Kings Dominion History
Grab your friends and family and come to Kings Dominion – Virginia’s ultimate destination for summertime fun!
We’ve got 400 acres packed with more than 60 rides, shows and attractions. Thrill-seekers will get their adrenaline fix with one of the East Coast’s largest collection of breath-taking roller coasters – 12 in all -- including Intimidator 305™, which stretches 305 feet tall and screams at more than 90 miles per hour. Families will delight in the zany rides, shows and activities at Planet Snoopy, featuring Snoopy and the entire PEANUTS™ gang and 20 rides designed for families to experience together!
New for 2017- Planet Snoopy is growing! Three new family thrill rides join the line-up including the Kite Eating Tree, which shoots riders to the top of the tower before bouncing back to the ground. Additions to our 14-acre kids area also include a new covered event space and upgraded food and beverage locations.
Soak up the sun in the recently expanded Soak City, our all-inclusive 20-acre water park. Filled with exciting water slides, two wave pools, cabanas and more! Plus, little ones and their families can play together on Splash Island, an interactive splash pad where kids can let their imaginations run wild!
The construction of Kings Dominion began October 1, 1972. It took nearly two years to build the park. Attractions for the first season in 1974 included the Lion Country Safari and the Scooby Doo roller coaster.
After less than two years of construction, Kings Dominion opened to the public on May 3, 1975. That day, approximately 20,000 guests enjoyed the park. More than 1.5 million visitors would follow during Kings Dominion's first season. Park visitors enjoyed five magical lands -- International Street, Old Virginia, Coney Island, The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera and Lion Country Safari, which opened as a preview to Kings Dominion in 1974. Attractions for the season in 1975 included Rebel Yell roller coaster, Lion Country Safari Monorail, Log Flume, a Steam Train, Sky Ride, Galaxie roller coaster, and the park's signature attraction, the Eiffel Tower. Families raced down 12 hills on the Rebel Yell racing roller coaster, took a spin on the Carousel, viewed the musical revue "Give My Regards to Broadway" in the Mason Dixon Music Hall and observed the park atop a 315-foot-tall Eiffel Tower.
Bengal tigers arrived at the animal preserve. The park sent visitors spinning around Candy Apple Grove in the new Apple Turnover ride.
The King Kobra roller coaster was the new attraction this year, featuring a 75-foot drop. The Kings Quarters Hotel also opened. The movie Rollercoaster starring George Segal and Timothy Bottoms was filmed at the park.
The Kings Dominion Campground opened, increasing the number of two-day visits to the park.
The 17-story Lost World mountain was the new attraction this year, featuring three separate rides: Journey To Atlantis, Land of the Dooz and the Time Shaft.
New for this season was the Haunted River, which replaced Journey To Atlantis in the Lost World.
The 180-degree theater opened, which allowed visitors to cruise through the Baja desert and see a volcano up close!
This season saw the park unveil the Grizzly, a wooden roller coaster in a forest setting with an 87-foot drop and high-speed twists and turns. Also new was The Showplace, a 7,500-seat, outdoor concert venue.
White Water Water Canyon opened this year, presenting guests with a fun, thrilling watery course and spouting geysers. Riders were assured they would get wet on this ride. Senior executives with Taft Broadcasting purchased the theme park division of Taft and formed Kings Entertainment Company (KECO) with Kings Dominion, Carowinds in North Carolina, Kings Island in Ohio and Canada's Wonderland in Toronto.
Berserker, a giant Viking ship that takes riders through a series of 360-degree loops, was added to the park's lineup of world-class thrills this year. Land of the Dooz was replaced by Smurf Mountain.
Kings Dominion celebrates its 10th anniversary season. A new water ride was added this year, Diamond Falls. Also added was a new children's play area, Scooby's Play Park.
It was standing room only this year, as Shockwave was introduced as the first stand-up roller coaster on the East Coast. The interest in the new ride helped drive attendance over the 2 million mark for the first time in park history.
Racing Rivers, featuring three different types of water slides (Torpedo, Splashdown and Riptide), was the new attraction this year. On the business side, KECO reorganized so that the company owned and managed Kings Dominion, Carowinds, as well as the entertainment and design division, Kings Productions. KECO also managed Kings Island, Canada's Wonderland and Great America in Santa Clara, California.
New this year is Avalanche, a bobsled-style family roller coaster with twisting curves, deep valleys and steep hills. The rides trains are themed to Olympic bobsleds from five countries: United States, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland.
New this year is Sky Pilot. This exciting ride allowed guests to determine their own flight pattern, including the option to spin a dizzying 360-degrees.
The park's 15th anniversary season saw a fresh new look in Hanna-Barbera Land. The expansion included the addition of five new children's rides, more characters, as well as new games and shows.
Kings Dominion introduces one of the biggest and baddest rides around, Anaconda. This new steel roller coaster sends riders screaming through six loops and is the first roller coaster in the world to feature and underwater tunnel. The park is also the site for the American Coaster Enthusiasts' summer conference.
A whole new theme area was added this year with Hurricane Reef. The six-acre waterpark featured 15 water attractions, including a variety of slides. Kings Dominion, along with Kings Island, Carowinds, Great America and Canada's Wonderland, were sold midway through the season to Paramount Communications, Inc.
An exciting new attraction opened this year with Days of Thunder, a racing simulator ride. This ride enables guests to experience what it would be like to be behind the wheel of a racecar. New owner Paramount Communications, Inc., begins the process of re-theming rides and attractions to movie themes.
A fun new area opened this year with the addition of Wayne's World. The Hurler, the park's fourth wooden roller coaster, highlighted the new attractions in this area of Kings Dominion. Viacom purchases Paramount Communications.
