Hi everyone! Before you start reading this article I would like to note that we visited the park on April 2nd. I meant to have this article out sooner, but unfortunately it has been a busy couple of weeks for me. Still, I found that everything in it is relevant and I’ve tried to put a more “broad” scope on it than a regular construction update would have. Sorry for the delay in getting it out, but I still hope you enjoy!
Welcome to our first 2016 update for our home park, Kings Dominion! A couple of weeks ago, we went down to the park for the first time in six months (which felt like an eternity) to check out everything new for 2016! In this update, I will go over everything we saw going on at the park!
Let’s start our update with a review of Kings Dominion’s newest attraction, Delirium! Sitting in the former location of Shockwave, Delirium is the latest addition to Kings Dominion’s flat ride lineup. Although it feels weird not seeing the bright green track of Shockwave, Delirium looks good. In my opinion, the paint scheme and logo both look great. The queue is long, and there is some shade if there is a line on a sunny day. The attraction has convenient storage for bags with bins being near the location of your seat. Now, most importantly, the ride itself was great. These “frisbee” flat rides are some of the best out there. This was my first time on the Mondial manufactured version of the attraction, and it was very good. It’s one of the best, if not the best, flat ride at Kings Dominion. And yes, it is a major improvement compared to Shockwave!
While we’re on the subject of Delirium, the neighboring flat ride, the Bad Apple, received a new paint job and lighting package! The fresh coat of red paint looks fantastic!
Along the Kings Dominion midway, there is some more news:
The park has installed a new system of kiosks and cards for their midway games. At the game on the left, you can clearly see one of the new kiosks.
Candy Apple Grove also looked fantastic. It seemed there were even more flowers and landscaping than usual!
Another positive of our visit was that the Kings Dominion employees were extremely friendly. It was actually one of the best visits I’ve had to a park in terms of friendliness.
Now, it’s time to focus on the few negative aspects of our visit. Of the issues, one was more disappointing than the others, and that one was our Dominator ride.
I love riding Dominator. Last season, I began to call it the second best coaster at Kings Dominion. Last fall, I rode the ride and experienced some minor head-banging. It wasn’t very bad, it was definitely tolerable. Earlier in the season though, it was incredibly rough. Instead of a quick head-bang at the start of the loop, there were consistent moments of roughness throughout the ride. Hopefully, the attraction is just “warming up” for the season and will improve later, but it was not an enjoyable first ride (it actually was a bad ride rather than just being okay like last fall).
Besides the roughness on Dominator, the other negative parts of our experience were not as big. One of these things was broken targets on Boo Blasters. The final scene did not work last year and still does not work. Although this is minor, it is notable. It’s not something that ruins a day, but it was worth mentioning. On the Backlot Stunt Coaster, the helicopter scene wasn’t even on. In my opinion, that significantly lessened the experience. The only other “problem” was the Flight of Fear queue, which contains construction walls and is brighter than it should be due to last Halloween’s new maze, which sits within the queue. The increased lightning does not allow you to experience the themed queue the way you should.
Finally, I decided to visit Dinosaur’s Alive. Thank goodness that attraction is included in the season pass. The animatronics were not very good, you could hear I-95 clearly back there, and the animatronics made a painful ringing sound in certain spots, but from back there you got a beautiful view of Grizzly! And speaking of Grizzly, the attraction received some work during the off-season!
Grizzly clearly received a lot of work during the winter. With a fresh coat of paint on the trains and new wood on the track, the ride seems to have received a larger renovation than usual. This is just a theory I have, but I think this longer renovation may have prevented to the park from improving Hurler last winter.
Speaking of Hurler, here are some pictures of the work done so far on the attraction that is not operating this season:
There wasn’t very much work that had been done on Hurler, but some wood was replaced on the first drop. We did actually uncover some breaking news on Hurler. Although the park has stated that the ride is going to have an in-house renovation, we have confirmed Hurler is receiving the RMC Iron Horse Treatment! 😉
Okay, back to the serious news! The Spring Bloom Festival started on April 16th, and the park had set up several elements of the event by the time we visited including signs:
From the top of the Eiffel Tower, a lot of wood was visible backstage. This is most likely going to be used for Hurler.
Now is where the speculative side of me comes out:
The first photo is of Intimidator 305 is from July of last year, the second is from this month. Look at the left side of the image. The grass is gone. I do not think this is going to be anything, but I still thought it was worth noting. I try not to let the Kings Dominion fan side of me come out, so I am not going to speulate much, but there is always the chance that it actually is something interesting. Based on the pictures though, the area has definitely been dug up:
One of the final changes in the park was at the Action Theater. Instead of the Dinosaur film (which explains the dinosaur sitting there) that was previously playing, they are now showing a Robinson Crusoe animated film. We did not experience the attraction, but I still miss when it was themed to Spongebob.
Now that we are done with the news and reviews, I am going to leave you with some nice pictures of the park!
For that last photo, I have to give credit to TP&T Kate. She stole my camera as I rode I-305. Somehow I am the only fan of the ride in our group (I know, the other group members are indeed crazy).
What do you think of Hurler’s renovation? Do you think the newly cleared area behind I-305 is anything? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow Theme Parks and Travels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information! You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Don’t forget to give our west coast correspondent, Michael, a follow on Twitter and Instagram! You can also subscribe to us on Apple News by searching “Theme Parks and Travels” in the app!