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All 12 Great Kings Dominion Roller Coasters Ranked

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Kings Dominion’s Midway & Eiffel Tower

There are 12 amazing roller coasters at Kings Dominion, but which ones are the best?

The mileage might vary from person to person, but I’ve ranked all of the Kings Dominion roller coasters as objectively as humanly possible. Even though Flight of Fear is clearly the best coaster at Kings Dominion.

And, that is unbiased!

The highest scores of the Kings Dominion roller coasters ranked are Intimidator 305, Twisted Timbers, Dominator, and Flight of Fear.

The proof is in the pudding below.

KD was my first park and is home to my first roller coaster (Avalanche at age 3), so stacking some of my favorite rides against each other was a little painful. But, hopefully this will be helpful for those of you planning your next visit to Kings!

Without further ado, here’s the ultimate ranking of Kings Dominion roller coasters. (Thrill junkies, debate me in the comments below!)

Related Reading: Best Hotels Near Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion Roller Coasters Ranked

I’m basing these rankings on the ride’s comfortability, thrill, uniqueness, smoothness, capacity, reliability, and popularity.

  • Comfortability: enjoyable forces and re-rideability (10 = comfortable)
  • Thrills: speed, height, and inversions (10 = most thrilling)
  • Uniqueness: noteworthy features (10 = most unique)
  • Smoothness: …smooth versus rough (10 = smoothest)
  • Capacity: riders per hour (10 = quicker line)
  • Reliability: will it be open likelihood (10 = often open)
  • Popularity: by what park guests flock to (10 = popular)

Let’s get to it!

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Flight of Fear Kings Dominion

Flight of Fear

Unashamedly my favorite roller coaster at Kings Dominion (because how can you not love indoor launch coasters?), I’ll still keep Flight of Fear’s ranking objective nonetheless.

Flight of Fear is the world’s first LIM launch coaster, opened in 1996. It’s located indoors and is themed to the Doswell version of Area 51. The ride coasts through 4 inversions at a top speed of 54 mph, yielding 4.5Gs within its 2,700-foot run.

Comfortability: 7/10
Thrills:
9/10
Uniqueness:
7/10
Smoothness:
6/10
Capacity:
9/10
Reliability:
8/10
Popularity: 8/10

Notes: I docked the uniqueness for Flight of Fear on account of the coaster having three other clones of it. One of which, is another Flight of Fear in Kings Island. So, while the ride itself is unique and holds a world record; minus that record, our Flight of Fear is not the only of its kind. But you won’t see me complain about that, the more the merrier!

PS – brace yourself after the final corkscrew at the end. In recent years, it will stop abruptly right after that on the second break run and it’s merciless on the ribcage.

TOTAL RANKING: 8/10

Related Reading: Exploring The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear

Reptilian

Avalanche, it will always be Avalanche. But Reptilian (I guess…) is a bobsled roller coaster recently rethemed to the creature said to be terrorizing the Jungle X-Pedition area of Kings Dominion. It has been in operation since 1988, features a 41 mph speed, and is one of only 8 bobsled coasters in the world.

Comfortability: 8/10
Thrills:
6/10
Uniqueness:
9/10
Smoothness:
6/10
Capacity:
6/10
Reliability:
7/10
Popularity: 6/10

Notes: If being one of less than ten of its kind in the world doesn’t count as unique, nothing does.

TOTAL RANKING: 7/10

Apple Zapple

Originally named Ricochet, Apple Zapple is the park’s wild mouse roller coaster located in Candy Apple Grove. Standing at 50 feet tall, the ride’s hallmark element is the hairpin turn segment that whips riders through switchbacks around 35 mph.

Comfortability: 7/10
Thrills:
6/10
Uniqueness:
2/10
Smoothness:
8/10
Capacity:
3/10
Reliability:
7/10
Popularity: 4/10

Notes: Despite its lack of uniqueness, Apple Zapple is still a fun coaster to ride!

TOTAL RANKING: 5/10

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Intimidator 305 Kings Dominion

Intimidator 305

I305–now that Volcano is gone–is probably Kings Dominion’s most visually iconic roller coaster. It’s a giga, meaning it stands at over 300 feet tall (305 to be exact), and is themed to NASCAR racing. Its height, 85 degree drop, 90 mph speed, and 5,100 span of track is both the terror and allure of the ride.

