Paramount's Kings Dominion 9/21 - Awesome time

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, September 23, 2003 5:54 PM
Arriving in Doswell, it was a nice 74 degrees, with a clearing morning sky and sun shining, not at all like the weather Virginia saw this past week with Hurricane Isabel. I got through the front gates just as the park opened at 10:00 and made my way around the Eiffel

Tower to wait at the back gate until 10:30. Shockwave began testing, and then I heard the familiar sounds of HyperSonic hitting the vertical hill and Drop Zone humming as it lifts to the to. Finally, the security guards pulled the gates back and escorted two groups to HyperSonic and Drop Zone, myself choosing HyperSonic.

I and several other people entered the queue and proceeded into the station to board the first trainload of the day. In no time, we were on our way from the station, bumping over the tires at the first turn and emergency brake zone, then parking on the launch dog and waiting. Hiss... Wham! What a way to start the day! Seeing no line, I got right back on with two more walk-ons near the front and back of the train. When I was ready to board for a fourth time, the coaster broke down and a mechanic had to be called in to inspect an appearant technical problem, and no one could be sure of how long it might take. So I made the wise decision to pass up another possible ride, and I headed down the Grove to Shockwave.

Shockwave was temporarily closed, but a welcome sight greeted my eyes: no wait for Drop Zone! And so began my Drop Zone marathon, and some of the most fun I've had, getting on, riding, being the first one off, and heading right back through the line. A fun routine. The ride ops made it all the better, asking me for updates on how many rides I was up to, and breaking out in laughter when they saw me getting back on again after about my eigth or so ride. My goal was a dozen rides, and just as we were ready to lift off for my twelfth time, we were told that we would have to get off because of problems with Drop Zone. I broke it for then, but I would be back later ;).

Shockwave had opened, so I made my way up into the station, but immediately jinxed that ride as well. I had had a blast on Drop Zone, but I wanted to have a real blast, so I set off to Congo hoping for a Volcano marathon if lines would permit. I was more than happy to have the line to myself all the way to the last ramp to the station, but even so, the wait was still fifteen minutes with two trains running. Never having ridden in the very back, I boarded back there, and we took off. Your ears get beaten a little at the back, but the sensation at the top of the Sidewinder is unlike the front seat, and the rolls are more furious. The line had grown slightly for my second ride that day on Volcano, and after an awesome front-seater, I got on Scrambler.

I had forgotten how cool Scrambler is - charging from side to side of the ride at top speed - and the new location is ideal. After checking on Scooby Doo and the Haunted Mansion construction, it was over to Hangar 18 and all the way into the pre-station room of Flight of Fear's queue with no wait. The pre-launch spiels weren't being played like before; go figure. I boarded the second row and we launched off. After HyperSonic, it's not much of a launch, but still with some good speed. I was surprised to get jerked around slightly, but I assumed that that was because I was at the back of the car. After FoF, I picked up a funnel cake and frozen lemonade, and then noticed that Drop Zone was testing after having been down.

I dropped back in for a surprise visit at Drop Zone to finish off my dozen rides. I was told that it had been down four times for a half hour each. I was the last one on the next cycle, and the ride attendent checks all of the restraints, then gets to me and she holds up her hands in protest. LOL. I was satisfied with my twelve rides on all sides of the ring, bringing my Drop Zone ride count up to 15 for this year. I'll have to do it again some time. Look out...

It was back to Shockwave, getting onto the third row after a short wait. The first drop, loop, and camelback are reason to ride, but it's just the four curve transitions that leave you and everyone else on the train moaning in pain when it's over. I still hope that Shockwave is improved, not removed.

A nice relaxing ride on the Nickelodeon Space Surfer followed. This was my first ride on it, and I enjoyed. A nice, relaxing thing, like a bigger and better version of the Wave Swinger, but, in contrast to Flying Eagles, the rudder controls do basically nothing. And what's with the 'For marine use only' on the seat belts? I think that Vekoma flyers also have those.

