Kings Dominion selling Hypersonic XLC

Monday, March 12, 2007 4:33 PM
I went to PKD for the first (last) time last year. Right from the front gate, everything was a hassle. I did not enjoy my time there, but was happy to be trying out a new place. They seem to have problems with everything involving a queue, and the whole layout of the place just seemed odd. I liked their food, and I liked the setup of the "main st" starting with the front gate and ending at the tower. I really did wish at the end of the day that I had chosen BGE to visit that weekend, though.

I liked XLC, but it may have been more the anticipation than the actual ride itself which was incredibly short.

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Monday, March 12, 2007 4:43 PM
rollergator's avatar Maybe they can use the steel from H:XLC, melt it down, and "pull a Colossus". Run steel I-beam along the trackwork of all their wooden coasters...might make them run smoother...LOL!

Seriously, though, for a place with good steel, the wood at PKD needs some *serious* care. I don't expect RY to *ever* run like it did when it was new, but something even remotely close would be a HUGE improvement. I mean, in that OTHER thread, we have people clamoring to take out Hurler...it's gotten THAT bad for the (formerly) Paramount wood.

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Monday, March 12, 2007 4:45 PM
To me, some of KD's weak points have been:

--lackluster food (even Six Flags seemed to have better)

--lackluster coaster selection

--lackluster wood coaster maintenance

--capacity and throughput on their newer coasters

some of their high points, IMO, have been:

--decent park layout (if you think KD is bad, check out SFA)

--decent in-park waterpark

--nice main street with Eiffel Tower

--good kids sections

--high volume of wood coasters and launched coasters (though not the best of their genres, except maybe Volcano)

--decent park atmosphere, and fairly decent operations, though not high end usually

*** Edited 3/12/2007 8:47:00 PM UTC by rablat5***


coastin' since 1985

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Monday, March 12, 2007 4:59 PM
^Thank you for answering. I guess I still don't understand some of your problems with the park, but the only time I visited the site is when you had photo updates. I usually only visit KD once a year. I assume you visited the park more often since it was a fan-site.

When you talk about poor-maintenance of rides, I have to assume you're talking about the woodies at KD. I didn't even attempt Hurler this year (but that's not related to KD pe se), and Rebel Yell (forwards) didn't feel as good as it did the year before either. I thought Grizzly ran pretty well, and so did Scooby-Doo.

I'm not sure I understand the "depressingly uninspired atmosphere of the park" comment either. I've been going to KD since I was a kid--back when they had King Cobra, Mount Fuji, Smurf Mountain etc. Sure, the park has been through a lot of changes, but I don't think they're all bad.

I give a definite two-thumbs up to recent additions like IJTC, Drop Zone, SD&tHM, Ricochet, and TR:FF as do my friends and sibling, many who aren't hardcore enthusiasts. I'm not sure what you think Cedar Fair is going to be able to add to the mix. If anything, there will be a whole lot more rides, and trash-cans for sure.

They already started "encrouching" into the park last year with the basketball game added near Shockwave. If that's a sign of things to come, then it won't be too long until the park starts looking like Dorney Park (a mini-Cedar Point). That's not my idea of inspired atmosphere, as Dorney Park is very "safe."

I don't think I can remember too many rude employees at KD (maybe one?). There was a guy who gave me a little bit of attitude when I had trouble locating the token for the go-karts last year, but it was very loud and it was hard to hear the directions.

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Monday, March 12, 2007 5:16 PM
Yea, I don't completely get the big issues with KD. I know it's not the best park, but some of what they've done there has been good. Honestly, if you compare a lot of parks with BGE, they will usually fall short, at least in certain areas. C'mon--Busch is like a step below Universal when it comes to the US parks. How many parks are gonna measure up to that quality?

It would be more realistic and fair to compare KD with CF & SF parks, where I would say, operationally, that it usually fits between the two (unless you're talking about the certain SF parks that are the "exceptions").

KD has lost some of its atmosphere, such as more and more trees being removed from around Grizzly, putting IJSC in the Congo, etc., but I'd rather it not turn into a Cedar Fair atmosphere. While it's not a bad one, it is "safe" as Rob put it, and it's fairly lackluster in character (the exception being Knotts Berry Farm). I hope the former Paramount Parks keep what atmosphere they still have. Personally, I like their atmospheres, and I was actually pleasantly surprised with PGA when I was there.

*** Edited 3/12/2007 9:20:55 PM UTC by rablat5***


coastin' since 1985

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Monday, March 12, 2007 5:56 PM
Personally I'd rather have a wannabe-Cedar Point park than a park with an identity crisis such as the former Paramount parks...I like Dorney Park for its cleanliness, organization, and efficient operations.

One of my biggest beefs (among others) with KD last year was their treatment of the Italian Job situation. Now, Italian Job is a decent addition to the park and is a good family attraction. But the park was absurdly unprofessional about the ride from the start. We had about 4 different names slung at us over the period of a month. That right there displays a blatant disregard for the quality of their own attractions. At the same time, Flight of Fear disappears from the map without any explanation. A black fence stands as the only notification that the ride is not operating. At least CF recently released information on why X-flight and Steel Venom are being dismantled: low ridership and maintenance costs.

