Kings Dominion Rumors

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Sep 8, 2010
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New thread for rumors pertaining to Kings Dominion.

04/09/12
According to Coaster Crew, they spotted some High-Ups walking around kidsville taking pictures and carrying blueprints... Take it as you will.
 

Joe

#RIPVolcano
Feb 12, 2011
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BuschDominion.com
I came across a very interesting article about some of Ouimet's future plans for the Cedar Fair parks. Apparently, Ouimet hopes to feature an interactive dark ride like Wonder Mountain's Guardian or Voyage to the Iron Reef at all of Cedar Fair's 11 theme parks... including Kings Dominion!

LA Times said:
Canada's Wonderland unveiled Wonder Mountain's Guardian in 2014 and Knott’s plans to open Voyage to the Iron Reef on May 15. Both attractions were designed by Montreal-based Triotech, a relative newcomer to dark-ride manufacturing.

Cedar Fair president and CEO Matt Ouimet plans to eventually expand the Amusement Dark concept to all 11 park locations in the chain.

"I think ultimately you'll see them at every Cedar Fair park," said Ouimet, a former Disney executive who served a stint as Disneyland president.

Cedar Fair has never been known for its dark ride collection. Scooby Doo-themed haunted dark rides based on an off-the-shelf Ghost Blasters model by Sally Corp. opened in the early 2000s at Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Kings Dominion and Kings Island. The rides were re-themed in 2010 as Boo Blasters on Boo Hill when Cedar Fair decided to drop the intellectual property branding.

Other Cedar Fair parks — including Cedar Point, Dorney Park and Knott's — have featured dark rides throughout their history that have long since been shuttered.

Meanwhile, Cedar Fair rival Six Flags, long known for its themeless steel parks, has also leaped into the dark ride game with a pair of Justice League attractions from Sally Corp. opening this summer at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St. Louis.

Industry watchers have long been expecting Ouimet to instill more Disney DNA into Cedar Fair parks since taking over as CEO in 2011. While recent additions at Cedar Fair parks have placed a higher emphasis on family entertainment and themed environments, the new attractions have lacked the immersive storytelling associated with the most elaborate Disney rides.

In typical executive bullet-point fashion, Ouimet distilled his Amusement Dark vision into three S’s: strategy, storytelling and social interaction.

Knott's new dark ride embarks on steampunk-inspired underwater journey.
The strategy portion envisions a fleet of dark rides with a highly interactive interface and a digital infrastructure allowing for constant upgrades. Think Toy Story Midway Mania video game screens with Buzz Lightyear Astro-Blasters ray guns.

The storytelling aspect focuses on traditional topics such as pirates, dinosaurs, dragons and cowboys and Indians that don’t require expensive IPs from major media companies.

And the social component seeks to include gaming elements that encourage competition between family and friends while driving repeat visits.

Cedar Fair will never create $100-million dark rides like Disney and Universal, Ouimet said, settling instead for budgets at 10% to 15% of the industry leaders. Similarly, Cedar Fair will have to make do without expensive intellectual properties such as "Frozen" or "Harry Potter," which Ouimet admits makes marketing the new attractions more difficult.

Instead, the Amusement Dark rides will tell stories about the "world underneath our parks," Ouimet said.

So far, in-house design teams have had wide latitude to dream up unique back stories about mystical creatures dwelling beneath each park — a dragon living inside a faux mountain at Canada's Wonderland and sea monsters lurking below Knott's boardwalk.

"We're not going to do a bunch of rides at once and put them at every park," said Ouimet, who envisions one day having a library of stories that might move around from park to park.

Avoiding the one-size-fits-all approach also allows Cedar Fair to capitalize on constantly improving technology. Iron Reef at Knott's will feature backlighted imagery and 10-times brighter cameras that were not available when Guardian was built at Canada's Wonderland.

That same flexibility allows Cedar Fair to transform an existing ride with a seasonal overlay or an entirely new theme.

Wonder Mountain's Guardian will carry riders up a 60-foot-tall coaster lift hill on the exterior of the man-made mountain before dipping inside a cavern and slowing down for a dark ride experience complete with wind, motion and other special effects.

Triotech, the Montreal-based company behind Wonder Mountain's Guardian, boasts the new ride at Canada's Wonderland will be "better than what you've seen at Disney or Universal."

"You can literally hit a switch and change the story," Ouimet said.

While animatronics have not played prominent roles in Guardian or Iron Reef, Ouimet expects to work on future Amusement Dark projects with San Bernardino-based Garner Holt Productions, which created life-like figures for recent refurbishments of the 1969 Timber Mountain Log Ride and the 1960 Calico Mine Ride at Knott’s.

With no Amusement Dark projects currently in the pipeline, it’s unlikely we'll see any new dark rides added at any Cedar Fair parks in 2016 — but that hasn’t stopped Ouimet from planning for 2017 and beyond.

"We have blank spaces and empty boxes at every park," Ouimet said.
That last line is intriguing: "We have blank spaces and empty boxes at every park." Can you think of an "empty box" at Kings Dominion? I can.

At this point, asking "if" a new dark ride will come to KD is no longer the question- it's "when." So when will it be? Where will it go? What should the theme be? Let the speculation begin!
 
Apr 17, 2014
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I think that kings dominion will get a dark ride before 2020. It could go where the 3d theater is or near that but before this ride is put in I think a bigger attraction or coaster will go in.
 
