SFOG/Carowinds, and Coca Cola 3/26-3/28

Associated parks:
None

Monday, March 29, 2004 7:41 PM
I left WV early Friday morning, looking forward to
getting away for a weekend and saying good riddance to winter. It had been almost five months since I had visited a park, or really went anywhere for that matter. I was ready to experience some new coasters, see some new sights, meet up with friends, and party.

The 8 hour driveto Atlanta was nice but boring, and it felt awesome having a cool rental without worrying about my old clunker breaking down again. lol.
Anyway, I got to the motel around noon-ish, and met up with good friend and fellow “80’s” child Dawn Marie. We then drove to one of the MARTA stations and took the train to Underground Atlanta. Being a lifelong, hopeless Coke/soda fanatic I had always wanted to see the World Of Coca Cola. The building itself is beautiful, inside and out…very open and bright.

We sort of breezed through the exhibits since we wanted to get to the park before it closed at 6 for some pre-Spring Fling coastering. The Coke exhibits were awesome, especially the toys and old advertisements dating back to when Coke was first marketed as a *sophisticated* drink for the
rich. ;-)

We spent a good amount of time in the sample room, which is the main reason I wanted to visit. You can sample all Coke products, from Coke Classic to TAB, which I tried for the first time in like 20 years……NASTY! There was also an area where you can sample other Coke products from around the world. Most are pretty good, especially the watermelon and something that tasted like green apples. Yummy. :-) Good stuff.

Then there was the stuff from Italy......what was it
called again Dawn? It sort of reminded me of something you would use in your car, like fuel injection cleaner or battery acid maybe? lol.

After getting on a wicked caffeine high (and trying to
settle my stomach from that Italian crap) we hoped the train back to the MARTA station. We decided it would be cheaper just to take the Six Flags shuttle, but it never came. Actually, we didn’t see ANY
buses in the45 minutes or so we were there.
At this time we just said the heck with it decided to drive anyway and pay the $12. We were both SFOG virgins and at this point didn’t care. We wanted to RIDE!

On our way there we noticed a very nasty accident that had northbound traffic blocked for miles, which
explained why we didn't see the shuttle. Oh well.
We got to the park around 3 or 3:30. I used my renewed SFKK pass while Dawn used her voucher.

After going through the security thing we met up with Rollergator Bill, along with Jill, Ed, Brian, Joe, and Keith, who I knew of through the killer Badnitrus site. There were some other dudes I met but since I am horrible with names I apologize. My mind was all over the place with everything going on at that moment. The park was not crowded so making the rounds in the two hours was a breeze.
I was very much looking forward to Acrophobia, since I am an Intamin drop junkie.

Here’s my initial reactions of the coasters. I am not the type to get into detail about the tech stuff. My philosophy is if it FEELS good then it's a damn good coaster. If it hurts it sucks. Plain and simple. I want my speed and airtime and launch if applicable. Anything else is secondary. :-)

Batman The Ride: The old school B&M inverts are just insane. Fast, quick, relentless, and will leave your feet numb in no time. The G's are just sick. Nothing like them.
Georgia Cyclone: I can see why Brian raves over this coaster, and the airtime was just nuts. Sorry guys but I just can't do the back seat anymore. Ouch. I need smoothness in my woodies. I will stick with the middle seats thank you very much. :-)
Georgia Scorcher: B&M standup. That's about it. Have had better and worse. :-) I am not typically into stand-up coasters but it was fun nonetheless.
Mindbender: Awesome! Holy &#$#! I fell in love with
this thing over and over. How can you beat a good
Schwarzkopf? They all rock.
The only thing I don't care for is the very slow decent at the top of the hill. It almost feels like you might get a Mindbender rollback? HA! The loops are amazing, as well as the few surprises of airtime! :-D Much fun at night.
Ninja: A noticeable Arrow (yes, then I found out it was Vekoma) headbanger. I wanted to do it quick and check it off the list. I was suprised. Not too shabby.
Dalonenga Mine Train: I don't remember much about it now. I think the post Batman-hangover erased that from my memory.
Deja Vu: Wasn't running. Bleh.
Great American Scream Machine: SWEET! Relatively smooth
with a beautiful layout. Some nice airtime in the
middle.
Superman: Ultimate Flight. Did the one in Chicago but it didn't really do much for me, and neither did this one EXCEPT that diving loop! WOW!

