Hello all! My name is Nick, I've been a long-time lurker here, but the Banshee Bash finally made me join; could not resist. So i figured a solid way to start my membership-hood here would be to post a few trip reports, of mini trips my girlfriend (Alisha), and I have been taking! I guess a good place to start would be our first trip of the summer, KING'S DOMINION! Living near Cedar Point, I never felt the need to travel to other parks until recent years.
Ever since the construction of Intimidator 305, I have had a serious NEED to go ride it, and this summer, the lady and I decided we finally would make the 9 hour drive to cross this one of my list. At this point in time (4-27-14), Alisha was still my little "enthusiast in training", so this trip was more for me than her.
I had heard BAD things about King's Dominion; that its dirty, stale, and basically a crap park with one SUPER COASTER. However, we were pleasantly surprised! The flowers were in bloom, there was a great canopy of trees, and the whole park looked like it had a fresh coat of paint. It also helps that we went so early in the season, it was a ghost town. More re-rides for us! So I guess I will put this into a more "narrative-style", commencing now.
After the EXCRUCIATING 9 hour drive, we finally arrive. Setting eyes upon a skyline of coasters/tower rides has a way of lifting your spirits
Parking at the Best Western right across the lot from the park (great hotel for the price by the way) , I feel overcome with joy, I am at King's Dominion, and i will be marathoning I305 in mere moments.
Notice the first of many derpy faces i will be making today.
We enter the park, and I am pleasently surprised, we found the entrance plaza/fountain area to be beautiful; the flowers, the tree cover, the tower in the distance... We pose for our required "park sign photos".
derp face #2
My purdy lady lookin' purdy:)
After a short stroll down the main promenade, we come to the base of the "eiffel tower". I must say I love these things, such fond memories of King's Island when I was a wee boy. They look stunning, and the views from the top TRUMP the views you can attain from an enclosed gyro tower, did I mention I love these things?!?
art cast in steel.
After a quick ride up to the observation deck, we peer out of our elevated cage, at the enjoyment that awaits us below, and take the photographs thousands have before us:
My long lost friend. We met at geauga lake, now, reunited at last.
My soon to be, FIRST, Mack Bobsled. Also, Volcano; my "Bonus Intamin" on my I305 pilgrimage.
The TOGO death-trap that ended up being MUCH worse than I expected.
Me and I305, derp face #3.
Once we had enough of our birds-eye view of the park, we came back down the tower, and wandered down this beautiful pathway. This sold me on the park, Alisha and I agree, that King's Dominion 100% surpassed the expectations groups like Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits had given us.
Such a peaceful, serene area, in an unexpected place.
But I digress, enough of the greenery, aesthetics, and how "pretty" it is. Lets get into another type of "pretty".... PRETTY F****** CRAZY! My moment had come, I stand before the entrance of the beastly, menacing, intimidating, Ricochet! ...No, INTIMIDATOR305! Looking down the stretch of path, up towards the monstrous lift, I know, this is going to be incredible.
I305 did NOT disappoint. Our first ride, last car, last row, me left, Alisha on the right. We ascend the towering lift, I look to her as she looks back to me. She says "I love you". And smiles, though I can see it in her eyes that she's shitting her drawers right about now. I reply "I love you too". I reach out, grab her hand, our fingers laced, as we are sling-shotted over the apex of the lift. We are at the zenith, diving back to Earth at a hellish pace. I feel her grip on my hand get tighter; she's afraid. But when we hit that first low turn, she lets out a long WOOOOOOOOOHH!! And I know RIGHT then, that she would forever love coasters from this point on.
We TEAR through the first turn, my vision disappears entirely about 1/3 of the way around the turn, but I know I'm lovin' it. Screw seeing, right..? I begin seeing again as we crest that BIG camelback under the lift. MAJOR ejector air. Alisha is screaming like a banshee and I suppose I am too. Hard left, pop of airtime, hard left, crazy transition, hard right, hard left, hard right, airtime hills. It felt like a matter of seconds, and it very well could have been.When we exit, I can see it in her eyes, she's my little Intamin Fangirl now
We WALK on 4 or 5 times, experimenting with seats, waited 5 minutes for the front. The front seat had its pros and cons. I loved ripping through the course, just watching the track fly-by underneath you, however, in the front, the first drop is sooooo meh. I couldn't overlook that, due to living by Millennium Force; which i feel has the superior first drop. We both agree though, our favorite seat is the absolute last row. Well i guess I should quit ranting and post some pics!
Curves as beautiful as the female form. Art emulates life, and THIS is art.
LOVE that transition, like Maverick pushed even further.
