First trip to Carowinds!

Brent Sullivan's avatar

My family and I have our first trip to Carowinds planned during Spring Break this year.

Other than the obvious... Fury 325, Copperhead Strike, Afterburn, and The Intimidator, what other suggestions do you have for us to try?

Thanks in advance!

Why do I always think the answer to questions like this should be “Ride all the rides, see all the shows, eat all the food”?
Seriously, the four you mentioned are the heavy hitters. Carowinds isn’t such a big place, nor is it usually that busy. You’ll be going during a busy time- do you have only one day? Get FastLane. Two days? Get FastLane on one of them. It’s a big help for rides like Copperhead Strike and Nighthawk and you’ll get everything in. You’ll avoid long lines and get re-rides on the ones you’d like.
Check the website for the list of rides and the park map. It’s a nice park, have fun.

Brent Sullivan's avatar

We will have about a full day and a half.

I was considering FastLane, but I may wait to see how full it is when we get there.

We have Cedar Fair Platinum passes this year, so I may be able to squeeze in part of a 3rd day before we head home if needed.

I love Carowinds, but Fastlane or not you won't need three days.

Also, make sure to go to a Cook Out, I think there is one near the park. And I never miss MJ Donuts when I go to Carowinds.

sws's avatar

Brent Sullivan said:

Other than the obvious... Fury 325, Copperhead Strike, Afterburn, and The Intimidator, what other suggestions do you have for us to try?


Speaking of the obvious, then you really should go to Knoebels; it’s just down the road....

LostKause's avatar

Unfortunately, it looks like passholder early ride time is not available right now. So I can't recommend that to you...

I haven't been there in a pretty long time. I do remember how surprisingly fun their mine train was. It has some unexpected speed at the end.

I bet Spring Break will make the park very busy.


Yeah, their mine train is fun. If I remember correctly, the seats are even more snug than Cedar Creek Mine Ride.

Carolina Skytower is fun and has great views of Charlotte. They also have a great new set of flyers. And it's always nostalgic for me to take a spin on the old Geauga Lake Yo Yo.

Brent Sullivan's avatar

Thanks for the feedback.

I may see how much we can get on during our first night there, then look at the Fast Lane for the second day if I think it will help hit the ones I missed the day before.

Nighthawk is worth getting on if only because it's probably on borrowed time - it was the prototype and Cedar Fair already closed Firehawk, the other Vekoma Flying Dutchman they had.

Also I think they're wicked fun but I gotta admit it's been a while - the last time I rode it (or went to Carowinds) it was still BORG.

Last edited by Vincent Greene,

When I was there last in 2019 it was awful. And I actually liked X-Flight/Firehawk more than some of the B&M flyers.

For a ride that is virtually the same until the end, it was remarkable how much rougher and less fun it was.

Vater's avatar

Yeah, I regretted my one ride on Nighthawk and that was in 2009. Not worth the (literal) headache.

LostKause's avatar

I'm guessing the Vekoma Flyer at Carowinds isn't going anywhere anytime soon because it has a fresh coat of paint for this season. Not that I would miss it or anything. That one and the one at Kings Island scared me to death.

Last edited by LostKause,

When the train flips from lie to fly at the top of the lift hill is one of those great OH $H!T coaster moments.


But then again, what do I know?

For sure! I still remember my first ride on X-Flight in 2001 and how impressive it was at the time. The B&M flyers can be fun, but nothing beats that lie to fly transition on the Vekoma models. It makes the headache of an occasional Nighthawk ride worth it.

Brent Sullivan's avatar

Only a couple of days away and I'm getting more excited now.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and I will let you know how great it was when I get back.

Vater's avatar

Batwing was my first flying coaster. I felt the novelty of the whole prone thing was over after one ride. It was a cool experience, but after that it was just uncomfortable. Rode Nighthawk for the credit, and man was it so much worse. I did ride a Superman clone, and the flying sensation was much better overall than the Vekomas, but the bottom of the pretzel loop was frigging torture.

I'm old. Give me a sit down coaster any day over these.

Jeff's avatar

I totally agree. I still haven't been on Manta, and I worked for the company for a year.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I haven’t done Tatsu, but…
I really like Manta. It’s fast, comfortable, and has a great variety of elements.

Manta as amazing. I imagine Tatsu is amazing as well.


But then again, what do I know?

Did the media event for Tatsu when it first opened. The general consensus then was "whoa"......

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