KD gave us absolutely nothing.

They acted as if the ride never existed. I am sorry, but when a park's signature attraction is shut down, I would expect some sort of official release as to the reasoning for such an outrageous removal.

On top of this, Italian Job ran smoothly for about a three-day period. After that, effects began to be shut off entirely, the sound system lost clarity and sound quality due to the extreme volume blowing out the speakers, and the ride ceased to be run at full capacity. After a while, stuff like this just leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

Sure CF won't be perfect. But they saved FoF from being plucked from KD and dropped into Canada's Wonderland...and that right there is reason enough to support them for me. And we will likely get a B&M or Intamin out of the deal, two things Kings Dominion desperately needs.


http://www.bgescape.com/
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Monday, March 12, 2007 5:57 PM

rablat5 said:
C'mon--Busch is like a step below Universal when it comes to the US parks.

Frankly, I would rather go to BGE than any of the Universal parks on any given day.

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Monday, March 12, 2007 7:51 PM
^^ Good point. The whole FoF thing was handled poorly, and they didn't give us any big warning the season before.

Granted, I'm not saying that KD was run better under the old management. Cedar Fair will probably do a better job at that. It certainly wasn't the worse operated park that I've been too. Take a trip up 95 to SFA, and I would appreciate PKD.

However, CF tends to have better coaster tastes than Paramount/CBS. While we did get some unique rides out of the Paramount parks, they weren't always the best. CF and SF seem to have better taste in coasters, so perhaps KD will get a high capacity coaster that it has sorely been lacking.

It's good to see CF and SF both "cleaning house" lately.


coastin' since 1985

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Monday, March 12, 2007 10:23 PM
You know here's something I just don't get.

HS:XLC was based on the technology S&S has used in their tower complexes & yet it's been mired with severe capacity & downtime issues.

What's the reliability of the S&S tower complexes <ie: Power Tower> when compared with this POS? At least with CF in charge hopefully they'll finally add some high capacity coasters to the park's lineup though.

That's at least one thing SFA has over KD is capacity<aside from Two face & Batwing of course> nearly every other coaster in the park has decent capacity for the guest traffic the park recieves.

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Monday, March 12, 2007 10:26 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar No offense, but I would drive past SFA every day to go to KD.

854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:15 AM

Fergusonat said:

We had about 4 different names slung at us over the period of a month. That right there displays a blatant disregard for the quality of their own attractions.


I don't know if that's a blatant disregard for quality (yes, I did notice the control panel at the entrance still displays the incorrect name), as the ride still is a complete replica of the other two. Should they have picked one name and stuck to it? Absolutely.


At the same time, Flight of Fear disappears from the map without any explanation.

KD gave us absolutely nothing.

They acted as if the ride never existed.


That would be very appropriate considering the ride's theme, don't you think?:)


I am sorry, but when a park's signature attraction is shut down, I would expect some sort of official release as to the reasoning for such an outrageous removal.

I would strongly disagree that a ride that has an identical sibling and two stateside fraternal siblings is a signature attraction. In my humble opinion, that slot was "stolen" by V:tBC in 1998. I think the word "outrageous" is a little bit strong as well. Rides get moved from park to park all the times in chains. It's business.

Perhaps ridership was on a downswing, even after the lapbar retrofit. Six Flags America actually had signs up that they were getting new restraints for Joker's Jinx. Paramount?

Those who have short-term memories may have forgotten about the closure of Hercules. There was no warning of its last day of operation. It was closed to be destroyed for Hydra which opened two years later (not that Hercules was worth keeping). Wasn't it DorneyDante who had the permanent signature memorial? He was not thrilled.

Also on the Dorney subject, I'd like to mention the removal of the SkyScraper which went to Valleyfair without warning. Granted, it was an upcharge attraction, but it was a very rare ride.


On top of this, Italian Job ran smoothly for about a three-day period. After that, effects began to be shut off entirely, the sound system lost clarity and sound quality due to the extreme volume blowing out the speakers, and the ride ceased to be run at full capacity. After a while, stuff like this just leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

When I rode in October (my only visit this year), there was one train with effects working, and one without. I agree that both should've been working, as this was under Cedar Fair operation. We'll see what transpires this year. The sound level though of the train working wasn't too loud.


Sure CF won't be perfect. But they saved FoF from being plucked from KD and dropped into Canada's Wonderland...and that right there is reason enough to support them for me. And we will likely get a B&M or Intamin out of the deal, two things Kings Dominion desperately needs.

So you'll support CF because you don't like Canadians? I'm just kidding with you. I don't think any park desperately needs a B&M, but an Intamin? Well, another one couldn't hurt:) In reality, who cares who makes the ride/coaster, as long as it's reliable and fun?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 1:27 AM
^You make some good points, but you have to admit, Hercules was far from a popular attraction. It has its staunch fans, yes, but the majority of the general public does not enjoy old, rough, Dinn coasters. Flight of Fear, on the other hand, is most certainly one of KD's signature attractions. Volcano is of course THE signature coaster, but Flight of Fear has a strong fan-base as well. There are few busy days in the summer when the line for FoF isn't just as long as other park favorites...
http://www.bgescape.com/
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 9:43 AM
I think I'd pass on KD and spend the time at SFA. Two good wood coasters, an Intamin hyper and a great launched coaster? One of my favorite rides at KD was Ricochet, the mega wild mouse. Nothing else really did it for me.

