(Photo TR) zburns999's Southern Road Trip

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(Photo TR) zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby zburns999 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:29 pm

I had written an overly-long, expository introduction for this trip report before remembering that if half the forum users here are anything like me, they’ll skip over most of the stuff before the pictures start. So I’m offering an abridged version for everyone’s sake!

The gist of what I was trying to explain in way too many words is that I had a chance to visit three new parks this year (Carowinds, Six Flags over Georgia, and Dollywood) with one of my classmates and fellow coaster enthusiasts, Rufino, who goes to seminary with me at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Neither of us have a lot of money or a lot of time to travel, so we were super pumped that we were able to align some vacation time to hit some coasters we were both excited about riding. A tight budget meant that we would be spending our nights bumming floor space at friends’ places or trying not to get killed at frighteningly cheap motels, but the prospect of three new parks would make our efforts totally worthwhile.

Last year I posted a quick Hersheypark TR, and one of the responding members asked for photos if I were to post a TR again. This introduced an existential crisis in my life, as I love writing trip reports but hate taking pictures. But, for the sake of offering marginally better content to the community, I decided to bite the bullet and chronicle my travels with my mediocre cellphone camera. Little did I know that when you’re in your late twenties, marathoning coasters in 90-degree heat isn’t as easy a feat as it once was, so taking some photos was actually a welcome respite, despite my initial supposition.

Park 1: Carowinds

DISCLAIMER: Apologies in advance for the lack of photos in this part of the trip report. The weather was uncooperative, to say the least, and my plans to get more photos of the park were ultimately thwarted. The next two installments of this TR will be better, I promise!

The first day of our road trip was spent traveling from DC to Fayetteville, North Carolina to visit friends of mine who had just moved from Fort Bragg with their one-year-old daughter. We had an awesome day with them and hit the road early the next morning so we could be at Carowinds for opening, as the weather forecast showed that things were going to get pretty miserable later in the day, and we wanted to maximize our park-time.

I always love a good coaster skyline, and seeing Fury and Intimidator dominate the horizon was certainly pretty menacing. What immediately struck me was the similarity between Carowinds and Canada’s Wonderland. Not only do both parks have a B&M hyper/giga combo, but both coasters are situated in similar spots in the park. The two gigas, especially, are uncannily similar, each placed adjacent to an Intamin drop tower and a wildly disappointing wooden coaster.

Living in DC, I have more or less claimed King’s Dominion as my home park (pay no attention to that other park off the Beltway), and never having been to Carowinds, I often wondered how similar the two parks were and which one I would enjoy more. Although we didn’t get a full day at Carowinds this time around, my first impression tells me that King’s Dominion is by far the more complete park. Outside of the big three (Fury, Intimidator, Afterburn), Carowinds’ coaster collection was a bit lackluster, while KD’s is strong from top-to-bottom (I’m an Anaconda fan, to clear things up). Yes, Carowinds was extraordinarily well-kept, clean, and easy to navigate, but I couldn’t help but feel that the whole place was a bit cramped. I know that Thunder Road wasn’t exactly known to be a top-ten ride by any stretch, but even its existence alongside the waterpark would have helped give the park a little more breadth.

That aside, we had a really great—but totally exhausting—couple of hours at Carowinds. The thunderstorms that had been forecasted for the early afternoon were pushed back until the early evening, so we spent the first few hours in the park riding everything we possibly could as quickly as we could possibly do it. In hindsight, this was a total rookie mistake, as by about 3:00, both of us were completely shot. This proved to be a blessing, though, as our exhaustion led us to check out the Seasons of Cirque show, of which I was initially skeptical. Surprisingly, it ended up being just about the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen at an amusement park. The performers were mind-blowingly talented, but just amateurish enough to make the impending threat of serious injury a constant concern, which, to be honest, totally upped the thrill factor. Unfortunately, by the time the show ended, the storms had arrived and were about to get seriously savage in no time flat. We got booted from Hurler’s line one train away from the front seat, and that was that. Nothing in the park ever reopened. We waited out the storm in the local area, hitting up Cracker Barrel (oh how I love this place) and the Cabella’s store (oh how I love this place, too) adjacent to the parking lot. But by the time things started to subside, the park made the decision to pull the plug and call it a wash before 7:00. We went back to the motel, picked up some craft beers from a six-pack place in a strip mall, watched baseball and crashed by ten. All said, things could have been much worse!

