Kings Dominion’s last coaster, Twisted Timbers, was teased relentlessly by the park ahead of its announcement with one phrase: “Really More Coming.” I’d like to propose a similar idea for Kings Dominion’s rumored 2021 roller coaster: “Shock & Surprise.”
Why? I’ll get to that in a moment. Before we go any further though, I have to give one of my normal warnings so that people don’t tar and feather me if something changes…
DISCLAIMER: This post contains leaked information that has not yet been announced by Kings Dominion. Projects like this can (and do!) change. We are confident in our reporting as it relates to Kings Dominion’s CURRENT 2021 plans, but we aren’t soothsayers—we can’t speak to what WILL happen—we can only share what we’ve seen of the current trajectory.
KDFans.com, with some help from ParkFans.net member, RollyCoaster, has exclusively obtained what we believe to be authentic evidence of a small, new roller coaster destined for Kings Dominion in 2021.
According to the documents we have seen, Kings Dominion is working with S&S Worldwide to design a 4D Free Spin for the former site of the park’s now defunct Huss Inverted Top Spin, The Crypt. Assuming current plans hold, the documents reveal that work should get underway this summer and should easily finish up by opening day 2021.
We currently cannot speak to the exact layout of Kings Dominion’s hypothetical S&S 4D Free Spin. That said, we can say that we have reason to believe that it may not be the same Free Spin layout that many Six Flags parks have been adding over the last few years.
We aren’t publishing copies of the documents we’ve seen because we fear for the source’s safety. That said, we are personally convinced of their authenticity—the sourcing appears solid and the documents themselves seem entirely convincing to us.
Additionally, this news lines up perfectly with the public records evidence that we reported on last week regarding Crypt’s demolition.
Another bit of good news here too: We shouldn’t need to wait too long for further confirmation. Given the relatively aggressive construction timeline laid out by the materials we’ve been shown, we would expect more conclusive corroborating evidence to appear in Hanover County’s public records relatively soon.
I don’t live under any delusions here. If Kings Dominion adds a 4D Free Spin for 2021, the enthusiast community, by and large, will not be happy. Why? The existing Free Spins have mediocre reputations at best, the ride type has a strong association with the Six Flags chain, and many folks feel that Kings Dominion needs to replace Volcano with a major coaster if they hope to compete with the incredible investments Busch Gardens Williamsburg is currently pursuing.
Frankly, I can’t say I’m happy with this rumored addition either. My 4D Free Spin experience has been nothing but negative in the past—I find that S&S Free Spins fall somewhere between boring and painful for me. Furthermore, to be honest, I can think of nearly a dozen other small, similarly-priced attractions that I’d rather see Kings Dominion pursue. Hell, I’ll go even further and agree that, in the wake of Volcano’s removal, a 4D Free Spin is not the strong showing Kings Dominion needs to prove to guests that it wants to seriously compete in this market.
All of that out of the way though, at the end of the day, I do actually understand this decision.
First off, from what I can gather, it seems that this 4D Free Spin was a very recent development. It’s likely that the 2021 rosters for other ride manufacturers are simply filled at this point in the game. Would I prefer a RMC Raptor on this site? Certainly. That said, there’s a good chance that a company like Rocky Mountain Construction is simply already booked up for 2021.
Secondly, on paper, this is actually a perfect replacement for The Crypt in my opinion. I understand that any coaster Kings Dominion adds right now will inevitably be viewed in the shadow of Volcano’s gravestone. That said, try to look at this project in a vacuum—a new, marketable S&S 4D Free Spin replacing a Huss Inverted Top Spin with a long history of horrible downtime. I may not love 4D Free Spins, but I do believe that they’re a straight improvement over a Top Spin.
Thirdly, consider this: Despite being prevalent elsewhere, a S&S 4D Free Spin is actually entirely unique in this market. We, the enthusiasts, may not really like them, but for the vast majority of Kings Dominion’s guests, they will have never had the opportunity to experience anything like this coaster model before. I believe the closest one currently is all the way up in New Jersey at Six Flags Great Adventure. Are there non-enthusiast people in the DC area that have visited both parks? Probably a few—but it’s an ultimately inconsequential number.
With all of that said, am I excited? No, not particularly. Do I expect our community to be excited? No, not at all. Do I expect a 4D Free Spin at Kings Dominion to turn some heads and drive some additional clicks at the turnstiles from locals? Certainly.
At the end of the day, just try to keep this in mind: This rumored S&S 4D Free Spin isn’t Kings Dominion’s Volcano replacement—it’s a stopgap measure to tie Virginians over until Cedar Fair can send Kings Dominion some actual money. Hopefully when Cedar Fair finally gets around to greenlighting a budget for the serious coaster Kings Dominion needs to replace Volcano, we’ll get the coaster we, the enthusiasts, are all waiting so patiently for.
To stay up to date with all things Kings Dominion—2020, 2021, and beyond—like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram! We’ve been breaking some interesting news on those social media channels lately and there’s a lot more where that came from!
Anyway, I wanted to leave anyone who made it this far a little treat at the end—consider it a sweet little bit of food for thought:
Sometimes what you see on the horizon turns out to be nothing more than a cruel mirage—but at times, the act of chasing a mirage can result in stumbling upon an oasis or two that you could have never seen coming otherwise.