Paramount's Carowinds 8-9-02

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, August 10, 2002 3:24 PM

Got up at 5:30 to make the 4 hour journey to Charlotte to go to Carowinds. After the necessary bathroom/breakfast/gas stops, we finally made it to the park around 10:30. After paying $7 to park, we made our way around to the South Gate so we could be right by Top Gun to start the day. I was extremely excited on the way to the gate until something occured to me. I hadn't seen a single train ascend the TG lift all the way to the gate. When I got to the gate, I checked the list of rides not opening to make sure that TG wasn't on it. It wasn't. When we finally got our tickets and got into the park, I asked the first employee I saw if TG was running. He said he didn't know, it had been running earlier but it wasn't now. I walked up to just under the station and saw ride-ops with sanitizer spraying off the yellow train and figured no big deal, somebody must've hurled and they're cleaning it up. So I headed over to Thunder Road.

Thunder Road was a walk-on. There were maybe 3 corralls with people in them for both sides. My brother and I decided to try forwards first and walked in to the back seat. Not bad, but not as much air as I had hoped for, I figured maybe it just wasn't warmed up yet. We headed over to backwards and got in 2 more laps without even leaving the station. Our day was off to a good start.

After Thunder Road, we headed across the park to take on Drop Zone and Hurler. Waited all of 2 cycles for Drop Zone. Not much to say about this standard Intamin 2nd-gen freefall. I love these things. After Drop Zone, we ran over to Hurler to find a similar wait to what we had for Thunder Road. We got in 2 laps in the back row without leaving the station and then another in the front. I have to say that I think the better air on this coaster can be found in the front.

After Hurler, we started making our way back around towards some pizza, stopping along the way to hit Vortex. Not really a rough ride, but fairly short and uneventful, I usually ride this one for sentimental value as it was my first coaster. And the crew was stacking trains like crazy. I had a little sympathy for them though, as there were only 2 ops checking the whole train.

After Vortex we kept on walking and found some pizza over by the Animation Station. After lunch it was about 11:30 and we went to check on Top Gun again. Still down. The ride-op at the gate said that the ride had a cold and it had sneezed and someone fell off, check back in 20 minutes or so and maybe the medicine will have kicked in. So I headed over to the Action-F/X Theater to try out 7th Portal. Not a bad plot, but the 3D stuff could have been executed better, I enjoyed Pirates at BGW much better than this one.

After 7th Portal we headed over to Thunder Road again for a couple more backwards laps, then back over to meet the rest of the family at Stan Mikita's, grabbing 3 more Hurler laps, a spin on the Scream Weaver and a Cyclone lap while we waited. At this point it was 2 in the afternoon. My bro wanted to hit Cyclone again, I had to take a flight on the Xtreme Skyflyer skycoaster. Definitely one of the most exhilarating experiences ever. This was my 4th Skycoaster trip and it's worth the money every time.

After that we headed towards Carolina RFD again to check on Top Gun. Learned that it had opened for 30 minutes around 1, but it had been down since 1:30, and now it was 4. Bummer. So we caught a ride on the bumper cars and Frenzoid while we were there.

After that my dad (who doesn't do theme parks very well) said that we were leaving at 6, so we had an hour and a half. Decided to take another Thunder Road lap and waited 2 trains for the front row. Mistake. The ride was great and warmed up well during the day, but as we were coming back into the station the ride locked down. Apparently the train on the lift had some sort of the problem so we were stuck for awhile, and the ride-ops wouldn't let us out to walk back into the station. We sat on the brakes for 30 minutes and watched TG cycle a few empty trains. They finally got our train back into the station around 5, apologized several times, and refused to give me an exit pass. Not that I needed one on this particular day, but I still wanted some compensation since I only had 90 minutes left in the park and they had just shot 1/3 of it. Oh well.

At this point my bro and I decided to marathon on Drop Zone for the last hour. Got in 8 drops, then 3 Hurler laps without leaving the station before we started walking back towards the South Gate to leave. I was sorta pissed at this point because I had come all the way across the state to ride Top Gun and it was broken. Oh well, can't have it all I guess.

