Carowinds-4/21 Amazing!

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Monday, April 22, 2002 8:19 PM
About two months ago, my boss aksed me if I wanted to go to Pinehurst North Carolina to do sound for the wedding band I work with every weekend. Consulting Mapquest, I discovered that I wouldn’t be too far from Carowinds. Consulting the Carowinds calendar, I got very excited when I found out the park would be open the day after the reception. “Jeff, I’ll do it!” Did I mention the roughly 7-hour trip back to Silver Spring, MD?

Getting up to the parking booths around 1:30, my worst fear came true as my truck was too tall to get through the 7ft.6in entrance. So, luckily the park was ready for such an incident, and an employee stopped traffic and let me back up so I could enter the RV/bus parking. This move also saved me $7, since no one was charging parking fees in that lot.

The first ride of the day was Drop Zone (Intamin 2nd generation freefall). Alan (my co-worker) hasn’t been on a ride in years. Am I sadistic? Yes, I am. Look Alan, there’s our truck! Wham! The funny thing Alan noticed was that no one screams. There just isn’t time. At 175ft., the ride didn’t feel that different than Tower of Doom at SFA though.

Next we hit Carolina Cyclone, an Arrow multi-looper. We both really liked this ride, and I thought for an old Arrow, that is was extremely smooth and very re-rideable. Much respect goes out to the crew who were hauling butt to make the dispatches. That wasn’t an easy task considering the shortness of the ride. Continuing with the Arrow theme, we then rode the Carolina Goldrusher, which is a two-lift minetrain. This has a lot of similarities to Cedar Creek Mine Train at Cedar Point, including the landscaping.

We then hit the first B&M of the day, which was Vortex. The ride is broken down, but I suggest we wait anyway. After a very short interim, we get on board. Getting into the restraints cemented my feeling that all standups are the work of the devil. The problem with Vortex is that the back support with bicycle seat keeps riding up between your crotch until the train is locked. I actually liked the ride, and it had some really strong forces. The only problem is that it was really short and headbanged a little bit. We then headed for B&M number two which was Top Gun. We noticed that a train was stuck in the brakes, and that maintenance had just shown up. We got into line again though, since it was a fairly short wait. After cycling a couple of empty trains, we were able to ride one of the best Inverts ever. Robb Alvey was right when he called this the lost B&M. It just had non-stop action the whole way through. Alan wants to ride again, and we wait for the front row. As a train is climbing the lift, they have to stop it. Damn, I’m thinking. Two employees walk the lift, but I can’t see why. After about 5 minutes, they started things back up.

It’s time for some wood, so we rode Thunder Road, a clone of Rebel Yell at PKD, forwards and backwards. I was amazed at how much better Thunder Road was maintained though. It was very enjoyable, and quite a strong ride. We next rode through Scooby-Doo’s Haunted Mansion. This is a dark ride where you can shoot at targets. I score a whopping 60 points, which I believe was two targets. Alan scores 450. Maybe my gun wasn’t working right The next woodie was Scooby-Doo’s Ghoster Coaster, which is a junior woodie. It was fun, but having ridden this at PKD, it didn’t do much for me. Taxi Jam was a non-ride since neither of us had children in tow.

Heading back towards North Carolina, we rode the very tall Carolina Skytower. We noticed from the top that Vortex was broken down again. Our third woodie was The Hurler, and I liked it as little as I like The Hurler at PKD. I would describe it as being very hard. It wasn’t so bad that I wouldn’t re-ride it though. Deciding to wrap things up, we took one more ride on the once-again reopend Vortex. This time it’s a walk-on. Then we waited for Richochet, the parks new wild mouse, which is a clone of the Wild Mouse at Hershey. This wasn’t run quite as wild as Hershey Parks, but the braking wasn’t that offensive either. My only complaint is that Mack needs to add more padding, as I hit my shoulder pretty hard on one of the outside metal bars.

There was one thing left to do, and that was Flying Super Saturator, which was sure to soak me to the bone. I’ve vowed that I would never ride this in street clothes, but it’s 93 degrees, and I want to add it to my track record. Handing wallet, keys, and camera over to Alan, I get into line. This turns out to have the longest wait of the day, as the capacity is hurting badly. The problem is that the trains have to reload with water in the station. Standing on the ramp leading to the platform, I noticed a familiar pattern. Every car that came overboard was releasing a tank of water right onto us. One time I was talking to the couple behind me, and was totally caught off guard, and I got completely soaked. I noticed a sign that says you only get one tank of water to release on the people below. They sit me by myself, and the couple reminds me that I have two tanks. The first attempt misses a group of people walking under the ride by a few feet. But, the next attempt scores on-you guessed it-the people waiting in line. Revenge is so sweet. After exiting the ride, I decided to take a shot at one of the many waterguns that surround the ride. As I’m shooting at one of the cars, I get completely drenched. It turns out that someone has waited until the end of the ride to release their tank. Gee, thanks a lot! I loved this ride, and I’m sure it’ll be a big hit at Hershey Park.

After I upgraded to a season pass for use at PKD and PKI, we then left the park around 6:30 extremely satisfied customers. I liked the park so much better than King’s Dominion. The themeing was better, and I liked the vibe better also. I would also gladly trade-in V:BC, Flight of Fear, and Hypersonic XLC for Top Gun, if I could.
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The word "definitely" is definitely the most misspelled word on the buzz.*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 4/23/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 4/23/2002. ***

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Tuesday, April 23, 2002 2:29 PM

Ahh yes.. more Top Gun praise...can't ever have enough...

