Carowinds- It had been four years and three new coasters since our last visit to Carowinds, so it was with great excitement that we added a trip there to our vacation. Our first stop was Top Gun. Unfortunately, only the red train was running, the yellow was being worked on (We could see as we waited an hour and a half to ride). However, upon riding we determined it was well worth the wait. This is by far my favorite invert. It is non-stop thrills. The batwing under the entrance is great and the misters add some flair.
After Top Gun we did the new Meteor Attack simulater to spend time with the non-coaster riders in our group. We then broke away and did the coasters. First Thunder Road (forwards). It was a fun ride, but nothing spectacular for me. At least it is well maintained and smooth. Next was Goldrusher (for my mother-in-law who really wanted to ride). Then to Vortex, my first experience with a B&M stand-up. I can't say that I was very impressed. It was by far the roughest B&M I have ever ridden. The layout also seemed uninspired, and the coaster is badly in need of a paint job. It wasn't bad, but it was just average.
Next, was Ricochet. I liked this ride, but I thought it was an original design (although cloned at PKD), however it seemed exactly the same as Wilde Maus at BGW. Am I correct about this, does anybody know if they are different in some way?
After Ricochet the heat was beating me, so we met up with the rest of my family, who had been with the kids in animation station, and decided to head for Super Saturator. Upon getting there it was closed, but I could tell it was going to be a short delay. We did Whitewater Falls in the meantime to prevent me from collapsing from heat stroke.
After riding Whitewater Falls, and getting the wettest I ever have on a shoot the chutes we could see the line for SS opening. We quickly headed over and got in line before others noticed it was open. The cool water hit the spot during the heat and led me to decide that every park in Texas needs one of these. The ride was fun too, especially when I nailed a perfectly dry person with the water bomb from my train. After Super Saturator we decided that we were going to head to the water park and we spent the rest of the day there.
We skipped Hurler and Scooby Doo, as we had done them on previous trips. Overall it was a great day in the park though. The combination of the water park and the main park is great, something that SFoT should really consider.
SFoG- On the trip back we planned to stop at SFoG to experience Superman and as many other coasters as possible. We arrived at the park at about 12:10, to a light drizzle and comfortable temperatures. I had hoped that the drizzle would scare people away but we were shocked at how full it felt. The lines were not any longer than a Sat. at SFoT, but the paths are so crowded at this park. Our first destination was Superman. Walking there I was surprised at how well themed and landscaped this park was, a far cry from the rather plain asphalt jungle style of SFoT. On the walk we were able to see that Deja Vu was going to be closed for the day. I asked the first employee I saw if it was going to open at all that day and their reply was "not in weather like this." The weather wasn't that bad but it gave me an idea of how flawed this ride must be.
Superman- The excitement of just seeing the ride running was enough to get us worked up. The line moving as fast as it did made things even better. One great thing about the queue is that it doesn't have any cutbacks so it is really easy to accurately judge how long you will have to wait. After an hour and fifteen minutes we were ready to board. My wife was actually scared upon boarding, which is the first time I have ever seen her frightened by a coaster. The restraints were much more simplistic than I thought they would be, and loading was a one pull process. Loading times were now problem. The lift hill is even exciting when you are in the flying position. Heading into the pretzel knot was the neatest feeling. Expecting to pull up (as you would in most inversions) the dive down was quite a thrill. Then on the bottom the G-forces were quite apparent. A couple of close fly-overs the queue line and two turnarounds led us to an inline twist and the brakes. While this ride was great and the pretzel knot excellent our hopes are that as this coaster type progresses the layouts become longer and more interesting.
Next up was the Georgia Scorcher. After the uninspiring impression of Vortex, I wanted to experience one of the newer stand-ups. A very long line led to an almost two hour wait. We boarded the ride on the back and off we went. Wow, what a difference. This ride was a blast, and very smooth, quite different then Vortex had been. If they can make stand-ups like this one, I hope they make more.
Next we headed for Mindbender, as I didn't want to pass up a Schwarzkopf classic. We waited another hour and a half before boarding the back seat. This coaster was great, especially considering its age, and still smoother than a lot of coasters half its time in operation. The only question I was left with was where is the third loop. The park map says that Mindbender was the worlds first triple looping coaster, but I only remember two loops riding it. Anyway two or three loops it still was a great ride.
At this point it was very clear to us that we weren't going to do much riding this day only a lot of waiting, so we decided to choose one more coaster and call it a day. We immediately eliminated B:TR, have one a SFoT, and the mine train. That left GASM, Ninja, and the Cyclone. Ninja was mainly in the running because of fear it would be removed before we returned. However, my wife said she could live her life without regret if she didn't ride it, since if she did ride she probably wouldn't remember after the beating it would give her head. That left a war of the woodies. I prefer twisters as opposed to out and backs, therefore it was the Cyclone.
First major complaint about the park, other than the overcrowded paths---the Cyclone queue building really needs ventilation. The queue building is a closed building, as opposed to open sides like most queues. This led to a very hot stuffy atmosphere. Although there appeared to be AC vents in the ceiling they were not running and I felt very uncomfortable. We waited an hour and then boarded. By this time I was very hot and not all that happy. This coaster changed my mood. The airtime on the drops and the hand-choppers were great. Although there was a little shuffle to the trains, they were pretty smooth, especially compared to our Texas woodies. After the Cyclone we decided to call it a day and get the other five coasters next time. Four coasters in seven hours isn't my ideal day at the park, but we still had a great time and we look forward to getting back again. One other observation-- SFoG's Gotham City was much better themed than SFoT's. Further, Mindbender was painted green with question marks all over it, which seemed like it could fit a Riddler theme if they decided.*** This post was edited by Enigma13 on 6/26/2002. ***
*** This post was edited by Enigma13 on 6/26/2002. ***
83 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC # 100 in July. Waiting for the 305 foot drop tower in 2003. Thank you PKD.
Formally Known as Ozzyhead.
*** This post was edited by GhettoCoaster on 6/26/2002. ***
As for Vortex, I really didn't feel that the roughness was the transitions, as Ozzy suggested, but more the shuffling. I agree that new wheels might solve the problem. The need for paint would just enhance the cosmetic appearance of the coaster.
My two favorite coasters are named Superman.
The diving helix on Mindbender is probably my favorite element of the coaster. ;)
My whole take is... if the coaster designer calls it an inversion, so do I. I'm not going to split hairs over something like that. It's all fun! :)
Sorrrrrrrry folks! Parks closed. The moose out front should have told you.
Top Gun: The Jet Coaster flights-Approx. 304-(93 in 2002)
Ricochet laps-Approx. 30
Funny thing about the mysterious third loop is that it is a loop, but not an inversion. Nobody claims you go upside down on it, and it does make the same shape as a loop. Yes it is marketing and PR doublespeak, but so what? It's still a great ride.
Glad you enjoyed the park! Sorry you had to visit on a Saturday, though. I went Monday and did everything in 3 hours.
I sing sometimes for the war that I fight, 'cause every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right. -Ani Difranco
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