I decided to cool off on White Water Canyon next for what would turn out to be my most unique ride of the day. WWC's queue has got to be one of the best lines in the park, meandering through the woods like it does. I saw the most tree damage in the park here, with small trees and tree limbs down in the woods, but still nothing major. And while in line, I noticed that Shenandoah Log Flume was shut down and drained for a minute, but I'm not sure why. On to my ride. It went normally up until we got to the last holding gate, where we and nine other rafts were stacked for a half hour. Appearantly there was a problem with the final lift. Finally, two people were sent out climbing over our rafts and shifting their positions so that the first raft could get on its way, then our raft went.

The only structural damage in the park that I saw was on WWC's tunnel, where a strip of the roof was ripped off. I'll post a picture later. At the exit, I was presented with a ride exit pass to compensate for my time stuck, which could be used on any ride with the exception of HyperSonic or Drop Zone. I appreciated it.

Noting that Shenandoah Log Flume was back up and running with a short wait, I got on. Always an enjoyable little ride through the woods, and the final splashdown is exceptional, although I didn't get squirted at the end.

I was off to Grizzly next, where there was actually a small crowd in the station, but I was let ahead to the second row immediately. Grizzly is always an aggressive coaster for the most part, still not as painful as Hurler, but a speedy ride with some good airtime.

HyperSonic's line was beyond acceptable length, so I got a ride on Ricochet next. Ricochet, like Grizzly, had a larger line than usual, and I squeezed into the front seat in about ten minutes. Every wild mouse should have a good first drop like this. I was glad to find that the brakes weren't on at full force, which gave the top hairpins some of that classic whip effect, and the last two U-turns are always the best.

It was getting near time to leave, and I headed over to Volcano with the intention of using my exit pass there, but I was met with the sight of a train parked before the launch and an empty station. No one seemed to know if or when it would reopen, so I headed next door and in the exit of Flight of Fear. I had no problem getting on the third row after a short wait. My theory that the jerkiness I experienced earlier was because I was at the back of my car proved correct, the ride in the front of the second car being almost as smooth as the very front. All throughout the ride, I noticed a loud rattling from the train. I could tell that the riders in back weren't having such a fun ride as we completed the final corkscrew. "Ow!" "Ah! My spleen!"

After that, I headed back to International Street and did some shopping before exiting through the gates. That day, I had gotten in a total of twenty-six rides, by far the most I've ever managed in a single day before, although I did brake four of them. As always, I had an awesome time. Great rides, great park, great staff, great atmosphere. Definitely deserving of the Golden Tickets that PKD got this year! I know for sure that Six Flags America won't be receiving my season pass money for next year.

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com

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Tuesday, September 23, 2003 7:06 PM
Iron Wolf also has the "for the Marine Use only" setabelts.

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"Before you insult anyone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do insult them, you'll be a mile away and have there shoes.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2003 3:57 PM
So B&M uses them too...

I just got the picture back of the storm damage, so here's a closeup of it:

Click here

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com

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Wednesday, September 24, 2003 6:42 PM
Glad you had a good time. Last few times I visisted PKD lines were pretty bad - drop zone 45mins, hypersonic 1 1/2hrs, volcano 1 1/2, FoF 1hr - you get the idea.

But still I'll have to make a final run for the season, although I'm not sure when that will be.

Blast Coaster - Your profile says you live in Northern VA (so do I - fredericksburg area, about 1hr from PKD). Wanna meet at PKD some time? Just a thought.

Nice TR by the way.

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1. Millennium Force
2. HypersonicXLC
3. Alpengeist

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Thursday, September 25, 2003 6:03 AM
Wow...Northern Virginia keeps creeping more and more southward. Pretty soon, Richmond will be part of it. ;) Personally, I think NoVa ends after passing through the Woodbridge/Dale City area, and that's stretching it.

I know for sure that Six Flags America won't be receiving my season pass money for next year.
I think the only reason I may pick up a Six Flags season pass next year is if I make my first trip to SFGAm, SFWoA, or one of the north-eastern parks, but fortunately I can just renew this year's pass online from SFKK at a cheaper price. If I didn't have that option, however, I wouldn't even bother. And if my plans remain next year to visit both Dorney and Cedar Point, I will most likely purchase a Cedar Fair season pass as well. I'm disappointed I couldn't make it to PKD this year, as it really is a great park; but it looks like Paramount will have to be my chain of choice in '05, as I don't think I'll be able to justify three different season passes in one summer.

