Carowinds & SFoG

Associated parks:

Monday, August 11, 2003 5:58 AM
So on my 2003 Vacation, my wife and I decided to try and hit Paramount's Carowinds and see what it had to offer. We planned to complete the week at our home-park, SFoG, to ride Superman Ultimate Flight (for the 1st time).

Carowinds: Monday August 8, 2003

With major thunderstorms all around us, we made our way to Carowinds for day 1. Walked into the park at 9:30am. Think it’s very cool they open certain rides before the official park opening at 10am. In order...

Top Gun: Great B&M coaster and the fastest hanging coaster I have ever ridden. The 2 tunnels are great, and it is only bettered by its larger brother, Montu at BGTB. 9.5

ThunderRoad (Right-side - forward): The left side was closed so no additional credit for it. It was very fast and seemed to be very rough to me. Rode twice, both times in the back seat (maybe that's why it was rough!!!) Overall I would give it a solid 7.0

Carolina Cyclone: What can I say, I like corkscrew coasters and this one beat the living crap out of me just like most of the others. The double corkscrew over the walkways was great and the helix at the end was sweet also. 8.0

Ricochet: My wife absolutely LOVED this coaster. Without question, this is the fastest mouse I have ever been on until you reach the brakes. This makes the curves up at top great, just wish it was a little longer ride. Rode it twice. Only mouse I have ridden that I like better is "Bug Out" at Wild Adventures. 8.5

Hurler: This was without question the big surprise for the trip. My wife and I both loved the speed of this wooden coaster, and I have never ridden another coaster with so unique a track layout. Ended up riding it 3 times, all of which were great. 8.5

Vortex: Only rode once due to large line. I didn't like the seats all that much, and think that the Georgia Scorcher is overall a better coaster. It’s noteworthy that my wife does not agree with this opinion, and loved it. 7.0

Scooby Doo Ghoster Coaster: Great little wooden coaster. The paint scheme is very unique and the seats are too small for 2 adults (My wife and I rode separate and had a great time). I thought the lap belt was kind of pointless, but overall a great little ride. 6.0

Nickelodeon Super Saturator: Never before have I gotten so wet on any ride. This is one of the most unique coasters I have ever been on, and I should have known something was up when the 2 kids in front of us jumped on the back of the coaster car. Why would kids want to go backwards and put my wife and me facing forward?’s because you get twice as wet facing forward. It took us around 5 hours to dry from this ride, but man was it great. 8.5

Carolina Goldrusher: I admit I'm biased against mine trains; I just don't really like them that much. I rode this ride, it beat the crap out of me, nuff said. Better than the Dahlonega Mine Train at SFoG though. 5.5

** The lines for Runaway Reptar were way too long so we decided to hit it on Tuesday. Also we didn't have any children with us and we couldn't convince the ride tech to let us on "Taxi Jam". Missed a coaster credit there :( . Escaped getting rained on the entire day.

Carowinds: Tuesday August 9, 2003

Got to the park again at 9:30am. Ran straight to Runaway Reptar but was in for a nasty surprise...on Tuesdays only season pass holders are allowed on Top Gun and Reptar before 10am. Good for season pass holders, bad for tourists from Georgia. Anyway, we finally got on Reptar...

Runaway Reptar: Ride was very smooth and brisk. Great theming around the coaster and a very enjoyable ride. Great ride to introduce the kiddies to dangling coasters. 8.0

Still couldn't con my way onto Taxi Jam, so we hit the coasters all again. Vortex was broke down most of the day so ended up not getting another ride on it.

Summary: I liked Paramount's Carowinds an awful lot. It was a very clean park, with friendly staff, great theming, and some world-class coasters. I wouldn't hesitate, at all, to make a return trip.

Six Flags Over Georgia: Friday August 8, 2003

While I do call SFoG my home park, and I do agree that they have some truly unique and great coasters, I still think that the park is poorly maintained and staff leave a lot to be desired. With that said, we were at SFoG at 10am to ride Superman and hopefully a couple of other rides...

Superman - Ultimate Flight: Even at opening we had a 20 minute wait to ride. Just as we got into the station, the ride suffered some kind of technical breakdown, and was closed for around 20 minutes. Following this we rode the 3rd car back and it was simply AMAZING. Superman made my 40th all-time coaster credit and I have never ridden anything like it. The restraining system is simply amazing, and the Pretzel Loop is one of the most astounding engineering feats I have ever experienced. Truly a world-class coaster that deserves all of the praise placed upon it. Ending up riding it again later in the day, front car, and it was just as great. I rate it a solid 9.5

The rest of the day was spent riding Deja Vu (It was actually running, and was great!), Mindbender, Scorcher, Batman, etc. Acrophobia was closed for the day which kind of stinks, but the fact that Deja Vu was running made up for it.

Overall it was a great vacation, with great weather, and great coasters.

11 new credits...Woo Hoo......

Monday, August 11, 2003 7:50 AM
Thanks for the TR. I'll be visiting Carowinds for the first time in a few weeks and am very excited!

It's funny that you say the Hurler is an "original" layout, as there is a clone of it at King's Dominion in VA. It also has a younger sibling, Thunder Road, at SFKK. I hope the Hurler at PC is better than the PKD version, as there was NO airtime at all!

Help!! I'm addicted to and it's taking away from my pathetic online roller coaster message board time!!!

Monday, August 11, 2003 8:04 AM
Be sure to get to Carowinds about 45 minutes before opening. They unlock the gates around 9am, but there is a security car there to hold traffic. About 9:30am you follow the security car to the parking attendents, pay to park, then head for the lots. What's really cool is that the park opens during this time, so you just show your ticket and walk on it. Reptar and Top Gun are to the left after you cross the bridge. If you see a security guard named "Jay" tell him Stephen from Gerogia says hello. He usually hangs out in front of Scooby's Haunted Mansion telling people "this section of the park doesn't open until 10am". You will walk right by it on the way to Top Gun. :)

As for Hurler being a "unique" design, my coastering experience is limited to the deep Southeast and most of the woodys I've ridden are Out and back designs. Hurler broke that mold completely and really took me by surprise. Sounds like I need to venture further north for some different designs.

Hope you enjoy Carowinds as much as I did.


Monday, August 11, 2003 8:14 AM
I'm heading to Carowinds for an ACE event, so we will have ERT on Thunder Rd, Top Gun, Hurler, Ricochet, and Cyclone both before and after the park is open to the public! If any of these are 1/2 as good as the GA Cyclone or Mindbender, I'm in for a treat.

Help!! I'm addicted to and it's taking away from my pathetic online roller coaster message board time!!!

Monday, August 11, 2003 10:38 AM
I'm glad Hurler was running well for you. It has really been up and down all year, and it isn't close to the ride it was last year. Glad you liked the park, and I'll see some of you at the ACE event.

Jonathan Hawkins | ThrillSpot
Carowinds Connection - Unofficial Carowinds Site


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