Acrophobia: I honestly thought it was a little on the tame side until I decided to look straight down. YES! What a POV. It’s almost like one of those dreams where you are falling and you
wake up before SPLAT!

Friday evening we managed to get most of the coasters in, and it was great to get a small taste of what the park had to offer. At 6pm, we all went back to our respective motels to relax.
Bill and Jill were staying in the same motel as
Dawn and I, and everyone agreed to meet there to discuss dinner plans. I chilled out for a bit, and got a bit sleepy enjoying one of Dawn's yummy chocolate/vodka thingies. I immediately gulped
it and realized just how strong it was until
Dawn mentioned that it was “made for sipping”.


Everyone congregated in our room and decided to go to Appleby's for some dinner and drinks. GETTING to
Appleby's proved to be a thrill ride in itself, especially when you try to follow Bill’s kamakazi driving. Anyway we made it, nothing was broken (and I even had Ed with me) and we had a great meal with great company. Much fun.

After we got back, Ed and Brian split while the rest of us decided hang in and out of the motel’s hot tub and pool. Oh man…nothing like those jets on your back after a long day of driving and coastering. Awesome first night. I was tired, half drunk, and sedated from the hot tub, but happy and looking forward to the next day. Much thanks to Bill and
Jill for supplying me with my favorite beer or all time…..Yuengling Lager. You guys rock! I am still hoping it will be distributed here in WV.

Saturday morning I was ready to go. Dawn told me that she would get to the park later. I met Bill and Jill
in the lobby as they were trying to wake themselves
up. Lol. Am I the only one who wakes up WAY too early? (which sucks).
I arrived about 8 am (free parking today), got my badge, and met a few more people, including Mike who's name I DO remember. lol. We all just kind of waited around until we were led back to Superman and the Great American Scream machine. After getting many awesome rides I decided to get caught up on my pics, and wait around for the park to open.

At this point Dawn called me to let me know she was in the park now. It was 10am and I was starving, but decided to wait until the buffet. Also, I was really in the mood for some DDR since i hadn't played in months. Dawn and I did two rounds in Light mode. The second round was insane, but she picked some awesome songs. :-) Damn what a high! I miss this game. It wore me out, but really worked up the appetite. I tried to get Bill and/or Jill to try it but I guess they decided to watch while we acted like we were pros at it/not sucking too much. Lol.

We spent most of that morning making the rounds until lunch time, which consisted of some fried chicken, barbecue sandwiches, and the usual sides. There was an announcement that a movie starring Robert Macy was going to be filmed at the park on Monday and they needed "extras" that could withstand riding coasters in the background over and over. The opportunity looked fun, but I couldn't work it in. I believe a few attendees did sign up.

After lunch I was feeling tired but happy. Jill
decided she wanted to go back to the motel to crash for a while and Dawn wanted to do the skycoaster thing with some of the others peeps. We all decided to meet up again later at 6 for evening ERT.

I was too full to ride anything too demanding right
away so Bill and I decided to chill out and check out some of the flats, including the train and the swinging Spaceship thing that went ALL the way around. Damn I love those things.

At 6pm everyone congregated into the theatre to wait for the park to clear out before ERT began. There were free sodas and some nice
grab bags thanks to Mr. Ulrich and the park. Included was a SFOG DVD, a keychain and a coaster T-shirt for each Spring Fling attendee. Mine was a D*j* vu. Sweet!

Now only if the coaster would open so I could get that third and final Deja credit. ?

Now to the good stuff….ERT on Batman and Mindbender, with Acrophobia and the
Cyclone opening later on. I did Batman about 3 times in a row before I needed to take a break.
Mindbender, however, was like a blissful dream. What a rush. I could of spent the whole night
on this puppy. I did the Cyclone once in the back seat until a headache started to creep in, and one
near the front before I called it quits.

