Kings Dominion Tickets And Dynamic Pricing

I went online to check out KD tickets, figuring I'd go sometime this spring, and it seems like you have to pick the actual day(s) that you visit. They seem to be using dynamic pricing, higher prices on higher demand days etc.

This trend started during the pandemic and I, for one don't like it. In fact, I will not do it.

What happens if, on the day you're scheduled to go, a hurricane comes through?

This actually happened last year on a planned visit to Hersheypark for their Dark Nights halloween event. Remember that storm from last fall?

Although I called the park and they were very accommodating to changing the date, I HAD to pick another specific date. Seemed OK until I got to the park and two of our group tickets wouldn't scan, so we had to wait in the customer service line for over 1 hour to get in - this despite having my print out of the tickets and my payment!

After that, I refuse to pick an exact date 2 months in advance for any amusement park.

I'm wondering if anyone reading here is seeing the same thing at other amusement park online ticketing pages.

We all have plenty of options when it comes to amusement parks. If KD doesn't change this, I will not be going there this year. It's unfortunate.

Jeff's avatar

So what's stopping you from buying tickets a week before you go?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

kpjb's avatar

Or for that matter, before you leave in the morning... is it cheaper if you buy them earlier?


I guess I'm still in the "old thinking" mode, that as time goes on, the price will rise. Of course, this used to be the case. The earlier you purchase, the cheaper the tickets. Perhaps it's still the case. Not sure.

My local park, Hersheypark has been doing this for a while. I see the ads all the time. There's always a deadline to get the cheapest rate and in fact, they do raise them as the season goes on.

With Kings Dominions bad reputation for closing early for the “weather” (actually low crowds) I would never buy dates specific tickets for that park Unless it was one day ahead, and the weather forecast was perfect

Unless it's a Disney Park they aren't going to sell out. And if a particular date has a major price increase between now and the date, that likely means there is something that has the park predicting a larger than originally expected crowd and I'd rather choose a different date at that point anyway.

Busch Gardens has Colonial Williamsburg as a nearby, year round attraction. They do their best to market their off-season as a desirable destination, and maybe it is. I know we get ads for Williamsburg and other historic sites here in Ohio all winter long. And if Busch wants to piggyback themselves onto that it makes sense. Travelers that hit the area just may be persuaded to give the theme park a go.
Richmond however, while historic, is another matter. I don’t see visitors flocking to the area on the off season when DC is up the road and Williamsburg is a scant 40 minutes away. There may be a few people who hit both areas like summertime visitors do, but very few. I’m still trying to figure out who KD’s winter market is, unless it’s locals.

My guess is that it's local passholders. They can come on an otherwise boring weekend, ride a few rides and walk around, redeem a meal plan meal, and hopefully spend some $ on seasonal offerings.

I doubt if season passholders are spending much there during short 6 hour days. It’s not like kings dominion is offering any specialty foods right now. I think, if anything, they are just giving away more meals on their season meal passes by operating two more months.

When a park has a short six hour day it’s normally better to eat outside of the park before and/or after attending because the food quality is better and much more reasonable. I think people are probably doing that.

Good point. I guess I was thinking of Winterfest where there are offerings. When I went to Christmas Town at BGT this past year, a park where I never spend money outside of my pass, I bought two of the holiday food samples, a giant warm cookie, and a specialty hot chocolate because I was there on a cool night. I probably spent $30-$35 I had no plans on spending during a four hour visit simply because they had appealing stuff available.

I don’t know anything about who KD is targeting with this but I did want to point out that they are offering special food and beverage items. The next two weekend features local wineries and a “special savory menu” and the following three weekend replaces the wineries with craft beer choices.

I have no idea if it is a game changer for any potential guests but at least there is something.

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