Kings Dominion, Doswell, Virginia, USA
This was my first trip ever to Kings Dominion and my first trip to a Cedar Fair park not named Cedar Point (which I haven’t been to since 2003). The night before this trip I took the Greyhound to New York City from Framingham, Massachusetts and meet my Friend Akif there. We then drove to stay with my cousin Colton for the night in Maryland. The three of us went to the park the following day.
Intimidator 305 10/10
We wasted absolutely zero time and went straight for I-305. We decided to try the front first. It was an hour wait. I hadn’t been this excited for a roller coaster in a long time perhaps ever! Immediately after our front seat ride we did the back twice. Both of the waits for the back were near walk-ons. This was really strange considering that the back was better than the front. I have never seen anything like this before where the back seat is 5 times better than the front and the front has a wait ridiculously longer than the back. “Cough El Toro Cough” Now for the actual review:
I didn’t really like the fast lift hill. I mean it’s nice to be fast and all, but when the ride going up is this short you never really have time to appreciate just how high you really are. The first drop was exciting no doubt, but that felt like no 300 foot drop! The trims were very obvious to me. I even remember yelling out "are you kidding me!" during one of the rides. It was that obvious to me! To be honest I thought the first drop on Storm Runner that I rode the very next day was better and certainly more intense! I was in complete shock when my cousin and friend later that night told me that they didn't feel any grab during that first drop. But it is kind of understandable since they had never been on any drops like that before unlike me (Millennium Force for example).
That first high speed turn was incredible and without a doubt the best part of the ride! I was actually trying to blackout or at least grayout on it. I have never truly experienced one before. On all of my rides I would spread my arms and legs out to allow my blood a free path to my feet. I then made sure that I didn't scream or say anything. I then "tried" to relax (this was all done to lower blood pressure). I'm a 22 years old male, in fairly good shape, and have blood pressure that is higher than average thanks to genetics. My first two attempts to at least grayout failed. I seriously felt like I could last another 4 seconds on that turn without any trouble at all. On my 3rd attempt I struck gold. It wasn't till the very end of the turn/ 2nd hill, but for less than one second (basically just long to realize that it happened) everything became gray. That one fraction of a second was worth my entire trip to Virginia! My cousin never grayed out on any of his three rides, but my friend did on his third ride just like me. However, neither my friend Akif or my Cousin Colton were actually trying to grayout like I was.
The rest of the ride was for the most part totally awesome! I really enjoyed all the high speed turns and crazy s turns. The restraints worked like magic, and I had little issues with head banging. I can't imagine what that ride was like before those restraints were added! The restraints were not as restricting as I thought they would be. I still had plenty of room to move around. These were no Vekoma Flyer restraints! My only complaint for the rest of the ride would be the airtime. With an exception of the 2nd hill which was ok, all the others were just dead. I read that when this ride first opened that first airtime hill produced total ejector air. Well taking that into account and realizing just how much those trimmed grabbed me on the first drop. I think your nuts to believe that this thing is going 90 mph now. 85 sounds about right to me if not a little less. Its amazing how this roller coaster is the most intense I have ever ridden, and its going probably 10 miles per hour or so slower than it was in April!
one thing that I forgot to add was the ridiculous price for sunscreen at the park. It was extremely hot and sunny out the entire day and I just knew that I was going to burn. I found Sun Screen at the exit store for I-305. Before the clerk put it through the registar she told me that it cost $9.50 ( this was a very small container too!) and she actually asked me if I still wanted it! I ended up saying no and went thru the rest of day preferring to burn my skin over my wallot.
1 hour plus wait
I was looking more forward to riding Volcano than any other ride in the park not named I-305. The three of us ended up waiting a good hour. It was weird how the front row had a shorter wait than most other rows. We only had to wait for two or three other groups once we selected the front row. The launch of this roller coaster was far more than I ever expected. The rest of the ride was also more intense than I ever expected. It was a really good ride and worth the wait once, but not worth it again considering that it had the longest wait in the park!
Stopping for food?
When we were line for Volcano, we decided that we would buy some food afterwards and then just last the rest of the day on that. After the ride we decided not to buy any of the food once we saw the outrageous prices. When we got in line for the next ride we decided that we wanted to get food again. This cycle of changing our minds happened 4 or 5 times before we finally decided once and for all that we were not buying any food at these outrageous prices. Dick Kinzel was wrong when he said that people have to eat :)
10 minute wait
The Crypt had a very short wait and it looked like fun. This thing was very disorientating and was certainly more intense than the SFNE and SFGADV versions!
20 minute wait
I was very disappointed in this ride. I was hoping for it to be an improved GASM. It seemed to have a very interesting layout, but I never expected it to be as rough as it was.
