Delirium may be the big new attraction coming to Kings Dominion this year, but the park seems to have a few other tricks up their sleeve for 2016. Continuing a trend from the past couple of seasons, Kings Dominion is planning many changes to the culinary aspect of the park. In this article, we’ll take a close look at exactly what dining changes are coming to Kings Dominion in 2016.
Kings Dominion’s Executive Chef, Paul Maloney, has made huge overhauls to the park’s food offerings since he arrived in summer 2014, and it looks like this season will be no different. We’re excited to see Chef Paul continue his mission of transforming the culinary department into a more greatly appreciated aspect of Kings Dominion. Let’s take a look at just some of the plans he has in store for this season.
Spring Bloom Festival
“A culinary trip around the world,” as Kings Dominion calls it, the Spring Bloom Festival returns for its third season in 2016! Originally, Spring Bloom was a landscaping-oriented event with bright floral displays throughout International Street, but last year it expanded into an international dining event. A fleet of temporary restaurant booths surrounded the Royal Fountains on International Street last year, each representing a different country and selling authentic foods from that country.
This year, Ireland will join the lineup of countries represented by Chef Paul’s delicacies. It appears that Ireland will replace the Hawaiian/Jamaican booth. Additionally, the Vietnamese booth is no longer on the lineup for the event this year, decreasing the amount of booths by one. In addition to Ireland, the Italy, Switzerland, and Germany booths from last season will complete the lineup for the festival this year.
Spring Bloom runs from April 16 to May 15 this year, and being that it is one of our favorite special events at Kings Dominion, we definitely recommend it.
BBQ & Brew Fest
The BBQ & Brew Fest is also back for its second season! We expect it to follow a similar setup to last year, with several re-purposed Spring Bloom Festival booths selling homemade barbecue on the western side of Candy Apple Grove, roughly around WindSeeker, Xtreme Skyflyer, and the Carousel.
Those seeking for some brew won’t be disappointed either. Several local brewers sell their own craft in the park’s Beer Garden, located in the shaded arbor tunnel that connects the Carousel area to the Old Virginia area.
New Park Menus
You won’t have to attend a special event to experience Chef Paul’s new culinary work, however. Kings Dominion will also be revamping and expanding the menus of restaurants throughout the park.
Some of Chef Paul’s plans may include things like fish tacos, fresh coleslaw, new desserts, and signature salads. New sides are also planned for many of the park’s restaurants, including cucumber-tomato salad, pasta salad, and even caprese salad. Additionally, Juke Box Diner will receive a “signature burger,” (which we assume is a completely unique creation of Chef Paul’s). And last but not least, new seasonal funnel cakes with special toppings will be unveiled throughout the season, just like last year’s caramel and candy apple funnel cakes.
2015 may have been the big year for Soak City, but improvements to the water park’s dining option are continuing into 2016! Fonda’s Fiesta, the new Tex-Mex restaurant which opened near the Tornado slide in 2015, and Sharky’s, located near Hurricane Heights, both seem to be receiving a bolstered menu this year. In fact, the Sharky’s building itself has been overhauled with an air-conditioned entrance and an enclosed patio, providing an all-new dining experience for Soak City. We’re glad to see that Soak City is continuing to receive improvements.
New Souvenir Bottle
Like most theme parks, Kings Dominion has long offered a plastic, reusable souvenir bottle that can be refilled with soft drinks for a discounted price of just $0.99. However, Kings Dominion, along with its sister parks throughout the Cedar Fair chain, is offering a new bottle this season. This new bottle will allow you to receive free drinks for the entire season, with no charge for refills. For heavy soda drinkers, this could be a great money-saving option.
However, the “All-Season” souvenir bottle is a pricey $24.99, whereas the regular souvenir bottle is just $10.99. That makes the choice between the two a little trickier than a no-brainer. In order for the “All-Season” bottle to pay-off, you would have to purchase a minimum of 14 drinks this season.
Kings Dominion sure does seem to have a lot planned for culinary in 2016, and we are excited to taste all of what the changes have to offer. To keep up with all of these changes, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and don’t forget to join the discussion in The ParkFans Forum’s 2016 dining changes thread.