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Kings Dominion: Cedar Point’s Sister Park (And definitely worth a visit!)

Posted in Blog.

As we know, Cedar Point is just one of the many amusement parks owned by Cedar Fair. For us Ohioans, we are fortunate to be so close to Cedar Point and Kings Island, both of which are amazing parks. However, this summer I had the opportunity to go to Kings Dominion, another Cedar Fair park in Doswell, Virginia. While Kings Dominion can be compared and contrasted to Cedar Point, it was one of the best experiences I had at any amusement park.

During the summer, my family usually vacations in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. While we drive down there, we always pass Kings Dominion, seeing the tip of the sign above the trees that line the highway. We’ve been going to the Outer Banks for more than a decade, and with each year we’d pass the Kings Dominion sign, we’d become more and more curious about what the park was like. This past summer, we decided to change things up and went to Colonial Williamsburg for a week in July. During our stay, we decided to spend a day at Kings Dominion, as it was only an hour away from our resort (we were aware that Colonial Williamsburg had Busch Gardens close by, but my brother, who is as big of a Cedar Fair nut as I am, was working at Cedar Point that summer and got free admission to any Cedar Fair park). Tickets were a little pricier at Kings Dominion than they were at Cedar Point, but that didn’t stop us from going.

At first, I was skeptical about going to an amusement park in July. From working at Cedar Point in 2012 and 2013, I knew how crowded it would get around the 4th of July week. Also, it was extremely humid in Virginia and I wasn’t looking forward to waiting in long lines in extreme temperatures. But we were in for quite the surprise.

When you first walk into Kings Dominion, you are greeted by gorgeous landscape, with huge fountains in the middle of the walkway surrounded by trees. On each side of the walkway, there are colorful shops and food places to walk into. This entryway into the park also plays wonderful music, which made everything that much better. I cannot explain how beautiful and scenic the front of the park was, but it was very welcoming and calm and made us excited to get started riding the day away.

At first, we couldn’t decide what to ride when we arrived. None of us had been to Kings Dominion before—the only park that we had ever really gone to was Cedar Point. This was strange for us, it was our first time in another park and we didn’t know where anything was or what anything was (it was especially weird for my brother and I. After years of being ride hosts and knowing where all the rides were and giving out directions on how to get to specific rides, we found ourselves on the other end of the rope). We found ourselves at the entrance to Volcano: The Blast Coaster, a suspended coaster that takes you into a volcano and spits you out like lava. The line moved quickly, and we were on in no more than ten minutes. It was a great start to the day.

Shortly after, we decided to ride Backlot Stunt Coaster, which was a family friendly ride for those of all ages. My family particularly enjoyed this one, as it was tamer than most of the other coasters in the park. My mother and my older sister are not thrill seekers like my dad, my brother, my little sister, and me are, so they really enjoyed riding Backlot Stunt Coaster. This coaster was a lot of fun to ride, as it was themed appropriately.

We were really looking forward to riding Intimidator 305, a ride that can be compared to that of Millennium Force. The difference here was it was a little smaller in height, and hits a maximum speed of 90mph. In addition, this coaster has over the shoulder harnesses, as opposed to Millennium Force’s lap bar. Nevertheless, Intimidator 305 was amazing. Instead of getting to the top and looking at the surrounding water, you’re looking at nothing but forest, and it’s a long way down to the bottom of the hill. Intimidator 305 was three minutes of pure excitement.

It was at this point, when we were getting in line for Intimidator 305 that we realized there was no line to wait through. We made it right up to the platform in less than a minute. It was incredible—we couldn’t believe it. We have been used to waiting in hour-long lines for years, and here we were encountered with little to no waits on all of the coasters we decided to ride. This was definitely a plus, and made our day that much better.

We hit up Flight of Fear next, the indoor roller coaster that reminded us of the late Disaster Transport. This coaster was completely space themed, as the platform featured different aliens encased in glass surrounding the control panel. What was really exciting about this ride was the launch at the beginning that sends riders into screams. This coaster also goes upside down, which we weren’t expecting at all, but it made it a lot more fun to ride.

We decided to check out Anaconda, and ended up having the whole train to ourselves. The most exciting part about this coaster was the underwater tunnel—we never had this experience before, so it was fun to ride this coaster. In addition, we rode the wooden coaster Hurler, which turned out to be a bumpy and aggressive ride. I wasn’t expecting this at all, but it made it a lot of fun as the coaster took all kinds of unexpected twists and turns.

However, my favorite coaster at Kings Dominion was Dominator. This coaster was a floorless coaster (like Cedar Point’s expected Rougarou!), reaching speeds of 67 miles per hour and having one of the biggest vertical loops in the world. This was my first ever experience on a floorless coaster, and my brother and I had to ride Dominator more than once. It was an amazing experience, which makes me incredible excited for Rougarou. Dominator lived up to its name, and I’m so happy I got a chance to ride it.

Kings Dominion is also very family-friendly. They have Planet Snoopy, Dinosaurs Alive, Woodstock Express (which we also rode, it was a lot of fun!), and other smaller rides including Boo Blasters (which my family couldn’t get enough of). Perhaps one of our favorite family attractions was the Singing Mushrooms, which were reinstated for the 40th anniversary of the park. This attraction includes an animatronics set of our mushrooms and a frog that plays piano while the mushrooms sing. These mushrooms were very entertaining and always attracted a large crowd when they would start up singing again.

My experience at Kings Dominion was an amazing one. From the short lines to the incredible landscapes, I would highly recommend this park to everyone. This was a big highlight of my family’s summer vacation, and every moment there was fun and memorable. So if you ever find yourself in Virginia or want to go to more Cedar Fair parks, Kings Dominion is the place to go!

-Olivia Buzzacco

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