Comfortability: 5/10
Thrills:
10/10
Uniqueness:
7/10
Smoothness:
7/10
Capacity:
6/10
Reliability:
8/10
Popularity: 9/10

Notes: The comfortability for I305 is based on if the average person could enjoyably ride this coaster five times in a row. While coaster enthusiasts would jump at the chance, regular people would balk at binge riding after the first time they grey out on it.

PS – I really had to be impartial on this one. Yes, I think that Intimidator would rank one notch higher than it does. But after factoring these variables, this is what the math said.

TOTAL RANKING: 8/10

Anaconda

The first roller coaster in the world to dive underwater, Anaconda is an Arrow Dynamics looping coaster residing over Lake Charles since 1991. The coaster boasts 5Gs, 4 inversions, and a speed of 50 mph. It’s loosely themed to the coiling experience of its namesake, an anaconda.

Comfortability: 4/10
Thrills:
7/10
Uniqueness:
8/10
Smoothness:
2/10
Capacity:
6/10
Reliability:
8/10
Popularity: 6/10

Notes: While I feel like Safari Village/The Congo/Jungle X-Pedition wouldn’t be the same without Anaconda atop Lake Charles, this ride has not aged well at all. Sorry, Ana, but you’re a neck breaker.

TOTAL RANKING: 6/10

Tumbili

Tumbili is the new roller coaster at Kings Dominion, having opened in 2022. It is Virginia’s first 4D spin roller coaster, an attraction that seats riders on either side of the track and flips them as the car runs about the course. It stands at 112 feet tall and goes 34 mph.

Comfortability: 5/10
Thrills:
7/10
Uniqueness:
7/10
Smoothness:
6/10
Capacity:
3/10
Reliability:
7/10
Popularity: 7/10

Notes: Comfortability and smoothness on this, I feel, are relative to whether folk have a strong tolerance for being flipped around a lot. So, those two categories are ranked accordingly.

TOTAL RANKING: 6/10

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Racer75 Kings Dominion

Racer75

Racer75 is an opening day (1975) attraction and classic wooden roller coaster that spans the length of Kings Dominion’s midway. It has two tracks that mirror each other, so two trains can run at once and race each other–hence the name.

Comfortability: 8/10
Thrills:
7/10
Uniqueness:
6/10
Smoothness:
6/10
Capacity:
7/10
Reliability:
7/10
Popularity: 6/10

Notes: For its age and type of coaster, Racer75 is smoother than you’d think it’d be!

TOTAL RANKING: 7/10

Grizzly

Kings Dominion’s Grizzly is a wooden roller coaster tucked into the woods of Old Virginia. Opened in 1982, the coaster is based on the defunct Coney Island Wildcat. It runs through its 3,150 feet of track at a speed of 51 mph. Grizzly has been retracked for the 2023 season.

Comfortability: 8/10
Thrills:
8/10
Uniqueness:
6/10
Smoothness:
7/10
Capacity:
6/10
Reliability:
8/10
Popularity: 7/10

Notes: Grizzly’s rankings have been updated now since it has reopened with its new updates. And in short, it’s a lot better now in smoothness and comfortability! Definitely back in its prime again!

TOTAL RANKING: 7/10

Twisted Timbers

You can’t convince me that Twisted Timbers is not themed to Angry Orchard. The coaster was formerly Hurler, 100% wooden from 1994-2015. It was refitted with steel track and new inversions before reopening as Twisted Timbers in 2018. The coaster now sports 3 inversions, 3,300 feet of track, and a 54 mph speed.

Comfortability: 7/10
Thrills:
9/10
Uniqueness:
7/10
Smoothness:
8/10
Capacity:
5/10
Reliability:
8/10
Popularity: 9/10

Notes: This is definitely worth the line!

TOTAL RANKING: 8/10

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Dominator Kings Dominion

Dominator

Dominator is the world’s longest (4,200 feet) floorless coaster that Kings Dominion scooped up from the closed Geauga Lake Park in Ohio. It has one of the largest vertical loops in the world too, with the loop standing at 135 feet tall. The coaster also includes 5 inversions, runs at 65 mph, and hits nearly 4Gs.

Comfortability: 7/10
Thrills:
9/10
Uniqueness:
6/10
Smoothness:
7/10
Capacity:
7/10
Reliability:
9/10
Popularity: 8/10

Notes: Thank you, Geauga Lake!

TOTAL RANKING: 8/10

Woodstock Express

A hair older than the park itself, Woodstock Express is a wooden family coaster that opened in 1974 to promote the under-construction Kings Dominion. It’s only 35 feet tall and goes 35 mph, but it’s still a fan favorite of many park goers.

