Latest News and Events
Welcome to The Newsroom. The latest press releases issued by Kings Dominion and details on upcoming events are all here. Working members of the media are welcome to contact the park with inquiries.
June 7, 2016 - KINGS DOMINION ANNOUNCES NEW VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER
Doswell, VA. (June 7, 2016) - Kings Dominion announces Gary Chadwick as the new Vice President and General Manager of the amusement park.
Chadwick joins the Kings Dominion team with 13 years of leadership experience in the amusement park industry. Most recently, he has spent the past nine years at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina where he served as the Vice President of Food and Retail Operations. He previously worked at Kings Dominion as the Department Manager of Retail Operations from 2003 to 2007.
Chadwick began his career in the theme park industry in 1999. That summer, he traveled from England to the United States as a participant in Kings Dominion’s inaugural season hosting international students as part of the Work and Travel USA program, which continues to this day.
“I am very excited to be back where I started my career,” Chadwick said. “I love being able to work in an environment that is dynamic and constantly changing. Kings Dominion is a fantastic park. I look forward to the future and continuing to provide family fun to the region.”
Chadwick replaces Pat Jones, who served as Kings Dominion’s Vice President and General Manager from 2007 to 2016. She will be relocating to Charlotte to oversee operations as the Vice President and General Manager of Carowinds.
Kings Dominion is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.” In addition to Kings Dominion, Cedar Fair also owns and operates ten other amusement parks, four water parks, one indoor water park, and five hotels. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Theme Park in California under a management contract.
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The Kings Dominion Communications Department welcomes inquiries and visits from credentialed members of the news media for the production of high quality news features and programs about Kings Dominion!
Kings Dominion Communications Manager
16000 Theme Park Way
P. O. Box 2000
Doswell, VA 23047
Office: 804-876-5153 (News Media Calls Only, No Advertising Inquiries Please)
If you are interested in advertising with Kings Dominion, please contact our advertising agency at the following: email@example.com.
ATTENTION MEDIA: All requests for media passes must be submitted online. Information regarding our media pass policy is available in the Media Center section of our website under Media Pass Policy.
Media Pass Policy
The news media admissions policy for Kings Dominion enables working media to become familiar with the park’s many story opportunities and, at the same time, enjoy a day with family or friends.
This program is for media personalities only. Tickets may not be set up under a family member's name, or picked up by anyone other than the media contact. Please review guidelines before requesting passes.
Review Media Pass Guidelines
We are pleased to extend the following courtesies to news media representatives who live and work in our region:
- Working media on assignment are provided complimentary admission to the park and will be accompanied by a media escort.
- A maximum of two (2) complimentary tickets per season are provided to visit Kings Dominion to qualifying media (within a 250 mile radius of the park) for enjoyment (non-working) purposes.
- We are aware that some newspapers, radio stations and television stations prefer that their personnel not accept complimentary passes to events and attractions. We respect this policy and will decline to offer passes to your personnel if you so indicate. Please contact the Communications Department at Kings Dominion if you wish to have your organization excluded from this list.
- Freelance writers must provide written confirmation of assignment.
- Online bloggers will qualify for media tickets after providing documentation that the blog receives at least 20,000 hits per month.
- This courtesy is extended to active members of the news media only, not to include office, sales or retired personnel. Identification in the form of both a photo ID and a news media ID (press card or business card) is required on the date of use.
- Please note that complimentary media admissions do not include concerts or other special events and attractions at the park.
- Unfortunately, theme park enthusiast and fan-based websites do not qualify as working media.
Complimentary media passes are extended to the following news media representatives:
Owner, General Manager, Publishers, News Directors, Reporters, Editors, Photographers, Writers
Owner, General Manager, Program Director, News Directors, News Reporters, other On-Air Personalities, Writers
Owner, General Manager, News Directors, Assignment Editors, Reporters, other On-Air Personalities, Photographers, Writers, Field Producers
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Grab your friends and family and come to Kings Dominion – Virginia’s ultimate destination for summertime fun! With more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, there’s something for everyone! New in 2017 – Planet Snoopy is growing! Plus, visit our recently expanded all-inclusive 20-acre water park, Soak City!
Learn more at www.kingsdominion.com.
Grab your friends and family and come to Kings Dominion – Virginia’s ultimate destination for fun! With more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, there’s something for everyone! New in 2017 – Planet snoopy is growing with three new family rides, food and beverage amenities and more! You can soak up the sun at our newly expanded all-inclusive, 20-acre water park, Soak City!
Learn more at www.kingsdominion.com.
