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KD opening day TR 3/29/13

PkD4Life PkD4Life Profile

Posted:
4/1/13 at
1:24:53 PM

The day had finally come, and about time too…lol We headed up to Kings Dominion for opening day with temps in the mid 50’s but when the sun would dip behind some clouds it would feel way cooler. We arrived a little late, probably around noon, and headed to get our season passes processed. Thankfully it was only about a 2 min wait as we headed straight in, photo taken, and then off. Instead of a blow by blow account I will just give my thoughts on the various rides we did for the day.

First we headed through the all new Planet Snoopy. We are invited back on April 12th for media day and grand opening stuff so I will bring my video camera then and show off more of what was done. Just walking through we honestly didn’t get the feeling of something grand. Yea it looks better and the rides look great in the new places but neither my wife or myself got that feeling of it being something special. Maybe we had hyped it too much in our own minds but it just wasn’t special IMO. Of course I say that but all of the new rides did look great and it will be an amazing time for children who come to Planet Snoopy. If KD was trying to keep the kids area looking as close to it has been in the past they succeeded. Everything is new but nothing seems out of place and if you didn’t know any better you would believe it has been there the entire time. The Scoopy Doo (Woodstock Express) looks amazing with the new paint btw.

We continued through and back to I-305. One train operation all day but we never waited more then probably 15 min for any row other then the front. The ride is running great and as intense as ever. We got 5 rides in total through the day.

Flight of Fear was next. Minimum wait as well, maybe 5 min. Same ride as always, still stopping you at the mid break. 3 rides through the day.

Volcano has the longest wait of the day as the upper que was full every time we waited in line. With most rides as KD now, they are blocking the que then letting people go to fill in the station. Even with the full area we only waited about 45 min or so. Later in the day it was down to about 30 min. Has been the past few years on opening day the back row of Volcano was closed. We rode 3 times all in the front. My wife loves this ride and it was kicking butt like always.

We skipped over to the other side of the park. On the way riding Drop Zone, which for the first time in a long time all 4 sides were open. We never waited long for it.

Rebel Yell was next with them running the back side which seems to be the case a lot. However we did see people working on the track for the front side which was good news. The Rebel Yell was running great. We only ride now in the second to last seat, non axel, and as always it delivered a great ride. I was shocked to see they were running 2 trains as it seems per KD usual only one train on the woodies.

We skipped over the Hurler as we did watch maintanence looking at Wind Seeker however nothing ever happened all day. Hopefully they get everything taken care of and have it up and running soon.

Grizzly was next again with little to no line. Back seat was insane. We rode it 4 times and every single time it was amazing. The later in the day it gets the better the ride. Tons of new wood all over this ride as well. But usual KD one train…boo.

We walked around and back to the front to get a few rides on Dominator. We noticed last year when riding with hardly anyone on the train there was a ton of shuffling and it was very rough. When the train is full nothing. Thankfully we had a full train every ride and it was its usual great self. My wife loves Dominator though I am leaning towards Kraken as being a better floorless. Either way it was a great ride.

We walked around the park a few times riding and seeing how everything was looking. When we got to the park it was little busy but as the day went on it died out. Most rides by closing time were a walk on other then 305 and Volcano.

Lee

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by KevinReid KevinReid Profile at 4/4/13 11:16:40 AM
Thanks for the TR. I was always Jealous of parks that opened so early compared to Wonderland's early May opening.

Regards,
Kevin Reid

* This post was modified at 4/4/13 11:18:50 AM *

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 4/5/13 9:59:47 PM
Thanks for the TR Lee. I am visiting KD for the first time ever this July. You're getting me ready.

PkD4Life said:

We continued through and back to I-305. One train operation all day but we never waited more then probably 15 min for any row other then the front. The ride is running great and as intense as ever. We got 5 rides in total through the day.

I'm anxious to ride this and see how it compares to MF. Glad it's running well after the reconfiguration.


Flight of Fear was next. Minimum wait as well, maybe 5 min. Same ride as always, still stopping you at the mid break. 3 rides through the day.

Ever ridden the outdoor versions without the mid-course? Much better!

Volcano has the longest wait of the day as the upper que was full every time we waited in line. With most rides as KD now, they are blocking the que then letting people go to fill in the station. Even with the full area we only waited about 45 min or so.

Seems like every TR of KD says the same thing...Volcano has the longest waits in the park.

Rebel Yell was next with them running the back side which seems to be the case a lot. However we did see people working on the track for the front side which was good news. The Rebel Yell was running great. We only ride now in the second to last seat, non axel, and as always it delivered a great ride. I was shocked to see they were running 2 trains as it seems per KD usual only one train on the woodies.


Glad to know this classic woodie is running well. Was it racing backward and forwards?


