What an amazing ride!
... also pictured: InvadR
Hahaha! My sentiments exactly about Le Scoot. Great report, Bill.
TBpony414 wrote:Hey man, it's been long enough since your last post teasing that KD is up next. Get your act together and give the fans what they want!
lol! Ask and you shall (eventually)
When we got to our hotel room after our amazing day at Busch Gardens I was dead to the world. We checked in, walked up to the room, Brit went to take her shower first so I sat down on the other bed, kicked my shoes off, closed my eyes "for a second" and in no time the alarm was going off and I found myself waking up 8 hours later, still fully dressed in everything I had worn to Busch Gardens. Damn, I hadn't slept like that in forever.
After a quick shower we checked out, went to pick up my mom at her hotel and we were on our way to Kings Dominion! This was another first for mom. As it turned out, she hadn't stepped foot in a Cedar Fair park in well over a decade but after taking a look at Steel Vengeance she expressed interest in going to Cedar Point next year, we steered her in the direction of the Platinum Pass (because Early Entry or GTFO). For awhile she was balking at the price (yes... the person who immediately went looking for the most expensive hotel in all of Williamsburg was having reservations about 21 bucks a month) but eventually she came to her senses. After a quick stop at the pass processing center, we made our way through the gates right around park opening (with mom's shiny new Platinum Pass in hand) and made a b-line for the Blast Coaster.
Since we got there right at open and were following the standard (Volcano > Flight of Fear > Backlot Stunt Coaster) plan of attack that everyone who visits this park needs to follow, we were greeted with basically no line. I offered mom and Brit the front seat, but Brit let me have it (because she's awesome) and 2 trains later we were in the front row with Brit behind us.
I didn't tell mom anything about this ride, I'm honestly not even sure she knew about the launch. I feel bad even saying this but going into the day I was a tiny bit concerned about Volcano and Intimidator. She doesn't love the intense twists at the end of El Toro (though overall she loves the ride) and since she's pushing 60 (though you wouldn't know it) I was a bit worried about some of the abrupt transitions on those two coasters. In both cases we opted for the front seat first for a couple of reasons. First off, we figured it would be better if she could see what was coming and prepare for it. Secondly because... well, because both rides are awesome in the front row.
As we rolled out of the station and reached the straightaway, I was still wondering how this was going to go but as we rocketed down the launch track and whipped into the first turn I heard her screaming her head off and laughing her a** off simultaneously so I quickly realized my concerns were for nothing. As we rocketed out of the volcano I could hear her screaming over and over about how awesome it was and when we hit the brakes she immediately declared it the best coaster she's ever ridden. Holy sh*t, I didn't see that coming. Apparently Nitro has been dethroned.
I never thought I'd see the day that she thought any coaster was better than Nitro. This is a woman that goes to work every day with a Nitro travel mug, thinks Nitro has magical chiropractic abilities, rode Nitro for over an hour straight in the dead of winter a few years ago and acted as if Apollo's Chariot was some kind of sh*tty poser coaster that she couldn't possibly even entertain the thought of liking. I never thought I'd see the day, especially not because of Volcano. I mean... Volcano's great but really?
In any case, we were thrilled that she liked it so much. We thought of riding again but Brit quickly reminded us that we really needed to hit Backlot and Flight of Fear before their inevitable massive queues started to build up so we pried ourselves away and made it over to Backlot Stunt Coaster.
Honestly, the next two coasters on our list were totally "me" rides. I've yet to like someone that doesn't enjoy Backlot Stunt Coaster but I get the idea that I enjoy it more than most people. Once again the ride was a station wait and we ended up in the front car and as always the ride was absolutely great. For a family coaster it has a hell of a kick to it. By the end of the helix I always end up with blurry vision, the layout is super fun, the props are cheesy but cool and the indoor section at the end of the ride is awesome.
Backlot Stunt Coaster got a thumbs up from our group, but especially from me. Brit likes it but I think sometimes she just goes along with my bullsh*t.
