Not many people see Kings Dominion, “Virginia’s premier themed amusement park,” during the offseason, but for 7-year-old Chase Mytrysak, it’s becoming something of a second home.
Chase, of Strafford, Va., whose family is originally from Brush Valley, was chosen from more than 150 6- to 10-year-old applicants to be Kings Dominion’s “KidCaster roving junior reporter,” according to the amusement park’s website.
He’ll go behind the scenes during the construction of Planet Snoopy, the park’s new, 14-acre, Peanuts gang-themed park, for a kids’-eye view on the progress of the new rides and developments.
Chase’s first video debuted Feb. 12, and shows exactly why he was chosen for the job: after doing the “Gangnam Style” dance, he opens the video shouting, “I’m the Planet Snoopy KidCaster, so let’s go check out the stuff.”
During the filming, Chase talked about the new rides as he walked around the construction site.
“He doesn’t use a script or look at anything,” said Ryan Mytrysak, Chase’s father. “The whole point is to give a kid’s view on the park.”
Chase will be spending a lot of time at the park in the next few weeks, helping it get ready for the grand opening this spring.
“The filming of the first one took about an hour,” Chase said. He said he expects filming for the other videos to be about the same. He’ll have three more videos coming out in February and March. With eight new rides coming to Planet Snoopy, Chase has a lot of ground to cover in his videos, featured on the Kings Dominion website.
In addition, he’ll also be featured on the park’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Mytrysak said Chase is loving his new job: “He really enjoys what he’s doing.”
“He’s handling himself very well,” he said, “especially having to meet so many new people and work with them.”
So what made Chase stand out from the other applicants?
“He was chosen as one of six finalists,” Mytrysak said. “During the phone interview, he answered all of the questions pretty thoroughly.”
Mytrysak said that ever since Chase won an Apple iPod Touch in a Kings Dominion claw machine last summer, he has enjoyed making videos, so this was the perfect job for him.
According to Kings Dominion’s public relations manager, Gene Petriello, Chase’s personality was exactly what the park was looking for.
“When I interviewed Chase on the phone he was really excited about the process and he really liked to talk,” Petriello said.
Planet Snoopy will include some family-friendly features when it opens in the spring, including a Family Care Center equipped for child naps and feeding time, and the first theme park-based SweetFrog, a popular, Richmond-based frozen yogurt company.
As for Chase, he says he’s really excited to “see the stuff under construction that everybody else doesn’t get to see.”
He thinks his favorite ride will be the new monorail being built, called “Snoopy’s Rocket Express.”
Chase also promises to be first in line when the park opens this spring, and he’s hoping he’ll get some free frozen yogurt out of the deal, too, he said.