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Kings Dominion Opening Weekend!

Eyebrows

Mega Poster
Hello all! This is my first trip report ever, so let me know if I’m doing anything wrong. I didn’t take many photos this time, but I intend to remedy that next time I do a TR. Anyway, here is my experience at Kings Dominion on May 23rd!

We arrived at the park 30 minutes after opening due to everything going to ****, National Lampoon style. I won’t go into it here, but things got very hectic. The drive went smoothly enough, though, which was nice. I spent most of the day with my girlfriend, who also loves coasters but won’t do any wooden coasters because she doesn’t like the shaking.

After arriving at the park, my girlfriend and I decided to go to Twisted Timbers first, because she had never done it and it was far enough back in the park that it wouldn’t have a huge line. While walking up to it, I took the same photo of the drop that everyone else does:

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We then set up our locker, got in line and waited about 15 minutes for the back row, which was just about the best start to the day you could ask for at Kings Dominion. While in line, one of the operators complimented me on my Beast shirt, which made it that much better for me.

After Twisted Timbers, it started getting into the upper 80’s in heat (around 30° C) we headed to the log flume to cool off. We waited around a half hour and were rewarded with a refreshing splash of water. The log flume is a lot shorter than I remember, but it’s still loads of fun, being an Arrow log flume. Side note: listening to other people in line near me, I can definitively say that the GP’s favorite ride at Kings Dominion is Twisted Timbers. If they were talking about a ride, that was nearly always it.

After that, we made our way over to “Safari Village” to check out i305 and Flight of Fear, the rides themed to two classic safari staples: Nascar racing and alien invasions. On the way, we rode Anaconda (still shaky as ever and in need of a repaint) and the Drop Tower.

We were met with disappointment as we approached Flight of Fear and i305. FoF’s queue was trailing outside the awning, with the full cattlepen in use, and i305 was down all day, which we later learned was because of a snapped cable on opening day (thanks Intamin). This was the beginning of the low point of our day. We decided to ditch FoF and get some Rita’s, which had a massive line but we thought would be worth it. However, upon getting to the window, we were informed that “It’s a long story, but this location is only accepting credit cards at the moment.” and both of us had only brought cash (what with us being 15 and all). We decided to go full sunk-cost fallacy and head to the other Rita’s, which thankfully had a much shorter line.

We had lunch at the Country Kitchen (a surprisingly good pulled pork bowl with mac n’ cheese) and sat in the vine tunnel listening to a HORRID rendition of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” sung by a man with a banjo.

After lunch, we got one more ride on Twisted Timbers, this time in the front row. I really wish i305 had been running, I want so badly to compare them. Twisted Timbers is a lot closer to overtaking i305 in my mind after riding it with enthusiast goggles, but it has been almost two years since I rode it, and I need the refresher.

After that, and a somewhat disappointing ride on Whitewater Canyon, at about 30 minutes until park close, we met up with the group so I could ride Grizzly with my dad. Now, if you don’t know Kings Dominion’s layout, there is something you should know about the location of Grizzly’s entrance: you have to walk through its gift shop to get to it, and the park for some reason refuses to put up a “Grizzly entrance this way” sign. I’ve included a screenshot of google maps that shows this (red: gift shop, yellow: path to queue entrance, blue: queue entrance):

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This means that, especially at the end of the day, Grizzly’s station is deserted, and you can stay on for two laps as long as there isn’t someone queued up to enter your row. Why there’s a limit of two is beyond me, but I’m sure there’s a good reason for it.

In the offseason, Grizzly got a partial retrack from GCI in the second half of the ride, which was definitely the part that needed it most. However, they did not reprofile the big jolt after the second turnaround, seen in the gif below:

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The pov that is taken from was recorded in 2018, but the jolt is very much still there.

Anyways, we rode once in the second to back, and got to go around twice in the back. After this, my dad was done for the day, but I wanted to get on the last ride of the night. Going back around to the station, I met two fellow goons who had been marathoning the other train! They had already taken the back row, so I got in the second to back and struck up some conversation with them. They were travelling and only had one day at KD so they bought a Fast Lane pass to get impressive ride counts on everything. They were a little more bummed out about i305 than I was, considering that they had gotten spited on their only day at the park. We were the last people to enter the station, so we got to go around one last time to get the last ride of the night, which was actually my first time doing that. I think that marathoning Grizzly at the end of the day is going to be a new tradition for me.

All in all, I had a great day at Kings Dominion, especially because I can go whenever I want this summer because of my season pass. It’s a great feeling to know you’ll be back at the theme park soon and not have to rush to get everything in. Writing this trip report was really fun, as I usually have trouble remembering the specifics of trips, so racking my brain to try and include everything made it that much more real for me.
 
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Hutch

Strata Poster
Yeah, I heard about i305 being down as well. Did the cable actually snap? I had also heard it was some other issue with the cable and that people assumed it had snapped. I'm visiting the park for the first time in a few weeks, so I'm disappointed that i305 might still be down (despite my expectations being low to be honest).

Nice report though, glad you had a good time. It'll be among my first park visits after full reopening around the country, so I'm hoping the park smooths things out until then.
 

Eyebrows

Mega Poster
Yeah, I heard about i305 being down as well. Did the cable actually snap? I had also heard it was some other issue with the cable and that people assumed it had snapped.
That's very possible, I looked it up after we left and a cable snap was the general consensus, but I don't think anyone has it on any official capacity.
I'm visiting the park for the first time in a few weeks, so I'm disappointed that i305 might still be down (despite my expectations being low to be honest).
Yeah, without i305, KD really struggles with its lineup, especially missing Volcano, Crypt, and Avalanche. Their other two big-ticket rides Dominator and Twimbers have a lot of weight to pull, and I don't think the Park actually knows Grizzly is still there. I've heard Racer 75 is running well but I haven't gotten on it yet this season.
Nice report though, glad you had a good time. It'll be among my first park visits after full reopening around the country, so I'm hoping the park smooths things out until then.
Thanks! Operations were pretty slow when I went, but I'm pretty sure they'll speed up as the season goes on. It's most likely just them finding their stride again after not operating most of the rides for a year. I'll probably be back in a week or two, and I'll give an update on the operations and i305's status.
 

JJLehto

Hyper Poster
Oh I was there Sunday as well! 305 being down realllly hurt the day I won't lie. Esp with Avalanche being down...It was noticeable and I felt KD's lineup really felt exposed without it. Also yeah the ops were horrendous! I hope it was just opening weekend wrinkles. Twisted Timbers was especially brutal, this one took I think an hour and a half for what was a fairly short line.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
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I had a great day at Kings Dominion when I went a few years back - I didn't like the park that much, but I had a good quiet day at the park.

Mostly posting to say good job on the first trip report! Keep it up with other adventures you end up on!
 

JJLehto

Hyper Poster
I had a great day at Kings Dominion when I went a few years back - I didn't like the park that much, but I had a good quiet day at the park.

Mostly posting to say good job on the first trip report! Keep it up with other adventures you end up on!
OMG so glad to hear this. One the other forum I had the audacity to say KD wasn't that great and oof...not sure I'm gunna live it down! My goodness was someone legit mad, called me an idiot, and threw shade at me in a separate, newly formed thread, some enthusiasts eh?

And yes agreed! Excellent trip report!
 
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