Yesterday MINI Takes the States came through VA, on their long, winding trail from Monterey, CA. The plan was for hundreds and hundreds of MINIs to caravan across the nation, showing off the new JCW GP MINI Cooper S. I don't know how the crux of the plan worked out, but not too many made the trek to King's Dominion.
Evidently there was a choice of either playing at the amusement park all day (and, presumably, riding the new Italian Job turbocoaster, featuring the MINI) or taking Skyline Drive north to DC. I'm guessing a bunch of folks chose the latter, because there were only 63 cars that I'm aware of. That number was provided by a gentleman at the top of PKD's 1/3 scale Eiffel Tower, and did not include one that I had seen leave earlier.
Anyway, shock of shocks: we got in free! And, bigger shock: there was nobody at the park. At least two times we were able to walk right up and get on rides. No waiting, no nothin'. We were able to ride something like 8 different rides (including the new go-kart track) and eat lunch in 3 hours flat.
We rode the Italian Job turbocoaster twice, Volcano, Tomb Raider FireFall, the go-karts, the Rebel Yell, Hypersonic XLC, and went up the Eiffel Tower. I don't recommend the Tomb Raider ride. The G forces kind of messed me up, and when we went straight from there to the Italian Job, I nearly blacked out in the first turn. The world filled up with gray dots, and I had to fight very hard to keep my consciousness.
After that, I was done. We went to the new Starbucks (?!) inside King's Dominion, got a treat, and headed home. There were a bunch of MINIs coming out behind us, and we waved all friendly-like.
It was a great time, and the best part was that I didn't feel like I needed to stay all day to get my money's worth.