Kings Dominion is an amusement park located in Doswell, Virginia in Hanover County, 23 miles (37 km) north of Richmond and 83 miles (134 km) south of Washington, DC on Interstate 95.
The 400-acre (1.6 km2) park is currently owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, and was part of the former Paramount Parks chain that Cedar Fair acquired from CBS Corporation on June 30, 2006. The park was named after its sister park, Kings Island in Kings Mills, Ohio, which opened in 1972. Both parks were originally built and owned by Kings Entertainment Company aka KECO. While Kings Island was named as a combination of Kings Mills (its location) and Coney Island (the theme park that it was built to replace), Kings Dominion’s name was more than likely a reference to Virginia’s nickname as the “Old Dominion”.
1.1 Early history as Kings Dominion (1975-89)
1.2 Early 1990s/transition to Paramount ownership
1.3 Paramount’s Kings Dominion (1993-2006)
1.4 The Cedar Fair era (2006-present)
2 Current rides/attractions
2.1 International Street
2.2 Old Virginia
2.3 The Grove
2.4 Nick Central
3 Kings Dominion’s Timeline
4 Retired rides and attractions
6 External links
Early history as Kings Dominion (1975-89)
The park entrance as seen from the observation deck of the replica Eiffel Tower
Kings Dominion officially opened in 1975 with 15 rides. However, in 1974, the park had a “soft” (partial, low key) opening only for the now-defunct Lion Country Safari attraction and a junior roller coaster, now called Scooby Doo’s Ghoster Coaster. Also in 1974, the park had completed the Rebel Yell racing roller coaster (designed by John Allen of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company); however, it would not open until 1975 with the rest of the park. When the park debuted in the spring of 1975, it also included a log flume; antique cars; steam train; and a collection of flat rides. Another roller coaster, Galaxie, was located in the Grove next to the man-made Lake Charles, which took up 10 acres (40,000 m2) of the park’s property. In addition, Kings Dominion’s 1/3-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, which features an observation deck from which visitors could see the entire park, was open by the park’s first full operating season. In addition to the Lion Country Safari, the original themed areas of the park were called The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, Old Virginia, and Coney Island (renamed Candy Apple Grove prior to the next season).
Kings Dominion added their fourth roller coaster, a Schwarzkopf shuttle loop known as the King Kobra, in 1977. The King Kobra featured a 50-ton counter weight drop launch and was the park’s first launched roller coaster. It was in the park for nine seasons before being relocated to Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City, Maryland. After several more relocations, it continues to operate today as Katapul at Hopi Hari in Brazil. Also in 1977, Kings Dominion was one of several amusement parks used as sets for the film Rollercoaster.
In addition to the King Kobra, Kings Dominion opened a campground and its well-known Lost World mountain before the end of the 1970s. Originally, the Lost World featured three rides: a flume ride called Journey to Atlantis, a children’s attraction known as Land of the Dooz, and a rotor called Time Shaft. Journey to Atlantis was replaced by the Haunted River themed flume ride in 1980. Kings Dominion would add their second wooden roller coaster, the Grizzly, in the forests of the Old Virginia section of the park in 1982. Kings Dominion opened its rapids ride, White Water Canyon, in Old Virginia in 1983. Also in 1983, a 13 year old boy died while riding on the Galaxie roller coaster. A swinging, inverting pirate ship known as the Berserker was added on International Street the following year. In 1984, a Smurf ride, Smurf Mountain would replace the mine ride in the Lost World. From then on, the Lost World was known as Smurf Mountain. The mountain was rebuilt in 1997, and has been occupied solely by Volcano: The Blast Coaster since 1998.
The replica Eiffel Tower at Kings Dominion
After three seasons without a new roller coaster, Kings Dominion unveiled its TOGO stand-up roller coaster, Shockwave, in 1986, the same year that the park removed King Kobra. Shockwave, like King Cobra, has one loop but also has a helix. (The similarly-named King Cobra roller coaster at Kings Island, which was a stand-up coaster similar to Shockwave, closed in 2002.) The third and last roller coaster that Kings Dominion added during the 1980s was Avalanche, which remains the only Mack bobsled roller coaster in the United States. The trains of Avalanche are themed after the United States’, France’s, Germany’s, Canada’s and Switzerland’s bobsleds, so that riders in different trains can simulate being in a bobsled race in the Winter Olympics.
Although the Lion Country Safari attraction was the first portion of the park to open, it was phased out after Paramount bought the park. Much of the Lion Country Safari occupied the land behind the Anaconda roller coaster; Kings Dominion still owns the land but has used most of it primarily for storage rather than opening new attractions. Diamond Falls, another flume ride, premiered in 1985 until closing in 2002. Three sets of Racing Rivers slides water slides premiered in 1987 and stayed open through the early 1990s.
Early 1990s/transition to Paramount ownership
Kings Dominion continued adding new areas to its park in the early- to mid-1990s. In 1990, they expanded Hanna-Barbera Land to include more rides for children. The 1991 season saw the addition of their next large roller coaster, the Arrow looper Anaconda, which was also the world’s first coaster to feature an underwater tunnel. (Its tunnel went under part of Lake Charles.) Anaconda was also originally billed as having six loops and continues to be billed that way. However, unlike Drachen Fire, a six-inversion Arrow looper which was opened at Busch Gardens Williamsburg the following year, the Anaconda actually has only four inversions: a vertical loop, a sidewinder, and two consecutive corkscrews.
