It was now day four of my coaster trip and I was off to hit Six Flags America and Kings Dominion. I got to the Baltimore/Washington DC area early in the morning from my drive down from Connecticut. I woke up and got to Six Flags America right around opening time at 10:30am. They had a separate line for people who didn’t have any bags which was nice. I got into the park a little before 10:30 and they let people with gold season passes enter the park to get to the rides early. This was a nice perk because I was able to walk all the way back to Jokers Jinx and get back to back rides on it without getting off. It was a nice ride. I like the indoor version better however.
From there I went and rode Superman Ride of Steel with no line. It was a solid coaster. I enjoyed it very much. It was awesome to be able to see FedExField and the Capitol Building off in the distance from the lift hill. The drop was great along with the following hill. I enjoyed the two helixes on the ride as they offered decent speed. The final few hills before the final brake run were also very nice. Batwing was next and it had no wait. In fact, I think I was out on the first train of the day. The ride itself was very disorienting initially by going up the lift hill on your back. It’s a cool sensation at the top of the lift to be turned over facing 100 feet off the ground! It was a great smooth ride.
I went and rode Superman Ride of Steel again and got a ride in the front car this time. It was an amazing ride in the front. I then went and rode Apocalypse and I have to say this was one of the worst coasters I rode on the trip. It was very rough and had some head banging moments that I didn’t care for. It was also a very short ride as well. I walked over to ride Wild One and it was closed due to a maintenance issue. I asked the employee outside the front of the ride if he thought it would reopen soon and he said yes so I waited. It opened up shortly after that and I got my ride in on it. It was an ok ride but kind of rough. The closing helix before the final brake run was very shaky.
I ended my day with a ride on Mind Eraser and I was really surprised at how much different of a ride this was compared to its twin up in Six Flags New England. There wasn’t nearly as much head banging and it was much more enjoyable. I wasn’t able to ride Roar because it was down while I was there. Overall, I enjoyed my two hours at Six Flags America. I felt very lucky to get in 8 rides in 2 hours on a Saturday.
I left Six Flags America a little after 12:30pm and started driving south towards Kings Dominion. I stopped for food and made it to Kings Dominion around 3pm. I walked in the entrance and thought, am I really at Kings Island? I really liked the huge fountain and Eiffel Tower replica in the background as seen before at Kings Island. I had never been to Kings Dominion before but found my way back towards the wooden coasters. I was surprised they were all in one area of the park.
I decided I would ride Rebel Yell first. I was very impressed with this ride. In fact I believe it may be the smoothest dual wooden coaster I have ever ridden. It really flew over those many airtime hills with hardly any shaking or roughness at all. I liked it so much I got back on the other side with the same results. I found that I liked it a little better than Racer at Kings Island.
Next up was Hurler and I must say I was not impressed. I knew the ride probably wouldn’t be that great by watching the trim break directly after the first drop. It really slowed the train down so much that the rest of the ride just seemed slow and boring. There was hardly any airtime and it was a fairly shaky ride as well.
I went and rode Grizzly next and I enjoyed the ride very much. It was smooth, quick, and had a lot of fun elements throughout the course of the ride. I really enjoyed the tunnel. I decided to get another ride in since there was no line. I managed to ride all of the wooden coasters quickly because they had no waits. I was surprised by this due to the fact it was a Saturday.
It was now time for Intimidator 305. Another go to coaster on the trip. I saw what looked like a long line through the entire queue however I only waited about 25 minutes which I thought was remarkable. They were running two trains and did a very efficient job with dispatches so the line moved quickly. I got in the front car second row for my ride. The lift hill was great and the drop was even better. The turnaround was ok and I did grey-out as the train approached the big hill but it didn’t bother me too much. The rest of the course was fast, fast, and faster. The quick transitions were alright but the airtime hills were better. Overall, I loved the ride and it was one of the best steel coasters I rode on the trip. It was very fast, smooth, and offered good moments of airtime. I still prefer Millennium Force but this ride was a great steel coaster.
