Kings Dominion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion logo.svg
SloganIt's Amazing In Here
LocationDoswell, Virginia, U.S.
Coordinates37°50′24″N 77°26′42″W / 37.840°N 77.445°W / 37.840; -77.445Coordinates: 37°50′24″N 77°26′42″W / 37.840°N 77.445°W / 37.840; -77.445
OwnerCedar Fair
General managerTony Johnson[1]
OpenedMay 3, 1975, 45 years ago[2]
Previous namesParamount's Kings Dominion - 1993 to 2006
Operating seasonMarch–January
Area400 acres (1.6 km2)
Roller coasters12
Water rides2
Kings Dominion is located in the United States
Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion
Location in the United States
Kings Dominion is located in Virginia
Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion
Location in Virginia

Kings Dominion is an amusement park located in Doswell, Virginia, 20 miles (30 km) north of Richmond and 75 miles (120 km) south of Washington, D.C..[3] Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the 400-acre (1.6 km2) park opened to the public on May 3, 1975,[2] and features over 60 rides, shows and attractions including 12 roller coasters and a 20-acre (81,000 m2) water park.[4] Its name is derived from the name of its sister park, Kings Island, and the nickname for the state of Virginia, "Old Dominion."


Early history as Kings Dominion (1972–83)[edit]

The park entrance as seen from the observation deck of the replica Eiffel Tower

Following the success of Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, northeast of Cincinnati, Family Leisure Centers (a partnership formed between Taft Broadcasting Company and Top Value Enterprises) decided to expand into a new region of the country by opening a second park. A 400-acre (1.6 km2) site was chosen in Doswell, Virginia, north of Richmond in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic, and construction began on October 1, 1972.[5] The new park was designed with Kings Island in mind as the blueprint using similar themes, rides, and activities.

Kings Dominion officially opened on May 3, 1975,[2][6] offering fifteen attractions including the Rebel Yell (later renamed Racer 75), the Lion Country Safari Monorail, Galaxie, and a junior wooden roller coaster known as Scooby Doo. Also present at the opening was a log flume, steam train, a collection of flat rides and a cable-car sky ride that transported visitors between Old Virginia and The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera.[5] In addition, Kings Dominion's 1/3-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower and the International Street Fountain greet visitors near the main entrance to the park. Original themed areas included The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, International Street, Lion Country Safari, Old Virginia, and Coney Island.[7] Daily admission price in 1975 was $7.50, and a dollar for parking.[2]

Kings Dominion added its fourth roller coaster, a Schwarzkopf shuttle loop known as the King Kobra, in 1977. The King Kobra featured a 50-ton counterweight drop launch and was the park's first launched roller coaster. It was in the park for nine seasons before being relocated to Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City, Maryland, Alton Towers in England, and later to Hopi Hari in Brazil where it exists today as Katapul.[8] Also in 1977, Kings Dominion was one of several amusement parks serving as location for the film Rollercoaster.

A campground was completed in time for the 1978 season and the park's well-known Lost World mountain debuted in 1979. Originally, the Lost World featured three rides: a flume ride called Voyage to Atlantis, a children's attraction mine ride known as Land of the Dooz, and a rotor called Time Shaft. Only a year later in 1980, the flume ride was rethemed Haunted River. Kings Dominion later expanded Old Virginia with the addition of the park's third wooden roller coaster, the Grizzly, in 1982 and a river rapids ride called White Water Canyon in 1983.

Growth under KECO management (1983–92)[edit]

The replica Eiffel Tower at Kings Dominion

Taft Broadcasting Company sold its theme park division in late 1983 for $167.5 million to Kings Entertainment Company (KECO), a new company formed by senior executives and general managers of Taft's Amusement Park Group.[9] Three parks were involved in the sale – Kings Island, Kings Dominion, and Carowinds – along with a 20-percent stake in Canada's Wonderland. American Financial Group later purchased KECO in 1987 but allowed KECO to continue to manage operations at the amusement parks.[10]

One of the first additions under the new management group was Berserker – a looping starship ride added to International Street in 1984. Also that year, Smurf Mountain replaced the mine ride Land of the Dooz, transforming the Lost World into The Smurfs theme. Kings Dominion unveiled a TOGO stand-up roller coaster in 1986 called Shockwave, the first of three roller coasters to be added under KECO. Shockwave has one loop like the older King Kobra but adds a helix. King Kobra was removed at the end of the season. A water slide complex known as Racing Rivers opened in 1987, and Avalanche, which remains the only Mack bobsled roller coaster in the United States, debuted the following year in 1988.[11] The trains of Avalanche are themed after bobsleds from various countries including the United States, France, Germany, Canada and Switzerland creating the experience of a bobsled race in the Winter Olympics.[12]

Kings Dominion continued to expand over the next few seasons starting with Hanna-Barbera Land in 1990 with the addition of more children's flat rides. A new, looping roller coaster from Arrow Dynamics called Anaconda was introduced the following year in 1991 featuring the world's first underwater tunnel which travels under part of Lake Charles. Anaconda was also originally billed as having six loops,[13] but unlike Arrow's six-inversion coaster Drachen Fire that opened at Busch Gardens Williamsburg the following year, the Anaconda actually has only four inversions: a vertical loop, a sidewinder, and two consecutive corkscrews.[14]

