Kings Dominion: Launch Coaster Capital in the Heart of Virginia Kings DominionDoswell, VAPark MapTickets & PricingLast Visit: Summer 2004 Kings Dominion is located about 20 miles north of Richmond, VA and about 70 miles south of Washington D.C. It was my home park growing up and I’ve visited countless times. I’ve seen the park grow over the years and I’ve had plenty of time to notice the blemishes and not so positive things. So I’m probably more critical of this park than any other. I’ll try to be as fair as possible in my review. Today, Kings Dominion boasts 13 roller coasters including 4 launch coasters. Last year, the park was acquired by Cedar Point parent company Cedar Fair. As a result of its former affiliation as a Paramount park it shares similar attractions with Carowinds, Kings Island, Great America, and Canada’s Wonderland. Theming & AtmosphereTheming at Kings Dominion has been largely dictated by its relationship with Paramount. Some of the movie themed attractions have included: Hurler (Wayne’s World), Days of Thunder Motion Simulator, Tomb Raider: Firefall, Italian Job: Turbo Coaster, and Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Mansion. With Cedar Fair at the helm, these rides may be re-named. The park’s sections like The Grove, International Street, and Congo are minimally themed. On the bright side, the park is pretty clean and has a decent amount of trees. From the top of the Eiffel Tower replica or Drop Zone you have a great view of the surrounding Virginia forest. Notable Rides & AttractionsKings Dominion has a strong selection of non-coasters. Drop Zone: Stunt Tower is one of the tallest drop tower rides in the world at 305 feet tall. Berzerker, located on International Street, is one of the few swinging ship rides that actually inverts. Nickelodeon Central features Blues Clues and Rugrats attractions for the little ones. Kidzville has attractions like the drive n’ shoot ride Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion that still bare the Hanna Barbera theming that Kings Dominion had long ago. Many Virginian kids remember growing up eating Smurf Ice Cream and riding Smurf Mountain (which is now Volcano). Water Works, a large water park, will debut its second wave pool and two new water slides this year. Admission to Water Works is included admission to the park. Coaster Breakdown – One Star, With a Large but Mediocre Supporting CastVolcano is the Star Attraction Italian Job Turbo Coaster – Steel Family Launch Coaster – N/AA launch coaster themed after the popular Italian Job movie. The train cars are Mini Coopers equipped with speakers that add to the experience. While I haven’t ridden Kings Dominion’s version, I have a review of Kings Island’s clone. Check out my full review and video. Taxi Jam – Steel Kiddie Coaster – N/AA small kiddie coaster in the Nickelodeon section of the park. Shockwave – Steel Stand-Up Coaster – 3.5Nearly unrideable, this stand-up coaster should’ve been scrapped along time ago. Check out my complete review along with an on-ride video. Hurler – Wooden Coaster – 4.0Anyone remember Wayne’s World? If you would’ve ridden the Hurler when that movie was hot you would’ve had a great ride. Not today though, the Hurler has aged poorly. Scooby Doo’s Ghoster Coaster – Wooden Coaster – 5.0 (Average)Smaller wooden coaster for the kids and adults with short legs. All can ride, but taller riders won’t be comfortable. Great gateway coaster for the young ones. Rebel Yell – Wooden Racing Coaster – 5.5 (Average)An old racing coaster that races infrequently. One train is facing backwards and one faces forwards. A bit rough, but it still gives some good moments of air on the first drop. Hang in there old-timer! Ricochet – Steel Wild Mouse Coaster – 5.5 (Average)Hairpin turns in small four person cars. Not your standard layout for a wild mouse. Anaconda – Steel Looping Coaster – 6.5 (Above Average)Steel looping coaster set on a pond with an underwater tunnel. Short and a little rough, but pretty fun. Check out my complete review along with an on-ride video. Avalanche – Steel Bobsled Coaster – 7.0 (Good)Great family coaster with surprising speed and g-forces. Grizzly – Wooden Coaster – 7.0 (Good)Popular old woodie hiding in the woods of the Old Dominion section of the park. Flight of Fear – Steel Launch Coaster – 7.5 (Good)First roller coaster with LIMs, its success undoubtedly helped to kick off the launch coaster era. Check out my complete review along with links to an on-ride video. Dominator – Steel Floorless CoasterDuring Winter 2007, Cedar Fair moved this B&M floorless coaster from its Geauga Lake park to Kings Dominion. Dominator boasts the world’s largest loop, a smooth ride, and several other inversions. More on Dominator at Kings Dominion…>>> Volcano: The Blast Coaster – Steel Inverted Launch Coaster – 8.5 (Great)One of the best launch coasters around. 