About the time we entered the Country Fair section of the park, my heart stopped. Top Gun was going up the lift and feet were hanging down. I took off. It would've taken a brick wall to stop me at that point. I shot past my dad, yelling something about Top Gun having people on it. He got the message. I flew through the queue and was on in the second row in about 5 minutes. Awesome spin on this park's signature ride. And at this point I also have to give major props to the TG crew. They were moving trains faster than I have ever seen any crew move them on any ride. The trains didn't even stop on the brakes, they just kept them moving, trying to ride as many people as possible before the ride broke down again. Awesome job TG Crew!! After that ride my brother said he was tired of riding rollercoasters and was going to find my parents. I said fine, I'll ride one more time by myself, tell them to look for me in the front row, and I got back in line. Waited about 20 minutes for the front, which seemed really long since I hadn't waited for anything all day. But I finally made it on. Wow, this ride is incredible in the front, one of my favorite inverts behind Raptor. After this ride, I met up with my parents to head out.

So despite the down time on Top Gun, it was a great day at Carowinds. Only wish I could've gone back on the 10th to see Lifehouse in concert!

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*** This post was edited by Travio on 8/10/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by Travio on 8/10/2002. ***

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Saturday, August 10, 2002 3:44 PM
I guess a new TOS rule should be to use paragraphs for long entries. Can you edit this into a few please?

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the member formerly known as MisterX

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Saturday, August 10, 2002 5:27 PM
Great TR! Compelling to the end ;)!

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See THE ULTIMATE in Orlando TR'S! Right now in the TR fourm!

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Saturday, August 10, 2002 10:07 PM

I have not been having good expieriences with this park lately. I guess they have off days.

Great TR. Good Details.

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"The fish are eating the guest, sir

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Sunday, August 11, 2002 7:17 AM
If you go into it criticizing every little thing(like I used to do) it ruins your experience all of the time. I don't do that anymore and I find myself enjoying parks a lot more...

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i am emo

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Sunday, August 11, 2002 8:54 AM
Dukeis#1, I understand why you may not have been having good experiences. Not only was Top Gun down nearly all day, but Thunder Road locked down on us, Vortex went down right before we got in line, so we skipped a second ride on that one. It just seemed to me that they were having trouble keeping everything running.

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Sunday, August 11, 2002 12:20 PM

Do they have Stan Mikita's at all the Paramount Parks now? I saw it at PKD.

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-Sean

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Sunday, August 11, 2002 12:29 PM
No, just PKD and Carowinds... yeah, everything usually breaks down but they always get it back up... Also usually everything is open when the park opens and working and running to full capacity(usually)

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i am emo

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Sunday, August 11, 2002 7:10 PM

I've been noticing Top Gun problems lately too. Its only been open 3 of my 7 visits.

Carowinds is also not very big on having there flat rides open. The Stearnwheeler, Kalidascope, Scream Weaver, Frenzoid and Gauntlet are normally only open in peak hours. I have never seen all of them open on the same day.

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"The fish are eating the guest, sir

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Sunday, August 11, 2002 7:15 PM
I have seen all of them open everytime I go...? But Top Gun gets stuck atleast once a day on the lift, but they get it going again. Maybe you caught them on a bad day?

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i am emo

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Sunday, August 11, 2002 8:30 PM
One of the ops that I questioned about Top Gun told me that it broke down constantly and was problematic. Anybody have any idea what the problem might be?

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*** This post was edited by Travio on 8/12/2002. ***

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Monday, August 12, 2002 4:17 PM

Well, it is a Large Inverted, larger than they normally are.(The only big ones I can think of are at BGT, BGW, CP and DP) But that most likely would not have anything to do with it.

As for the flat rides being open, it is seldom that you will ever see the Stearnwheeler in operation. They did not evan have it open on the 4th of July.

Carowinds recently took out there Wave Swinger for a Pay Per Attraction. Odd they spent $$$ $$$ to restore it in 2000 just to take it out a year later.

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Monday, August 12, 2002 6:03 PM
Top Gun problematic? I've only seen it down for over an hour once...

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Jonathan Hawkins
Starcoasters.com
"The internet is a great way to get on the net." -Bob Dole

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Thursday, August 15, 2002 3:39 PM

Travio said:
Dukeis#1, I understand why you may not have been having good experiences. Not only was Top Gun down nearly all day, but Thunder Road locked down on us, Vortex went down right before we got in line, so we skipped a second ride on that one. It just seemed to me that they were having trouble keeping everything running.

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"They" being the coaster manufacturers, not the park, I hope you mean. If a ride has an error, it shuts itself down and there's really nothing that can be done except try to clear the error and restart. It's not as if Carowinds can prevent ride problems... they're machines, and will function like machines... that is, they will break down occasionally.

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the member formerly known as MisterX

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Friday, August 16, 2002 7:17 PM
I didn't know lap bars were run by computers

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"The fish are eating the guest, sir

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Sunday, August 18, 2002 3:29 PM

I hardly, and I mean hardly ever see restraints get stuck.

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i am emo

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