A new 20-acre (81,000 m2) water park addition called Hurricane Reef opened in 1992. To build the water park, Kings Dominion filled in two-thirds of Lake Charles near the Candy Apple Grove region of the park. Originally it featured the Monsoon Chutes (two pairs of free-fall body slides, at 70 and 50 feet (15 m) high, respectively), the Torrential Twist (two enclosed body slides which wrapped around each other), the Pipeline (four open body slides), Cyclone (three enclosed body slides, the center of which was a free-fall), Tidal Wave (two open slides, which riders rode on inner tubes), Splash Island (an area for children with five water slides), and a lazy river.[15]

Paramount era (1993–2006)[edit]

The Paramount Theatre (Now known as "Kings Dominion Theater")

Kings Dominion continued its growth when it became part of Paramount Parks in 1993 and switched its name to Paramount's Kings Dominion. New attractions and areas of the park themed to Paramount's television shows and films appeared at Paramount's Kings Dominion almost every season that they were under Paramount's ownership. In 1993, they added a motion simulator attraction, originally featuring the Days of Thunder film, and Lion County Safari was removed at the end of the season. Also in 1993, Smurf Mountain was removed, leaving only the Time Shaft and Haunted River remaining in The Lost World Mountain until 1995 when both rides were removed. The 1994 season saw the addition of a new area of the park themed to the 1992 Paramount motion picture Wayne's World, which featured its third full-size wooden roller coaster, Hurler, a shop called the Rock Shop, and a Stan Mikita's restaurant similar to the one featured in the film. Since then, the Wayne's World section has been merged into the Candy Apple Grove; the Stan Mikita's was converted to the Juke Box Diner, and the Hurler was converted into Twisted Timbers, the park's newest roller coaster, in 2018. In the next year, another children's area, known as Nickelodeon Splat City, opened near the Shockwave roller coaster, this was a product of Viacom purchasing Paramount in 1994. This was later converted into Nick Central. In the 1995 season, The Skyride and The Singing Mushrooms were removed.

In 1996, Kings Dominion introduced its second launched roller coaster, and first LIM-launched roller coaster, The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear. The Outer Limits has a 56 miles per hour (90 km/h) launch, four inversions, and an identical "spaghetti bowl" layout to Flight of Fear at Kings Island. Almost as notable as the launch of The Outer Limits was the fact that the entire ride was in semi-darkness; the riders could not see where they were going. Five years after The Outer Limits opened, Paramount Parks' licensing agreement to use theming from the television show after which the ride was named expired; the Outer Limits theming in the ride and its queue was removed, and the ride was renamed Flight of Fear.

1997 featured the debut of KidZville, a re-theming of the Hanna-Barbera section. The park added the new Taxi Jam roller coaster, and Scooby's Playpark became a construction themed playpen called Kidz Construction Company. Yogi's Cave was rethemed to Treasure Cave and many rides in KidZville, such as Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster, George Jetson's Spaceport, and Huck's Hot Rods, continued to bear the names of Hanna-Barbera characters.

Overview of Volcano, The Blast Coaster and Flight of Fear in the background

Kings Dominion added another launched roller coaster in 1998, Volcano, The Blast Coaster, in the former Lost World mountain. The mountain's previous rides had all been removed several years previously, and Volcano gave the mountain a major transformation. Volcano, which was manufactured by Intamin, was the world's first LIM-launched inverted roller coaster. The ride featured two separate launch sections, a roll-out inversion on the top of the mountain, and three heartline rolls on the way back down. Volcano was themed to the 1997 film Volcano; the other Paramount Parks added inverted or suspended roller coasters themed to Top Gun around the same time. During the next two seasons, Kings Dominion expanded Hurricane Reef behind the Rebel Yell and renamed it WaterWorks. The new portion of WaterWorks includes Pipeline Peak, a set of four enclosed water slides, one of which (the Night Slider) is the world's tallest dark free-fall slide. In 2000, Nick Central opened, replacing Nick Splat City and part of Kidzville.[16]

The park added its third launched roller coaster, Hypersonic XLC, in 2001. Hypersonic XLC, a Thrust Air 2000 air-launched coaster made by S&S Power, launched riders from 0 to 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) in 1.5 seconds, taking them up an 87-degree incline and down an 87-degree drop.[17] The entire ride's duration was about 25 seconds. Hypersonic XLC broke down frequently and was closed for the first three months of its second season; no other Paramount Parks installed a similar ride.[18] Nevertheless, Hypersonic XLC helped establish Kings Dominion's reputation as "the launched coaster capital of the world".[19] Hypersonic XLC was removed after the 2007 season.

The early 2000s saw Kings Dominion opening new rides similar to existing rides at other Paramount Parks. In 2002, the park opened its new wild mouse roller coaster, Ricochet (Now known as Apple Zapple), Carowinds also installed its Ricochet in 2002. Diamond Falls, the Shoot the Chute ride closed that season. The 2003 season saw Kings Dominion become the final of several of the Paramount Parks to open a Drop Zone: Stunt Tower, now Drop Tower: Scream Zone. The 305-foot-high (93 m) Drop Zone at Kings Dominion was the tallest freefall ride in the world at the time it opened. In 2004, Kings Dominion added Scooby-Doo! And the Haunted Mansion; similar Scooby Doo-themed dark rides had opened at three other Paramount Parks during the three previous seasons. In the next season, Kings Dominion added a Huss Top Spin called Tomb Raider: Firefall, and was named The Crypt, which was a standard size and outdoor version of a similar, but larger, ride named Tomb Raider: The Ride, also now The Crypt, at Kings Island. The differences between the two were that at Kings Dominion riders' feet dangle freely and at Kings Island, which installed a Giant Top Spin, there was a floor. In the 2006 season, Kings Dominion opened the Italian Job Turbo Coaster, its fourth launched roller coaster. Unlike the previously built launched coasters at Kings Dominion, each of which was faster than its predecessor, the Italian Job Turbo Coaster is designed more like a family ride and features multiple launches at 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). The coaster was later be renamed the Backlot Stunt Coaster in 2008. It is similar to the Backlot Stunt Coaster rides at Kings Island and Canada's Wonderland, which both opened in 2005.