Grizzly was next again with little to no line. Back seat was insane. We rode it 4 times and every single time it was amazing. The later in the day it gets the better the ride. Tons of new wood all over this ride as well. But usual KD one train…boo.

I've never heard much about Grizzly, but it sounds like yall enjoyed it. It's sort of the sleeper of KD I guess. Can't wait!

Thank again. I'll have a TR of my trip in a few months.

- Pat-O

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/6/13 7:08:12 AM
Pat-O, unless things have changed this season (I wish,) Cedar Fair no longer runs any of their racing woodies backwards.

* This post was modified at 4/6/13 10:02:56 AM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by PkD4Life PkD4Life Profile at 4/8/13 12:02:48 PM
LoneStar said:

Thanks for the TR Lee. I am visiting KD for the first time ever this July. You're getting me ready.

"I'm anxious to ride this and see how it compares to MF. Glad it's running well after the reconfiguration."


We are going to Cedar Point later this spring so I can see for myself as well. Some like 305 better while others like MF. We will see...lol


"Ever ridden the outdoor versions without the mid-course? Much better!"

Yes we have ridden it without the mid-course outside and I agree I like it way better however my wife likes not being able to see anything. Toss up I guess.

"Seems like every TR of KD says the same thing...Volcano has the longest waits in the park."

With the way the station was built for Volcano it always has the longest lines, however worth it. The line always seems longer now since they block the line and only let so many people into the station at a time.


"Glad to know this classic woodie is running well. Was it racing backward and forwards?"

As someone else stated since Cedar Fair took over they no longer run it backwards. For the past few years they usually only have ran the back side of it. I believe only once or twice last year I even saw the front side running. However on that trip they were racing. Hopefully the work being done on it will have them opening it up soon.


"I've never heard much about Grizzly, but it sounds like yall enjoyed it. It's sort of the sleeper of KD I guess. Can't wait!"


The Grizzly has been hit or miss for me and I think most people. Earlier in the day not as good. The later in the day and the hotter the day makes for some really crazy rides. The first drop and turn will have you thinking its a pretty boring ride but from the second drop till the end is usually out of control. They have a done a ton of track work on this ride in the off season as well.

Lee

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 4/8/13 5:12:34 PM
I do hope some day they rebuild the loading station of Volcano to be dual loading. Capacity is just terrible. They technically don't need the long ramp in the mountain as they could load wheelchair riders from the exit. I would say they could fit a couple of stairwells for the space the ramp takes up.
Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by alpengeistno3 at 4/8/13 7:10:36 PM
I think the reason we may never see a dual loading station on Volcano has more to do with the operation system than the station layout. Large parks are EXTREMELY wary of having people entering and exiting when trains are in motion. The way Volcano is currently set up, if one train is in the station, the other one pulls up behind it while it is being loaded (and presumably everyone is already in their seats). If you load 2 and dispatch them simultaneously people will be exiting the 1st train as the other one is pulling up behind it. Either it would take a huge redesign of the current exit platform to allow people to exit from the front half of the station as well or the ops (or the computer system) would need to keep the restraints locked until both trains have parked from their run.

To sum it up, KD is probably not likely to have people disembarking the current station-area train and walking back to the exit until they can somehow isolate the two parking zones from the guests.

Paul

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 4/8/13 8:00:04 PM
I guess I'm thinking of having something like manta's dual loading station. Only guests would get on the trains from the middle platform (which may have to be pushed back to allow for the switch) and the 2 outer platforms to exit. The one on the left side would need a separate set of stairs (something like the old BBW exit where riders had to walk up a flight of stairs to an overhead passage to get out. The one on the right would simply disembark thru the gates on the side. As for loose articles, well they may need to have lockers outside the station since it won't be as convenient to retrieve the stuff if their train enters on a different track than the one they left from.
Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by PkD4Life PkD4Life Profile at 4/9/13 1:21:37 PM
I believe the best thing to do with Volcano's loading platform is to switch it with the current exit. Now when you exit you go through a gift shop...turn that into the new que area. You walk through the building then onto the ride. I think that would then allow you to have more control over who is going to which seat where currently you walk down the ramp and into the line for the back row. Its always a bottle neck right there. Just switch it so now when you leave you walk up the ramp and out through the top. Yea I know its a long walk but it might help a little.

Lee

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by alpengeistno3 at 4/9/13 9:47:34 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

I guess I'm thinking of having something like manta's dual loading station. Only guests would get on the trains from the middle platform (which may have to be pushed back to allow for the switch) and the 2 outer platforms to exit. The one on the left side would need a separate set of stairs (something like the old BBW exit where riders had to walk up a flight of stairs to an overhead passage to get out. The one on the right would simply disembark thru the gates on the side. As for loose articles, well they may need to have lockers outside the station since it won't be as convenient to retrieve the stuff if their train enters on a different track than the one they left from.