Since I can’t really remember the order in which we rode everything in the park, I’m going to review each ride individually. But I’ll start with some general park photos…

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Nothing like a nearly empty parking lot and a monster B&M to start your Tuesday.

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Cedar Fair gets some flak (and rightfully so) for being pretty bare-bones in terms of theming. That said, their parks are always clean and well kept.

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I think I end up eating at Panda Express just about every time I'm at a Cedar Fair park. This little waterfall was behind the Carowinds installment. Up at the top is Camp Snoopy, I think, which I unfortunately never had the chance to check out because of the rain.

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These people got understandably creeped-out by the fact that I was taking a picture of them, so I quickly pretended to be photographing Windseeker. I'm so slick.

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Just a duck living it up in the pure, serene, artificially dyed waters of an unnaturally blue lagoon.

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I was actually too tall to ride this. Doubt I missed much.

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Obligatory "I'm-in-two-states-at-once" shot. Don't know why I felt the need to do this, as back home I could go for a run and be in-and-out of three states in minutes.

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Cracker Barrel=love.

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Incredible wildlife in South Carolina. Too bad all these animals are super dead.

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I had never been to South Carolina before, but this sign in Cabellas seemed just about right.

Intimidator

You never really know what you're gonna get with these B&M hypers. I've never met one I didn't like, but there are only two that I can say I really love (Diamondback and Behemoth, both of which I had heard lackluster reviews before riding). So, I had high hopes for Intimidator, even though I had never really heard it hyped-up all that much. How did it fair in comparison to the other B&M hyper offerings? I'd put it near the bottom, honestly. I know this may be blasphemy to some, but I'd still put it above Nitro, which I find to be enjoyable (but nothing special). Strangely enough, I feel that Intimidator actually over-achieves, as its layout is objectively pretty weak in comparison to its counterparts (especially the post MCBR section). In the end, the real issue with Intimidator is that while similarly-trimmed rides like Behemoth and Diamondback still manage to get some incredible whip in the back seat over the airtime hills, Intimidator sort of meanders over the crest of each camelback. While I was a bit underwhelmed by our first back seat ride, we got a front seat ride later which was actually pretty damn great. Go figure.

Also, a question. Why, on some Cedar Fair coasters, do they insist on bringing only the current train's riders into the station? I saw this on Minebuster last summer at Canada's Wonderland, and again here. With Intimidator, it was so bad, at some points, that rows were being left completely empty because the grouper wasn't getting guests into rows fast enough. Meanwhile, the queue stretched down the steps. So odd.

Times Ridden: 2
Seats: 1 x back seat, 1 x front seat
Rating: 7.5/10

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Almost identical plaza to I305 at King's Dominion. Palm trees are a uniquely southern touch, however.

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I mean, a weaker B&M hyper is still better than like 80% of coasters, right?

Nighthawk

Hoo boy. I had heard nothing but horror stories about this pioneering Vekoma flyer. And having just ridden Batwing a few days prior, I wasn't exactly overwhelmed by excitement to be strapping my body back into a torture device. But you know what? I just kept waiting for it to suck, and it never did. On the contrary, I thought it was a blast. Comfortable, snappy, fun. And I thought it was awesome how the station area is shielded from the rest of the ride by a dense layer of trees. Also was digging the brake-run cover (Six Flags America, take note). I would have totally gone back for a re-ride had the weather cooperated with us.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: Somewhere in the middle
Rating: 7/10

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Great looking ride in a great setting. Does it beat SFA's flyer-in-a-field motif? You be the judge.

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The entirety of Carowinds is sort of a mess of track. A lot of coasters in not too much space.

