Friday, August 5, 2011

A Western View - An Eastern View: Part 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of our eastern excursion. Today we check out Kings Dominion, which is home of my new favorite coaster (I’ll give you one guess what it is) as well as many other great rides.

The park is very nice. I had heard mixed reviews but thought the spread of rides and general scenery made for a really great park. I think people on the east coast grow too accustom to the beauty of their local parks and it seems to be lost on them sometimes. Us west coasters are still very easily amazed with thinks like rides that go out in to forest, or floorless coasters that aren't over parking lots. Luckily this park has a little of all of that!

First up was, of course, Intimidator 305. I don’t think I posses the literary ability to describe my love for this ride. Simply put, it’s amazing.

Sadly, after taking on Intimidator I was met with my biggest disappointment of my trip. Not disappointing because the ride was bad, but because it went down after a few runs in the morning and never re-opened meaning I never got a shot at riding it. To the park's credit, they kept a crew there until about 4 in the afternoon hoping to open it, unfortunately the ride never opened.

Anaconda was surprisingly good. I’m always nervous about my first ride on an old Arrow looper, but this bad boy gave a surprisingly decent ride.

Avalanche was great. Bobsled coasters as just so pointlessly awesome to me. And talk about a fast crew.

Drop Tower was a fantastic ride as Intamin towers usually are.

It was time to head over to the woodies next. I don’t know why but I forgot to snap a pic of Rebel Yell, it was a great ride though. Above is Hurler, which was such an odd ride that I liked it though the turns were a bit rough.

Grizzly was a scary prospect for me. Having grown up around Great America here in California, I was pretty nervous about this bad boy. Oh boy, was I surprised!

This guy was as awesome as it was hard to photograph! Hands down the best woodie of the trip.

Score! A double lift hill shot. Did I mention how much I loved Intimidator?

Dominator was a great floorless coaster. It had a little bit of a B&M rattle but was intense and well paced so all was forgiven.

I never got on The Crypt (I think the idea of riding something with fire in that heat just didn’t appeal to me) but it’s fun to watch.

My first Togo stand-up coaster was about what I expected based on everyone else’s reviews of them, but I survived.

All in all it was a fantastic day! I think that people that have had a lot of visits to this park give it a bad reputation because they notice the little flaws but coming into it with a fresh perspective being someone who has never visited the park, I absolutely loved it!

Now, lets do a quick recap of my day at the park.

Best Ride: Intimidator 305 – Well duh! With an amazing drop, extreme forces (I blacked out every time) and great speed this thing deserves a lot of recognition!

Best Crew: Dominator – I think I saw only one train stack the entire day.

Most Amusing Oddity of the Park: Ride Exits – This park had some of strangest set ups for their exits. The ones that really stand out are Rebel Yell, which parallels the park pathway for a while before splitting off behind the Ferris Wheel before finally connecting to the park path and Dominator which features a bridge to nowhere before finally descending to the path below.

Highlight of the Day: The park guests – people seemed to be generally nice at the park. From a friendly guy on Grizzly that thought it was cool that I came across the country, to visit park to a nice lady that saw me enter Intimidator’s queue alone and ran up to give me her extra Skip the Line pass that the park giving to season pass holders that day.

We’ll finish up next Friday with Busch Gardens Williamsburg. See you then!


Ed South said...

The reason Kings Dominion gets some negative talkback is that the park started out as a beautiful carefuly planned theme park. When Paramount took over the park in the 90's, they started to gut the park of it's history and beauty in favor of using the grounds as a promotional tool for movies and TV shows. Now, the new owners are back to stearing the park in the right direction but I'm afraid Paramount has done an extensive amount of damgae. Some of the rides have weird exits because the landscape of the park has changed so much. The Rebel Yell used to sit along along the shore of a lake and now it's jammed in with so much other stuff. That ferris wheel was just installe a few years ago. As someone who grew up with that park, that ferris wheel just sticks out like a sore thumb. Still, a great park though! Glad you liked!