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Sep 10, 2012
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Sooner or later this park shall be graced once again by the glory of the Almighty chickenking. I visited here twice about 14 years ago and have not been back...yet.

Anyway...

Check this out:

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I came across this in one of my schools in Hampton. A cool-looking plaque from this Music Festival.
Can you name everything that is featured? :cool:




 

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Mushroom

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RE: CK's Check It Out!! - KD Edition

chickenking said:
Can you name everything that is featured? :cool:
I accept the challenge!

I see... Eiffel Tower, Windseeker, Intimidator 305, Dominator , Dinosaurs Alive, Xtreme Skyflyer (such as silly name...), and Drop Tower. Can anyone find anything else?

Cool thread, CK! Can't wait to see another load of CK antics!! :)
 
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Going on a trip up north over the holidays, I passed KD for the first time since I can't remember (I'm gettin' old). But I saw the sign, the Eiffel Tower, a wooden roller coaster, some other odds and ends, and must admit to getting a little excited. If I meet my goal weight for BGW and am able to ride the stuff I have set my sights on, a trip or two to this park will be imminent this summer. Gonna need a knowledgeable guide(s) to help me be efficient. It has been a LONG time. Any takers? Guess it is best to get the season pass if I wanna do the Halloween activities too, right? How many visits does it take to pay for itself when compared to a day pass?
 

Mushroom

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Hi CK,

According to the park's website, a regular adult admission to Kings Dominion is $40, not including parking. A Gold season pass currently costs $96 (they have a deal going on right now), meaning it would only take about two visits to be worth it. Keep in mind that Gold passes allow early entry, early waterpark admission, a 10% discount on food purchases, free parking, and Haunt admission. Seems like a good deal to me! :D

By the way, if you're ever looking to meet up or need a guide, I'm at the park quite a bit in the summer. I'm sure Zachary and Nora are also always ready to help out. :p Just let me know--I do know my share of Kings Dominion stuff!
 
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Sounds good guys. I am currently in the planning stages. I don't really know what to expect, but I'm sure I'll be into the same kind of stuff that I do at BGW. Hopefully my improved physique will work on some thrill rides. The last time I went to this park I think it was 1998. Have ridden the Shockwave, Grizzly, and Anaconda. The Volcano had just opened but I didn't ride it. Don't remember much else.
 
May 3, 2011
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If at all possible, I would plan your trip to not fall on a Saturday (Much like BGW). Even with the wide pathways, waits can be insane. You will leave the park with more sanity if you avoid this day. Fridays are the second worst. Sunday and any weekday is probably your best bet.
 
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wombat96

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Sep 20, 2013
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Finally CK is coming to Kings Dominion! Kings Dominion is a thrill park but, they ARE improving on all of the quality and charm they lost. I would still rank BGW much higher. Have Fun!
 
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I'm probably gonna be looking at a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday visit during a slow week in either June or August. May try to hook up with some fans for an overnight camp-out or something. I think there is a campground there. Might be fun. I have a big tent. Wanna sit around a fire, roast some dogs & goodies and play the djembe. Then go ride some race cars, train and other things. My silly idea.
 
Nov 1, 2012
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chickenking said:
I'm probably gonna be looking at a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday visit during a slow week in either June or August. May try to hook up with some fans for an overnight camp-out or something. I think there is a campground there. Might be fun. I have a big tent. Wanna sit around a fire, roast some dogs & goodies and play the djembe. Then go ride some race cars, train and other things. My silly idea.

Well the time frame you are looking at is what I consider the shoulder seasons (June or August). I am not sure if your primary motivation is for the rides or a more rounded experience (entertainment offerings and rides).

If you are going for a more rounded experience, keep in mind that the major shows last year ("All Wheel Sports" & "On Broadway") only ran from mid-late June through the 2nd week in August. If you had visited in the first 2 weeks in June or the last 2 weeks in August of 2013 you would not have had those shows to see. (The pop music show, country show, and kids shows ran through Labor Day weekend).