Kings Dominion opened its water park as Hurricane Reef in 1992. In its opening season, it first featured the Monsoon Chutes (two pairs of free-fall body slides, at 70 and 50 feet (15 m) high, respectively), the Torrential Twist (two enclosed body slides which wrapped around each other), the Pipeline (four open body slides), Cyclone (three enclosed body slides, the center of which was a free-fall), Tidal Wave (two open slides, which riders rode on inner tubes, Splash Island (an area for children with five water slides), and a lazy river. To build the water park, Kings Dominion filled in the two thirds of Lake Charles nearest the Candy Apple Grove region of the park; the Anaconda continued to pass over the remainder of the lake.
Paramount’s Kings Dominion (1993-2006)
The Kings Dominion Theatre (Named “The Paramount Theatre” during the Paramount Parks era)
Kings Dominion Logo Used from 1993 – 2002 During the Paramount Years (a revised one was used from 2003-06)
Kings Dominion continued its growth when it became part of Paramount Parks in 1993 and switched its name to Paramount’s Kings Dominion. New attractions and areas of the park themed to Paramount’s television shows and movies appeared at Paramount’s Kings Dominion almost every season that they were under Paramount’s ownership. In 1993, they added a motion simulator attraction, originally featuring the Days of Thunder movie, and Lion County Safari was removed at the end of the season. The 1994 season saw the addition of a new area of the park themed to the 1992 Paramount motion picture Wayne’s World, which featured their third full-size wooden roller coaster, The Hurler, a shop called the Rock Shop, and a Stan Mikita’s restaurant similar to the one featured in Wayne’s World. Since then, the Wayne’s World section has been merged into the Candy Apple Grove (since renamed the Grove); the Stan Mikita’s was converted to the Happy Days Cafe, and the Hurler no longer has Wayne’s World theming, except for a few spray painted “Wayne’s World” logos near the exit of the ride. In the next year, another children’s area, known as Nickelodeon Splat City, opened near the Shockwave roller coaster. This was later converted into Nick Central. Also Smurf Mountain was removed in 1995, leaving a dormant fiberglass mountain in the back of the park.
In 1996, Paramount’s Kings Dominion introduced its second launched roller coaster, and first LIM-launched roller coaster, The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear. The Outer Limits had a 56 miles (90 km) per hour launch, four inversions, and an identical “spaghetti bowl” layout to the ride of the same name at Kings Island. Almost as notable as the launch of The Outer Limits was the fact that the entire ride was in semi-darkness; the riders could not see where they were going. (Six Flags America, a nearby park in Maryland, features another “spaghetti bowl” roller coaster with the same layout as Flight of Fear, known as Joker’s Jinx. Joker’s Jinx, however, is an outdoor coaster.) Five years after The Outer Limits opened, Paramount Parks’ licensing agreement to use theming from the television show after which the ride was named expired; the Outer Limits-related theming in the ride and its queue was removed, and the ride was renamed Flight of Fear.
1997 featured the debut of Kidzville, a re-theming of the Hanna-Barbera section. Added was the new Taxi Jam roller coaster, and Scooby’s Playpark became a construction themed playpen called Kidz Construction Company. Yogi’s Cave was rethemed to Treasure Cave and filled with scrappy theming from other rides. Many rides in Kidzville, such as Scooby Doo’s Ghoster Coaster, George Jetson’s Spaceport, and Huck’s Hot Rods, continued to bear the names of Hanna-Barbera characters.
Paramount’s Kings Dominion continued what became a trend of adding launched roller coasters in 1998, when they opened Volcano, The Blast Coaster in the former Lost World mountain. The mountain’s previous rides had all been removed several years prior, and Volcano gave the mountain a major transformation. Volcano, which was manufactured by Intamin AG, was the world’s first LIM-launched inverted roller coaster. The ride featured two separate launch sections, an Immelman style loop out of the top of the mountain, and three heartline rolls on the way back down. (Huge explosions of fire are shot out the top of the mountain for added effect.) Volcano was themed to Paramount’s 1997 film Volcano; the other Paramount Parks added inverted or suspended roller coasters themed to Top Gun around the same time. During the next two seasons, Paramount’s Kings Dominion expanded Hurricane Reef behind the Rebel Yell and renamed it Waterworks. (Most of the original Hurricane Reef remains open as of 2006; the two areas are joined by a path under the Rebel Yell.) The new portion of Waterworks includes Pipeline Peak, a set of four enclosed water slides, one of which (the Night Slider) is the world’s tallest dark free-fall slide. In 2000, Nick Central opened on what was Nick Splat City and part of Kidzville.
