In 2010, Kings Dominion finally opened something major. 2008’s Dominator, a relocation from the company’s now-defunct park Geagua Lake, was a welcomed yet far from major investment. And before that, you have to go back to 2006 for the unremarkable Italian Job: Stunt Track.
KD was the first conventional American amusement park I visited. I have local friends who grew up with the place and that has probably shaped my perception to be sympathetic of their nostalgia… But, I honestly do rather like KD, never failing to have a good time there. I'm under no illusion however that the place is not critically good, but it certainly is interesting, and the more coasters I get to ride, the more I value those weirder, interesting additions to my checklist.
Photo by John Cooper
With its odd lineup, visiting Kings Dominion for the first time brings with it unusual additions to one's coaster count, with even most well-travelled enthusiasts acquiring a few firsts here. Until very recently, for example, the park was home to Shockwave, the last Togo standup left in North America. For an albeit brief period in the early 2000s, one of the only two S&S compressed air launches ever built: Hypersonic XLC, lived there too. But KD is still home to a bunch of weirdness today; the relocated Dominator is known for being one of the few (the only?) looping B&M’s to lack a zero-g and have one of the world's largest vertical loops; they have two rarely seen Premiere coasters and the only Mack bobsled in North America. Volcano is the only one of it's kind in the world and they also have one of those awful Mack wild mice found at Legoland parks.
But none of these were world renowned. Volcano came closest and was certainly the park’s signature attraction prior to 2010, but the place really needed a coaster that was undeniably awesome.
The stakes were high
So, the new for 2010 Intimidator needed to be good. It needed to put Kings Dominion on the map. And really, it had no excuse for being anything less than stellar. At 305ft tall, this monster Intamin giga coaster ranks as one of the tallest and fastest coasters in the world. I’ve wanted to take the time to write about I305 since its brief mention in my Skyrush review, because, like Skyrush, I305 is crazy intense.