Kings Dominion

Last updated
Kings Dominion
Previously known as Paramount's Kings Dominion, 1993–2006
Kings Dominion logo.svg
Location Doswell, Virginia, U.S.
Coordinates 37°50′24″N77°26′42″W / 37.840°N 77.445°W / 37.840; -77.445
OpenedMay 3, 1975;
48 years ago
 (1975-05-03) [1]
Owner Cedar Fair
General managerBridgette Bywater (2021–present) [2] [3]
Operating seasonMarch through December
Area280 acres (1.1 km2)
Roller coasters13
Water rides2
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Kings Dominion
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Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion is an amusement park in the eastern United States, located in Doswell, Virginia, twenty miles (30 km) north of Richmond and 75 miles (120 km) south of Washington, D.C. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the 280-acre (1.1 km2) park opened to the public on May 3, 1975, [1] and features more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including 13 roller coasters and a 20-acre (8.1 ha) water park. Its name is derived from the name of its sister park, Kings Island near Cincinnati, and the nickname for the state of Virginia, "Old Dominion."



Early history as Kings Dominion (1972–83)

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

Following the success of Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, 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 740-acre (3.0 km2) site was chosen in Doswell, Virginia, with construction beginning on October 1, 1972. [4] [5] The new park was designed with similar themes, rides, and activities as sister park Kings Island.

Following a limited preview of the park's Lion Country Safari, a drive-through animal zoo with 230 species of animals, and the Scooby-Doo rollercoaster in 1974, [6] Kings Dominion officially opened on May 3, 1975, [1] [7] 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. [8] Daily admission price in 1975 was $7.50, and a dollar for parking. [1] Opening day of the park saw 50,000 guests, with an additional 50,000-60,000 guests waiting to enter. [9]

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. [10] 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.

Kings Dominion was also active in political lobbying. They and other entertainment businesses convinced Virginia to make it illegal for schools to start classes before the Labor Day holiday in early September. [11] They thought that if students were not able to attend school in August, then more families would spend money at Kings Dominion, and more teenagers would be able to provide a low-cost workforce to the amusement park. [11] [12] This law, known as the Kings Dominion Law after the amusement park, stayed in force until 2019. [11]

Growth under KECO management (1983–92)

The replica Eiffel Tower at Kings Dominion Kings Dominion Eiffel Tower.jpg
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. [13] 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. [14]

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 had one loop, similar to the older King Kobra but added 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. [15] The trains of Avalanche now known as “Reptilian” were 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. [16]

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, [17] 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. [18]

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 that 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. [19]

Paramount era (1993–2006)

The Paramount Theatre (Now known as "Kings Dominion Theater") PKDParamountTheater.jpg
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 54 miles per hour (87 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. After the 2000 season, Flight of Fear's trains also received lap bars instead of shoulder restraints. [20]

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 Volcano, The Blast Coaster (Kings Dominion) 02.jpg
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. [21]

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. [22] 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. [23] Nevertheless, Hypersonic XLC helped establish Kings Dominion's reputation as "the launched coaster capital of the world". [24] 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 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 announced the purchase of all five Paramount Parks. [25] The sale was finalized on June 30, 2006, for $1.24 billion. [26] 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)

Control of Paramount Parks had been transferred from Viacom to CBS Corporation in 2007.[ citation needed ] 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. [27]

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. [28] 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 off-season, Cedar Fair renamed the park's last 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 also received the name The Crypt. The Paramount Theater also changed its name to Kings Dominion Theater. [29]

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 Dominator (Kings Dominion) 02 Full Layout.jpg
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

The 2008 and 2009 seasons saw Kings Dominion receive three rides that 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. [30] 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. [31]

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 April 2010. [32] 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. [33] 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. [33]

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). [34]

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. They also returned the Rebel Yell roller coaster to its original red and blue colors. 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. [35] On August 9, 2015, Shockwave closed in Candy Apple Grove permanently, and a swinging pendulum ride titled "Delirium" was built in its place. [36] Hurler closed permanently at the end of the season on November 1, 2015. [37] 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. [37]

For the 2018 season, Kings Dominion opened Twisted Timbers on March 24, 2018, three years after Hurler operated for the last time, 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, Dinosaurs Alive, and Volcano: The Blast Coaster were all removed before the 2019 season.

In August 2019, Kings Dominion announced that Soak City would be expanded in 2020 to include a new sub-area called Coconut Shores, featuring a multi-level water play structure and a children's wave pool. [38] In January 2020, the park also announced the removal of The Crypt to make room for future development in the Safari Village section of the park.