After riding I305 again, with only a 15 minute wait this time, I went and got in line for Avalanche. From Avalanche’s line I looked at Volcano and knew I wouldn’t be riding it today. The line was very long. There was a guy who told me that where the people were standing it was a 4 hour wait. I thought to myself that I highly doubt it was a 4 hour wait but the wait was over an hour at least. Avalanche was a fun coaster. I really enjoyed it and the style of the seating. It’s probably the best bobsled coaster I’ve ridden.
I walked over and got in line for Dominator. The line was fairly long however they were running three trains so that was good. I ended up waiting a little over 30 minutes which was the longest I waited for any coaster my entire trip. I feel very lucky that on a Saturday 35 minutes was my longest wait. Dominator was a great roller coaster. It was the best floorless coaster I rode on the trip. I really enjoyed the drop into the huge loop and the inversions throughout the ride. The rest of the ride was smooth and fast.
I decided I needed to ride I305 again so I went and grabbed another ride. I really loved the intensity. I found Skyrush to be more intense but I305 was smoother due to the better restraints. After I305 I went and rode Shockwave. It wasn’t very good. The restraint system was ancient which made loading and unloading slow. After Shockwave I decided I needed a break so I went and bought a huge ice cream cone. It was very good and took me forever to finish which wasn’t a bad thing.
I went and rode Hurler again since there was no line. It wasn’t good again but that’s ok because I got to ride Rebel Yell and Grizzly two more times each after that. It started to get dark. I got my last two rides in on Grizzly and I really enjoyed the ride at night. It was awesome not being able to see the elements coming up in front of you. It gave for a more out of control experience that I didn’t get on my first two rides. Grizzly was one of my favorite wooden coasters on the trip as well as Rebel Yell.
It was after 9:00pm at this point and I decided that I would try and get on some coasters that I hadn’t ridden yet. I chose Anaconda first. The wait earlier in the day looked to be close to 30 minutes so that’s why I passed it. The wait now was less than 15 minutes. I did not like this ride at all. It also didn’t help that I rode in the back car. I knew that was a mistake but did it anyway. It seemed shorter than Vortex and just not as fun and a little more rough.
Next up I jogged over to Woodstock Express and grabbed a ride on it. It was a fun little wooden coaster with some fun hills. I think more parks need to have kiddie wooden coasters like this. It was about 10 minutes to 10 at this point and I thought I would run over and try to get a ride in on Ricochet. I managed to get into the line right before the ride op passed me to close the gate. I was on the last train of the night. It was a fun ride and a good way to end the day.
Kings Dominion was a great park. I got a total of 19 rides in about 7 total hours at the park. I thought that was a great number especially since it was a Saturday and I chose not to buy the Fast Lane. I rode 10 different coasters there but had to skip Volcano (lines), Flight of Fear (lines), and Backlot Stunt Coaster (lines). I was really impressed with all of the huge trees and nice overall atmosphere of the park as well. The employees were friendly and their ride selection was stellar. I hope I can go back in the future.
I did have one final park to visit on my trip and that was Carowinds. I visited on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 however I was only there for about an hour due to the fact I had to get home at a reasonable time that night. Since the trip was so short I’ll just attach it to this report.
I rode 5 coasters at Carowinds in an hour; Hurler (better than the KD version), Carolina Cyclone (ok), Carolina Goldrusher (not bad), Thunder Road (not nearly as good as Rebel Yell), and Intimidator (great coaster). Intimidator ended up being my 150th coaster. It was a great coaster and one of the best steel coasters I rode on the trip. I hope to visit Carowinds later in the year since it’s the closest Cedar Fair park to me and I have a season pass. Plus, I need to ride the coasters I missed. It looked like a great park for the short hour I was there though.
