After we left BGW, we arrived in the Doswell area around dinner time and that gave us the whole evening to just hang out and do whatever we wanted to do.
We picked out a sushi spot for dinner that had great reviews all around and didn't give us any reason to be hesitant about it. Look I pride myself on having an iron stomach growing up in Cincinnati with Skyline Chili, my mom's cooking and my dad's "let's use every marinade available" grilling style. I go visit small Mexican villages, Egypt, Istanbul, I have no issues. Well. Virginia style sushi f****'d me up, haha. There were 5 of us for dinner but I was the only one effected so I'm not sure what happened. Yokozuna Sushi was the place and it had everything you'd want in a sushi place - lots of good sake/wine offerings, beer offerings, the owner/chef slicing up fresh fish taking a break to play some songs on the piano
Day 6 - Twilight Zone Kings Island
Without going into detail, I declined quickly in the morning and ended up sitting out on ERT and spent more money on Vitamin Water at KD than I did on beer at any other park I've ever been to
Big shout out to the security lead who talked baseball with me, helped me get some electrolytes even though the park wasn't open yet, and gave me some tips so I would get back to 100% as quick as possible. Also shout out to KT and Elissa for hanging out and distracting me from feeling awful.
So from 9-noon I just relaxed and took in the park. I had really been looking forward to Kings Dominion since I grew up going to Kings Island. I had never been to KD before and I really loved the park. Really loved it! The Candy Apple Grove might be the cutest name for a park area. KD seemed to have more original parts of the park still left compared to KI. The amount of shade was welcomed in the Virginia heat and I spent a good chunk of time sitting by the log flume.
While I really enjoyed that section of the park, there's the Dominator/Volcano/I305 area that provides plenty of evidence of where Paramount and Cedar Fair added on. If they could blend those parts of the park in with the rest of the layout I think the park would leave me with nothing to pick on. There were just too many stretches of pavement/no shade and dead ends with no bathrooms/food/drink spots that left me feeling like I had stepped into a completely different park.
I was happily surprised by the freedom of expression the employees had. I think the dyed/bleached haired employees were even with the natural hair colored employees. Did anyone else notice this?! I don't know if Cedar Fair has gotten way more lax of it's just KD.
The food was great! Rita's is amazing of course. More love for Hank's. The food was really fresh, the employees were extremely friendly, and the service was quick! All while it was down pouring and people were flooding in. Probably the best non-chain/generic food I've had at a Cedar Fair park. Everyone I was around seemed to like the Mexican food on International Street, too.
Andy once again showed off his skills and called out precisely when the rain moved in and when the rain moved out, which thankfully cooled things down to a tolerable level in the evening.
So how about the rides! I skipped Anaconda, yeah no thanks it just wasn't happening today.
Same with Stunt Coaster and other clones I've already been on. I found some shade and hung out with my Vitamin Water instead. I think I had 7 or 8 by the end of the day haha.
Avalanche - I was looking forward to this ride since I had been on the bobsleds like Vibora and Disaster Transport, but not this type. It was fun! It was the first coaster I started the day off with and it's great to see a unique ride still up and running.
Dominator - Who else noticed that part where you exit the station and step down a few stairs - where it's not completely connected to the next ramp?! Most of us know this coaster was relocated and this was one part that Alex called out. It's a really solid B&M floorless. Not my favorite, not the worst. Wasn't as memorable as I hoped it to be.
Apple Zapple - It's a good mouse.
Racer 75 - Was running so well. The team that re-profiled this ride did a fantastic job bringing it back to life. There was airtime, it was smooth, it looked good.
Grizzly - It's amazing what they did to Racer 75, so hopefully the same team can give some attention to Grizzly. I'm usually very tolerant of rides with a rough reputation, but Grizzly needs some help. I rode the front seat at night and it had some obvious rough patches. The layout is so basic and compact it's pretty much a bigger version of the junior wooden coaster but it could be a fun night ride for the family if they fixed it up!
Flight of Fear - I had to try this one to see how it compared to Kings Island's. The only difference I noticed were the creatures in the station. There's no difference in MCBR strength or smooth/roughness IMO.
Intimidator 305 - I was actually nervous for my first ride. I've been reading about the intensity of this coaster ever since it has been built and I saved it until the evening when I was back to feeling 100%. It delivered and it kept getting better and better with each ride. I enjoyed the front (row 2) the best! This ride deserves all the hype and it kicks your ass no matter how young or old you are. The turn around into the first hill will have you feeling like you're in Hollywood because you will be seeing stars! I was taken off guard with how great giant sustained airtime hill is. From there it's really hard to put your hands up because the following series of twisty bits taken at those insane speeds are not to be trifled with. Even though the trim tries to slow you down at the end you're still hauling ass into the brake run.
It's absolutely one of my favorite rides on the planet and my only gripe is how they handle the front row. You can't access the front row from Fast Lane because it has its own queue and it extends out from the station to the regular queue. It was a 5-10 minute wait for any other row, but dispatches were 5 minutes, so it's easy to see how it only takes 30-40 people to create a painfully long wait. It was 60-90 minutes for the front as the op and I counted out how many people were waiting in that line. If the front row queue was shorter maybe it's encourage people to pick other rows?
Twisted Timbers - Thiiiiiiis RMC. This guy. This was one of the few roller coasters that tested my limits. It's so aggressive and the airtime is so strong. Similar to Skyrush, I think the more I rode it the more I became tolerant to the airtime. The barrel roll drop was amazing and felt different than Storm Chaser, the trio of airtime hills were outstanding, and that whole stretch of ...how to explain it (At this time stamp - https://youtube.com/XGavn7bCuOM?t=192
)... the airtime trick track, quick airtime hill, then that U turn with the airtime hill somehow fit in was just crazy! And it all worked so well. So smooth. I thought Twisted Timbers was the most intense coaster of the trip because of how much extreme airtime was packed into the layout. There's not an inch of the track that was left out! I couldn't pick if I liked the front middle or back the most. It was just that good!
Drop Tower - I was impressed with the difference between KI's original gyro drop (1999) and Kings Dominion's V2 gyro drop (2003). KD's doesn't spin, but the carriage works so quickly and efficiently it's taken to the top and dropped all around a minute. It's got a lower/shorter(?) set of brakes which result in a longer fall. KI's ride cycle is double or triple because it takes so much longer to go up and drop. Gotta love the better capacity, longer/faster fall, and the speaker at the top allowing the ops to mess with you.
Log Flume - I loved the old school feel to this flume. It really felt like it was one of the first ever built. It was a leisurely ride and didn't get me too wet. This was a great flume! Watch out for those water bombs after the final drop.
Our ERT session on Twisted Timbers was really special. The ride ops were having a ton of fun with us, there was heat lightning in the distance which gave an ominous vibe, and there was just so much energy. I think everyone was on the same page in that TT is a world class coaster. Each lap just seemed to fuel us
Thanks for reading!