I was a little disappointed that "All Wheel Sports" only had an 8 week run and "On Broadway" only ran for 9 weeks in 2013. It would have been nice to see those shows have at least a 10 to 12 week run between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

Course, with the possible change in Kings Dominion's choice of an entertainment production company, along with changes to the shows for the 40th anniversary celebration; I have no idea what shows are coming back and for how long. At this point, I feel comfortable stating "All Wheel Sports" is coming back this year; as for everything else, shrug. :s

If you are coming mainly for rides, I would lean toward the 3rd or 4th week of June. The park is still fairly "Fresh" and has not gotten worn down by the mobs that visit in July and early August. They should be fully staffed and most shows, if not all, would be running by then.

Course, a few small caveats:

I don't think Kings Dominion starts having a 10 pm close during a weekday until the last week of June.

There is that Thursday-Saturday Christian Music Festival that occurs, (I think), the weekend that comes before the week of July 4th.

I am not sure how far in advance you are trying to plan your visit; but, if you can hold off until mid to late February, the park should have this years operating calendar out as well as the dates for most concerts/festivals.
 

Mushroom

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chickenking said:
I'm probably gonna be looking at a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday visit during a slow week in either June or August. May try to hook up with some fans for an overnight camp-out or something. I think there is a campground there. Might be fun. I have a big tent. Wanna sit around a fire, roast some dogs & goodies and play the djembe. Then go ride some race cars, train and other things. My silly idea.

I haven't tried the Kings Dominion campground personally, but I have always wanted to, as it gets pretty good online reviews. To echo mwhinva, visiting in July is still probably your best bet since I know you like shows and such, but late June and early August are also possible. The two biggest shows at the park only run during this time frame, unfortunately. With the exception of the week of the 4th, crowds are still pretty decent.

It's worth noting that KD's (much better, though less emphasized) version of Illuminights, Dominion at Dusk, does play all throughout the summer (and a bit earlier, in fact).
 

Mushroom

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chickenking said:
I'm probably gonna be looking at a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday visit during a slow week in either June or August. May try to hook up with some fans for an overnight camp-out or something. I think there is a campground there. Might be fun. I have a big tent. Wanna sit around a fire, roast some dogs & goodies and play the djembe. Then go ride some race cars, train and other things. My silly idea.

I haven't tried the Kings Dominion campground personally, but I have always wanted to, as it gets pretty good online reviews. To echo mwhinva, visiting in July is still probably your best bet since I know you like shows and such, but late June and early August are also possible. The two biggest shows at the park only run during this time frame, unfortunately. With the exception of the week of the 4th, crowds are still pretty decent.

It's worth noting that KD's (much better, though less emphasized) version of Illuminights, Dominion at Dusk, does play all throughout the summer (and a bit earlier, in fact). You definitely should "check it out." :cool:

Now, I'm not sure how the number of "Big & Tall" (;)) rides compares to the number at BGW. Here are some rides that pretty much anyone of any body size & type can enjoy, or rides that I otherwise feel you and other "BGW-only" folk would enjoy :p:

- Americana, a Ferris wheel
- Blue Ridge Tollway, an antique car ride through the woods
- Boo Blasters on Boo Hill, an interactive haunted house ride with laser guns to shoot targets
- Carousel, which the park is currently restoring
- Dodgem bumper cars
- Eiffel Tower
- Flying Eagles, a neat flying scooters ride over one of the park's ponds
- Scrambler (think Le Catapult with a safari theme)
- Shenandoah Lumber Co., a very relaxing log flume that I actually think beats Le Scoot
- Triple Spin (think Flying Machine on steroids)
- Wave Swinger
- Anaconda, basically Nessie's ugly sister. Same trains, restraints, etc. as Nessie. *Incredibly rough* looping coaster over the lake
- White Water Canyon, a fantastic rapids ride that *literally* blows Roman Rapids out of the water
- Woodstock Express, an awesome "family-friendly" wooden coaster for a certain daughter of yours who tends to tag along with you. :p It's worth noting that the cars on this ride are ridiculously small.