On May 22, 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. announced the purchase of all five Paramount Parks.[20] The sale was finalized on June 30, 2006 for $1.24 billion.[21] The park continued to operate as Paramount's Kings Dominion until the beginning of the 2007 season when Paramount was dropped from the title.

Cedar Fair era (2007–present)[edit]

Control of the Paramount Parks had been transferred from Viacom to CBS Corporation at the start of the 2007 season. For the 2007 season, the park lowered its single-day admission by $5 to $44.95,[22] one year after Cedar Point had made the same change to the ticket prices. This was the first time that Kings Dominion had ever lowered the ticket prices for a full season.[22] In addition, the Starlight discount was brought back, which allows admission to the park for $29.99 after 4pm.[22] Kings Dominion expanded WaterWorks for the 2007 season, adding a second wave pool called Tidal Wave Bay, a four-person family raft slide called Zoom Flume, and a ProSlide Tornado.[22]

During the Cedar Fair era, the park introduced Halloween Haunt. While the park had always had a Halloween event, the new HAUNT event has been received very well.

In December 2006, Kings Dominion put Hypersonic XLC up for sale.[23] The park announced plans to keep it running until a buyer was found. It remained in operation during the 2007 season and was closed and dismantled several weeks before the 2008 season started. Also during the 2007–2008 offseason, Cedar Fair renamed the park's last two rides to open with Paramount theming. Drop Zone Stunt Tower became Drop Tower Scream Zone and The Italian Job: Turbo Coaster became Backlot Stunt Coaster. Tomb Raider: Firefall received the name The Crypt. The Paramount Theater also changed its name to Kings Dominion Theater.[24]

Dominator, a Bolliger & Mabillard floorless roller coaster formerly located at Geauga Lake, opened in 2008 in International Street. Dominator is the longest floorless roller coaster in the world, with the fourth largest vertical loop in the world

The 2008 and 2009 seasons saw Kings Dominion receive three rides which had operated at Geauga Lake during its dry amusement park's final season. On October 23, 2007, Kings Dominion announced that Dominator, a floorless roller coaster, would be moved to Kings Dominion and located in the International Street section.[25] Dominator opened on May 24, 2008, becoming Kings Dominion's first roller coaster with five inversions. For the 2009 season, two flat rides once located at Geauga Lake, like Dominator, opened in 2008. Located near Rebel Yell, Americana became Kings Dominion's first Ferris wheel.[26]

For the 2010 season, Kings Dominion opened Intimidator 305, a 305-foot-tall (93 m) giga coaster by Intamin. The ride features a cable lift hill, an 85° first drop and a maximum speed of 90 mph (140 km/h). The ride, which is themed to NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, was announced on August 20, 2009, and represents the park's largest-ever capital investment. It was opened to the public in May 2010.[27] Also for the 2010 season, the Kidzville and Nickelodeon Universe areas of the park began being re-themed to Planet Snoopy, as were the children's areas at Canada's Wonderland and Kings Island. The park has renamed the Hanna-Barbera themed rides in Kidzville to match the Planet Snoopy theme, ending the park's 35-year run with Scooby Doo and other Hanna-Barbera characters.

For the 2012 season, Kings Dominion installed WindSeeker in the Grove section of the park next to the Juke Box Diner. There are other versions of the ride in Cedar Fair parks such as Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Point, Kings Island, Knott's Berry Farm, and Carowinds. The ride stands 301 feet (92 m) and gives riders a view of the surrounding area.[28] Kings Dominion also added Dinosaurs Alive!, an upcharge dinosaur walkthrough exhibit, located in the Old Virginia section of the park. This attraction also appeared at Kings Island, Dorney Park, Cedar Point, and Canada's Wonderland.[28]

For the 2013 season, Planet Snoopy merged with KidZville during a 7-acre (2.8 ha) expansion to form the largest Planet Snoopy in the Cedar Fair chain. There are now 18 attractions covering 14 acres (5.7 ha).[29]

For the 2014 season, Kings Dominion commemorated the 40th anniversary of Lion Country Safari and the preview-opening of Kings Dominion by returning park icons from past eras. These icons included the return of the classic singing mushrooms, the repainting of Anaconda, an improved queue line for Volcano: The Blast Coaster, the return of classic blue ice cream, among other additions. The 2014 season also saw the return of the iconic floral clock, the popular clown band, and the renaming of Johnny's and Trail's End Grill restaurants to the original names, Dinner Bell and Hungry Hippo, respectively. New lighting packages were added to the International Street fountains and Rebel Yell. The Congo and Grove sections of the park were returned to the original themes, Safari Village and Candy Apple Grove, respectively.

