Having a great time at Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion

International Street

When you enter the park, you immediately find yourself on International Street with the large fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower. To the right and left of the fountain, a number of shops and cafés invite you to take a stroll. All around are the entrances to the individual areas of the theme park. The Eiffel Tower, built by Intamin, towers above everything and offers a marvellous view of the entire park.


While the Kings Island theme park has a large pirate boat from Intamin, Kings Dominion goes one step further and transports passengers overhead. Beserker is one of the most powerful looping starships I have ever had the pleasure of riding. It only takes three full swings to reach an upside-down position. What a ride! It’s just a shame that this type of ride has become so rare.


The Dominator roller coaster dominates the left-hand side of International Street. The coaster owes its rather unusual track layout to its location at the now closed Geauga Lake theme park, where it was in operation between 2000 and 2007. The coaster has been at Kings Dominion since 2008.

The ride on the Dominator starts with a small drop out of the station. This is followed by an S-curve and a turn before entering the lift hill. Once we reach an exit height of 157ft, a pre-drop is followed by an immediate descent. We pick up speed in a very steep right turn before entering the huge loop. At full throttle, we go through a right turn close to the ground and a big steep turn high above the station to the next element: a cobra roll. We also enter this element with a lot of speed and pressure. A long ramp then leads us into a block brake. After another drop, we enter the interlocking corkscrews, where we’re tossed back and forth nicely. A steep banked turn and a couple of ground hugging banked turns lead us into the brake section of the ride.

Dominator is a very intense coaster. The layout, which is rather untypical for B&M, has a few highlights, including the Cobra Roll, which is really interestingly placed here. Thanks to the quick turnaround I was able to do a few laps on this coaster.

Planet Snoopy

As in Kings Island, the Planet Snoopy children’s area in Kings Dominion is remarkably large. Originally opened as the Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, this area has been entertaining its target group since the 1970s. Over the course of time, this area was expanded again and again before the children’s channel Nickelodeon claimed large parts of the themed area for itself with Paramount. In the year of the takeover by Cedar Fair, the remaining Hanna-Barbera rides were also remodelled. When the licence agreement with Nickelodeon expired in 2010, the decision was made to use the well-known Peanuts characters, as in the other parks in the group.

Great Pumpkin Coaster

The Great Pumpkin Coaster is located in the centre of the Planet Snoopy themed area. This is a small family roller coaster built by E&F Miler Industries in 1997, which has a fairly compact layout and is only suitable for families with small children. For this reason, and because of the somewhat longer waiting time, I decided not to take a ride.

Woodstock Express

Next door is the Woodstock Express, the smallest of the three wooden roller coasters at Kings Dominion. The ride through the compact layout of the completely blue painted coaster starts after a short right turn with the ascent of the lift hill. Once at the top, it’s straight into the first drop. At around 35 miles per hour, we speed through the first valley before taking a turn. After another descent, we race over a small speed bump before crossing the wooden structure and taking another turn on the other side of the track. It’s all uphill and downhill for a while before we dive into the wooden structure below the first bend and follow its course. Back out in the open, we enter a small dip before reaching the coaster’s braking section where the fun and excitement of the wooden roller coaster comes to an end.

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill

The interactive dark ride Boo Blasters on Boo Hill was originally opened in 2004 under the name Scooby-Doo! and the Haunted Mansion. Back then, the ride in the Mystery Machine still took you through two-dimensional scenes with the characters from the well-known Hanna-Barbera series, in which you could trigger your own effects and unmask the villain at the end. Now there are only ghosts. It’s still very kitschy and nicely done, but unfortunately Boo Blasters on Boo Hill doesn’t capture the spirit of the original attraction, although the queue through the swamp is really well done and gives the ride an eerily beautiful atmosphere.

Jungle X-pedition

The new Jungle Expedition themed area shows just how well Cedar Fair can design its areas if they want to.  The main attraction in this area is the new Tumbili roller coaster – a free spin roller coaster from S&S – which was only doing a few test rides in the afternoon during my visit and was otherwise closed all day.


The Avalanche roller coaster used to run in typical Swiss bobsleigh track style with trains from different nations through a white channel decorated with rubber abrasion. Today, the ride is called Reptilian and the track is bright orange. The trains are now also standardised.

After the lift hill, we slowly pick up speed in a helix. With a little speed, we first go over a long ramp and through a block brake. This is followed by several left and right turns in quick succession. Finally, we race through a downhill helix, which is immediately followed by an uphill helix. After this brilliant finale, we reach the final brake and our fun ride unfortunately comes to an end.