Kings Dominion did not open for its normal operating schedule in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After restrictions were partially lifted by Virginia governor Ralph Northam in November 2020, the park opened for a limited capacity winter event titled "Taste of the Season" that operated for three weeks the following month in December. [39] The event featured specialty food trucks, seasonal decorations, a small selection of rides. [40] [41] [42]

Normal operation resumed for the 2021 season, and in August of that year, the park announced that Safari Village would receive a makeover for 2022. The upgraded section of the park, Jungle X-Pedition, is themed to an archeological research facility and dig site. The area received similarly themed restaurants and retail shops, as well as a new roller coaster named Tumbili, a 4D Free Spin model manufactured by S&S – Sansei Technologies. [43] [44]

Areas and attractions

Candy Apple Grove

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, [45] 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. [46] 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. [47]

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, counter-service restaurants, and a gift shop.

RideOpening yearManufacturerDescription
Americana2009A 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 (2002-2017).
Bad Apple2002 HUSS HUSS Troika. Formerly known as Triple Spin from (2002-2013).
Candy Apple Grove Stage2018An outdoor performance stage.
Carousel1975 Philadelphia Toboggan Company A historic 1917 wooden carousel, PTC #44. Originally from Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island. [48]
Delirium 2016 Mondial A 115-foot-tall (35 m) spinning pendulum flat ride.
Dodgem1975A classic bumper cars ride.
Drop Tower 2003 Intamin A Gyro drop tower.
Racer 75 1975 Philadelphia Toboggan Company A racing dual-tracked wooden roller coaster. Named Rebel Yell from 1975-2017.
Twisted Timbers 2018 Rocky Mountain Construction A steel hybrid coaster; replaced Hurler which operated from 1994 to 2015.
Wave Swinger1975 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

Jungle X-Pedition

Jungle X-Pedition is themed to an archeological base camp in a mysterious jungle. The area's fictional backstory centers around an explorer who discovered the uncharted land in 1935, naming the location "Site X." [49] Initially, the area was part of one of the park's original attractions, Lion Country Safari, which contained a monorail train through a nature preserve until its closure in the 1990s. The area's name changed from Lion Country Safari to Safari Village in the mid-1980s and was changed again by Paramount to Congo in the 1990s. In 2014, the area's name reverted to Safari Village to commemorate the park's 40th anniversary. For the 2022 season, the area was rethemed to Jungle X-Pedition, which includes new immersive theming elements, dining, shopping, and a new roller coaster, Tumbili. [50]

The area is home to many of the park's thrill rides and roller coasters. From 1979 until 2019, the area was anchored by a large artificial mountain, originally home to the Lost World ride complex and later to Volcano: The Blast Coaster; the structure was demolished with the coaster in spring 2019.

RideOpening yearManufacturerDescription
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.
Arachnidia1976 Eli Bridge Company A classic scrambler ride. Formerly known as Witch Doctor, and later Scrambler (?-2021).
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 near the riders before hitting a second launch section, sending riders into pitch-black darkness. Formerly known as The Italian Job: Turbo Coaster (2006–2007).
Flight of Fear 1996 Premier Rides A LIM-launched roller coaster prototype. Over-the-Shoulder harnesses were removed and replaced with lap bars after the 2000 season. 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. [51]
Reptilian 1988 Mack Rides A bobsled roller coaster that is the only Mack bobsled coaster currently operating in the United States. Formerly known as Avalanche (1988-2021).
Tumbili 2022 S&S – Sansei Technologies A 4D Free Spin roller coaster; replaced The Crypt which operated from 2005 to 2019.

International Street

International Street is the park's main entry area, featuring a 320-foot-long (98 m) rectangular fountain pool in the center of the walkway, [52] which leads up to a 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Guests can ascend the tower by elevator up to the 315-foot-tall (96 m) observation deck. International Street is designed to showcase a variety of European architecture, with buildings representing France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. The buildings contain an assortment of gift shops, specialty shops, cafés and eateries. The International Street section of the park, which originally included the walkway, buildings, and Eiffel Tower, [53] was expanded under Paramount ownership to include the former Action Theater. [54]

RideOpening yearManufacturerDescription
Berserker1984 Intamin A Looping Starship ride; the only inverting model operating in North America, as of 2022.
Dominator 2008 Bolliger & Mabillard A steel floorless roller coaster. Originally from Geauga Lake in Ohio from 2000 to 2007. Dominator is the world's longest floorless coaster at 4,210 feet (1,280 m), and it has one of the tallest vertical loops in the world at 135 ft (41 m).
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 tower at Kings Island, Mason, Ohio (the original).
Grande Bandstand1975A performance stage beneath the Eiffel Tower.

