Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (5/29/21) Kings Dominion fans… the good news is that the park appears to be staying open 7-days a week this summer. Well… at least they will once the 7-days a week schedule starts on June 18th, which seems a bit late to me, but may have more to do with the local school schedule I suppose. On the down side, it seems that park hours have been cut for the summer, with the park closing at 7pm through to the July 4th weekend, when they will keep it open until 9pm on Fridays, Saturday and Sunday nights for the rest of the summer, but still close at 7pm on the remaining days of the week.
Traditionally, pre-COVID, I believe the park typically tried to stay open until 10pm on most days and up to 11pm on Saturdays and busy holiday weekends. Labor shortages have been causing problems for most of the Cedar Fair parks so far this year, so this is quite a cut-back in the hours department, but it’s better than having to close the park entirely two days a week.
7-Days a week operation also comes to a sudden halt on August 8th, with the park returning to just Friday - Sunday operations for the rest of the currently scheduled season. By comparison, Busch Gardens Williamsburg (about a 75 minute drive away) is remaining open daily through the Labor Day Weekend ending September 6th. Again, I’m not sure if this is a cut-back or a more traditional schedule for Kings Dominion based on other factors, like the local school schedule, but it seems to scale back much earlier than any other major theme park in the South-East region.
(5/24/21) A couple of news items for Kings Dominion today. First off the park has confirmed right at the top of the Rides page on the website that the Avalanche coaster will be closed for the entire 2021 season. Hopefully this is not the first step towards retirement, as the unique Mack Rides Bobsled ride was always one of my favorites, and a rare find as it is the only coaster of it’s kind in the Americas.
The closure of Avalanche likely has more to do with the new coaster on the way for the 2022 season, which based on the pieces already spotted on site months ago, will be an S&S 4D Free Spin coaster. With the new coaster rumored to be placed on the former site of The Crypt (formerly Tomb Raider: Firefall). With construction of the new coaster to take place on the left side of the path to Avalanche, and the remains of the former Volcano: The Blast Coaster demolition site on the right side of the same path, it’s easy to see that there is no easy way to access Avalanche at this time, so they will leave it closed for now and hopefully get a bit of a refurbishment in the process.
More information on that new coaster coming to the park next season below.
(1/28/21) According to a newsletter from Kings Dominion the park is planning to open for the 2021 season on May 22nd. This is a little later than normal for the park, but considering that they didn’t open at all for normal operations in 2020, a little late is better than not at all.
Meanwhile the park also posted an update on their new Grain & Grill restaurant on their blog. The new eatery will take the place of the park’s former Panda Express on International Street and feature foods with locally sourced seasonal ingredients and allow for you to put together your own combinations to try.
(1/16/21) Kings Dominion has announced that the park has a new VP / General Manager, Bridgette Bywater who started her career as a ride operator at Cedar Fair’s World of Fun theme park.
2021 - Coconut Shores - Delayed To 2021
(8/16/19) As expected, Kings Dominion will be focusing on waterpark improvements for the 2020 season. The new area taking the place of Big Wave Bay will be called Coconut Shores, and it will feature a 45-foot tall water fortress attraction called Lighthouse Landing and a kid friendly wave pool called Sand Dune Lagoon that will only be 2 feet deep and produce waves just 1 foot tall.
The park also promises that a yet-to-be-named new dining facility is also on the way to Soak City that will feature a mix of Latin and Asian flavors and tropical alcoholic beverages for those of age.
2022 - New S&S Coaster - Rumor - (5/24/21) What looks like the first teaser for the Kings Dominion 2022 coaster project has arrived in the park as a bunch of large shipping crates. As a sort of hint about the ride’s crazy free-spinning cars the ‘This End Up’ stickers on the crates are mostly being ignored, with crates set down facing sideways and upside-down in the group. The assorted crates are all labeled as being from “Kroft Industries” and being shipped to “Livingston and Company, Doswell, VA”.
