Carowinds 7/14/08 (Day 3)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 10:29 AM
My only previous visit to Carowinds was in June of 2003 on a rainy day. The park actually closed around 4 pm that day because of the weather and lack of crowds. I was hoping to finally spend a full day at the park. We ended up having a great time.

- Nighthawk dispatching every 4 or 5 minutes. Not worth the wait.

- My son scored his first looper with Carolina Cylone. I ended up riding it three times throughout the day.

- Friendliest staff I've found at a CF park in a long time. Standouts include the girl working the ring toss and the guys running the Rocket Power ride.

- Food is crap. At least Carowinds had an apologetic staff to try to make it ok.

- $2.50 refills on the $7.50 souvenir cup? Might as well just buy the $4 drinks. The break even point is 5 drinks.

- Actually got a race on Thunder Road after the riders demanded it.

- I swore in my Hershey report from last month's trip that I'd never do flip flops at a park again. I did them for a few hours today and it sucked worse than last time.

- I can't believe they're replacing Flying Super Saturator with a boomerang. I like boomerangs and wouldn't hate the addition at any park, but people were digging the FSS today. It's just a shame that the park has given up on it. Nothing was working correctly except the one button to blast water up at the cars on the front right. None of the other buttons or guns were worth crap and weren't working or capable of hitting riders.

- Speaking of these rides, I think they'd have been more popular if they scaled them down to be true kiddie rides. Get rid of the need for a bigger kid or adult and make it something the kids can do themselves and I think you have something huge.

- Really? $2.50 refills? Really?

- We won one of those gigantic prizes at the ring toss. (by 'we' I mean my wife did while we rode Thunder Road) - the catch is that it doesn't really fit in the car with all of the luggage and the four of us. Should be interesting to see how that one works out.

- Carowinds doesn't have a train ride or a ferris wheel.

- Hurler is still among my least favorite coasters. That ride is crap.

- Top Gun...err...Afterburn is quite possibly the best B&M invert in the world...right up until the corkscrew. That corkscrew is bangy and then it's just a half-hearted helix-esque turn into the brakes. What a crap ending! If it ended more like Talon does after the dip into the end, it'd be the best. Such a shame that the amazing first half (3/4ths?) ends like that.

- The kids finally got a picture with Squidward.

- There were an alarming number of shops with no employees anywhere to be found or large shops with just one employee at a register. I don't know what the deal was but on no less than 4 different occasions I wandered into a shop and could have wandered off with anything I wanted. Luckily for the park, I'm not going to steal the crap they sell. Unfortunately, not everyone shared my honesty (or lack of interest as the case may be). It really was an issue. Not sure if they're spreading the staffing too thin or if people are wandering off their post, but if just what my eyes saw today is any indication, it's costing the park.

- What's up with that random jet of water shooting like 20 feet up from the middle of the pathway (and gated off) kind of in front of Vortex? It smelled like sewer.

- Passholder lot. Nice. :)

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 10:50 AM

My son scored his first looper with Carolina Cylone.

That was my daughter's first looper, too. She was scared witless before her first ride, and we ended up riding it ten times over two days.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 12:42 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

- We won one of those gigantic prizes at the ring toss. (by 'we' I mean my wife did while we rode Thunder Road) - the catch is that it doesn't really fit in the car with all of the luggage and the four of us. Should be interesting to see how that one works out.


Would it be inconceivable to leave your gigantic prize at Carowinds and receive a gigantic prize voucher that you could redeem at KI? I mean, after all, this is one big happy company now!?!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 1:07 PM
For a not-so-nominal fee, I am sure they would do that. LOL

You could leave the prize in the hotel room and scare the crap out of someone coming in. Hehehehe...

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 6:59 PM
Did Squidward have his clarinet?
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008 1:29 AM
Just an update. The big stuffed dog prize didn't fit in the car...anywhere, anyway or anyhow. We zipped around the corner to a UPS Store and were quoted a shipping price of $148 because of its size. We took it back to the hotel and they're holding it for us. We'll be passing close enough to the hotel on our way back north that it shouldn't be a hassle to swing by again. In the meantime we need to figure out a better way to get it home - or whether it's worth it at all.

Any suggestions?


Jeff Young said:
Did Squidward have his clarinet?

No but the kids had to wait for him to finish his dance-off against Little Bill before they could get a photo. It was one of the dumbest things I've seen in my life.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008 1:43 AM
Glad you had fun, other than Top Gun there just isn't enough to keep me coming back every year, though I only live three hours away.

And I actually really like the finale of Top Gun. Last time, at least, it flew over the little hop, whipped through the cork and around the helix and was running quite well in that area.

And I actually thought CC ran awful on my last visit and Hurler kicked ass, but maybe it varies day to day. Normally I do like CC, though.

SFS was also in disrepair the last time I was there. There was NO WATER running whatsoever, and no lapbar checking, either, but that's a different topic.

*** Edited 7/16/2008 5:44:57 AM UTC by Willh51***

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:15 AM

Lord Gonchar said:
Just an update. The big stuffed dog prize didn't fit in the car...anywhere, anyway or anyhow. We zipped around the corner to a UPS Store and were quoted a shipping price of $148 because of its size. We took it back to the hotel and they're holding it for us. We'll be passing close enough to the hotel on our way back north that it shouldn't be a hassle to swing by again. In the meantime we need to figure out a better way to get it home - or whether it's worth it at all.

Any suggestions?


I'd say it's pretty obvious at this point...."Little Man, we love ya, but sorry the giant dog's getting the ride home!!"

In all seriousness, it seems like it's staying in NC. You could strap it to the hood, or swing by Carowinds and see if you can give it back for a voucher to get something similar at KI.

Heck, what about buying it a Greyhound bus ticket?!? Granted I haven't done any Greyhound'ing since my college days in 02, 03, and 04 (which it really wasn't that bad), and I realize gas is WAY more expensive now, but you used to be able to get Greyhound tickets for like only $20!!

Bottom line if you want it is going back to Carowinds is the best bet.

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