Now that we felt totally immersed in the "Safari Village" theme after blasting out of a tropical volcano surrounded with tiki huts over an avalanche and raced through a parking garage in mini coopers we decided to venture deeper into the jungle to the Nascar and alien coasters as those really help tie the whole thing together into one amazing, cohesive themed land. In the parking lot on the way in mom (who still couldn't get over Busch Gardens) asked if this park was themed like Busch Gardens so we of course acted as if Busch Gardens pales into comparison to Kings Dominion. She probably believed us when we walked through the front gate into the awesome main midway area but I'm pretty sure at this point she realized that we were entirely full of sh*t.
As we walked deeper into the jungle (Indiana Jones has nothing on us) on the way to the Nascar ride our plan was quickly ruined as we found ourselves being abducted by aliens... f*ck. I hate when that happens.
The ride was still a walk-on and since the wait for the front was only one extra train we made our way up to the front car. The ride (as always) was amazing. Flight of Fear is completely overlooked at both Kings Island and Kings Dominion but in both instances I would argue that it's one of the best coasters in the park. I'm hard pressed to think of a non-spinning coaster that's more disorienting than Flight of Fear. It's smooth, fast, has an awesome launch, has a fantastic layout and it's such a crazy mess of track that half the time you really don't even know what way is up. I absolutely love this thing, and if we weren't in such a rush I would have gone right back around for a re-ride.
When I say that we were in a rush, I should probably mention that our plan was to leave around 3:00. Normally my philosophy in life is to pay no attention whatsoever to how tired you'll be at work the next day if it means you had an awesome weekend, but Brit was actually starting a brand new job the next day (like... an awesome, "big girl job") so we wanted to get home at a semi reasonable time.
Luckily the new job honeymoon period is now over and we're back to having an absurd travel schedule (just wait for our Arizona / Vegas trip report) but that day I was trying to be an adult. Luckily we had already knocked out the 3 coasters that always have huge wait times and now it was time to stop dicking around and have some real fun.
For the second time that day I was slightly concerned that I was about to kill my mother. She's a trooper, but she's never ridden anything like I305. She's mentioned that rides like Storm Runner and El Toro sometimes throw her neck around if she's not ready for their quick turns (though she rides them and enjoys them a lot) so we decided her first ride should be up front so she can see what's coming. I'm not one to hype coasters up or dork out about them too much to people who clearly don't care, I like to have people ride them and form their own opinions (we said nothing about Verbolten's drop track for example) but in this case we did warn her that she should expect every single turn on the ride to be the most abrupt and ridiculous turn she's ever seen on a coaster. That was the extent of the prep course.
I think Brit considered mentioning the fact that if she couldn't see for the first half of the ride that was normal and she wasn't dying but it was too late for that because she was cut off by the sounds of revving engines on the PA system and the unmistakable recording of "Gentleman, start your engines" that meant some crazy sh*t was about to go down.
Before we could go down though, we had to go up... way up. As we flew up the cable lift I was still on the fence about whether or not I was the worst son ever, but there wasn't too much time to ponder such trivial sh*t because before we knew it we were rocketing down the giant first drop into the insane, grey-out inducing turn. By the time I could properly see again we were flying out of our seats on another airtime filled turn before entering a twisted mess of insane laterals and ejector airtime that all became a complete blur.
We hit the brakes to an eruption of cheers and I was relieved when I looked over to see mom joining in. I really need to stop underestimating her.
When we got off the ride, I asked her how she liked it and it turns out she absolutely loved it and she couldn't believe how fast it was. After grabbing the photo and browsing the gift shop a little bit, we quickly made our way back around for a re-ride. This time in the back of the train.