For the 2015 season, Kings Dominion continued in celebration of its 40th anniversary with a major expansion to WaterWorks. The expansion included a new 65-foot tall slide complex featuring three different attractions called Paradise Plunge, Aqua Blast, and Thunder Falls; a new children's area called Splash Island; expanded cabana areas, updated bathhouses, and other improvements to the area. As part of the major water park expansion, the area was renamed Soak City.[30] On August 9, 2015, Shockwave closed in Candy Apple Grove permanently, and a swinging pendulum ride titled "Delirium" was built in its place.[31] Hurler closed permanently at the end of the season on November 1, 2015.[32] In 2017, Planet Snoopy was expanded with the addition of three new children's rides in the former Nickelodeon Central side of the area. On October 15, 2016, Kings Dominion announced that the Hurler wooden coaster would be permanently closed.[32]

For the 2018 season, Kings Dominion opened Twisted Timbers in place of Hurler on March 24, 2018, converting the track from wood to steel. It was built by Rocky Mountain Construction utilizing many of the original wooden supports from Hurler. 2018 also marked the debut of WinterFest, a Christmas-themed holiday event, during the winter season. The Rebel Yell and Ricochet coasters were renamed Racer 75 and Apple Zapple, respectively. Tornado was removed during the 2018 season, and both Dinosaurs Alive and Volcano: The Blast Coaster were removed before the 2019 season.

For the 2020 season, Kings Dominion announced that Soak City would be expanded with a new sub-area called Coconut Shores, featuring a multi-level water play structure and a children's wave pool, on the former site of the Big Wave Bay wave pool.[33] On January 23, 2020, it was announced that The Crypt would be removed to make room for future development in the Safari Village section of the park. Kings Dominion did not open as scheduled for the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and announced in August that it would remain closed for the entire year, although the park later announced that it would open for a limited-capacity holiday event in December 2020.[34][35][36]

Areas and attractions[edit]

International Street[edit]

International Street is the park's main entry area, featuring a 320-foot-long (98 m) fountain pool[37] in the center of the walkway leading up to the 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower at the end of the street. The area is themed to a showcase of various European cultures, with buildings representative of France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. Originally, only the walkway and its shops were considered part of the International Street area;[38] during the park's Paramount seasons, the boundaries of International Street expanded to include the Action Theater.[39]

Ride Opening year Manufacturer Description
Berserker 1984 Intamin A Looping Starship ride.
Dominator 2008 Bolliger & Mabillard A floorless roller coaster. Originally from Geauga Lake in Ohio.
Eiffel Tower 1975 Intamin An approximately one-third scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris at 315 feet (96 m) and 450 tons. There is an exact replica of this Eiffel Tower at Kings Island.
Grande Bandstand 1975 A performance stage beneath the Eiffel Tower.

Old Virginia[edit]


Along with International Street, Old Virginia is the only original section of Kings Dominion that has kept its same name throughout the park's history. Set in the Blue Ridge mountains, the area has a vintage, rustic theme marked by its wooded architecture and country-style decor. In the 1970s, Old Virginia had an Intamin Flying Dutchman flat ride called Jamestown Landing; behind it, Old Virginia had a steam train ride, Old Dominion Line, which ran through the woods in the back of the park.[40] Jamestown Landing closed by 1980;[38] the Old Dominion Line stayed until it closed in the 1990s.

Ride Opening year Manufacturer Description
Blue Ridge Tollway 1975 Passenger-driven cars that ride along on a guide rail.
Flying Eagles 1975 Bisch-Rocco A Flying Scooters type ride.
Grizzly 1982 Curtis D. Summers/Taft Broadcasting A wooden roller coaster similar to Wild Beast at Canada's Wonderland
Kings Dominion Theater 1975 An indoor performance theater. Originally named The Mason-Dixon Music Hall and later named The Paramount Theatre during the Paramount era.
Shenandoah Lumber Company 1975 Arrow Development A log flume ride.
Gran Prix Raceway 1995 R.E. Enterprises Pay-per-ride Go-kart racing track.
White Water Canyon 1983 Intamin A River rafting ride.

Candy Apple Grove[edit]

Candy Apple Grove was known as Coney Island when the park first opened in 1975. It was renamed Candy Apple Grove in 1976. The area is Kings Dominion's largest section in the park, and in its early years, it featured an orchard theme that included three apple-themed rides: Apple Turnover,[41] Bad Apple, and Adam's Apple. Much of the apple-related themes were removed over the years, and the area became known as simply The Grove when it merged with the former Wayne's World area in 2001.[citation needed]

As part of Kings Dominion's 40th-anniversary celebration in 2014, The Grove was restored to its original orchard theme, and the name was changed back to Candy Apple Grove. The animatronic Singing Mushrooms, popular decades ago, was redeveloped with newer technology and placed back on display.[42] Other features that made a return to the area include a fully restored floral clock near the Carousel, oversized candy apples, and the popular blue ice cream that existed in the park for decades.[43]

The westernmost corner of Candy Apple Grove, distinct from the rest of the area, is themed to the 1950s.

Some of the area's more notable rides include WindSeeker, a 301-foot-tall (92 m) swing ride that opened in 2012, and Delirium, a type of pendulum amusement ride that opened in place of stand-up roller coaster Shockwave in 2016. Candy Apple Grove's newest ride, steel coaster Twisted Timbers, opened in 2018 replacing Hurler and reusing some of the previous support structure. In addition to rides, the area features an arcade, carnival games, fast-food restaurants, and a gift shop.

