Before it became the iconic "Volcano: The Blast Coaster," it was known as "Smurf Mountain." Here's what it looked like in 1979.
But in 1998, everything changed.
It was the first big roller coaster my dad ever made me go on; I'll never forget it. We stood in line for over 3 hours to ride this monster. As a 7-year-old, it terrified me. Standing there, looking up, I remember being able to feel the fire coming out of the top of it and hearing the screams while watching a car full of people turn over and dangle for their ride. My dad said "We're doing this," and I stood there, terrified, because at the time the biggest coaster I ever rode was the blue and green Scooby-Doo one (RIP to that to, since the park is no longer owned by Paramount). I got locked in, the woman asked if I was ok, and I said, "I want to get off." She looked at my dad and my dad started laughing and said "Oh no, she's fine!" We started around that first corner and I was literally SHAKING. The coaster BOLTED into darkness and the next thing I knew, I was upside down, coming out of the top, feet dangling, and screamed my lungs out; not because I was scared, but because of the adrenaline that rushed through me (my dad has never looked happier - I swear to it). The coaster came to a halt just as fast as it started, and my dad let out the Ric Flair "WOOOO!" and with laughter, we looked at each other, didn't even have to say anything, and we got right back in line to do it again. It's one of my favorite childhood memories that I'll never forget.
Now, Kings Dominion has decided to tear it down because repairs were reportedly too much to keep up with. Some photos of the deconstruction has hit the internet today, and I'm emotional, sitting here, watching what is one of the last threads of my childhood, be taken away.
Apparently I'm not the only one to feel this way because some fans have even started a memorial with candles and flowers at the entrance of this iconic coaster.
I MEAN COME ON. I WASN'T EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR THIS TODAY.
For a throwback (since it IS Thursday), watch it get covered on the Discovery Channel's "Extreme Rides 2000" below to relive the greatest 70 seconds of our childhood.
The reason it's so iconic is because it exceeded 72mph in just over 4 seconds, you were blasted out of the volcano at 155 feet above ground, which was the highest inversion in the world. It was also the first suspended coaster to use high tech linear induction motors to launch you instantaneously. Watch below to remember each turn at launch, since that's all you can do now. Remember.
As an added bonus, here is the original art/concept work for the Volcano: