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Dominator (roller coaster)

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Dominator
Dominator (Kings Dominion) 02 Full Layout.jpg
View of Dominator from the Eiffel Tower
Previously known as Batman: Knight Flight (2000-2003)
Kings Dominion
Park section International Street
Coordinates 37°50′27″N 77°26′36″W / 37.84083°N 77.44333°W / 37.84083; -77.44333Coordinates: 37°50′27″N 77°26′36″W / 37.84083°N 77.44333°W / 37.84083; -77.44333
Status Operating
Opening date May 24, 2008 (2008-05-24)
Geauga Lake
Park section Power City
Coordinates 41°21′08″N 81°22′27″W / 41.352197°N 81.374284°W / 41.352197; -81.374284
Status Relocated to Kings Dominion
Opening date May 5, 2000 (2000-05-05)
Closing date September 16, 2007 (2007-09-16)
General statistics
Type Steel – Floorless Coaster
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Floorless roller coaster
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 157 ft (48 m)
Drop 148 ft (45 m)
Length 4,210 ft (1,280 m)
Speed 65 mph (105 km/h)
Inversions 5
Duration 2:06
Max vertical angle 57°
Capacity 1600 riders per hour
G-force 3.9
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Fast Lane available
Dominator at RCDB
Pictures of Dominator at RCDB

Dominator is a steel floorless roller coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. It originally opened at Six Flags Ohio on May 5, 2000 under the name Batman: Knight Flight. Cedar Fair Entertainment Company purchased the park in 2004 and renamed it Dominator. In 2007, the park closed and Dominator was relocated to Kings Dominion where it opened on May 24, 2008 in the International Street section of the park.

Dominator is notable for having the 4th-tallest vertical loop in the world at 135 ft (41 m). Only three are larger: Superman: Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas has a 145 ft (44 m) loop, Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain has a 144 ft (44 m) loop and Full Throttle, also at Magic Mountain, has a 160 ft (49 m) loop. It is also the world's longest floorless coaster at 4,210 feet (1,280 m).

History[edit]

Geauga Lake era (2000–2007)[edit]

Six Flags era (2000–2003)[edit]

Dominator, then known as Batman: Knight Flight, was announced at an event on December 9, 1999 as the only floorless roller coaster in the Midwest.[1][2] It opened on May 5, 2000 at what was then known as Six Flags Ohio. The ride was a part of the conversion and major expansion that occurred between the 1999 and 2000 season, transforming the park from Geauga Lake to Six Flags Ohio. Dominator was built in the Gotham City section of the park, a common themed area in many Six Flags parks.[3]

Cedar Fair era (2004–2007)[edit]

Dominator while it was at Geauga Lake

When Cedar Fair bought the park in 2004, they did not own the rights to DC Comics characters, so Cedar Fair renamed Batman: Knight Flight to Dominator. All Batman theming had to be removed before opening day, which included melting the Batman symbol off every seat, removing the Bruce Wayne Foundation text on the station, and renaming the Gotham City section into "Power City."[3][4][5]

In August 2007, rumors of Dominator being relocated to Kings Dominion surfaced.[6] On September 21, 2007, Cedar Fair announced that Geauga Lake would no longer operate as a traditional amusement park, and instead become solely a waterpark, Wildwater Kingdom. As a result, September 16, 2007 was the last day the ride would operate at Geauga Lake. With that announcement, the rides from the amusement park side began to be relocated to other Cedar Fair properties. The new location of Dominator, however, was not released.[6][7]

Kings Dominion era (2008–present)[edit]

On October 23, 2007, it was announced that the Dominator would be moved to Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia.[8] Dominator sits on the former site of the bus parking lot, behind Berserker, an Intamin Looping Starship. When it was relocated to Kings Dominion, it received a new paint job. The supports remained dark blue, but the track was painted orange instead of yellow. The record-breaking loop, however, is still painted yellow. It opened to the public on May 24, 2008.[9]

Experience[edit]

While at Geauga Lake, the ride was notable for interacting with the lake numerous times throughout the course. When it was relocated to Kings Dominion, it was built behind the Berserker flat ride, in the International Street section of the park.[10]

Layout[edit]