Ride Opening year Manufacturer Description
Americana 2009 A ferris wheel that previously operated at Geauga Lake from 1999 until 2007.
Apple Zapple 2002 Mack Rides A wild mouse roller coaster. Named Ricochet from 2002 to 2017.
Bad Apple 2002 HUSS HUSS Troika. Formerly known as Triple Spin from 2002 to 2013
Carousel 1975 Philadelphia Toboggan Company A historic 1917 wooden carousel, PTC #44. Originally from Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island.[44]
Delirium 2016 Mondial A 115-foot-tall (35 m) spinning pendulum flat ride.
Dodgem 1975 Bumper cars
Drop Tower: Scream Zone 2003 Intamin A Gyro drop tower.
Candy Apple Grove Stage 2018 An outdoor performance stage.
Racer 75 1975 Philadelphia Toboggan Company A racing dual-tracked wooden roller coaster. Named Rebel Yell from 1975 to 2017.
Twisted Timbers 2018 Rocky Mountain Construction A steel hybrid coaster; replaced Hurler which operated from 1994 to 2015.
Wave Swinger 1975 Zierer A suspended swing ride that rotates with a wave motion lifting riders more than 30 feet (9.1 m) in the air.
WindSeeker 2012 Mondial A tower swinger ride featuring two-person swings that slowly rotate and ascend the 301-foot (92 m) tower until reaching the top where speeds increase up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).
Xtreme Skyflyer 1996 Skycoaster Pay-per-ride double skycoaster

Safari Village[edit]

Safari Village is Kings Dominion's easternmost and predominantly African-themed section. It was inspired by one of the park's original attractions, the Lion Country Safari. Containing a boat ride and a monorail train through a nature preserve, the safari attraction closed in the 1990s. The area's name changed from Lion Country Safari to Safari Village by the mid-1980s, and was changed again by Paramount to Congo in the 1990s. The Safari Village name returned in 2014 as part of Kings Dominion's 40th anniversary celebration. Much of the area's architecture and decor is evocative of the African theme. Safari Village was anchored by a large artificial mountain, originally home to the Lost World ride complex and later to Volcano: The Blast Coaster, from 1979 until it was demolished with the coaster in 2019.

Ride Opening year Manufacturer Description
Anaconda 1991 Arrow Dynamics A custom looping roller coaster. It was the first looping coaster to feature an underwater tunnel and the first coaster at Kings Dominion to feature more than one inversion.
Avalanche 1988 Mack Rides A bobsled roller coaster that is the only Mack bobsled coaster currently operating in the United States.
Backlot Stunt Coaster 2006 Premier Rides A family LIM-launched roller coaster based on the chase sequence of the 2003 remake of The Italian Job. Riders launch into a parking garage, dodge police cars, and are attacked by a helicopter, which ignites fire all around riders before hitting a second launch section, sending riders into pitch black darkness. Formerly known as The Italian Job: Turbo Coaster (2005–2007).
Flight of Fear 1996 Premier Rides A LIM-launched roller coaster prototype. Over-the-Shoulder harnesses were removed and replaced with lap bars in 2001. Formerly known as Outer Limits: Flight of Fear (1996–2000).
Intimidator 305 2010 Intamin A giga coaster that is one of the tallest in the world. The name is in reference to former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, "The Intimidator", and the coaster's 305-foot (93 m) lift hill.[45]
Scrambler 2000 Eli Bridge Company A classic scrambler ride. Formerly called Witch Doctor.

Planet Snoopy[edit]

The section originally opened as Nickelodeon Splat City in 1995, and was later renamed Nickelodeon Central in 2000. It was re-themed to the Peanuts for the 2010 season. In 2013, Cedar Fair merged the KidZville section of the park and introduced 12 new and re-themed attractions.[29] Another expansion in 2017 updated the former Nickelodeon Central area of Planet Snoopy with three new attractions and a covered pavilion area.

Attractions Height Requirement Opening Year Description
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill Under 46" with adult 2004 An interactive dark ride by Sally Corporation; replaced Scooby Doo and the Haunted Mansion
Kite-Eating Tree 36" or higher 2017 A mini drop tower. Opened in 2017 as one of three new Planet Snoopy rides.
Lucy's Crabbie Cabbies Under 54" 1975 Children's bumper cars; formerly Boulder Bumpers
Flying Ace Over 44" or with adult 2000 An Aviator swing ride from Chance Rides; formerly Nickelodeon Space Surfer
Great Pumpkin Coaster 40" or with adult 2007 A 200-foot-long (61 m) children's coaster from E.F. Miler. Formerly Taxi Jam.
Joe Cool's Driving School Between 40" and 60" 2000 A miniature turnpike ride, formerly Rugrats Toonpike; one third of the ride's layout was removed to make room for the 2017 expansion
Peanuts 500 Over 42" or with adult 2017 A minitature whip ride from Zamperla; opened in 2017
Peanuts Road Rally Under 54" 1990 A rail-guided car ride across a pond. Formerly Fred's 4x4, Alleycat 500, and Road Rally
Sally's Sea Plane Over 42" or with adult 2017 A Zamperla Crazy Bus ride; opened in 2017
Snoopy vs. Red Baron Between 36" and 54" 1990 A flat ride where miniature airplanes fly in a circle. Formally Snagglepuss’ Seaplanes, Dick Dastardly's Airfield, and Red Baron
Peanuts Turnpike Under 54" 1978 A rail-guided car ride. Formerly Top Cat's Turnpike and Junior Turnpike.
Woodstock Express Over 46" or with adult 1974 A small wooden roller coaster. Formerly named Scooby Doo (1974–1996), Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster (1997–2009), and Ghoster Coaster (2010–2012). Opened a year before the rest of the park.
Flying Ace Balloon Race Over 42" or with adult 2013 A an aerial teacups ride from Zamperla.
Snoopy's Rocket Express At least 36". Between 36" and 42" with adult 2013 A slow-moving monorail ride over the area from Zamperla.
Linus Launcher 42" 2013 A circular flat ride on which riders lay face down and swing in a circle. Built by Zamperla.
Charlie Brown's Wind Up Over 42" or with adult 2013 A small-scale swing ride from Zamperla. Replaced Boo Boo's Tree Swing (1975-2009) and Swing A Round (2010-2012)
Lucy's Tugboat Over 42" or with adult 2013 A rock-n-tug ride from Zamperla.
Snoopy's Junction Over 36" or with adult 2013 A train ride built by Zamperla.
Snoopy's Space Buggies Over 36" or with adult 2013 A circular flat ride on which vehicles attached to a central console bounce up and down. Built by Zamperla.
Woodstock Whirlybirds Over 42" or with adult 2013 A teacups ride from Zamperla.

