Today is a special day! Kings Dominion officially turns 45 years old today. The park opened to the public on May 3, 1975 and has grown exponentially since welcoming its first guests.
There were only a few attractions, including the famed Lion Country Safari monorail, in 1975. However, many of the original 1975 rides are still in operation to this day. Racer75 thrilled guests as the trains raced down to one end and back, the Grand Carousel delighted guests of all ages and many took a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which overlooks the park and offers views nearly 20 miles into the distance. Now, after four and a half decades of memory making and millions of dollars in capital investments, there are more than 60 rides, shows and attractions for the whole family.
While the park originally held a soft opening as Lion Country Safari in 1974, the park didn’t debut its five magical lands until a grand opening ceremony in 1975. The areas have undergone some name changes, but much of the park’s history remains to this day in Candy Apple Grove, International Street, and Old Virginia. Kings Dominion buffs will recognize a nod to park history in Safari Village and the lush landscapes of today’s Planet Snoopy, formerly named The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, in 1975.
The park is ever-growing and changing, but one thing remains the same. Millions of families through the years have made visiting the park a family tradition, creating more memories year after year.
Curious to see how the park’s experience has changed over the years? Check out our park history at the bottom of our media center for a breakdown of new attractions and experiences by year.
And, join in on the celebration with a special treat inspired by the Blue Ice Cream that was served in the park’s early years and was brought back for a short time in 2014 and 2015 to celebrate the park’s 40th anniversary.
What are some of your favorite park memories? Share them in the comments below!