Nice trip report, Blast Coaster. I'm looking forward to Drop Zone--sounds like a fun ride. I'm pissed that I passed it up when I was at PKI in 2000. It's also very cool that you were given a free exit pass for your extended time on White Water Canyon. Many parks would not be so generous.

-Mike, who hopes to get to many more parks in '04 than he did this year.

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-Mike Buscema

'No matter how skilled the designer is, every time we push the envelope we learn new things about coaster design.' --Dana Morgan
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Thursday, September 25, 2003 11:16 AM
Wow, awesome Trip report. You beat my ride record by 1, and guess what, that record was also set at PKD. I think I did all the major coasters 3-4 times. It is interesting that so many rides were breaking down. It was good that they tried to get them back up and running as soon as possible though. Was Rebel Yell closed?? As I recall the backward side has massive airage. Hopefully I can make a trip back there next year to ride their Drop Zone. PKI's kicked my arse and I guess this one does the same.

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Lyrically, I'm supposed to represent
I'm not only a client, I'm the playa president!

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Thursday, September 25, 2003 12:01 PM
I'd love to meet up some time, but I'm unsure as to whether I'll be going again this year or not. I have a few other people that I've been meaning to meet up with, so maybe we can schedule a mini enthusiasts convention at PKD some time.

Vater, I got an SF season pass for two consecutive years, first for SFA, and then for SFoG in '00 and '01... From now on, if I can't visit any SF parks other than SFA, I probably won't be doing that again.

Drop Zone really puts all of the other single-drop rides I've ridden to shame... There's nothing like plunging towards the ground at over 70 MPH with your arms and legs straight out and not braking until the last minute. Awesome.

Rebel Yell not only running throughout the day, but I was surprised to see it racing once again. Didn't get to ride it, but I got to watch it race several times from DZ.

Thanks guys, glad you liked the TR!
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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com
*** This post was edited by Blast Coaster 9/25/2003 4:20:28 PM ***

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Thursday, September 25, 2003 5:49 PM
Blast Coaster - That would be pretty cool if we could do that. Guess we'll just see what happens.

Vater - It's easiest to just call it northern VA. If you look on a map and pinpoint my exact location, I suppose I might be around the border. But I would have thought about 1hr from DC would be considered northern.

Also - Either all of you are really lucky going to PKD or I'm just going on all the wrong days. In the summer I usually visit sometime between mon - thurs in the evening (from about 6 - close). On a good night, I can get in 2 rides on Hypersonic, 3 or 4 on Volcano, maybe 4 - 6 on FoF, and probably 3 rides on each woodie. Also 5+ on Ancaconda if I'm up to it and a few rides on Drop Zone (depending on who I'm with).

But anytime during the day forget it, lines always seem to be long whenever I go.

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1. Millennium Force
2. HypersonicXLC
3. Alpengeist

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Thursday, September 25, 2003 9:42 PM
Ok, so the rides were breaking down on you quite often, but you were happy anyway? Ah yes, there is that signature that one member made about bias when you have a rides name or park in your member name. That explains it all.
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If someone makes a post and you post-quote it right beneath it, you're wasting bandwidth. Think before you press the button.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan 9/26/2003 1:44:31 AM ***
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Friday, September 26, 2003 5:39 AM
I live in the Richmond Area, I'm all game for meeting up at PKD. The only thing is they are not open for much longer. Maybe we can get a group together.

Stoneygirl19@yahoo.com

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Friday, September 26, 2003 7:01 AM

Intamin Fan said:
Ok, so the rides were breaking down on you quite often, but you were happy anyway? Ah yes, there is that signature that one member made about bias when you have a rides name or park in your member name. That explains it all.
I've been to some parks without experiencing a single breakdown, and had a less-than-pleasant experience (the park you're employed at comes to mind). In contrast, I had a great time at SFGAdv the first time I went, in spite of the fact that two of the coasters I was very much looking forward to riding were down all day. I don't think it has anything to do with bias. YMMV.

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-Mike Buscema

'No matter how skilled the designer is, every time we push the envelope we learn new things about coaster design.' --Dana Morgan
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Friday, September 26, 2003 11:23 AM
Vater I think I-Fan was reffering to me.
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Friday, September 26, 2003 11:36 AM
Why would he be referring to you? You haven't even posted in this thread up until now. I'm pretty certain he was referring to Blast Coaster, since he's the one who wrote the trip report.