70 mph never felt so fast. Check out my complete review along with an on-ride video. Defunct Roller Coasters:Hypersonic XLC – Steel Launch Coaster – 6.0 (Slightly Above Average)Don’t blink! Coasters don’t get much shorter than this. Luckily, the launch may make it worth your while. Check out my complete review along with an on-ride video. King Kobra – Steel Shuttle Coaster – Removed in 1986 Kings Dominion Q.Q.M.Quantity – 13Quality – 5.9/10 (Above Average)Mix – Strong Get There Index – 3 out of 4(Coaster Enthusiasts Must Go, Recommended for General Public)Bottom line: Kings Dominion has Volcano, three other launch coasters, four wooden roller coasters, a bobsled coaster, a large water park, and a good variety of other attractions. The park has such a large and diverse collection that it’s a must visit for coaster enthusiasts. There are only a handful of parks in the World that could match Kings Dominion lineup in terms of variety, not necessarily quality. I also recommend Kings Dominion for the general public. Kids will find plenty to do in the two kid sections and even the non-adventurous will enjoy marveling at the modern thrill rides of the day. See the rest of the G.T.I. & How I Rate Theme Parks. Got any questions or comments about Kings Dominion? Leave a comment below. Some images courtesy of CoasterImage.com 10 Responses Judy P in Pgh April 25, 2007 I'm getting a MaxxPass this year, so I'll definitely be down to visit King's Dominion! Reply The Coaster Critic April 26, 2007 It's interesting that the same pass that gives you access to the same Cedar Fair parks (13 or so) costs different at different parks.For example, the Maxx Pass is only $89 at Kings Dominion while at Geauga Lake its $125. Not sure what your plans are Judy, but you could save some dough by going to KD first. Last year I saved quite a bit getting my Six Flags season pass at Kentucky Kingdom rather than Great Adventure or America. Of course my coupons were only good for KK. Either way the Maxx Pass is worth it, if you visit about 4 times. That's quite a roster of parks.Kings Dominion (Richmond, VA) Kings Island (Cincinnati, OH), Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH),Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom (Aurora, OH), Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom (Allentown, PA), Canada's Wonderland (Toronto, Canada), Michigan's Adventure (Muskegon, MI),Worlds of Fun (Kansas City, MO), Valleyfair! & White Water Country (Minneapolis, MN), Great America (Santa Clara, CA), Knott's Berry Farm (Buena Park/Orange County, CA). Reply Anonymous June 29, 2007 When it was announced that Cedar Fair would be buying Paramounts amusement parks it seems that most of the blogs & websites could not think critically. None had nothing but praise for how GREAT cedar Fair is. This despite the fact that Paramount was able to tie-in there television & movie themes. now, here we are. Cedar Fair is in control @ Kings Dominion. What has KD gained? Not even a new ride this year. If maintaining teh status quo is good then be happy. Otherwise, the great Cedar Fair has done nothing for Kings Dominion. Maybe they will look out for their "home" parks (Kings Island) but I don't see anything new at KD. Reply Emma May 26, 2008 I am confident that Cedar Fair's acquisition of King's Dominion will be beneficial. This year, they've added The Dominator from defunct Geauga Lake… that coaster looks pretty cool. Just because they haven't immediately made a ton of improvements doesn't mean they will. I mean, they just acquired a slew of new parks… for finance's sake, they have to gradually improve the parks. Cedar Fair, overall, makes very good decisions. And it would be smart if they axed Shockwave… TOGO's out of business for a reason… Reply Schwarz October 22, 2009 Tomorrow I finally get to take a trip to Kings Dominion again. I'm really exited because i've never rode the dominator before and i'm really looking forward to that. I also get to experience KD's halloween haunt. I'll be sure to say if its better than scarowinds or not. Reply The Coaster Critic October 22, 2009 That's cool Schwarz. Feel free to leave any mini reviews on my Kings Dominion ride review posts. And if you happen to take pictures of Intimidator 305's construction, let me know and I'll post them. Enjoy Dominator! Reply Schwarz October 25, 2009 Ok I'm back from my trip and it was AWESOME!!! The dominator was great! Sorry about the pictures though, it was raining the majority of the time so I didn't take any. The halloween haunt was much better than scarowinds in my opinion. I even met up with the members of kdfansite on volcano when they were taking the behind the screams tour! The best haunted house was club blood hands down, and the best scare zone was feary tales. Anyone who can go to this next year I highly recommend it! Reply Coasterluva97 June 21, 2010 <3 KD Reply Coasterluva97 July 5, 2010 at the top of americana, you can see the ramains of hypersonic XLC. 😀 Reply Jessie October 29, 2017 Went 4 years ago for Halloween Haunt and it was awesome! Went again for 2017 and it was dismal at best. Prices are ridiculous, wait times so long you could spend half a day or more waiting to ride two rides, no joke. We waited two hours for the Volcano before giving up. I spent a ton of money for on hotel and tickets for a day of ride fun only to get on ONE ride the whole day. Wait times ruined entire day including the haunted attractions. If I wanted to wander around a park and just to drink beer all day I could’ve hit the city park for free. Waste of a weekend and will NEVER return. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.