King's Dominion & Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Associated parks:

This was my second year in a row for BGW, but my first experience with PKD. Going in chronological order...PKD is up first. We got there on the 4th at about 5:30, and immediately headed for Volcano:The Blast Coaster. Waited for about 45 minutes, which I heard from locals was a fairly short wait. This ride was really awesome, and was great way to get me psyched for the rest of the evening. Being with the in-laws for the trip, I had to get psyched about my experiences because these people are about as far removed from coasters and parks as you can get in life. Each rollover just kicked butt, and the launches were intense. Well, the in-laws found me nuts, but Tomb Raider:Firefall was next for me. Not even my wife would go for this one. But the special effects made this ride for me, along with the dozens of people sitting around as an audience. It made many of us feel the need to perform and make the ride seem agonizing when in was fun!

We, (me and my wife), rode Anaconda next...and I have the bruises to prove it! Amazing to me was that the inversions seemed to be the smoothest parts, and the underwater tunnel...hardly noticed it. Now I've been pretty open in the past about my daughters love for flats, (she's almost 5), but she never really has got any joy out of coasters. Well, that all changed this trip for her. She took three huge steps this trip:

1) Avalanche - She rode this baby at least a 1/2 dozen times over the two days we were there. She was addicted!

2) Richochet - I'm pretty sure I butchered the spelling there but, oh well... Lots of laughs for this ride, her exact words, "It makes my belly tickle!" She's goof, what can I say. But it wasn't fun enough for her to re-ride.

...the other two huge steps come later.

Day Two: This was ride breakdown day at PKD. I was starting to feel guilty because every time I got near a coaster or got off a broke! Four in all, starting with Hypersonic XLC. Now it broke just before I got to the queline. But once it reopened we were nearby and jumped to the front of line. All I can say is 0-80 is really fast when your on a short track. But it was Xtreme. Hurler...I was looking forward to this woodie because it's design was a turned-around version of Thunder Run at SFKK, (one of my favorite woodies). This ride was a far cry from smooth, even by wood standards, but was tolerable. It broke down about 10 minutes after I departed. Grizzly was a fun woodie, pretty well hidden by the woods, but unfortunately doomed because I was riding it. As we went up the lift hill the the train was rocking to the right like it was off balance, but the ride was great. As we came back into the station though the announcement was already being made that Grizzly would be shut down for some "minor adjustments". I'm no real fan of stand-up's, but hey, I'm trying to hold true to my goal I made here on the forum earlier this year and exceed 100 coasters this season. So I headed for Shockwave, and as I rounded the corner I see a train in the brake run, no biggie, that's normal. But there are also ride op's walking beside the train talking to people. What's worse, the other train is stuck on the lift hill and is unloading a few people, but not the whole train. Never stuck around to find out what happened, but nobody appeared to be injured which was very good.

At this point, we headed to Rebel Yell. It was a fun little coaster race, which my train lost, nothing new when compared to my past with the Racers @ PKI. But still, a fun woodie.

In closing, the similarities to PKI were creepy at times, though PKD was more beautiful, and welcome with it's well shaded walkways and forested areas. I like how PKD has put it's Paramount Gardens around the perimeter of the Eifel Tower. The overall layout though was horrible. For a first-timer at PKD the kids areas were a nightmare, though we found the best place to cool off was "Treasure Cave".

Never got to Shockwave, Taxi Jam, or Flight Of Fear, (but FOF's lines were out the door and covered the first 3-4 I'm assuning it's as much fun as PKI's). We had to get to Williamsburg that night so we left early evening to get to our resort. Part Two of this trip will be up as soon as I can get my thoughts together, but before I go...

Best Ride - Volcano:The Blast Coaster

Worst Ride - Anaconda

Best Food - Bubba Gump's

Biggest Surprise - Tomb Raider:Firefall

Now officially a Halloween Haunt Cornstalker for Fall '08!
What? You hated Anaconda? That is one of the smoother Arrows! You hit it on a bad day, The only real rough part, is after the breakrun were it does all the twisting, then the corkscrews are pretty smooth too. To bad you missed Shockwave, You missed an opertunity to ride a smooth Togo! lol.


Ya know... I hear that about Anaconda a lot and maybe riding in the front where I usually ride isn't the best place to ride but I have a similar experience with Anaconda. Rough and head bangin! I actually prefer Mind Eraser to Anaconda.

A day at the park is what you make it!

Did I miss the BGW review? ;)
Congratulations, you nailed the spelling of Richochet:) The worst part of Anaconda is those darn butterfly turns after the midcourse. Otherwise, it's not too bad. Even though I've been to PKD numerous times over the years, I agree that the layout is not very user friendly, especially to a first-time visitor.
No, you haven't missed it. I just have to find time to write it. And since I'm long-winded it may take a while, (I wish I were kidding!).

Now officially a Halloween Haunt Cornstalker for Fall '08!
Not sure if you were attempting humor there Intamin Fan . . regardless, it's spelled Ricochet. Whatever. No big whoop. :)

Rich G

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