Flight of Fear 7/10
45 minute wait
First off, I was very disappointed that there wasn’t air conditioning while waiting for this ride. It was extremely hot outside the entire day. My cousin Colton commented while in line that it would have been funny if this whole wait was one big practical joke, and we would suddenly be outside. There really was very little evidence of a major roller coaster inside. I had been on Jokers Jinx at SFA last summer and had a hard time imagining it fitting into the building that we were walking in. Obviously though, it did, and it really did feel almost identical to Jokers Jinx except for that brake.
Drop Tower 7.5/10
20 minute wait
This thing was almost as much fun to watch as it was to ride. While in line Colton commented that the person sitting right in front of him had either just gone in a swimming pool or was wetting himself. When I looked I couldn’t believe me own eyes. Everyone in line knew to avoid that one seat. Things got very disturbing when the vehicle dropped and I had to move in order to avoid getting splashed from well… I don’t want to know!
This was a much better capacity ride than I thought it would be, but it still could have been better. It appeared to me that the employees could have done a simple head count to see how many riders to let through the entrance at a time, but instead they would just guess and would waste time trying to find how many more riders they needed once the vehicle was 95% full.
The ride itself was fantastic. This was definitely the best drop tower I have ever been on. That airtime was insane!
Rebell Yell and Hurler 6/10
10 minute waits each
I don’t have too much to say about either of these two. We rode Rebell Yell in the back and the Hurler in the front.
10 minute wait
This roller coaster was awfully hard to find. Once found I loved the location. It was very deep in the woods. I found the ride itself to be very rough. This was sad because I would imagine that when this roller coaster first opened it probably was very highly rated. It’s now just a shadow of its former self.
30 minute wait
Everyone is so right when they say that figuring out the restraints is almost as much fun as it is to actually ride the coaster. While in line something scary happened. A squirrel jumped on the track right in front of a train. Fortunately this happened right after the train hit the brakes so it was only going a few miles per hour and the squirrel was able to get out of the way. This is a fun ride, but it has nothing on Mantis.
40 minute wait
Colton and Akif really wanted to do the front row for this one. I really didn’t care. To me the front row and back row are equally good on floorless roller coasters. This ride really surprised me. I was just expecting another Medusa/Bizzaro, but I sure was wrong. It was a B&M and it was actually intense! We definitely would have gone on this many more times if it was not for the fact that it was getting late, and we needed more rides on I-305 before the night was over.
Intimidator 305 just about off the scale
My cousin Colton decided to sit this one out due to just pure exhaustion I think. Right when Akif and I got in line, we saw that the ride was down. Akif wanted to leave thinking we were just wasting time. It turned out that the ride started back up in just a few short minutes. We only had time for one more ride (or so I thought) because we had to leave the park by 9:30. When we got off the ride, Akif told me that a back seat was empty and I should take it. I did, and got one more ride in. He later told me that he would have done it, but he knew that I wanted it more. He sure got a huge thank you from me on that one! On both of these night rides I failed at graying out ( or atleast I think I did. Its hard to tell at night). Akif grayed out on his ride. That means that in total I grayed out in one of five rides. Akif grayed out in 2 of 4 rides and Colton grayed out in 0 of 3 rides.
I later found out that there was an ERT that night. Had I known that ACE was doing this then I certainly would have had a reason to joined ACE (the only reason I have never joined ACE is because I am a poor College Student who would only be joining it for the sake of joining. I don’t have enough money to take advantage of the benefits) so I could have attended. Oh well, but five rides in total still is good.
I was hoping that this ride would go to another level at night just like MF and El Toro do. I-305 did, but not to quite the scale that those other two do. As you can tell from my ranking, I was just about blown away from both of these night rides in the back seat. I used to say that El Toro and MF stand far above and beyond all others I have been on. I-305 just joined those two forming a trio. Overall I would rank I-305 as my number 2 steel behind MF. I am just glad that coaster enthusiast separate wooden from steel roller coasters because an El Toro I-305 comparison would be hard. Now off course things would have been different had this ride been trimmless! I honestly believe that this ride would have defeated El Toro fairly easily and would have challenged MF as my #1 overall. Once again this is the most intense roller coaster I have ever been on, and it’s going probably around 10 miles per hour slower than its potential!
Kings Dominion was cleaner and just better kept than I thought it would be. I had no issues with park employees. My one complaint would be the outrageous prices. It would have been nice to buy something small and inexpensive to eat. But overall the Cedar Fair parks do not seem to be doing as bad as you guys say they are. I would love to come back here soon.
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
Now that I have experienced both Intimidators, I have to say that I305 is the better of the two. I305 is simply more exciting. The height, speed, banked turns all add up to more thrilling ride. Unlike most others, I don't notice the trims, maybe because I am not fixated on them and just like the ride. Carowinds Intimidator is a fine ride, but should be compared to Apollo's Chariot more so than I305. But, even then, it still does not stack up. And, this is nit picking, I don't like where Intimidator at Carowinds is located. It needs to be nestled in trees or something to project an image of speed...some other kind of reference other than a parking lot.
My park is better than yours!
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