After I305, we head to Volcano, but its broken down. I start to panic and worry I'll miss out on this unique Intamin creation. We decide to ride Avalanche, since its near by. Unfortunately for this Photo TR, I didn't get any photos of it. I thought Avalanche was good fun. Some nice G's in some of the helixes, and a few of the S-bends had some pops of air with nice lats. Alisha liked it as well. After we get off Avalanche, we see Volcano send out its first train of passengers, so we sprint to the queue. Got on in <5 minutes. LOVED IT! Volcano is a one-of-a-kind coaster, and I'm glad to have ridden it. The 2-phase launch was unique, and I absolutely adore the big inversion out of the top of the volcano itself (rollout, I think the call it..?). We ended up buying an ORP of it, I have my feet&fists straight ahead, as if I'm some sort of idiot version of superman... I can't find the ORP right now though :/ but when I find it I'll post it for a good laugh or two. Here's a few picture we took of the ride though:
Best inversion EVER.
After a couple re-rides on Volcano, Avalanche, and I305, we decide to go on "Backlot Stunt-Coaster". I thought it was better than I remembered the one at KI being, but I rode that one when I was younger, in its opening season. It had some nice snappy transitions, a few pops of air, and the lower portion of the 900 degree(?) helix had some surprisingly good G's. Alisha didn't like it though, she has an incredibly weak back/neck (I'll explain in a moment), and the quick transitions with no OTSR's kept throwing here upper body out of the sides of her seat. She described it as being "torn in half at the waist". We however didn't take any pictures of the coaster, sorry.
Next we rode Flight of Fear. Having ridden the one at KI I knew what to expect. We both enjoyed it, some good G's in the lower parts, and some good turns/transitions. Fun coaster, but we only rode once. This is due to the queue line smelling like a foul mixture of mid-summer body odor, bad breath, and taco-diahrea. Sorry no pics of the big "silo" the ride resides in, seemed pointless.
Next up, Dominator. I used to ride this ALL DAY at geauga lake, since it was never more than a 5 minute wait. It felt good to ride it again. I LOVE the high-speed over bank right after the loopity-loop. One thing I noticed though, was the occasional B&M rattle, which was not there at GL. I'm not sure if its age, or being transported. Overall though, a solid coaster, one of my favorite Beemers, and a unique layout. However, it looked better over the swampy area it resided in at GL. But I digress, a solid coaster to fill up the parks lineup. We re-rode quite a few times, once in the front by myself; Alisha sat out to take a few photos of this beautiful floorless.
yes that me, derp face #4
big friggin' loop. I'm in this pic too.
a tangle of awesome
At this point, Alisha is done with the coasters for the day. Remember how I mentioned her back/neck being weak? Well, when Alisha was a little girl, it was discovered she has an undiagnosable connective-tissue disease. This lead to a hole in her heart that required surgery at the age of 8; but thats a story for another day... Another effect this disease had on her body was the start of scoliosis around middle school, BAD scoliosis. Bad enough that she had to have two steel rods infused to her spine, that can never be removed. A side effect of this was her developing RA in the base of her neck in recent years (now 22 y/o). So ANY coaster she rides MUST have head-support (unless forceless), preferably OTSR's (still optional), and be relatively smooth. So no woodies, stand-ups, or Arrow loopers/hypers. So the rest of the day consisted of me playing single rider, and her photographing the coasters/park, or me ON the coasters. By the way I had to cut the resolution WAY down on these photos to get them to upload. So the rest of these coasters are done solo.
Shockwave, worse than I expected. Forceful loop, cool helix, GREAT neck-snapper turn at the end! To make things worse, the ride ops were bumbling idiots. It took them 24 minutes to dispatch my train, by then I just wanted OUT. They were rapping to the archetype BBB (big booby bimbos) that you'd imagine some idiot rapping to. Nothing worse than being miserable in a crappy coaster for 24 minutes BEFORE the ride even starts. Pardon me, getting fired up again.
derp face #5 is in here somewhere...
