Paramount's Carowinds Opening Day 2001!

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Saturday, March 24, 2001 1:36 PM
Carowinds 2001: What did I expect? I expected 3 new attractions and there was only one which I KNEW I would like: Pipeline Peak. None of the past simulator rides have blew me away so I couldn't expect too much from 7th Portal and Scooby Doo's Haunted Mansion was supposedly a children's ride. Well, Carowinds threw out some surprises.
We arrived at the park a few minutes before 9 AM. At 9:10 AM we were let into the park. For the second year in a row, I was on the first train on the season on Top Gun. I am very pleased that Carowinds continues the ERT on Top Gun for season's pass holders.

Top Gun: The Jetcoaster 10/10

Bah, what can I say. This ride seems to get better each year. It is the only inverted I can think of without any brakes until the end (like all coasters at Carowinds). The smoothness and intensity were still there as usual. After 6 rides on Top Gun we headed to the new Scooby Doo's Haunted Mansion to get a ride on that during the season pass ERT before the park officially opened.

Scooby Doo's Haunted Mansion 8/10 (on a fun scale, this ride was hard to rate)

What did I expect? I really didn't expect us to be allowed to ride after what I've heard about the one at PCW. Well, I was wrong. There is no max height, just a minimum. This was not a children's ride at all. A family ride, yes. Carowinds did a great job on their first dark ride. The building is very detailed as you go through in your "mystery machine". On-board computers keep track of your score as you go through. Also, it was a lot longer than I expected. I always expected us to turn a corner into the station but it just kept going and going. I will want to ride this more too to try and improve my score. After a quick stop at the restrooms, we headed to the 7th Portal as the park was officially open.

The 7th Portal 8/10 once again it was hard to rank this

The left side of the Action FX Theater holds 7th Portal and the right side will rotate different movies. The first will be Atom Smasher which will open on Memorial Day. 7th Portal was great. The 3-d effects on this ride were the best I have ever seen. They were incredible. We rode this twice, which is something I don't think we have ever done (ride a simulator twice in the same day that is). We then headed for Thunder Road and another surprise. I had heard that Thunder Road may be getting re-tracked, and it had.

Thunder Road 7/10

The retracked Thunder Road was a great ride. It was very smooth and didn't destroy my back as it has in the past. Fowards was fun but I think backwards was the best. The retracked woodie was just another great surprise tossed at me by Carowinds. After Thunder Road we headed towards the season pass center and a place to eat. This is where we slammed into the biggest surprise of the day. The skytower has been repainted as we had seen from the road. However, to my surprise, the entrance area to the park had been completely redone. It looked very nice. My friend described it as "Californian". Maybe so, but I liked it. There was a new place to eat that served Italian food so I had some spaghetti (yes it WAS good). After that we hoped to ride the Rip Roarin Rapids but it was closed, as were all of the water rides including the Super Saturator. So we hopped on the Vortex.

Vortex 6/10

Well, there's not much to say about this. I saw immediately why we never rode this last year. It is short and the only "feeling" is the pressure in your legs. I would rate it with a 6 simply because it IS a coaster hehe. We then headed for the Hurler. Ah yes, the Hurler, one of the most underrated woodies there is and an airtime MACHINE.

Hurler 8/10

Like last year, this coaster still has a short line and a powerful ride. The airtime is amazing in the back and in the front and the lateral Gs are great. My second ride was ruined when a lap bar nazi almost took away my ability to have children by pushing it until it went down into my groin. There was also an incident with a ride op on Top Gun who is already on my bad side. He was trying to get it down so hard I told him "Hey, if you push any farther its gonna hurt me and Im not gonna be happy". After that we rode the Drop Zone.

Drop Zone: Stunt Tower 8/10

If you could take the 3 or 4 seconds on Drop Zone and make it last about 20 seconds it would be the greatest ride on the face of the earth. I have never been on any ride anywhere that slings you out of your seat so much. With the harness not too tight I float all the way down. After Drop Zone we rode the Carolina Cyclone Arrow looper.

Carolina Cyclone 7/10

Whats that about old Arrow loopers being rough? This coaster had more inversions than any in the world when it opened, with 4. If you ride in the front or the middle the ride won't be that fun and it may be a tad bit rough. But the back, ohhh the back. Beautiful airtime on the first drop, awesome hangtime during the 2 loops, and the 2 corkscrews are wicked and smooth. Then there's a helix into a tunnel. Its short, but fun. After riding the Cyclone we rode Thunder Road fowards one last time and exited the park. It was a great day and I'm looking foward to many more this year (not to mention adding more to my 100+ rides on Top Gun). I will be getting my digital cam soon so I will be able to take more pics for http://www.starcoasters.com

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Monday, April 2, 2001 8:05 PM
went to Carowinds yesterday (Apr. 1) hardly anyone there, rode Top Gun 28 times, and Vortex 15 times, and the other ones just about as many
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