Old Virginia

Grizzly Grizzly Lift and Switch.jpg

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. An Intamin Flying Dutchman flat ride called Jamestown Landing operated in Old Virginia through the 1970s, and was removed in 1980. [53] A steam train ride called Old Dominion Line operated nearby in the same park section. [55] It has since been removed.

RideOpening yearManufacturerDescription
Blue Ridge Tollway1975Passenger-driven cars that ride along on a guide rail.
Flying Eagles1975Bisch-RoccoA Flying Scooters type ride.
Grizzly 1982 Curtis D. Summers/Taft Broadcasting A wooden roller coaster similar to Wilde Beast at Canada's Wonderland
Kings Dominion Theater1975An indoor performance theater. Originally named The Mason-Dixon Music Hall, and later named The Paramount Theatre during the Paramount era, the venue has shown a variety of 3-D, comedy, musical, and animated shows, as well as live bands, over the years.
Shenandoah Lumber Company1975 Arrow Development A classic log flume ride.
White Water Canyon 1983 Intamin A River rafting ride.

Planet Snoopy

While under Paramount ownership, Nickelodeon Splat City debuted in 1995, which was later renamed Nickelodeon Central in 2000. After Cedar Fair acquired the park, the area was redesigned in 2010 using a Peanuts theme, one of Cedar Fair's predominant I.P.s, with Snoopy serving as one of the central characters. In 2013, Cedar Fair merged the KidZville section of the park, introducing new attractions and retheming others. [34] Another expansion in 2017 updated the former Nickelodeon Central area of Planet Snoopy with three new attractions and a covered pavilion area.

RideHeight RequirementManufactureOpening YearDescription
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill Over 42" or with adult Sally Corporation 2010An interactive dark ride; replaced Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Mansion
Charlie Brown's Wind UpOver 36" or with adult Zamperla 2013A small-scale swing ride. Replaced Boo Boo's Tree Swing (1975-2009) and Swing A Round (2010-2012)
Flying AceOver 48" or 44" with adult Chance Rides 2000An Aviator swing ride; formerly Nickelodeon Space Surfer
Flying Ace Balloon RaceOver 42" or with adult Zamperla 2013An aerial teacups ride.
Great Pumpkin CoasterOver 40" or 36" with adultE.F. Miler1997A 200-foot-long (61 m) children's coaster. Formerly Taxi Jam.
Joe Cool's Driving SchoolBetween 40" and 60"2000A miniature turnpike ride, formerly Rugrats Toonpike; one third of the ride's layout was removed to make room for the 2017 expansion
Kite-Eating TreeBetween 36" and 54" Zamperla 2017A mini drop tower.
Linus LauncherOver 42" or 36" with adult Zamperla 2013A circular flat ride on which riders lay face down and swing in a circle.
Lucy's Crabbie CabbiesUnder 54"1975Children's bumper cars; Formerly Boulder Bumpers.
Lucy's TugboatOver 42" or with adult Zamperla 2013A rock-n-tug ride.
Peanuts 500Over 42" or with adult Zamperla 2017A minitature whip ride.
Peanuts Road RallyUnder 54"1990A rail-guided car ride across a pond. Formerly Fred's 4x4, Alleycat 500, and Road Rally
Peanuts TurnpikeUnder 54"1978A rail-guided car ride. Formerly Top Cat's Turnpike and Junior Turnpike.
Sally's Sea PlaneOver 36" or with adult Zamperla 2017 Crazy Bus ride
Snoopy's JunctionOver 36" or with adult Zamperla 2013A train ride.
Snoopy vs. Red BaronBetween 36" and 54"1990A flat ride where miniature airplanes fly in a circle. Formally Snagglepuss’ Seaplanes, Dick Dastardly's Airfield, and Red Baron
Snoopy's Rocket ExpressOver 42" or 36" with adult Zamperla 2013A slow-moving monorail ride over the area.
Snoopy's Space BuggiesOver 36" or with adult Zamperla 2013A circular flat ride on which vehicles attached to a central console bounce up and down.
Woodstock Express Over 46" or 40" with adult Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters 1974A 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.
Woodstock WhirlybirdsOver 42" or with adult Zamperla 2013A teacups ride.

Soak City

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. [35]

Fast Lane

Fast Lane is Kings Dominion's virtual queue system. For an increased cost, visitors get a wristband enabling them to get to the front of the line on 17 of the most popular attractions without queueing.