The park added its third launched roller coaster, Hypersonic XLC, in 2001. Hypersonic XLC, a Thrust Air 2000 air-launched coaster made by S&S Power, launched riders from 0 to 80 miles (130 km) per hour in 1.5 seconds, taking them up a 87-degree incline and down a 87-degree drop. The entire ride takes about 25 seconds. Hypersonic XLC broke down frequently and was closed for the first three months of its second season; no other Paramount Parks installed a similar ride. Nevertheless, Hypersonic XLC helped establish Paramount’s Kings Dominion’s reputation as “the launched coaster capital of the world”. Hypersonic XLC was removed after the 2007 season.
The early 2000s saw Paramount’s Kings Dominion opening new rides similar to existing rides at other Paramount Parks. In 2002, the park opened its new wild mouse roller coaster, Ricochet. Carowinds also installed their Ricochet in 2002. Diamond Falls, the giant flume ride at Paramount’s Kings Dominion, also closed that season, leading to several seasons of speculation from park visitors over which ride would take its place. The 2003 season saw Kings Dominion become the final of several of the Paramount Parks to open a Drop Zone Stunt Tower. The Drop Zone at Paramount’s Kings Dominion, at 305 feet (93 m) high, was the tallest freefall ride in the world at the time it opened. In 2004, Paramount’s Kings Dominion added Scooby-Doo! and the Haunted Mansion; similar Scooby Doo-themed dark rides had opened at three other Paramount Parks during the three previous seasons. In the next season, Paramount’s Kings Dominion added an inverted top spin called Tomb Raider: Firefall, which was an outdoor version of a similar ride named Tomb Raider: The Ride at Paramount’s Kings Island. The differences between the two were that at Kings Dominion riders’ feet dangle freely and at Kings Island there is a floor. In the 2006 season, Paramount’s Kings Dominion opened the Italian Job Turbo Coaster, its fourth launched roller coaster. Unlike the previously-built launched coasters at Paramount’s Kings Dominion, each of which was faster than its predecessor, the Italian Job Turbo Coaster is designed more as a family ride and features several launches at 40 miles (64 km) per hour. Renamed the Backlot Stunt Coaster in 2008, the ride is similar to the Backlot Stunt Coaster rides at Kings Island and Canada’s Wonderland, which both opened in 2005.
The Cedar Fair era (2006-present)
Logo used briefly in 2007 after the switch from Paramount Parks. It is still currently used in signage and on the park’s website.
Control of the Paramount Parks had been transferred from Viacom to CBS Corporation at the start of the 2006 season; the parks had themselves been up for sale since the previous off season. CBS made several controversial moves with Paramount’s Kings Dominion during the 2006 season. First, a roller coaster based on The Italian Job had been advertised on television as being open at the start of the park’s 2006 season, whereas it did not actually open until late May, almost two months into the season. The placement of the ride was rather dubious; some enthusiasts ridiculed the park management for placing the entrance of The Italian Job, which was themed to a street chase, in the middle of the park’s African-themed Congo section near the Anaconda roller coaster. Second, visitors to the park during the 2006 season found that the trees in the queue of the Grizzly were cut down to make room for a new upcharge go-kart attraction called Thunder Raceway. Third, Paramount’s Kings Dominion closed Flight of Fear. Paramount’s Kings Dominion gave no indication in the previous season that Flight of Fear would be closed for 2006. Rumors had suggested that it would be relocated to another former Paramount Park; since Cedar Fair acquired Paramount’s Kings Dominion, the park worked to get the ride operable again. Flight of Fear reopened on August 18, ending speculation of the ride’s relocation and/or sale.
WaterWorks in 2007, showing the new Tornado.
On May 22, 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. announced that they were purchasing all five Paramount Parks. The sale was finalized on June 30, 2006. The park retained its Paramount’s Kings Dominion name through the end of the 2006 season and reverted to its original Kings Dominion name beginning in the 2007 season. For the 2007 season, the park lowered its single-day admission by $5 to $44.95, one year after Cedar Point had made the same change to their ticket prices. This was the first time that Kings Dominion has ever lowered their ticket prices for a full season. In addition, they brought back their Starlight discount, which allows admission to the park for $29.99 after 4pm. Kings Dominion expanded WaterWorks for the 2007 season, adding a second wave pool called Tidal Wave Bay, a four-person family raft slide called Zoom Flume, and a ProSlide Tornado.
In December 2006, Kings Dominion also put Hypersonic XLC up for sale. The park announced plans to keep it running until a buyer was found. As of the end of the 2009 season, it has not been sold. It remained in operation during the 2007 season and was closed and dismantled several weeks before the 2008 season started. Also during the 2007-2008 offseason, Cedar Fair renamed the park’s last two rides to open with Paramount theming. The Italian Job: Turbo Coaster became Backlot Stunt Coaster, and Tomb Raider: Firefall received the name The Crypt. The Paramount Theater also changed its name to Kings Dominion Theater.
The 2008 and 2009 seasons saw Kings Dominion receive three rides which had operated at Geauga Lake during its dry amusement park’s final season. On October 23, 2007, Kings Dominion announced that Dominator, a floorless roller coaster, would be moved to Kings Dominion and located in the International Street section. Dominator opened on May 24, 2008, becoming Kings Dominion’s first roller coaster with five inversions. For the 2009 season, two flat rides once located at Geauga Lake, like Dominator, opened in 2009. Located near Rebel Yell, Americana became Kings Dominion’s first Ferris wheel. El Dorado, a pendulum ride, opened in the former site of Hypersonic XLC next to the Xtreme Skyflyer.