Fury 325

Fun story about Fury. In my early stages of seminary formation, I underwent what is known as a "novitiate"--an intense year of prayer, silence, and detachment from all forms of technology, lasting from the end of May until the end of May the following year. Sometime around April, I was on what we call a "hermitage day," which means that I was alone in a modest cottage in the woods for 24 hours with nothing but a Bible. Good times. By the time I was about 22 hours into the hermitage, I was getting pretty stir-crazy, and decided to turn on a radio that was randomly sitting on a table in one of the rooms of the cottage. Through the static, I made out the voice of someone on a pop-station radio show talking about the grand opening of a brand new coaster called "Fury 325" in North Carolina. Having no access to internet over the previous ten months, I had no clue what was going on the coaster world (which was actually a neat experience...made Twisted Colossus a pretty awesome discovery), so I used my intuition. North Carolina? Coaster name with a number in the title? Gotta be Carowinds, and gotta be a giga coaster. So I called my brother one evening (we were allowed to use the friary phones) and asked him to do some research for me. All he said was "it's a big, blue coaster." Well, he was certainly correct.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't, in part, build this road trip around Fury 325. I had heard nothing but great things about it since it opened, and seeing it at the top of so many well-ridden enthusiasts lists made me especially excited. To be honest, I was skeptical. I rode Leviathan last summer and found it to be ho-hum. Incredible first drop, but kind of mediocre after that. Certainly not a life-changing ride like people seemed to be making Fury out to be. And unfortunately, after one ride in the back seat of Fury, my thought was "Welp, another Leviathan; what a let-down." First drop was great, but the rest was just good. I tried to hide my disappointment, and so did Rufino, who also wasn't thrilled with the ride.

Exiting the gift shop, something suddenly occurred to me: this is a 325 foot-tall, 95 mph roller coaster. What on earth are you doing riding in the back seat? Because it was a near-walk-on, I convinced Rufino that we should give it another try in the front seat. By the time we hit the brakes, we were both sitting there in disbelief. Now that was the bombshell roller coaster I was expecting. What an absolute rush. Literally every part of the ride was better in the front. The first drop? Better in the front. The wave drop under the park entrance? Better in the front. The bunny-hop finale? Mind-numbingly awesome in the front. I don't know if I've ever ridden a ride that was so exponentially better in the front. Kind of makes me wonder if I missed out riding Leviathan in the back...

If I have one gripe about the ride, it's with that awkward shallow stretch of track following the dive under the walkway. It was very uncharacteristic of the relentlessness found throughout the rest of the ride. Other than that, near perfection. Would have killed for a night ride, but alas, it wasn't to be.

Times Ridden: 2
Seats: 1 x back seat, 1 x front seat
Rating: 9.5/10

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I tried to be artsy here but it didn't go so well.

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One of the many incredible moments on this amazing coaster.

Afterburn

If I've learned anything about B&M inverts over my lifetime, it's these two points: there is no such thing as a bad B&M invert, and these are almost exclusively front-seat rides. Afterburn was no exception to these rules. What a fantastic coaster. Gotta love any ride that causes me to black-out, which I did here following the first vertical loop. This thing is B&M at its absolute best. Smooth, forceful, and relentless, with one of the most insane zero-g rolls you'll ever experience. Plus, they were blasting Michelle Branch in the station, so that was the icing on the cake. I'm not sure where I would rank it among other inverts I've ridden (Great Bear, Talon, Raptor, B:TR's, Alpengeist, Banshee) because I honestly love them all.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x front seat
Rating: 8/10

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Love the shark decal on the train. I believe the other one has eagle wheel guards? They were only running the one train, which was horrible because, as you can see, the station is mobbed.

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Grabbed this shot on the way out of the park after they shut down all major rides. Sadness.

Flying Cobras

What can I say? It's a boomerang, and certainly not the best. I was holding onto a sliver of hope that this might be decent, as Hersheypark's Sidewinder has the new Vekoma Trains/vest restraints and is actually quite good! Can't really say the same for this ride, though. While the restraints were just fine (and the trains looked completely awesome), it just couldn't compensate for the fact that this thing was jarring the entire way through. And a side note...I'm not one to give the "gp" a hard time for the "dumb" things they say. After all, they're not enthusiasts. I would hope that my mechanic wouldn't snicker at me for being incompetent when it comes to cars. That said, I overheard a woman in line ask her child--while watching the train ascend the front-facing spike--if the rear-facing spike was the same coaster. What? That's like me driving down the road and asking if I'll reach the spot on the road fifty feet ahead if I keep driving forward haha.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats:1 x row 9
Rating: 3.5/10

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Pictured: Two totally different roller coasters...

