Twisted Timbers Opens at Kings Dominion
Following a months-long tease, Kings Dominion announced last August that Virginia’s first Hybrid Coaster, Twisted Timbers, would open at the park during the 2018 Season. The coaster, built on the structure of Kings Dominion’s former “Hurler” wooden coaster, was a conversion from Rocky Mountain Construction.
Last Friday, after a 24-hour weather delay, Kings Dominion debuted Twisted Timbers at their Media/VIP Preview before Friday’s Season Passholder Preview Night. Coaster101 was there, and here’s what we saw.
The VIP Event started at 10:00am, and we were welcomed by Maggie Sellers, Kings Dominion’s PR/Communications Manager, and also heard from Kings Dominion GM/VP Tony Johnson, Cedar Fair SVP of Planning & Design, Rob Decker, and Kings Dominion’s Director of Marketing, Scott Clemons.
Interspersed in the welcome were two videos; a time-lapse look at Twisted Timbers Construction, and a closer look at how RMC’s team constructed the new hybrid coaster.
After that, it was time to ride. The general layout for Twisted Timbers follows the same layout as Hurler’s familiar triple out-and-back layout. However, after going under the RMC Knife, it now features several new elements that result an entirely new ride.
The most noticeable of these elements that you can see from the entrance is the 109′ tall Barrel Roll drop. This was my second barrel roll drop, following Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom, and is an RMC element that I really enjoy. It doesn’t necessarily feel like an inversion, definitely not an intense one, anyway.
After the initial drop, Twisted Timbers wraps around the re-themed station with a high over-banked turn, and several bunny hop hills on what I would call the coaster’s “back stretch.” The air-time on these hills was incredible.
The second inversion starts like a barrel roll, but rather than rotating the full 360-degrees around an axis, riders are inverted 180 degrees, and righted the way they came in. I’m not sure what RMC calls this inversion, but it’s definitely a unique feeling.
Thinking back to Kentucky Kingdom, the best way for me to describe Twisted Timbers feels like a cross between Storm Chaser and Lightning Run. It has the ridiculously smooth ride of an RMC, some unique inversions, but you’re constantly in and out of your seat (safely) with pops of air-time. (20 in all, based on the ride marketing, I wasn’t counting during my ride.)
I got a ride in the fourth row, and a ride in the next-to-last row. If given the choice, I’d recommend riding in the back of the train. I’m a big fan of air-time, and the back provides some great pops of air.
In addition to a stellar ride, Kings Dominion themed the queue and surrounding areas quite well. Compared to Hurler, whose queue was simply “walk under the coaster and into the station,” there are multiple themed items in the queue that reference the Hanover Hill Orchard and the story of Twisted Timbers. I didn’t get a picture, but even the metal siding on the ride’s station was bent, made to look like an unnatural force went after the Orchard building.
Outside of the ride experience, the variety of Twisted Timbers Merchandise in the new Twist & Shop (Formerly Rock Shop) was very impressive. Outside of merchandise with just the ride logo on it, there were plenty of novelty items, and even a selection of merchandise devoted to the Hanover Hill Orchard itself, which was neat to see.
And one thing I noticed were “name-brand” merchandise items for Twisted Timbers including a jacket from The North Face and a Nike Polo shirt that both featured the Twisted Timbers logo. I’m pretty weird when it comes to theme park merchandise, but I thought it was really cool that there were apparel items from big name brands.
Elsewhere in Candy Apple Grove, Ricochet received a re-theme and new paint job, and is now known as Apple Zapple. It adds to the area’s “apple” theme, and now features a bright green color scheme.
— Coaster101.com (@Coaster101) March 23, 2018
Kings Dominion also treated us to brunch as part of the Media/VIP Event. The highlight here for me was a sampling of custom Mac & Cheese from the park’s new “Mac Bowl” restaurant. Even after a small sample of Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese with Tomatoes and Green Onion, I was sold that every theme park needs a custom mac & cheese option in their park.
In closing, I think Kings Dominion has an instant-hit on their hands with Twisted Timbers. With a stellar line-up of coasters, the addition of an RMC gives Kings Dominion an incredibly well-rounded coaster line-up, and I think people will travel from far and wide to experience the new ride.
Are you headed to Kings Dominion this year to take a tour through the Hanover Hill Orchard? Let us know in the comments below.