For the 2010 season, Kings Dominion has installed Intimidator 305, a 305 ft (92.464 m) tall gigacoaster by Intamin AG. The ride will feature a cable lift hill, an 85 first drop and a maximum speed of at least 92 mph (145 kph). The ride, which is themed to the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, was announced on August 20, 2009, and represents the park’s largest-ever capital investment. It is scheduled to open at the start of the 2010 season. Also for the 2010 season, the Kidzville and Nickelodeon Universe areas of the park are being rethemed to Planet Snoopy, as are the children’s areas at Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island. The park has renamed the Hanna-Barbera themed rides in Kidzville to match the Planet Snoopy theme, ending the park’s 35-year run with Scooby Doo and other Hanna-Barbera characters.
Dominator, a Bolliger & Mabillard floorless roller coaster formerly located at Geauga Lake, opened in 2008 along International Street.
International Street is the park’s main street area, which greets guests when they enter the park. Both sides of the street are lined with shops, including two park-related souvenir shops just inside the park’s front gate. International Street also has one flat ride, Berserker. Originally, only the street and its shops were considered part of the International Street area ; during the park’s Paramount years, the boundaries of International Street expanded to include the Action Theater.
Like Kings Island, the centerpiece of Kings Dominion is its 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, located just across the International Street fountain from the main entrance gate. This Tower was built by the late company Bristol Steel, which was located in Richmond, Virginia. An elevator regularly takes patrons up to the lookout tower, which provides a chance to see the entire park. The observation deck offered the best view of the nightly fireworks show (which no longer runs), and the Fourth of July fireworks, which are set off from behind the Anaconda roller coaster.
Grand Bandstand features live shows
Eiffel Tower (opened 1975) is a 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower; guests may ride elevators up to its observation deck at 275 feet (84 m).
Berserker (opened 1984) is a swinging Viking ship similar to a Looping Starship.
Action Theater motion simulator attraction has been open in the park since 1993. Dating back to 1975, the park had a country-western themed show in its same location called Hoedown, although it was considered part of the Old Virginia section. In the early 1990s, this became the Country Crossroads amphitheatre. The Country Crossroads Amphitheater closed after the park’s 1992 season and was replaced by Days of Thunder, a motion simulator; at this point, International Street’s borders expanded to include Days of Thunder. After five seasons with the Days of Thunder film, the Action Theater received its current name and has been playing a variety of films in its two motion simulator theaters, including James Bond 007. The Action Theater is currently showing Spongebob Squarepants 3-D, during the Halloween Haunt season its known to show Elvira’s Superstition.
Dominator (opened 2008) is a floorless roller coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard. It has five inversions, the most of any of Kings Dominion’s roller coasters, and holds the records for largest vertical loop on a roller coaster (135 ft) and the world’s longest floorless coaster (4,210 ft). It originally operated at Geauga Lake.
Along with International Street, Old Virginia is the only original section of Kings Dominion that has kept its same name throughout the park’s history; one of its current attractions, the Shenandoah Lumber Company (Log Flume), is one of the park’s longest-running rides. In the 1970s, Old Virginia had an Intamin Flying Dutchman flat ride called Jamestown Landing; behind it, Old Virginia had a steam train ride, the Old Dominion Line, which ran through the woods in the back of the park. Jamestown Landing closed by 1980; the Old Dominion Line stayed in the park until it closed in the 1990s. White Water Canyon, the park’s river rapids ride, opened in 1983. Since then, Old Virginia has added its current flat ride, Flying Eagles, which moved over from the park’s former Wayne’s World section.
The Grizzly’s lift hill
Kings Dominion Theater (opened 1975 as Mason Dixon Music Hall, operated through 2007 as Paramount Theatre) is the park’s largest indoor theatre and has hosted a wide variety of shows, including ice skating and musicals.
Flying Eagles, a set of Bisch-Rocco Flying Scooters, first opened with the park in 1975 and has had several location changes and name changes since it first opened. In the 1970s, the ride was called Parrot Troopers and was located in the Safari Village section, overlooking Lake Charles. Parrot Troopers closed in the 1980s and reopened in the park’s new Wayne’s World section as Scream Weaver in 1994. Scream Weaver was located on part of the former Hypersonic XLC site; to make room for the new roller coaster, Kings Dominion moved Scream Weaver to Old Virginia, across from the Kings Dominion Theatre, and renamed (and rethemed) it Flying Eagles to fit into the Old Virginia section.
Shenandoah Log Flume (opened 1975), one of the park’s original attractions, is a log flume with two hills and a course that travels through the woods of Old Virginia and past White Water Canyon’s queue.
White Water Canyon (opened 1983) is a rafting ride with six-person boats, waterfalls, and geysers. White Water Canyon also has an indoor portion toward the end of the ride. In recent years, the ride has often opened at noon (along with WaterWorks) rather than at the rest of the park’s opening time; the ride’s popularity also gives it some of the longest lines in the park.
Blue Ridge Tollway (opened 1975) is an antique cars ride, where riders ride gas-powered antique cars (guided by rails) around a track.
