Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What I Did On My Summer Vacation...





I took the kids to King's Dominion for three (well, 2.5) days of roller coaster fun. The Mrs. took them to WI to visit with family the previous week, and they had a great time playing at the water park with their cousins and visiting the county fair. This week they spent the first half riding roller coasters and going on water rides.


I'd forgotten how great a good roller coaster can be for bonding. There's something about the shared experience of adrenaline and terror that just brings a family together...


This is the Shockwave. It's a stand-up loop coaster. It is also the oldest stand-up coaster currently in operation in the US. It's also being retired after this year, so this was its swan song, and I'm glad my kids got a chance to ride it.


Here's the Rebel Yell. It's not a fancy loop coaster, or a speed demon, or anything like that. It's an old-fashioned, wooden-frame roller coaster that spans a rather sizable chunk of the park. The ride lasts 2 1/2 minutes, one of the longer coasters, and is - for a wooden coaster - one of the more gentle rides (the other wooden coasters were, well, less 40-something friendly when it came to knocks on the ol' spine...).


In the middle is the Ricochet, a variation on the "make really sharp turns and make you think the coaster is going to fall off" rides, with the Hurler wooden coaster (made famous in "Wayne's World" in the background). Yes, we're on the Ferris wheel for this picture, and yes, that's exactly why I went on the Ferris wheel...

Lastly, though, is the most modern roller coaster we went on:


The Intimidator. An homage to Dale Earnhardt, it stands 305 feet tall and propels riders to speeds in excess of 90 MPH. Folks can and do black out from the G-force. That's an 85-degree angle of drop right there...

I went to King's Dominion when I was 17 years old. A friend attended ECU, and I drove down to help him move into his apartment. We took a week and hit both Busch Gardens and King's Dominion, so it's a heady rush to hit these same parks now with my son, who is only 2.5 years younger than I was. Many of the roller coasters were actually the same, which was pretty neat.

I sure handled them better when I was 17, though...

That is all.

8 comments:

Roy said...

When my daughter was about 10, I took her on a ride called "The Scrambler". I had enjoyed it immensely when I was a kid. At 41, not so much. I didn't barf, but after it was over I was unsteady on my feet for awhile.

Ted said...

The "oldest" ands scheduled for retirerme ....... And most likely to be on the "deferred maintenance schedule". Right ...... I think I would pass on that one.

LCB said...

Sad to say, but I've gotten to where I can't ride anything that loops. Doc says your inner ear gets harder as you age and, well...I've aged.

Kings Island, in Ohio, has The Beast. It was the largest wooden coaster for about 5 minutes when it was built. I think it has a top speed of 50 or 60mph. But man, does it beat yah to the bone.

George P. Burdell said...

So next you're coming to Charlotte to ride Fury 325 at Carowinds, right?

325 feet tall, 81-degree drop, 95 mph.

ProudHillbilly said...

Heh. I took my kid there. But she always got to take a friend. Because believing that you are going to die in the next 10 seconds and/or barfing was never my thing.

ProudHillbilly said...

Heh. I took my kid there. But she always got to take a friend. Because believing that you are going to die in the next 10 seconds and/or barfing was never my thing.

ProudHillbilly said...

Heh. I took my kid there. But she always got to take a friend. Because believing that you are going to die in the next 10 seconds and/or barfing was never my thing.

Hat Trick said...

I was at King's Dominion in 1985. I remember a standing rollercoaster that looped but don't remember the name. Could that be the same one? What's the service life on those?