Backlot Stunt Coaster

Passing Arachnidia – an Eli Bridge Scrambler from 1976 – we head to the backlot stunt coaster. Opened as Italian Job: Turbo Coaster in the days of Paramount, the coaster is a special effects coaster from Premier Rides and, as the name suggests, boasts a number of special effects. The compact ride also offers a few other surprises.

The first is right at the beginning of the ride. The launch into the car park, where you then spiral upwards in a tighter and tighter helix, is a brilliant and above all breathtaking start. Never before have I been pressed so hard into my seat. After the 900° helix, there is only a short breather as the descent is immediately steep. In the valley, we take small, gentle bends past police cars, advertising billboards and containers. At the end of the passage we change direction in an Immelmann bend before climbing a hill. After a short right-hand bend, a wide left-hand bend brings us back down into the valley. Shortly after this we come to the big special effects scene. A helicopter is attacked with a lot of noise and a fire effect is triggered, at least in theory. Shortly afterwards we are accelerated through a tunnel. This is followed by a steep turn to the right before changing direction and heading towards the light at the end of the tunnel. We then pass through a dried-up pool of water and after another turn, the end of the ride awaits.

The Backlot Stunt Coaster is a very interesting roller coaster with nice ride elements and a lot of effects that are unfortunately no longer used in the park. The ride is very fast and surprisingly intense due to the start in the triple helix. In any case, the former Blockbuster coaster is great cinema at Kings Dominion!


I love big Arrow looping coasters and was very excited to ride Anaconda after riding Kings Islands Vortex. From the outside at least, the big looping coaster looks very promising.

After climbing the 128-foot lift hill, the ride descends in a long, steep turn. The ride then enters a tunnel just above the water surface. After the very pressurised valley we climb a long ramp followed by a very intense loop. Still at high altitude, we then enter a sidewinder. Then we reach the coaster’s block brake. Now the track gets a bit weird as we make our way through an interestingly curved figure of eight with rather strange transitions. In a long right turn we approach the coaster’s two corkscrews, which are taken very slowly. After a short hill and a left turn we reach the brakes.

Anaconda is a very uneven coaster, where the beginning of the ride is really strong, the middle part is bizarre and the end is a bit too slow. The loop and sidewinder are the highlights of the ride and are great fun. After the block brake the coaster loses some of its momentum. The figure of eight element is a bit strange to ride. The corkscrews are slow and almost uncomfortable. Conclusion: Great start, mediocre finish.

Flight of Fear

In the same year as Kings Island’s Flight of Fear, Kings Dominion opened the same coaster. Both coasters are pioneers in the use of LIM modules on roller coasters. Again, the queue is a good introduction to the space flight that follows.

As at Kings Island, the launch takes place directly from the station. Now at full speed, you immediately enter the powerful Cobra Roll, before hurtling across the floor of the hall after two headstands. After a powerful valley, we immediately enter a sidewinder before cruising through the upper part of the track. After a couple of turns, we are slowed down a little in a block brake before heading into the lower part of the course. In a constant up and down, we spiral further and further down before changing direction after a wide left turn. We now quickly approach the floor of the arena, where we change direction again. After two more steep bends close to the ground, we unexpectedly find ourselves upside down in a corkscrew, whereupon we reach the braking section and shortly afterwards the exit station of the ride.

Flight of Fear is a very solid roller coaster with a really nice track and great scenery. Fortunately, the ride is a lot smoother than the one at Kings Island, which is why I always enjoy getting on this ride.

Intimidator 305

Probably the most spectacular roller coaster at Kings Dominion is Intimidator 305. Built by Intamin, the ride has a drop of 305 feet and sits very close to the ground.

The ride on the Intimidator 305 starts with a very fast lift, where the height of the ride becomes apparent as soon as you pass the nearby Drop Tower. The first steep drop then sends you hurtling at almost 90mph through a relatively tight radius turn, with the view becoming increasingly limited until all you can see is grey. But before our eyes go black, we regain height and immediately race over an airtime hill. Now we take a long left-hand turn close to the ground. After a short straight we continue to the left. This is followed by a series of fast turns. A long right-hander is followed by the second airtime hill of the circuit. Another hill leads us into a right-hander, which quickly turns into another left-hander. Shortly afterwards we enter the braking section of the coaster.

It’s not for nothing that the Intimidator 305 is Intamin’s knock-off machine. Although the first bend was softened after the first season, it still severely restricts your field of vision, but you regain full consciousness before the first crest at the latest. The following bends are taken quickly but very smoothly, although the final bends are somewhat unimpressive. All in all, the Intimidator 305 is a really good roller coaster, which scores points above all for the speed rush created by the close-to-ground layout.

Candy Apple Grove

The Candy Apple Grove is the large midway of Kings Dominion with numerous rides to the right and left of it. Here you will find the classic Dodgem bumper cars, a carousel, the Wave Swinger, the HUSS Troika Mad Apple and the large Ferris wheel Americana.


