Jet Coastin' - Carowinds Sunday August 27 2006

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Monday, August 28, 2006 2:27 PM
So anyway, it's my birthday today and yesterday, I couldn't think of a better way to spend a day of my birthday weekend than my home park. Plus I was already in Rock Hill SC - 15 minutes away - visiting my girl Lorena at Winthrop U.

We - me and Lore - get to Carowinds at 9:30, cough up the $10 for parking (ouch) and walk to the gates. I'm rockin' the Goliath South tee, and saw a couple more during the day. We have tickets bought at Bi-Lo for $35 so it's off to ticket processing and we're inside the gates at 9:45, waiting for the mad rush to the BORG. We notice at least 10 trash cans inside the front area. Hi Cedar Fair! We wait til 10, the national anthem and so on, and make the stroll over to the BORG ASSIMILATOR. We WOULD have been on the first train, however, the line attendant informs us that no carryons are allowed in the BORG queue, so we have to double
back and hit the single use locker. $.75 later, we're back in line without Lorena's knapsack, and 10 minutes later we're on, with assigned seating. At the time, this all bothered me, but looking back it's good that CF is working to improve BORG's capacity. It'll never be a people eater but it's getting better. As for the ride, I still prefer it to Superman Ultimate Line, but it was noticeably rougher than last year. It'll be Bad SLC levels in a couple years at the rate it's shaking itself apart, and could also use a paintjob. You could definitely see the Stealth paintjob in quite a few spots.

After Borg, we start heading towards TOP GUN THE JET COASTER, but on the way hit a walkon on the backwards THUNDER ROAD - which ran fine but Lore didn't dig it as she's not a woodie person, and swore off woods for the day, which was definitely a smart move. We also hit SCOOBY DOO'S HAUNTED MANSION - which was OK and I got 950 to her 350 - and WHITE WATER FALLS. I really hope they don't ditch WWF, it's nothing special but it's such a fond memory of Carowinds back in the day. We finally make it to TGTJC and get a 15 minute wait for the front. It's the greatest. I love love love Top Gun, and was really hauling tail today. Alot of talk has been going around about later B&Ms having some roughness, but Top Gun (1999) never has and doesn't seem like it ever will. God I love the mist tunnel, the layout... it's all great. I kinda wanted a reride but put it off for later. And I darn sure got it later.

Next we start walking towards the back and hitting stuff in order. Walk onto the front of the CAROLINA GOLDRUSHER which is a fun little Arrow minetrain that I've probably had 100 laps on in my lifetime. Next we got a walkon to the CAROLINA CYCLONE, which is downright B&M smooth considering it's a 26 year old Arrow loopscrew. It also reminds me that I bloody hate Arrow OTSRs. I'm just a hair too tall (6'3) and long in the torso, and they really bind my shoulders, making me slump in an uncomfortable position. We hit RICOCHET, a bog standard Mack wild mouse, and get some ridiculous ejector air on the bunny hops, a butt slapping good time. Surprised me.

While we were there we hit DROP ZONE. The op was alot of fun, faking high fives with people and such. I got him though, and we BOTH faked. The ride was not noteworthy in the slightest; I think Carowinds' Giant Drop is pretty darn weak. It's short and stops waaay above the ground.

Next up, I hit the HURLER. Lore abstained. Remember how I said she was smart? Yeah. This was by far the worst Hurler ride I've ever had, in the very back seat, and I've ridden Hurler darn near every year since it was built. Some decent air but it was so rough - and I'm no wuss - that I wouldn't reride if it was a walkon. Oh wait, it's always a walkon. I hate to say this because I dig the layout and have fond memories of Hurler early in its life, but TAER IT DOWN. It was as bad yesterday as it's ever been. Very jackhammery. But I don't expect it to be torn down, I expect CF to just brake it down to boredom.

So with me clutching my neck, we walk over to VORTEX, the worst Beemer I've ever ridden, and decide that the line is too long. Which is to say, there was one. Probably ten minutes, but that's more than I'll wait for Vortex. I still have bad memories of waiting two hours for that abortion in its opening year. See also Drop Zone. Anyway, we're getting hungry so we return to the Borg area, grab our stuff, and go get pizza. We split two slices for $7, and it's actually fairly good. After that, a quick spin on KALEIDOSCOPE, a standard park scrambler, and then back to Vortex where the line has died down. We're on in the second row after a train or two wait.

It's not THAT bad but it's very short and is so owned by the Georgia Scorcher that it's not even funny. That's OK. SFOG has a better standup, but Carowinds has a better invert, and inverts are better than standups.

