love about KD and things I really miss from my childhood there.

I know it is unpopular here, but I am a fan of Volcano. I actually don't like Flight of Fear as much as I did when Paramount owned the park, but it is still fun. I actually like the woodies, too. And of course i305 and Dominator. Really, KD is great for coasters.

Shockwave needs to be destroyed, but that is a different discussion.

I also think there are some really pretty places in the park. I really enjoy watching the fountains, while eating ice cream. And there are some nice wooded areas.

I have very fond memories of the Timeshaft and the monorail.

I think my biggest problems with KD are that they got rid of the animals, and there is just too much concrete.

Edit: and I can't get past all of the chewing gum and graffiti that used decorate the place.
RE: 090713 Private event trip report

Planet Snoopy did look good. My kids are a little to into the fast stuff for that area though. The highlight of that area was getting my pic taken with Schroeder.


I have never walked out of BGW feeling that physically hurt. The grill in COngo was the one that told me the only kid's meals were chicken tenders. Our company's president apologized because there were a lot of complaints about cleanliness and customer service. He said we might look elsewhere next year.
Cedar Fair has kept a tight reign on budgets since taking over the former park chain that Kings Dominion was a part of. The problem is the fine line between keeping costs in line and customer experience; slip off the wrong side of the razors edge and your customers get a negative impression of the park. If your customers are sensitive to their overall experience while in the park and they don't enjoy the experience while there, then they will take their business elsewhere.

Sometimes, I don't think Kings Dominion manages that fine budget line and its results in negative experiences by park patrons. You can only get away with that for so long before you lose business. AND its hard to get that lost business back in this day and age.

This should be brought up with the parks manager, Pat Jones, and her management staff. They need to step up and do a better job or Cedar Fair corporate needs to step in and rectify the situation.

I am not putting the blame just on Pat, maybe she needs to speak up more (up to corporate to increase their budget and down within the park management chain to get what needs to be done in park operations as efficiently as possible and to minimize the impact on customer experience.

I certainly don't know the internal politics within the park and between the park and corporate. Maybe she is bringing up issues with corporate and they are pushing back; or, on the flip side, the park is sweeping things under the rug and corporate is unaware of the issues/situations. In any case this needs to be addressed for the long term health of the park.
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