I don’t always know enough about the park’s history and past attractions, especially in this unique area of the park, to make all the connections here, but I can speculate a bit about the use of the names Kroft and Livingston. The most obvious reference may be that the use of the name “Kroft” could be a deliberate mis-spelling of the name CROFT, as a reference for Lara Croft, the star of the Tomb Raider game and films. This makes sense as the location of the new coaster is supposed to take over the former location of Tomb Raider: Firefall, later renamed The Crypt when Cedar Fair bought the park from Paramount and removed all the Paramount owned IPs.
I believe the reference to Livingston and Company is a reference to “Livingston’s”, the name of a former restaurant and arcade building in the Safari Village area of the park. I’m told that the actual building is still in the park and is currently the home of the Outer Hanks restaurant.
(12/8/20) With the opening of Kings Dominion for their special holiday event, fans arrived on site to discover pikes of coaster pieces in the parking lot near Dominator. From the looks of it, this is a new S&S 4D Free Spin coaster that looks like it will have green rails and supports painted to look like giant pieces of bamboo.
This fits in with previous rumors that a new compact coaster would be coming to replace The Crypt in 2021, with an S&S 4D Free Spin being the most likely rumor at the time. WIth Six Flags having installed so many of these around the country so far, it does make me wonder if Cedar Fair would have had the foresight to try to get a new layout to make their version stand out as being different.
(3/4/20) I haven’t heard this rumor myself yet, but according to KDFans, who is usually on the right track for these kind of things, the plan for Kings Dominion in 2021 may be to bring an S&S 4D Free Spin coaster to the park on the former site of The Crypt. Things can change again, but this is what they currently believe is being planned at the moment, which would be interesting as no one in North America other than Six Flags has installed an S&S 4D Free Spin coaster.
My immediate thinking was that Kings Dominion could possibly opt to build a different and bigger model than the one that has been cloned so many times already for Six Flags, and right now KDFans also seems to be thinking the same.
(2/28/20) Sad news for Kings Dominion fans… because I know you’ve been waiting to hear all about some big time coaster plan for 2021. Unfortunately, KDFans reports that the B&M Wing Coaster plans that were in development have been “shelved” and that the park is looking at going in a different direction. At this stage in the game however, a delay like this could also mean that while something new is coming in 2021, it may not be quite what you are hoping for.
In fact, it looks like the former Volcano site may not be used at all, and instead the latest plans seem to be focused on putting something new on the former site of The Crypt nearby which is now labeled as ‘Future Ride Area” on the demolition plans.
Given the smaller footprint involved here, it seems clear that any plans for a major new coaster for the park will likely have to wait until at least 2022 or perhaps 2023 at this point. Anyone know more about what is on the way? If it is still a coaster of some kind, it isn’t going to be a very big one, and the park already has a Mouse coaster, so what else is compact but not a kiddie coaster? An RMC Raptor maybe?
(11/11/19) KDFans has uncovered some early documents that finally begin to paint a picture about what Kings Dominion has planned to take the place for the former Volcano: The Blast Coaster. According to these early document leaks, they believe that Cedar Fair may be working with B&M to come up with a new Wing Coaster layout as well as expand the Safari Village area into where some of the mountain structure used to be.
While these appear to be preliminary plans that are likely to change, it was worth noting that the size of the coaster they were working on here was on the small side for B&M, maybe 100 feet tall at most, and five inversion, so something compact but intense, rather than going for something taller like GateKeeper at Cedar Point. Either way, things could change between now and 2021, which is when this coaster is likely to open.
(4/28/19) So what does Kings Dominion have planned for the former Volcano: The Blast Coaster site? A very curious poster was put up on a barrier wall in the area already showing off what looks like an african looking landscape with animal silhouettes along with the text, “Expeditions on the horizon”.
It is also fun to remember many years ago Kings Dominion did feature a monorail ride through the Lion Country safari attraction to view many wild animals such as lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras. Later on when the park first built the mountain structure used for Volcano, it was called “The Lost World” and was home to three “fantasy-adventure rides” when it opened in 1979: a Voyage to Atlantis flume ride (name changed to Haunted River a year or so later), the Land of Dooz kiddie mine train (later called Smurf Mountain) and a rotor ride called Time Shaft.
Now this new hint about a possible future attraction leaves me very curious about what might be in the works.