We finished the night off with two rides
on Acrophobia. The ride ops were funny as hell. She would do a countdown from 10 or 5 and would let it drop at about 7 or 3.

What an event! Probably one of my faves next to SRM. The park is beautiful, clean, and the employees are very cool and made the experience a blast.
It was then back to the motel for more hot tubbing and drinking. I was in heaven, but the weekend still wasn’t over.

I said my goodbyes to Dawn, Bill and Jill and headed out Sunday morning to stop by Carowinds and meet up with Ed again. I hadn’t been to the park in two years and it was on my way home. It turned out to be about 10 minutes out of my way…so no biggie.

I got to Carowinds about 10 and got my pass processed. It is a bit cheaper than PKI’s and since I was heading to PKI in a few weeks anyway I figure it would pay off to just get the Paramount pass while I am here, instead of paying for a Carowinds admission (even at the ACE half price discount) and THEN getting a pass at PKI. Both parks are the same distance from me so it really didn’t matter.

Anyway, after getting that taken care of I went straight to the Borg and of course there was an insane line. I decided to go into the single line which was just as long. I think I waited about an hour and a half. One train.
It rocked my world! I loved it. I prefer the Vekoma’s over the B&M flyers anytime. ;-) For me they just have more to them, although Superman diving loop is
hard to beat. :-)

After getting my one and only ride on Borg I immediately met up with Ed. This was his first time at the park which was great because he couldn’t have possibly planned this any better. With the exception of the Borg line the park was EMPTY!
All coasters were walk-on. We did the Reptar, which added another credit, and Top Gun, which Ed raved over. Come to think of it it blew me away again because I almost forgot just how kick ass it is.
Probably by second fave next to Raptor. Probably.

We then hit both Thunder Roads and the mine train. The Carolina Cyclone was slightly rougher than what I remembered, especially since I have an adversion to Arrow Headbangers in the first place. It was still bearable nonetheless. Short and sweet.

The Hurler was also running awesome, but I only felt like doing it once this time. We went back to Borg to see if Ed’s friend was there in the vicinity.

It was about 2 and I decided to walk around for a bit and take more photos, since it was a BEAUTIFUL day to do so. I said my goodbyes to Ed and went off on my own again. I also wanted to do Top Gun a few more times and find a DDR machine before I left
for the day, as well as play some skeeball. I noticed Vortex had been repainted. It looks great! Don’t care much for it…..another “check off the list” coaster.

I finally found a DDR in a very desolate arcade and played about 5 rounds. Man I suck, but it was a rush! I rode Top Gun a few more times before calling it a day. I had four more hours of driving to do, but it seemed to go by quickly.

I was bruised, sore, brain dead, exhausted, sunburnt, and hungover, as a good enthusiast should be. ;-) All
the elements that make a killer coaster road trip for me were there including the awesome parks, coasters, employees, Yuengling, DDR, a hot tub/pool, great food, and awesome friends. It was a great, relaxing weekend and a start to an amazing
season.

This Saturday is my first trip to Dollywood and my lusting for Thunderhead, which will happen to be my 200th coaster. Sweet!

Thanks for the weekend guys. You rock.

-Tina

*** Edited 3/30/2004 12:58:45 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Monday, March 29, 2004 7:49 PM
Wow....great TR, Tina! :) Sounds like you guys had a blast!
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Monday, March 29, 2004 11:57 PM
The nasty Italian pop was called "Beverly." It's a joy to watch adults totally spit/spray it out like in a sitcom. Disgusting. :)
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 12:26 AM
Awesome event, awesome friends, and a TR to match (one that I didn't write, LOL)....the ONLY things I need to add from SFoG are Monster Plantation, the king of SF dark rides...(get it before it goes *interactive*)...;)...and the Riverview Carousel...:)

Thanks Tina, it was great to (finally) meet up with ya...you'd BETTER get some rides on Dolly's wood for me....:)

edit: now that I see dawn's post....I had the misfortune of tasting Beverly at Epcot's "Ice Station"....the watermelon stuff wasn't half bad, but Beverly was SO awful it made me want to wash my mouth out with Moxie......yes, it's THAT bad...:( *** Edited 3/30/2004 5:28:28 AM UTC by rollergator***