Next up on my solo-coaster extravaganza, Anaconda. I remember seeing photos of the underwater dive when I was a young enthusiast, so I was excited to finally be here riding it. All in all, I thought Anaconda was smoother than its brother, Vortex, at KI, but less exiting due to the second half. The dive was cool, and the loop/sidewinder combo was a solid 1-2 punch. However, the MCBR ruined the rest of the course. I think the brakes are so aggressive due to that DREADFUL transition in the bottom of the butterfly(?) element (those two stupidly warped helixes back to back). Which was still awful at our ass-dragging pace. It goes without saying that we CRAWLED through the double corkscrew as well. Still a fun coaster, though, I still don't quite "get" the color scheme.
if you zoom in you can see me making *that* face. #6
butterfly(?) of DEATH
whoops, forgot this one earlier
In between Anaconda and I305 I do a sped run for creds on Ricochet, Grizzly, and Rebel Yell. Hurler was still shut down (winter refurbishment i believe?), so I missed that credit. I thought they were all okay. Ricochet had some good air at times Same with Grizzly (back seat), and Rebel Yell. Though I found Racer at KI to be better, possibly because the last time I rode it, it was still running backwards on one side, which none of the three "racers" (Rebel Yell,Racer, and Thunder Road) do anymore as far as I'm aware. No pics for these, as we were literally sprinting to get back to I305 to get my marathon on.
From this point on, I got 21 rides (thats how empty it was) on Intimidator 305. I was really "feeling out" the ride; really taking everything in. And although I loved it, as it blew away my expectations. I still only, at the time, make it my #2; Maverick at CP just slightly nudging it out. I think in combination with our rides earlier in the day, I very well may have ridden almost EVERY seat! Back-right is still my absolute favorite though.
Notice weird random guy next to me? He's realizing one of his gauges came out mid-ride and hit me in the face haha
He noticed my girlfriend taking photos, so had to be the "cool guy"
Overall, it was a beautiful day; the sun was shining, the flowers were in bloom, the trees were full, and riders were screaming. I would gladly make a pilgrimage to KD again, possibly for their "next big thing".
THANK YOU FOR READING! I hope you enjoyed this brand new member's first Photo TR! On our way home we stopped to tour a bunch of caverns, and drove to the tops of mountain overlooks, if anyones interested, I'll do a Photo TR of that too.
Next up, a Photo TR of *a park* with the ride that knocked Maverick down to my number 2. Can you guess it?
Thanks! glad you liked it, haha. If its a long drive for you to get out there, you should plan Hersheypark, KD, and SF Great Adventure into one big trip. That way you can get I305, El Toro, and Skyrush. Those are definitely some of the BEST coasters in existence, WELL worth the trip.
Glad you liked the park. Although i'm not sure where those rumors of KD being a dirty park came from...it's very clean and KD has done a pretty good job of planting flowers and trees and making it look appealing.
Check out Coaster Studios on YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCoasterguy14 Twitter: @coasterstudios Intimidator 305|El Toro|Apollo's Chariot|New Texas Giant|Nitro|Kingda Ka|Skyrush|Superman: Ride of Steel|Superman: Ultimate Flight|Volcano
CPSFMMCW wrote:Glad you liked the park. Although i'm not sure where those rumors of KD being a dirty park came from...it's very clean and KD has done a pretty good job of planting flowers and trees and making it look appealing.
You're the expert on KD.
Nice to see you got 21 rides on i305. 2nd weekend on opening weekend at Cedar Point there was 1 hour wait but I played plinko so I got to skip the line. I have to say that MF is a bit over rated. I like Maverick better. Intensity is Maverick's name!
Vekoma is English means, "We don't have the budget for a B&M so let's just order a Vekoma."
Well I guess its time for me to continue the TR! So, on our way to PA from King's Dominion, Alisha wanted us to stop in Luray(?), Virginia. It was actually pretty darn cool. We're both nature lovers, and go hiking an awful lot, but I usually plan our trips around coasters... Well, intamin coasters I should say. So I gotta give her the credit for planning this little day-long pitstop.
The first thing we did after reaching our destination in Luray, VA, was the ONLY thing in Luray, the "Luray Caverns". Beautiful. definitely worth a stop for anyone passing it on the way to KD
this is called "pluto's ghost", some old story about prospector ghost tales..? can't remember.
lookin' extra dweeby
wishing well, a couple hundred feet underground.
so freaking alien
crazy to think this just "grew"
So after that, we drove to Skyline Drive. Which is this 100-and-something mile long road that follows the peaks of this MASSIVE mountain range. Pretty neato. Also worth a quick stop if you're in the area. I'm not sure if the pictures will do it justice, but here it goes...
Blue Ridge Mountain Range, WAY over there
my purdy lady
When we FINALLY reached our destination in PA, the park we were there to visit was closing in an hour, so instead of doing that, we went kayaking, in a MASSIVE river; the Susquehanna(?). When we were WAY out on those islands past the bridge, a thunderstorm rolled in.. Needless to say, it was PRETTY DAMN INTENSE. The water was so choppy, and the wind was hard, mixe with the thunder and lightning, it was terrifying. But we survived, barely.
view from where we launched from, before the storm came.
