June 20th - Lake Winnepesaukah

Associated parks:

Friday, June 21, 2002 6:48 PM

I was at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center earlier in the day, and on the way home to Atlanta I made my first visit to "Lake Winnie" ever. In Huntsville, I rode my first S&S Space Shot (first S&S tower of any kind for me) and enjoyed it very much. I also rode their "G-Force Accelerator" which was very intense, and their MARS simulator which was interesting but not too great. On to Lake Winnie:

Free parking + $3 Gate admission + $11 unlimited rides. What a deal. This park was new to me. The park looked pretty unorganized and run-down from the entrance and parking lot, but as soon as I walked in, I couldn’t get a smile off my face.

Cannon Ball

This coaster may not look great on paper (70 ft. tall out and back), but it is one great ride. It’s similar to SFOG’s GASM, but shorter (length and height) and older (1967). This coaster, however, is under manual operation, and has very cushiony seats. The lift is quick, and there is a lot of airtime on the course as well as nice laterals on the turnaround. The front was very smooth. The back was rougher, but the cushiony seats took care of that. I got 5 rides in my 2.5 hours here. No, it's not taller nor faster than GASM, but definitely better. This is an amazing, underrated John Allen/PTC coaster: 9/10. Current Coaster Count: 26.

Wild Lightnin’

I have no idea why the name changed after one year of operation, but I didn’t care. This would be my first Wild Mouse. The lift is very steep, about 45 degrees. The brakes were barely on, if at all. I’ll admit this coaster looks slow from the ground, but I was shocked by the intensity of those hairpin turns. After the “upper level” of turns, you go down for more dips and turns. I swear, on these turns it felt as if the laterals would throw your head into the supports. I had no idea a coaster this small could be so much fun. 3 rides. Great job L&T! 7/10 Coaster Count: 27.

I took a ride on the kiddie coaster to put my count to 28: 2/10. I also heard a lot about a ride called the “Boat Chute.” I know it’s an extremely rare classical shoot-the-chute ride into the lake, but ZZZZ… You start off in a tunnel. And it keeps going and going while you’re floating at 2 MPH. After sitting there almost motionless for 2-3 minutes, you hit a very loud chain lift, which drops you into the lake. It than takes you another minute to drift back into the station: 2/10. “Castle” was a great dark ride with many surprises (like a Ghost Train in RCT). The Fly-o-Planes were a bit hard to control and quite uncomfortable. I did manage to hang upside down for about 15 seconds, though.

Overall, I really enjoyed this traditional park, despite my dislike of spinning rides. I agree that it is the “Knoebel’s of the South.” If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by. You can probably do everything, and then some, in just a few hours. And don’t worry, you can park, get in, ride, eat, play games, ride, eat again, buy souvenirs, ride more and more (many walk-ons) for well under the price of a Six Flags or other large chain park’s parking and admission. Two of the coasters I’m sure will surprise you.

My two favorite coasters are named Superman.

Friday, June 21, 2002 6:57 PM
Yeah, I went on my first wild mouse at Carowinds a few days ago (Ricochet), I wasn't expecting much either, but it ended up being my favorite ride there!
Sunday, June 23, 2002 12:58 PM
I don't know if all mice are like this, but this is my first coaster that I was freaked by the "shoulder choppers!" I think there are only three of this layout in the U.S. (all in the Southeast, where we need Intamins and CCI's!) I wonder how all of the Macks compare to this one.

My two favorite coasters are named Superman.

Sunday, June 23, 2002 4:43 PM

Good TR!

Anyways, has anyone ever ridden the Miler mouse, Wild Chipmunk, at Lakeside? This thing has 1-(or)-2-person (log flume style) seating with NO RESTRAINTS! It's BY FAR the best and scariest mouse I've ever been on!


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