Stormy skies didn’t stop Kings Dominion’s Dominator Media Day. Despite a rather wet, windy drive up from Williamsburg, the rain let up, making for a fine day for a pretty damn fine ride.
Yes, Dominator! It dominates the front of the park. It makes Scooby-Doo’s Ghoster Coaster tuck its tail between its legs and run. Even Volcano has to assume the position. Dominator is now KD’s dominant ride. Ohio’s loss is Virginia’s gain.
KD’s vice president and general manager, Pat Jones, said in her welcoming remarks that Dominator, the park’s 14th coaster, helps to keep KD on the “cutting edge of our industry,” with a ride that’s “unique to our market.” I’ll go along with that. I think Dominator is just what the park needs—a first-class, smooth B&M floorless ride that’s forceful enough for enthusiasts, yet enjoyable for, well, non-enthusiasts.
Here are the vital statistics:
4,200 feet of track (the world’s longest floorless coaster)
161-foot-tall lift hill
157-foot first drop
A record-breaking, 135-foot vertical loop, followed by four other inversions
A top speed of 65 miles per hour
A ride time of 2 minutes, 6 seconds
Ms. Jones also commented that placing Dominator in the front of the park was “key,” because it puts front-and-center what KD is all about: “Kings Dominion is known for having one of the country’s widest varieties of roller coasters.” That’s true enough, as the park’s offerings range from the launched Volcano: The Blast Coaster all the way to classic wood, as in the Rebel Yell.
"If you can speak (after your ride), we think you're gonna say it's one of the best coasters you've ever ridden," she said.
As for me, I liked Dominator a lot. There’s nice airtime in the back seats (you’re just hurled into the first drop). But I really think this is a front-seat ride--it’s quite cool the way you just fly over the track with nothing underneath. It does “lug” a bit through the loop, but the cobra roll is amazingly smooth. You could bang your ears a bit in the corkscrews, though.
This year is significant for KD for other reasons, too. It’s also the 10th anniversary of Volcano and the 20th anniversary of Avalanche (the only Mack Bobsled coaster in the U.S., I think).
Here’s a look at Dominator Media Day.
Mother Nature seemed intent on dominating Dominator's Media Day.
Awesome P:TR! I love Dominator (Got a chance to ride it back in 2000 when it was Batman Knight Flight and Geauga Lake was then Six Flags Ohio). Very awesome ride, smooth and its speed is fluent throughout! You had a lot of great photos! I like the Orange better than the tattered yellow!
The reason the painted the loop bright yellow is to initial the tallest loop, and also the loop is very smooth with A LOT of air, this is one of the best B&M's I've ever been on. I rode it 20 times yesterday, and my friend rode it 34. I hope I didn't ruin my the experience, lol.
Thanks Chuck! I really enjoyed all of the angles of Dominator. It almost looks like they did a Six Flags type landscape under the coaster. Did they use rocks or something under it? Was Dominator built in the old parking lot? Thanks again.
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