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Ouch

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No matter how rough boomerangs may be, you can't say they're not forceful.

Carolina Cyclone

By the time we queued up for the Carolina Cyclone, it became apparent to me that we were in "credit-gathering" mode. Does anyone really want to ride a generic Arrow loop'n'screw? Probably not. But you know what, it's a coaster. In recent years I've noticed that I can no longer fit in the second row of any arrow looper cars. My legs are simply too long (I'm 6'5"). As far as Arrow loopers go, though, this one was actually pretty fun. The first drop had some nice pull to it, the inversions were smooth and forceful, and that hill following the double loops was unexpectedly nuts (reminiscent of the airtime hill on CP's Corkscrew). Certainly not a bad ride by any stretch.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x middle of train
Rating: 5/10

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Doing its best Dominator/Green Lantern impression

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Very CP-ish. I actually thought this ride felt more like Dragon Fire than it did Corkscrew, though.

Vortex

I'll preface this brief review by saying that SFA's Apocalypse is probably one of the worst coasters I've ever ridden. Yeah, yeah. It's B&M's first coaster. I get it. But honestly, why not just melt it down into some sort of nice trophy or something to commemorate the greatness that the company would go on to achieve after creating this travesty?

With that in mind, I expected Vortex to be similarly awful, which is a shame because I actually really like the other coasters named Vortex in North America. Upon finding a literal walk-on (they were sending out empty trains...never a good sign), we went straight to the front, figuring it was our only chance at not having our spines gelatinated. I distinctly remember a forum user here suggesting that the best way to ride a horrendous stand-up coaster is with your head so far forward your ears can't even bash the restraints. So, that's exactly what I did. And I gotta tell you, it actually worked! What I expected to be an abomination was actually quite fun. The ending bit was a little uncomfortable, but the ride as a whole was forceful and pretty enjoyable. I almost hopped right back in line, but to be honest, I figured we had just averted disaster, and I didn't want to give the ride another chance to clobber us.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x front seat
Rating: 5.5/10

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I found this to be a beautiful-looking ride. I wouldn't advocate for a floorless conversion. It may not be a great ride as it is, but at least the stand-up trains offer some chance of intensity.

Carolina Goldrusher

Not much to say here. I thought the entrenched helixes were fun. Arrow Mine Trains are just such weird coasters. I think I've been spoiled by Adventure Express, whose design is basically what I'd expect to see if a Roller Coaster Tycoon player had a seizure. This one was a bit more on the predictable side. Also, not exactly sure how the mine train fits with the beach theme?

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x somewhere near the front
Rating: 4/10

Ricochet
There must be something about coasters named (or formerly named) Ricochet, because both this and Apple Zapple are two of the better mouse-style coasters I've ridden (barring the spinning ones). I'm pretty sure the entire "top layer" of turns went by without a single trim, save the one right before the sweeping turn into the first drop. I used to think that Hershey's mouse was the undisputed king, but now, I'm not so sure.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x second row
Rating: 5.5/10

Windseeker

I have this really lame goal to ride all the Cedar Fair Windseekers at some point, as I used to be terrified of them. Oddly enough, the first one I rode--King's Dominion's--I still find to be the most intimidating for some reason. The Carowinds one just seemed slower. I am a big fan of these rides, though. For my money, they're always worth a spin.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 6/10

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Such a better option than a standard observation tower.

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I get the feeling that everybody really likes these rides. They eat up passengers, and they fit perfectly in the space between relaxing and thrilling.

Rip Roarin' Rapids

This was the last thing we rode before the storms showed up, and I'm glad we had the chance. I am a yuge fan of rapids rides, and look forward to riding them just about as much as coasters each time I visit a park. The one at Carowinds really reminded me of the one at King's Island. I think it had something to do with the queue being in the woods? Not sure. Anyway, thought it was a blast. I always enjoy making friends with my "raft-mates," and this time around we were seated with a group of kids who were riding by themselves. Watching their reactions was just as much fun as being on the ride, myself!