Grizzly (opened 1982), the park’s second full-size wooden roller coaster, has a Coney Island Wildcat design. California’s Great America’s Grizzly, which also has a Coney Island Wildcat Layout but is slightly taller and longer, opened four years later.
The Grove, which opened with the park in 1975 as “Coney Island,” was renamed Candy Apple Grove, and is currently Kings Dominion’s largest section. The Candy Apple Grove first opened with an orchard theme, complete with singing mushrooms, and contained large candy apples and 3 apple-themed flat rides, an enterprise called Apple Turnover, a himalaya called Adam’s Apple and a Monster model known as Bad Apple. It lost much of this theming during the 1990s and changed its name to the Grove by 2001.
Today, The Grove is the location of the park’s main midway; the park’s largest arcade, which opened in the 1970s, continues to operate there. The Grove has grown several times since the early 1990s. From the 1980s to 1995, the park had a small Shady Grove section in the present-day location of Shockwave and the Showplace theater. When Nickelodeon Splat City opened in 1995, most of the Shady Grove section was demolished and the Slime Zone rose up in its place; Shockwave has since been part of the Grove. The park also operated a Wayne’s World-themed section for several years, beginning in 1994 with the opening of Hurler. Hurler (which travels over part of the former Old Dominion Line site in Old Virginia) are now part of The Grove. The Grove is also known for the Rebel Yell roller coaster, the park’s first full-size roller coaster; Drop Tower Scream Zone, the world’s tallest drop tower; and its carousel, which was first built in 1917. In 2009, El Dorado and Americana were added.
Carousel (opened 1975) was first built in 1917 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company; prior to opening at Kings Dominion in the park’s first season, it operated at Riverside Amusement Park in Springfield, Massachusetts, from 1917 to 1938, and at Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1938 to 1973. This all-wood carousel features 50 jumping horses, 16 standing horses, and two chariots, spread out over four rows.
Ricochet (opened 2002) is a Mack wild mouse roller coaster. Its compact layout contains a series of hairpin turns.
Triple Spin (opened 2002) is a Huss Troika.
Dodgem Bumper Cars opened with the park in 1975 and are located at the edge of the Grove section near the Backlot Stunt Coaster.
Drop Tower: Scream Zone (opened in 2003 as Drop Zone: Stunt Tower) is the world’s tallest drop tower at 305 feet (93 m) high. Drop Tower can take up to 56 riders at a time on its 272-foot (83 m) drop; they travel 72 miles (116 km) per hour before the ride’s magnetic braking slows them. Both this ride and its sister attration, Drop Tower: Scream Zone at Kings Island claim to be the tallest drop towers in the world. In fact, both rightly hold the title. Kings Island’s structure is 10-foot (3.0 m) taller than King’s Dominion’s. However, Kings Dominion’s tower’s breaks begin lower down on the structure, thus allowing riders to drop 8-foot (2.4 m) farther than riders on Kings Island’s.
Hurler opened in 1994 as part of Paramount’s Kings Dominion’s Wayne’s World section, which has since become part of the Grove. Hurler has a triple out-and-back layout.
Rebel Yell (opened 1975) is a racing wooden roller coaster with an out-and-back layout that travels along one side of Lake Charles. Beginning in the 1990s, one track featured rear-facing trains, and riders could choose to ride either forwards or backwards. This feature was removed in 2008, and both tracks now have trains going forward only.
Shockwave (opened 1986) is a TOGO stand-up roller coaster located in part of the park’s former Shady Grove section. It features a vertical loop and a helix.
Wave Swinger (opened 1975)
Xtreme SkyFlyer (opened in 1996) is a SkyCoaster bungee jump attraction
El Dorado (opened 2009) is a family-friendly swinging pendulum ride, themed to a 1950’s style El Dorado convertible car which can carry a total amount of 40 riders up 85 feet in the air.
Americana (opened 2009) is Kings Dominion’s first Ferris wheel. It is 110 feet tall, and is located at the former location of the Launch Pad, just next to the Rebel Yell’s exit.
Meet Blue is a meet and greet area where guests can meet the star of Blue’s Clues.
Nickelodeon Meet & Greet is another meet and greet area, this time featuring characters like Tommy, Chuckie and Angelica from Rugrats, SpongeBob and Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants, and Cosmo and Wanda from The Fairly Oddparents.
The Showplace is a theater with game shows and shows featuring Nickelodeon characters.
Slime Zone, a maze filled with pipes shooting water in all directions, was one of Kings Dominion’s original Nickelodeon Splat City attractions.
Rugrats Toonpike, is a ride where children can drive through a simulated Rugrats town on small cars in a confined track set up to resemble a miniature town.
Nickelodeon Space Surfer is a Chance Morgan Aviator where riders board kite-like vehicles and glide through the sky at up to a 90 degree angle. Riders travel over the surrounding trees and attain almost the same height as the nearby roller coaster, Shockwave. The cars seat 1-2 riders in seats resembling those from an inverted roller coaster.
KidzVille is a children’s area between International Street and Congo. It opened with the park in 1975 as Hanna-Barbera Land and became known as KidzVille beginning in the 1997 season. It, along with Nickelodeon Central, will be rethemed to Planet Snoopy in 2010.
