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Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:08 pm

Well, I just got back from a quick 3.5-hour jaunt into KD to check out their Winterfest offerings this year. Fun fact: I spent literally double the time driving to and from the park than I actually spent in the park. Anyway, photos will follow in another post, but here are some observations, mainly in comparison to last year:

The good:
-Kudos for them offering Fast Lane, and making it valid on almost every adult ride that was open. Bonus points for the "Season Fast Lane" still counting (even though it was only $35).
-As a result, I got on the following rides in that 3 and a half hours:
3x Twisted Timbers (2x front, 1x back)
1x Dominator
1x Wave Swinger
1x Bad Apple (Trokia)
1x Blue Ridge Tollway (their drive-'em-cars that they decorate the path to the 12 Days of Christmas)
-Kudos to the park for opening Twisted Timbers instead of Racer '75. The 45-minute standby line at 7 PM, while people were still pouring into the park, should be a clear indication that this event draws more than the families they target.
-No one seemed to notice that Fast Lane was an option - I saw literally no one else utilize it while I was there. Did I feel like a little bit of a dick cutting in front of 30 minutes worth of families at the Wave Swinger? Sure, but I gotta get my money's worth on the Season Fast Lane.
-Surprisingly cheap ($7) three-cheese Grilled Cheese from what appeared to be a KD-operated food truck was delicious.
-Awesome decorations and craft vendors as last year.
-Juke Box Diner was offering a "donut burger," which is exactly what it sounds like. I did not try it, because a) It was $16, b) Juke Box's burgers are usually very dry, and c) people were waiting up to an hour for their food to come out, but believe me I wanted to.
-Moving the Coke Polar Dance Party DJ-thing to an area with alcohol service was a good move.

The not so good:
-$14 for an 8oz Jack and Coke. I get it, they don't want people getting blitzed (but then why do they have bars every 100 feet?), but c'mon. A few years back it was $7 during Haunt.
-Some areas where you'd expect lights had nothing installed, which seemed weird in contrast to the awesome decorations otherwise.
-Some lighting displays were in and out. Even part of the Eiffel Tower went out towards the end of my trip. I get it, fuses blow and some such, but this is their second year and it was a Saturday.
-No changes to the show lineup from last year whatsoever (I asked).
-Last year, the lighting displays in Candy Apple Grove were perfectly synchronized with the music. This year, not so much.
-PLEASE, please offer the $30 all-day-dining option during Winterfest next year!

Overall, the park was packed, and it seemed to be a big success just like last years. I don't want to seem like I'm complaining, because I'm not...it was a great time despite the duration of the trip. Here's hoping they keep it up and keep expanding.

Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:15 pm

$35 (or season) fast pass sounds like a good deal on that type of night. Well played. Good write up. If all/most of the coasters were open I would have made the 7 hour drive to visit the park and friends in the area.

Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:09 am

It's unlikely you'll need FL on non-Saturdays. However it did pick up a lot this last Sunday (and TT was down, had the weather sign out but I don't think that made sense, hopefully it's all fixed). If we'd get a night of warm weather, it would be worth needing it at that price! Doesn't look likely though.

While only two coasters are open, they're goodies. Dominator gets the best view of the lights and really feels like part of the event, although not quite as much as last year with the dance party also there. TT is running great. For me it's a nice evening out, slightly more casual than usual visits. Not worth as much of a drive for those not nearby, but true addicts have to hit at least one event this season. I've yet to do much anything Christmas-y except eat and the Four Drummers show -- they make a weird and cool sound.

If they're not offering the all-day dining, maybe because they're not open all day? I've only once used my Dining Plan twice in one day in ~5 years of having one, I'm rarely there 4 hours and it would be more than 4 to be very hungry.

Anyone else think the giant inflatable snowman looks kind of scary?

Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:44 am

bill_s wrote:If they're not offering the all-day dining, maybe because they're not open all day? I've only once used my Dining Plan twice in one day in ~5 years of having one, I'm rarely there 4 hours and it would be more than 4 to be very hungry.

