TR: PKD 8/17 and 8/18 The Magic of This Park Part II & Thoughts

Associated parks:
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Thursday, August 19, 2004 1:47 PM
On Wednesday morning, I got up after a peaceful nights sleep at the Hampton Inn and made my trek up to PKD one more time. Arriving just in time for the 10:30 opening of the gates into the main park (I thought the park opened at 10?). My first stop was HS:XLC. I had about a 30 minute wait for the front row with two trains running. Once I entered the train and departed the station, I began to think, okay, this is not going to be as smooth as FOF. The train moved so slowly, it was hard to believe I was going to be 80mph in less than 2 seconds. Finally I arrived to hear the announcements and then began to crawl up to the launch (could they possibly switch from wheel barrow tires to a smoother tire?). Once I reached the starting point for the launch, I was told to keep my head back and keep my arms inside (especially during the launch). A second or two later, I was launched and up and over the hill in less than five seconds. What a thrill. Once down the other side we glided back into the station. Hypersonic is worth a ride if nothing else than for the launch. However, it is not the smoothest coaster. It's also one of the loudest I have ever heard. I would love to know what the turn over rate is for employees at the on ride photo booth is and if any of them have suffered severe hearing damage. I also think they could do something with the themeing of this coaster. If you look at the other coasters high priced coasters in the park, they really went out of their way to theme, but not HS:XLC. I would think Top Gun:Mach 5 would be a better name and theme for this coaster than it's present name with no theme.

After HS:XLC, I walked over to Hurler, first thoughts were, do they ever use the full queue for this coaster? Why not take out the rest of the queue that is no longer being used and plant some trees and perhaps a nice flower garden in place of the portions of the queue not being used. I liked the station themeing. You are made to feel like you are on the set of Wayne's World with the some of the props from the play. Once again 1 train operation on this woodie. The coaster had a pretty decent drop to get you started through the course but that is about it. It was far smoother than I was expecting. At this point, I thought this coaster was one of those that was great design but couldn't understand the bad reputation. Until it dawned on me, I was sitting the whole time. No air at all. This is the reason why it has such bad reputation. So it became a ho hum coaster for me as well but it was nice to be able to add it to my track record.

Following Hurler, I went to ride Rebel Yell, but quickly grew tired of the one train operation on the wooden roller coasters and the backwards side wasn't opening until noon so I skipped Rebel Yell and Ricochet since I had already rode those coasters and was at the park by myself. I then headed over to AValanche. Again, it was suppose to open at noon but for some reason didn't. So off to lunch

I grabbed some lunch at the Alpine Deli (two foot long hot dogs with Chili please). I was disappointed they didn't have any iced tea. They had some the night before. The staff there sent me to the Pizza Restaurant across the way where I was told they don't know why they sent me to them since they don't even serve Iced Tea. I was then sent to The Wild Thornburry's Restaurant, which does have Iced Tea but it takes 30 minutes to get through the line because they only had one cashier working. Because of the whole Wild Goose chase in search of Iced Tea, I almost missed the Paramount's Magic of the Movies Show.

Paramount's Magic of the Movies Show was okay for me. I didn't necessarily like the whole audience interaction part where they show how some special effects are used to make movies. I can watch Discovery Channel to get that information. I did like seeing the trailers for upcoming movies. But, I was hoping the whole show would have been more of a tribute to the best films Paramount has ever made. I didn't find the actors all that entertaining and the jokes were humorless. Couldn't they have done a song and dance routine to the theme songs for some of the best Paramount Movies? One of the facts mentioned in the moves is the fact Paramount has been making movies for 90 + years. That got me thinking, how big of celebration Paramount will have for there 100th anniversary and how their theme parks will be involved.

The rest of the day, I spent wandering aimlesslly around the park. I took in how much Paramount's Kings Dominion has changed since it's days as Kings Dominion. The park is on the verge of being another Universal Studios Florida with Islands of Adventure. I think the kids section of the park is exceptionally well done and wonder when Paramount actually decides to add a thrill attraction themed to one of their movies or tv shows, what that attraction will be like? The biggest improvement I think Paramount could make to this park is with the entrance. You have such a beautiful park (almost at the point of challenging BGW) sitting behind a tired and poorly designed castle looking facade. Isn't it time to get rid of that and make the entrance look like the one that at the new Paramount Park in Japan? Something that makes me feel like I'm entering a theme park for a major motion picture studio.

