Family Fun at Kings Dominion

Friday August 17, 2012
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Earlier this summer, our family spent a wonderful day at Kings Dominion amusement park, courtesy of Cedar Fair and BlogHer.

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As a native of Northern Virginia, one of my favorite summer rituals from childhood was our annual trip to Kings Dominion. I went nearly every summer, either with the swim team or my family. Check out these photos I found in my family album … circa 1978!

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I have no idea who the mouse is, but there’s that familiar landmark, the Eiffel Tower! And apparently, there used to be a petting zoo — anyone else remember the King Kobra roller coaster? The track is visible in the background.

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Obviously, the park has undergone many changes over the years, but it was cool to see some things haven’t changed. This is me, age 4, riding the Carousel.

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Fast forward 30+ years, and I found myself back on the carousel — this time with my kiddos.

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As an adventure seeking mom, I’m finding Kings Dominion is just as fun as it ever was. I still love the roller coasters — and they have some awesome coasters! But even more than that, I am loving watching my kids make their own special memories.

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At ages 8, 6, and 4 — there was plenty for them to enjoy. We started our day off as a family, enjoying some of the tamer attractions, like the Blue Ridge Tollway. IMG_6639.JPG

My (then) six year old loved having a chance to be the driver’s seat. IMG_6637.JPG

The Flying Eagles gave the kids another opportunity to take control. IMG_6643.JPG

The Family Rides are definitely fun, but now that my two older kids have surpassed the 48″ mark, they wanted to get their ride on. When they hit 54″, they will be able to ride all of the thrill rides, but even at their current height, much of the park was at their beck and call. It was my son’s first time to ride a real roller coaster and I was excited to introduce him to my favorite wooden coaster, the classic Rebel Yell.

The Hurler and Riccochet were also big hits with both of my kids. The Drop Tower freaked my son out (he declared it “stupid”) but my daughter and I loved it and rode it twice. I screamed like a maniac both times the whole way down (all 300 feet).

After a while, we were ready for a break from the action, so we hopped on the Americana Ferris Wheel.

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It was nice to relax and get a birds eye view of the park. IMG_6658.JPG

Then it was back to the business of having fun. My non-thrill seeking hubby took our like-minded four year old and headed off in search of some pint-sized fun.

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In Planet Snoopy, they found Snoopy’s Moon Bounce and Joe Cool’s Driving School right up their alley.

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Adam wasn’t big enough to ride Snoopy’s Flying Ace, but the other two were!

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Another highlight for the big kids was the Anaconda. My daughter kept saying, “I can’t believe I got to ride an upside down roller coaster!”

Speaking of upside down — they also experienced the Berserker.

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I loved watching their faces — a mixture of fear and delight as they tipped around and upside down. I remember vividly how I felt as kid, dangling upside down, praying the harness would hold me tight.

There were so many fun things to ride and do, it was impossible to hit them all. After 9 hours in the park, my hubby was ready for the exit, but the kids were still begging for “just one more ride”.

We had a wonderful day together as a family and made so many wonderful memories. For the kids, I suspect their memories might look something like this …

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or this:

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But for me, the memories I will hold onto look like this: IMG_6668.JPG

and this:

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Kings Dominion is a great place to take the family for summer fun — kids of all ages will have a blast on a variety of rides and amusements. Everyone from my cautious four year old to my thrill-seeking eight year old had a blast. The little guy’s favorite attraction was the moon bounce, and the big kids loved the Anaconda best. For me, my favorite was the Intimidator 305 — which I snuck off to while everyone else enjoyed Kidzville.

What’s your favorite Kings Dominion attraction?

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