Soak City[edit]

Soak City, formerly known as WaterWorks, is Kings Dominion's water park. It opened in 1992 as Hurricane Reef and is included with admission to Kings Dominion. In 2015, the water park was expanded and re-branded as Soak City.[30]

Fast Lane[edit]

Fast Lane is Kings Dominion's virtual queue system. For $60, visitors get a wrist band that enables them to get to the front of the line on 15 of the most popular attractions without queueing.

Halloween Haunt[edit]

Halloween Haunt Kings Dominion logo.jpg

Halloween Haunt is an annual Halloween event at Kings Dominion. It debuted in 2001 as FearFest,[46] but was renamed Halloween Haunt in 2007 to match other Cedar Fair parks. In 2017, Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt was voted the second best theme park Halloween event by USA Today.[47]. On August 4th, 2020, Kings Dominion announced due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that it will remain closed for the 2020 Season, thus cancelling the Halloween Haunt for 2020.[48]


Attraction Type Opened
Cleaver Brothers Carnival Scare zone 2012
Blackout Maze 2016
Blood on the Bayou Maze 2017
CornStalkers Maze 2011
IronWorX Scare zone 2010
Masquerade Scare zone 2019
Necropolis Scare zone 2010
No Vacancy: Condemned Maze 2018
Pumpkin Eater Scare zone 2019
Trick Or Treat Maze 2016
Lockdown Maze 2015
Tollway Terror Maze 2015
The Yard Scare zone 2018

Former attractions[edit]

Attraction Type Opened Closed
The Asylum Maze 2010 2012
Blue Ridge Blood Bath Maze 2001 2015
Camp Killauee Maze 2010 2013
Toxic Plague Maze 2008 2012
Miner's Revenge Maze 2013 2013
Medieval Macabre Maze 2009 2014
Blackbeard's Revenge Maze 2007 2011
Alien Outpost Maze 2010 2011
Outbreak: The Evolution Maze 2011 2015
Slaughter House Maze 2010 2016
Big Top Terror Maze 2008 2012
Club Blood Maze 2010 2016
Urgent Scare (Maze of Madness until 2016) Maze 2014 2017
Blood Shed Maze 2008 2011
The Doll Factory Maze 2010 2017
PrimEvil: The Kuru Curse Scare zone 2012 2017
No Vacancy Maze 2012 2018
Feary Tales Scare zone 2008 2018
Zombie High Maze 2013 2018
The Lair Scare zone 2011 2019


In 2013, Halloween Haunt featured a walk-through maze called Miner's Revenge. Advertisements for the attraction characterized it as "the worst coal mine accident in history,"[49] and the attraction featured depictions of dead miners' bodies that had been mangled by a mining disaster.

The attraction drew criticism in the press for being in poor taste due to the region's experience with mine disasters. Washington Post writer Peter Galuszka (author of a book on the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster)[50] said that the attraction "hits a little too close to home for me" since "The idea of abandonment is a difficult topic for miners. At Kings Dominion, the suggestion of living miners left to die is meant to inject some enjoyable dramatic tension",[51] while in the Washington Monthly, Kathleen Geier decried that "agonizing deaths are being served up for fun and profit to the gawking, peanut-crunching masses" and asked "What next – a thrill ride based on the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh? Auschwitz: The Theme Park?".[52]

Following the controversy, Kings Dominion stated that they were dropping the Miner's Revenge Maze from its Halloween lineup in the future.[53]


