By Tessa Jones and Erin Walker
For this year’s senior trip, the Knights traveled all the way to Doswell to tear up Kings Dominion. While the weather wasn’t ideal, the group of about 40 bundled up and headed into the park, ready to ride their heart out. Even though not all of the rides were up and running, these fearless seniors proceeded to ride everything the park had to offer.
Our group started out with the Intimidator 305, a steel roller coaster reaching speeds of 91 miles per hour. It's the tallest, fastest roller coaster on the East Coast! The ride was fantastic, fast and if you blacked out, you momentarily forget that you’re freezing.
After the Intimidator, we headed over to the Anaconda. Just like the serpent, this coaster was filled with ups, downs, loops, and corkscrews. Suspended over a small pond, this ride gave riders the illusion that they just might be dropped into snake-infested waters. This ride was smooth, fast, and it took your breath away!
As we got off of the Anaconda, we headed over to the Avalanche. Interestingly enough, the Avalanche isn’t on an actual track for 90% of the ride. Riders got into carts as if competing in the bobsled event in the Olympics with two people sitting in each other’s laps. After the first hill drop, the cart became disconnected with the track and instead followed a waterpark-like tube that included steep turns and drops!
Next up was the Dominator. The Dominator was non-stop action and holds the world’s record for the longest floorless roller coaster at 4,210 feet in length! The ride reaches speeds of up to 67 miles per hour, and everyone loved it! The camera placed in the middle of the ride added a nice touch of hilarity as we could see the pure terror/happiness on our faces.
Third was the Flight of Fear. This was Erin’s personal favorite, the mystery and low lighting built up suspense and adrenaline. The alien theme also added a nice touch. While the ending was abrupt, everyone loved it. Erin said, “I loved the Flight of Fear, I rode it three times! The first time Lilli prayed and then the third Anna screamed the whole time. I had a lot of fun and would love to ride it again.”
Fourth was the Delirium, and while it wasn’t a roller coaster, it still got your heart pounding. The hang time was insane and the rush you got coming down was nothing to joke about. The maximum arc this thrill ride offered was 120 degrees and reached heights of 115 feet!
After the Delirium we took a break and ate lunch. The group decided on Panda Express, a popular Chinese chain eatery. The food was great, but the portion offered with our meal ticket was small. Most people decided on the Orange Chicken with Chow Mein, but Lizzy spiced it up and got coconut honey shrimp with rice. Tessa said, “Panda Express stole my heart. I personally adore Chinese, and Panda was the perfect spot for lunch to step out of the rain and have a hot meal.”
Next we rode the Grizzly, and boy did it live up to its hype. It's one of the most popular wooden roller coasters on the East Coast. While the top speed was only 51 miles per hour, it felt like it was super sonic. The ride had several drops and was spectacular. Not only was it fast, but the constant fear of falling out of your cart added a fun plot twist!
After the Grizzly, we rode the Racer 75. While it's not the tallest or the fastest, it is a great ride for beginners. The ride was also featured in the 1977 movie “Rollercoaster.” It has given more rides than any at Kings Dominion and is the oldest one there. The classic up/down track provided the riders with the constant need to scream and throw their hands up.
The Twisted Timbers was next on the list. This coaster is the newest at Kings Dominion as a steel coaster built on wooden supports where the Hurler used to be. This coaster was hands down Tessa’s favorite. The Twisted Timbers featured corkscrews and many drops that kept Tessa and her ride buddy Lizzy screaming and laughing the entire time.
The group ended our trip with a very short game of Bean Boozled on the bus that, ironically, made many people want to throw up after eating the “Barf” flavored jelly bean. The participants in this game were not happy with their choice in playing very soon after “Dead Fish” and “Canned Dog Food” were eaten. Right after our short snack, the bus stopped at the Short Pump Mall in Richmond for a bite to eat before heading home to Buchanan.
Despite the weather being miserable for the day, the Knights had a great time taking a break from school to ride rollercoasters and relax for a day. Now that the Trip is over, all that’s left for the seniors is Spring Break and May 21st!