Once again, the ride was fantastic. Since we were in the back we got an extra dose of that patented "OMFG" ejector airtime all the way down the first drop and once again the second half of the ride was a twisted blur of craziness that's pretty much impossible to even describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. This ride is absolutely bullsh*t nuts. I approve. Mom loved it too, but not as much as Volcano (or Nitro... I mean, let's not get crazy here. You may be the most bad a** giga coaster ever built but are you "Six Flags' most Explosive Coaster®"? Yeah... didn't think so.
After our second ride we made our way back through the alien Nascar jungle in search of more jungle themed fun. That didn't take long as we quickly came up to a ride themed to the snow where you ride in Bobsleds adorned with the flags of some of the most well known jungle-having countries in the world like Canada, Switzerland and Germany!
Personally I'm a pretty big Avalanche fan. The ride's not amazing, but it's pretty unique (especially in the United States) and it's a super fun little ride. I think I enjoyed it more than most of the group, but everyone left with a favorable opinion of it.
Even though we needed to leave a bit early we were sitting pretty at that point. Kings Dominion has a lot of fun rides, but the only "must-rides" we still hadn't hit were Drop Tower (which we knew would be a walk on), Dominator (which we figured would have a manageable wait) and... do I really even have to tell you what the third one is?
Initially I had hoped to make it back to I305 at some point, but since mom loved Volcano so much and since we get to the park much more often than she does we figured we'd make that our next stop and just brave the huge line. She was just going along with whatever we wanted to do, but she definitely wasn't arguing when we made that suggestion so we entered the queue and were greeted with a 60 minute wait.
I was still in complete disbelief at how much she loved this ride, but we were really happy that she did. While this ride has undoubtedly miserable capacity, the line did seem to move faster than I expected it to. The posted 60 minute wait time was correct, but we moved at a decent clip and it didn't feel like a super long wait.
Once again we hopped into the front 2 rows so mom could have the front and once again the ride was f*cking awesome. I've always loved this thing (who doesn't?) but it was a lot of fun riding it with someone who was that ridiculously hyped up about it.
At that point we were down to our last hour or so so we decided to pry ourselves away from the volcanic avalanche Nascar alien jungle and make our way over to Old Virginia.From Boldikus' 2016 report. lol
On our way to Old Virginia we made our way through Candy Apple grove which has always been one of my favorite areas of the park. There were a lot of tempting rides in this area like Rebel Yell and Delirium but since we were short on time we decided to resist the urge to stop and keep walking. We did make one exception though, and that was for KD's awesome drop tower.
I enjoy pretty much every drop tower but I've always thought the one at Kings Dominion was one of the best. The thing is absolutely massive and it drops with incredible speed and force. I cant pinpoint one particular reason I like this thing so much, but after Demon Drop, Falcons Fury and the Larson / Arm towers this one is probably my favorite. There's just something about it that's completely awesome.
As usual the ride was a walk on and we quickly made our way through the ride's useless queue area and were directed to the left. We approached the gate and got there right as the other car started heading up the tower. Watching the massive ride vehicle drop from 300 feet and blast us with wind in the process was a pretty awesome way to get us hyped up for our ride.
Once the riders in front of us exited the ride, the gates opened and we quickly made our way to our seats. Our seats were on the side facing Twisted Timbers which was pretty cool since it allowed me to quietly dork out to my hearts content while we rose up the tower. The drop (as always) was nuts and the ride turned out to be a major hit with our group (not that there was much doubt going in). This ride is f*cking great.
After touching back down to earth we continued on to Old Virginia. Along the way, we passed up a ride on Delirium and the flyers (neither of which was easy to do) but I kept my eye on the prize and was about to be handsomely rewarded.
No more bullsh*t. Time to take this trip report to the next level.
As everyone knows, log flumes are the way to my heart. Any park that has one immediately gets plenty of bonus points with me, but parks that run their flumes in October... they're the real heroes.
It's no surprise that I love every flume ride, but Shehandoah Lumber company is definitely one of the best. It doesn't have intricate theming, it doesn't really have much in the way of terrain that it can use, but it's awesome location back in the Virginia woods really set it apart for me. Once the ride starts, you forget the rest of the park even exists. You're just riding an old school Arrow flume through a forest. What's not to love?
