1970s 1980s Blogging Driving Movies Radio Travel

Kings Dominion

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. Kings Dominion is a fun seasonal amusement park located between Washington D.C. and Richmond Virginia (much closer to Richmond) right along I-95. The 280-acre park opened on May 03RD 1975 – the same exact date that my little brother was born. Starting in the late-1970s and continuing into the mid-1980s me and my family would visit the park every few summers. We would actually alternate between Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens near Williamsburg Virginia (opened 13 days after Kings Dominion), and Hershey Park in Pennsylvania (opened 116 years ago this weekend).

Kings Dominion is generally open starting in mid-March – weekends only at first, and then daily from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend. The park returns to weekends only during the Autumn months. It’s also open during Christmas and New Year’s Week for festive displays and events known as #WinterFest.

Me and my brother always had a lot of fun roaming around the park and riding all of the rides. My parents were there for the shows, shops, and restaurants.

There are still some original rides from the 1975 opening including what used to be the “Rebel Yell” rollercoaster – now known as the “Racer 75”. It rises to a height of 85 feet, and it drops 81 of those 85 feet at a top speed of 56 MPH. That was perhaps the first rollercoaster I ever rode on. It was scary back then, and I wouldn’t ride it today because – well – it’s still scary. (And nowadays I get motion sickness very easily on those types of rides.)

That’s me as a teenager in the early-1980s atop the Eiffel Tower – a one-third replica of the real thing – standing tall at 314 feet. (The observation decks are 40 feet below the top.)

So 26 years ago this week (leading-up to Memorial Day Weekend) was my final visit with my brother to Kings Dominion. My brother won a radio contest on Washington rock station #DC101 – two free tickets to Kings Dominion – where you got to go there as VIPs before the park opened to participate in a “Mission: Impossible” scavenger hunt all throughout the park. (The Tom Cruise movie premiered at the box office that week.) Me and my brother drove down to the park on an unseasonably chilly and drizzly day, and we had lots of fun with the scavenger hunt and the rides on that day.

A lot of fun family memories at Kings Dominion. It’s good to see it still thriving with new generations of families 47 years later.

Next #TravelThursday we’ll visit Chicopee Massachusetts. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

By Chris M. Day

I'm almost 56 years old. I've been online for 30 years - starting with my own dial-up bulletin board system in 1993 - and continuing with AOL, my own web site, Myspace, WordPress, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook.