During the coaster wars of the late 1990s and the early 2000s, amusement parks began to spend less time and money on themeing and more investing on the amount of rides and coasters that they could put in the park. Parks usually have themed areas in the park that have the rides and attractions that are associated with that particular theme. Kings Dominion was heavily themed before the Paramount days and even during those days, the park had themed areas. One of the areas of the park that has not lost its theme (depending on who you ask) is the Congo area. This area includes rides like Anaconda, Avalanche, and of course the very unique Volcano: Blast Coaster. The one ride that really makes this area stand out is the Crypt. This Huss Top Spin flat ride is the first ride you see as you enter the area with the flames, fountains, and very gothic looking statues.
The Crypt was built and opened in 2005 and was themed after the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie. The ride was to be very similar to the one that was built at Kings Island, although the big difference was this one would be open air and not indoors. The ride gives you the fun of a spinning ride, with the surprises of a roller coaster, all rolled into one compact hydraulic powered experience.. The ride is not designed for everyone and guests need to be a minimum of 54 inches in order to ride. One of the advantages of this ride being open-air is the photographic opportunities and spectator area that exists. The ride is such a spectacle that everyone stops to witness the ride. When the park was purchased by Cedar Fair, the theme of Tomb Raider went away, but the park retained the statues, fire, water which is something that the one at Kings Island did not do. The Crypt is still operating today and gives thousands of rides each year.
Guests enter a very themed queue area with tiki torches, bamboo pylons and bushes everywhere. As you reach the ride platform, there is a Y intersection where you will decide what side you will ride. The ride has 36 seats, 18 on each side. As you sit down, you pull the OTSR over your head. The ride begins when dramatic drum beats starts to play. Orchestral music starts to play as the top spin rotates backwards and the main gondola locks in position nearing the top. The ride rotates forwards and unlocks the gondola, inverting it two to three times as water bomb effects blast out. The top spin continues rotating forward and stops as the gondola locks in position at the top. The cycle will differ depending on the seat that you are in. The gondola inverts another five to six times until the music stops and you are let down.
Kings Dominion is a great place to go and feel like you are in the ancient ruin of the East and ride such rides as Volcano and the Crypt. If you get a chance, give the ride a go and let us know what you think.