After Vortex, it's getting hot, so we hit Boomerang Bay. So THAT'S why the park seems empty; everyone's in the waterpark. After a 20 minute wait and a spin on THE FLYING SUPER SATURATOR (which was fun), we get a locker - $7 with a $3 deposit - strip down to our swimwear, and take a stroll around checking out the changes. We scan the full lines for the waterslides and decide "hey, the lazy river will work". After two trips, we hit the wave pool for an hour or so and have a blast. The waterpark additions are nice, but I think I'd rather have Frenzoid back. Carowinds NEEDS
thrilling flats.

After we grabbed our clothes but left our bag in the locker, we were sorta aimlessly strolling around the park - having done almost everything we wanted to - when we notice the Borg - and Vortex as if we cared - cycling empty trains. So we haul tail over to the Borg - with a closed queue - and in ten minutes or so the queue is open and we're on in a couple trains. Seemed rougher than the first ride but I still dig it.

After that, we hit the Nick area. I wanted to ride their Magic Carpet, but they closed
it as I arrived. Nicktoons parade or something. So we go hit THE FAIRLY ODD SCOOBY DOO GHOSTER COASTER or whatever it's called now. Fun little woody. Lore said it was her favorite woody in the park. After that we hit the Flying Scooters, which I couldn't whip with me and Lore in the same tub. Saw some dudes whipping the crap out of them though.

And now back to the jewel of the park. We get three straight midtrain walkons on Top Gun TJC and even though it's only about 5:45 we're ready to roll. We go back to Boomerang Bay, grab our stuff and turn in the key, and head towards the front. As we go, Lore points out that she's never ridden RIP ROARIN' RAPIDS or any rapids ride due to the ridiculous lines they usually have, so we wait 20 minutes for that. Fun rapids ride.

After that we're a bit tuckered out and wanna get back to Rock Hill so we can go eat delicious Mexican food at Charanda, so we do. Great, great day at a great park. If you're in Charlotte and you don't visit Carowinds, you suck. TGTJC is worth the price of admission alone.


Didn't see much sign of Cedar Fair yet, aside from tons of trashcans and the way they ran Borg.

Everything - even stuff like Hurler - was running at capacity.

Scream Weaver - an Enterprise - was down.

I noticed alot of stuff is gonna have to be changed in order to take the Paramount
branding off the park. It won't be a small task. Everything from painting the Hurler
station to changing the Paramount Walk Of Fame out front to the big stone Paramount sign in the concrete near the front to rebranding quite alot of the stores. It'll be a bigger job than I think people realize.

The park is way too trusting. At the restaurants, you ask for ice water and they hand you a medium Coke cup for you to fill up on your own at the fountain. In theory - coz I'd never ever do such a thing ever - you could just take Coke instead.

Alot of locals I know piss and moan about waiting 1-2 hrs. for BORG. I've gotten about 8 laps on it and never waited more than 45. SKILLZ.

Carowinds rules. I hope CF doesn't screw it up.

EDITED TO FIX SOME FORMATTING AND ADD THE BORG LINE COMMENT. *** Edited 8/28/2006 6:30:51 PM UTC by Vincent Greene*** *** Edited 8/28/2006 6:36:26 PM UTC by Vincent Greene***

Monday, August 28, 2006 5:23 PM
Cool! What is the best inversion on TGTJC in your opinion?

I don't know if I'd like the Zero-G the best or the batwing or the loop, ah what the heck, looks like a great ride. ;)


Monday, August 28, 2006 5:56 PM
Glad to hear someone else is taken by this Top Gun. For those that haven't ridden TGTJC, after five fairly standard and fast paced B&M inverted elements, there is relaxing little hill on the way back to the station that provides the best floater air on an invert that I can think of. And just when you think the ride is coming to a close, you turn the corner around the station to find - bang- a nice powerful corkscrew to make you smile all over again.

I think the layout perfectly suits the theme of the ride even though the theming came after the ride was designed. Just picture Tom Whatsisface flying off victoriously into the sunset and suddenly peeling off into a wingover just for kicks. This is easily the best of the Beemer inverts of the dozen or so I've ridden.

I have to agree with your assessment of Vortex as well. Can we just pretend someone else built that thing? Togo maybe?

By the way, since we're talking Top Gun, Tom Cruise is now the bizarre link that ties Cedar Fair (via Paramount) to Six Flags (via Daniel Snyder):,0,1677604.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Monday, August 28, 2006 10:13 PM
Hm, I like the corkscrew Mr Halo described alot, but truly the mist tunnel is my favorite part. It swoops down into it at a nice speed, it's cold and refreshing, and it's freakin' awesome every. single. time.

I love B&M inverteds and Top Gun's my favorite. Wanna ride Raptor next year, but I think TG will stand as my favorite. Raptor has no mist tunnel. :)


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