Grab your friends and family and come to Kings Dominion – Virginia’s ultimate destination for fun! With more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, there’s something for everyone! New for 2017- Planet Snoopy is growing! Enjoy more fun, more laughs and more thrills with the addition of three new family rides plus a new event space and upgraded food and beverage locations. Pack your swimsuit and soak up the sun at our recently expanded 20-acre water park, Soak City, which is included with park admission! It’s filled with exciting water slides, two wave pools, cabanas and more!
Learn more at kingsdominion.com.
Grab your friends and family and come to Kings Dominion – Virginia’s ultimate destination for fun! With more than 60 rides, shows and attractions we’ve got everything you need to create lifelong memories. Thrill-seekers will get their fix with one of the East Coast’s largest collection of roller coasters – 12 in all – including Intimidator 305, which stretches 305 feet tall and screams at more than 90 miles per hour. Families will delight in the zany rides at Planet Snoopy, featuring Snoopy and the entire PEANUTS™ gang.
New for 2017- Planet Snoopy is growing! Additions to our 14-acre kids area include three new family thrill rides, a new event space, and upgraded food and beverage locations.
Soak up the sun in the newly expanded Soak City, our all-inclusive 20-acre water park. Filled with exciting water slides, interactive splash pads, two wave pools, cabanas and more!
Kings Dominion is located along Interstate 95 at Exit 98 in Richmond, VA.
Learn more at kingsdominion.com.
Grab your friends and family and come to Kings Dominion – Virginia’s ultimate destination for summertime fun!
We’ve got 400 acres packed with more than 60 rides, shows and attractions. Thrill-seekers will get their adrenaline fix with one of the East Coast’s largest collection of breath-taking roller coasters – 12 in all -- including Intimidator 305™, which stretches 305 feet tall and screams at more than 90 miles per hour. Families will delight in the zany rides, shows and activities at Planet Snoopy, featuring Snoopy and the entire PEANUTS™ gang and 20 rides designed for families to experience together!
New for 2017- Planet Snoopy is growing! Three new family thrill rides join the line-up including the Kite Eating Tree, which shoots riders to the top of the tower before bouncing back to the ground. Additions to our 14-acre kids area also include a new covered event space and upgraded food and beverage locations.
Soak up the sun in the recently expanded Soak City, our all-inclusive 20-acre water park. Filled with exciting water slides, two wave pools, cabanas and more! Plus, little ones and their families can play together on Splash Island, an interactive splash pad where kids can let their imaginations run wild!
Kings Dominion is located along Interstate 95 at Exit 98 in Richmond, VA.
Want to learn more? Visit us at kingsdominion.com or call 1.804.876.5000.
Park History and Timeline
On May 3, 1975, after less than two years of construction, Kings Dominion opened its gates to the public. It didn't take long for King Dominion to be recognized as the perfect family destination location in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The idea for a family amusement park north of Richmond, VA and south of Washington, D.C., began as a dream in 1971. A site was selected in Doswell, VA in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic to build the 400-acre park. The design of the new park was similar to Kings Island near Cincinnati, OH, using similar rides, attractions and themes including a 315-foot-tall Eiffel Tower replica and twin-track, racing roller coaster.
Kings Dominion opened May 3, 1975, offering fun and thrilling attractions that included the Rebel Yell roller coaster, Lion Country Safari Monorail, Log Flume, Steam Train and other family attractions. The park's signature attraction was the Eiffel Tower, a one-third scale replica of the original Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Original themed areas were International Street, The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, Old Virginia, Coney Island and Lion Country Safari. In 1977, Kings Dominion added a fourth roller coaster in King Kobra. The park was also one of the amusement parks used as a set for the movie Rollercoaster, filmed in 1977. A campground was added in 1978 and a popular attraction known as Lost World debuted in 1979. By the end of the decade, in just five short years, Kings Dominion had established itself as a destination place for families seeking fun, thrills and adventure.
The early part of the decade saw two popular attractions added with the Grizzly roller coaster in 1982 and the White Water Canyon river rapids ride in 1983. These two rides remain as popular as ever today. In 1983, Taft Broadcasting sold its theme park division to Kings Entertainment Company (KECO). One of the first additions the new management group installed was Berserker, a looping starship ride on International Street in 1984. In 1986, Shockwave, a standup roller coaster, was added. Racing Rivers, a water slide complex, opened in 1987. Avalanche, which remains the only Mack Bobsled roller coaster in the United States, opened in 1988.
