Arriving at the park at 9:30, we received tickets with our Carowinds season passes, and got in line to enter the park at 10. I wanted to be in the mass of people when the rest of the park opened, so we hurried to the Eiffel Tower first. I took some nice pics, and buried myself in the crowd of people waiting to dash to Hypersonic. A security guard informed us that he would walk us to the ride. I was near the front of the crowd as we approached the entrance to the queue, and to my dismay a group of people came running, appearantly not led by a guard, to get in front of us. Our guard blew his whistle but didn't really do anything, and while we waited outside the entrance to the queue more people walked up and broke in line. When the queue opened at about 10:40, I guess I could have been on in 15 minutes but I wanted to ride in the front, since it would be my only ride.
Hypersonic XLC- 10/10
The launch on this coaster has to be the most amazing moment in coaster history. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't open my mouth, and my entire body had that same feeling as the launch on FoF and Volcano, but 10 times stronger. The air-time flying over the steep peak of that tower is spectacular, and the high speed turn and maximum airtime hop make this I believe my third favorite coaster. Thinking of the TA2k in Japan or any longer version of Hypersonic simply makes me drool. I am preparing a nice music video as well as photos and a detailed review.
After Hypersonic I immediately headed towards Flight of Fear, as I was anxious to try it out. It was a walk-on but I waited for the front seat, which was a few trains. I took a picture of the train and the ops yelled at me, something about don't mess up the sensor because I don't want to crash into a brick wall ;)
Flight of Fear - 8.5/10
It was the same ride I experienced in 98 and 99 (not in 97, waited 2 hours but had to leave), but my head was going thump thump thump against a shoulder harness. Great launch, fun inversions, and good turning drops. My only complaints are the same as everyone elses, not as dark as I would like, and good grief, why bring the train almost to a halt at the midcourse! After Flight of Fear it was on to Volcano, which I had been on 3 times in 99, but wanted to ride in the front seat.
Volcano: The Blast Coaster - 10/10
Just as good as I remembered it in 99. A lot of people don't think this coaster is all that great, but it is one of my favorite rides. Spectacular launch, great first turn, and I love the hangtime on those 3 rolls. Nice job Intamin. After Volcano I managed to squeeze a ride on Anaconda.
Anaconda - 6.5/10
I remembered getting a migrane from it in 97, but lucky for me, I am taller than the restraints now. Great drop and first 2 inversions, and the corkscrews were pretty good, but I could do without the rest. Heading towards the other side of the park and Grizzly, I managed to ride the only coaster other than Taxi Jam that I had yet to ride at PKD, Scooby Doo.
Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster - 7/10
What can I say. Its a junior coaster, but a junior coaster I happen to like very much. I found the original Allen version to be even better than the Summers one at Carowinds. Very smooth with nice airtime, and you can't say no to buzz-bars and a lack of headrests. For the final ride of the day, Grizzly.
Easily the surprise of the day. The ride was running 2 trains when the park opened but was down to 1 by 1:45. I had ridden this coaster in 97 and 99, and had heard it was great, but never really saw why. Riding in the next to last seat, Grizzly gave one wild ride. The first drop provides a nice dosage of airtime and a curve, and while that second hill is disappointing, the rest of the ride is superb. Every drop is incredibly smooth and airtime filled, and the drop into that wild tunnel leading into the fan turn is mouth-watering. I got a lot more done on Labor Day at PKD than I thought I could, and received rides on everything I really wanted to.
Disorderly conduct at the Hypersonic line-up, what was funny when we were there, the people that got in front of us, and the people they let in front of them, were with a group, and that group got to leave before they got to ride:).
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