While walking around I also noticed the music, from such great movies and TV Shows as The Jeffersons, Superman and Flash Dance. I loved the themeing in The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant. I loved the movie and seeing the props from it was great. However, I was disappointed in the themeing of the New Happy Days Restaurant and thought the selection of food was poor. The same held true for all of their restaurant. Berk's Hot Dogs were featured every where else but if I wanted Chik-Fil-A Nuggets and a salad, I had to be $8.00 for nuggets and fries and additional money for the salad. BTW, Dinner was at the Wild Thornburry's Restaurant.

The employees were great, they seemed like they enjoyed their jobs and took safety seriously. Other times, I thought they should be fired, like the guy at the Stadium Basketball game that gave his microphone, to what appeared to either a memeber of the GP or out of uniform employee, who was making off the cuff jokes and rude remarks that should not be made over a speaker in a family friendly amusement park. Other than that, the park was extremely family friendly.

My only othe comment has to do with the late opening of the coasters in this park. Two coasters didn't open until noon (Backwards Rebel Yell and Avalanche) the other, Grizzly opened late as well but I'm not sure of the reaosn why. Not to mention the water park doesn't open until noon also and each restaurant has different ours of operation.

I had a great time and I'm looking into the possibility of getting a 2005 season pass, which are on sale now btw. So I can return several times next season.

If you have read this far, thanks for reading. *** Edited 8/19/2004 5:55:02 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 4:03 PM
If you think Hypersonic is loud, I can only imagine what the poor souls who used to work Batman & Robin the Chiller's photo booth, or Medusa's photo booth experience. You can't hear Hypersonic out in the parking lot, but B&R:the Chiller is painfully obvious. *** Edited 8/19/2004 8:07:34 PM UTC by Intamin Fan***
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Friday, August 20, 2004 12:35 PM
This TR is a perfect example of the phrase 'your mileage may vary.' I never found Anaconda rough (from Part I of the TR), with the possible exception of one transition in the middle of the non-inverted bowtie element that tends to be a little jarring. I certainly don't associate Hypersonic with the word 'rough' at all--especially with the trains' rubber tires. That thing tracks like butter. And oddly enough, though I agree that Hurler has lately lacked air, that's one of the only coasters I've ever felt was (almost) unbearably rough, at least in the last year or so.

But, I was hoping the whole show would have been more of a tribute to the best films Paramount has ever made. I didn't find the actors all that entertaining and the jokes were humorless.
That's par for the course. It's a show at a theme park, and certainly not a theme park in the same class as Universal or Disney; I wouldn't expect much more. This is why I don't generally see shows at theme parks. The Kennedy Center it ain't.
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Friday, August 20, 2004 12:43 PM
Anaconda might be one of those coasters where it pays to ride in a different spot. I was in row 1.1. My definition of rough might be slightly different then others. I like your word jarring better. While it was smooth go down the drop it was jarring going through the elements. The same with Hypersonic. I stood and watch car after car of people with their heads moving back and forth. There head was still during the launch, but after descending the hill their head rattled back and forth.

EDIT: I don't mind amusement parks shows. I have seen some entertaining ones. Like SFFT "Reflections at Rockville High", BGW Irish Dancers or SWF Odyssea. But Paramount is a show company and as such they should be held to a higher caliber for their show productions. *** Edited 8/20/2004 4:55:09 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Friday, August 20, 2004 1:23 PM
$8.00 for the nuggets and fries? Usually I can't eat there when I visit(mostly on sunday's - CFA is closed on sunday). I work at a CFA restaraunt where I live, and you can get a 12 pack of nuggets with fries and drink for 6.50, tax included. That's a bit expensive too I guess, but PKD really bumped up the price!

I'm glad you have enjoyed yourself, but sad to say the fun with this park runs out quickly if you visit often. But of course, thats just my opinion.

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Friday, August 20, 2004 1:59 PM
I just took my 1st trip to PKD a couple of weeks ago. I have to agree that Hypersonic was extremely "jarring". I actually don't think I would want to ride it again, I was actually feeling kinda banged around after. But I can't see the park getting old too quick with V:TBC there! I thought that was just such a fun ride! the 2nd launch straight up and cming out of the volcano upside down was very unique! I thought the whole thing was very fast and just a lot of fun!
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Friday, August 20, 2004 4:42 PM
I loved V:TBC as well and PKD does have some of the most unique rides you would find at any amusement park. A Intamin Lim and Thurst Air coasters are two types of coasters that are only in a couple of parks in the world to begin with.
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