The decade of the 90's began with the expansion of Hanna-Barbera Land in 1990. A thrilling new ride was introduced in 1991, Anaconda, which was the first roller coaster in the world the feature an underwater tunnel. A new waterpark addition opened in 1992, Hurricane Reef. In 1993, a motion simulator ride featuring the Days of Thunder film, debuted. The 1994 season saw the addition of a new themed area of the park called Wayne's World, which featured a wooden roller coaster , The Hurler. In 1996, Kings Dominion unveiled the first LIM-launched roller coaster, The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear. The following season, in 1997, saw the debut of KidZville, which was a re-theming of the Hanna-Barbera section. New attractions included the Taxi Jam roller coaster. The trend of adding launch coasters continued in 1998 when the park opened Volcano, The Blast Coaster. Expansion continued in the waterpark area with a re-theme to WaterWorks in 1999.
The early part of this decade saw Kings Dominion open major new rides and attractions starting with the HyperSonic roller coaster in 2001. In 2002, Ricochet was added, followed by Drop Zone (now Drop Tower) in 2003. The 2004 season saw the addition of a family dark ride experience, Scooby-Doo & The Haunted Mansion. The following year, in 2005, Tomb Raider: The Ride (now The Crypt) was added. Another new roller coaster joined the park's lineup in 2006 in Italian Job: Stunt Track (now Backlot Stunt Coaster). On June 30 of that year, the park was sold to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. In 2007, WaterWorks was expanded, adding a second wave pool, Tidal Wave Bay and a four-person raft ride. Over the next two seasons, Kings Dominion added three new attractions starting with a thrilling steel roller coaster, Dominator. The park added its first Ferris Wheel in 2009 with Americana, as well as El Dorado, a family flat ride.
Today's Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion's commitment to providing its guests with world-class thrills, fun and family entertainment continues into this decade. The park built one of the top steel roller coasters in the world in 2010, Intimidator 305. This giga coaster by Intamin is themed to the late NASCAR driver Dale Ernhardt and represents the largest capital investment to date in the park's history. A new light show, Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular, was added in 2011. In 2012, two attractions debut with WindSeeker, a 301-foot-tall tower swing ride, and Dinosaurs Alive!, an animatronic dinosaur park that features nearly 40 life-sized, roaring, moving dinosaurs. In 2013, Kings Dominion unveiled the bigger, better Planet Snoopy, the world's largest PEANUTS-themed children's area, featuring 8 new rides (18 total), a fresh market and more. in 2014 Kings Dominion celebrated its 40th Anniversary with the return of some of your favorite past attractions including Candy Apple Grove, Safari VIlliage and the Singing Mushrooms. In 2015 Kings Dominion rebranded its Waterpark to Soak City and added a new Mega Slide Complex, Hurricane Heights and family splash zone, Splash Island. In 2016, Kings Dominion introduced the gravity defying thrill ride, Delirium!
In 2017 we're making room for more fun, more laughs and more thrills will our Planet Snoopy expansion that includes 3 new thrill rides- Kite Eating Tree, Sally's Sea Plane, and Peanuts 500. Also expanding the Planet Snoopy experience includes a new event space and upgraded food and beverage locations. Kings Dominin will also be adding free park WIFI for guests and introducing FunPix, a fun and easy way to capture, collect, and share photos while you're at the park.
The construction of Kings Dominion began October 1, 1972. It took nearly two years to build the park. Attractions for the first season in 1974 included the Lion Country Safari and the Scooby Doo roller coaster.
After less than two years of construction, Kings Dominion opened to the public on May 3, 1975. That day, approximately 20,000 guests enjoyed the park. More than 1.5 million visitors would follow during Kings Dominion's first season. Park visitors enjoyed five magical lands -- International Street, Old Virginia, Coney Island, The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera and Lion Country Safari, which opened as a preview to Kings Dominion in 1974. Attractions for the season in 1975 included Rebel Yell roller coaster, Lion Country Safari Monorail, Log Flume, a Steam Train, Sky Ride, Galaxie roller coaster, and the park's signature attraction, the Eiffel Tower. Families raced down 12 hills on the Rebel Yell racing roller coaster, took a spin on the Carousel, viewed the musical revue "Give My Regards to Broadway" in the Mason Dixon Music Hall and observed the park atop a 315-foot-tall Eiffel Tower.
Bengal tigers arrived at the animal preserve. The park sent visitors spinning around Candy Apple Grove in the new Apple Turnover ride.
The King Kobra roller coaster was the new attraction this year, featuring a 75-foot drop. The Kings Quarters Hotel also opened. The movie Rollercoaster starring George Segal and Timothy Bottoms was filmed at the park.