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 1:40 AM
Cyclone ain't for everyone Tina, but thanks for trying it and surviving it. :)
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 2:33 AM
Most people rag on Ninja just because of the Vekoma tag, I really enjoy it. I'll admit, I got on expecting to get roughed up a little, but it was great fun. The ride is overshadowed by the greater looper in the park, though. Mindbender is pure goodness.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 6:02 AM
*sniff*

Fab TR Tina- I soooo feel like I was there. Can't wait to see the pics of the infamous speedos ;)

-Jim

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 6:32 AM
Sorry Jim........no speedos to show you. I was hoping Ed would show them off on Carowinds Flying Super Saturator like he said he would but that never happened. lol.

Since I got your Photoshop CD today (thanks man!) I could easily set one up for ya.

As I told Brian... I liked Cyclone, it just didn't like me. lol

-Tina

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 6:41 AM
I think as a punishment you should PS Ed for building us all up and not delivering ;) Actually, that may have been a blessing in disguise lol

Hope you enjoy the pics mate!

-Jim *** Edited 3/30/2004 11:42:03 AM UTC by Invy***

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 8:38 AM
What? No Ricochet rides?
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:24 AM
Ummm, Jim, or matey, it was a wee bit too chilly to get into those speedos. The season is just beginning.

Nice TR Tina, great weekend with all of you. Quality time, guys, quality time.

Ed

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:30 AM
Ed - that's what socks are for mate LOL how do you think we get by over here in chilly Scotland? ;)

Glad you guys had a good time - loved your TR too Ed - much fun!

-Jim

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 1:30 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:
We spent a good amount of time in the sample room, which is the main reason I wanted to visit. You can sample all Coke products, from Coke Classic to TAB, which I tried for the first time in like 20 years……NASTY!

Hey, I like Tab.


Sounds like a great weekend.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 5:50 PM

Invy said:
Ed - that's what socks are for mate LOL how do you think we get by over here in chilly Scotland? ;)

Glad you guys had a good time - loved your TR too Ed - much fun!

-Jim


Jim, I always thought it was the scotch, not socks, "duh" me. Yes, it was one fantastic weekend with some great people, other than the Gator. He is just old hat but his Jill is fun to be with.

Ed

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 7:53 PM
I remember trying Beverly about 4 years ago at the World of Coke.

It starts out so good.....

I swear, I tried GA cyclone in the backseat last year, and recieved nothing but roughness. No air to speak of. I promptly went right back the tolerable and fun front seat.

Ooh, I can't wait to show off my mad DDR skillz at SFOG this year. Makes me so mad that DW doesn't have it, I'm gonna be there tons this year.

Fun TR!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 8:53 PM
Dollywood doesn't have a DDR machine but it looks like there are three within the area according to DDR Freak.....Laser Port (Solo 4th), Rockin Raceway(DDR Extreme), and Star Tracks (5th mix).....:-D

Beverly soda is just........wrong. lol.

Greg, I still remember the TAB commercial...talking about one calorie and what a beautiful treat it was....for beautiful people....oh GOD I am having an 80's flashback.........:-P

-Tina

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 9:33 PM
Cool TR Tina!

Trust me, I would have loved to be at that event considering I was in meetings this past weekend.

Oh, and I am really glad you got to get a small taste of Beverly. I told you it was nasty.

-Sean

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:36 PM
This thread might have to be re-titled: "Southeastern parks as good as Beverly is bad"...ironic part is, the stuff obviously sells enough for them to KEEP making it...Italians have better taste in food than in soft drinks I guess....ROFL...;)
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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 2:34 AM
Ahhh Beverly...

We took a field trip to the Coke Museum back in Middle School and had giant contests to see who could chug the most Beverly. Let's just say that most of it came back up...

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 2:41 AM

GregLeg said:


Hey, I like Tab.


.


You're joking , right? Please tell me you're joking. :)

Tab isn't sold much around here anymore(Chicago area) like it was in the 80's and for good reason. The only diet soda I find halfway drinkable is diet Coke.

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