Moving to the East Coast has allowed us to go on a lot of new adventures. Some are relaxing at the beach, some are hiking in new National Parks, but none have been as thrilling as our trip to Kings Dominion Amusement Park!
I teamed up with one of my blogging friends, Meghan from The Traveling Teacher, and took a mini road trip to Doswell, Virginia. It is about an hour and half from Washington D.C. and a favorite amusement park of the area. This visit was a first for all three of us and the first time we had visited an amusement park in years. We were all both excited and nervous to get our adrenaline rushing. This post will feature Kings Dominion’s best rides (in our opinion) with a few tips along the way.
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A Little Knowledge About Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion is operated and owned by the well known company, Cedar Fair. Cedar Fair acquired Kings Dominion back in 2006. Since then it has strived as one of the best amusement parks on the East Coast. The park has five sections, in addition to their water park, Soak City. The sections include: Planet Snoopy (childrens park), International Street, Old Virginia, Candy Apple Grove, and Safari Village. Guests will find a restaurant row of different cuisines, a 320-foot-long fountain pool, a replica of the Eiffel Tower and some rides. Old Virginia is a very scenic area, full of trees and contains moderate thrill rides with their two water featured rides. Candy Apple Grove is the largest section of the park and has a lot of rides, carnival games, arcades and more. The last and most favorite section for adrenaline junkies is Safari Village, this section contains the most level-5 thrill rides – of their 8 rides, only two are level-3.
The Best and Our Favorite Rides
Fun tidbit: did anyone play the amazing computer games, Roller Coaster Tycoon? We certainly did! Adam recognized quite a few of these roller coasters just from playing the game, so if you recognize any, now you know why.
Please note that we were not able to ride everything, due to some rides not operable and others because we do not like ones that do a lot of spinning. Nevertheless, in no particular order, here is our list!
Backlost Stunt Coaster
This coaster is found in Safari Village and listed as a level-5 thrill ride. Standing in line this ride did not look like much, which may be why it surprised us the most. It is a LIM-launched roller coaster based on a chase sequence of the movie, The Italian Job. This roller coaster took place both outside and inside buildings and definitely a level-5 ride!
Flight of Fear
Also found in Safari Village and listed as a level-5 thrill ride is Flight of Fear. We almost missed this ride, because it takes place fully inside a building – we thought the building was a theatre at first. The theme of the ride is paranormal activity. The funny or ironic part of this ride is that you see people go on the ride and then the coaster comes back empty…I guess that is why they call it paranormal activity – BOO! The ride inside the building is pitch dark, igniting more thrill and adrenaline in our blood. We heard people scream right at take off every time, we tried our best not to scream, but it is inevitable. The blast off is crazy!
The ride we all feared the most! The Intimidator 305 is a level-5 (should be 6) located in the Safari Village. It is one of the tallest giga coasters in the world, standing at 305 feet. The name and theme of the coaster is in reference to former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, aka “The Intimidator”. Most roller coasters that have a major drop go up slow, intensifying the fear and adrenaline, but that is not the case for the Intimidator 305. It goes up fast and down faster! It goes 91 mph for a total ride time of 1:50 minutes. It is so fast, we lost sight of our vision!!!! Favorite ride of the park, hands down!
Be sure to be ready for the camera! Looks like Adam was just kicking back in this intense ride.
This is one of Adam’s Roller Coaster Tycoon memories. As soon as he saw it he recognized what it was – a racing dual-tracked wooden roller coaster. It is located in Candy Apple Grove and listed as a level-4 roller coaster. This ride was a lot of fun, regardless of which side wins.
Drop Tower: Scream Zone
Also found in Candy Apple Grove and a level-4 roller coaster, this is a gyro drop tower. Drop towers always get to me the most because of the slow rise to the top – too much buildup for my nerves. We kept saying to each other, “we got this, we got this…ahhhhhhhh”!!!!! Bring an extra pair of pants 😉
White Water Canyon
A classic ride in an amusement park – a river rafting ride. White Water Canyon is an enjoyable level-4 ride, located in Old Virginia. We loved this ride because it was basically Russian roulette on who got the bad turn to get soaked. It is best to go on this ride during the hottest time of the day to cool off.
Shenandoah Lumber Company
Another classic ride in amusement parks! Shenandoah Lumber Company is a level-4 log flume ride, also found in Old Virginia. The logs can seat up to four people and has two big drops. Beware for guests watching from the outside because they can use water squirters to splash more water to those in the ride. Lastly, be ready for the camera on the last drop!
Technically not a ride, but an elevator up to the top of King Dominion’s replica of the Eiffel Tower. It is one-third the size of the real Eiffel Tower and stands 315 feet tall. Guests take an elevator up the viewing deck where they can see the entire park. Kings Dominion has one of the most beautiful parks because of its surrounding landscape. It is a sight not to be missed.
The Power Plunger is a fully enclosed water body slide. What does that mean? That guests go on the ride alone with no tube down a pitch black water coaster. The Power Plunger is 77 feet high and a straight drop to the pool! Definitely a level-5 ride and is located inside Soak City. The drop was so fast I think it lasted less than ten seconds. Totally worth it!
The Turbo Twister is mostly fully enclosed with only a few spots of sunlight when it has a waterfall to go through. This ride is only for inner tubes and is 45 feet high. It is also located inside Soak City and a level-4 ride.
As we said, we were not able to experience all of the rides, but we know that these two rides are some of the most beloved rides in the park by everyone. So, we figured it deserved to be (at the bottom) of our list.
The Dominator is a level-5, floor-less roller coaster located at International Street. Really bummed it was down because I hear its amazing! This ride also has a camera for pictures.
Volcano, The Blast Coaster
This ride is the largest of its kind in the world! It is a launched inverted roller coaster and enclosed in a model of a giant volcano – it just sounds cool! Hopefully we can experience this level-5 ride next time. You cannot miss it, but just in case, it can be found in Safari Village. This ride also has a camera for pictures.
- If you are a Costco member, buy your tickets at the store or online and save a lot of money! Tickets are only $36 compared to the regular priced $51 on Kings Dominion’s website.
- Bring your own water bottle. Skip the souvenir bottle and bring your own. You will save more money and you can fill it up with water the entire day for free.
- Stay hydrated! Use the tip we just mentioned to help with staying hydrated. Between the summer heat and light headiness from the rides it is easy to get sick from dehydration.
- Bring your sunscreen!
- Pack a small bag for your swimsuit/change of clothes
- Save time by purchasing your parking pass online at Kings Dominion
- If you love your amusement park and roller coaster photos, purchase the FunPix Pass online at Kings Dominion – you save $5 buying it online than at the park. There are 5 roller coasters and 2 rides inside Planet Snoop that have the FunPix. Each individual picture costs $10 at the FunPix counter, that could total to $70 for every ride. With the FunPix Pass you can have all 7 pictures for only $25 and print them as many times as you wish. Big Savings!
- Download the park’s app!
Check out what Meghan from The Traveling Teacher has to say about our day at Kings Dominion by clicking here! She might mention how much fun she had at Soak City’s Splash House! See my point in our video below.
I hope you felt a little adrenaline rush during this post, we certainly felt it all day – just look at our faces!