Kings Dominion to install metal detectors on Twisted Timbers

Updated: Apr. 22, 2019 at 10:34 AM EDT
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HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Metal detectors will be installed at one of Kings Dominion’s most popular rides in order to ensure rider safety.

Kings Dominion spokeswoman Maggie Sellers posted April 19 about the new equipment which will be located at the Twisted Timbers ride.

In the past riders have lost items while on the roller coaster, resulting in injuries.

"A lot of times it's people who will take out the phone to try and film the ride," said roller coaster enthusiast Danny Biggerstaff.

In 2018, Reann Mayfield received a gash on her forehead when a cell phone flew out of another rider’s hand on Twisted Timbers, leaving a scar in the aftermath.

“These cell phones are what a $1,000… why do you want to lose it on a ride for two or three seconds,” Biggerstaff said.

To combat potential injuries, Kings Dominion will install metal detectors at the ride’s entrance.

“Honestly, it really didn’t bother me because I know it’s going to protect the guests from themselves,” Biggerstaff added.

In a blog post Sellers said, “The coaster’s unique forces and elements may cause personal items to become loose even when placed snugly in a pocket.”

"[Twisted Timbers] has lots of ‘Negative G's’ that throw the rider up out of their seat and the restraints keep you in," Biggerstaff said.

But they're not good for keeping your loose objects in place. Items will be allowed in the queue line, but hats and bags will need to be stored either in a locker or with someone not on the ride prior to boarding.

Once you arrive at the station your cell phone and keys will need to be in hand as you go through the metal detectors.

Biggerstaff was at Kings Dominion over the weekend to witness staff using the new equipment.

Having ridden more than 430 coasters all over the nation, and even getting married on one, Biggerstaff said he’s only seen the use of metal detectors at one other park.

"It was at Universal Studios in Orlando, the Island of Adventure Amusement park,” he said. “They had a ride, Dueling Dragons, a few years ago where a cell phone hit another individual and actually took an eye out."

That’s why the rider’s phone and keys will need to be placed in a pouch attached to the roller coaster.

"It will be right behind your legs and all you have to do is when you sit down zip up your wallet, cell phone, keys inside there," Biggerstaff said.

While there is concern about whether the metal detectors will slow down the line, Biggerstaff is confident all the kinks will be worked out by the time the busy season gets underway.

“We went through the line three or four times as soon as the park opened and truthfully, I was pretty impressed,” he said. “They kept the line moving.”

Mayfield, who was injured in 2018, said she’s excited to hear about the changes made for Twisted Timbers.

Any rider who wears glasses will also have to secure them with an athletic strap.

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