How To Visit Kings Dominion On A Budget

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Kings Dominion Roller Coasters

As we dissected in the correlating post, How To Visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg On A Budget, amusement park vacays can cost a pretty penny. But, they don’t have to!

So in today’s entry, we’re going to map out how to visit our favorite Doswell amusement park on a budget.

As a seasoned park-goer, I know a thing or two about how to navigate Kings Dominion without sacrificing a good time or emptying your wallet. Down below will go over just how to do that.

This will cover where to score Kings Dominion discount tickets, what the best hotels by Kings Dominion are, how to save on dining expenses, and whether or not you should buy a fast lane (hint: keep your wallet closed).

Without any further fanfare, let’s get to it! You’ve got money to save!

Related Reading: Top 5 Hotels Near Kings Dominion

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Kings Dominion Dominator Roller Coaster

Kings Dominion Tips On Trip Planning

Now, before you skip over this section, know that these trip planning tips will help you save money at both Kings Dominion and any amusement park you visit!

In planning the right day to go to the park, you won’t have to spend money on a fast lane (cut the line pass) because odds will be in your favor that there won’t be much if any lines to wait in.

So, humor me for a moment and skim through this before you get to the discounts.

What Day Is Kings Dominion Less Busy?

Kings Dominion is less busy on weekdays and rainy days, especially Mondays through Thursdays. Avoid weekends and major holidays if possible to minimize wait times and maximize rides.

Rainy days can be a blessing in disguise at theme parks since many people will avoid going. The park will stay open during the rain and rides do still run in the rain as long as there’s not lightning in the area.

How Much Time Should I Spend At Kings Dominion?

It’s recommended that you allocate at least one full day to visit Kings Dominion, especially if you want to ride all the attractions you’re interested in, enjoy shows and live entertainment, and partake in restaurants as well.

If you’re planning on combining your visit with the Soak City waterpark, plan for at least two days to ensure you have enough time to enjoy both parks. Likewise, if you’re visiting during a summer Saturday when kids are out of school and adults are off work, consider planning for a two-day visit.

Keep in mind that summer weekends and fall Saturdays are the busiest times to visit, so plan accordingly.

Kings Dominion Discount Tickets

Now for the biggest money saving component: discount Kings Dominion tickets!

Kings Dominion ticket prices starts at $75 ($81.99 technically with the processing fee). However, you can get $20 off of any day general admission tickets. This includes tax with no extra fees and comes with a best price guarantee.

Plus, if you need another reason to go on a weekday when there’ll be less crowds and lines, you can get $25 off of weekday tickets (also includes no extra fees & the best price guarantee).

Also, during certain times of the year, Kings Dominion may offer discounted group tickets for groups of 15+.

Military tickets are also available for active duty and retired veterans (6 tickets limit)

Keep in mind, concerning all tickets, that as of currently, children under 3 are able to visit Kings Dominion for free!

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Kings Dominion Flight of Fear Roller Coaster

Food At Kings Dominion

Outside food and drinks are not allowed within Kings Dominion unless they’re for a medical necessity. However, the park has a picnic courtyard with gazebos and tables in the parking lot for visitors who have brought their own lunches.

Packing Food For Kings Dominion

Packing food for your theme park day is a great way to save money! Just make sure you pack non-perishable bites or bring a cooler to keep your lunch from spoiling.

If you’re aiming for something substantial, sandwiches or wraps are easy to pack and won’t spoil if left in a cooler or insulated bag. Opt for protein-rich fillings like turkey or peanut butter to keep you satisfied throughout the day.

Pack plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day and consider packing sports drinks or drink mixes that can easily be added to water bottles.

Non-perishable snacks, such as granola bars, trail mix, or fruit snacks are a nifty option too. These snacks won’t spoil if left in a hot car until you’re ready to eat.

Eating In Kings Dominion

As of recent years, Kings Dominion has been working hard on their culinary offerings and opening new restaurant additions. Just note that their cuisine comes at a cost ranging between $15-$20 on average.

The most popular restaurants at Kings Dominion are Outpost Cafe, Grain & Grill, and Border Burrito. Respectively, these dines serve seared meats, grilled meats and veggies, and burritos and taco bowls.

