The Ultimate Guide to a Day Trip at Kings Dominion

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Spring break provides students with a much needed break from school but those marvelous 10 days off tend to be wasted with Netflix and naps. If you are in dire need of a day trip to somewhere full of adventures, you are in the right place as this is the ultimate guide to a day trip at Kings Dominion.


Step One – Convincing Your Friends and/or Parents to a Day Trip:

Do mention the fact that:

-Kings Dominion is conveniently located in Doswell, VA, which is only a two hour drive down i-95 from RHS. You get to leave town without breaking your bank for gas money or hotels.

-The park has rides and attractions for every thrill level of your group from bumper cars to high speed roller coasters. Lines will be significantly shorter if you go over spring break as opposed to summer break.

-If these are not convincing enough, puppy dog eyes with a side of “please” will give you some extra points to get permission from parents and possibly an “OK, fine” from friends if you really sell it.


Step Two – Planning for the Day Trip:

Congratulations, you have completed the most difficult task of getting permission to go to the park from your parents and with your desired guests. Now all there is to do is buy the tickets, establish the driver and consider the seating arrangements.

-A $21 discount is available for those who purchase “Everyone Pays Kids Price” tickets online via . You will thus only pay $45 per person instead of $66 per person at the gate.

-After purchasing tickets, you will need to establish drivers. Be sure that the driver has access to a minivan or an SUV as they provide the most comfort and seats. The driver must be focused on the road, aware of the time and speed limit and most importantly, legally allowed to drive.

-Seating arrangements are often left up to whoever hops in the car first, but it is crucial to consider a few things:

1) The driver holds the ultimate decision on who rides in the passenger seat.

2) The person in the passenger seat has the second-most important job, after the driver. They are responsible for helping the driver navigate to and from the park, helping the driver stay awake and focused, helping the driver lookout for speed traps, road closures and signs and above all, playing good music.

3) The rest of the seats are up for grabs, but do shove the ones most likely to fall asleep into the back row of the SUV or minivan as they “can’t hang.”

4) Always travel in even numbers, it makes the transition from the car ride to coasters easier since all coasters seat people in even multiples.


Step Three – Getting to The Park:

The day of the trip is most exciting part. Kings Dominion will be open Friday, March 25 through Sunday, April 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends and 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. The full calendar is available online and you should plan to leave by 8 a.m. if you want to get to the park right when the gates open.


Step Four – The Fun:

Once you step through the gates, you are almost immediately overwhelmed by the rides, the foods, the people and the screams. Here’s how to navigate the park:

-Go in order! Kings Dominion is one giant circle so that you can explore everything without getting lost (but if you somehow do, pocket-sized park maps are available at kiosks throughout the park).

-Roller Coaster 101:

-The general “rule of thumb” for steel coasters for the best experience is to ride in either the front row or the first three rows. For wooden coasters, the front is fun, but the last few rows are the smoothest which makes you less of a bobble head.

-NEVER cut in line! Cutting in line is the ultimate jerk move; if you don’t want someone to do it to you, then don’t do it to someone else. Lines over spring break should be short enough for you to bear anyway.

-Whether you’re all hands up screaming “woo!” or your hands grip on for dear life, ride everything! Step out of your comfort zone to have the most fun.

-For those who are absolutely terrified of coasters, Kings Dominion also has more tame rides including a ferris wheel, a carousel and a motorized swing.

-Carnival games are often scams, but they are worth trying. Prizes range season to season but giant stuffed animals are always fun to win and walk around with as they display your basketball, frog tossing or skee-ball skills.


Bonus Information- Food:

Midway through your day, you are sure to get hungry due to the tempting display of foods at every corner. However, the options like burgers, pizza, pit BBQ and others tend to be pricey. So keep in mind that Kings Dominion does allow you to bring outside foods and unopened water bottles inside the park. If you ever run out of water, you can ask any of the food shops to refill your bottle for free, even if you did not purchase the bottle there. A Panda Express, Subway and Chick-Fil-A can be found around the park.


Step Five – The Ride Home:

Hopefully you have enjoyed the day at the park from the rides to the foods to the games, to the fact that you just got out of town. The worst part of the day is now here; it’s time to leave. Make sure you gather your bags and any gifts you may have bought or any prizes you may have won. Enjoy the last few steps you take as you exit Kings Dominion and enter the parking lot. Assemble into the car the same way you did to get to the park and have a nice trip home (by the way, you’re going just as fast as the coasters but you won’t drop or loop).