The Kings Dominion Campground opened, increasing the number of two-day visits to the park.
The 17-story Lost World mountain was the new attraction this year, featuring three separate rides: Journey To Atlantis, Land of the Dooz and the Time Shaft.
New for this season was the Haunted River, which replaced Journey To Atlantis in the Lost World.
The 180-degree theater opened, which allowed visitors to cruise through the Baja desert and see a volcano up close!
This season saw the park unveil the Grizzly, a wooden roller coaster in a forest setting with an 87-foot drop and high-speed twists and turns. Also new was The Showplace, a 7,500-seat, outdoor concert venue.
White Water Water Canyon opened this year, presenting guests with a fun, thrilling watery course and spouting geysers. Riders were assured they would get wet on this ride. Senior executives with Taft Broadcasting purchased the theme park division of Taft and formed Kings Entertainment Company (KECO) with Kings Dominion, Carowinds in North Carolina, Kings Island in Ohio and Canada's Wonderland in Toronto.
Berserker, a giant Viking ship that takes riders through a series of 360-degree loops, was added to the park's lineup of world-class thrills this year. Land of the Dooz was replaced by Smurf Mountain.
Kings Dominion celebrates its 10th anniversary season. A new water ride was added this year, Diamond Falls. Also added was a new children's play area, Scooby's Play Park.
It was standing room only this year, as Shockwave was introduced as the first stand-up roller coaster on the East Coast. The interest in the new ride helped drive attendance over the 2 million mark for the first time in park history.
Racing Rivers, featuring three different types of water slides (Torpedo, Splashdown and Riptide), was the new attraction this year. On the business side, KECO reorganized so that the company owned and managed Kings Dominion, Carowinds, as well as the entertainment and design division, Kings Productions. KECO also managed Kings Island, Canada's Wonderland and Great America in Santa Clara, California.
New this year is Avalanche, a bobsled-style family roller coaster with twisting curves, deep valleys and steep hills. The rides trains are themed to Olympic bobsleds from five countries: United States, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland.
New this year is Sky Pilot. This exciting ride allowed guests to determine their own flight pattern, including the option to spin a dizzying 360-degrees.
The park's 15th anniversary season saw a fresh new look in Hanna-Barbera Land. The expansion included the addition of five new children's rides, more characters, as well as new games and shows.
Kings Dominion introduces one of the biggest and baddest rides around, Anaconda. This new steel roller coaster sends riders screaming through six loops and is the first roller coaster in the world to feature and underwater tunnel. The park is also the site for the American Coaster Enthusiasts' summer conference.
A whole new theme area was added this year with Hurricane Reef. The six-acre waterpark featured 15 water attractions, including a variety of slides. Kings Dominion, along with Kings Island, Carowinds, Great America and Canada's Wonderland, were sold midway through the season to Paramount Communications, Inc.
An exciting new attraction opened this year with Days of Thunder, a racing simulator ride. This ride enables guests to experience what it would be like to be behind the wheel of a racecar. New owner Paramount Communications, Inc., begins the process of re-theming rides and attractions to movie themes.
A fun new area opened this year with the addition of Wayne's World. The Hurler, the park's fourth wooden roller coaster, highlighted the new attractions in this area of Kings Dominion. Viacom purchases Paramount Communications.
Green slime was the rage of the summer for Kings Dominion's 20th anniversary season with the addition of Nickelodeon Splat City. The Showplace re-opened as the Kingswood Amphitheatre.
Kings Dominion introduces the world's first linear induction launch-style roller coaster with Outer Limits: Flight of Fear. Riders on this unique attraction are sent roaring through a series of inversions in total darkness. Also new this year is Xtreme Skyflyer, an attraction that combines the elements of hang gliding and sky diving.
The park's kids' area, Hanna-Barbera Land, is transformed into KidZville. This all-new section features rides, shows and attractions specifically for kids.
The world's fastest suspended roller coaster is unveiled this year at Kings Dominion with the introduction of Volcano, The Blast Coaster. The attraction is the park's second linear induction launch-style roller coaster, joining Flight of Fear. Paramount Action FX Theater becomes the new name for the Days of Thunder motion simulator theater, featuring a new film: James Bond 007: A License to Thrill.
Hurricane Reef is expanded from six acres to 19 and rebranded WaterWorks. The makeover includes the addition of more water activities for families.
Kings Dominion celebrates its 25th anniversary season. New attractions include Nickelodeon Central in the main park and Pipeline Peak in WaterWorks. This attraction features four new thrilling, enclosed water slides.