To save on costs, one plate can be split between two people. Going this route, it’s cheaper to split an order for lunch and dinner than to buy two individual plates for both meals that don’t get fully eaten.

Alternatively, you can always order from the kid’s menu.

Most people don’t tend to eat full, heavy meals when visiting the park (especially in the heat of summer) and instead eat a few light “meals” or snacks.

Of which tangent, there are options to graze around the park at eateries like Excavators Taters (fries with premium toppings) in Jungle X-Pedition and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels (hot soft pretzels) in Candy Apple Grove.

If you do anticipate purchasing at least two $17+ meals for you or your group throughout the day, Kings Dominion offers a full-day dining plan for $33.99. They also have a single-meal plan that costs $16.99. Just make sure you’re ordering meals that justify the cost of the plans!

If you’re unsure about trying one of the plans out, you can always grab a single-meal plan for yourself (or to split between two) and then snack on loaded pork fries or cinnamon pretzels later.

Note: Free water cups are available at any restaurant or concessions areas within the park.

Medicinal Snacks & Drinks

If you or anyone in your group has a medical condition that requires specific snacks or drinks, be sure to pack those! For example, if someone in your group has low blood sugar, bring a juice box to prevent hypoglycemia.

It’s important to note that while Kings Dominion does not allow outside food to be brought into the park, snacks and drinks for medical purposes are allowed, so don’t hesitate to pack those!

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Kings Dominion I305 From Candy Apple Grove

Kings Dominion Parking

If you’re driving to Kings Dominion, be forewarned that parking at Kings Dominion costs $25 and preferred parking is $35.

If you’re staying at the nearby KOA campground, they run a complimentary shuttle to the park. This way, you can avoid driving to the park altogether and save on parking fees.

Another option is to carpool with friends or family. If you split the cost of parking among several people, it can significantly reduce the cost per person.

If you’re carpooling with a season passholder, they’ll be able to get free parking for your group with their pass.

Best Kings Dominion Hotels

If you’re planning to stay overnight or aren’t local to the area, there are plenty of great hotels near Kings Dominion. Choosing the right one of these can also help you save money and maximize value.

I’ve covered the top 5 hotels near Kings Dominion more in depth, but I’ll touch on the top few from that list that are budget friendly without sacrificing on quality (bedbugs, ground floor windows won’t lock, etc).

Note: Be sure to utilize the links to each below as there are multiple locations of hotels by the same name in the area. (ie, SpringHill Suites Glen Allen vs Chester vs Northwest and so forth)

The SpringHill Suites by Marriott Richmond North/Glen Allen is the best affordable Kings Dominion hotel, touching as low as $97 per night and running an average of $143 nightly. It offers spacious rooms, a complimentary breakfast, and has an indoor pool. It’s located 15 minutes away from the park.

Booking your stay at the SpringHill Suites through this Booking.com link comes with perks like free cancellation, a price match, and discounts on your stay. Your reservation will go towards the Booking rewards program that allows you to earn points towards future trips.

The runner up recommendation is the Hampton Inn Richmond North/Ashland, a well priced and highly rated hotel known for its high quality and welcoming staff. It’s also a pet friendly option that also has 24-hour security and complimentary breakfast. It’s a 10 minute drive to the park from the Hampton Inn.

Booking your room at the Hampton Inn here includes the perks mentioned previously like free cancellation and a price match. Plus, by booking through this link, you can take advantage of exclusive deals on your stay.

Both of these hotels provide valuable amenities and a quick drive to the park while being priced in a wallet friendly range.

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Kings Dominion’s Midway & Eiffel Tower

Kings Dominion FAQs

Lastly (but not least), here are some quick answers for the most frequently asked questions regarding Kings Dominion:

How Early Should I Get To Kings Dominion?

You should get to Kings Dominion when the park opens to take advantage of the short ride lines in the early morning. Lines for popular rides tend to be shorter early in the morning and even after dinner time.

