Well, the year is coming to an end. On October 24th, 2012 Shane made the first post ever that began KDFans. It has been a journey, but it has also been an experience- an amazing one at that. With 2013 coming to an end in the next 6 or so hours, it not only marks the end of the year, but also marks the end of the first full season of reporting.
This past season Kings Dominion has evolved greatly as a park and has established a new relationship with the guests that walk through the turnstiles. We have reported on some of these things that are good, but also some things that are not. Forum member Joe wanted to write a post recapping some of KDFans top five posts during the 2013 season. Who am I to tell him that he can’t do so? So here’s Joe:
2013 has been an exciting year for Kings Dominion. 2014 promises even more excitement and surprises, but before we dive in to the New Year, let’s take a moment to remember the most exciting, interesting, or otherwise notable developments KDFans has covered this year. It wasn’t easy for me (Joe) to pick out the best stories, with all of the news and surprises Kings Dominion has shared with us this year. Kings Dominion has surprised us many times this year with the construction of a beautiful new children’s area, new live entertainment showings, more screams at Halloween Haunt, and promises of even more excitement next year. KDFans writer Evan took the journey with Kings Dominion through the 2013 season to share all this and more with us.
Ever since Cedar Fair took full charge of Kings Dominion in 2007, we’ve begun to welcome plenty of changes for the better to the park—be it through improvements in rides, theming, aesthetics, entertainment, or just overall charm. Certainly, 2013 didn’t break that trend. In fact, some would say 2013 was the best season Kings Dominion has seen in decades. While not everything went exactly as planned, 2013 was a great year for the park with continued improvements made all over. This, of course, meant for a fun and interesting year for KDFans, constantly keeping us at the edge of our seats. Thanks to our writers such as Evan and Zachary and forum member mwhinva, plus countless others, KDFans has leaked new information and been the first to discover plenty of the surprises we’ve gotten this year at Kings Dominion. Without-further-ado, here are the top five posts from KDFans this year!
Despite its current reputation as a thrill seeker’s paradise, Kings Dominion decided to take a different approach to things this year, and instead decided to focus on the next generation of thrill seekers. KDFans followed the development of Kings Dominion’s Bigger, Better Planet Snoopy, the brand-new and expanded children’s area, from the initial announcement to its construction on the former Kidzville grounds to the long-awaited opening day. Evan’s full trip report of the new area details everything from the rides to the shows to even the pavers on the ground! The amazing attention-to-detail and life that this new area brought to the park gives proof of great things to come from, so naturally the full report on the area had to make this list.
Kings Dominion didn’t just give its youngest guests some love when it decided to take a break from the rides this year. 2013 also meant for expanded and improved entertainment offerings for the entire family! With ten live shows this year, the 2013 season boasted a whopping four shows more than the previous season. New in 2013, On Broadway was the first full-fledged Broadway-style show to play in the park’s Kings Dominion Theater in decades, and the exciting All Wheel Sports BMX stunt show wowed audiences in the Peanuts Showplace. Dominion at Dusk, the park’s new summertime event, complete with the dazzling Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular, is one of the most magnificent events I’ve seen at the park, as well. Thanks to KDFans manager Evan and forum member mwhinva, KDFans was able to uncover the full lineup of new shows and see what other surprises the expanded entertainment department had in store for us.
It seemed like everything was going so well. Planet Snoopy opened beautifully, the summer season played out perfectly, and Haunt was getting ready to start scaring the pants off of visitors. Unfortunately for Kings Dominion’s ride warriors, though, there was already something pretty scary going on in the Congo section of the park. What seemed like a little summertime breakdown at first quickly escalated into the prolonged closure of the park’s famous gigacoaster, Intimidator 305. Nobody knew quite what went wrong or how long the ride would sit dark, but weeks upon weeks upon weeks went by without any cars cresting the ride’s iconic red hill. KDFans reported that Kings Dominion was even opening other rides early in order to make up for the coaster’s unscheduled downtime. KDFans also reported rumors that the breakdown was caused by something that malfunctioned with the gear box near the ride’s lift. This would require lots of dismantling, repairs, and even a new part to be shipped from the manufacturer in Switzerland. After long last, and much to the relief of fans, KDFans was finally able to report that Intimidator 305 had returned to operation, just in time for Haunt to begin!
Even with so many wonderful things happening at the park that have excited so many fans, it only takes a few people to rain on a parade. Take, for instance, the rather disturbing and almost annoying sudden closure of Miner’s Revenge, the brand-new maze for Halloween Haunt that just debuted this year. Apparently, a family member of a miner read the description of the maze and was offended by the park’s grisly portrayal of miners. I won’t get too far into this issue, but essentially this began a chain reaction, and others began to complain about how Kings Dominion “was making money off of [their] misfortune”, though many of them didn’t even take the time to inform themselves of the real issue. As if this weren’t ridiculous enough, the complaints got so strong that Kings Dominion was eventually forced to announce that Miner’s Revenge would not return for Haunt 2014. I suppose this means all western films should be banned, as well? This post proves that not everything KDFans reports is good news, but it’s a juicy development nonetheless!
I’ve saved the best for last; and if you’re interested in seeing Kings Dominion go back to its roots as a charming, world-class theme park again, then you’ll agree with my choice. When KDFans first reported that Kings Dominion had a surprise in store for us in 2014, I doubt anyone could have expected something this marvelous. That’s because KDFans was able to report the wonderful news of Kings Dominion’s 40th Anniversary Celebration that will begin next year, which is technically Kings Dominion’s 40th operating season. This park revitalization will be filled with even more surprises as Kings Dominion works to return to the beloved charm that it held back when it first opened. With classic park icons like the Singing Mushrooms making a comeback, even more improved entertainment, and a fresh and charming feel to be brought back throughout the park, 2014 may just be Kings Dominion’s best season yet. And with all that Kings Dominion has done this year, that’s really saying something.
2013 was a truly fantastic season for Kings Dominion for KDFans alike. It may be over, but we now have a whole new season of surprises and excitement. And if 2014 proves to be anything like its predecessor, we are in for one awesome adventure.
Thanks everyone for helping evolve KDFans to what it is today and I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! Also another big thanks to Joe for writing this!
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