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Apr 17, 2014
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Kings dominion has a great ride selection but when I went last week I rode every single roller coaster and when I was finished it was not as great as usual. All of their rides are getting old and by that I mean I ride them all the time. Kings Dominion really needs to step up with a new coaster because I have ridden all the ones they have so much that they need something new.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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dude205 said:
Kings dominion has a great ride selection but when I went last week I rode every single roller coaster and when I was finished it was not as great as usual.  All of their rides are getting old and by that I mean I ride them all the time.  Kings Dominion really needs to step up with a new coaster because I have ridden all the ones they have so much that they need something new.
Thissss. Its been 5 years. That's a pretty long stretch for a park as big as KD. Plans aren't looking that great for 2016 considering the rumored dive machine at CP and another 20 million dollars to invest next year at Carowinds. Cedar Fair only has so many monies they can spend.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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Yeah me too, KD has gotten the shaft coaster wise for a couple years (I know the park is constantly improving - ie: Soak City, pavers, cleaner areas, landscaping). So far though, CP has already had a poured footer and land clearing has been happening so it isn't looking good for us in Virginia :'(
 
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Jul 22, 2014
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There's plenty of time - the 25 million dollar giga coaster construction didn't begin construction until Monday June 1, 2009.

The only reason Cedar Point has begun so much construction is because they had to remove and move rides... not to mention they have 10 times worse winters than Kings Dominion.
 
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Sep 9, 2014
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I think KD is definitely due for a new coaster, especially to appeal to customers who are deciding between KD and BGW. Maybe we can look forward to a new coaster after KD completes Soak City expansion project.
 

Joe

#RIPVolcano
Feb 12, 2011
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dude205 said:
Kings Dominion really needs to step up with a new coaster [....]
Let's keep in mind it's not Kings Dominion's say as to when they get a new coaster. That decision comes from corporate in Sandusky, Ohio. I'm sure everyone working at KD wishes they would get a new coaster too, but it seems Cedar Fair has left them in the dust as they've been installing coasters at many of their other parks.

As Zachary said, they have to wait their turn. Hopefully the waiting doesn't last much longer.
 
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Feb 1, 2015
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Well if we've been waiting 5 years now, this next coaster better be good, crossing my fingers for a traditional lift and launched wing hyper coaster!
 

Zimmy

Nessie wants you to look into yourself
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Sep 28, 2013
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I expect this will be the next big attraction at KD and I think Joe is right, it will go in the old "Days of Thunder" space. I have no reason for any of these beliefs, but it seems logical.

Budgets being what they are, if this is a prioriety, and it sounds like it is, I think it unlikely we will see both this and a coaster before 2017.

That all being said, the park is long overdue for a good dark ride. (not that I care, I find simulators and most dark rides not terribly exciting)

More to the point the park really needs to refresh their flats. I would love to see them install a Frisbee and or bring back Apple Turnover.

I have said before I would be thrilled if they brought back a King Kobra clone. (there are several in storage) But I do not think CF would go for that.

Still we have plenty of new trash cans to look forward to!
 
Aug 28, 2012
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I personally don't think KD is very good at handling the coasters that they currently have. The maintenance side of things seems good, but compared to many other parks they always seem to struggle on the ride ops side of it. I think they'd need to get rid of a coaster to make room for a new one and also properly staff it. That's just my opinion though, it bugs me every time I go to the park. I think they'd need to show CF that they deserve another one including being able to actually increase attendance with it.
 

Zimmy

Nessie wants you to look into yourself
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I would have agreed with this assessment last year, but this year they seem to have really stepped things up.
 
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Oct 7, 2011
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I agree Zimmy. The park has gotten a lot better with ride ops. I've had my fair share of bad KD ride op experiences but that was a couple years ago. On a side note: who the crap thought it would be a good idea to leave 305's second train exposed to the elements, I mean, look at those straps! Some of them are duct taped for Pete's sake.
 
Nov 1, 2012
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I think Kings Dominion is due to get a new coaster in either 2016 or 2017.

I thought there could be the possibility of the park getting a dark ride in 2016. But, the LA Times article, that interviewed Matt Ouimet about Knott's "Iron Reef" 2015 dark ride attraction, stated that Cedar Fair did not currently have another future dark ride in the pipeline. So, it seems that no Cedar Fair park is expected to get one for 2016. Ouimet also stated that Cedar Fair is in talks with Garner-Holt to possibly get involved in the next dark ride attraction that gets built (2017 or later).

To me, Cedar Fair will do what it thinks is best to draw the most people to visit the park and, more importantly, sustain the visitation numbers long term. Sure, a coaster will always spike attendance the 1st year or two; but, attendance will flatten out. That is why it is just as important to round things out by improved infrastructure and amenities; improve entertainment; food offerings; kid oriented attractions; water park; dark rides; flat rides.

As we are well aware, the kids area was redone last year; the water park gets it makeover this year. Food offerings have taken a big leap this season as well. Seems the entertainment has taken a hit for 2015. Hopefully, CF/KD can figure something out for future shows.

We could use some new flat rides to mix things up and give folks some new experiences. It sounds like Kings Dominion will be getting a dark ride in the next 2-4 years. I would also like to see the asphalt disappear from all pathways in the next 3-4 years. Seems there is still much potential for change in the next 5 years.
 
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