Bonus: If you’re not much interested in fireworks, head to your favorite attraction while everyone else is watching the show. Some rides operate during the fireworks and for the ones that are closed during them, they’ll have short waits upon reopening.

Take advantage of the nonpeak times and during firework shows to enjoy short lines!

Is Kings Dominion A Cashless Park?

Yes, Kings Dominion is a cashless park.

If you don’t have a credit or debit card (or prefer not taking your credit/debit card), the park has cash to card kiosks that you can use to get a prepaid card.

Can You Bring Cash To Kings Dominion?

You can bring cash to Kings Dominion, but you’ll have to use a kiosk that will convert your cash into a card to use for purchases.

So, if you already have a credit or debit card, be sure to bring that. But, you won’t be stuck if you only brought cash to the park.

Do You Pay Extra For Soak City At Kings Dominion?

No, you do not pay extra for Soak City at Kings Dominion, so enjoy the waterpark with your amusement park admission!

If you’re planning on enjoying the waterpark too, consider doing two days at Kings Dominion so you have a day for the amusement park and a day for the waterpark as well.

What Is The Kings Dominion Fast Pass?

The Kings Dominion fast pass (called fast lane) is a bypass the ride lines for a certain price upgrade that starts at $65 (yes more than the tickets cost) but aren’t needed if you’re going on a weekday or rainy day.

Do not buy a fast lane before you go to the park! You might get there to find that it would’ve been a waste of $65+ for a fast lane when the ride line average 20 minutes or less.

Is The Kings Dominion Dining Plan Worth It?

The dining plan’s value depends on how much you think you and your group will eat during the day. Most people graze on a couple snack items or eat one meal during their day at Kings Dominion.

If you plan on eating in the park multiple times a day, then you can get the regular dining plan. For the single meal deal, just be sure that what you’re ordering in the park is more than the $16.99 cost to justify your money’s worth.

Personally, I would recommend packing lunch in a cooler and picnicking in the courtyard area in the parking lot (it has tables and gazebos). It’ll be a better value for you than grabbing a dining plan.

Alternatively, you can eat at a restaurant before or after you go to the park. I usually swing by the Bojangles just a few miles down I-95.

But whatever you do, do not eat at the Burger King across from Kings Dominion! Don’t do it! Even if your hotel’s right there, it’s worth it to drive a few miles out or eat the 7-11 food than the Burger King. It’s notorious amongst KD fans and has been for years.

Does Kings Dominion Sell Alcohol?

Kings Dominion does sell alcohol.

They have park restaurants like the Parched Pig that sell a variety of drafts and ciders. During special events, they create custom themed mixed drinks too.

Kings Dominion’s alcoholic beverages do cost a little more than their counterparts outside the park, with regular beers averaging around $10-$14 and special event mixed drinks around $14-$18.

What Free Things To Do Are There At Kings Dominion?

Not everything comes at an extra cost! Kings Dominion offers plenty of shows, events, and attractions that are included with the cost of admission.

Events like Halloween Haunt and Grand Carnivale include extra attractions, parades, and shows at no additional cost.

Is Kings Dominion Expensive?

Kings Dominion isn’t overly expensive unless you’re booking all the bells and whistles for your trip too (dining plan, fast lane, photo pass, etc).

But if you know the right tips, days to go, and places to stay, you can visit Kings Dominion for a great value!

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Kings Dominion Main Entrance


And with that, we wrap up our money saving guide on how to visit Kings Dominion without breaking the bank!

Visiting Kings Dominion on a budget is definitely doable with a little planning and preparation. Just remember these few pointers:

  • Purchase Kings Dominion discount tickets for $20 off.
  • Choose an affordable Kings Dominion hotel near the park.
  • Visit on weekdays, rainy days, and during off-peak hours for shorter lines (no fast lane needed).
  • Consider sharing a plate at the park’s restaurants or packing a lunch to eat in the picnic area outside.
  • Enjoy free shows, attractions, and special events included with the price of admission.

If you have any other Kings Dominion questions, drop them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.

Have a great time at Kings Dominion!

What’s your favorite money saving hack for when you visit Kings Dominion?

For more Kings Dominion travel guides, you can also check out:

Thanks for reading!

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