Park: Kings Dominion
Date of visit: June 14, 2009
Park rating: 1/5 – Terrible
Yesterday, Erik and I visited Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia (I’m sure you’ll see a review from him, too). I’ve been to this park a few times over a long span of years, and decided I would visit this weekend. I know you’re probably asking by now why I gave them a rating of “1”, well, this will explain it ALL. Overall, my experience in the park was the worst experience I’ve ever had in a theme park. Period. I will never go back to this park. However, I did have a few positive moments in my day, but not enough to over power all the negatives.
We arrived at the park around 2 in the afternoon after quite a long drive. This trip was not the norm, as two of my friends tagged along – They’re what really made my day better than the disaster it was. The park was pretty empty when we arrived, and we got our tickets and entered the park. The first thing we rode was the Bezerker. I was shocked when we were told throwing anything from the ride on purpose was a felony (I’m not saying we did). Okay… On to Dominator to ride in the back, of course. Once we were locked in, we were told we couldn’t have our camera on the ride, although it was secured around Erik’s shoulder (we’ve done this at other Cedar Fair parks with no problem), so we were forced to leave our camera up for grabs to anyone looking to score.
As we continued on across the park, we encountered numerous employees who were rude, yelled at us, and just plain ignored us. I’m sorry, but if you want people to return to your park, you should make them feel like kings because they’re the ones who make your pay check possible. During our entire seven hour visit to the park, we encountered just a small handful of employees who were very kind to us. I could literally count them on one had. As I mentioned in my Kings Island review, food and drinks in the park were quiet pricey – So we didn’t eat anything in the park. We bought one soda for four people to share at a whopping price of $3.75 and a large soda again later on for about $5. While we were waiting in line to purchase our second drink, we were forced to wait in line while eight employees stood around chit-chatting and only one person was running the register.
Does the day get worse? Yes.
As we are at rides, we encountered a rides employee on their cell phone. I’m sorry but that doesn’t seem safe at all! Drivers on cell phones make mistakes because they’re too busy talking to someone rather than paying attention to the road. Why should I trust you with my life in your hands? I could name a few other things I saw that I felt were unsafe, but I will not mention in this article, just for the fact I don’t want anyone trying anything that could injure themselves. Also, the employees that work the rides just seem like they’re… there. They aren’t there to make anyone’s day great, but they’re there to push buttons and get a pay check. One of us forgot to drop the 3D glasses off in the bins and put them on their head like sunglasses out of sheer habit and an employee yelled at us infront of other people. I think all of us were pretty embarassed. The bathrooms were pretty disgusting too.. And by disgusting.. I meant that none of us went into one unless we couldn’t wait any longer. During the whole day, I think we saw less than ten employees sweeping the pathways or cleaning in the seating areas. The park looked pretty clean, besides the bathrooms, but the park seemed dead.
Besides the horrible experiences above, I do have to say that because of my friends, I had an awesome day. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard because I felt like my spleen was being ripped out on some of the wooden coasters. The few employees that were nice to us seemed to care about their job and care about our day. The only other good thing about our day is it wasn’t hot (just right, I would say!) and all the lines for the coasters were pretty much walk-on, with the exception of Flight of Fear and Volcano. I got pretty excited when we were leaving the park and we saw three pieces of red track sitting in part of the parking lot. How exciting!
If you’re going to a theme park to feel like you’re getting what you paid for, I woudn’t recommend going to Kings Dominion. However, if you’re just going to ride the coasters to get your credits.. That’s completely your choice. If someone offered me $100 to go back to this park AND offered to pay for my ticket, I would still refuse to go. My entire day was just tiring and a horrible experience.
I give this park a 1/5.