My first ever coaster road trip

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby hoppedup » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:28 am

RobertWord wrote:
hoppedup wrote:El Toro not intense? ROAR was your favorite at SFA? Can't say we agree on those points, but I do enjoy reading other people's opinions. FWIW, I thought Superman ROS was the best coaster at SFA. It's funny, my daughter refused to ride Joker's Jinx based on the look of it. I thought it was great and didn't know until afterward that it's Flight of Fear outside. She loved FoF, BTW.

Thunderhead at Dollywood is a pretty great coaster. From your thoughts on El Toro and ROAR, I'll be curious to see what you think of it.


What do you not like about Roar? And I didn't say El Toro was not intense, just not as intense as I was expecting.


Roar was really rough. If I had to list a bottom three for woodies, I'd put Thunderbolt (SFNE), WIldcat (HP), and Roar on there. I might re-ride Roar at the end of a park day, but not the other two. Of the coasters we rode at SFA, I'd probably rank them like this: Superman ROS, The Wild One, Joker's Jinx, Roar, Batwing (shoulda skipped, but daughter wanted to ride it).

Apocalypse was closed, but we weren't going to ride that one anyway.

It's a shame Volcano was closed while you were at KD. I would put that one as my second favorite coaster at KD after TT. We also mostly skipped clones on our recent trip.

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My first ever coaster road trip

Postby AndrewA86 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:35 am

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby RobertWord » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:16 pm

I'm getting a little behind on my reviews of the parks. Since my last one I have been to Busch Garden Williamsbug, Carowinds, and Dollywood.

BGW is definitely the most beautiful park I've ever been to. Again I'm not one for theming, but I could definitely appreciate how nice the park looks. Definitely a step or two up from Cedar Fair and about 75 steps up from six flags. Their coasters were all pretty good but they're missing that standout ride IMO. So here's my thought on the coasters at BGW:

Apollo's Chariot: I honestly thought this was fun, but at the same time just OK. First of all it just wasn't that intense at all, and the amount of airtime was much less than the other hypers I've been on. It also seemed to lose momentum after the turnaround. Again, fun, solid ride, but probably dead last on my list of hypers. Grade: B

Tempesto: easily the weakest coaster at this park. The launch was not forceful and not intense. The restraints were also a little awkward. When on a trip like this when you're riding all these amazing coasters at once, the not as good ones really tend to stand out, and this is just one of those. Grade: C+

Griffon: I was really looking forward to this one because I've heard a lot of people say it's better than Valravn, and I really enjoy Valravn. But honestly this is not in the same league as Valravn. Valravn's layout is far superior, and it's a lot more forceful. After the 2nd inversion on Griffon it's a very boring ride. Yes it has that splashdown, and it is more visually appealing, but that doesn't enhance the ride experience. Valravn has that 3rd inversion, and then that airtime hill which yes, does give me decent airtime. It was a fun ride, but like I said, not in Valravn's league. Grade: B-

Alpengeist: this was my favorite ride here. It's easily the most intense. I really liked how it gets low to the ground and how forceful it is. Now in the back I found it to be a little rough which is why I am putting it below Raptor and Banshee, but it's definitely superior to Batman at Great Adventure. Grade: B+

InvadR: definitely a great family,coaster. It's pretty relentless from start to finish, and provides some decent airtime, especially for a family coaster. Obviously this wasn't built for thrill seekers so it's grade won't be up there, but I was pleasantly surprised with how good the ride was. Grade: C+

Verbolten: definitely a very tame ride until the entire train drops like 10 feet. That part really got me. It's definitely worth riding just for that alone. But the rest of it is pretty boring. Grade: C+

Overall I had a great time, I just wish this park had that signature coaster

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby RobertWord » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:40 pm

I'm really behind on the reviews so here is my review of Carowinds... I absolutely loved this park. First of all it was pretty dead so we didn't purchase fast lane even though we planned on getting it. The longest we had to wait for anything was 5 minutes, and that was really surprising considering some of the coasters this park has.

Fury325: just a magnificent ride, totally lived up to the hype! It's intensity mixed with airtime, it was like this coaster was specifically designed for me. My new #2. Grade: A+

Intimidator: this is my new favorite B&M hyper. The airtime on this thing is absolutely incredible, and I didn't feel any trims. Perfect hyper coaster. Grade: A

Afterburn: my new favorite invert. This one was super intense and very compact so the elements were one right after another. Grade: A-

Hurler: not bad at all. Certainly not rough, just wish it did a little more. No need to RMC this though as it can be a good coaster for those who are just looking for an enjoyable wooden coaster. Grade: C+

Carolina Cyclone: just a basic arrow looper, nothing special at all. But it was somewhat enjoyable, not rough. Grade: C

Flying Cobras: I actually wasn't planning on riding this because of the reputation that boomerangs have for sucking, but after others went on and said it was good I rode it and I have to agree, it was fun. Apparently it's the restraints that make these boomerangs suck but the vest restraints on this didn't bother me. Grade: C+

Ricochet: fun wild mouse, very enjoyable. One of the better mice I've ridden. Grade: C+

Those were the only coasters I got on, and 90% of my time was spent on the big 3. I'm there to have fun, not to just pile up credits so I didn't ride nighthawk because everyone says it sucks and it seemed like it was down all day anyway. I also didn't ride the stand up one, well, because it's a stand up one, and I didn't ride the mine train because those just aren't thrilling enough.

