Is King’s Dominion good for kids and families?

picture of Kings Dominion

Cedar Fair has amusement parks across the country. My family loves going to Cedar Point, located right here in Ohio. With the reputation that Cedar Fair has, we decided to add another Cedar Fair property to our vacation agenda this summer, King’s Dominion. King’s Dominion is Virginia’s premier amusement park, located in Doswell, VA, just north of Richmond, VA. King’s Dominion is just 7-1/2 hour drive from Akron, Ohio area. This makes it a great vacation spot or add-on while heading to the beach or Washington DC.

Family Rides at King’s Dominion

Mandy of the Kids Rides are also fun and can accommodate parents and other adults. However, there are many family rides that the whole family can enjoy at King’s Dominion. Of course, you can’t go to an amusement park without riding a ferris wheel. The King’s Dominion Americana Ferris Wheel features 24 6-person gondolas with great views of the park. Your family will also enjoy Avalanche, Blue Ridge Tollway, Carousel with wooden carved horses and old fashioned music, Eiffel Tower a 275 foot high platform , Flying Eagles, Boo Blasters on Boo Hill, Ghoster Coaster, Shenandoah Lumber Company, Dodgem, Wave Swinger, and so many more.

The Eiffel Tower was the first ride we rode upon entering King’s Dominion. It is the perfect choice too because you can get a great overview of the park with the outstanding views from 275 feet up! You can see 30 miles in any direction, it was breathtaking. While on the deck, we asked Kaitlyn what rides she recommends for our kids based on their heights. When going to an amusement park for the first time, it is sometimes difficult to know what areas have attractions for your particular family. Kaitlyn was super helpful and was able to point in the direction of each ride on the map and from up on the tower. After our first interaction with an King’s Dominion employee, we knew this was going to be a friendly, fun park to visit. Thanks, Kaitlyn!

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The Avalanche was a very exhilarating coaster that speeds you through the course bobsled style. It was unlike any other coaster I’ve road, with no tracks underneath!  I have always enjoyed log rides, this was the first season that my 4 year old was tall enough to ride one. We all had a great time on the Shenandoah Lumber Company ride as we road through the river, up two hills, and plunging down two hills to a fun splash landing. We got just wet enough to cool down a bit from the heat!

Our family favorite Kidzville ride at King’s Dominion was Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. This is a large theme ride that begins by entering an elaborate Haunted House set that is spokey fun the moment you walk up to the house. It was a blast riding the 4-person carts through the haunted house shooting our lazer guns at various targets that popped up and out at you. Don’t worry, even though there were ghosts and monsters around every turn, even my 4 year old wasn’t scared and had a fun time shooting the ghosts. Boo Blasters on Boo Hill was a family favorite at King’s Dominion – plus it is a great ride to cool off with on a hot day!

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Kids Rides at King’s Dominion

Is King’s Dominion good for young kids? I have a 4 year old and 6 year old. Having enough rides to keep them happy is a must at an amusement park.  Having rides that we can ride as a family is even better. KidZville at King’s Dominion is home to fun themed rides.

My kids road many, their favorites were Road Rally, Taxi Jam Coaster (parents may ride too), Swing-A-Round (there are also similar swing rides for adults too), and Red Baron. I must mention that the employees at King’s Dominion are top notch. They really seem to like working with people. The older man that ran the Red Baron was so friendly and helpful with each and every child. He took caution ensuring that every child got on and off their airplane safely. Each airplane is suspended over the water, so extra caution was to be taken, however, he was just a super guy and I wanted to mention it.

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Planet Snoopy at King’s Dominion

No Cedar Fair property is complete without Snoopy. Planet Snoopy at King’s Dominion is one of the first parts of the park to welcome you and your kids. The towering Snoopy bounce house greets kids to lots of bouncing fun. Planet Snoopy is also home to Flying Ace suspended car ride, Joe Cool Driving School, Peanuts Showplace, Snoopy’s Splash Dance, and meet and greets by the Peanuts Gang.

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The absolute best experience for my kids at King’s Dominion was the Joe Cool Driving School. The driving school begins with a quick lesson on how to drive on the rather large course including, Stop at Stop signs, No bumping other cars, Drive on the right side of the road, and no U-turns. Let me tell you know, of the 10 or so kids ages 4-9-ish, I think everyone of them forgot the rules! It wasn’t chaos though, just lots of fun. Afterwards, Elijah, my 6 year old asked what a U-turn was! Oops! LOL They just had a great time driving around in the little city in their own car, it was a very liberating activity for my kids. I highly recommend it.

Thrill Rides at King’s Dominion

It will be several years yet before we can ride most thrill rides at King’s Dominion as a family. We were able to ride 2 thrill rides.

My 6 year old rode the Backlot Stunt Coaster with daddy. The Hollywood stunt driver coaster races through a Hollywood set of near collisions, racing through parking garages, tunnels and explosions.

As a family, we all road Ricochet. This coaster whips you around tight hairpin turns that scared my husband and I to death and didn’t phase my kids ages 4 and 6! It wasn’t the 50 foot drop that scared us, it was the tight turns that made you feel like you were going to be whipped right off the tracks that messed with our minds. It doesn’t look scary but beware. 🙂

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Once my kids reach the right age and height, I’m sure they will have no fear and want to tackle them all, including the new Intimidator 305, voted best new roller coaster of 2010 by Amusement Today Magazine. This coaters towes 305 feet at the highest peak and descends 300 feet at speeds of 90 miles per hour! Yikes! I’m intimidated already!

