Okay. I knew months and months ago that I would be able to hit Carowinds in May, was going to be in N.C. for the weekend of the 14 anyhow, so I made plans with my good friend (and then roommate) Jon to go with me again like we did last year. Months of planning(and finding out they would finally be getting a Star Trek themed coaster) came to a head, though, in May, as things changed fairly drastically.
The origional plan called for Jon to head out to N.C. and spend the week with friends, and he and his friends would be meeting me on Friday at the park, after which he'd head back to Salisbury, N.C. with me for the weekend.
As the beginning of May rolled around, though, Jon realized that he lacked the funding to travel to N.C. for a day, much less a week, so I was without a riding partner, as all my other friends weren't going to be able to make it till friday evening. That same week, Andy(ApolloAndy) messaged me on CBuzz to let me know that he too would be hitting Carowinds on the 14th, and wanted to know if I wanted to hook up for some rides, to which I replied sure.
We spent the 2 weeks before making plans over IM mostly, and the phone, and on the day before the trip, I called and made final plans to meet Andy, we were to meet at the park, but if one of us got there signifigantly early, that person was to get in line for BORG, and we'd meet up after we both rode.
The morning came, and promptly at 4am, I awoke, got ready, went to town to gas up, and at 5am, headed out from the tiny town in WV where I reluctantly call home for the North Carolina sun. I had planned to stop at 6am for breakfast in WV, but the place I had wanted to go hadn't opened yet. I put off breakfast for a while, and decided to head for the interstate.
After a couple of hours, houndreds of miles, and Usher's Confessions, followed by Janet's Damita Jo later, I was heading into N.C., but I was way ahead of my schedule. The park hours listed on the website were 9:30am to 5pm, and I had wanted to be at the park no earlier than 9am, but arrived at Lake Norman(about 30min. from the park) at 8am. Since I was so early, I decided to hit McD's for breakfast, and to take time. This must have been the fastest, most efficient McDonalds I've ever been to! I had wanted them to take some time, so that I wouldn't be so early, but the McDonalds was very fast and very efficient(too bad Carowinds didn't have these people as ride ops!).
When I got past the (very appreciated) road work that slowed me down a bit, I still got to the park around 8:30, so I called Andy as I was going into the parking lot. After my "Good Morning Sunshine" and making final morning plans to meet (told him just to look for the tall, goofy guy with spikey hair and brown 'Atticus' shirt on), I paid my $8 to park, got the flyers the very friendly attendant gave me (I appologized for talking on my phone, and the parking attendant was so very nice), I parked in the very first spot in the very first non-handicaped parking row(never been that close to the gate before!). The flyers were very good to have.
One was advertising the months concerts(man I wish I could have gotten down later this month for Ginuwine!), and the other was an appology and a list(with explination) of closed rides. The flyer appologized for the inconvience, but stated that since school was still in, they still didn't have a full staff, and as such, Frenzoid, Thunder Road Backwards, and a few other kiddie rides wouldn't be open. This was nicer than last year, as there wasn't a list given out, and Rocket Powered Air & Scream Weaver were also not opened.
I had gotten my ticket online for $12 less than gate admission, had them check my bags, and entered the park at about 20min. before 9am. When I got there, I was informed that the park actually opens at 9am, and so people were lined up on the enterance side of the bridge, waiting for staff to let them in the rest of the park.
One of the first things I noticed was how well the park looks, and how friendly the staff were. Call it the southern hospitality, but its always welcome! Walking from my car to the enterance, I kept hearing something very eerie, and soon realized that I was hearing the BORG talking, which was so very cool. While waiting for Andy, I watched BORG and Vortex testing. Both look amazing in the front of the park, and Vortex with its new paint is great!
I finally saw Andy at Will Call outside the park(they had a bit of trouble getting his tickets). I could tell it was him becaUse of the 'Raging Bull' T-shirt he wore, which is the same as in his profile(thankfully, I knew it was him then). When he finally got his ticket and into the park, we meet breifly, and headed straight to BORG for a mornings first ride on the new coaster.