Treasure Cave is a funhouse featuring gemstones in the walls and tilted floors. It has been renamed and rethemed twice; it was first called Yogi Bear’s Cave and has also had the name Pirate Cave.
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill (opened 2004 as Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Mansion) is a shooting dark ride themed to a large ghost. Passengers ride in a car and shoot at objects to earn points.
Kidz Construction Company is a large children’s play structure themed to a construction site, containing slides and ball pits similar to those found at Chuck E. Cheese.
Alleycat 500 is a small Topcat themed car ride. It has a cow that the riders pass.
Boo Boo’s Tree Swings is a small swing ride located next to Treasure Cave.
Boulder Bumpers is an indoor bumper cars ride for children.
Dick Dastardly’s Airfield is a junior flat ride with small airplanes that goes in a circle over a creek.
George Jetson’s Spaceport is a junior airplane ride themed to The Jetsons.
Huck’s Hot Rods, a driving ride featuring Huckleberry Hound, is located near Alleycat 500.
Ranger Smith’s Jeep Tours is a small jeep ride for little kids.
Topcat’s Turnpike is a junior car ride.
Touche Turtle’s Clipper is a ship ride similar to a scaled-down, tamer Berserker.
Taxi Jam Coaster is an 8-foot-high junior roller coaster.
Ghoster Coaster (opened 1974 as Scooby Doo, then as Scooby-Doo’s Ghoster Coaster), a junior roller coaster, is located near the front of the park next to the former site of the Racing Rivers waterslides. American Coaster Enthusiasts gave the ride an ACE Coaster Classics plaque but have since removed the ride from their list due to design changes.
KidZVille Gazebo is a venue for children’s shows.
Congo is Kings Dominion’s westernmost and predominantly African-themed section. It was inspired by one of the park’s original attractions, the Lion Country Safari. Containing a boat ride and a monorail train through a nature preserve, the section closed in the 1990s but the theme remains. The Congo section features some of the greatest rides like Volcano, Anaconda, The Crypt, or Intimidator 305
Avalanche (opened 1988) is, as of 2009, the only Mack bobsled roller coaster remaining in the United States; the cars in its trains are themed to Olympic bobsleds from five countries.
Scrambler (reopened 2003), one of the Congo’s two flat rides, is a classic amusement ride similar to a Huss Breakdance. It was originally located on International Street and was moved to Candy Apple Grove in 1993, near the location that the Drop Tower occupies today; it was moved to the Congo section in 2003.
Anaconda Roller Coaster, viewed from its queue
Anaconda (opened 1991) continues to be well-known for its tunnel, which travels under Lake Charles. The ride still traverses most of its layout over the lake. When Anaconda opened, its four inversions were the most of any roller coaster in the park.
Backlot Stunt Coaster (opened 2006 as The Italian Job: Turbo Coaster) was Kings Dominion’s third LIM-launched roller coaster. It is themed to a car chase and is a nearly exact replica of rides found at Kings Island and Canada’s Wonderland. Originally themed to The Italian Job, it was the last ride with Paramount theming to open at the park and was renamed in the 2007 offseason.
The Crypt (opened 2005 as Tomb Raider: Firefall) is a suspended Top Spin originally themed to the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. It still has the same physical theming but was renamed in the 2007 offseason after the park’s change in ownership.
Volcano, The Blast Coaster (opened 1998) was the second of Kings Dominion’s LIM-launched roller coasters, it is also the park’s fastest roller coaster (after the removal of Hypersonic XLC). The ride, occupying the former “Lost World” mountain, is notable for two launches, the first being 70 mph (110 km/h).
Flight of Fear (opened 1996 as The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear) is one of the first two LIM-launched roller coasters in the world, along with Flight of Fear at Kings Island, with which it shares the same theming and layout. It is an indoor coaster in complete darkness, themed to an Area 51-style military installation. It was renamed in 2001 when Paramount lost the right to Outer Limits. Also in 2001 the over-the-shoulder harnesses were replaced with lap bar restraints after 5 seasons from guests complaining of a rough ride experience.
Intimidator 305 (under construction; scheduled to open April 2010) is the second giga coaster in North America (third in the world), after Millennium Force at Cedar Point. The ride, named and themed after late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr., sits on land initially used for the Lion Country Safari that had gone unused since the Safari closed in the early 1990s. Utilizing a similar cable lift hill system to Millennium Force, Intimidator 305 takes riders 305 feet up before they descend an 85-degree, 300-foot first drop. Its height matches the overall height of Drop Tower: Scream Zone, and its first drop equals the first drop of Millennium Force. It will have the steepest drop to date on a giga coaster. The ride’s maximum speed of 92 miles per hour will be the fastest attained by any ride ever located at Kings Dominion, as well as the fifth fastest roller coaster in North America.
WaterWorks, Kings Dominion’s water park, can be thought of in terms of its two sides, Northside which was formerly known as Hurricane Reef, and Southside which is the newer section of WaterWorks. The rides that WaterWorks had as Hurricane Reef in the mid-1990s are all located in front of the Rebel Yell roller coaster; the newer rides are behind the Rebel Yell and are accessible by walking under the Rebel Yell on a walkway between Baja Bends and Shoot the Curl. The original Hurricane Reef attractions received new names when Kings Dominion renamed the water park WaterWorks in 1999.