Despite the cooler temperatures and the fact that fall was in full swing, people clearly know greatness when they see it and Shenandoah Lumber company turned out to have the second longest wait of the day (after Volcano). We didn't really know what to expect from the ride. Obviously I expected complete brilliance (and I got it), but in terms of how soaked we would get, I really didn't know.
Brit and I have been on this thing a ton, and you rarely get more than a few sprinkles with two people in the log. We're so confident in that that we once rode it with temperatures in the 30's while waiting for the coasters to reach their minimum operating temperatures. That said, the last time we crammed 3 people in a log with Boldikus we f*cking drowned. We weren't sure if we just had a leaky log or if adding one more person could really make that big of a difference but we knew we were about to find out.
Nobody else wanted to risk sitting up front, but I didn't care at all so Brit and I hopped in the front of the log with mom in the back. We left the station, climbed the first lift, dropped down and...
Yeah, we were soaked. Putting three people in a log turns this thing from Coal Cracker South to the Poseidon Adventure almost as if someone flicked a "Drown everyone in boat 4" button. Luckily I could barely begin to care, and I enjoyed the trip through the woods immensely. It was my last flume ride of the year, if we got soaked... so be it.
Before we knew it we had reached lift two and the other 2/3 of the boat (which seemed strangely less enthusiastic) was bracing for impact. The final drop was just as drenching as the first, but as usual I walked off proud of my stupid self and absolutely loved the ride. Note to self though, never put 3 people in a boat on this ride unless you want to drown. It was almost amazing to stand near the exit and see how dry everyone was in boats with 1 or 2 riders and how soaked they were in every boat with 3+ riders. 3 riders is the tipping point. You've been warned.
By that point we were almost out of time, but we still had one ride left to ride before joining the traffic apocalypse in DC so we made our way to the big B&M in the front of the park to end our weekend on a high note.
As it turned out, mom had actually ridden this thing before. We didn't really think of it until we were walking up to it, but when we made our potato roll trip to Cedar Point as kids we stopped at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure since we had season passes. At the time we didn't even know the park existed, but we saw a sign for "Six Flags", pulled off and ended up at what was arguably the greatest Six Flags park of all time where we rode Batman Knight Flight... the park's star attraction. I assumed mom wouldn't remember the coaster at all so I kept that dork factoid to myself but I thought it was sort of cool.
Dominator had a bit of a line, but nothing too crazy. The front row line for this thing was insane, but we barely cared because it's a complete back seat ride anyway so within 15 minutes or so we were in our seats. The back row - far side is the magic seat so we gave that one to mom and a few minutes later we were on our way up the lift.
I'm a big Dominator fan. While it's missing a zero-g roll, the forceful rip down the drop, awesome hang time in the loop and floater air off the midcourse really make it one of my favorite floorless coasters. Obviously this isn't going to be anyone's favorite coaster in the park when Volcano and Intimidator exist, but it's a fantastic and often overlooked ride.
Predictably, everyone loved Dominator. It's not going to blow anyone away with it's stats but it's a really solid ride. Unfortunately when we rolled back into the station and exited the train that meant our awesome weekend was coming to an end but it was a great way to end a great weekend. Keep being awesome, Dominator!
Up next: Halloween Haunt at the Greatest Amusement Park in All of Allentown
PS: In an effort to be timely and not have these trip reports of current seasonal events stuck in an endless backlog of trip reports I need to write, I've actually added two trip reports since my last installment here. Both of which have been posted on the first page of this thread and can be found in their respective park threads.Holiday in the Park Opening Weekend 2017 at Six Flags Great Adventure!
andHoliday in the Park 2017 at Six Flags America!
If you haven't had enough of my sh*t by now, give them a read!
PS: Yes, Dorney's haunt report could be considered a seasonal report too, but it's Dorney and nobody cares. We all know the houses will all be the same next year.