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Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.

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Swing ride on steroids, big dinosaur exhibit coming to Kings Dominion

Ever ridden those swing rides at carnivals? They’re fun but they’re–what–30 feet or so above the ground at their peak?

King’s Dominion announced today that it’s introducing a new attraction called WindSeeker, a 301-foot-tall swing ride that will spin riders nearly 30 stories above ground. The ride itself is higher than the park’s Drop

A rendering of the WindSeeker attraction announced today by Kings Dominion

Tower ride and almost as high as KD’s Eiffel Tower replica. Here’s how the park describes the ride in a press release:

WindSeeker features a 301-foot-tall tower that will spin riders nearly 30 stories above ground. Seated in two-person swings that will allow their feet to dangle, riders will slowly begin rotating in a circular motion as the swings ascend the tower. At the top, the swings will be reaching speeds between 25-30 mph, flaring out almost 45 degrees from the tower. WindSeeker will be able to accommodate 64 riders (32 swings) at one time.

WindSeeker will be located near the present location of the Skyflier attraction and the Juke Box Diner. For comparison purposes, Windseeker riders will soar just above riders on the park’s popular Drop Tower attraction. Wave Swinger, the park’s original swing ride that opened in 1975, is 31 feet tall and has a top speed of 9 mph.

In addition to the new swings, the park also plans to roll out a new exhibit called Dinosaurs Alive!, which will include 36 dinosaurs, many that move like robots, in a 6-acre Jurassic setting. This exhibit, open daily, is not included in general admission to King’s Dominion, however, or with a season pass. From the release:

The Dinosaur Alive! entrance and exit will be located next to the Park’s Grizzly rollercoaster entrance, and as guests walk through the attraction they will see and experience what the dinosaurs ate, when and where they lived, how they protected themselves, and how they adapted to their prehistoric world.

Highlights of Dinosaurs Alive! include the vicious-looking Irritator and its cousins the Baryonyx and the Spinosaurus, the lizard-like Stegosaurus, the meat eating Tyrannosaurus Rex, the three horned Triceratops and the flying Pteranodon. Several of the dinosaurs have interactive consoles that allow guests to guide dinosaur movement so they can see how scientists believe each dinosaur moved its arms, tail, mouth and eyes. There is also an excavation site replica, a kids’ paleontological dig site where visitors can uncover prehistoric fossils, and a dinosaur-themed gift shop.

The two new attractions are planned to be ready for the 2012 park season.

 

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