Super Saturator is awesome like that, I remember walking down the midway right under the beginning of the ride and a hoard of peeps getting drenched unexpectedly, and then getting the same car soaked with the "magic" button that controls the "geyser-like" spray after the block brakes. Revenge is sweet, indeed.

Too bad you didn't like Hurler more though, maybe I'm just used to it, but I could marathon that ride. (and usually do, it never has a wait) It's the second best ride in the park.

*** This post was edited by JamminJ on 5/1/2002. ***

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Tuesday, April 23, 2002 3:57 PM

TOP GUN FINALLY GETS NOTICED!!!!

It's my number 1 Invert and number 2 overall! (falling 2nd under Kumba! another overlooked Beamer!)

I love carowinds so much, i was actually there on 4/21! but i arrived at 9:30 and got 8 rides on TG:JC for ERT!... then hit vortex once, every other ride i rode once except the woodies, i had to go back to the hotel so i only stayed until 11:30..... (good perks of having a Parmount pass and having friends who like to sleep in after a trip to SFoG!... so i left to drive the rest of the 4 hours back home!

Glad you liked PC!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2002 4:17 PM
Does anyone know where i can see some excellent pics of Top Gun. I want to see a sky view of it so i can see the whole layout.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2002 4:31 PM

I dare call it the third best ride in the park (after Top Gun and Thunder Road Backwards)

I would dare to call it the second best ride and one of my favorite wooden coasters :). If you sit near the front of train its airtime heaven.
phantoms_revenge_rules: I have a good bit of Top Gun pics at my site. You can find them in these 2 locations

http://www.starcoasters.com/parkgalleries/carowinds/carowinds.html

http://www.starcoasters.com/parkgalleries/carowinds/carowinds4/carowinds4.html

If you don't know me, I am the official Top Gun ho :P

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|| Jonathan Hawkins ||
http://www.starcoasters.com
Top Gun: TJC flights in 2002: 34

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Tuesday, April 23, 2002 5:03 PM

Hehehehe, we all know Jonathan... you are the Top Gun ho!

Another great place for assorted Carowinds photos is www.coastertown.com . Make this your second stop after www.starcoasters.com!

*** This post was edited by JamminJ on 5/1/2002. ***

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Tuesday, April 23, 2002 8:41 PM
Nice report! What did Carrowinds do, besides the obious to make everyone love the park this year!!??
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X-Flight World's Only flying coaster!
Batwing World's only flying coaster!
S:UF World's only flying coaster! Don't you love SF ?
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Wednesday, April 24, 2002 7:31 AM

If you think the theming is ok now, you should have seen it in the 80's. It WAS one of the best themed parks in the nation. With Plantation Square, Carolina Midway, Frontier Outpost, Pirate Island, Country Crossroads, County Fair, Queens Colony and Hanna Barbera Land, each section was themed to an aspect of the Carolinas with rides that fit each them well. Whats really unexplainable, the eliminate Pirate Island for the waterpark, then spend $ changing over the frontier section to a coastal section, which they already had at one point.

Anyway, its like the other Paramount parks, the theming has really been compromised and rides jammed in where ever.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2002 9:12 AM
Super7, I do see your point as there were no clear defined sections. But, I still thought it looked very pretty.
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The word "definitely" is definitely the most misspelled word on the buzz.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2002 12:28 PM
If you haven't been here before, Ken Rutherford has some great photos from Carowinds in the 70s: http://members.aol.com/k9660r/earlywinds.html

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|| Jonathan Hawkins ||
http://www.starcoasters.com
Top Gun: TJC flights - Approx. 220 (34 in 2002)

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Wednesday, April 24, 2002 3:30 PM
yay people like Carowinds!:)
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Friday, April 26, 2002 6:24 PM
I went to Scare-o-winds (or something like that...the Halloween Celebration) there and it was the best Halloween event that I have ever been to at a park!
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Monday, April 29, 2002 5:54 PM
It's good to hear that you enjoyed yourself, but you are the first person that I have known to say that you actually like Carowinds better than King's Dominion. Then on top of that would trade Volcano, Hypersonic, and Flight of Fear for Top Gun.

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-Hurler Crew 2002-

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Monday, April 29, 2002 6:16 PM
Wow, my home park (Carowinds of course) is startin to wow me! People love it now! My prediction for it becoming Paramount's signature park may come true (I can hope can'y I?)

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Monday, April 29, 2002 6:36 PM
Carrowinds is just much better than PKD. Frequent CB poster 2Hostyl also feels the same way. Sure PKD may have Hypersonic XLC, but gee, it last all of 17 seconds and it constantly broke down last year. Volcano is fun, but it has the most anti-climatic ending of any coaster I've been on. I like Flight of Fear, but I've got Joker's Jinx at SFA.
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The word "definitely" is definitely the most misspelled word on the buzz.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 12:25 PM

Carowinds has nice theming now, and its shady. They also seem to be fixing it up like it used to be back when it first opened(being themed to the Carolina's) because they are fixing up all the areas and they are doing a pretty good job with it.

psst... I hope they get a hyper coaster next year!

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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 4:11 PM

Count me in the group who also loves Carowinds as well! One of my favorite Paramount parks (I think PKI and PCW are a lil' better, but PC is WONDERFUL!). It has my favorite Paramount coaster in the incredible Top Gun.

I've only visited once in 2000, but I'm going back this Sunday with some SFoG people (their first time as well). Maybe we'll see some of you locals out there!

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"I have a flashlight, enjoy the show!"

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