This season saw the introduction of the world's first compressed air-launch roller coaster, HyperSonic XLC and began a new annual event celebrating Halloween called FearFest.. Also new this year is 7th Portal, an adventure-filled 3-D film.
The park unveils its 12th roller coaster in Ricochet, which features a series of unexpected twists, turns and a 50-foot drop. Also new this year is a popular family ride, Triple Spin.
Kings Dominion debuts the tallest drop tower ride in North America in Drop Zone Stunt Tower. Guests plunge a staggering 27 stories from a height of 305 feet at a speed of 72 miles per hour, providing them with a thrill they'll never forget. Also debuting this year is SpongBob SquarePants 3-D.
The first interactive family dark ride in the Mid-Atlantic region is unveiled in Scooby-Doo & The Haunted Mansion.
An attraction for adventure seekers is unveiled this year in Tomb Raider: The Ride (now The Crypt). The multi-sensory ride appeals to park visitors and coaster enthusiasts alike with its thrills and special effects.
The Italian Job: Stunt Track (now Backlot Stunt Coaster) opened as a new fully themed action stunt car experience. Thunder Raceway Go-Karts also debuts this year. On June 30, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company purchases Paramount Parks from CBS Corporation for $1.25 billion.
Three new attractions are added in WaterWorks: Tidal Wave Bay, Tornado and Zoom Flume. An all-new Halloween event is introduced in the fall, Halloween Haunt.
Kings Dominion added to its lineup of world-class thrills by introducing its 14th roller coaster this year, Dominator. This scream machine sends rider through five inversions at speeds up to 67 milers per hour on the longest floorless roller coaster in the world at 4,210 feet. The ride also features one of the largest vertical loops in the world.
The focus is on families this year with the addition of two new rides, El Dorado and the Americana Ferris Wheel. The Grizzly roller coaster was retracked this year, providing riders with a smoother, more enjoyable ride experience.
This year is one of the most exciting in the park's history. Intimidator 305, a Intamin Giga Coaster, is unveiled as the biggest and fastest roller coaster on the East Coast. Standing 305 feet at its highest point, riders race down a 300-foot first drop and through high-speed twists and turns at speeds over 90 miles per hour. The ride was voted "Best New Roller Coaster of 2010" by Amusement Today. Two other exciting attractions also debut this year with Planet Snoopy replacing Nickelodeon Central and Boo Blasters on Boo Hill replacing Scooby-Doo & The Haunted Mansion.
A new night time light show highlights the new attractions this year, Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular. Starring everyone's favorite PEANUTS characters and their summertime adventures, this colorful pageant of lights invites guests to explore a breathtaking display the entire family enjoys.
Two new attractions debut this year. Riders soar 30 stories above the park on WindSeeker, a 301-foot-tall tower swing ride. Visitors to the park are able to step back in time to periods between 245 million and 65 million years ago in the all-new Dinosaurs Alive!
On March 29, 2013, Kings Dominion unveiled its bigger, better Planet Snoopy children's area. Planet Snoopy at Kings Dominion will feature 8 new rides (18 total), a newly expanded 1,100 square-foot Family Care Center, daily meet-and-greet opportunities with the PEANUTS characters, the Richmond-based self-serve frozen yogurt shop SweetFrog and more.
Also in 2013, Kings Dominion has its largest entertainment line-up in years, with 7 new shows, including "All Wheel Sports" with bikers and skaters who were semifinalists on Season 7 of NBC's America's Got Talent, along with "On Broadway", a Broadway-style musical revue. Also new is "Dominion at Dusk" featuring Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular, a new live show and fireworks on all 10pm closes.
In 2014, Kings Dominion began celebrating its 40th Anniversary with the return of some favorites from the past. Just a few of these attractions were the Candy Apple Grove and the Singing Mushrooms. Our Congo area was also rebranded Safari Village in honor of Lion Country Safari that debuted in 1974.
In 2015 Kings Dominion announced its Waterpark expansion project with WaterWorks being rebranded as Soak City. We also introduced 2 new attractions. Hurricane Heights, a 65 ft. mega complex featuring 3 new slides and Splash Island, a family splash zone.
On May 3rd, 2015 Kings Dominion celebrated it OFFICIAL 40th Birthday with a huge party at the park that included a plaque dedication for the front gate, live entertainment in all areas of the park, special birthday prizes for guests and much more.
In 2016 Kings Dominion introduces the all new gravity defying thrill ride, DELIRIUM!