The Dominator is the longest floorless coaster in the world flying at 67mph. Another unique amusement park ride is the El Dorado which is a swinging pendulum ride that takes riders up in an 1950’s El Dorado convertible up 85 feet, neat to see.

Shockwave is a standing coaster. The Crypt is an amazing site with the combination of fire, water, flips, and screams. Anaconda was the first looping coaster in the world with an underwater tunnel. Berserker is a giant viking ship that freezes upside down for 1 second. Drop Tower is the largest drop ride in North America, that takes riders up 305 feet and drops them 272 feet at 72 mph. Flight of Fear in an indoor roller coaster of almost pure darkness. The New in 2011 Grizzly wooden coaster features figure eight configuration. Hurler is another wooden coaster. Rebel Yell is another wooden coaster with twin tracks. Volcano Blast Coaster takes riders in and out of a volcano that is complete with shooting fire. White Water Canyon takes you on a trip through the rapids.

Water Works at King’s Dominion

King’s Dominion also has a full waterpark included with admission. Water Works at King’s Dominion is just what we needed on the hot Summer day when we visited.

We began our adventure at Big Wave Bay, it is a huge pool with waves up to 4 feet high! Then, we found out that there is another wave pool open called Tidal Wave Bay. I liked that there were 2 spots to just swim, ride the waves, and hang out. We also relaxed, splashed, and got soaked on the Lazy Rider River. I’m still not sure why any waterpark calls them “lazy rivers” when if you have any kids like mine, there is nothing lazy about it!  Surf City Splash House was the center of our family’s attention with over 50 water filled activities including bridges, water slides, and a 40-foot high bucket that tips every few minutes.  This is where we spent most of our time, there is so much to experience here for kids and families.

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Our family had a great time cooling off and having fun with all the WaterWorks attractions. There were a few things we were unable to do that looked just as fun. This is the first year that our kids have outgrown the kiddie area, Lil’ Barefoot Beach. It was the perfect size and set apart from the area for older kids, ensuring safety and fun for little ones. In a couple years, I’m sure we will conquer the water park rides that our kids are too young for. Tornado that spirals your tube 65 feet into the air, Zoom Flume, Baja Bends, Pipeline Peak body slides, and Shoot the Curl FreeStylin’ tube ride will have to wait.

Eating at King’s Dominion

Eating at an amusement park is a necessary evil. I say that because it is oftentimes expensive, especially for a family of 4 or more.  There are more than 30 restaurants and snack stands at King’s Dominion. I highly recommend going to one of restaurants where you can sit down in an air conditioned dining room to rest, cool off, and regroup. That’s what we did. Upon more research, I found that King’s Dominion has several advanced purchase meal options that will keep your family’s tummy’s full while not emptying the wallet. I wish I had come across this before we went!

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You can buy a family meal deal ahead of time for $39.99. This feeds a family of 4 chicken, sides, rolls, and drinks at the Country Kitchen.
Buy your admission ticket and picnic meal ticket bundled together at least 2 days before you plan to arrive for great savings and all you can eat picnic at the Picnic Pavilion between 3:30 – 4:30pm. $45.99 for 48″ and taller for admission and buffet, $35.49 for under 48″.

King’s Dominion Family Review

Adding King’s Dominion to our OBX vacation was the perfect option. It allowed us to get our vacation off on an exciting and fun note. Plus, it made the 11-1/2 hour total drive more bearable since we were able to stop at just 7-1/2 hours. After our visit at King’s Dominion, we just finished the 4 hour drive with 2 sleeping kids in the car.

The park itself was beautifully designed with mature trees throughout the park offering both beauty and much-needed shade. Their landscaping was pretty too with many flowers and flowering trees not seen in Ohio. (I love gardening, can you tell?)

One of the most impressive parts about King’s Dominion were the employees. We didn’t have one negative experience. Everyone was friendly, helpful, and just plain nice. This adds soo much to a day out at the amusement park.

We spent the full day at King’s Dominion and would go back in a heartbeat. There was so much to see and do with our young family, I know it is likewise for families with older kids. The lines were very, very short. We were surprised that we didn’t have much waiting time at any ride, the most was 10 or 15 minutes but most less. We were there on a Saturday too!

My family highly recommends taking a trip to beautiful Virginia to experience Virginia’s premier amusement park, King’s Dominion, a Cedar Fair property.

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Visit King’s Dominion

King’s Dominion is open now through October 30, 2011. See calendar for times.

King’s Dominion Admission

Regular General Admission
48″ or taller in shoes $48.99 online, $58.99 at the gate
Junior/Senior Admission Under 48” in shoes/Ages 62 and older. $36.99

Ages 2 and under FREE

Twilight Admission Valid after 4pm $36.99

King’s Dominion
16000 Theme Park Way
Doswell, VA 23047

16000 Theme Park Way
Doswell, VA 23047

This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Cedar Fair who provided the tickets for review.

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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