But you know what? I'd drive past SFA AND KD and spend the time at BGE.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 10:54 AM
KD use to be the place to be. Alot of roller coasters to chose from but I agree they need help especially in the coaster department. It use to be exciting going to the park but they haven't added anything big since the Volcano and that was years ago. (They need a B & M coaster). I think everybody is tired of the same ol' coasters. I, myself, love the Grizzly and Ricochet, but the Hurler (how old is Wayne's World anyway) and the Shock Wave has got to go. The Shock Wave should be sold right along with the Hyper Shock. Those rides are not worth waiting in line for. They are only 30 seconds long. And plus you expect a new coaster every couple of years, but since the Volcano, they have been adding alot of kiddy rides.

I didn't use to like BGE because they were lacking coasters, but they are coming up. Apollo's Chairot is off the chain. Already got my season pass to ride the Giffon. OHHHHH I can't wait til next week.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 11:03 AM
KD was a big disappointment. Aside from being very clean and well-landscaped, the park was lacking. The best coasters were Avalanche and Ricochet, followed by Volcano, FoF, Grizzly, Hurler and Scooby Doo. Shockwave, Anaconda, Rebel Yell and Hypersonic were close to awful. So much potential but so much wasted. Maybe CF will turn things around?
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:06 PM
^^I wouldn't complain too much about KD's lineup aside from the rather small,as in short layouts they've been adding coasterwise lately but at least they've added a few new ones in the five to seven years since HS:XLC was put in.

Contrast that with SFA which hasn't added a single coaster of any kind in going on six years & no real theme park rides in close to four years & the difference becomes clear.

KD just needs something that can handle the crowds & is reliable....a B&M would fit the bill rather well for that don't you think? For now though the obvious concentration is on the waterpark & it definitely will benefit from the new additions being made this season.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 1:47 PM
Fergie you're back! Long time no b*t#h!.

BG TOC | BGW | BGE always held the upper hand with the quality of food and atmosphere over KD since day one (1975).

Pre-paramount years:

KD & BGE ran neck and neck with ride attractions and shows from the late 70's through late 80's.

KD ran anywhere from 8 to 12 shows during the prime season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) during this period. This park was recognized for their entertainment productions in this region. I believe their capital budget for entertainment was right up there with money spent for new ride attractions. You certainly could not do everything in a day because of the amount of entertainment and ride attractions combined. There was a balance between entertainment and rides.

KD built new ride attractions and themed them to fit the themed area they were placed in.

Employees wear unique uniforms depending on what area they are assigned to.

Paramount years:

Lost three show amphitheaters during this time. Shows were reduced to about 2-3 mostly during prime season. (not counting character meet & greet | park patron karaoke).

New ride attractions have own theme and did not fit the theme of the area that it was placed in.

Distinctive themed areas blurred and run together in some places. Employees all wear the same uniform in all areas of the park.

Cedar Fair:

????

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 1:52 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
But you know what? I'd drive past SFA AND KD and spend the time at BGE.

Not me, I'd budget the time to hit all three. ;)

Where's the love anymore?


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 3:36 PM

Grizzly25 said:
And plus you expect a new coaster every couple of years, but since the Volcano, they have been adding alot of kiddy rides.

I didn't use to like BGE because they were lacking coasters, but they are coming up. Apollo's Chairot is off the chain. Already got my season pass to ride the Giffon. OHHHHH I can't wait til next week.


My first pet peeve is that you keep using the word "the" where it doesn't belong. As in the Volcano.

The second big problem is that you "expect" a new coaster every couple of years. In the new economy of the amusement industry, it doesn't work like that. You may not have been paying attention, but waterpark additions are the new coasters (or just adding a waterpark like SFGAM or HP this year).

What's the big marquee addition at KD this year? That's right, it's a ProSlide Tornado (in addition to another wavepool and family raft ride).

Third of all, on what planet would Drop Zone and Tomb Raider Firefall be considered kiddie rides? The Italian Job Turbo Coaster, while great for families, is not a kiddie ride either. Even Ricochet contains a fifty-foot drop.

I'm not sure why everyone wants Cedar Fair to add a B&M to KD. Remember the last B&M they added? It was called Hydra the Revenge at Dorney Park, and it just about put everyone to sleep who was riding it that day. And that was the reaction of the general public!

Lastly, if you're going to get excited about a ride, at least spell it right. It's Griffon, and it won't be open for several more weeks so calm down:)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 6:54 PM

Intamin Fan said:


Remember the last B&M they added? It was called Hydra the Revenge at Dorney Park, and it just about put everyone to sleep who was riding it that day.


Patriot?

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