Comfortability: 8/10
Thrills:
5/10
Uniqueness:
4/10
Smoothness: 7/10
Capacity:
6/10
Reliability:
8/10
Popularity: 6/10

Notes: Scooby Doo (original name) will always be a Kings Dominion classic!

TOTAL RANKING: 6/10

Backlot Stunt Coaster

Admittedly, I always forget about Backlot Stunt Coaster. Not to slight the coaster, but because it’s placed just out of sight enough and doesn’t spark my interest enough to ride it regularly. So, I often forget about it when I’m thinking about Kings Dominion roller coasters. But, tucking bias aside…

Backlot Stunt Coaster is a small launch coaster that opened in 2006. It is themed to the climatic action scene in The Italian Job, with special effects and sets along the ride. The coaster features a max height of 45 feet and speed of 40 mph.

Comfortability: 7/10
Thrills:
6/10
Uniqueness:
6/10
Smoothness:
6/10
Capacity:
4/10
Reliability:
7/10
Popularity: 6/10

Notes: Like Flight of Fear, a clone of this coaster exists at Kings Island. If its special effects were maintained and worked regularly, its uniqueness rating would have been higher but alas.

TOTAL RANKING: 6/10

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Flight of Fear with Lights On

Summary

Before we formally wrap up our roller coaster rankings, shout out to the rides Kings Dominion got rid of: Volcano, Shockwave, and Hypersonic XLC.

Volcano would’ve landed in the top three even though its reliability score would’ve been abysmal. Shockwave and Hypersonic XLC would’ve ranked well in the uniqueness category, but smoothness and reliability would’ve plagued them respectively.

All the same, Kings Dominion has an excellent collection of roller coasters. One that is always growing!

For a brief summary of the Kings Dominion roller coaster rankings:

Tier One

  • Intimidator 305
  • Twisted Timbers
  • Dominator
  • Flight of Fear

Tier Two

  • Grizzly
  • Reptilian
  • Racer75

Tier Three

  • Tumbili
  • Anaconda
  • Woodstock Express
  • Backlot Stunt Coaster

Tier Four

  • Apple Zapple

If you have any thoughts about this ranking of the Kings Dominion roller coasters, let me know in the comments! I’m curious what other riders rate them by.

Bonus: Gold Mine For Kings Dominion Fans

Remember the Yogi Bear Cave? And, the aforementioned Volcano or even the Lost World?

So, I couldn’t conclude a Kings Dominion post without linking to these end-all be-all gems for KD diehards.

Kings Dominion (Images of Modern America): This book is a comprehensive history of Kings Dominion from the 70s through its 40th anniversary. There are scores of rare pictures ranging from concept art to construction shots, KECO era and the Paramount years. It highlights a lot of lesser-known tidbits about KD too. Maybe you know the Singing Mushrooms, but do you know Ruby the Carousel Horse?

You can preview a sample of the book to see for yourself how fascinating it is! It includes a foreword from the park’s original General Manager. Plus, it’s free if you have Kindle and is available in paperback too.

Theme Park Babylon: A blog by ex-Kings Dominion employee Dale Brumfield, it has a lot of posts containing behind the scenes stories, tales from the construction site, and oddball fun facts of different attractions. Trinkets like details on Flight of Fear’s ability to hit 6 Gs at 70+ mph and an account of the time a boulder fell into the White Water Canyon’s trough. This blog is a KD enthusiast’s dream!

Odds are, you’ll find a neat insider story about your favorite KD coaster on Dale’s blog. So, give it a scroll!

What’s your favorite roller coaster at Kings Dominion?

For more KD content, you can also check out:

Kings Dominion Rides Guide

Get $25 Off Of Kings Dominion Tickets

How To Visit Kings Dominion On A Budget

The Best Hotels Near Kings Dominion

Exploring The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear

Thanks for reading!

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10 Comments

  1. I visited KD before it was really opened you could walk through and see the park being built. There was the Eiffel Tower, the Rebel Yell, ( now renamed the Racer 75 YUCK), and the lion country safari. You could ride through on your car and see all the animals. I was really glad I got to experience that.

    1. It would’ve been so neat to see the early years of Kings Dominion! It sounds like it was really unique in those days! They really ought to bring back some of the original elements like the safari, train, sky ride, and mountain complex.

  2. I 305…”Gentlemen, start your engines!” It’s the highest and fastest coaster I’ve ridden, and it’s my favorite one overall!