I think that King’s Dominion really flies under the radar with the general public. Its coaster lineup is definitely worth the trip no matter where you live, and we had no qualms about driving 7 hours to stuff our asses on rides like Dominator, Intimidator 305, and Twisted Timbers.
Let’s talk about Twisted Timbers first, because this was my most anticipated ride and the first one we ran (fast-walked – running is against park laws at King’s Dominion!) to on our first day. You might know by now that I am an RMC fan girl through and through and it JUST SO HAPPENS that this is an RMC! Originally, the park had a wooden coaster called The Hurler, which was themed to Wayne’s World back when Paramount owned the park. I never rode this (this was my first time here), but from what I heard, it was painful, rough, and just all-around not great.
Then Cedar Fair decided to give it the RMC treatment, which means that they hired Rocky Mountain Construction, now notorious for refabbing pieces of shit woodies and turning them into mind-bending works or engineering wonders, to come in and re-track the damn thing, converting it to steel and adding in elements that are just inexplicable, even after you’ve experienced it for yourself.
The theming on this was meant to insinuate that something had fallen from the sky, like a meteor, into the middle of an apple orchard, which was like, strange. But I appreciated that the queue had some shit in it and wasn’t just like a slab of asphalt (that was my only gripe about Kentucky Kingdom – their coaster collection is INSANE but they have absolutely no theming and the park just isn’t very attractive). We had to wait about 30 minutes for our inaugural ride, so it wasn’t utterly bad, considering this is still a pretty new ride for the park.
My initial review was, “……OK. That was….good.” This is my 4th RMC and the other three are real forces to be recognized with: Storm Chaser, Lightning Rod, and Steel Vengeance. I think Steel Vengeance (Steve<3) is my #1 but I only got to ride it twice. Lightning Rod is definitely my #2 but could go back to #1 RMC for me at some point, we’ll see how much Cedar Point fucks us next season. And Storm Chaser is #3 because it is just sheer insanity, so forceful, actually scary.
If I hadn’t already ridden those three, I think I would have been way more impressed with Twisted Timbers.
But, this was only my first ride, and we would go back the next day and revisit it.
OK, I shouldn’t like this ride because it’s themed after some Nascar dummy, but I like the Steel Curtain and that’s so fucking Steelers-themed that the only way it could be even more Steelers-related would be if the track was modeled after Ben Roethlisberger’s intestines.
God I hate football so much.
Anyway, this beast is a hyper, which means is stands at over 300 feet. I daresay, I liked it much better than Millennium Force and after riding it, I now get why the enthusiasts call Millie “Millennium Forceless” – Intimidator is so much crazier and I had such wicked greyouts each time I rode it that I was actually concerned I might pass all the way out, lol.
(We were telling Janna about this the following weekend and she was like, “IS THAT GOOD?!” Lol, what a n00b.)
I started referring this bad boy as “Daddy” for the rest of the weekend and it made Henry uncomfortable I think, but possibly less so once he realized that I wasn’t calling him Daddy.
Because, um, that would not be something I would do. Ever.
This kid was literally one of the slowest ride operators I have ever watched. This picture is from day 2, but he was also there the night before, when Chooch and I made a very poor life choice by deciding to get into the line for the front row, which has its own queue and I don’t really get it because the back seat is by far the best, however – we wanted that dramatic front-row night ride.
And that is how we ended up standing in line for 90 minutes (maybe 2 hours??) for a ride that only had a 30 minute standby time for every other row. The line didn’t look that long, OK? And it probably wouldn’t have been so bad if ride ops weren’t slower than Trump’s reading comprehension skills and we weren’t behind a quad of ultra-annoying boys who I would guess to be 9th graders
The people behind us were like, “THIS WAS THE WORST IDEA WHY DID WE GET IN THIS LINE” but honestly, at the time, it seemed like it would be OK because the main line was moving so quickly and the line for the front seemingly only had about 50 people in it and they were running two trains…
But goddamn it was so slow. I would place a large portion of the blame on the riders though because it was insane how many people just don’t follow directions. “Oh, there aren’t any bins here in the station? OK well, I’ll just hand all of my shit to the ride attendant – OMG the ride attendant won’t take my personal belonging and claim responsibility for them? ARE YOU KIDDING?”
Yeah seriously. So then all the restraints have to be unlocked because of one dumbass who has to now try and stuff all his shit in a pocket or whatever, and then all of the restraints have to be RECHECKED by two employees who do not believe in living a fast-paced life and are clearly mistaking this ride platform for a Louisiana bayou on a hot summer day. They were professional meanderers.
Chooch was so angry and kept saying, “Let’s just slip under the railing and get back in the regular line” but I wouldn’t budge. We had already wasted enough time in our quest for the front row and BY GOLLY I was going to slam my fat ass in that seat and enjoy the sensation of the wind drying out my contacts.
