Friday April 16, 2004
10:00 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
Today a friend and I got back up to Carowinds to check out BORG and ride some old favorites like Top Gun and Thunder Road. After leaving at 6:15 and driving, we got there at about 9:20 and waited for them to open the gates to let us park. After parking, we got tickets and headed to the front of the “line” to race in. The guard finally let us in at about 10:07 according to my watch and everyone including my friend and I raced for Ste…err BORG Assimilator.
First thought: NICE JOB, this ride looks great. Except for a few swatches of red and some white wear spots on the rails, the ride looks brand new. Two trains were running at this point, something I didn’t get to see in April a year ago when I rode Stealth. They tested twice and then let people get on; we ended up waiting like ten minutes. Unfortunately, the loaders were just as slow as Great America’s, taking their sweet time and could have been better. The basket for articles was a good idea though and I like that they assign rows to avoid confusion. I would not recommend the single line as I watched and it DOESN’T MOVE!
We were assigned to row five for our first ride and I sat on the far left side. Everything felt the same as Stealth, but it looked much nicer. As for the ride, it ROCKS!! It is a bit better than Stealth due to less shuffling. I hardly felt any roughness, just quick snaps in the corkscrews which was due to the high speed. The first lie-to-fly is still the best and the dive and raven over the water is great. Loop still rocks and the BORG turn around and corks are perfect. They did a great job with this and I only hope they can treat it right. BORG ASSIMILATOR gets **** ½ (out of 5), this is one point higher than I gave Stealth.
Next was Top Gun due to a growing line at BORG. We got a walk on and hit the back seat. Wow, this thing was haulin’ A… It really flew through the ride and was great except for a bit of a thrashing in the corkscrew, which wasn’t too bad. This is a great inverted coaster and pulls some G’s. TOP GUN gets a **** ½ (out of 5).
We did another spin on the gun and then hit FRENZOID, the upside-down looper ship for a ride. It is a really short cycle, mercifully due to the painful restraints. Still a decent older flat though and something fun.
THUNDER ROAD was next and we road forwards because backwards was then closed. It was running a heck of a lot faster than last year and was decently smooth. THUNDER ROAD forwards gets *** ½.
I got my first ride on the Super Flying Saturator after that and found it to be quite fun and fast and a nice little cool off. *** We decided to ride RICOCHET next and all I can say is blah, this thing made me feel sick. It’s great if you like these type of rides as it was fast and minimally braked, but it did a number on my tummy. **
CAROLINA CYCLONE was next and delivered a better ride than last season. *** ½. Drop Zone followed, and can't beat King's Dominion and after this we did HURLER and that just plain sucked. It was so rough, no airtime and the worst coaster of the day tied with the Ricochet. Headache central. **
After some overpriced but decent Chinese we hit Vortex. Nice new paint doesn’t equal nice new ride. Same old Vortex and a little rougher than I remember, but still an o.k. ride. *** ½.
After this we headed to BORG again but the wait was two hours due to the loss of one train (more on that later.) We then did Rocket Power and the Thornberrry Flume which kind of sucked and then headed to Top Gun and rode in about ten minutes.
We then got to ride THUNDER ROAD backwards and found that it beat forwards hands down. It was fast, full of air, and smooth. Great job on this one Carowinds. ****
For our final ride of the day we decided to wait 1.5 hours for BORG and got on the third row. The queue is really nice and I loved watching the freaked out people. Vekoma love… The ride rocked the second time and with my hands out the G’s took over me. The lady at the gate said the second train was taken off because it wouldn’t unlock some of the harnesses. Mechanics were working on it all afternoon but it never returned to service. After this great ride we hit the road.
Carowinds did a really good job with the BORG ride; I now like the name, color, and theme of the ride. Hopefully they can get two trains up constantly and speed up load times, because it was going well in the morning. The only suggestions I’d make to Carowinds are to retrack Hurler or blow it to oblivion and give us a B&M or Intamin hyper. Overall Carowinds gets **** ½ for this beautiful Friday visit.
Vortex is red again
Borg's Mr. Loop
Top Gun's Mr. Corkscrew
*** Edited 4/17/2004 1:42:05 AM UTC by Willh51*** *** Edited 4/17/2004 1:42:28 AM UTC by Willh51*** *** Edited 4/17/2004 1:43:40 AM UTC by Willh51*** *** Edited 4/18/2004 9:26:25 PM UTC by Willh51***
Which brings me to what I consider the crowning jewel of Carowinds. Top Gun has staying power and it was really hauling butt today. The Batwing element was faster than usual and misted tunnel was just a blur. A top 10 inverted for sure.
Hurler was very peppy today. Faster than last week but this baby still needs some TLC. Very rough in the far 2 turns. Otherwise, the floater air was great. I heard that GCI has been trying to get a coaster contract with Paramount parks. I'd love to see something like Thunderhead at Carowinds.
As far as Ricochet goes, I really love this ride. It always makes me laugh. The trims seemed slightly less this year too which made for an almost perfect ride.
Last but not least, we rode Thunder Road, backwards before leaving the park. The track work done over the winter was very evident. Much smoother than last year. I really, really love Thunder Road. I grew up riding it when it had the old Riverview Park trains on it. The forward side offers some nice moments of airtime in the front seat and the backseat on the backwards side is one of my all time first drops on a woodie.
Temperature was perfect today. No humidity, 75 degrees. A perfect day at a great park!! *** Edited 4/17/2004 2:26:32 AM UTC by HarryTraver*** *** Edited 4/17/2004 2:34:02 AM UTC by HarryTraver***
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