It’s no secret that we here at The Roarbots love Kings Dominion. We’re huge theme park fans, big-time coaster fanatics, AND we still have a little one in the family. All of which, together, makes Kings Dominion such a logical choice.
Located just north of Richmond, VA, and just a couple hours south of Washington, DC, the park has an incredible number of rides, including 12 roller coasters and an impressive 19 rides in its kids area.
And it’s that kids area – Planet Snoopy – that really sets Kings Dominion ahead for families. Planet Snoopy is the largest Peanuts-themed area in the country (probably the world), and this season sees the area expand even further with three new rides.
We announced the new rides last year, but we recently had a chance to check them out in person. The three new kid-friendly rides include
- Peanuts 500, which has cars designed for both parents and kids to drive together (as opposed to Joe Cool’s Driving School where kids have to be 40″ tall and drive themselves).
- Sally’s Sea Plane, a rotating seated ride that takes kids up in the air for a mild thrill and cool views.
- Kite Eating Tree, which is the standard kid’s drop tower that I’m honestly surprised wasn’t already in the park.
All three rides are kind of standard fare as far as kids’ attractions go. Each is themed to Peanuts, but none is particularly groundbreaking or revolutionary on its own. But that’s hardly the point. The point is that Planet Snoopy continues to grow, the park hasn’t forgotten the little ones, and three more rides means the wait times at the other rides should be a bit shorter.
Kings Dominion has long been a premier mid-Atlantic destination for coaster fanatics. Intimidator 305 remains the fastest, most-intense roller coaster I’ve ever ridden. (At 90 mph and with a 300-foot, 85-degree-angle drop, that’s hardly surprising.)
But it’s great to see a park that hasn’t abandoned its youngest visitors. Planet Snoopy’s expansion is a welcome development…and one that makes us even bigger fans of the park than we were.
In addition to the three new Planet Snoopy attractions, there are also a few other new surprises in the park. There’s a new quick-stop restaurant and a new picnic pavilion within Planet Snoopy, and there are a few “selfie stations” around the park where you can scan a Funpix card to take photos in front of fun backgrounds.
There’s also a new show coming this summer to the Kings Dominion Theatre in the Old Virginia section of the park. We were already fans of the surprisingly good Cirque Imagine show, and this year sees a brand-new show in the same style: Origins: A Cirque Experience. We can’t wait to check it out.
Kings Dominion is open weekends (plus Fridays) throughout May and will open for the full season (i.e., every day) after Memorial Day. Memorial Day weekend is also when the water park, Soak City, opens for the year. Get your tickets here, and if you’re thinking about season passes, it’s better to buy them sooner rather than later since the price will go up.
Have a great summer!