Course, I don't know your particular body size and I don't want to be creepy by getting too far into that. :p There may be some things I've listed that you find you can't do, but I've chosen not to list the coasters (that should be your decision only), most of which can be viewed here. I guarantee you that there are plenty of things for you to do that I failed to list.

Keep in mind next year begins Kings Dominion's 40th Anniversary Celebration, which will hopefully seriously revitalize the park and make it a better and more-rounded experience than we've seen in literally decades. Expect to see the new Flower Clock, new shows, two newly-themed classic park areas, and the park's famous Singing Mushrooms (Google it--yes, you read that correctly. :p). If the last time you visited KD was in the 90's or later, then you'll be surprised. Kings Dominion is like a totally different park than it was just five or so years ago, and I'm super excited to see the improvements they make for next year.

There are a few upcharge attractions at Kings Dominion you might want to check out. I've never tried them because they cost extra and they don't really seem worth it to me, but KD does have a nice go-kart track. They also have a walk-through exhibit in the woods called Dinosaurs Alive, a trail filled with animatronics. It's $5 per admittance, but Gold Pass members--starting next year--can visit as much as they want for free. If you take your daughter, you should definitely check that out. I for one love Dinosaurs Alive; it's a great break from the rides.

The restaurants at Kings Dominion range from Chik-Fil-A to Panda Express to country cuisine to seafood to plain ol' theme park grub (pizza, burgers, fries, sandwiches, etc.). You may have heard some bad rumors about KD's food, and yes, they are sometimes true. There is some pretty nasty food at the park. The chain restaurants and the park's bigger restaurants do have some delicious food, though. My personal favorite, called Trail's End Grill, has a free toppings bar for you sandwiches. Be on the lookout for "Boardwalk Fries" stands throughout the park. Those things, with a little vinegar and Old Bay, cannot be missed!! :D

Navigating the park is every bit as confusing as it is at BGW. The park is divided into five themed areas:

-International Street, the amazing European entry plaza with huge fountains and the Eiffel Tower
-Old Virginia, an old-timey, cracker barrel-style country-themed, wooded area
-Candy Apple Grove, one of the park's original areas making its return next year, with a classic carnival theme--complete with giant candy apple decorations
-Planet Snoopy, the beautiful and sprawling childrens' area that even I (not a little kid :p) enjoy; seriously blows Forest of Fun and even Land of the Dragons out of the water.
-Safari Village, the other area to return to the park next year; a tribal, African-themed area with many of the park's larger rides and the iconic Volcano mountain

The park is essentially laid out in the classic "hub and spoke" layout, wherein the entrance area leads to the middle of the park (Candy Apple Grove midway), to which all other areas are connected. However, reaching some areas is hard to get to because of obscure pathways and oddly-placed buildings/landscapes. All you need to do is find a large, iconic ride near what you're looking for and to keep following that. :p

Don't forget that Kings Dominion also has a built-in waterpark that's free with admission. It's a bit smaller than WCUSA, but it still has some major attractions. There are more body slides than WCUSA has, though. Visiting this area is imperative in the summer months. :cool:

I can't say for sure what shows to expect for next year. I've already brought up the fireworks summertime show Dominion at Dusk, which also includes a truly fantastic lights show called Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular, which cannot be missed. It's also nearly confirmed that the BMX bike stunt show "All Wheel Sports" will return for its second season, but other than that I don't know what to expect. I would assume their indoor Broadway-style show would return, as well as their 3D dinosaur film played in their other indoor theater. I don't know what to expect for the other few outdoor shows, though. Regardless, Kings Dominion has tried to step up their entertainment lineup a bit lately.