Times Ridden 1
Rating 7/10

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The water cannon here was especially devastating

Electro Spin

This was my long-awaited first Top Scan. I tried to ride Canada's Wonderland's last year but the line was egregious. Standing in line, I was a bit skeptical this would be any good, as the rotations all seemed rather slow. When I got on the ride, however, I briefly wondered if I was even experiencing the same thing I had just been watching because this beast was out of control. What an awesome flat. We had planned on coming back for a re-ride, but oh well...

Only downside to this ride is that they built it on a giant hot-plate. No shade whatsoever. They should start giving you a spatula to scrape your melted skin off the seats when you get up to leave.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 7/10

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill

I'm a sucker for these point-n-shoot dark rides, so I always try to hit up the Boo Blasters when I see em'. Rufino and I get pretty damn competitive with the King's Dominion version, but for some reason this one was pretty awful. Not sure why, but no matter how many times I shot a target (and my laser was certainly on the target), I'd only get points arbitrarily. This is such a difference from the KD version, which would probably give you points for shooting your own face. Rufino had the same problem, and we both ended up with crap scores. Oh well.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating" 2.5/10

Drop Tower: Scream Zone

I have yet to figure out why some drop towers are better than others. And here I was, just a humble idiot thinking that gravity pulls things back to earth at the same speed everywhere on the planet. Apparently I need to science better, because this does not seem to be the case.

BTW, this was one of the better drop towers, in my opinion.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 7.5/10

Overall Park Impressions

I'm trying not to dwell on it, but we really missed a lot at Carowinds. Sure, we got on all the major coasters, but I would have loved to do the inverter ship, the bumper cars, the music express, etc. Not to mention I had been dreaming of Fury night rides for months. But, hey, you can't always get what you want! Also missed Hurler (which was down most of the day), but it's Hurler...

On the Sunday before I left for our road-trip, I was with some friends at SFA. One had been to Carowinds for a bachelorette party last October for Scarowinds, so I asked her what she thought of the place. She expressed that it was a fun park, but not really the kind of place you need to visit over and over (for reference, this is a KD passholder who visits KD frequently). Having spent 6-7 hours at Carowinds, I would tend to agree with her. It's a very good park, but it just seems to be missing something. Perhaps that something is a Mach multi-launcher? Only time will tell.

Overall, though, great first stop to our road-trip. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next update: Six Flags over Georgia. More/better pictures next time!
Last edited by zburns999 on Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:50 pm.

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Re: zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby zburns999 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:33 pm

EDIT: ? Somehow literally making one edit to the body of the text and re-submitting the post fixed the original formatting issues. Very strange.
Last edited by zburns999 on Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:49 pm.

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Re: zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby grsupercity » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:14 pm

Very nice start to the report. I think Carowinds is one of my favorite parks. Afterburn Fury and Nighthawk can keep me busy all day! I have yet to check out there new waterpark though
Best Wood Lightning Rod....Goliath SFGAM....Shivering Timbers....Storm Chaser...Voyage
Best Steel Maverick...Lighting Run.....Montu...Mako..Fury...Afterburn...Manta
Honorable mentions Kumba..Raging Bull..Legend..Cornball..M Force..Rapter..Mr Freeze

You know what....Way to many good coasters the best :lmao:

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Re: zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby pfalcioni » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:10 pm

They should start giving you a spatula to scrape your melted skin off the seats when you get up to leave.


Descriptions like this really had me chuckling! You have an excellent way with words.

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Re: (Photo TR) zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby zburns999 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:22 pm

Thank you for the kind words. Also, glad to hear there's another Nighthawk fan out there. That ride certainly doesn't deserve the hate it gets, in my opinion.

Six Flags over Georgia photos and TR coming soon!

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Re: (Photo TR) zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby Samuel » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:13 pm

LOL, B&M melting Apocalypse into a commemorative trophy is not a bad idea! I really enjoyed this report! I was bummed out that I didn't get a back row ride on Fury, but I'll take your word for it that it's not as good as the front (which I've enjoyed), until I get the chance.

