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February 9, 2019

Volcano The Blast Coaster Will Not Reopen for 2019 Season

Doswell, VAKings Dominion announced today that they've made the difficult decision to retire one of the park's iconic roller coasters before the start of the 2019 season. Volcano: The Blast Coaster an inverted, launched, looping coaster will not reopen and will be permanently shut down.

Volcano The Blast Roller Coaster Kings Dominion
Volcano: The Blast Coaster operating at Kings Dominion in 2003. Photo by Eric Gieszl.

The park issued the following statement on their blog:

"Part of getting ready for a new operating season includes an expert evaluation of our rides and operations. As a part of that evaluation, every aspect of our rides and attractions are analyzed, from guest satisfaction, throughput and rider capacity to reliability, uptime and maintenance. This wasn't an easy decision for us, because we know that people love this one-of-a-kind coaster; however, over time it became nearly impossible to keep the ride up to our high standards of reliability and guest satisfaction, and for these reasons we had to make the tough call. We apologize to anyone who is inconvenienced by the removal, but hope they will understand that it was done to enhance the overall guest experience here at Kings Dominion."

Volcano: The Blast Coaster was announced in 1997 to be built inside of an abandoned old attraction called The Lost World. The roller coaster made its debut during a soft opening on August 3 and officially opened on August 15, 1998. This launched coaster used LIM technology to accelerate the 16-seat trains from zero to 70 miles per hour. The 2,757-foot track included two separate launches and four inverting elements.

LIM technology was new in the amusement industry at the time and initially problematic, delaying the opening of the attraction and forcing Kings Dominion to operate the roller coaster at half capacity for the initial season.

Volcano opened being only able to operate with every other row seated. Roller coaster enthusiasts reported lines stretching for hours after the coaster opened. The following season the problems were resolved and Volcano The Blast Coaster was operating at full capacity.

Kings Dominion did not comment on what might replace this roller coaster in the future, and unfortunately it is anticipated to be scrapped and demolished.

Volcano The Blast Coaster photo courtesy of Eric Gieszl © 2013. All rights reserved.