And it was worth every goddamn second we stood in line. There is nothing better than a motherfucking night ride on a roller coaster, especially one as threatening and, well, intimidating as Daddy. This ride is EVERYTHING.
Meanwhile, Henry wasn’t even concerned that we had been engulfed in the bowels of a passenger queue for nearly 2 hours and was just like, “Eh, I figured you chose the front row,” and shrugged it off. He was probably just happy to sit on a bench and read Reddit threads about wives being caught cheating on their husbands in Costco parking lots.
We rode it several more times the next day and I honestly cannot say enough good things about this ride. In fact, Henry made it onto an earlier train than us, and actually got back in line to ride it again afterward! And when he realized that he would be able to snag the second row right behind us, he actually RAN to claim his spot.
This is a first. Henry NEVER runs. Especially not at amusement parks! I think we’re like actually becoming a real family now or something. All of this bonding we’ve been doing has practically turned us into the Waltons.
(They were wholesome, right?)
Stupid Nascar shit.
Anaconda was pretty forgettable but I thought the ride itself was really striking. The colors were so vibrant and I liked that it was basically hovering over top of some weird swamp area.
Look at it!
We only rode this once, but the thing that sticks out the most to me is that we had a super annoying family in line behind us who let their kids do gymnastics on the railings and that the guy in the queue next to us had really cool Nikes that looked like the 1980s in shoe form so when we got off the ride, Chooch worked up the nerve to approach him and ask him what style they were and the guy had to actually look at the bottom of his shoe to answer him and now I already forget what they are but they started with a P I think in case you’re really like, “OH NO DON’T LEAVE US HANGING OVER THESE MYSTERY SHOES.”
Racer75 was MY SHIT. After riding the Racer at King’s Island, I had very low expectations for this one, but it was an airtime machine! It was so much fun, and we rode it at night so you can see Intimidator looming in the distance and it was really menacing and, you know, intimidating.
Even Henry was like “THIS WAS A GOOD RIDE. I LIKED IT.”
Apparently, it was recently retracked which explains why it was so smooth. The only downside is that they were only running one side so the racing element was missing, which was a real bummer. It wasn’t running the next day either so maybe they just shut down one side after the regular summer season? I DO NOT KNOW. I DO NOT RUN A PARK.
The next day, we were there for early entry and only one old man was able to beat us to Twisted Timbers, but then a handful of fast lane douches encroached on us and made it to the front row before us. I think we ended up being on the third train of the day because we insisted on trying out the front row while it was still early and the line was short but of course that’s where all the fast lane douches went too. Henry thought he was so great because he got in line for the third seat and was like, “BYE SUCKERS” when he got to ride before us. Whatever Henry.
This ride was so much better than the day before! So much so that we got off and walk-ran right back on and got the back row this time. We unfortunately were in line with some know-it-all coaster enthusiast who was like, “Just so you know, the fifth seat on the left side of the blue train has tighter restraints than any other row” and then kept talking about all the times he’s been on Steel Vengeance and in my head, I was like, “WHO ARE YOU EVEN TALKING TO?” He had a dumb hipster beard so I immediately discredited everything he was saying.
Anyway, after three rides on this bad boy, I can now say with much satisfaction and confidence that it is a GREAT RIDE. It has wicked airtime, barrel rolls, trick tracks, hangtime – it was worth the drive to Virginia and makes me do some daydreaming about how Kennywood could add an RMC to their lineup. I don’t think they would give any of their current coasters the RMC treatment since they’re all legit classics, nor would I want them to, but it would be so amazing to see how RMC could work with the limited space and crazy terrain that Kennywood has, much like they did with Lightning Rod at Dollywood. Can you imagine a quad-down hugging the side of a West Mifflin ravine??
I’m not a super big fan of floorless coasters but B&M’s Dominator really won me over. We only rode it twice – once at night in the back row, and once first thing in the morning on our second day (it was the only ride aside from the kiddy coasters that opens right away) in the front row with Henry, and I have to say, I enjoyed both rides very much!
And here we have Chooch and me on the backseat of Racer75 on our second day!
In total, we rode every coaster except for the dumbest of the two kiddy ones, so: Twisted Timbers, Apple Zapple, Grizzly, Flight of Fear (which Chooch hated at King’s Island but loved at King’s Dominion even though they’re identical but this one didn’t break down three times while we were in line, so maybe that’s why), Backlot Stunt Coaster, Avalanche (a really cool bobsled ride but not as fun as Flying Turns at Knoebel’s), Intimidator 305, Dominator, Woodstock Express which killed my knees, and Anaconda. This brought Chooch’s coaster count up to 97! So if this weekend pans out right, he should have 100 in no time. Fingers crossed!