Recently, Kings Dominion announced that they will be closing Shockwave. For those who don’t know, Shockwave is the park’s stand-up roller coaster. The ride opened in 1986 and is currently the world’s oldest operating stand-up roller coaster. It is one of two Togo roller coasters left in the United States, with the other being the Manhattan Express at the New York New York hotel in Las Vegas. Shockwave is an iconic roller coaster for Kings Dominion and is going to be missed by several fans (not me, I hated it).
The good thing about Shockwave going is that Kings Dominion is going to bring something better to fill the hole in their lineup. The only question is, what could this be? Some have said another waterpark expansion, some have said a flat ride, and some have said a roller coaster. So far, nothing at all has been confirmed. In this article, I will show you what we have seen and I will tell you what it leads us to believe.
Intimidator Possible Name Change Update – Recently, Kings Dominion’s Intimidator and Carowinds’s Intimidator both began sales on merchandise from the gift shops. They both started at 40% off and recently Carowinds’s increased to 60% off. The moment the sales started, rumors began to spread. The current theory is that the rights to the name “Intimidator” will expire and won’t be renewed. The Kings Dominion sale is still only at 40% off. That’s all for now, but stay tuned on social media for changes.
Kings Dominion 2016/Shockwave Replacement Update – Now, let’s move on to the Shockwave replacement and 2016 project. Below, I have some pictures of flags that have a high possibility of being markers for land clearing near Shockwave. There were two types of markers as seen below.
So, those are the two types of flag markers. The first one was larger, and I only could see one marker like it. The lower image shows a smaller flag. There were several of these in the woods behind Shockwave and even some next to the Blue Ridge Tollway attraction. These small flags seemed to be next to individual trees and may signal the removal of trees, but this is unconfirmed. The larger flag definitely seems to mean that something is going to happen, but we are unsure of what.
Now, I know I’m saying a lot of things about location, so below is a Google Earth Image featuring markers of the locations I am referring to. The star was about where I was standing, which was on a pathway from the Eiffel Tower that travels between the circled areas. In green is the location of the Shockwave coaster. In yellow is the woods behind Shockwave. In pink is the Blue Ridge Tollway, which takes up a lot of space for an attraction that not too many people actually ride. So, the large marker is located within the yellow circle and smaller flags are within both the yellow and pink circles.
Rumors have been swirling and most have been guessing that they will put flat rides such as a slingshot into Shockwave’s current place. That, and possibly a few other thrill rides would mash together very well in the space, and would be great additions to the park. Unfortunately, that would mean that Kings Dominion will go seven whole years without a new roller coaster (2010-2017). Others want Kings Dominion to build a Triotech dark ride. Sadly, Cedar Fair’s CEO claimed that they don’t have any of these in the works for 2016 (he might have been trying to mislead us).
For those of us hoping for the park to build a roller coaster, we still have some hope. The Shockwave location is large enough for a S&S Free-fly roller coaster or something similarly compact, but I’m unsure that Cedar Fair currently has a good relationship with S&S (I don’t think they’ve build any S&S rides in a long time). If the park were to clear the areas of trees, they could easily fit a new roller coaster into the space. By removing the Blue Ridge Tollway, Shockwave, and possibly the nearby theater, Kings Dominion could fit in a large B&M roller coaster with room to spare. To show that the park could fit a roller coaster within the space, the following images are of rides that would fit very well at Kings Dominion from similar altitudes (I’ve also posted the Shockwave area image so you can compare it with the other images).
The two roller coasters I’ve pictured are Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa and X-Flight at Six Flags Great America. These two roller coasters are possible rides that could easily fit into Kings Dominion’s lineup and the pictured amount of space. Some may think that Busch Gardens Williamsburg has a contract with B&M that won’t allow B&M to build coasters at Kings Dominion, but I personally don’t believe that one bit. Besides, if the contract is real, the rumors point to it ending this year. To get back on topic, a B&M Invert or a B&M Wingrider could fit into the space Shockwave and the Blue Ridge Tollway currently sit on.
Another big Kings Dominion rumor comes from artwork on the Cedar Fair website. The picture shows a mysterious green and orange B&M hypercoaster (it is the exact same design as Diamondback from a similar picture of Kings Island, but recolored) in the back of the park. Now, this could easily be artistic embellishment, but I can see it as a possibility for the future of Kings Dominion.
While climbing up the lift hill for Intimidator 305, something bright caught my eye in the woods behind Kings Dominion. The fast lift hill doesn’t provide much time to look, but I can confirm that there was a bulldozer in what looked like it could be a freshly cleared piece of land (I can’t guarantee that it was freshly cleared land, but I can guarantee that I saw a bulldozer). Since I didn’t want to sneak a camera on I-305, I took to the top of the Eiffel Tower and Windseeker to get a glimpse of the clearing, but it wasn’t visible from those spots.
The clearing is somewhere behind the waterpark and Intimidator 305, but I couldn’t find the exact location from the Eiffel Tower. Here’s about where I thought it was (somewhere in the trees).
When you look at this picture from Google Earth, there are clearings back there, but something tells me that the land was cleared recently. Somewhere within the yellow circle was where I saw the bulldozer. If Kings Dominion accesses this area, they could build pretty much any kind of roller coaster that you can imagine. The green circles are possible entrances to this new ride. If the bulldozer is not just sitting in a field waiting to demolish Shockwave, which it could easily be doing, then I can see Kings Dominion installing anything from a hypercoaster to a wingrider in the back of the park. This is great news for those of us hoping for the park to receive a new coaster next year. Now, I can’t confirm that Kings Dominion is going to build a roller coaster, but the bulldozer is a definite sign of an ongoing land clearing project or one that is about to start. Either way, this means something new will most likely come in 2016.
That was our Kings Dominion update. Are you excited for 2016 at Kings Dominion? Do you think they are getting a roller coaster, or do you think they will get something different? Share your thoughts with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! You can also find us on YouTube, Google+, and Tumblr! Thank you for visiting Theme Parks and Travels! Be sure to follow us here on WordPress and share with the buttons below!