Country Club

Kings Dominion celebrates 40 years of thrills, family fun

Kings Dominion plans to bring back its singing mushrooms this season as a nod to its 40th anniversary. / Photos by Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion plans to bring back its singing mushrooms this season as a nod to its 40th anniversary. / Photos by Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion is making final preparations for its 40th-anniversary season, which will include the return of many signature features at the Hanover County theme park.

Among the historic park features that Kings Dominion is bringing back are the floral clock, Safari Village and the “Singing Mushrooms” in the Candy Apple Grove section.

“I have 40 years of fond memories, and I am thrilled to share some of these exciting moments with our guests during our special 40th celebration,” said Kings Dominion General Manager Pat Jones in a statement.

This image shows Kings Dominion's iconic Eiffel Tower replica when it was still under construction.

This image shows Kings Dominion’s iconic Eiffel Tower replica when it was still under construction.

Kings Dominion’s grand opening wasn’t until May 1975, but the park opened on a limited basis in 1974. Among the featured activities that first year was the Lion Country Safari, which allowed guests to drive through a 3-mile stretch of land inhabited by animals including lions, tigers and ostriches.

Since then the Doswell park has added roller coasters, water rides and a large variety of other attractions, but this year’s celebration will wind back the clock to remember some of the old favorites. Some of the features have been shared during the off season on Twitter using #KD40.

The park reopens April 5.

The Kings Dominion Candy Apple Grove area will be reborn in honor of the park's 40th anniversary.

The Kings Dominion Candy Apple Grove area will be reborn in honor of the park’s 40th anniversary.

A 40th birthday bash is planned for May 10.

Kings Dominion has highlighted the return of the floral clock and Singing Mushrooms prominently in its marketing materials about the upcoming season.

Kings Dominion is bringing back its floral clock at the end of Center Street.

Kings Dominion is bringing back its floral clock at the end of Center Street.

The floral clock has been rebuilt and will return to its original location at the end of Center Street near the park carousel. Kings Dominion also plans to bring back “Ruby,” a newly painted and rehabbed carousel horse. There will also be a “Walk of Memories” that details the park’s history.

This season also will mark the return of the strolling clown band, blue ice cream and International Street fountain. Retro merchandise will be available in a park store.

The Singing Mushrooms, a staple at the park for many years, also will make their return. The four mushrooms and an accompanying frog belt out barbershop songs.

Jones said the park received an “overwhelming” response from guests to bring back the Singing Mushrooms for the 2014 anniversary season.

California-based Garner Holt Productions Inc. helped refabricate the mushrooms.

“I am excited to see one of my personal favorites return to the park for a generation of guests to enjoy,” Jones said.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405

bfreehling@freelancestar.com

 

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