This was one of the greatest road trips that I’ve ever done. It’s the best coaster trip I’ve ever done. I knew it would be a very fast paced trip since I hit 10 different parks in less than 5 days. I am grateful everything went smoothly and I got to ride most all of the roller coasters that I wanted to ride. I was even able to ride most of them multiple times which was great. I never got lost (thanks Garmin), and I stuck mostly to the schedule I made prior to the trip. The weather was phenomenal the whole trip and not very hot until Saturday. The crowds at the parks were very good each day as well which allowed me to get a lot of rides in. Maybe next year I can focus on a mid-west coaster trip! =)
Ride Count: 2x Jokers Jinx, Superman ROS, Batwing, Superman ROS, Apocalypse, Wild One, Mind Eraser
2x Rebel Yell, Hurler, 2x Grizzly, 2x I305, Avalanche, Dominator, I305, Shockwave, Hurler, 2x Rebel Yell, 2x Grizzly, Anaconda, Woodstock Express, Ricochet
Hurler, Carolina Cyclone, Carolina Goldrusher, Thunder Road, and Intimidator
8 rides @ Six Flags America + 19 rides @ Kings Dominion + 5 rides @ Carowinds = 32 rides
Damn! Sounds like you had one heckova fun trip. It's going to make my trip to PA to do Knoeble's & Hershey seem lame by compariason.
A little quick fact about the Wild 1: It's origional home was at the old Paragon Park in Hull, MA. I figured this out because my dad told me about riding when he was a kid. Thanks to the magic of RCDB, I figured out it's new home.
Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!
^^Or you could just read the signs in the queue :)
The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
Lucky you. I wish I had that kind of income, where I could go to so many parks in one long trip. I even thought about going to Dorney Park, on my trip to Cedar Point at the end of the month, but know I don't have that kind of money to pay for the gas to get there. Plus don't know how long of a drive it would be.
However, I did do Cedar Point, and Geauga lake in one trip. Back when Sea World still existed. We went to Cedar Point first, for 2 days. Then we drove to Cleveland, and stayed over night there for our 2 day trip to Sea World and Geauga Lake. On the return to Michigan, We decided to hit Cedar Point again on the way home. In which I was burnt to a crisp, and sick for the next 3 days. This when gas was just over a $1.00 a gallon.
Some notes on Kings Dominion. It is a sister park to Kings Island, so that is why there are so many similarities. Rebel Yell, and The Racer are very similar to each other, and the main entrance is pretty much the same. You could say the Canada's Wonderland went for the same grand entrance scene as Kings Island, opting for their Mountain, instead of the tower. Though Canada's Wonderland has a very different feel. As for Kings Dominion's Grizzly, The Grizzly at Great America in California, and The Wilde Beast at Canada's Wonderland, have pretty much the same layout. Though everyone says the Grizzly at Kings Dominion is the best of the 3.
I really wanted to ride Volcano at Kings Domion, until I saw how the ride actually runs on youtube. It's pretty short, for its grand setting. I also heard that it also has occasional rollbacks, and, the capacity is horrible, which could count for the long wait. Looks fun though.
I didn't do it! I swear!!
Rebel Yell is indeed a wonderful coaster. It is in my top 5 wooden coasters right now, though I haven't been on many.
Grizzly makes me laugh. I hate Hurler and wish they'd tear it down.
You know, it is funny, but for a while Millennium Force was my top steel coaster, but I can't even remember it now. My new top steel is I-305, and I can't imagine forgetting what that was like to ride.
Great trip report and sounds like an awesome trip. I am certainly jealous!
Sounds like you lucked out with your KD trip though. I went the same weekend as you a few years ago (weekend before 4th of July), and I had similar luck. I think people are all saving their money for the holiday or doing their picnics the weekend before or both, because the park seems kinda dead then.
I cannot imagine MindBender at SFA was any better or worse than the SFNE one. Yikes. I will never ride the SFNE one then. *laugh*
Is the Rodeo ride still at SFA? I love that ride.
"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band
Rodeo's still there. I like it, but not as much as I used to before it was castrated and the cycle shortened. When I first rode it some years ago, it was ALMOST as good as Astroland's Breakdance...okay, nothing could come close to that, but you get my drift.
I don't like the fact that SFA has and enforces a no-single-riders policy on the damn thing the last coupla years.
The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
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