I feel similarly about Intimidator lumbering over the crests of its hills on most of my rides, but last year I had one great day when it was seriously delivering airtime as strong as Fury. It's a shame when it feels so trimmed and controlled, because the first half could be on par with some of the top B&M hypers.

Finally, I can't remember the last time I was at Carowinds when it wasn't sweltering or downpouring. I like Charlotte, but humidity, heat, and big storms tend to come with the summer. It's not anyone's fault, but I'd enjoy the park even more if my visits weren't often "ride everything in 96-degree weather before the storms roll in." I'm glad you at least got to ride the star attractions!

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Re: zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:02 pm

Excellent report! I really like Carowinds. I actually preferred Fury in the back to get the full experience of that drop, but there is no bad seat on that coaster. It really is one of the best rides in the world.

zburns999 wrote:EDIT: ? Somehow literally making one edit to the body of the text and re-submitting the post fixed the original formatting issues. Very strange.


Did you originally save the post as a draft? That seems to cause the formatting to get a bit screwed up for me. If I go in and edit it, it posts just fine and corrects itself.
Top 5 Wood- Lightning Rod, Phoenix, Wildfire, Outlaw Run, El Toro
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Re: (Photo TR) zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby Crosshairs007 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:18 pm

I really like your report. I can't wait to go back to Carowinds next year to ride their new roller coaster. I can't wait to see the rest of it. :)
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Re: (Photo TR) zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby zburns999 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:45 pm

Thank you again for the replies re. the TR. Always enjoy reading others' opinions about the parks. And Canobie Coaster, yes, saving it as a draft was exactly my issue. In fact, I had the same problem again this time, but fixed it right away. Thanks for the info.

Anyway, as promised...

Park 2: Six Flags over Georgia

Waking up hungover with the disappointment of being rained out of Carowinds the day prior, we hit the not-so-long road to Georgia at 6 am, hoping our grogginess would cast a blinding haze over a harsh reality: the weather forecast for the day totally sucked. But hey, it's the south. It's hot and humid, and I'd be lying if I said that, when planning our trip, I didn't think a few thunderstorms were a distinct possibility. But that didn't keep me from pouting like a baby all morning, checking the forecast over and over again in order to assuage the OCD part of my brain which believed if I maybe checked the forecast one more time, the sun would magically come out and stay out and all would be well. No dice. That said, the morning started out well enough. I got another new state credit (Georgia) and I ate Taco Bell breakfast. The day really could have ended right at that point and it wouldn't have been a total loss. But there were still many coasters to ride, so we pressed on.

For some reason, SFoG's parking lot is the least intuitive maze of parking confusion I've seen in quite sometime. I guess there were cones and arrows and teenagers directing traffic somewhere, but I certainly didn't see them, and therefore drove blissfully headlong into a scene right out of the DC beltway because, well, that's what everyone else was doing so I just followed right along. It didn't take me long to realize the cause of the slowdown: there were literally only two parking kiosks open, which even Six Flags America would think is crazy. I assume there were more parking booths somewhere, but their whereabouts remain unknown to me, even til this day. The line of traffic was so slow that I actually had time to get out of the car, go through the hastily packed contents of the trunk, grab a pair of shoes, and change into said shoes before moving again.

My first impression of SFoG was that it looked absolutely nothing like I was expecting. I was picturing a pancake-flat landscape with lots of concrete and more Snickers banners than you can shake a stick at. While there were more Snickers banners than you can shake a stick at, the park was actually quite beautiful and mountainous. In fact, it was so hilly and tree-enshrouded that the only thing you could really see from the parking lot (barring the big, orange B&M that comes into the parking lot) was the top of Twisted Cyclone and the top of Acrophobia. That's it. Cedar Point, this was not. In all honesty, I was getting unexpected Hersheypark vibes from SFoG. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that some of the coasters interacted really well with the paths, and that the layout was confusing to the point that you could walk back and forth to and from the same places all day and never retrace your steps. I kind of liked that. It kept things interesting.

