I am a lame summer planner.
I don’t like being out of doors in the heat so I am wholly uninspired to organize activities that don’t involve central air, preferably, or at the very least large bodies of recreational water, for us to enjoy between the months of June and August.
Call me a bad mom if you want to, but I am wholly comfortable in my fine tuned appreciation for central air.
That said, I make it a point to get over myself as often as possible in order to provide them with as many summertime adventures as will fit into our time and budget.
Sadly, we are short on both so when King’s Dominion invited us for a visit, it seemed the perfect answer. It wouldn’t break the bank (they hosted us!), it fit into our schedule, and while air conditioning would be entirely out of the picture, there would be water –an entire water park filled with it in fact.
To be honest, all week leading up to our trip I was feeling sluggish and grumpy and tired and blah. When Friday rolled around and I fell out of my bed at 6am to get us on the road I was still not super pumped about the adventure.
But those kids jumped out of bed and smiled their little faces all the way to southern Virginia and I realized that my schedule, and my tired, and my sweaty thighs were largely inconsequential.
And, I am so happy we went!
We spent the entire day at the park and they had so, so much fun!
As you can see with our video…
If you’re planning to visit the DC area this summer and are looking for amusement parks in Virginia to visit while you’re here, The Dudes and I recommend you add a visit to King’s Dominion and Soak City (the water park inside) to your itinerary.
First Timer’s Guide to Soak City & King’s Dominion: 10 Things to Know Before You Go
1. It’s super close to DC. Like an hour south and you’re there. Depending on traffic. Traffic in and around DC can be and often is a living nightmare. Consider yourself warned.
2. Your entry ticket gives you access to the amusement park as well as the water park, Soak City. You will be so happy to check out their water slides, splash park, lazy river, and wave pool after a hot day of screaming your face off on roller coasters.
3. If you’re planning to hit the water park when you visit (and you should because it is AMAZING), be sure you bring a towel. Although, if you go on a hot and sticky day like we did, you might appreciate an air dry. Ask me how I know this. (Note: If you don’t listen to me and you absolutely need one, you can buy one at the water park gift shop.)
4. There are plenty of things to do outside of the water park. King’s Dominion is home to more than 10 roller coasters. And I mean the real deal sort that I won’t even think about getting on.
5. They also have attractions that are for all ages. They have rides for the little visitors and ones that your teens will be happy to enjoy as well. They have smaller, non-coaster type rides, and shows. They even have characters –the whole Peanuts gang is there to meet and greet.
6. Their food game is on point. I am not kidding, best amusement park pretzels I’ve ever eaten.
7. You can pay your way to the front of the line. Fast Lane and Fast Lane Plus are their line bypass programs that allow you to skip the long waits on certain rides.
8. But, the crowds were super reasonable so we didn’t even need it. There are few things I dislike more than waiting in line for endless periods of time. I don’t know if I went on a light day or if all of the days are like this, but the ride wait times and line lengths were quite reasonable. And the park didn’t feel crowded at all. We could find chairs to relax in at the water park, we made it through the food lines with quickness and ease, and overall the foot traffic seemed light. So, I was hot and sweaty, but I wasn’t hot and sweaty and annoyed!
9. There are some costs you should be aware of. Parking will cost you $20 as will a locker in the water park. The good thing is that there are a ton of ways to save. They have a dining plan you might want to try if you have heavy eaters in the family or plan to stay for more than one meal. We spent $71 on lunch for the 5 of us, but it was our only meal eaten in the park. We just bought a couple of snacks. They also have a souvenir cup program that allows you to refill your cup all day for free. If you’re local, you can also buy an annual membership that will allow you free admission through Labor Day and other savings depending on the membership level you choose. Pro tip: buy the 4 waters for $12 deal, otherwise, they are $4.40 each!
10. Plan to stay all day. And then some if you have time. Truly my Dudes could’ve made an entire day out of just Soak City. We didn’t even get to ride half of the roller coaster rides because once we went into the water park they didn’t want to come out.
Check out their site to get your King’s Dominion tickets and more info and tips for your trip!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand, and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.