Halloween Haunt

Halloween Haunt Kings Dominion logo.jpg

Halloween Haunt is an annual Halloween event at Kings Dominion on weekends during the months of September and October. It debuted in 2001 as FearFest, [56] but following Cedar Fair's acquisition of the park, the event was renamed Halloween Haunt in 2007. In 2017, Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt was voted the second-best theme park Halloween event by USA Today. [57] Kings Dominion cancelled the event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [58]

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," and the attraction featured depictions of dead miners' bodies that had been mangled by a mining disaster. [59] The attraction drew criticism in the press due to the region's experience with mining disasters. Washington Post writer Peter Galuszka (author of a book on the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster) [60] said the attraction "hits a little too close to home for me" since "the idea of abandonment is a difficult topic for miners". He added, "At Kings Dominion, the suggestion of living miners left to die is meant to inject some enjoyable dramatic tension". [61] Kathleen Geier of Washington Monthly decried, "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?". [62] Following the controversy, Kings Dominion dropped Miner's Revenge from its Halloween maze lineup the following season. [63]


As of August 28,2022: [64]

Blood on the BayouMaze
Cleaver Brothers CarnivalScare zone
CornStalkers: Blood HarvestMaze
Grimm WoodsMaze
MasqueradeScare zone
Pumpkin EaterScare zone
Site XScare zone
Trick Or TreatMaze
UprisingScare zone


Retired rides and attractions

Former roller coasters

Roller coastersManufacturerTypeOpening YearClosing Year
Galaxie SDC Steel 19751983
King Cobra Schwarzkopf Steel - Shuttle Loop 19771986
Shockwave TOGO SteelStand-up 19862015
Hurler International Coasters, Inc. Wooden 19942015
Volcano: The Blast Coaster Intamin Steel-Inverted-Launched 19982018
Hypersonic XLC S&S Power Steel-Launched 20012007

Other rides

Kings Dominion logos

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.

See also

Incidents at Kings Dominion

Related Research Articles

Cedar Point is a 364-acre (147 ha) amusement park located on a Lake Erie peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio, United States. It opened in 1870 and is considered the second-oldest operating amusement park in the US behind Lake Compounce. Cedar Point, which is owned and operated by Cedar Fair, is the flagship of the company's amusement park chain. Known as "America's Roller Coast", the park features 16 roller coasters, which ranks third among amusement parks in North America behind Six Flags Magic Mountain (20) and Canada's Wonderland (18). Cedar Point's normal operating season runs from early May until Labor Day in September, which is followed by weekend-only operation through Halloween during an annual event known as HalloWeekends. Other amenities and attractions featured within the park include a one-mile-long (1.6 km) beach, an outdoor water park named Cedar Point Shores, an indoor water park named Castaway Bay, two marinas, and an outdoor sports complex called Cedar Point Sports Center.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kings Island</span> Amusement park in Ohio

Kings Island is a 364-acre (147 ha) amusement park located 24 miles (39 km) northeast of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio, United States. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the park was built by Taft Broadcasting and opened in 1972. It was part of a larger effort to move and expand Coney Island, a popular resort destination along the banks of the Ohio River that was prone to frequent flooding. After more than $300 million in capital investments over the years, the park has grown to feature over a hundred attractions including fourteen roller coasters and a 33-acre (13 ha) water park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Knott's Berry Farm</span> Amusement park in Buena Park, California

Knott's Berry Farm is a 57-acre (2,500,000 sq ft) theme park located in Buena Park, California, owned and operated by Cedar Fair. In March 2015, it was ranked as the twelfth-most-visited theme park in North America, while averaging approximately 4 million visitors per year. The park features over 40 rides, including roller coasters, family rides, dark rides, and water rides.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paramount Parks</span> Former amusement park owner and operator

Paramount Parks was the operator of Paramount's Kings Island, Paramount's Kings Dominion, Paramount's Great America, Paramount's Carowinds, and Paramount Canada's Wonderland, which annually attracted about 13 million patrons. National Amusements-owned Viacom assumed control of the company as part of its acquisition of Paramount Pictures in 1994.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Canada's Wonderland</span> Amusement park in Vaughan, Canada

Canada's Wonderland, formerly known as Paramount Canada's Wonderland, is a 134-hectare (330-acre) amusement park located in Vaughan, Ontario, a municipality within the Greater Toronto Area. Opened in 1981 by the Taft Broadcasting Company and the Great-West Life Assurance Company, it was the first major theme park in Canada and remains the country's largest. Cedar Fair purchased the park from Paramount Parks in 2006, and they have owned and operated the park since then. In 2019, it was the most-visited seasonal amusement park in North America with an estimated 3.9 million guests. The park still retains this record, with an estimated 3.8 million guests in 2022 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Valleyfair</span> Amusement park

Valleyfair is a 125-acre (51 ha) amusement park in Shakopee, Minnesota, United States. Owned by Cedar Fair, the park opened in 1976 and now features over 75 rides and attractions including eight roller coasters. Valleyfair also has a water park called Soak City which is included with the price of admission. Cedar Point and Valleyfair were the first two parks in the Cedar Fair chain and a combination of the park names – "cedar" and "fair" – were used to name the company.