Another highlight in this themed area is the Mondial Revolution Delirium. Compared to the swing ride of the same name in Kings Island, the ride here is much more dynamic, which is also due to the pleasingly faster rotation of the gondola. Unfortunately, the monotonous rotation in only one direction is present here too.

Drop Tower and Windseeker

Together with the Windseeker, the Drop Tower towers above Candy Apple Grove. While the Windseeker allows a wild flight over the area on windless days, the Drop Tower offers a free fall from a height of 83 metres for up to 56 people at a time. As always with Intamin, the drop is very, very good.

Racer 75

When Kings Island opened, the two-lane wooden roller coaster The Racer was the star of the park, being the longest, highest and fastest roller coaster in the world at the time. So it’s no surprise that it was also included in the opening of Kings Dominion, albeit under the name Rebel Yell. With the opening of the Candy Apple Grove themed area, the name was changed to Racer 75.

The ride on the two tracks of Racer 75 starts with the front turn, after which the two tracks meet a few metres down the track and climb the lift hill together. Meanwhile, riders have plenty of time to cheer each other on, which also helps to build team spirit within their own train – after all, everyone wants to win together. As is so often the case, the first train plunges into the abyss while the second has just reached the top. After a steep valley, the track leads over a rather low hill, followed by a bunny hop, before the two trains separate on the next ridge. As one train heads left, the other turns right. With a lot of momentum and airtime, we now head through another valley with a hill, at the end of which the rear turn awaits. While it was easy to follow the other train up to this point, it becomes a little more difficult on the way back to the station. After another descent and a wonderful airtime hill, we reach the section we have already travelled. Parallel to this, we now race over a series of smaller airtime hills before finally disappearing into the support structure of the first drop and even being confronted with a dark tunnel on our way to the braking section. Shortly afterwards we return to the station.

The ride on the Racer 75 scores points mainly for the great view over the park, at least when only one of the two tracks is in operation, as was the case on the day I visited. The ride on the Racing Coaster with its many airtime bumps and out-and-back design is just as much fun, but without the second track something is missing.

Apple Zapple

At the very end of the Candy Apple Groove themed area is the Wild Mouse Apple Zapple. Right at the beginning of the ride, visitors experience a big drop before going through hairpin bends and over hills again towards the end. All in all, a pretty fast-paced family rollercoaster.

Twisted Timbers

The Hurler roller coaster was long regarded as one of the worst wooden roller coasters in the world. The ride through the layout characterised by ground-level turns had no real highlights to offer in addition to the rather poor ride characteristics. In 2018, the roller coaster was converted by RMC into Twisted Timbers.

The ride on Twisted Timbers begins directly with a right-hand turn that takes us up the ride’s lift hill. Once at the top, the ride initially takes a left-hand bend, which then leans more and more to the side and finally turns into a roll. With momentum, we then head through the first valley, over a speed bump and through a steep turn before heading over three airtime hills. A skilful change of direction in a cutback element leads over another series of airtime bumps. Then it’s through another turning curve and another roll. After a Bayernkurve, it’s back to the station via some more airtime bumps. Shortly afterwards, we hit the brakes.

Twisted Timbers is a fantastic roller coaster and finally an RMC with inversions that I could ride all day without any problems. This is mainly due to the fact that the roller coaster here doesn’t race over the numerous airtime hills as aggressively as other comparable rides. Without almost breaking your thighs, the ride is simply more fun. In this respect, Twisted Timbers is currently the best RMC roller coaster I’ve had the chance to ride.

Old Virginia

The Old Virginia themed area is mainly characterised by the two large water rides Shenandoah Lumber Co. and White Water Canyon, which are located right next to each other. Unfortunately, both rides had not yet started their season, so I was unable to test them on the day of my visit.


Located in the woods of the Old Virginia themed area, the Grizzly wooden coaster is hard to spot. After entering the ride through the gift shop, the expedition can begin. We approach the lift hill of the ride in a long left turn. At the top we immediately take the drop and turn left. After a climb, we go through a long left turn. The second drop takes us straight into an airtime hill and shortly after into a tunnel with another airtime hill. We then change direction in a big turn. A hill then takes us next to the track we have already experienced. Here we go over another airtime hill before taking another turn. Finally, a series of airtime hills leads us to the braking section of the ride.

Grizzly is a very good wooden roller coaster. The ride is so out of control that it is hard to believe. Although the ride’s statistics are not that surprising, the layout has a lot to offer. It’s just a very wild roller coaster ride.

