Saturday, February 9, 2019

Volcano - The Blast Coaster to Fade into Retirement at Kings Dominion

© NewsPlusNotes
Last night Kings Dominion published an official blog post that revealed that Volcano - The Blast Coaster has run for the last time at the park, and is being permanently removed.  The ride was dormant for most of last season and rumors have been swirling that the ride was never going to open again, and now we know that for sure.

The park's blog post is short and to the point:

Part of getting ready for a new operating season includes an expert evaluation of our rides and operations. As a part of that evaluation, every aspect of our rides and attractions are analyzed, from guest satisfaction, throughput and rider capacity to reliability, uptime and maintenance. After thorough evaluation, the decision has been made to remove Volcano: The Blast Coaster. This wasn’t an easy decision for us, because we know that people love this one-of-a-kind coaster; however, over time it became nearly impossible to keep the ride up to our high standards of reliability and guest satisfaction, and for these reasons we had to make the tough call. We apologize to anyone who is inconvenienced by the removal, but hope they will understand that it was done to enhance the overall guest experience here at Kings Dominion.

© Kings Dominion
The post does not elaborate on exactly why the ride is being removed, and I doubt we will ever have an official reason.  Theories and speculation run across the spectrum from structural issues with the track and supports to the ride's habitual downtime versus cost of running it.  Either way, most will remember the ride fondly as it was quite unique.

Volcano - The Blast Coaster opened in 1998 when launched roller coasters were still rather new and novel.  This ride was the first suspended coaster to be launched, and it set the bar high hitting a top speed of around 70 miles per hour.  The park reused their giant mountain to actually launch the ride through the top of it, 155 feet in the air, and for some time there was even fire involved!  The rest of the layout was unique, even weird, with several heartline rolls in a row with 180 degree turns in-between them.  Then suddenly a large drop sent the ride into the final brakes.

The ride was powerful and exciting, and when it opened was certainly one of the top coaster experiences to be found anywhere.