Posted by: Austin | January 13, 2010

Dominator, Kings Dominion – Review

Dominator's (rough) cobra roll

When I heard that Kings Dominion had only one B&M coaster, I was a bit surprised. B&M coasters are some of the best ones, and this park only had one. I knew that this coaster would probably be a highlight of the park. I was wrong. Dominator treated me to one of B&M’s infamous “rough rides”. There are very few, and this is one of them. I much prefer the ice smooth B&M floorless coasters like Hydra at Dorney or Bizarro at Great Adventure to this monstrosity.

There was absolutely no theme to this ride. The name itself is unoriginal. Cedar Fair repeats many of its rides names throughout its parks, for instance, Dominator is the name of the drop tower at Dorney Park. Dominator is located on International Street, but it has no theming whatsoever. Couldn’t they have given it some sort of foreign name or something? Whatever. Onto the ride.

I rode front-seat and backrow, and they were both pretty painful. The ride starts with a dip and a few banked turns, which are extremely smooth. They tricked me into thinking I was in for a smooth ride, but I wasn’t. On the lift hill, I admired the view of the park, and the view of the world’s largest vertical loop (which was part of this ride).

The hill was nothing extreme, and the loop was a bit TOO forceful. This may sound strange, but that’s honestly how I felt. It made my head hit the shoulder harnesses, and it was worse than an Arrow loop, which are very forceful (but to a good extent). There was an overbanked turn which was pretty rough, and then the cobra roll which was just ROUGH. Bizarro’s cobra roll is wonderful, the complete opposite of this one.

After some more inversions (not including a zero-G roll, which is my favorite B&M inversion), the coaster ended. The corkscrews (which were interlocking) where both painful. The ride ops were extremely slow. The station was filled with crying kids and forceful parents. I had an overall bad experience with Dominator both times I rode – the worst was the front seat. I don’t know if the coaster got rough when it was moved from Ohio to Virginia, or if it was always that way, but Kings Dominion got the short end of the stick when it comes to B&M coasters.

Posted by: Austin | January 9, 2010

Six Flags’s Top Steel Coasters

Six Flags, while not the best amusement park chain in the world, does have some Top 10 coasters throughout its parks. Here is a quick list at all of their Top 10 roller coasters:

Bizarro, the world's best steel coaster

1. Bizarro, Six Flags New England
This thrilling hyper-coaster from Intamin actually won “Best Steel Coaster of 2009”. While it used to be Superman: Ride of Steel, it was repainted and new special effects were added.

2. Nitro, Six Flags Great Adventure
B&M’s top hypercoaster is called Nitro, voted the best of all of B&M’s creations. This thrilling ride through and over the woods of beautiful Great Adventure is a great ride for all. It was voted 3rd best overall coaster.

3. Goliath, Six Flags Over Georgia
Goliath was voted 4th best coaster, and B&M’s second-best roller coaster. This thrilling ride with a slight doo-wop theme is supposed to be really great, and so big that it the park had to buy zoning rights for extra landto make it fit in the park!

Posted by: Austin | January 8, 2010

Hurler, Kings Dominion – Review

A look at the Hurler's average-looking drop.

If there is any such thing as extreme mediocrity, this is it. This ride lacks any amazing elements, really has no air-time, and nothing that stands out to me now as I write this review. All I can honestly remember from this ride right now are two turns, the lift hill, and the drop. Oh, and one hill after all of that. The ride isn’t exactly rough, but its not the smoothest ride in the world either. Is there ANYTHING unique about this ride at all? I still have to ponder that question to figure out an answer.

The ride used to be themed to “Wayne’s World”, but when Paramount moved out, so did all of the copyrighted theming, which meant much of the theming for this ride. I heard that the station is meant to be like the place where Wayne hung out in many of the movies, but all that remains in the station are some stagelights and a camera. It is ever so slightly movie-themed, in the middle of the “Grove” section of the park, which is supposed to be like an old Amusement park. Hmmmm. The station is a large box with nothing that really stands out to me.

The ride starts out with a turn to the right, and a medium-sized chainlift. It didn’t last an hour like Shockwave’s did, and it wasn’t not-exsistant like some other roller coasters, it was somewhere in the middle. There was another turn to the right, and then a drop. It wasn’t as steep as Grizzly’s drop, and steeper than Scooby Doo’s drop. Once again, Hurler found itself right in the middle. Then came an extremely rough turn to the right, again. Please note this has now been three turns to the right. Note also that this turn was right after a medium-sized drop, which is pretty dumb in my opinion, unless you’ll have the track at a 90-degree angle like El Toro.

The rest of the ride was all a blur. There was another turn to the right somewhere in there, which was equally as rough as the first turn to the right. The ride was in a field that was partially surrounded by trees, so there was no forest-run like Grizzly, it was just sort of “there”.

Honestly, this ride doesn’t add much to Kings Dominion, otherwise I would have remembered it more vividly. The fact that the ride was only running one train did not brighten my opinion of it, although it was basically a walk-on. In fact, most of the rides at Kings Dominion were either running one car or not running until 12, and the snail’s-pace loading was not helping this predicament either.

On MarvelMaker Blog’s rating scale, Hurler gets a perfect “5”. Right in the middle, how appropriate.

Posted by: Austin | January 7, 2010

My Top 15 Roller Coasters

Here is a list of the coasters that are my favorites. This summer, I will finally be traveling to Cedar Point and Kings Island, which has been a dream of mine for quite a while. That visit might upset this list quite a bit, but for now, these are my favorites.

Griffon, my second-favorite roller coaster

1. El Toro, Six Flags Great Adventure
2. Griffon, Busch Gardens Europe
3. Nitro, Six Flags Great Adventure
4. Alpengeist, Busch Gardens Europe
5. Dueling Dragons, Islands of Adventure
6. Apollo’s Chariot, Busch Gardens Europe
7. Lightning Racers, Hersheypark
8. Bizarro, Six Flags Great Adventure
9. Volcano, The Blast Coaster, Kings Dominion
10. Talon, Dorney Park
11. Flight of Fear, Kings Dominion
12. Fahrenheit, Hersheypark
13. Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure
14. The Comet, Hersheypark
15. Rebel Yell, Kings Dominion

Top Indoor Coasters:

1. Revenge of the Mummy, Universal Studios Orlando
NOTE: I did not feel comfortable including this in my list of top coasters since it is more than a coaster, but since Flight of Fear is really just a roller coaster which is indoors with theming (no show or anything that would make no sense outdoors) it is found in both lists.
2. Flight of Fear, Kings Dominion
3. Space Mountain, Magic Kingdom
4. Rock ‘n Rollercoaster, Hollywood Studios
5. Skull Mountain, Six Flags Great Adventure