A train dropping from the mid-course brake run

After leaving the station, the train makes a small dip before making a 180 degree right turn to climb the 161-foot (49 m) lift hill. Once the train apexes the top of the lift, riders drop 148 feet (45 m) to the right at a 57 degree angle, reaching a top speed of 67 miles per hour (108 km/h). The train then enters the record breaking, 135-foot (41 m) tall vertical loop. Following the loop, riders go past the queue and rise up into a turnaround around the ride's station. After the turn, riders enter a cobra roll, which contains two of the ride's five inversions. Riders then pass by the station again and enter the mid-course brake run. After the brakes, there is a small drop followed by the interlocking corkscrews, the last two inversions of the ride. Following the corkscrews, the train completes a 135-degree curve to the left that dives into a 270-degree curve along the ground, entering the final brake run.[9][10][11] One cycle of the ride lasts about 2 minutes and 6 seconds.[12]

Trains[edit]

Dominator operates with three open-air steel and fiberglass trains. Each train has eight cars that have four seats in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.[9] Riders are secured by an over the shoulder restraint with a lap belt.

Track[edit]

Dominator's Loop and Cobra Roll, viewed from the parking lot

The steel track is approximately 4,210 feet (1,280 m) in length, making it the longest Floorless Coaster in the world.[13] The height of the lift is approximately 161 feet (49 m). Dominator features the fourth-tallest vertical loop at 135 feet (41 m).[13] When the coaster first opened at Geauga Lake, it was painted with blue supports, yellow track and unpainted rails. When Dominator was relocated to Kings Dominion, the supports remained blue and the rails remained unpainted. The track was painted orange but the loop remained yellow.[10]

Theme[edit]

During Six Flags' ownership, Dominator was the star attraction of the Gotham City themed area and featured various Batman theming.[10] The seats of the ride's trains had the Batman symbol engraved into the headrests and the station originally had text reading, "Bruce Wayne Foundation."[14] When Cedar Fair bought the park in 2004, they did not own the rights to DC Comics characters. All Batman theming had to be removed before opening day, which included melting the Batman symbol off every seat, removing the Bruce Wayne Foundation text on the station, and renaming the Gotham City section into "Power City."[3][4][5] There has been no theme for the ride while it has been owned by Cedar Fair.

Incidents[edit]

On July 20, 2012, a 48-year-old woman from Pitt County, North Carolina, was found unresponsive on Dominator after its train returned to the ride's unloading station.[15] An incident report described that she had a "seizure-like episode" after riding the roller coaster.[16] The woman was taken to a hospital, where she died. Autopsy results revealed that she had a brain aneurysm.[16] A Hanover County, Virginia, inspector found no operational problems with Dominator. The ride reopened on July 23, 2012, after it passed two safety inspections.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Flaharty, Sean. "Six Flags Ohio announcement video". Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Get your fill of thrills at the new Six Flags Ohio". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 16, 2000. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Geauga Lake at Coaster-Net". Coaster-Net. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Rodgers, Joel. "Dominator picture with history info". Coaster Gallery. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Dominator station at Geauga Lake". Coaster Image. 2005. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Gieszl, Eric (September 22, 2007). "Historic Geauga Lake Amusement Park Closing Forever". Ultimate Roller Coaster. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ Chavez, Jon (September 22, 2007). "Cedar Fair says ride's over for Geauga Lake". Toledo Blade. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  8. ^ "B&M Floorless Roller Coaster Planned For Kings Dominion". Ultimate Roller Coaster. October 23, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Marden, Duane. "Dominator  (Kings Dominion)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Dominator at Coaster-Net". Coaster-Net. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Dominator Kings Dominion POV". Coaster Force. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  12. ^ Slayton, Jeremy (July 23, 2012). "Kings Dominion ride remains closed after guest found unresponsive". Richmond Times Dispatch. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Dominator at Ultimate Roller Coaster". Ultimate Roller Coaster. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Picture of Batman: Knight Flight station". Coaster Image. 2001. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Pitt County woman dies after riding Virginia roller coaster". WNCT. July 26, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c "Update on woman’s death after Kings Dominion rollercoaster ride". WTVR. July 26, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 

External links[edit]