There is no room for all of that. Even if Intamin would come back in and reconfigure the ride layout for it, the maintenance area is right behind that wall to the left of the current ramp. If you wanted to go to the other side, I do believe there are some supports for the entire upper queue that are necessary to keep the entire cave from collapsing. I'm not seeing how you could fit an entire second boarding area anywhere down there without gutting and rebuilding the entire bottom area of the mountain!!

Paul

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by alpengeistno3 at 4/9/13 10:14:03 PM
PkD4Life said:

I believe the best thing to do with Volcano's loading platform is to switch it with the current exit. Now when you exit you go through a gift shop...turn that into the new que area. You walk through the building then onto the ride. I think that would then allow you to have more control over who is going to which seat where currently you walk down the ramp and into the line for the back row. Its always a bottle neck right there. Just switch it so now when you leave you walk up the ramp and out through the top. Yea I know its a long walk but it might help a little.


Lee

Now, this is the best idea that I have heard for KD solving their current Volcano problem. There is precedent since this is exactly what they did with Rebel Yell (making the walk through the queue excruciating long compared to the short walk it used to be when the queue lines met in the middle of the station.) It would also give them the room to lengthen the queue lines to a more reasonable size.

The only thing that I think would keep them from doing this is
1. Fastlane - they are currently having Fastlane users come up the old Haunted River ramp to merge with the line in the upper queue. The entry for that ramp is in the current gift shop. If they use that ramp to bring the line down into the "new" boarding station, where does Fast Lane enter now? A new ramp on the ground level? Possible, but something else to think about and for a 15 year old coaster, I wonder if KD will put forth the effort so soon after solving last year's Fastlane dilemma.

2. The exit - okay, you have the people exit on the other side. They can even use the existing ramp and bridge. Now where do they go? You are presumably going to continue using the holding pen for your excess line management. So where do they exit once you get them up there? You could build another ramp over top of the current queue ramp, but that gets really messy with disabled guests and other people looking for the exit for whatever reason people do that nowadays. I guess that hasn't bothered them with Rebel Yell or any of their other rides that exit in a completely different location than where you board them (heck, even Volcano current exit is nowhere near the actual ride entrance). But I can't imagine them striving to make it more complicated with a maze to get out after you get off the ride.

3. The ride system- as I pointed out earlier, you still have the challenge of Volcano not being designed to dispatch and unload 2 trains at once. Relocating the queue rails solves the boarding problem, but when the train returns, you are still going to have to fabricate some measure to keep guests away for the 2nd arriving train. And swinging gates don't work as well with an inverted train since the ride has a solid concrete floor.

Good idea, but it's going take a lot more than a few wooden boards and buckets of nails. I don't think KD cares enough to confront the issue, even if it is a pretty big one.

Paul

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 4/9/13 11:19:51 PM
alpengeistno3 said:

There is no room for all of that. Even if Intamin would come back in and reconfigure the ride layout for it, the maintenance area is right behind that wall to the left of the current ramp. If you wanted to go to the other side, I do believe there are some supports for the entire upper queue that are necessary to keep the entire cave from collapsing. I'm not seeing how you could fit an entire second boarding area anywhere down there without gutting and rebuilding the entire bottom area of the mountain!!

Paul

Damn, oh well, so much for that idea.

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by alpengeistno3 at 4/10/13 12:52:08 AM
Cyclone_Phil said:

alpengeistno3 said:


There is no room for all of that. Even if Intamin would come back in and reconfigure the ride layout for it, the maintenance area is right behind that wall to the left of the current ramp. If you wanted to go to the other side, I do believe there are some supports for the entire upper queue that are necessary to keep the entire cave from collapsing. I'm not seeing how you could fit an entire second boarding area anywhere down there without gutting and rebuilding the entire bottom area of the mountain!!

Paul

Damn, oh well, so much for that idea.

Stranger things have happened. How many people scoffed at the idea of:

The Flight of Fears getting lapbars.
BGE removing BBW on its 25th anniversary
Kennywood getting a hyper coaster by reprofiling Steel Phantom
Hades becoming Hades 360

I'm sure there are more "crazy" ideas that turned out to be true. Only time will tell since the parks won't.

Paul

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by PkD4Life PkD4Life Profile at 4/10/13 8:42:44 AM
I agree that KD doesnt care about the line or the issue or they would have done something about it from the beginning. My idea was just a quick thought that has always been there about that line. I understand wanting to use an existing structure to build a line but I believe very little thought was put into it.

Since they started stopping the line at the upper section and only allowing a few people at a time to go down to the gates it has actually helped with wait times. It just now looks like the line is way longer then it actually is. On opening weekend the entire upper area was full and we still only waited about 30 to 40 min. Now come summer time that will be a different story all together but for now its working.

Lee

Re: KD opening day TR 3/29/13 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/10/13 9:11:38 AM
Good to know. Thanks!
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...