Star Trek: BORG Assimilator (now known as Tekno's 50th coaster)-
TCFKAS looks good with it's new paint and in its new home. The themeing struck me first, and looks incredible with the sphere(and reckage flung all over the place) in the middle of the lake and ride. The linewasn't very long, but it was the coaster that was on everyone's list (and being so very close to the entrance dosen't help) to ride. We hit the single rider line in hopes of a shortened wait, and it paid off. I had heard that the single rider line was a joke, but hitting it first thing got me and Andy both in the front row at the same time. They do, however, make you take off your glasses (unless, like Andy, you're smart and bring a strap), so I was to be blind during the ride. Riding in the front was great. The coaster, while shaky(hey, its a Veko) was fun, exciting, themed, and a great way to start the day. It was also my 50th coaster(not that I'm a credit whore or anything;), but we'll get to that later).
Its a bit different than Batwing, but still fun. The coaster was running 2 trains, but the load times were a bit slow(as was the other coasters in the park). I'm hoping they get all the coasters up to capacity by the next few weeks into the season, with practice. After our first ride, we ran around and hit it up again, hoping this time for a back row ride. The exit is under the lift hill, and you get a better look at the themeing, which is cool. Another thing that I noticed, that was very cool, and done very well, were the BORG voices, now louder. The greatest thing was that there were more than just one voice speaking, and it made it feel much more realistic, since I'm such a BORG fan anyhow.
Trip two was fun as well, but Andy got assigned to row 3, and I got our coveted back row ride. They've added TVs to the cue with Star Trek playing, which is nice, and the lift has a speaker giving the whole spiel about assimilation, and resistance is futile. Flying around the sphere was great, and going down near the water makes this coaster unique, and very fun. Overall a great addition to the park. A-(slightly rough, and I got nauseous)
So next we walked thru Nick Central, and I told Andy a bit about the park before all the theming that has taken place in the last couple of years. Walking over to Top Gun, Reptar had no line, and since Andy had never done a Veko Jr. Invert, we hit this next.
Rugrat's Runaway Reptar-
Last year this was the new addition, and I really enjoyed the trips I took last year, but this year, it seemed a little rougher. Nothing too bad to complain about, but a difference. We got front row, with fast dispatches, and little load time for a fun, fast, and family friendly ride on Reptar. The part over the midway is so fun, as is flying back thru the track. B(roughness, also made me sick)
So we decided to give Top Gun a go, we were both looking forward to the coaster, and as we neared the station and noticed no long line, we were happy. Unfortunatly the ride was experiencing difficulty when we got in line for the front. But, as with every other coaster in the park, the que line had had TVs added. We waited 15-20min., and the ride ops kept announcing that they were sorry for the delay, and they would have the coaster up shortly. Finally they ran a couple of test trains, and eventually, we were at the front of the line.
Top Gun: The Jet Coaster-
Its gotten just a tad bit rough, and could use a paint job(but not badly), but Top Gun is still one of my favorite coasters ever. Its fast, furious, and intense, with good inversions back to back to back. The mist under the walkway/tunnel was on full blast, and cooled you off at the bottom of the batwing. I still love this coaster, and it will always hold the distinction of being my first inverted coaster. Two train op. The dispatches could have been a bit faster, and it did stack on the break run almost every time, but I'll just hope its early season bugs being worked out. A(has gotten a tad bit rough, and, again, this coaster made me a bit sick)
After Top Gun, we walked around the midway, and then headed over to Thunder Road. I'd love to ride this coaster backwards, but never get the chance. The station was filled, but the wait wasn't long. We got in line for the back.
Thunder Road Forwards-
Two train operation, with stacking on the break run(an epidimic that day), but the trip out was great, with some good points of air. Andy and I both enjoyed it, but the trip back, though still fun, was really nothing to brag about. I like Thunder Road, and its always more fun to race, but early in the season, and it running good, this is enough for me. B-(yes, I got a tad sick again....you'll hear more about this)
I had told Andy that the most air he'd probably get in the park was probably going to be on Scooby, so thats where we headed next.
Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster-
This has the best air in the park. I personally think the one @ PKD also has the best air in that park. They're short, sweet, and full of hills. there were two trains, and we decided to hit the back of ours. no real stacking, and it was a fun trip with me, Andy, and a bunch of kids. B(this didn't make me sick:))
Andy is a credit whore. I'm not so much so, but the only other coaster at the park that I've never ridden is Taxi Jam. It was running, and there really wasn't a line, so Andy talked me into trying to get a ride. But after getting in line, and being let thru, the woman wouldn't let us ride together, and there were no single kid riders. Heart broken;), we went over to Chopper Chase instead.
I'd seen this, but never ridden before, and since I always put them in my RCT parks, thought I'd better take a spin. Its cool that you go faster when you peddle, and its just a smooth, fun ride, with no wait. C+(not a bit thrilling, but fun)
Next, we decided to wait around the que of Taxi Jam for lone kids. After waiting a few min., Andy succeeded in selling his soul to the devil, and got a ride on Taxi Jam, and his credit. I almost backed out, but then met the cutest little girl named Murphey.
This was my 51st coaster, and was most enjoyable because of the little girl, Murphy, that I rode with. She proceeded to tell me that we have to raise our hands, and I told her that that was the only was you were allowed to ride a coaster. Taxi Jam was actually quite fun, with a couple good hills. I only hope that one day I can take my neice and/or nephews on the ride...C(hey, it didn't make me sick!:))
After this, we were going to go get something to eat, but ended up just getting water instead. We walked around Carolina Boardwalk, and this gave Andy time to look around the park a bit more. They've definitly cleaned up the park in the last few years, and with the painting this year, it looks good. TVs were added to most major que lines, which I'm sure would make a long wait less painful. But instead of eating, we noticed that Super Saturator had a small line, and Andy was up to it, so that was were we headed.
Nicelodeon's Flying Super Saturator-
The line is just as much fun as the ride. We were soaked before we even got to the inner part of the station.
Setpoint knows what they're doing, as can be seen by the lines that are always around this coaster. Its fun, and cools you down on a hot day. We waited about 15min., and they had 3 of 4 trains running, with fairly fast dispatches. When it was our turn, we took the back of the car, as I had never ridden backwards, and you don't seem to get as wet that way. Andy and I both released our water bombs over the que line, drenching the crowd waiting to board. This was more fun from the back, and definitly more fun than last years ride. B+(kinda sick, but still fun. Wet, but fun)
Next we went to see about Vortex, but the single rider line was closed, and the line was longer than I had seen it in years, so Andy and I skipped for now. I had told him that Cyclone was fairly smooth for an Arrow, so that was were we headed next. I hadn't seen the line for this coaster that long in a while, but it was still fast moving, and we waited about 10min. for a back seat ride. They added TVs to the que here too.
Definitly the smoothest Arrow I've been on. The trains looked beautiful, newly painted and put together. They looked brand new. There was a bit of roughness into the first Corkscrew, but this is still a fun, nicely landscaped, and fast paced coaster. Slight stacking on the break run. Its still my favorite full Arrow(Phantom's Revenge being my favorite half Arrow;)). B-(slightly sick, and the layout is tired, but still a fun ride)
I wanted to do Drop Zone next, we qued up, but the line was way too long, so we walked around the area, hit the bathroom, and then headed to Hurler. They've stripped all the theming from Hurler, to Wayne's car at the que enterance, to the Kewpie doll stuff in the station. This is the only coaster they actually removed the TVs.
This was the longest I've ever waited for this coaster. The line died down later, but we didn't wait more than 15min. for this front ride. WOW! What got into Hurler this year???!? Last year it was running better than it had been, but the front row ride we got was chock full of air(came compeletly out of my seat on the first hill after the drop). The seat belt and bar were welcome as this thing was ejecting me out of the train every hill. I had never had such good rides on this coaster, and was shocked and amazed. Two train op, with the usual stacking on the break run(but not last year's hill stacking). Maybe the themeing was what was bringing it down in the first place;)! A (Ironically, Hurler didn't make me sick...)
