PKD 6/27: Kingsfest

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Got up around 5:30 and left around 6 with my church youth group to make the 4.5 hour trek for my first visit to Kings Dominion. Being that we were going on a Friday, and that this Friday was Kingsfest, I was a little worried about how lines would be, but was hoping for the best. Got into the park around 11, and after reading numerous trip reports from others, I knew that the ride which would hold the longest line would be Volcano, so that’s where I and my 3 riding partners headed first.

Got in line for Volcano and waited about 30 minutes for a front seat ride. I’ve learned in the past that when riding an inverted coaster, the front seat is the only place to ride. Started moving through that slow, left hand turn, then WHAM! The LIMs kicked in and we were off. Volcano is an awesome ride, one of the best inverts I’ve ridden, behind Raptor. The entire ride had that great Intamin smoothness, from launch to brakes. Wished I could have ridden it again, but I had other coasters to ride before the scheduled meeting time of 5.

Got off of Volcano and headed towards Flight Of Fear since it was right next door, but it was down for minor difficulties, so we headed towards Anaconda. Unfortunately, it also seemed to be having difficulties because no trains ran while we were in line. As soon as we got out of line it started moving again, but we decided to try it later as well. Moving on around the park, we came to Drop Zone. The line looked pretty long, but the huge capacity of the ride cut our wait to about 45 minutes. Not too much to say about this ride, Intamin free fall rides are incredible. I liked the spinning ring at PKI better, but the lower brakes on the PKD ride were apparent. One ride for the day.

A quick stop for drinks and we were off to the ride that I anticipated the most: Hypersonic XLC. The line looked pretty bad as it was out the gate all the way back to the tower, but then I remembered what I had read earlier, that they hold the line and let only a few people through at a time. I convinced my friends that we should wait, and 30 minutes later we were on the platform in line for the front seat. However, what should have been a 15 minute front seat wait turned into a 45 minute wait as the ride broke down shortly before we were to get on. I made my bitterly complaining friends wait with me while the ride was fixed, and 45 minutes after the breakdown, we were on in the front seat, circling around to the launch.

About the only thing I remember about the launch was the light turning green. The next thing I remember was staring straight up, looking at the sky. There is no acceleration on this ride, only instantaneous speed. Up over the top, a small pop of air, then straight down, around the turn, over the bunny hop and into the brakes. The ride is pretty much over after you hit the bottom of the first hill, but it’s worth the wait for the amazing power of the launch. I was all smiles all the way down the exit ramp.

At this point it was about 2:30, which gave us 2.5 hours until we had to meet the rest of the group, so we decided to pass on Grizzly for the time being and go get in a ride on Flight Of Fear, since nobody besides me had ever ridden it before. 30 minute wait for a front seat ride. I rode this back in ’99 at Kings Island, and I must say that the lapbars are a MAJOR improvement over the horse-collar restraints. I liked this ride when I rode it at PKI, but I loved it with the new lapbars. Everyone else agreed.

Once again, we decided to pass on Anaconda and decided instead to head over towards the other side of the park for Grizzly, Xtreme Skyflyer, and DDR. Grizzly was a walk-on, so after the front-back debate, we headed for the front. It looked promising, but was disappointing, as I received little to no air anywhere on the ride. Decided against a second ride despite it being a walk-on, and since we were running out of time headed over to the Skyflyer. Anyone who has been on a skycoaster can attest to the fact that it’s worth the money. I’ve done it 5 times and will definitely do it again, it’s a one of a kind experience.

At this point it was about 4:30, so we decided to grab some food on the way back to meet the group at the amphitheater for the concert that night. I really wanted to see Pillar and Relient K, and they both delivered awesome shows. Around 7:45, we convinced our leader to let us go back into the park until 9 for a few more rides. She conceded, and we immediately made a bee-line for one more ride on XLC. As we were getting off around 8:45, we realized we had made it on just in time, because a train was now stuck on the launch. Since we had a few minutes, we decided to cut it close and went for one more ride on Grizzly, since some group members had missed it earlier.

This time, it was dark and I opted for the back seat. Good move. A few nice pops of air just before the tunnel and before the final turn made it a good ride. When we hit the station, it was exactly 9:00 and we were officially late, so we decided to make it count and went for one more back-seat ride before tearing back across the park to meet the leaders and head home.

Kings Dominion is a great park, and I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit there. Hypersonic XLC definitely landed somewhere in my top 5 on this trip, and I’m hoping to get back to ride it again sometime soon. All in all, it was a great day at a great park.

(The other) Shaggy
*** This post was edited by Travio 6/28/2003 5:05:26 PM ***

dude, you didnt stay for Newsboys?!?!? man, they ROCKED!!! :) they blew off huge confetti guns at the end during the song "Breakfast", it was great:) and afterwords, we made a beeline and got one more ride on Volcano...awesome day :)

"Happiness is the City of Hudson!!"

Michigan r0x0rs! :)

I did catch the end of the Newsboys show, but must admit that after seeing that stellar ending I sort of wished I had hung around for that one, but the two I was really there to see were Pillar and Relient K, and since it'll probably be awhile until I'm back at KD, I wanted one more ride on XLC. I'm hoping to be back up that way on Sept. 20 for Audio Adrenaline though.

(The other) Shaggy

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