SFoG and Carowinds- 3/22 & 23

Associated parks:

Monday, March 24, 2003 12:46 PM
Well, this is the first trip report I’ve ever written, but here goes. I took a trip with my roommate and a friend of ours down to Six Flags Georgia and Carowinds over the weekend. Being from PA, this was quite a long haul by car, but we needed a break.

We did Six Flags on March 22. This day was possibly one of the worst experiences crowd wise that I have ever had at a park. Apparently, it was Cheer Off, or some such event on top of the normal Saturday crowds. We got there slightly after opening (due to some really bad traffic on I-285). My friends and I ended up waiting for 2 and a half hours just to get our passes. Once we got inside the park, I believe the minimum wait all day was about a half hour. Needless to say, with the park closing at six and getting into the park at 12:30, we didn’t get a lot accomplished. I do have to hand kudos to the park though. All of the coasters were running two trains (except Ninja) and the ops were really helpful and efficient.

We started at the Georgia Cyclone. I thought it was a totally awesome ride, probably helped by the fact that I didn’t get stapled in by the ops. I got so much airtime, I thought I was going to either fall out of my seat or clip my head on the choppers. After this we hit Acrophobia, probably the most unique (and thrilling) Intamin drop ride I’ve ever been on.When that ring started tilting out, I was totally scared to death!! We now headed over to Superman, which had about a 30 minute wait….not too bad. I was really impressed with the B&M version of the ride over the Vekoma. I loved the pretzel loop…the g’s you pull at the bottom are incredible. We now went and rode GASM on our way out of the Cotton States. I loved the classic feel of the ride and the fact that it still had the old style lap bars. After getting off, we decided to head over to Gotham City since the line for Ninja at this point was about an hour with it running only 1 train. Over in Gotham, we jumped onto Mindbender, then headed over for my first ever ride on a Batman. Gotham was really crowded, so after we did the rides, we didn’t stick around for too long. Next, we hit the Georgia Scorcher, which is probably my absolute favorite of the B&M standups I’ve ridden so far (still have to get to Chang and RR). After we finished the Scorcher, we all went and got our season passes processed (5 minutes) and then came back in to finish off the day with the Dahlonega Mine Train and the Ninja. I was surprised at the amazing lack of headbanging that I suffered on Ninja….I was expecting a good deal more. After Ninja we left the park and drove up to Charlotte to get some sleep before our time at Carowinds.

Like I said previously, I think a lot of my impressions of this park were influenced by the amounts of the crowds at SF that day. The ride crews really did do their best to cycle the people in and out of the rides as fast as possible. The only real complaints I have about the park was the cost to park and the cost of food inside the park. I know both are chain-wide plagues in SF parks, but that still eats at me each time I hand over 8 bucks for a pretzel and a soda.

Our stop at Carowinds was meant to be not all that much more than a few hours to pick up our Paramount season pass and to catch a few more coasters for the weekend. However, we noticed some really key differences between the parks right away. All of the ticket windows at the park were open (compared to roughly half at SF) and we got our pass and had it processed in less than 15 minutes. Amazing. They also had Top Gun up and running early, I think for season pass holders but I’m not quite sure. We rode Top Gun twice, once in the back, and once in the front seat (a first for me…I’ve never ridden a B&M inverted in the front…always too long of a wait). Totally incredible, I liked that ride much more than Batman. From there, we hit Thunder Road, only forwards, as they hadn’t opened the backwards train yet. After this we rode the Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion, which was really cool. I can’t wait to see how they do the PKI one now. Now we headed over past the waterpark and the Super Saturator (closed) to the Boardwalk area. Since the Gold Rusher was down for a bit we headed over toward Ricochet and the Georgia Cyclone. Both were pretty good, but at the same time fairly typical of their styles of coaster. After the Cyclone, we rode the Gold Rusher (back up), which was a really enjoyable mine train. Now we hit their version of Drop Zone and the Hurler. I thought that the Hurler wasn’t as fast as the PKD version, and it seemed to be a bit rougher to me. We headed over to the Scrambler, then rode Vortex. I enjoyed Vortex better than Mantis, but I still think that the Georgia Scorcher provided a better overall ride. Once we had completed the spin on Vortex, we finished up our time on the Ghoster Coaster. Although we really didn’t want to leave, we had to head back to PA so that we would be back before classes resumed on Monday.

I really liked Carowinds as a park. I thought that the attention to detail in regards to the landscaping and the ride announcements was incredible. I was surprised to hear the pre-ride safety instructions (especially at Top Gun and Drop Zone) be treated as if you were really getting ready to enter into the theme of the ride. The only other places like that as far as I can remember are Disney and Universal. I also found the park to be incredibly clean, and the merchandising, while present, not overwhelming. Also, although the crowds at this point were extremely small, all of the coaster we rode, with the exception of the Hurler were running two trains. Also, there were sufficient bar checkers to allow the train to dispatch just before the other train hit the last brake run. When there was a line for anything, it rarely stopped moving. The ops were also extremely nice, and very informative. One thing I really like was that after checking your bar, the op would tell you that it was locked. I thought it was just really interesting.

Well, that’s about all. I hoped I covered everything that might be of interest.

And Trogdor smote the Kerrek, and all was laid to Burnination.
-Strong Bad
*** This post was edited by Glory of Kilrah 3/24/2003 9:55:12 PM ***

Monday, March 24, 2003 1:58 PM
Sounds like you had a great time at both parks! Believe it or not, the employees @ SFOG are much MUCH better than last year. They interact more with guests etc. I have to agree with you that the Scorcher is perhaps the best standup out there, and the pretzel on Superman is incredible.

I'm sorry bout the crowds, tho :(.

Monday, March 24, 2003 3:32 PM
I am going to be at SFOG next Saturday and I agree about the Scorcher, I also think it gives a better ride than Mantis. The pretzal loop on Superman is SWEEEET!!! Now i know what to expect next week, Thanks!

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