Carowinds is a 407-acre (165 ha) amusement park primarily located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the park opened to the public on March 31, 1973. Carowinds straddles the state line between North and South Carolina, adjacent to Interstate 77, with a portion of the park located in Fort Mill, South Carolina. It was constructed at a cost of $70 million following a four-year planning period led by Charlotte businessman Earl Patterson Hall. Carowinds also features Carolina Harbor, a 27-acre (11 ha) water park that is included with park admission. Annual events include the Halloween-themed S-Carowinds and the Christmas-themed WinterFest.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">California's Great America</span> Amusement park in Santa Clara, California

California's Great America, often shortened to Great America, is a 112-acre (45 ha) amusement park located in Santa Clara, California. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, it originally opened in 1976 as one of two parks built by the Marriott Corporation. California's Great America features over 40 rides and attractions, and one of its most notable is Gold Striker, which has been featured as a top-ranked wooden roller coaster in Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards publication. Other notable rides include RailBlazer, a single-rail coaster from Rocky Mountain Construction, and Flight Deck, an inverted coaster from Bolliger & Mabillard. The park appeared in the 1994 films Beverly Hills Cop III and Getting Even with Dad.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Worlds of Fun</span> Amusement park in Kansas City, Missouri

Worlds of Fun is an entertainment complex with more than 235 acres located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is the largest amusement park and water park in the Midwest. Founded by American businessmen Lamar Hunt and Jack Steadman, the park opened in 1973 under the ownership of Hunt's company, Mid-America Enterprises. Oceans of Fun is a water park that opened in 1982 and is next to the amusement park. Admission to Oceans of Fun is included with the price of admission to Worlds of Fun. Both parks were sold to Cedar Fair in 1995 for $40 million.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hypersonic XLC</span> Defunct roller coaster at Kings Dominion

Hypersonic XLC was a roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Hypersonic was built by S&S Worldwide, a company specializing in air-powered rides, and was the first compressed air launch coaster in the world. Hypersonic was S&S Worldwide's actual prototype for an air-launched coaster, called Thrust Air 2000.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Volcano: The Blast Coaster</span> Defunct roller coaster at Kings Dominion

Volcano: The Blast Coaster, or simply Volcano, was an inverted roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, United States. Designed by Werner Stengel, it was the first launched roller coaster manufactured by Intamin and the first of its kind in the world to be inverted. Its launch mechanism utilized linear induction motor (LIM) technology. After a series of delays, Volcano opened to the public on August 3, 1998. A portion of the ride was enclosed inside an artificial mountain, constructed in 1979, which previously housed other attractions. Following nearly two decades of operation, Volcano abruptly closed a few weeks into the 2018 season, and the closure became permanent during the following offseason.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Woodstock Express (Kings Dominion)</span>

Woodstock Express is a wooden roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. It opened as Scooby-Doo in 1974 after the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character. Despite being classified as a family roller coaster and located in the children's area of the park, the ride notably has a intensity rating of 4 out of 5.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Woodstock Express (Kings Island)</span> Wooden roller coaster

Woodstock Express is a wooden roller coaster located at Kings Island and designed by John C. Allen. It is located in the children's rides area of the park known as Planet Snoopy. The coaster has undergone four different name changes as the children's area in which it resides has been renamed and rethemed multiple times since the park opened. It has also been painted a number of different color schemes since its debut.

Since the 1990s, Nickelodeon, a worldwide children's television network and franchise, owned by Paramount Global, has had an involvement in the creation and theming of amusement parks rides.

Through its history, Hanna-Barbera has operated theme park attractions, mostly as a section in Kings Island, Carowinds, California's Great America, Kings Dominion, Canada's Wonderland, and, recently, Six Flags Great America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Children's attractions at Canada's Wonderland</span> Childrens areas at Canadas Wonderland

There have been several children's areas at Canada's Wonderland since opening in 1981.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boo Blasters on Boo Hill</span> Cedar Fair dark ride

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill is an interactive family dark ride designed and manufactured by Sally Corporation. The ride opened in 2010 at four Cedar Fair amusement parks — Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and Kings Island. The ride was a slight alteration and replacement of Scooby-Doo! and the Haunted Castle after Cedar Fair chose to remove all Hanna-Barbera branding from each of their parks by 2010.


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