After coming off our great Hurler Expierence, we headed to Ricochet, as it had no line. This coaster could use some paint, but it dosen't look bad. The line was fast moving, and there were a few trains on.
Only 1 break on the course this year! This was definitly a better ride than last year, I enjoyed this as a mouse, and Andy said this was possibly his new favorite mouse. I'm almost inclined to agree, but Ricochet @ PKD had a great first drop. B+(but a slight touch of nausea)
We went and got something to drink, I had a lime slushy, and Andy had water, and then headed to Goldrusher.
I'm not a huge mine train fan, but I wasn't gonna let Andy go alone...
Not my favorite mine ride, but they did paint it. It is a fun ride, and I got to finish my lime slush in the que. The dispatches were slow, stacking on the break run, but it was running faster this year with the paint job. Plus I got some good views of BORG. D(just not that fun to me, and, yes, it made me sick)
We decided to wait out Vortex, as the line wasn't overly long. This was the last coaster we had to ride for Andy to get his credits today.
Boy, it looks pretty. Really pretty with new red and black paint. I just wonder why they left the rails unpainted. Heck, even the 6 car trains look new. But don't let the new paint fool you... Line moved fast, and we got on the front of the ride. This thing is rough. Definitly the roughest B&M I've ever done(even more so than Iron Wolf). This was the worst stacking for me today, because as we are waiting on the break run, I start heaving.
I threw up the lime slush and water all over the front of myself, all while going into the station(you should have heard the "Ewww! Gross!" yells from the station;)). I've never gotten sick on a coaster, but the day was hot, and I was not feeling well all day. Don't know if it was just the day, or if I'm getting old. But I was sick all weekend. Heck, I still have a headache from the headbanging on this ride(no joke). F(Really sick, really gross)
After getting off the ride, I told Andy I needed to change cloths(obviously), as mine had been grossed out.
We went to the Restroom, I changed, and then we went for a spin on the Sky Tower. All I have to say there is beautiful views of the park from the tower.
Next, we saw that the line for Scooby Doo's Haunted Mansion was short, so we took a spin. I got my usual over 1100 pts., and Andy got over 800. Its fun for a cool, air-conditioned trip.
Since I felt a bit better, we headed back to Top Gun for more. I went on once in the back, got off, and dry heaved again a few min. I didn't feel up to another ride right then, so Andy went at it alone for a front row ride, as I lie down and waited. Feeling better, I took my final spin on Top Gun from the middle with Andy.
Next, we went back over to BORG, but the line was out to the que enterance(which, btw, looks cool with the sign). Then we went over to Drop Zone, which had no line what-so-ever. Andy and I debated on wheather or not we like drop rides, but since there were no lines, we took 2 spins. The ride ops were having fun, and being very friendly with us. We could have done more rides, as there weren't any people in line, but decided to hit Hurler.
Its short, but still scares the crap outta me. I had fun both trips, and got good views of the park and Charlette in the distance. B
Andy and I debated on wheather or not we like drop rides, but since there were no lines, we took 2 spins.
The ride ops were having fun, and being very friendly with us. We could have done more rides, as there weren't any people in line, but decided to hit Hurler.
The Park's website said the park closed @ 5pm that day for Grad nite, but they changed it to 6pm. We went on another good Hurler ride from the second seat. We could have done this more, but I knew that I wouldn't be doing any more coastering after getting slightly sick again(for the last time). There weren't any people even waiting to get in the front when we pulled into the station. But the coaster was good for a second time.
The park started to empty out, and we could probably have done a few more rides, but I was getting tired, and had almost an hour ride back to Salisbury. We went over to see about BORG, but they were having a temporary delay, and had taken one train off the tracks. We walked around BORG to look more at themeing.
