My wife and I recently went to King's Dominion on an early fall weekend and had a really great time. I lived in Ohio and went to Cedar Point a lot when I was younger, so I'm kind of spoiled for theme parks. I have a really high standard, but I was pleasantly surprised at King's Dominion. We went on a Sunday in September, which is a great time to go. You can get discounted admission tickets online for Sundays in September, the weather is cooler, and kids are back in school so we never waited more than 10 minutes in line. Of course the water park is closed, but we went there to ride roller coasters, so no big deal. We started with the wooden coasters - Grizzly, Hurler, and Rebel Yell. Then we moved on to the Backlot Stunt Coaster. This was the first launch coaster (linear induction motor) I had been on. The swift acceleration without gravity was surprising and a lot of fun. And there are two others of this type - Volcano, which winds in and out of a mountain, and Flight of Fear that spins around inside and almost completely dark room. My wife doesn't like the tower rides, so I rode the Drop Tower twice by myself while she had some ice cream. Dropping 272 feet at up to 72 mph, its a quick drop. Personally, I think its too quick to even be scared. But why not ride it a couple times if there's no line and I can jump right back on. We also rode the Anaconda and Dominator, but the most exciting ride is the Intimidator 305, with a NASCAR theme. With a 300 foot drop at up to 90 mph, followed by a sharp turn, the g-force experienced was really intense. I rode this one several times and I was close to blacking out from the acceleration every time. The ride then has a series of sharp turns and short hills for a negative g-force sensation. This was an amazing ride - I really enjoyed it so I can say that King's Dominion is almost up to a Cedar Point quality park.
Though they trenches don't show up well in the photos, these really are among the best-preserved from the Civil War. The fronts of the trenches still reach four to six feet high with lateral walls coming off every 15-20 feet or so to allow local breakthroughs to not put the entire line at risk. The trenches are smack in the middle of a forest today. Imagine no trees - there certainly were none to the front of the trenches. At the end of the trail, you find the apex of the inverted 'v'. The North Anna River is far below. This was a very tough position for anyone to think about attacking. The Federals did not really think too hard about it, preferring to maneuver to the southeast when it was obvious that Lee was not going to budge.
Extending back into what seems to be primeval forest, from the parking lot a well-laid out trail will take you back - in about 2.4 miles - through the forests to several stops where you can see where Lee's men had dug in on the inverted 'v' line above the Ox Ford, effectively cutting the Federal army in half. The trees were not there at the time of the battle, what trees there were having been chopped down to help make defensive positions stouter. There are nine stops along the trail with informational panels describing the line and the lone Federal attack of Brig Gen. James Ledlie on May 24.
This is a double wooden roller coaster that was there at the opening of the park. However, I didn't work up the courage to ride it until 4 years later. In the early 1990s they added a new twist: one of the tracks goes backwards.
At the time it was built (1991), the Anaconda was the biggest roller coaster in the park. The lift hill reaches 140 feet (40 m.), it makes a slight turn, and descends into a tunnel UNDER the lake, goes through two loops, and winds up with a series of corkscrew turns.
This roundabout was originally built in 1917 and used at a fun fair in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1974-75, the Philadelphia Toboggan Company restored the old roundabout for the (then) new King's Dominion. It still operates in place today.
Although this coaster has changed paint jobs several times since it was introduced in 1975, it is still in place albeit in a bright blue colour now. The photo has it in its original colour. Junior sized wooden roller coasters are rare, so it's good that the folks at Paramount at least kept this one.
The Avalanche is a roller coaster whose cars are fashioned after winter olympic bobsleds. It's not really an up and down roller coaster like the Grizzly and Rebel Yell, but rather it sort of corkscrews back down to the station house. It doesn't have a high lift hill, nor is it very fast, but it is a smoother ride than the Grizzly.
In 1986, King's Dominion officially arrived when it opened a standup roller coaster called Shock Wave. It has a 95 ft. (29 m.) lift hill, a loop, and a series of corkscrews. In August, 1999, another irresponsible guest died. He broke free of his restraints at the top of the lift hill and fell off the ride. Ironically, the Shock Wave was put in the same place as the Galaxy where another fatal incident of irresponsibility occurred almost exactly 16 years earlier.
The Grizzly (the Rebel Yell's backwoods single-track cousin) opened in 1982. It is every bit as high and fast as the Rebel Yell, but you get more "air time" (time where the g forces lift you slightly out of your seat) and it manhandles you more than the yell (it takes sharp turns faster).
Blue Ridge Parkway is great for folks of all ages. These are Model T Ford replicas with lawn mower engines. There is no way to have an accident because the cars run on a groove on the path. Old folks like it because it reminds them of old times, young folks like it because they get to "drive". When I was young, I was intrigued by the different colours.
Before super soaker rides came into being, log flume rides were sufficient to provide refreshment on a hot day. However, even with White Water Canyon and Diamond Falls, the Shenandoah Lumber Company still cools folks off without getting them overly drenched.
If you want to get wet, this is the ride for you. It is very refreshing ride on a hot summer day, but I would bring along a dry pair of socks because you get wet to the very marrow of your bone.
From the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower replica, you can see for miles. However on that hazy day, you could barely see the paper mill on the other side of the woods just beyond the Rebel Yell.
King's Dominion's landmark is a 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. It stands at 331 ft. (100 m.) high and on a clear day, you can see the Richmond skyline from the southern observation deck.