Monday, June 05, 2006

Kings Dominion TV Ads

Kings Dominion's TV ads in the 1980's often promoted a new ride long before the park was open for the season. These commercials were usually shot nowhere near Kings Dominion, and rarely featured any actual footage of the ride itself. In addition, the spots greatly exaggerated what you would actually find inside the park. I can remember specifically, being disappointed that the Haunted River ride was nothing like the creepy-cool commercial that they used to run ad-nausea during afternoon cartoons on WDCA TV-20 in Washington, D.C.

Diamond Falls was Kings Dominion's new ride for the 1985 season. This ride, now found at almost every park, is basically a log flume ride with a larger boat. The splash at the bottom of the hill is much greater than that of the standard flume ride. Once leaving the station, the boat went directly up the chain lift, made a U-turn and then plummeted right down the chute. After the splash, the boat entered a tunnel where the boat basically made the same sized U-turn back into the loading area. The tunnel had a few un-animated scenes of gold and skeletons (a Kings Dominion favorite!) The layout of the entire ride was visible from anywhere in the queue area, leaving no surprises as to what lie ahead.

So take a look at this commercial that I found on YouTube for the opening season of Diamond Falls. This TV spot is from 1985 and sure makes the ride look a heck of alot more thrilling than it really was. It does have actual footage of the ride itself, but the shots are so tight it could have easily been any flume ride at any park.

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