Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Carowinds 8/17/18 – No Obscene Gestures Permitted
This was a short visit because I couldn’t get to Carowinds until 4pm and lamentably, the park closed at 8pm. I fail to comprehend why the park closes so early on a Friday night during the summer when most Cedar Fair parks remain open much longer; a team member said that it had to do with school schedules but on a Friday night??? Anyway, I usually buy Fast Lane in advance of a park visit but decided to wait and see how crowded the park was before investing in it. First stop was Fury and I managed to get on in about 7 minutes. So far so good. An adrenaline rush as usual. My memory must be faulty b/c I don’t remember trims on Fury when I last visited but they were probably always there and they just didn’t make an impression on me. This time I was acutely aware of them. Going up over the first camelback I thought hey, driving under the speed limit.
Trying to do things in a more or less systematic manner, I next headed to Hurler, where I was surprised to find a one-train operation. (A ride op told me that they never run more than one train except on weekends.) However, it didn’t take all that long to get on and while waiting I got into a dialogue with a guy who was there with his son and daughter, and ended up riding with the father while the kids rode together. (The kids wanted to ride in the back – yay! – so that’s where we rode.) He told me that Afterburn had been down all day and the conversation turned to Hurler. I told him about RMC’s conversion of the other Hurler to Twisted Timbers and he asked me whether the I-Box track was tubular. Interesting conversation.
From Hurler I proceeded to Carolina Goldrusher just to get the credit, intentionally bypassing the headbanging Carolina Cyclone. Probably more aggro than it was worth. They were running two trains but the loading was soooo slow! And Goldrusher struck me as awfully rough for a junior coaster. It reminded me of Thunderation at SDC but Thunderation was much easier to take.
I decided to skip Flying Cobras, which I found meh, and headed to Nighthawk. Nighthawk had been my favorite coaster at the park after Fury; I love these Vekoma flyers but was in for a rude awakening. Fortunately, it was a walk on but unfortunately, it was much rougher than I remembered. Even while the train was loading I could feel that the head rest was extremely uncomfortable, as was the entire ride. I got knocked around something awful. And whereas my favorite part of the ride had been going through the loop on my back, this time it was cruel and unusual punishment. Yikes, what happened to this formerly cool ride? This was surprising, as I rode Firehawk at KI in April and it was absolutely fine. Haven’t ridden Batwing in several years so don’t know how that one was holding up.
Of course a visit to the park would be incomplete without a ride on Intimidator. Alas, when I saw the line I realized that with my time constraints I was going to have to purchase Fast Lane so that’s what I did. (At least, at $68, it was more economical than the $116 I paid at Cedar Point last month to get multiple rides on Steel Vengeance.) A good ride, as always, but I’m getting somewhat jaded when it comes to B&M hypers. After riding I realized that I was in danger of greying out due to not having eaten for hours so took a break and went back for a second ride on Intimidator.
At this point I made an attempt to ride Kiddy Hawk for the credit but that coaster had a daunting queue and no Fast Lane access and I was not about to wait 40 minutes to ride a kiddie coaster so I headed to Afterburn , hoping that the mechanical issues had been sorted out. It was a no-go. The team member at the gate said that they were having ongoing problems with it, running one train and then having it break down. Huge disappointment.
Back to Fury. By this time there was enough of a queue that I was awfully glad to have Fast Lane Plus. As anyone who’s ridden it knows, there is no choice of seats; you sit where the ride ops tell you to sit. I was directed to the front row, which is probably my least favorite b/c it’s like being caught in a tornado. When the ride was over I decided to get an onride photo – I usually get one on every visit to the park as a souvenir - and this is when things became pretty bizarre. As it turns out, one of the teenage morons with whom I was riding had made an obscene gesture which was caught on camera. As a result the folks in the photo booth refused to print the photo. One of them pointed to the offender and said “He has his finger up; we can’t print that.” LMAO. Wouldn’t have wanted a photo with that sort of detail anyway. They offered to crop it but I passed up the offer. Instead I decided to go for another ride, this time in row 7. I told my seat mates – who were both aghast and amused – what had happened and said that I was glad not to be riding with morons! What raises an interesting point. The next day there was a guy waiting to board the same Frontier flight from Charlotte to Philly on which I was booked. He was wearing a T-shirt that said “F**k Gov.t.” No-one prevented him from boarding in that attire. So colorful language and gestures are acceptable to airlines but not to amusement parks?
By this time it was just after 8:00 pm and I had hoped to grab a ride on Ricochet for the credit but it was closed. So that was the end of my visit. I had fun but would have postponed a trip to Carowinds had I known at the time of arranging the trip that the park would have a new coaster next year. Oh well.
From Hurler I proceeded to Carolina Goldrusher just to get the credit...Probably more aggro than it was worth. They were running two trains but the loading was soooo slow! A
This. Crews at Carowinds are either feast or famine. The crew on Fury 325 could be the greatest ride crew I have ever seen in action. Afterburn also always seems to get trains out. But the rest? They can find a way to make Six Flags look like Disney when it comes to dispatch times.
