Tuesday, May 16, 2006

King's Dominion Is Way Better Than Your Local Carnival Rides

3/4 of a fortnight ago, I went to Paramount's King's Dominion (PKD) in bumble-f Virginia, also know as Doswell. Which sounds like Roswell (New Mexico) but probably doesn't have the aliens. We considered Six Flags in Maryland, but heard bad things about it and I didn't want to give Napolean (Daniel Snyder) and the Redskins any money. After an unentertaining drive south, we arrived a few minutes before the park's opening. I wanted to drive the (new for me) 495 flyover to 95 south, but word of an accident around that way means it'll just have to wait. My SO and I (it's obvious at this point that "we" implies that for all blog entries) bought our tickets online and chose to pay what is the regular price at the gate for one admission instead of the discounted single admission internet price because PKD's online deal gave you a second admission free when paying the regular full price. Are you confused yet?

The 10-story 495/95 flyover was one ride that'll have to wait for my next trip.

We timed our trip perfectly thanks to an overcast day before the summer crowds. Our brochure advertised a new "Italian Job" rollercoaster so we planned to get that and some of the other very popular rides out of the way before (we lost our) lunch and more people entered the park. We started at "Volcano" and waited about 25 minutes or so before getting on the ride. I didn't mind the wait since we didn't have to walk through any of those carrals that go back and forth before making much headway. While we waited, we got a great view of the "Tomb Raider" (guarenteed regurgitation) ride. It looked rough so I just take a raincheck on that ride, which of course I'll never use. Volcano was fun with lots of corkscrews while it shoots you out of the main volcano set. As with most coasters, I always fear my head or feet will hit the track or overhead bar as we go by, which of course would never happen. Nevertheless, since this was a suspended coaster, I kept my feet as far off the ground as possible. Ever sinceI rode the Great American Scream Machine at the great Six Flags great Adventure in the great state of New Jersey, I've enjoyed being scared on coasters and yelling.

If it's okay with you, I'd rather see my breakfast once each day...when I eat it.
After getting pumped from that ride we went to the Italian Job coaster. It was a cool movie and while sitting in a mini cooper might be too mini for me, it'd still be a fun ride. We saw the faux parking garage that our coaster would drive through. We saw the helicopters that would shoot at us as we passed by. We saw the LA Aqueduct and tunnel recreation. We saw the ride's entrance sign. What we didn't see was a way to get in. The ride hadn't opened yet! We felt ripped off. All this talk about the ride yet it's not ready to go. We took solace in knowing we could return later in the season with our tickets, but it still sucked. To make us feel better, we rode the kiddie swing ride (no line) which made me feel worse than I did after Volcano because I let myself get a little dizzy.

I swear I wasn't scared. I swear I wasn't scared.

After some mighty negiating and discussion, I got my SO to go on Drop Zone. It's just like the well documented Tower of Terror at Disneyworld, only this drops you from 272 feet (more than twice the height) without any fake drops. This ride was really fun. Sure, I screamed at the start, but after that I just enjoyed the ride. It gave a great view of nobody-lives-around-these-parts Virginia with lots of trees. Of course, just as I was enjoying the view, I wondered when I'd get dropped. Then, just after the moment passed when I expected the drop to happen, we fell. Just watching people before and after the ride was funny. After reorienting ourselves with earth, we took it easy and rode the carousel.

272 feet? Whatever, even Micky Mouse has that beat.

Hunger began to eat away at us so we figured our best choice were burgers and fries. We had gotten the reversal of fortune inducing rides out of the so it was a good time to put food in that wasn't coming out at the park. We got two burgers, large fries, two sodas and a whole lot of fixin's (I can't stop myself with sliced pickles) all for the low low price of $22. It's an amusement park so you can't be surprised by the prices, but wow, they might as well have taken my car for collateral. The food was passable and hit the spot. We thought our minds were losing it from too many rides because we kept feeling like our seats and table were vibrating. If that bothers you, don't sit in any window seats. We survived this secret PKD ride, but could have done without it.

Backward was a little intimidating for me.

We watched some folks do the "Xtreme Flyover" and considered the "Hypersonic XLC" ride, but passed for the chiropractor inviting wooden rollercoasters. I think someone should open a chiropractic office next to a wooden rollercoaster. We went on the "Rebel Yell" twice. It has a mini tunnel which of course I feared would decapitate me, but I made it. It has two sets of cars - one forward and one backward - but we didn't feel like upsetting our stomachs enough to go backward. Sitting in the front on this ride is worth the wait (which wasn't more than 10 minutes when we went). We also rode the auspiciously named "Hurler". It wasn't as fun as the Rebel Yell and probably misaligned some parts of every rider's back, but that's expected on wooden coasters.

Shockwave's sit/stand position didn't look so comfortable...yea, that's why I didn't want to go on it.

"Riccochet" looked boring and Hypersonic's line was long and we already had experienced its sensations, but would try it next visit. Perhaps we'll ride Grizzly, the other wooden coaster, next time as well. Shockwave looked a bit rough for me since you sort of stand/sit and go in a circle parallel to the ground, as well complete a loop and experience the usual rollerocoaster drop at the end. I also understand we just missed out on a fun ride about space that was completely in the dark and was the first of the electromagnetic-powered tracks. There weren't any real annoying people or things going on while we got around the park. I didn't try any of the carnival games since none looked too appealing and I don't really need a MD basketball that'll just get warped in a month (if I played again of course). I will get some cotton candy next time and definitely get on the Italian Job coaster - if it's actually running.

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