Well, I decided to try a two day trip, as I have read people doing here many times, with other parks. Went with my wife, daughter, and son.
I have never been to Kings Dominion, but I have visited Carowinds one other time before.
I found a hotel 3 hours from both parks. Arrived at the hotel at 9:00pm June 11, 2011. Drove 3 hours 10 minutes to Kings Dominion, weather was possible PM Storms, and 92 degrees.
Basically we went to ride Intimidator 305, which until about 4pm was closed for maintenance. So we started with Dominator, just so we could say we rode it at Geauga Lake and Kings Dominion. Wait time was 1 car, it seemed smoother and faster than I remember. So then we just circled the park clockwise and hit the roller coasters in order.
Went to go on Volcano, saw Avalanche was being worked on, then we noticed it doesn't open til noon. Volcano was overhyped on all the TV shows so we just sat and enjoyed the slow launch compared to Wicked Twister and Maverick at Cedar Point. It is a nice coaster, but I think we had our hopes up too high, and the coaster seemed short.
Then headed to Flight of Fear, which I have ridden at Kings Island. I didn't fit well in the cars at Kings Island, but the cars at Kings Dominion seemed larger and more comfortable. The ride was faster, smoother, and even felt longer than I remember of the Kings Island Model. Great Coaster.
Intimidator 305, still down for maintenance, getting really hot..Started getting the free glasses of water, very cold, and larger cups than at Cedar Point.
Anaconda, sucker punched me, I am waiting for one of my teeth to crack later while eating steak or something, nice coaster, but can do without all the slamming of the head rest into my cheek.
Hit Rebel yell, one side running, very smooth, reminded me of a larger Blue Streak. Liked it, and I am not a fan of wooden coasters.
Then Avalanche was running, it really packs a punch, I love the floating of the cars in the track compared to Disaster Transports solid feeling car.
Eventually, Intimidator 305 was working, we headed over expecting a long wait, and wanted to end the day on this coaster. Three (3) train cars later we are on Intimidator 305. The harnesses are wonderful. very soft and roomy. All I was thinking was how was I not going to Black Out on this ride while going up the 1st hill, which flies up to the top. So instead of enjoying the fall, I started breathing like I was in labor. Breathe in-Breathe Out, Breathe-in... All the way down and through part of the 1st turn.....It didn't help, I grayed out a little, a couple places during the ride..My son said he completely blacked out from halfway thru the 1st curve, until the 1st air time hill, when blood rushed to his head, My daughter, said she grayed out a few times too. We came off the ride smiling from ear to ear, very fast, and spectacular 2nd half of the ride. Other than the gray outs, which occasionally I get on Millenium Force, the ride is a winner.
Left the park about 5pm to head back to hotel to go to Carowinds then next day.
Just went to Carowinds to Ride Intimidator. I liked it a lot better than Diamondback at Kings Island.. Faster, more turns, and more air time. We got to the park, waited 1 or 2 trains, sat in the fifth (5th) row, and we were in airtime heaven.. The line later in the day got to about 20 minute wait, but with the hot weather, we choose 1 times was enough, because every other ride in the park was a walk on, Except the spin and puke rides..which I love too. Hit Thunder Road, Dodgem's Scrambler, Afterburn, which unfortunately blow away Raptor. Had to cool off and watch the Snoopy Rocks On Ice, which seemed better than the first time I saw it. And got lots and lots of free water, with the larger cups than cedar point. Some stations, just kept cups out by the soda fountain for you to get yourself.. Any of those at Cedar Point?
Anyway, long report, but was excited to start a CoasterBuzz account to talk about more than just cedar point..We had two great weather days, sunny, 92 both parks, Stayed at the parks from 10:15am to 5:00pm.
Then had a absolutely horrible drive back to town, 13 hours, glad we are home.
Thanks for reading
"Other than the gray outs, which occasionally I get on Millenium Force, the ride is a winner."
What is so bad about graying out? I suppose i'm the opposite and actually enjoy it. To me they feel completely harmless and if my eyes were closed i couldn't even tell the difference :)
1.SV 2.El Toro 3.MF 4.I-305 5.Kumba
6.STR@SFNE 7.Voyage 8.X2 9.Storm Chaser 10. Wicked Cyclone
Then headed to Flight of Fear, which I have ridden at Kings Island. I didn't fit well in the cars at Kings Island, but the cars at Kings Dominion seemed larger and more comfortable.
Granted, I haven't been to KD in 4 years, but I had the opposite experience. I rode the one at KI that same summer with no issues, but the one at KD remains the only coaster I've ever had to take the fatty walk of shame on. Couldn't even get it close.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
I guess I am bothered by gray out/black outs, because I am afraid of not coming out of them. And I don't close my eyes on coasters, I want to see whats coming to prepare for quick turns and such.
I forgot to mention Carolina Cobra at Carowinds. We had rode it at Geauga Lake as Head Spin, and heard that it got new coaster cars and harnesses, so we had to try that coaster out too.
I loved the new harness design, the cars were very large, and the coaster ran very smooth, I was very impressed with that coaster. It seemed that the station brakes stopped the train a lot sooner than when it was Head Spin. Which I liked, my son said there was no difference that he can remember, about where the cars stopped, but he liked the new harnesses, except the flexible seat belt kinda dug into his shoulder bone. I liked the freedom it gave.
I am assuming the new harness design and cars on Carolina Cobra (formerly Head Spin) are the same as the new ones on Sidewinder at Hersheypark. If so, they are 100 times better than the older versions.
I was at Kings Dominion on Monday...seems they have issues getting all the coasters open early in the day. Several coasters (I'd say close to half) were closed until late morning, and I305 didn't open until early-mid afternoon.
I don't particularly enjoy greying out; my wife enjoys it even less. On I305, we both used the fighter pilot technique of clenching the butt and thigh muscles through the first turn and the final turn before the trim, and had no issues. The new restraints are really great, although I never had issues with the original ones. The ride is running better than ever, and my wife said it was possibly the best coaster she's ridden. I think I agree, still.
What is wrong with getting rides open when the park opens these days? Paying customers expect the park to be ready to go when it opens. They might as well schedule the park to open in the afternoon and lower the admission price.
Re: I-305 - I don't mind the "greying out" feeling.
I totally LOVE Avalanche - next best bobsled to Vibora (at least until Turns opens).
Much like Carowinds, the wooden coasters at KD can be very much hit-and-miss. When they're running well, they can be *really good*. The exception is Grizzly - that thing can be absolutely AMAZING.
We did ride Grizzly, it was the coaster we hit right before I-305. I am trying to remember it in more detail, but I believe that was the one with a surprise tunnel near the end. I heard someone say when they were leaving the ride that they thought it was a lot longer than that, which made me feel at ease, because I am not a fan of wooden coasters, and I didn't want to get beat up forever, like on mean streak.
The ride must of been ok, they were only running one train.
I remember that this kid and girl buckled their seatbelts in a way to make it look like they were wearing it. The Ride Host caught it, made them both fix the seatbelts correctly, then after the ride host checked the seat belt, the boy unbuckled his, and laid his hand where the seat belt should be. All I was thinking is why....why do this. Oh well.
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