For first time ever, Kings Dominion will close for entire year
The 45-year-old Doswell theme park won't open due to COVID-19 limitations
Kings Dominion won’t open this year due to challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the theme park in Doswell announced Tuesday. The park, which first opened in in 1975 has never before closed for an entire season, Kings Dominion communications manager Maggie Sellers confirmed Tuesday.
“We are disappointed that we are unable to welcome our guests back to the park this season,” Tony Johnson, Kings Dominion vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “The safety of our guests and associates is always our top priority, and we have done our due diligence in developing a comprehensive safety plan in accordance with industry and public health standards.”
Phase Three of Gov. Ralph Northam’s “Forward Virginia” plan limited the park’s capacity to 1,000 guests, which Kings Dominion and its rival theme park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, said in June would not be economically feasible to operate the massive amusement parks.
“With the diminishing number of calendar days left in the 2020 operating season, as well as Virginia’s Phase 3 reopening restrictions that limit the park’s capacity to 1,000 guests, the decision has been made to remain closed,” according to Kings Dominion’s Tuesday statement.
Busch Gardens is reopening to a limited number of guests between Aug. 6 and 16 for its Coasters and Craft Brews event series.
Kings Dominion, which is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. employs up to 4,000 seasonal employees each year.
“However, the continued uncertainty in our region brought by COVID-19 has led us to the difficult yet responsible decision to keep the park closed for the rest of the year,” Johnson said in a statement.
Instead of hosting its 2020 season, the park announced it is planning enhancements, including new rides, attractions and entertainment for the 2021 season — including a reimagined area in Soak City, which will includes a multilevel play structure, a mini wave pool and a new restaurant.
“We look forward to a great 2021 season with the return of favorite rides, new attractions and entertainment for the whole family,” Johnson said in a statement. “We thank our guests and associates for their continued loyalty and support during this challenging time.”
The validity of 2020 season passes and add-on products has been extended through 2021 and 2021 season passes will go on sale Sept. 8.