I really missed Busch Gardens in the off season. Finally got my coaster fix yesterday. Went to the park early, but wasn't able to make it through the gates until afternoon. It was totally worth the wait.
Got three dishes from Food and Wine. They were good, but I preferred the cruise food. Not only that, but I felt the dishes I chose last year were better too. The Belgian beer was amazing though. Better than the stuff we normally get at home.
Coasters are running as well as ever. Even Alpengeist toward the back was somewhat smooth.
Met up with old friends and made new ones. Had a friend travel from Illinois to visit. It was one of the best days I've had at the park for a long time.
Welcome back to Busch Gardens! Let the real #funchallenge begin!
Hung around Aquitaine quite a bit. Rode Griffon 20 times lol. Crowds were amazing. Food and Wine is as good as ever. Can't wait to try out more stuff in the coming weeks.
Didn't see any shows while I was at the park. Plan to during the summer instead.
One last shot!
Rhinefeld clock looked great from the ground. Don't know if they're slowly fixing things or if you can only see it when you're looking up close. Figurines didn't look as faded as they did in previous years plus it was working great! The rest of the park looked great as ever.
I was kinda indifferent on the Banbury makeover. On one hand, the Globe looks eyesore-ish during the day, but I dig the flags, music, and the bus. At night, the Globe looks great though. The lighting and the crowds create a sorta party atmosphere in the area.
- Looking forward to seeing you guys throughout the season through Howl O Scream and Christmas Town.
I wasn't able to take my camera to the park much this summer so getting to take it out to the park yesterday was fun. Didn't get too many photos since I was hanging around with a group. Will get more in the coming weeks.
This post won't be very photo heavy since I'm still working on downloading the photos I took through Luke's camera (thanks Luke).
Like I said in my Haunt review, I had a good time at the park on Saturday. The last time I visited, it was well into the Paramount years. Visited with my parents before and with my friends afterward. Parents didn't like it too much, and the park was already pretty tired looking by then. Now with Cedar Fair in control, the park looks like its turned itself around, finally adding high capacity attractions and cleaning up previously tired looking areas (water park excluded but that will change by next year anyway).
Since my last review was about Haunt, I'll be looking over the regular daytime stuff here.
Had a wonderful time on the coasters. KD has a VERY solid collection of coasters, even without 305 and Dominator as anchors. A lot of people tend to pass off the collection without those two as subpar but I though the opposite.
Intimidator 305 - My number 2 coaster. The transitions hurt the ride the most. They're too snappy in a bad way. You're pretty much flung into the harness like a ragdoll and I can understand why people hated it with the old harnesses. The intensity and air are fantastic and the layout outside of those snaps is pretty good. Flight of Fear - Still awesome, but not very hands up friendly. Has a few interesting pops of air here and there and even if its not totally dark inside, it's still a ton of fun. Second best coaster in the park. Dominator - Has its intense moments and the layout is a load of fun. The corkscrews are rough but it doesn't really detract from the ride.
Volcano - Not as good as I remember, bad capacity aside. Launches are powerful and slow rolls are fun enough but the other coasters ahead of it have more substance. Still a solid ride as long as you ride it first thing. Grizzly - Out of control. This ride is rough, but the roughness adds lots of character to the ride. Its not so rough its painful and its not really glass smooth either. Its at that perfect balance. Plus the setting nestled in the woods is great despite the park developing a good portion of it. Stunt Coaster - Underrated. Not the biggest and baddest ride out there, but the launch is forceful, the turns are tight enough so they pack a nice punch, the working effects look cool, and the indoor portion is surprisingly intense. Rebel Yell - Has loads of air, no rough spots, and very very fun. KD took care of this ride really well. Last ride of the night was awesome. Scooby Doo - Woodstock Express is a lousy name, but the ride, like Rebel Yell, is tons of fun. Has a few good pops of air for a coaster of its size and runs smoother than a lot of steel coasters out there. The lift hill is unusually rough though, which is really strange. Hurler - The oldest wooden coasters in the park are the smoothest. The newest, however, is bad. The drops are OK, but the turns are horrid with extreme jackhammering. Glad I didn't take a wheel seat or I'd bust a rib or two open.
The other rides are pretty good - mostly run of the mill amusement park rides. I'm glad the park has tons of them too compared to Busch. Didn't ride Crypt since I wasn't really in the mood. Eiffel Tower is a lot nicer than I remember (rusty, lots of water leaks, great view). Rest of the park looked good enough if not a little plain in some spots. I'm glad the park re-introduced a lot of the theming to each area so they all look nice.
(Drop Zone and Windseeker were down for high winds so no rides on those (probably wouldn't ride Drop Zone anyway).
Overall Kings Dominion is a great compliment to BGW. There's tons of rides and coasters compared to BGW which focuses more on shows and atmosphere. I'm looking forward to seeing KD move in the right direction in terms of keeping their rides maintained and the pathways looking great and can't wait to come back next year!