Well, if you're familiar with the area you probably guessed which park we came here for, but for those who haven't, we're at HERSHEY!! Before returning to our crappy, and i mean CRAPPY, hotel room, we drove around the park to get some photos, and get all pumped up for the next day
The whole reason we're here :)
Great Bear looking' great
love this pic
lil' blurry from driving, car was behind us getting PISSED
woody. not the coaster, me.
thought the sign really sums it all up :)
rollin' and snake-divin'
After scoping it out, we went to our hotel to get rested for our big day tomorrow. The hotel was DISGUSTING. I always check the filters on the AC/Heater, because I have bad dust allergies. Imagine my disgust when I find the filters so dirty, that the caked-on layer of dust on the filters, had MOLD growing out of it! How gross! To get to this degree of filth, I imagine they hadn't been cleaned in QUITE some time, which really speaks about the house keeping in the hotel... But I guess what really topped it off, was that the owner/manager, was this obese, greasy-ass hillbilly, with hair so dirty I swear I could see lice, and the icing on the cake; her GIGANTIC sagging boobs hung down to the bottom of her gut, and were 100% visible due to here tank top/no bra combo meal. STAY AWAY FROM ROADWAY INN!! Or you WILL regret it, I PROMISE. But anyways, back to the park...
So upon waking up the next day, I was sad to discover it was storming, and was supposed to all day. To make things worse, I had to work the next day, 5 hours away, at 7 a.m. So we ABSOLUTELY had to get on Skyrush today. Unfortunately, due to the pouring rain all day, the camera had to stay in the car for a vast majority of the day, so there isn't many pics Sorry!
On a mad dash to Skyrush!
uh-oh, haven't seen it run yet.. :/
Well, the rain caused the park to close Skyrush And now that the rain had stopped, the coaster wouldn't run. I made nice with some employees, obviously coaster goons, and they told me that after rain storms, Skyrush likes to E-stop itself halfway up the lift. Which of course made me nervous, because it had been/will be raining all day... So I was sweating bullets.
So in the meantime, we rode all the coasters that would run in the rain. First up, Sooperdooperlooper. I LOVE ANTON! Almost as much as I love Intamin. The last time I had ridden it, it still had the original trains. Hershey bought some new trains for it from Gerstlauer(?), and let me tell you, they handled great! They had a U-bar, and thats it. Fast, efficient, and comfortable. The coaster was as good as I remembered it, and a GREAT FORCEFUL LOOP. Alisha and I rerode a couple times, in the pouring rain, great fun! No pics, sorry, rain+camera=BAD.
Next up was Great Bear, and I'm bummed that I don't have any pictures of this beautiful, unique coaster. It ended up being WAY better than I had remembered. We rode in the front 3 times, the middle once, and the back twice. I love that helix right off the lift, MUCH more forceful then I remembered from my last visit. Honestly, I think this may be my favorite invert, and I've been on a lot of the top contenders, but something about Great Bear just nudges them out. The layout is totally unique, the zero-G roll is snappy as hell, and the forces are GREAT. If it was just a little longer it could be in my top 5, but still a solid coaster.
After that, we headed over to Fahrenheit, because Storm Runner can't run in storms *irony*. I went into Fahrenheit expecting something like Maverick, because of the more-than-verticle drop, the 3car trains, and how shortly after maverick it was built. I guess I was a little let down I mean the drop was good. If you sit in the last row, you get WHIPPED right over the crest into the 97 degree drop, which is crazy; going from vertical up, to past vertical down. The Norwegian Loop was cool too, the little stall on the entry, and the airtime on the exit. But what really shined was the last quarter of the ride, that hard-right turn through the lift, into that ejector airtime hill, into the hard-left is GREAT. That portion was really reminiscent of Maverick. However the cobra roll had some bad rattle in every seat we sat in, and the corkscrews weren't like the zero-G corks on Maverick, but they still had a little snap. All&all, it felt more like a traditional looper, rather than a unique, Maverick-eque looper. Still solid though.
majority of the layout
That turn is the best part of the ride; fast, hard, and head choppers!
that me being ejected in the back row
the rattle-filled cobra roll
After this, I went over and rode Wildcat, Wild Mouse, and the Lightning Racers. Alisha can't ride any of these due to the rods in her spine, and the bumpiness and/or lack of headrests. Wild Mouse was, well, a wild mouse. Not really much to say about it, just good fun for a family, and an credit. Wildcat was rough. The last time I rode it was when it still had the PTC trains, which was BRUTAL. So the Millennium Flyers were an improvement, but its still just an average woody. And Lightning Racers, they were a lot smoother than the last time I rode. I made friends with the girl checking seat belts, and I asked her "why is thunder winning every time? Lightnings train is twice as full!" She informed me that track work had been done over winter, which I had noticed, but she said that thunder wins EVERY time now. She told me the park is trying to fix it, but for now its a crooked race. I thought the racers were good, but the airtime was WEAK compared to how i remembered it
only pic alisha took, in between downpours.
