I made my sad-and-pathetic solo way to Paramount's Kings Dominion to wile away a Sunday (hey, we all must worship in our own way) and get my fix of the park's woodies and the recently reopened Volcano: The Blast Coaster. The day did not start auspiciously, with sometimes drizzly, sometimes driving rain as me and my Saturn Ion cruised up Interstates 64, 295, and 95 from Willy's Burg.
Well, rain will keep the crowds down, right? Wrong! The joint was jumping when I got there a little after 10:00 am, as long lines (well, more like a group of multiple mobs) waited at the park entrance. Seems that PKD wasn't letting people in before the "official" park opening time of 10:30. I'm not sure why, but my guess is that it had to do with all the EMT units from all over Virginia who had gathered there for their annual show-and-tell (maybe they were still setting up at 10:00). At any rate, guests were getting impatient, and some cast members were yelling at folks.
Not a good start.
I finally got in around 10:45, and made my way back to Hypersonic, which already had a 30-minute wait (for a four-second ride). In for a penny, I thought, so I waited it out, had a great, gut-busting ride, then ambled over to Volcano, where the wait was already about 90 minutes! Aghh! I settled for the 30-minute wait of Italian Job, which was sans helicopter and water effects (but had plenty of noise and flames).
By then, it was time for a mediocre PKD lunch. The day was not looking great, but the low point was yet to come. As I waited patiently for a front seat on the Grizzly, which was running one train (grr!), I stood behind two couples who planned to ride in the same train. The couple in the second seat, just to make sure they could ride with their friends in the very front, waved the folks behind them to come on up. OK. Unfortunately, the "folks behind" were a group of four, so the couple in the front seat line waved the other two in ahead of them without asking me if I minded. The answer to that question would've been "sure," but I would've appreciated being asked.
I actually thought about bagging it early, but Rebel Yell proved to be PKD's redemption that day. The forwards side was out-of-control and great, but the backwards side in the very back car was freakin' insane. Ejector air like crazy--the best ride I'd ever had on Rebel Yell. So, I stuck it out and ended up having a good day (depsite having to wait 90 minutes for Volcano). Even the Hurler was half-decent.
And now, the first set of pics.
Volcano: The Death Machine was running, so PKD sent in plenty of EMTs and firemen just to be safe.
Yes, I feel safer already with this guy on the job. On second thought . . .
. . . maybe I'll get in the ambulance now and avoid the rush.
I leave the reassuring presence of the fire trucks and ambulances for four seconds of blissful terror on Hypersonic.
I rush to Volcano, hoping to beat the crowds.
You mean the line starts down there? Holy crap!
As I wander aimlessly, I am moved by this tribute to Dr. Albert Scrambler, who has done so much for the people of Africa.
I wonder if that woman on the right has plans to use that beach towel? Must remember to avoid the water park today.
Sigh . . . At least this part of Italian Job works today.
Yes, all these poor souls are waiting to ride the Togo Death Machine (Shockwave).
Lunch: The Ideal.
Lunch: The Reality.
Grr! I'm a big, bad Grizzly! Gimme some pic-a-nic baskets!
I'm the happy, smiling Chuck! Now gimme a second train for Grizzly!
Whoo! Awesome PTR- Almighty One.
Can't wait to move back to VA and hop over to PKD before this year is out (didn't make it to PKD in June from all of that rain during the week). I remember when Smurf Mountain was there and the water/flume ride too. I even think I remember the spinning ride (and the floor dropped from under you-I can't recall the name off-hand. Do they stack-trains like they do at BGE>?
Anyway, sounds like Grizzly and RY are still in good form. What about Hurler? I hurt several people saying it sucked, but never ridden that yet. If you thinking of a return trip to the Dominion-shack let me know. I'd hope to go sometime before end of September (if my job doesn't already start at the Gardens of Busch.
Hey? Wasn't that guy (sitting on the fire truck) the Santa Clause that used to be at Patrick Henry Mall (oh-gawed, about 9 yrs ago?)
*I actually love Anaconda (must be the Maui heat). I also love the 'new' paint-scheme much better than when it opened. Weren't they building a new go-cart track too (somewhere by Grizzly I thought)?
Yep--Volcano is still the best ride there, but the woodies (except for Hurler on most days) should get some more respect than they do. I even had to wait five minutes for the back row of Anaconda (usually can walk right on to the damn thing).
Ah yes, Kumba--the Thunder Raceway go-kart track. It's right next to Grizzly's exit.
PKD does its bit for the environment by chopping down trees and increasing carbon-dioxide emissions.
That was an awesome report. Scary how busy the place was. I haven't been there since 2002, but it seems like the park isn't being run as well as it used to. One train on Grizzly on a busy day?!? Boo...
Always trying to keep YOU entertained! Now with more Ice Bat!
The world would be a better place if Dave programmed our iPods - Derwood
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