  • 1974: Preview event featuring a film theater, Scooby-Doo (now called Woodstock Express), and Lion Country Safari.
  • 1975: Grand opening, Eiffel Tower, Rebel Yell (wooden coaster), and Galaxie (steel coaster)
  • 1976: Apple Turnover (Enterprise flat ride)
  • 1977: King Kobra (Steel coaster)
  • 1978: Kings Dominion Campground
  • 1979: Lost World (Themed area) featuring Journey to Atlantis, Land of the Dooz and Time Shaft
  • 1980: Haunted River replaced Journey to Atlantis
  • 1982: Grizzly and Amphitheater
  • 1983: White Water Canyon; Galaxie coaster closed
  • 1984: Berserker; Smurf Mountain replaced Land of the Dooz
  • 1985: Diamond Falls and Scooby's Play Park
  • 1986: Shockwave; King Kobra removed
  • 1987: Racing Rivers
  • 1988: Avalanche
  • 1989: Sky Pilot (replaced Monster)
  • 1990: Hanna-Barbera Land expansion
  • 1991: Anaconda
  • 1992: Hurricane Reef (Water park)
  • 1993: Days of Thunder; Smurf Mountain removed
  • 1994: Hurler; Old Dominion Line steam train removed
  • 1995: Nickelodeon Splat City; The Time Shaft and The Haunted River are removed, leaving The Lost World completely empty
  • 1996: Flight of Fear and Xtreme SkyFlyer
  • 1997: Taxi Jam; Hanna-Barbera Land renamed KidZville
  • 1998: Volcano; Action Theater replaces Days of Thunder
  • 1999: Expansion of Hurricane Reef to WaterWorks
  • 2000: Nickelodeon Central; Pipeline Peak added to WaterWorks
  • 2001: HyperSonic XLC (Xtreme Launch Coaster); Stan Lee's 7th Portal 3D (feature in Action Theater); Shockwave and Anaconda repainted with new colors
  • 2002: Ricochet and Triple Spin; Meteor Attack (feature in Action Theater); Diamond Falls closes
  • 2003: Drop Tower and SpongeBob SquarePants 3-D (feature in Action Theater)
  • 2004: Scooby-Doo & The Haunted Mansion
  • 2005: Tomb Raider Firefall (Now known as The Crypt)
  • 2006: Backlot Stunt Coaster and Thunder Raceway Go-Karts
  • 2007: Tidal Wave Bay, Tornado and Zoom Flume added to WaterWorks; FearFest becomes Halloween Haunt
  • 2008: Dominator (Originally from the now-closed amusement park Geauga Lake); Hypersonic XLC removed
  • 2009: El Dorado and Americana (both relocated from Geauga Lake); Grizzly retracked
  • 2010: Intimidator 305 (Intamin Giga Coaster); Nickelodeon Central becomes Planet Snoopy; Boo Blasters on Boo Hill replaces Scooby-Doo & The Haunted Mansion; Rebel Yell retracked
  • 2011: Snoopy's Starlight Spectular; Shockwave repainted a new color; Grizzly retracked; El Dorado closes
  • 2012: WindSeeker and Dinosaurs Alive!; Fast Lane debuts; Dinosaur 3D replaces SpongeBob SquarePants 3-D (motion seats removed), this was the final year for Snoopy's Splash Dance, Yogi's Cave and 5 other Kidzville rides.
  • 2013: Planet Snoopy 7-acre (2.8 ha) expansion and merges with KidZville;[29] 8 new rides were added.
  • 2014: 40th Anniversary celebration; International Street fountain restored, Candy Apple Grove and Safari Village return; Volcano: The Blast Coaster and Anaconda retrofitted.
  • 2015: 40th Anniversary celebration continues; WaterWorks expands and is renamed to Soak City with new attractions including Aqua Blast, Paradise Plunge, Splash Island and Thunder Falls; Shockwave and Hurler close
  • 2016: Delirium opens in place of Shockwave
  • 2017: Planet Snoopy expansion with the addition of Kite Eating Tree, Sally's Sea Plane, and Peanuts 500; Tornado closes
  • 2018: Twisted Timbers and WinterFest. Rebel Yell renamed Racer 75 and Ricochet renamed Apple Zapple.
  • 2019: Big Wave Bay, Dinosaurs Alive, and Volcano: The Blast Coaster close
  • 2020: Soak City expands with Coconut Shores sub-area, The Crypt closes

Retired rides and attractions[edit]

  • 1974–1993: Lion Country Safari
  • 1975–1981: Adam's Apple/Vertigo (Himalaya ride)
  • 1975–1984: Flying Carpets
  • 1975–1984: Galaxie (S.D.C. Galaxi)
  • 1975–1995: Old Dominion Line (steam train)
  • 1975–1995: Sky Ride (two entrances, one next to the Rebel Yell and one in Hanna-Barbera Land; one entrance still stands)
  • 1975–1988: Bad Apple (Monster)
  • 1975-2011: Yogi's Cave (renamed and rethemed later, did not open in 2012 and was demolished after the season was over, replaced by Snoopy's Junction)
  • 1976–1993: Apple Turnover (Enterprise ride next to Lake Charles)
  • 1976–1990: Mt. Kilimanjaro (spinning mountain ride)
  • 1977–1986: King Kobra (steel coaster)
  • 1979–1980: Lost World Mountain: Journey to Atlantis (replaced by Haunted River)
  • 1979–1995: Lost World Mountain: The Time Shaft
  • 1979–1983: Lost World Mountain: Journey to the Land of Dooz
  • 1980–1995: Lost World Mountain: The Haunted River
  • 1984–1993: Smurf Mountain
  • 1985–2002: Diamond Falls (shoot the chute) (located where Back Lot Stunt coaster sits)
  • 1986–1996: Fred's Jungle Gym (children's play area)
  • 1986–2015: Shockwave (stand-up roller coaster) (replaced by Delirium)
  • 1987–1996: Racing Rivers (waterslide complex)
  • 1989–1998: Sky Pilot (Located near Rebel Yell in Candy Apple Grove)
  • 1992–2004: Kiddie Cove (children's area of WaterWorks)
  • 1992-2007: Spiral Chute (two, body waterslides next to the Anaconda roller coaster)
  • 1992–2014: Shoot-The-Curl (water slide, demolished to make room for a food stand)
  • 1994-2015: Hurler (out-and-back wooden coaster); (replaced by Twisted Timbers)
  • 1995–2012: Snoopy's Splash Dance (formerly Nickelodeon Green Slime Zone)
  • 1997–2012: KidZville (This section became part of Planet Snoopy in 2013.)
  • 1998-2018: Volcano: The Blast Coaster (Intamin launched inverted roller coaster)
  • 1999-2019: Big Wave Bay (wave pool)[54]
  • 2001–2007: Hypersonic XLC compressed air-launched coaster made by S&S Power
  • 2007-2017: Tornado (a ProSlide Tornado water slide at Soak City)
  • 2009–2011: El Dorado (where the WindSeeker is now located)
  • 2010-2016: Snoopy's Moon Bounce (replaced by Sally's Sea Plane)
  • 2012-2018: Dinosaurs Alive! (animatronic dinosaur walkthrough)
  • 2005-2020: The Crypt (HUSS Park Attractions Top Spin)

Kings Dominion logos[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Parts of the 1977 movie Rollercoaster were filmed at Kings Dominion, and the park was involved in a major part of the film's plot.