So after those filler coasters, we notice Storm Runner testing, and high tail it over there. Alisha's favorite coaster ever is Top Thrill Dragster, so I know Storm Runner will be an instant hit with her. I rode storm runner in its opening season, when I was young, visiting Hersheypark with my family. So I was pretty excited to ride again! Apparently everyone else had the same idea as us, because the wait was 45 minutes, but we waited. I didn't want to put it off and have the rain close it down for the rest of the night. We took the front seat, which really adds to the experience; seeing the catch-car coming down the track to hookup to your train, watching the brake-fins drop down. Great anticipation. The ride was GREAT. Just as good as I remembered, if not better. The launch was great, the immelman had some force in the bottom, and the zero-G roll/flying snake dive combo is a solid 1-2 punch. The banked rises after that up onto the brakes is quite good too. I love Intamin Accelerators, and this one may be tied with TTD, both of them just nudging out Xcelerator. Unfortunately our camera was in our fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo at this time, and the only pics I have of Storm Runner is on Alisha's phone, maybe I'll upload them and edit them in...
It was starting to get late, and I STILL hadn't gotten on Skyrush, between the E-stopping, and the rain all day, it seemed like I was doomed to not ride the ONE RIDE I came to Hersheypark to ride :/ But we decide to make our way over to it anyways, despite it looking closed. We stopped at Great Bear to get one last ride in, Alisha says this is her favorite at hershey, that Skyrush and Stormrunner are "better" and "the reason to go back", but Great Bear was just "completely enjoyable" the whole way through. Anyways, we get over to Skyrush (after picking up the camera) and notice it looks like it JUST closed down, I asked the girl checking height requirements whats going on. She informs us that that she's not allowed to say, but she'll tell us because we're obviously "coaster people". A duck was trying to land in the pond/creek underneath the majority of the layout, and the train came by right as it crossed the track. A full-size adult duck EXPLODED on some poor 15 year old kid in the front row. She then pointed him out to us, he was being attended to by first aid responders, his shirt/face were deep crimson, coated in blood.
Anyways, the ride reopened in about 15 minutes, after the "mess" was taken care of... We took a seat in row 3, because was afraid rain would shut the ride down again soon, I just wanted to get on ASAP. In short, IT KICKED MAJOR ASS! Skyrush was more than I hoped for. The transitions were great, the turns were forceful, and the airtime was INSANE! After I rode I305, I wasn't really sure how I felt about it, and had to re-ride to really form an opinion. However, instantly after getting off Skyrush, I instantly new it was one of the best rides I had ever been on. Alisha said it was incredible, but she feared she could only ride it once more, due the rods in her spine/weak neck. Since theres really nothing on the sides of the seats, the transitions that I loved, were pulling her out of the side of her seat, and with her weak spine/neck she didn't enjoy it so much.
For our next round, I steered us to the back row, Alisha on the center-right "floored" seat, and myself on the outer-right "winged" seat. The first drop was absolutely crazy in the last row. Probably the strongest ejector-air I've ever felt on coaster in my LIFE. And the first two airtime hills were just as crazy. While coasting through the brake run, back to the station, I realized this is my #1 coaster. Hands-down, the best roller coaster I have ever experienced. Perfect, absolutely perfect. The park was open for another 30 minutes, and being that the ride was a walk on for the back row, I decided it was time for a little marathon session Alisha, unfortunately decided to sit out, she didn't think her back could handle any more Skyrush for the day, so she took some photos of this beauty.
about to get some SERIOUS air
that "oh shit" moment
cable lift pr0n
Stengal Divin' (I'm in the back seat, arms outstretched)
shooter mcgavin, I'm in last seat visible
Now the front seat, getting the whole picture
roller coaster upskirt
Although the weather really tried to ruin our day, it was still a GREAT time. I love Hersheypark. It may even be my favorite park out there; a great invert, a great classic woody, an Anton, a decent Intamin (fahrenhype), an awesome Intamin (Storm Runner), and a SUPER INCREDIBLE Intamin (SKYRUSH). Now if they could just get a massive drop tower, and a couple more thrilling flats, Hershey would take the cake.
Hope you enjoyed the Photo TR! Thanks for reading! And sorry we didn't get to take more pics, didn't want to ruin our brand new camera.. Thanks all!
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.