Kings Dominion Coasters Reviewed, Part 2
Earlier this month, I visited Kings Dominion for the first time. With 13 new coasters under my belt, I decided to rank them from least to most favorite. Read the first part of my review here.
While determining which six of Kings Dominion’s coasters were my favorite was relatively straightforward, the specific ranking was a bit more challenging. The positioning of these six was difficult because each are so different. Many of them offer something that the others do not.
Avalanche was my first bobsled coaster. I’ve never been bobsledding, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. The “off the rails” sensation the coaster gives is unique. The coaster was short but suitable for younger thrill seekers. And if it’s anything like actual bobsledding, sign me up.
5. Backlot Stunt Coaster
I’ve ridden Kings Island’s Backlot Stunt Coaster, so I was familiar with the concept. I really enjoy Premier’s family-friendly launched coasters, and Backlot is no exception. The parking-garage-enclosed helix is forceful yet not dizzying like Intimidator’s (we’ll get to that shortly).
It’s a great coaster for junior coaster riders who aren’t quite ready for the more forceful Flight of Fear or Volcano launches. And although the “Italian Job”-specific elements are gone, I think Cedar Fair has done an excellent job keeping up the non-trademarked aspects of the coaster.
4. Flight of Fear
I don’t think I’ve ridden a Premier “spaghetti bowl” that I didn’t like. I’ve been on outside and enclosed versions of the coasters. The launch is fun, and the twisted mess of steel that is the coaster’s layout is fun and, for the most part, well-paced.
I don’t think I took one photo of Flight of Fear’s entrance or queue. But you can see the ride building behind Volcano in the shot below:
3. Volcano: The Blast Coaster
What a bizarre coaster Volcano is. Kings Dominion beautifully adapted its “Lost World” mountain to feature a one-of-a-kind full-circuit inverted Intamin launch coaster.
If you’ve ever ridden one of Intamin’s Impulse coasters (like Vertical Velocity at Six Flags) and wished the ride was longer, Volcano is your answer.
The coaster’s sixteen-passenger train creeps out of the station into the core of the mountain. The pause and wait before the launch is excruciating. Sweaty hands are almost a given.
The launch is forceful. The train makes a wide turn outside of the mountain before charging back into and out of the top of the volcano like a geyser of lava.
The coaster then circles the mountain making a series of heartline rolls. You’ll definitely want to secure all of your loose articles on this one.
Dominator was the sleeper hit of Kings Dominion. While I knew it was going to be an enjoyable Bolliger & Mabillard floorless-coaster experience, it really exceeded my expectations.
The gigantic vertical loop was like roller-coaster candy, and the ensuing banked turn was unusual and refreshing for a B&M coaster.
The cobra roll was standard, as was the interlocking corkscrews. But the ride, even after its move from Geauga Lake, has retained its smoothness. It’s big, fun and very re-rideable. I recommend a front row seat.
1. Intimidator 305
I’ve never ridden a coaster taller than 230 feet. I’ve never ridden a coaster that has been modified after its first season of operation to reduce rider “blackouts.”
I was anxious. For the first time in many years, I was anxious about riding a roller coaster. What does a 300-foot drop feel like? Will I lose consciousness?
I boarded the train, pulled down the new vest-like restraint and waited, adrenaline rushing through my veins.
The train left the station. The ascent to the 305-foot-pinnacle was swift as expected. Don’t expect much time to admire the view.
I was seated near the middle of the train. The 30-story plunge was breathtaking, but the ground-hugging turn that followed exemplified the coaster’s power.
While I didn’t “black out,” my vision did become a bit fuzzy as 5 Gs hammered down on me.
The train is treated to a few camelback hills, but the main attraction at Intimidator 305 is the insane speed and low-to-the-ground turns.
The ride is so fast and forceful that I found it hard to pinpoint exactly where I was in the ride’s layout.
The train whips around the turns like a wild animal set free. There is no down time. There is no chance to catch my breath. I was in for the ride.
The train lurched into to sloped brake run. I couldn’t believe the ride was over. I survived Intimidator 305.
With 5,100 feet of track, the ride is long. Yet it’s over in a flash thanks to the relentless pacing.
I highly recommend giving Intimidator 305 a whirl. You won’t regret it, and you’ll likely want to hop right back in line.
Thanks to the light crowds that thinned even more in the late afternoon, I was able to re-ride Intimidator several times. Like a superhero movie, it requires several viewings (or rides) to fully appreciate this coaster’s power.
Overall, I really enjoyed my day. The park was much more lush and secluded than I envisioned.
See more photos from our day at Kings Dominion here.
What are your favorite coasters at Kings Dominion? Discuss in the comments section below.