Pictures Kings Dominion

Conclusion Kings Dominion

As with its sister park, I really enjoyed my visit to Kings Dominion. Although the park is not quite as big, it also impresses with a really strong portfolio of rides and rollercoasters. Due to the relatively low crowds on the day I visited, I was able to try out all the rides without any difficulty and got through everything relatively quickly. It was just a shame that the new Tumbili rollercoaster had problems on the day I visited. I will definitely be back again at some point.

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High up the Tour Eiffel

After visiting the Foire du Trône, I made my way to the centre of Paris to have something to eat at the local Hard Rock Café near the – at least in the francophone world very well known – waxworks museum Musée Grévin. In the immediate vicinity there are three really beautiful shopping arcades of the 19th century, Passage Jouffroy, Passage Verdeau and Passage des Panoramas, which invite you to go on a discovery tour.

Since I like to look at Paris from above on every of my visits, I went to Gare Montparnasse on Daniel’s (lacront at onride.de) advice to try out the viewing platform of the Tour Montparnasse. Thanks to the Paris Visite ticket, a visit to the platform is supposed to be quite affordable, but 25% discount on an entrance fee of 18€ was not worth it in the end. Instead, I decided to visit my favourite framework construction.

From the Champ de Mars it is only a short walk to the Eiffel Tower. The tower, which is now completely fenced in, can be reached after a security check. Since I only wanted to get to the second floor anyway and the lifts that were in operation were overcrowded, I decided to climb up the tower on foot. As expected, there was nothing going on here. After buying the tickets and another security check the ascent could start right away. It falls easily from the hand and at some point the first floor is reached. Because of the lower crowd it is worthwhile to stay here for a while and have a look at all the boards and other media. The view is outstanding even from this level.

One level higher, you could see all the people who wanted to get to the top in the second lift and thus were queuing. Meanwhile I allowed myself an espresso and while waiting in the queue I was entertained by a very target-oriented “non” from the saleswoman to an Indian who had just tried to pay with a $100 note. After I took one or two photos up here as well, I went back down to the first floor and enjoyed the moment a little.

In the meantime it was already 9 pm and I slowly wanted to go back to Torcy. As I left the Eiffel Tower grounds, the rain was getting heavier and heavier and suddenly the flying Eiffel Tower merchants besieging the exit of the tower became experts for umbrellas. I did without, but unfortunately I reached the railway soaking wet and dripping. At 11 pm I was back at the hotel.

Click here for the next report of the Tron-Tron-Trône Tour

Paris (2015)

What does a student do shortly before his or her exams, where he or she sits in the State Library almost every day until it closes? Right, book his holiday! A destination was quickly found, as the range of offers in February is quite manageable within Europe and the budget is not exactly high. A trip to Efteling before the opening of the Baron 1898 is also not worthwhile. If you look at the prices on the German website of Disneyland Resort Paris the budget would be used up after just one day, but there are also much reduced packages on the other websites, like on the French one. Travelling alone is not exactly cheap either, which is why I quickly asked Dominik one evening before the booking deadline. Even more spontaneously, Julian joined us around noon the following day, but we couldn’t persuade Jan to join us, as an exam unfortunately prevented this.

Lucky coincidences then made me book a flight with Air France, otherwise the return flight with Germanwings – which were of course more expensive – would have been much more adventurous. For price reasons, however, I had to postpone my arrival by one day, so that I had an extra day in Paris. I used this day to visit the Theatre Mogador near the Galeries Lafayette, where I watched the musical Bal des Vampires (Tanz der Vampire in French).

Since the musical was not to start until the evening and my hotel room was not to be ready until the afternoon, I took a little tour of the Parisian sights. I started at the cathedral Notre-Dame, where under the watchful eyes of the French military someone actually tried to steal my backpack, which was packed to the brim – the lady wouldn’t have got far with the 12kg without being shot, but it was worth a try. I continued along the river Saine for some kilometres. Passing the Place de la Concorde and the Grand Palais I went a little bit over the Champs-Élysées to see the Arc de Triomphe from inside. The ascent to the museum level of the Arc de Triomphe is just as interesting as the view from the viewing platform to the large avenues. From my point of view, this is the most beautiful and also the widest view of Paris. Simply marvellous!

In a good mood I went to the hotel. Slightly hungry I quickly headed to a Subway where I ordered the Sub du Jour. Since the prices are similar to those in Germany, the sandwich makers are a clear recommendation for a visit to Paris, at least if you have to watch your budget. Well strengthened I went on to the theatre. Although I was a bit afraid not to understand everything, I was blown away by the show. All the actors were simply brilliant and Stéphane Métro is my Count von Krolock.

The next morning, after a slight delay of the ICE train, I met Dominik and Julian at the Gare de l’Est. With them we went over to the Gare du Nord, where we took the RER to Marne-la-Vallée Chessy.


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