While I certainly plan on getting into each ride on a more specific basis, I'll do a quick run-through of the day. Spoiler alert: it was pretty much the same as our day at Carowinds. We rode as many rides as we possibly could in as little time as possible, knowing the whole time that the heavens could smite us with weathery fury at any juncture. Just as at Carowinds, the storm clouds held off for a longer period than expected, but ultimately, their bladders just couldn't hold it in. There were two major differences in the two days, however. Firstly, we opted not to spend 13 dollars a-piece on skimpy servings of Panda Express, as we had at Carowinds. Instead, we chose the much more classy solution of packing soon-to-be-molten peanut-butter-and-Nutella sandwiches in plastic bags, which we would eat out of the car, using the roof as our table. Secondly, SFoG never did "shut down" for rain, as Carowinds did. I use quotations around the phrase "shut down" because, for all intents and purposes, the park was shut down from the moment the rain came until the moment that it actually shut down for real. However, like the pathetic and desperate enthusiasts we are, instead of just leaving, we lurked around the park from about 5:00-8:00, sloshing through puddles and shaking our fists at the clouds, waiting for something to open so we could finally get our long hoped-for night rides. In the biggest fake-out of all time, Georgia Scorcher opened around 8:00 to a literal round of applause from people equally as pathetic as Rufino and I, but closed like 30 seconds later when the ride-op said into the microphone: "Okay, y'all can't even tell me you didn't just see that lightning" after we had all definitely seen that lightning. So we through in the towel and left the park and went to Zaxby's.

Like last time, here's some general park photos before I get to the rides...

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Two seminarians went down to Georgia...

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Sort of a weird entrance plaza, coming at it from the side like when you accidentally place the entrance the wrong way in Roller Coaster Tycoon.

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I thought this entrance plaza was beautiful. You can't really see it here, but there was this dark, Victorian style building with all these M&M decals in the windows and stuff that looked super awesome. Strangely, I also appreciated the fact that park didn't feel the need to put some sort of centerpiece at the end of the main street. After all, what's wrong with some good ol' fashion trees?

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King's Dominion? Carowinds? Where am I?

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A mess of tangled B&M track is the best kind of mess.

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Unless I missed something, the Gotham City area was down a huge hill and culminated in a dead-end. "Guests are getting lost or stuck in your park..."

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Didn't ride the Crime Wave, but I've always thought that it has one of the more creative ride names.

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Egads, Batman! Unlike at Six Flags America, this Bat Mobile doesn't look like it just ran over thirteen miles of Bat Spike Strips.

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Despite ending in an inconvenient dead-end, this part of the park looked really fantastic.

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Actually, I'd say it was far-and-away the best Gotham City I've seen of the few SF parks I've been to (SFMM, SFA, SFGadv)

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We tried to ride (my third) B:TR clone, but were greeted by this sign. I do like these rides quite a bit, but I'm not losing sleep over it. Because we had no desire to trek back off the side of the cliff to see if this was running later in the day, we did what any normal patron might do: we pretended to be watching people playing the "kick-a-soccer-ball-onto-a-target-to-win-kitschy-World-Cup-related-prizes game" by the rapids entrance, but were really watching the B:TR track alongside the parking lot to test for signs of life. As far as I could tell, this was the only place in the park where you could even see this ride (outside of Gotham City).

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I know the South is supposed to be a bit different than where I come from, but what?? I like to think that "lost" refers to an existential state, and that this place is filled with adults struggling to find purpose in their lives. Either that, or parents really are getting helplessly lost in the park, directed to this building by kindly employees, and then claimed by austere-looking kids, tapping their watches and saying "Where the hell have you been? You had me worried sick."

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Score! Had no idea they had a chairlift here...the only ride type that still genuinely scares me.

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A slow, sad wave from the conductor.

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Superman about to be super closed by a torrential downpour.

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Never what you want to see when you traveled 700 miles to go to a park.

Now lets talk about the rides at this park because, woah! There was quite a collection...

