Kings Dominion To Retire Shockwave Roller Coaster

It was an announcement that came out of the blue; a shock to many enthusiasts. Kings Dominion Amusement Park (located in Doswell, Virginia) announced today that Shockwave, the park’s Togo stand-up roller coaster, will be retired on August 9th, after giving over 22 million rides in 29 years of operation.


Image: Kings Dominion
Image: Kings Dominion

The History

Opened in 1986 as one of the first stand-up coasters on earth, Shockwave brought with it a rare experience for coaster lovers: standing up instead of sitting down. The experience was so sought after, lines were over 2 and 1/2 hours long on opening day in March, 1986.


Photo: Mac Lundie, Copyright 2015
Photo: Mac Lundie, Copyright 2015

The Ride

Shockwave starts out with a slow but steady climb up a chain lift hill, to its maximum height of 95 feet into the Virginia sky. Once at the top, a right hand turn sets you up for the main drop. The 24-person train hits it’s top speed of 50mph after the 95 foot, 52° descent. Riders are then thrown into the ride’s only inversion, a vertical loop. An airtime hill follows the vertical loop, then the ride enters a punishing 540° helix, where riders are pushed downwards with upwards of 3G’s. Another airtime hill, a turn, bunny hill, and a hop into the brake run ends the 2,231ft journey.

Photo: Mac Lundie, Copyright 2015

The Future

With the departure of Shockwave, it’s time to look on to 2016, and the years beyond. Pat Jones, Kings Dominion’s General Manager, said the following: “While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to one of our older coasters, we’re excited for what the future holds..”. As of July 2015, predictions for what the 2016 season holds include anything & everything from a Giant Frisbee ride, to a new Huss Enterprise ride, to even a new coaster. Whatever the future has in store, Shockwave will unfortunately not be a part of it.

Take your last stand on Shockwave before it closes forever on August 9th, 2015.

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