Green slime was the rage of the summer for Kings Dominion's 20th anniversary season with the addition of Nickelodeon Splat City. The Showplace re-opened as the Kingswood Amphitheatre.
Kings Dominion introduces the world's first linear induction launch-style roller coaster with Outer Limits: Flight of Fear. Riders on this unique attraction are sent roaring through a series of inversions in total darkness. Also new this year is Xtreme Skyflyer, an attraction that combines the elements of hang gliding and sky diving.
The park's kids' area, Hanna-Barbera Land, is transformed into KidZville. This all-new section features rides, shows and attractions specifically for kids.
The world's fastest suspended roller coaster is unveiled this year at Kings Dominion with the introduction of Volcano, The Blast Coaster. The attraction is the park's second linear induction launch-style roller coaster, joining Flight of Fear. Paramount Action FX Theater becomes the new name for the Days of Thunder motion simulator theater, featuring a new film: James Bond 007: A License to Thrill.
Hurricane Reef is expanded from six acres to 19 and rebranded WaterWorks. The makeover includes the addition of more water activities for families.
Kings Dominion celebrates its 25th anniversary season. New attractions include Nickelodeon Central in the main park and Pipeline Peak in WaterWorks. This attraction features four new thrilling, enclosed water slides.
This season saw the introduction of the world's first compressed air-launch roller coaster, HyperSonic XLC and began a new annual event celebrating Halloween called FearFest.. Also new this year is 7th Portal, an adventure-filled 3-D film.
The park unveils its 12th roller coaster in Ricochet, which features a series of unexpected twists, turns and a 50-foot drop. Also new this year is a popular family ride, Triple Spin.
Kings Dominion debuts the tallest drop tower ride in North America in Drop Zone Stunt Tower. Guests plunge a staggering 27 stories from a height of 305 feet at a speed of 72 miles per hour, providing them with a thrill they'll never forget. Also debuting this year is SpongBob SquarePants 3-D.
The first interactive family dark ride in the Mid-Atlantic region is unveiled in Scooby-Doo & The Haunted Mansion.
An attraction for adventure seekers is unveiled this year in Tomb Raider: The Ride (now The Crypt). The multi-sensory ride appeals to park visitors and coaster enthusiasts alike with its thrills and special effects.
The Italian Job: Stunt Track (now Backlot Stunt Coaster) opened as a new fully themed action stunt car experience. Thunder Raceway Go-Karts also debuts this year. On June 30, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company purchases Paramount Parks from CBS Corporation for $1.25 billion.
Three new attractions are added in WaterWorks: Tidal Wave Bay, Tornado and Zoom Flume. An all-new Halloween event is introduced in the fall, Halloween Haunt.
Kings Dominion added to its lineup of world-class thrills by introducing its 14th roller coaster this year, Dominator. This scream machine sends rider through five inversions at speeds up to 67 milers per hour on the longest floorless roller coaster in the world at 4,210 feet. The ride also features one of the largest vertical loops in the world.
The focus is on families this year with the addition of two new rides, El Dorado and the Americana Ferris Wheel. The Grizzly roller coaster was retracked this year, providing riders with a smoother, more enjoyable ride experience.
This year is one of the most exciting in the park's history. Intimidator 305, a Intamin Giga Coaster, is unveiled as the biggest and fastest roller coaster on the East Coast. Standing 305 feet at its highest point, riders race down a 300-foot first drop and through high-speed twists and turns at speeds over 90 miles per hour. The ride was voted "Best New Roller Coaster of 2010" by Amusement Today. Two other exciting attractions also debut this year with Planet Snoopy replacing Nickelodeon Central and Boo Blasters on Boo Hill replacing Scooby-Doo & The Haunted Mansion.
A new night time light show highlights the new attractions this year, Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular. Starring everyone's favorite PEANUTS characters and their summertime adventures, this colorful pageant of lights invites guests to explore a breathtaking display the entire family enjoys.
Two new attractions debut this year. Riders soar 30 stories above the park on WindSeeker, a 301-foot-tall tower swing ride. Visitors to the park are able to step back in time to periods between 245 million and 65 million years ago in the all-new Dinosaurs Alive!
On March 29, 2013, Kings Dominion unveiled its bigger, better Planet Snoopy children's area. Planet Snoopy at Kings Dominion will feature 8 new rides (18 total), a newly expanded 1,100 square-foot Family Care Center, daily meet-and-greet opportunities with the PEANUTS characters, the Richmond-based self-serve frozen yogurt shop SweetFrog and more.
Also in 2013, Kings Dominion has its largest entertainment line-up in years, with 7 new shows, including "All Wheel Sports" with bikers and skaters who were semifinalists on Season 7 of NBC's America's Got Talent, along with "On Broadway", a Broadway-style musical revue. Also new is "Dominion at Dusk" featuring Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular, a new live show and fireworks on all 10pm closes.
In 2014, Kings Dominion began celebrating its 40th Anniversary with the return of some favorites from the past. Just a few of these attractions were the Candy Apple Grove and the Singing Mushrooms. Our Congo area was also rebranded Safari Village in honor of Lion Country Safari that debuted in 1974.
In 2015 Kings Dominion announced its Waterpark expansion project with WaterWorks being rebranded as Soak City. We also introduced 2 new attractions. Hurricane Heights, a 65 ft. mega complex featuring 3 new slides and Splash Island, a family splash zone.
On May 3rd, 2015 Kings Dominion celebrated it OFFICIAL 40th Birthday with a huge party at the park that included a plaque dedication for the front gate, live entertainment in all areas of the park, special birthday prizes for guests and much more.
In 2016 Kings Dominion introduces the all new gravity defying thrill ride, DELIRIUM!