  1. ^ "Kings Dominion names veteran park operator as its new vice president and general manager". Richmond Times Dispatch. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Big day arrives for Kings Dominion". Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. May 3, 1975. p. 2.
  3. ^ "Directions to the Park". Kings Dominion. Archived from the original on March 24, 2015. Retrieved 15 Mar 2015.
  4. ^ "Kings Dominion Announces Two New Rides for 2009". Kings Dominion. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Kings Dominion". COASTER-net. 11 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Park Fun Facts". Kings Dominion. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Paramount's Kings Dominion". Theme Park Timelines. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Roller Coaster Database". King Kobra (Jolly Roger Amusement Park). Archived from the original on September 9, 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  9. ^ "Timeline: A History of Kings Island". Kings Island. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Kings Island Development". Kings Island Archive. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  11. ^ "Roller Coaster Database". Search Results (Mack Bobsleds). Archived from the original on 29 October 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  12. ^ "PkdPlace". Avalanche. Archived from the original on December 22, 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  13. ^ "Traveling Today". Calling All Thrill-Seekers! Welcome to Paramount's Kings Dominion. Archived from the original on 3 January 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  14. ^ "Roller Coaster Database". Anaconda (Paramount's Kings Dominion). Archived from the original on September 8, 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  15. ^ "". Don’t let the heat and humidity of a Richmond summer keep you stuck to your vinyl car seats. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  16. ^ "Paramount's Kings Dominion". WaterWorks. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  17. ^ "". Ride Gallery: Hypersonic XLC. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  18. ^ "Roller Coaster Database". Search Results (Hypersonic XLC). Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  19. ^ "". Hypersonic XLC. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  20. ^ "Cedar Fair, L.P. To Acquire Paramount Parks". Cedar Fair. 22 May 2006. Archived from the original on 24 May 2006.
  21. ^ "Cedar Fair, L.P. Completes Acquisition of the Paramount Parks". Cedar Fair. 30 June 2006. Archived from the original on 28 July 2006.
  22. ^ a b c d "Paramount's Kings Dominion Press Room". Kings Dominion To Lower Daily Admission Price For the First Time. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  23. ^ "Ital International LLC". Launch Coaster: Reference Number 937. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  24. ^ "Kings Dominion: Virginia's Premier Themed Amusement Park". Thrill Rides. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
  25. ^ Kings Dominion | Virginia's Premier Themed Amusement Park (Richmond) Archived October 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Kings Dominion Announces Two New Rides for 2009". Archived from the original on June 30, 2009.
  27. ^ "Welcome to Virginia's Premier Themed Amusement Park | Kings Dominion". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
  28. ^ a b "Kings Dominion to roll out two attractions for coming year". 2011-09-01. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
  29. ^ a b c "Kings Dominion announces expansion of Planet Snoopy". Richmond Times-Dispatch. September 12, 2012. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  30. ^ a b Bacque, Peter. "Kings Dominion rebrands expanded water park as Soak City". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  31. ^ Gilligan, Gregory J. (July 9, 2015). "Kings Dominion eliminating Shockwave roller coaster". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  32. ^ a b "Kings Dominion - It's official". Facebook. 2016-10-15. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  33. ^ "Kings Dominion Is Renovating and Expanding Soak City for 2020". XL102. 2019-08-18. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  34. ^ "Cedar Fair Updates Its Calendar for 2020 Park Operations". 2020-08-04. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  35. ^ "California's Great America, Carowinds, and other Cedar Fair parks to remain closed for 2020; Others closing early". Attractions Magazine. August 4, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  36. ^
  37. ^ "KingsDominion". Kings Dominion Trivia Page. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  38. ^ a b "PkdPlace". 1980 Kings Dominion Map. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
  39. ^ "PkdPlace". 2005 Kings Dominion Map. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
  40. ^ "PkdPlace". 1978 Kings Dominion Map. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
  41. ^ "Apple Turnover". Kings Dominion. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  42. ^ "Mushrooms Press Release". Kings Dominion. November 14, 2013. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  43. ^ "New for the 40". Kings Dominion. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  44. ^ "Carousel History". Kings Dominion. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  45. ^ "Kings Dominion to Introduce $25 Million Steel Giga-Coaster In 2010". Kings Dominion. August 20, 2009. Archived from the original on February 14, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  46. ^ "Screams of Fright to Fill October Nights at Kings Dominion". 2001-09-05. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^ "Attraction: Miner's Revenge". King's Dominion. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  50. ^ Galuszka, Peter (2012). Thunder on the Mountain: Death at Massey and the Dirty Secrets Behind Big Coal. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-1250000217.
  51. ^ Peter Galuszka (October 25, 2013). "Miners' deaths aren't a theme-park thrill". Washington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  52. ^ Kathleen Geier (October 27, 2013). "Wost. Theme Park. Ever". Political Animal. Washington Monthly. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  53. ^ Berkes, Howard (2013-10-28). "Theme Park Called 'Insensitive' For 'Miner's Revenge' Attraction". NPR. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  54. ^

External links[edit]