Lazy Rider (opened 1992 as Lazy River) is a lazy river which travels around the center of the water park. With the exception of FreeStylin’, all of the remaining slides that originally opened with Hurricane Reef travel over Lazy Rider, which allows the lazy river to have several short tunnels during its course. As of 2005, the Lazy Rider’s entrance and exit were located on different parts of the river, which kept riders from making more than one lap of it without having to exit.
Baja Bends (opened in 1992 as Pipeline) is a set of four green open water slides located behind the Lazy Rider and in front of Lake Charles. The Baja Bends slides travel over Lazy Rider and end in a splashdown pool.
Spiral Chute (opened in 1992 as Torrential Twist) is a pair of enclosed slides that wrap around each other in a spiral manner. The queue for Spiral Chute passes under Anaconda; the loading station for the slides was built over the lake. Spiral Chute was closed for part of 2005 because a construction road for the Backlot Stunt Coaster was cut through its queue, making the station inaccessible. The slides reopened in 2006, however Spiral Chute was not open for the 2009 season, due to structural deficiencies of the platform structure, and is now standing but not operating.
Shoot the Curl (opened in 1992 as Cyclone) is a set of three enclosed blue slides located in front of the Rebel Yell; the slides travel over the Lazy Rider. The center slide is a free-fall slide, though not as tall as Night Slider on Pipeline Peak. The other two slides mirror each other and feature 360-degree helixes.
FreeStylin’ (opened in 1992 as Tidal Wave) is a pair of white open slides, which riders ride on one-person inner tubes; the slides end in a splashdown pool. Because the riders each carry their own tubes, the ride has two separate loading stations on connected towers, and the queue, which starts as one queue, splits in two part of the way up.
Big Wave Bay (opened 1999), the park’s first wave pool, holds 650,000 gallons of water; its wave machines generate four-foot waves.
Surf City Splash House (opened 1999) is a multi-level water play structure with several smaller slides and an 800-gallon bucket which dumps all of its water on guests every several minutes.
Lil’ Barefoot Beach (opened 1999) is a smaller water play structure for young children.
Pipeline Peak (opened 2000), the park’s largest slide structure in 2006, is a set of four enclosed slides manufactured by ProSlide. The top level of the tower features two body flumes: Night Slider, which, at 77 feet (23 m) tall, is the world’s tallest free-falling dark water slide, and Power Plunge, a long, twisting slide which is 77 feet (23 m) high at its beginning. Turbo Twister and Rip Slide, which are at the tower’s 50-foot (15 m) lower level, are two-person raft slides which open in several places in the middle of their course to splash water on riders.
Tidal Wave Bay (opened 2007) is the park’s second wave pool. Several other Cedar Fair parks include multiple wave pools. Dorney Park opened a second wave pool in 2006; California’s Great America will also open their second wave pool in 2007, and Michigan’s Adventure has three wave pools of varying sizes and depths.
Tornado (opened 2007) is a 65-foot-tall slide which deposits riders into a large funnel. ProSlide Tornadoes have opened at many Six Flags parks and several other Cedar Fair parks in the early 2000s; Kings Dominion is the second former Paramount Park to receive a Tornado.
Zoom Flume (opened 2007) is a four-person family raft slide.
Kings Dominion’s Timeline
1974: Preview Center opened featuring a movie theater, a kiddie style wooden coaster (then called the Scooby Doo), and Lion Country Safari. (At that time, visitors had to drive their own vehicles through the Safari section, later to be replaced by a monorail system a few years later.) Rebel Yell wooden racing roller coaster had been completed at that time but did not open until spring of 1975 along with the rest of the park.
1975: Park opened in spring of 1975 (one week after Busch Gardens “The Old Country” in nearby Williamsburg, Virginia)
1975: Apple Turnover (Enterprise style flat ride)
1977: King Kobra (steel coaster)
1978: Kings Dominion Campground opened
1979: Lost World themed area, featuring Journey to Atlantis, Land of Dooz, and Time Shaft (a Rotor ride)
1980: Haunted River replaced Journey to Atlantis
1982: Grizzly; Showplace Amphitheatre also opened
1983: White Water Canyon; Galaxie Closed
1984: Smurf Mountain replaced Land of the Dooz; Berserker
1985: Diamond Falls; Scooby’s Play Park
1986: Shockwave; King Kobra removed
1987: Racing Rivers
1989: Sky Pilot (flat ride took the place of Apple Turnover)
1990: Hanna-Barbera Land expansion
1992: Hurricane Reef water park
1993: Days of Thunder (motion simulator theater)
1994: Hurler; Old Dominion Line steam train removed
1995: Nickelodeon Splat City; Showplace Amphitheatre reopened as Kingswood Amphitheatre; Smurf Mountain is removed
1996: Flight of Fear; Xtreme SkyFlyer
1997: Taxi Jam Coaster; Hanna-Barbera Land renamed KidZville
1998: Volcano; Action Theater replaces Days of Thunder
1999: Expansion of Hurricane Reef water park to WaterWorks
2000: Nickelodeon Central; Pipeline Peak added to WaterWorks
2001: HyperSonic XLC (Xtreme Launch Coaster)
2002: Ricochet; Triple Spin; Diamond Falls closes
2003: Drop Tower; SpongeBob SquarePants 3-D in the Action Theater
2004: Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Mansion
2005: The Crypt; kids area of WaterWorks is removed
2006: Backlot Stunt Coaster; Flight of Fear shut down until mid-August, when it reopened; FearFest’s last year before stepping to a new level of fear, Halloween Haunt
2007: Tidal Wave Bay, Tornado, Zoom Flume added to WaterWorks; last year for Hypersonic XLC; Halloween HAUNT
2008: Dominator (B&M Floorless Coaster from Geauga Lake)
2009: El Dorado & Americana (Both relocated from Geauga Lake)
2010: Intimidator 305 (Intamin AG giga coaster) and Planet Snoopy (Retheme of Nickelodon Central.)