Carowinds 8/17/18 – No Obscene Gestures Permitted
The next day there was a guy waiting to board the same Frontier flight from Charlotte to Philly on which I was booked. He was wearing a T-shirt that said “F**k Gov.t.” No-one prevented him from boarding in that attire. So colorful language and gestures are acceptable to airlines but not to amusement parks?
Yes, that is correct. Airlines are public transportation, a totally different thing than an amusement park. I don't know of one park that will print or display on ride photos of people making obscene gestures. I highly doubt the guy in the “F**k Gov.t.” T-shirt would have made it through the front gate at Carowinds.
It depends on the airline and flight crew. A co-worker of mine was asked to reverse her Lady Gaga shirt which had an obscenity on it.
In regards to Carolina Goldrusher, that ride also has one of the most inane operating programs that I’ve seen on a coaster. The train rolls partially into the station then comes to a stop for a good ten seconds, then crawls to the front with several steps along the way. The other train is almost back by time the train in the station is parked.
Airlines are most certainly NOT public transportation. They are privately held companies who can set their own prices, schedules, dress codes, etc. AFAIK, airlines are within their rights to refuse people wearing obscene clothing. However, most airline agents that actually deal with the passengers, (Ticket agents, boarding, etc,) are so overworked, underpaid, and beaten down that they just don't care. It's a constant game of "passing the buck" to the next person in the chain. None of whom want the aggravation or confrontation.
As for your TR, thanks. CW is a park I've been meaning to get back to for a long time. Fury325 is on the top of my Must Ride list, and Afterburn has always been one of my top Inverts. But I hear it's been closed as much as open recently.Last edited by Tommytheduck, Tuesday, August 21, 2018 12:36 PM
“ I fail to comprehend why the park closes so early on a Friday night during the summer when most Cedar Fair parks remain open much longer“
Because the park is usually dead by 8 in a Friday. When they were open till ten there’s be more staff than guests.
Thanks for the tip!
I know airlines will refuse a traveler who is visibly intoxicated. I’m pretty sure they can do what they want.
Airlines are most certainly NOT public transportation. They are privately held companies who can set their own prices, schedules, dress codes, etc.
According to the Wikipedia article on public transport, airlines certainly are public transport.
I think I’ll side with Tommytheduck on this one. Airlines are private transport, like an Uber in the sky or a greyhound bus. They are not funded like a subway or city bus.
Isn't that true of everything else online as well?
"The problem with quotes on the internet is that it's hard to verify their authenticity." - Abraham Lincoln
Air travel is a hybrid between public and private enterprise. I don't entirely know what the split is, but my guess would be 70% private and 30% public. Who knows though.
Its public in the sense that the TSA is run by a subcommittee through the Department of Homeland Security, and charges a fee to the airline to fund itself. Additionally, the airlines must use airports and pay rent to use the terminals and runways. The airports themselves may be privately owned, but the local and state government decides where the airports go, and set many of the regulations and make many of the decisions on what the airport can and can't do. Air traffic control is a governmental entity and is one of the most important components of what makes air travel safe and feasible.
Air travel is private from the perspective that the airlines are for profit corporations that sells a product, has expenses, follows regulations and hopes to turn a profit so that it can return dividends to its shareholders. A lot of what it can and can't do is determined by regulations and decisions out of their control, so they focus on logistics, marketing, setting prices, making the experiences enjoyable, etc.
American air travel is a lot more privatized than in other countries. In nearly every other country, air travel is more nationalized than in America. But its also a very large part of our transportation network, as we're so large, so industrialized and wealthy, and are surrounded by very large oceans. The only other industrialized wealthy nation that we can get to by car is Canada, and really the US/Canada economy is really considered one entity.
Air traffic control is a governmental entity and is one of the most important components of what makes air travel safe and feasible.
So we're told.
I'd love to hear why you say that,Vater.
I'm not the most trusting soul when it comes to government efficiency. As an example, there's a lot of evidence of the effectiveness of SFO's privatized security vs. the TSA.
Bobbie, sorry to have derailed your TR so far off.
Without going into too much detail, as a "frequent flier" I can tell you that the TSA (or private airport security) and Air Traffic Controllers are two entire separate entities with zero crossover. The US ATC system is top notch and air traffic would basically grind to a halt without it. The TSA can eat a bag of...
Well remember, the TSA isn't necessarily there to keep you safe, they're there to keep the buildings and citizens of America safe. You may have willingly opting into flying and will receive the benefit of the flight, but bystanders never did, and shouldn't have to incur the external diseconomies of your flight.
Amazingly, this happened again yesterday. I was riding Kumba and waved at the camera, hoping to get a cute on-ride photo. When I got to the photo booth I couldn't find my photo so I told the attendant where I was sitting and she informed me that that row had been deleted because one of the riders had made an obscene gesture. Why do people do this? Do they think it's clever? Again, the culprit was a teenage boy. 2nd time in 4 months that this has happened during one of my rides. At this point I'm going to try to avoid riding with teenage boys, as I can't imagine that anyone else would do this. In any case I never did get my photo because after 10 rides on various coasters my 67-year-old body had been subjected to about as many G-forces as it could take.
I often question if this hobby is for you.
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