I noticed that you mentioned riding the train in your above post. Assuming you're talking about Kings Dominion, their train has been gone for decades (thanks, Paramount...). Of course, you may always have fun riding this thing:
JunctionBanner2.jpg


I kid, but it's worth warning you that there are no transportation rides at Kings Dominion, despite being comparable to BGW in its large size. They do, however, have a brief aerial monorail ride over part of the Planet Snoopy area, but it only has one stop and is pretty short.
https://www.kingsdominion.com/rides/For-the-Kids/Snoopys-Rocket-Express

I don't really know what else there is to say, other than "happy trails!!" I look forward to possibly seeing you at both KD and BGW next season! Can't wait to see you "check it out" even more!!
 
Nov 1, 2012
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Wow Joe, wonderful writeup! :)

The years under Paramount ownership was not kind to the park. Within the 1st 3-5 years as Paramount's Kings Dominion, the sky-ride cable cars were removed and the steam train taken out (one train still operates at BGT & the other train runs at a camp/resort in the mid-west).

The sky-ride was the only true in-park transportation ride in the park. The train ride really was more of an entertainment venue (think of it as being initially envisioned as an "entertainment theater on wheels").

During the first 8-9 years of operations of the train, a live show was performed both on the train and along the track route. It started as an old-fashioned melodrama (maybe 2-3 shows during the first 65%-70% of that time period. The last 30%-35% of that time period, the park changed it to a western style stunt show with a light story line.

After the stunt show closed in the mid-1980's (1983-1984). The train was no longer used as a live show venue. I thought they converted the "show scenes" along the track as still or slightly animated views of country life. It pretty much stayed in that format for the last 12-13 years the train was in operation.

That might have then been the time for the park to have re-envisioned the train as an in-park transportation system and think about expanding the track and adding another station maybe on the Safari Village side. But, it would have meant greatly altering the Animal Safari animal habitats occupying the southeastern side of the park, (especially those that came close to the Rebel Yell - lions & tigers) to accommodate a train expansion. Maybe it was not feasible or cost too much back then.

Paramount came into the picture and the Animal Safari was out starting in 1993. That would have been a good time to think about expanding the train back then. It did not happen and they went the other way and totally nixed the train completely. Poor management decisions back then (not sure if the final decision was made at the park level or the corporate higher ups called the shots and the lower park level folks had to tow the line).

Course, as I've stated numerous time before, the park chain entertainment division took the biggest hit. The bottom line, it was essentially eliminated.
 
Jun 27, 2013
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chickenking said:
I'm probably gonna be looking at a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday visit during a slow week in either June or August. May try to hook up with some fans for an overnight camp-out or something. I think there is a campground there. Might be fun. I have a big tent. Wanna sit around a fire, roast some dogs & goodies and play the djembe. Then go ride some race cars, train and other things. My silly idea.

I have stayed at the campground there, and it was very nice. We stayed in one of the cabins. Love the shuttle to and from the park is a plus.
 
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JewlzX2 said:
chickenking said:
I'm probably gonna be looking at a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday visit during a slow week in either June or August. May try to hook up with some fans for an overnight camp-out or something. I think there is a campground there. Might be fun. I have a big tent. Wanna sit around a fire, roast some dogs & goodies and play the djembe. Then go ride some race cars, train and other things. My silly idea.

I have stayed at the campground there, and it was very nice. We stayed in one of the cabins. Love the shuttle to and from the park is a plus.

I do remember 4-5 years ago, Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel talking about how the company had to keep a tight reign on expenditures and that there were many things they wanted to do and could not because of budget restraints. One of the things Dick specifically mentioned was that they would like to do a complete renovation of Kings Dominion's campground.

I think Carowinds did end up getting their campground redone 3-4 years ago. They added about 10 new cabins; renovated the camp store, bathhouse, restrooms, and swimming pool / playground area. The rest of the cabins-campsites were spruced up as well.

Since Cedar Fair has been doing well financially the last 2-3 years, maybe they might be looking at refreshing Kings Dominion's campground in the near future.
 

Mushroom

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Don't know why, but I always smile when I pass this little guy. :cool:
VTQwsz8.jpg
 
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