Retired rides and attractions
1975-1983: Galaxie (Galaxi) made by S.D.C.
1977-1986: King Kobra (Steel Coaster)
1979-1980: The Lost World Mountain: Journey to Atlantis, The Mine Train, and Timeshaft (located in the mountain of Volcano)
1980-1997: The Haunted River (located in the mountain of Volcano)
1984-1995: Smurf Mountain (located in the mountain of Volcano)
2001-2007: Hypersonic XLC compressed air-launched coaster made by S&S Power
^ “Roller Coaster Database”. King Kobra (Jolly Roger Amusement Park). http://www.rcdb.com/id638.htm. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
^ “CoasterBuzz”. PKDs Flight of Fear RE-OPENS. http://coasterbuzz.com/forum.aspx?mode=thread&TopicID=45601. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
^ a b “Cedar Fair”. Cedar Fair to Acquire Paramount Parks. http://www.cedarfair.com/ir/press_releases/index.cfm. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
^ a b c d e f g “Paramount’s Kings Dominion Press Room”. Kings Dominion To Lower Daily Admission Price For the First Time. http://www2.paramountparks.com/KingsDominion/news/detail.cfm?item_id=462. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
^ “Ital International LLC”. Launch Coaster: Reference Number 937. http://www.italintl.com/detail_page.php?record_id=937. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
^ “Kings Dominion: Virginia’s Premier Themed Amusement Park”. Thrill Rides. http://www2.cedarfair.com/kingsdominion/attractions/category.cfm?ac_id=13. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
^ Kings Dominion | Virginia’s Premier Themed Amusement Park (Richmond)
^ a b “Kings Dominion Announces Two New Rides for 2009”. http://www.kingsdominion.com/news/detail.cfm?item_id=802.
^ a b c “PkdPlace”. 1980 Kings Dominion Map. http://www.pkdplace.com/images/map1980.jpg. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
^ “Webshots”. Candy Apple Grove 4. http://news.webshots.com/photo/1436980156070495517LxzSRv. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
^ “Webshots”. Candy Apple Grove 1. http://news.webshots.com/photo/1432227401070495517kuqtCz. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
^ a b “Coaster-Net”. Ride Gallery > Drop Zone Stunt Tower, Paramount’s Kings Dominion. http://www.coaster-net.com/ridegallery.php?action=display&id=49. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
^ a b “PkdPlace”. 2001 Kings Dominion Map. http://www.pkdplace.com/images/map2001detailed.jpg. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
^ a b “Thrill Network”. Carousel (Kings Dominion). http://database.thrillnetwork.com/ride_view.php/3699/carousel.html. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
^ “ThrillNetwork”. Nickelodeon Space Surfer. http://database.thrillnetwork.com/ride_view.php/3703. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
^ “PkdPlace”. Other Attractions: Scrambler. http://pkdplace.com/index.php?page=scrambler. Retrieved 18 December 2006.
^ “Coaster-Net”. http://www.coaster-net.com/pics/pkd/project06014_blastcoaster.jpg. Retrieved 18 December 2006.
^ a b “Ultimate Roller Coaster”. Kings Dominion’s WaterWorks Water Park Opens May 14. http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/news/stories/20050511_01.shtml. Retrieved 18 December 2006.
^ “ProSlide”. Installations: ProSlide Tornadoes. http://www.proslide.com/installation.php?mainRideID=1. Retrieved 18 December 2006.
Official website of Intimidator 305
Historical Kings Dominion Gallery
Photos of Kings Dominion c. 1981.
Kings Dominion to open section featuring five water attractions – 1992 article from Travel Weekly announcing the opening of Hurricane Reef (requires subscription)
Kings Dominion attraction timeline
The people’s park: Kings Dominion always takes you back – article in the Hook weekly
Kings Dominion Timeline: 1971-2005
Old Kings Dominion Photos: 1975-2004
v d e
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Categories: Amusement parks in Virginia | Cedar Fair amusement parks | 1975 establishments | Eiffel Tower reproductions | Landmarks in Virginia | Hanover County, VirginiaHidden categories: Articles needing cleanup from August 2008 | All pages needing cleanup About the Author
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