They hadn't been letting anybody in the que, but then the coaster started running again. I wanted one of the cool BORG shirts the ride ops were wearing, and was told I could get one at the gift shop(the BORG gift stand was also having trouble with the register, wonder if its related to the rides difficulties;)...hey, its Vekoma...).
There were quite a few cool shirts, but I got a tan version of the ones the ride ops wore on BORG, as black tends to fade too much. I also got a BORG shot glass. I'll probably buy another shirt or 2 on my next visit(hey, told ya, I'm also a Star Trek/BORG fan).
After this, I told Andy it was time for me to go. He decided to stay in the park till they kicked him out, so we shook hands and went our seperate ways. He asked if I had wanted to go to SFoG on Sat with him, but I couldn't, as I already had plans. After I exited the park, I went to the Customer Relations window, told them I had had a great day at the park, and that I thought they were doing good. They wanted to know if they could clone me:). I apologized for getting sick on Vortex, and they just joked with me that they didn't have to clean it up, so it was okay. I filled out a comment card telling them how much fun I had(despite my sickness), and that I thought the park was looking great, and had great customer service.
Andy was the first Buzzer I've met in person. I had a great time with him, and hope I didn't bore him to death.
It was nice to have someone else who spoke fluent Coaster Geek. I just wish I hadn't thrown up a little on him(Sorry Andy). But I thank him for putting with me for the day. Now I can't wait till I go again. I will, however, be taking Dramamine and Asprin.
EDIT: P.S., forgot to mention: This was a Math, Science, and Physics day for schools, with after 6pm being Grad Nite for seniors. All things considered, the park crowd was fairly light, with most coasters/rides being either a walk on or a 20min. or less wait, with the obvious exception of BORG, which the GP really seemed to like. Looks like PCar has a winner on their hands(for now...) *** Edited 5/17/2004 4:26:01 AM UTC by TeknoScorpion***
Cool TR Clint!
My thoughts on the (major) coasters:
The theming is quite well done and I like the fact that it flies over the midways and paths. The thing that I do miss is the face chopper on the flying section between the loop and corks. The sphere is nice too, but I wish you interacted with it more (put it under the horseshoe). Overall a very well themed and presented ride, and I actually really like the Vekoma flyers <ducks>.
Excellent trench and tunnel work. I really enjoyed this ride and the misty tunnel in the front was unique and really made this invert standout for me. Unfortunately, it was about all that made it stand out. Without some of the other stuff (air) that some of the other inverts offer, I wasn't really too impressed.
Puketastic. Very intense. Reminded me a lot of B:TR. Really short trains though (6 rows). I recommend not riding next to someone who's feeling sick.
Good? Somehow this ride delivered really solid air on the first couple bunnies. Not too rough or anything. I liked in enough to come ride it again at the end of the day. Weird...
Also really good. Great air on a couple of drops (better than any other ride in the park, save DZ) and some great laterals. The sudden stop at the end was annoying but kind of fun in a sadistic way.
Everything else was pretty unremarkable, but worth the trip and I wouldn't mind having it as my home park (though a massive shortage of air). *** Edited 5/20/2004 1:57:14 AM UTC by ApolloAndy***
Not that you would know anything about that, now would you, Andy? Hey, atleast I didn't get as much on you as I did myself....;)
Nice TRs, guys!
*** Edited 5/21/2004 10:20:54 PM UTC by Mamoosh***
Nice trip report. I've seen people do that on Vortex, B:TR, Hurler, Hypersonic XLC, Gemeni, and Raptor. The Hypersonic one was interesting. He vomitied at the top of the hill, spewing the midway with hot dog bits. Ewwwwww!
Well, sounds like you had an... interesting...time at the park. Top Gun is good, though I perfer PKD's suspended one (or was it PKI?), and PGA's over PC's Top Gun. Super Saturater is indeed fantastic.
I'm going back this summer. Joy. Wotcher, wotcher, wotcher! :) *** Edited 5/23/2004 4:33:13 PM UTC by BigCal***
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