And for the record, the signature I-Fan mentioned is SLFAKE's: 'Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name".'

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-Mike Buscema

'No matter how skilled the designer is, every time we push the envelope we learn new things about coaster design.' --Dana Morgan
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*** This post was edited by Vater 9/26/2003 3:40:48 PM ***

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Friday, September 26, 2003 12:17 PM
I definitely was not referring to you BFSFA. The ego of some people:) Ok, so I am employed by SFA. So what? It doesn't mean that I don't have my own opinions. Ok, so I've been to other parks and had a good time in spite of things breaking down. But, it's still irritating. All I'm asking is for you to call like it is. I started wondering if the mechanics took the day off after reading your TR.
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If someone makes a post and you post-quote it right beneath it, you're wasting bandwidth. Think before you press the button.
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Friday, September 26, 2003 4:27 PM
Intamin Fan, it was quite the contrary. In fact, within just a couple minutes of HyperSonic breaking down, two mechanics responded.

The rides breaking down didn't bother me much at all, because I got to ride everything that I wanted to. If a ride breaks down, you just go onto something else and come back later.

Every time I've been to SFA, rides have not only broken down but have been taken down for the entire day.

The fact is, PKD is one park that I always have a great time at... In contrast to Six Flags America, you can see that everything is taken into account at PKD... All of the lines are well-shaded, the park is well laid-out, and the coasters almost ALWAYS operate two trains, even if the lines are short.

I think that you have things reversed - You don't like a park or coaster because it's in your screenname, you put it in your screenname because you like it.

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com
*** This post was edited by Blast Coaster 9/26/2003 8:29:03 PM ***

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Friday, September 26, 2003 7:57 PM
When my sister went to Six Flags America, 3 of the coasters were broken down for the day. It sure doesn't seem like a worthy Six Flags park to go to....

Anyway, Im glad you had a great time. And I would actually like to meet you there one day, that would be awesome.
*** This post was edited by Anaconda 9/26/2003 11:59:38 PM ***

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Saturday, September 27, 2003 10:33 AM
Its too bad you couldn't wait a day to goto PKD, on the 22nd. They were open for a special day because Saturday the park was closed. I pulled into the parking lot to emptiness. A lady at Hypersonic told me that there were only 380 people in the park. But it didn't sound like your day was too bad either.

There ended up being NO lines for Everything, the entire day. I walked right on Hypersonic three times, twice in the front seat, once for back. One ride had people in the front seat, and it got stuck at the top of the tower again. They soon rolled back. Also, the seat paddings on the bottom kept flying off as it crested the hill. They are velcro'ed down. My first ride I had to sit on the Velcro.

The only wait for Volcano was the front seat. There also was only one train running. They had two, but they took one off seeing that there wasn't anyone there.

Flight of Fear was empty as well. You could ride, get off, then walk thru the exit to ride again. Infact, Corey and I (His Screen Name is Coreo## on here, forgot the numbers) were the only people on the train on many rides.

Drop Zone was also empty, as you could've guessed. They only let people sit on two sides at a time.

Blast Coaster mentioned that some rides were frequently down on Sunday, and the same was true for Hypersonic. Before I rode it, it was broken down in the launch, so I went to Hurler, came back, and got on. After riding it once, was going to get back in line, but there were stuck in the launch area.

Of course, the Woodies were also Empty, as they are on any weekday during the summer, except Fridays. They all ran one train seeing as no one was there.

Out of the past 8 years I've been going, this was the best I've seen it. I heard about it being open from Corey around 2:30 in the morning, and seeing that school was cancelled, I couldn't resist. I just knew it'd be empty, but I didn't think THAT empty. What a glorious day!

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OoOoOo....Boulder Dash *Drools Excessively*
"That helix turns me on" - Nightride at CoasterCon

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Sunday, September 28, 2003 1:44 PM

Anaconda said:
When my sister went to Six Flags America, 3 of the coasters were broken down for the day. It sure doesn't seem like a worthy Six Flags park to go to...

It's worthy to go to at least once a year.

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