Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
I made my first visit to Carowinds this week. I was highly anticipating this visit and the time had finally arrived. Here is my trip report of that visit.
First was just a very brief stop on Saturday, May 28th. We stopped into the park on the way to our hotel. The park was very busy. It was about 8:30 when we got there. We went on Intimidator and waited about 40 minutes. Great ride! But since it was getting late, we left after that.
Our next visit was on Memorial Day. I was concerned about the race being rained out in Sunday which thankfully didn't happen and we were able to go to the park on Monday. The park was moderately crowded. We ended up parking mid-Intimidator. First was another lap on Intimidator. Waited about 20 minutes. Next up was Fury 325. Waited about 20 minutes. Incredible ride! I think this has dethroned Millennium Force as my favorite coaster.
After Fury, we stopped at the Freestyle for a drink. From there we went on Carolina Cyclone. 5 minute wait but just an ok ride. From there we went on Ricochet. Decent ride. After that, we went to Carolina GoldRusher. Waited about 15 minutes. Not a bad ride. Since it was right next door, we went on Carolina Cobra next. I remember this ride from Geauga Lake when it was called Mind Eraser. About a 20 minute wait. Still a good ride.
Next stop took us over to the other end of the park to Afterburn. Waited about 20 minutes. Good inverted coaster. I really like how it goes down into some low spots with walls on the sides. But not as good as Banshee. Next we went to Plants vs Zombies. A very nice interactive video game attraction. I have played the video game before and this attraction was a good use of the series. I would like to see more attractions like this installed in other parks.
Next we took a break and went over to Harmony Hall. Nice dining area and entertainment venue. Got to catch a performance going on in there. Nice live entertainment.
Back to riding, we went to Nighthawk. I know I should have done this one early, but was anticipating Fury too much. Waited about an hour for this. This is one reason why I really don't like flying coasters. They are very low capacity and the dispatch rate is slow. Only saw a train go out about once every 3 minutes, maybe more. I was laying in the brakes for what felt like an eternity. Was just an ok ride. Will not wait anymore than 15 minutes to ride.
After Nighthawk, we went on Flying Aces. Nice family coaster, but was a headbanger with the restraints. After Flying Aces, we took a ride on Carolina Skytower. Great views.
Next up was Vortex. Only waited about 20 minutes but same issue as Nighthawk, low capacity and slow intervals. Was in the brakes for a while. But this was a mediocre and uncomfortable ride. Not something I would ride again on future visits. This is why I'm not too upset that stand up coasters are going away. It gave one person in our group a headache and was out of commission but it was near the end of the night anyway. Giving this ride the Rougarou treatment would help it.
After a drink break, we wrapped up the night with a ride on Fury. Waited about 45 minutes and rode in the very back. Wow! That was insane! I got some serious speed and airtime back there. That was the end of that day.
On our second day we started out with Fury. Waited about 10 minutes and got front seat. Another incredible ride! Then we saw the line was at the bottom of the stairs and went again. Got another good ride.
Then I was thirsty and wanted to go to Freestyle. The line was long, so we went to Harmony Hall since we were going to Intimidator. It was hot today so the AC in HH felt good. I got a drink and headed to Intimidator.
So we went to Intimidator and when we got there it went down but we waited it out. It was only about 5 minutes. When we got on, we sat in the front row. Incredible ride!
After Intimidator, we went to Woodstock Express. Ok for a family ride. Just rode for the credit. Next we went on Woodstock Gliders. Good ride. I wasn't able to snap it.
Next we went to Southern Star. Uncomfortable ride. The restraints didn't feel good. Then I went on Plants vs Zombies. After that, I went searching for some water because I was getting thirsty and it was hot.
After getting water, we took a spin on Afterburn in the front row. The ride was a walk on. Good ride and the walls made it feel more immersive.
After riding Afterburn we took a walk through the water park. Looks like a nice water park. Got another water at the food stand in there.
After walking through the water park, we walked right onto Carolina GoldRusher. From there I stopped at Sweet Frog to get some froyo.
Next up we hit Fury again and nearly walked on. Since it was walk on, we went on again and got front row by luck without even asking for it.
After that one person in our group wanted a drink so we went to Freestyle and took a break. After that we headed back to Intimidator. But they shut it down as soon as we got there due to an approaching storm.
Since rides were closed, we went souvenir shopping. Some Intimidator merchandise was 75% OFF! I got a mug for less than $1.50 and a keychain for less than a dollar. I got a Fury T-shirt and a magnet. Since it was already 7:15, we decided to leave since I checked the radar on my phone and it didn't look promising.
Overall, I really liked this park and wish it closer to me. I really enjoyed Fury and Intimidator. I hope to get back there one day. I can see Cedar Fair investing alot into this park in the future.
TL;DR version: Monday was fairly crowded and Tuesday was nearly all walk-ons. I really enjoyed this park. Fury 325 has taken over Millennium Force as my favorite coaster. I really liked Fury and Intimidator. I wish this park was closer to me.
Oops, yes I did right after Fury on our first day.
Glad you enjoyed. I was actually at Cedar Point (and Waldameer and Kennywood) all weekend. Fury really is the s**t. Like, seriously. Everyone should be making the trip down (or up) for it.
It was truly a great vacation week! Those Fury rides were fun! I could have rode that all evening If I was on my own.
I also went the first time this week on Monday 6/6/16. My friend actually timed the ride from the second the gates open to the second we were allowed to get off and it clocked around 10 minutes. I'm used to slow loading on flyers because of Firehawk at King's Island, but all the extra time really is a detriment to the ride experience.
Shawn Meyer said:
...If I was on my own.
What, you need a baby sitter? Here's how it goes. "Look, guys, I'm gonna do this for the rest of the evening. Meet up at the front gate round closing time? See ya!"
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