Yeah, I know that's why they don't offer it, but with the one-day-purchase All-Day-Dining, the cooldown between meals is only 90 minutes, so you could theoretically get like 4 meals in the 5-6 hours that they're open. I know I use it during the regular season and and get 6 or 7 out of a full day.

And here are the pictures.





Three-cheese Grilled Cheese and expensive adult beverage.

The food truck from whence the Grilled Cheese came.







Poor log flume, sitting all dormant...



Somewhat washed out, but these were literally the only non-Christmas decorations in the whole place.





Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:37 pm

Where can you buy FastLane in the park?

Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:42 pm

At the very least, the "upgrade center" (for lack of a better term) directly to the right after entering the main gate (near the stroller rentals) sells it. It's also where you'd exchange the online voucher for it for a wristband, if you had bought it online.

Typically during the main season, almost every retail establishment also sells it, but I'm not sure if that's true during Winterfest.

Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:57 pm

Out of curiosity, what temperature does it need to be for Twisted Timbers to run? Back in April 2018, they didn't open it until it was 50 degrees outside and I imagine it's cooler than that during WinterFest.

Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:59 pm

I can't speak to start-up temps, but it was mid-40s when I left at 7:30 on 12/14 and it was running strong then. When I was there for Haunt on November 1, I believe the ambient was in the high 30s/ low 40s and it was running.

Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:12 pm

It is likely that they closed TT at 40 degrees last night, or slightly early due to having a line. Both it and Dominator were closed by 8:00 according to a combination of sources. Weather.com for Ashland said it was 39 degrees at 8, however the KD website was displaying 46 until somewhat later. Unless wind is also a factor, it appears their website is not a display of the operational temperature in the park. My rides on 11/24 were low 40's as far as I know and they ran it until close despite light crowds. However 12/8 it was closed, early or all night, for unknown reasons, so there is a random factor.

At least two nights this season I've seen the forecast improve from sub-40 to above-40 at the last minute, but yesterday it kept getting worse.

Re: Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:24 pm

Had a fun time at the park last night, so I figured I'd share a short TR.

My dad and I arrived at about 10 to 4 and did Dominator first because I wasn't sure how close the Fastlane queue got you to the front of the line (it actually drops you right in the station). Great ride with no rattle in the back row and some nice air off the mid-course brakes. We then walked back to Twisted Timbers and rode twice, both times with a station wait. I think it's interesting that the metal detector plays no function here and just makes an annoying beeping sound every time someone walks through it. I mean, you don't even need to pull out your cell phone! They do hand you a card that has instructions, including the important warning to not pull your own lapbar down. Even with this and four employees checking restraints, dispatches were 2-3 minutes... but they were running two trains! This was my first ever ride in the back row, and right into the first drop I felt the effects. Wow! The overbank turn is truly awesome, especially with the little airtime pops that both precede and follow it. The triple camelback is airtime heaven :airtime: , the cutback is good, and I felt a good amount of "snap" coming out of the double-up and the outerbank. When I would later purchase Fastlane, I got to ride Twisted Timbers 8 more times that night, which increases my all-time laps on this coaster by five times! This thing is amazing in every sense of the word, and for a person like me whose track record barely tips 100, it's a top-ten ride.

From here, we just had a great rest of our day. Turnpike, Bad Apple (my first experience with a Troika), and Flyers would all occur. We also sat in for a few minutes in one of the "song-and-dance" shows, but we soon left because there were coasters to be ridden. Also, Fastlane was a VERY good choice on this day, even at $45 (pricey considering what you get), as the TT line reached 1.5 hours during the night. I felt bad walking that long stretch of queue past all of the people standing in the normal line... I was usually able to get a complete ride in about 15 minutes, so I heard a lady mention "That's the third time!" when I walked by at one point. Oh well, I guess I got my money's worth... As always, the Singing Mushrooms were awesome, too! Winterfest was a whole lot of fun, even on a busy Saturday, and I'd like to return sometime. I hope you enjoyed this report, even it was mostly just me rambling about TT!

One more note: Out of the rides listed on the website, Berserker was completely closed and blocked off, so that must've been a mistake. The carousel also didn't run all night, I guess because it's such a high-tech atraction. :roll: I deserve a complete refund of my Fastlane, which promised "eight attractions!" ;)
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