The only negative about my visit was the fact that they were assigning rows on Fury even though the park was not busy and the line started halfway up the steps at its busiest time.

Overall the park has an outstanding top 3 which most of you already know. I'm really interested to see what they add in the future starting with the new coaster for next year.

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:19 pm

It's interesting that you thought Intimidator was really good. That's definitely one of the worst B&M hypers I've been on and one of the few that's better in the front. Meanwhile Apollo's Chariot is one of the better ones for me. If anything, I think the return leg has the stronger airtime and that setting really helps make it for me. I'm enjoying your reviews.
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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby coasterbill » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:05 pm

For what it's worth, we rode Intimidator a few weeks ago and had the best ride we've ever had on it. I don't know if it was a case of low expectations based on previous rides or what, but it seemed like it was running really, really well compared to how it was running in the past.

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby AndrewA86 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:13 pm

I also thought intimidator was great when I rode it early in the season.


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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby RobertWord » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:31 pm

So now that the trip has been officially complete for a couple days I can knock out the rest of the reviews.

The next one is of Dollywood, and we still decided to go here even though we knew Lightning Rod would be closed, and I'm glad we went because we were really considering skipping it. I thought it was the nicest park on the trip. Busch Gardens Williamsburg was nice, very nice, but I preferred Dollywood, and I can't quite put my finger on why. I guess it just felt a little more authentic. I was in Tennessee and it felt like I was in Tennessee. With BGW I know I'm not in Europe. So maybe that's why I preferred the overall feel of Dollywood to BGW.

I haven't talked about food on this yet because there really wasn't anything worth bringing up, until now. The freaking cinnamon bread definitely lived up to the hype. Absolutely delicious. They have the recipe online, and with my experience working n a bakery I'm pretty sure I can duplicate it. I can't wait to try!

Ok on to the rides.

Wild Eagle: to be honest I thought it was a little boring. I think the wing over drop is far superior to the basic drop. There are no near miss elements, and the ride was pretty sluggish after the first couple inversions, and it felt like a shorter ride. I've heard people say they prefer this to GateKeeper and I can't imagine why. Grade: C+

Tennessee Tornado: easily the best Arrow I've ever been on. Very smooth, pretty intense, and overall very fun. Unfortunately it's a pretty short ride because unlike all other Arrows this is one you want to last a little longer. Grade: B

Thunderhead: My new favorite wooden roller coaster. Intensity mixed with airtime, I love it! Plus the trains are padded to even though it is a tad rough it doesn't feel rough. I love the layout, and I love how you get flung around in every which way in the back seat. The only thing I kind of don't like is the curved drop, I prefer straight drops, but it's not that big of a deal. Easily the best ride in the park for me. Grade: A-

Mystery Mine: I was actually pretty lucky to get on this as it was either closed all day or had an incredibly long wait. And with Lightning Rod being closed we opted to not get the fast lane at Dollywood. But late in the day the ride opened up and I just happened to be walking by it when it did, so I got to ride it, and while it had some good elements overall it was a pretty big letdown. First, as I have said before, I am not one for theming, so it seems like that is mostly what the ride is about. I thought the fire before the drop was cool, but I hated that the drops were indoors. The fun thing about drops is seeing where you are going. The restraints were also very uncomfortable. For those who appreciate theming I can see the draw, but not me. Grade: C-

Blazing Fury: now knowing what I said above about theming one would probably speculate that I wouldn't have enjoyed this all that much, but I did. The ride is just so creepy it made it worth riding. I just wish the whole thing was full of the little drops at the end. Because just when it started to get a little intense it's over. Grade: C

I did not get on FireChaser Express. The wait was 45 minutes all day, and I was not waiting that long for a family coaster.

I did 2 other rides, their swing which was great. Can't beat those swing rides. And I also did their drop tower several times, and I think it's my favorite drop tower. I love how they spin you around and you get that great view of the area.

For the guy who recommended some of the water rides here. I looked at them and people were getting a little more wet than I wanted. I'm just not into getting that wet. But thanks for the suggestion.

Overall I really enjoyed Dollywood and I'll definitely be back to get on Lightning Rod. Maybe even this year. I've heard that Sumday's late in the season are dead, so we'll see.

After Dollywood we were supposed to go to Memphis to see Graceland, but we decided not to because we were kind of tired and we didn't realize how far of a drive that was. We did send a day and a half in Nashville, and let me say this as loudly as I can.. If you're single and looking for absolutely stunning looking girls who couldn't be more down to Earth and nice, I suggest going to Nashville. The music scene was pretty cool, even though I'm not really into country music. We did find a blues bar that was more to my taste.

So Tennessee, yeah, great state, really had a blast!

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