Virginia’s Only Active Volcano
I was there the first day this coaster opened in the Summer of ’98. Thanks to the LIMs (linear induction magnets) which have changed the face of roller coasters, the launch is one of the most amazing coaster experiences I’ve ever witnessed. The acceleration is so raw and powerful. Anyway, it’s indescribable how cool it feels. 0 to 70 in a matter of seconds! Don’t try that in your Jetta, trust me you won’t even come close. Some eight years later launch coasters are all over the country and world, but Volcano was one of the first and is still one of the best of this new breed.

Unfortunately, after the launch, the ride is good, but not great. On the back side of the mountain there’s plenty of speed for another element or something more than just a banked turn back into the mountain. The climb up and out of the top is really cool, but the barrel rolls that follow are fun, but not breath-taking. You’re pretty high up there and one of the rolls makes you think you’ve just missed hitting the mountain.

I’ve gotta give Kings Dominion some credit though. It is a very unique coaster and theming is a step forward for this park. They took the old Smurf Mountain and did a great job re-theming it. There’s even fire that erupts from the top of the volcano. The timing for those eruptions must be perfect, because it looks like they could fry some riders if the timing was off. I just wish they would’ve done a little more with it. I envisioned the track going through the mountain more, similar to how Montu spends time flying through those canyons. Still it’s a great ride and shouldn’t be missed. It currently sits precariously at number 10 in my Top Coasters. Final Rating – 8.5 (Great-Approaching Excellent)

Want to know how good an 8.5 is? Check out my Coaster Rating System.

What’s Your Take
Got a comment or question about Volcano? Leave it below.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

10 Responses

  1. Zach

    For a really unique ride, try getting to Kings Dominion as early as possible and be on the Volcano as soon as it opens. The first time I ever rode it, we had arrived at Kings Dominion early for a special event where they opened the coaster early for us so we were literally the first ride of the day (about a year after it opened). I was quite surprised by the takeoff, but even more surprised when half-way out of the top of the volcano, we lost all momentum and proceeded backwards back down through the inside of the mountain the the station!

    Upon arrival the induction magnets slowed us down – so much so that it took about 5 minutes of slowly drifting backwards to reach the beginning of the magnet array. Employees explained this happened sometimes when the magnets weren't "warmed up yet." Not sure how scientific of an explanation this is, or whether the coaster still does this, but it was quite exciting and a unique experience.

  2. Rebeka

    I was so skiddish about riding it. But I rode it again and again and again. I think 5 o6 6 times. One of the best I've ever rode. One of the only inverted roller coasters I ever rode. Great review!

  3. Alex

    Volcano is quite the rush 🙂 Although I think alpengeist is more intense, I really think the lack of airtime on alpy kinda disappoints me. The heartline rolls on Volcano though? You can't stay in your seat!

    Anyways, I'm a little skittish about riding any roller coaster for that matter. I wish you could do a little post about roller coaster safety? Or how roller coaster restraints work? I have a real phobia about having a restraint flying open.

  4. DRU

    Love the launches. The front row makes the second launch much more scary… It feels like you will fly straight into the wall as the track goes vertical before exiting the volcano. The rest of the ride is pretty slow but the height keeps it thrilling enough.

  5. ToDreamOn

    My best friend was scared to death of this ride. I convinced her to give it a try, and now it's one of her favorites! Go figure. Love the feeling of the launch, and the airtime you get on the 3 barrel rolls really is great. Definitely one of my favorites in the limited amount of coasters I've been on so far.

  6. Sule

    Aside from the great launch, this is my least favorite coaster at KD. I just don’t get the hype, and hate the long lines. Then again, my favorites there are the Grizzly, Rebel Yell and Flight of Fear.


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