Twisted Cyclone

Excuse me while I wipe the egg off my face. Ever since this ride was announced, I had to very legitimately curtail my incessant desire to publicly bash this ride without ever having ridden it. Look, I know as well as the next guy that you can't really judge a coaster from artistic renderings and promo animations. The only way to know if a ride is a winner or a loser is to strap yourself in (or get monumentally stapled in) and see for yourself. That said, every time I looked at this layout (construction pics included), I saw what appeared to be objective half-assery. Just a smaller version of Goliath, by my judgement (and that's supposed to be the weakest of the RMC's). It just felt like Six Flags was out to do an I-box conversion at any cost, even if it meant a compromised layout. Was I part of team #thirdlap? No, not really. I knew that wasn't going to happen. But I was secretly pulling for it. In the end, this barely made the list of my most anticipated coasters of the trip.

How how how could I have been so wrong? When the train hit the brakes and our first (back-row) ride was complete, Rufino and I looked at each other, knowing what the other was thinking. He said, "Best RMC so far." I emphatically agreed.

Why on earth is this ride so mind-blowingly amazing? I couldn't say. It's kind of short when it comes to duration, the drop is on the small side, and there are only a few spots where you figure you'd get any airtime. But none of that matters once the ride begins. It just defies reason and is hands-down (or up) one of the best coasters I've ever ridden. The best way I can describe it is that everything on the ride just makes sense. Every element logically follows the one preceding it. The airtime is sustained and extreme. The inversions are graceful and disorienting. The transitions are fluid and snappy. The drop is absolutely one of the best I've ever experienced. The head-choppers are outstanding. The wave turn is one of the funkiest sensations you can find on any ride. And when it hits the brakes you are totally satisfied. No third lap necessary. As much as I love coasters, I try to be a pretty tough critic, even though I enjoy pretty much every ride. There are dozens and dozens of coasters I think are great, but only a few that I think are elite. This is one of them, and it would be near the top of the list. To boot, this is poossibly the most re-rideable coaster I've ridden.

Also, I could not get over how excited park guests were about this ride. Both times we rode it, the riders around us were talking about how awesome it was from the brake-run until the photo booth. One couple even stopped on the exit ramp to watch a train on the course and point out all their favorite parts. RMC, you've done it again.

Times Ridden: 2
Seats: 1 x back seat, 1 x front seat (both equally excellent)
Rating: 10+/10

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Not a bad thing to see as you're approaching the main entrance to the park.

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I remember some forum users had been remarking about the stuffiness of the queue house. Looks like SFoG decided to show some mercy.

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I was digging the (modest) decorations. I guess I would have had more time to enjoy them if we had to wait in the queue house for more than, like, 35 seconds.

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I can't believe how good this crew was. You'd think the ride had been around for a decade, not a month.

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These trains felt more comfortable to me than Twisted Timbers'. The shin guards are still a nuisance, but I swear I was able to actually sit somewhat comfortably on this ride without having to have my toes poking into the floor like some sort of red-bearded ballerina.

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Just another one of those "I never thought I'd see that on a coaster" elements for which RMC has become known. Also, notice the brake-run cover. From what I understand, that's a new(ish) addition?

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Pictured: 24 people experiencing one of the most insane first drops you can imagine.

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And now experiencing one of the weirdest elements anywhere.

Georgia Scorcher

This thing. I grew up loving stand-up coasters. On my first visit to Cedar Point as a kid, the only thing I was looking forward to more than Mantis was Millennium Force (circa 2001). Since then, I've had countless fantastic rides on both Mantis and Green Lantern, helping to further establish my position that people who don't like stand-ups are just big babies. But then a few years later--I don't know if it's because I got older or what--I had a really miserable ride on Green Lantern, followed by some brutal rides on Apocalypse, and a real let-down of a ride on Riddler's Revenge, which I actually chose to be my 100th coaster because I had wanted to ride it so bad since I was little. Suddenly I found myself in the "stand-up coasters were a failed experiment" camp, and I vowed to only ever ride them once a-piece for the sake of getting the new credit.

But then, after a surprisingly non-concussive ride on Carowinds' Vortex, I started to build up a little bit of hope. Could there be hope for my long-lost stand-up coaster affinity after all? Could Georgia Scorcher--the stand-up everyone claims to be B&M's best offering--actually be good?

The answer was a definitive YES. Not only was this my favorite stand-up coaster by leaps and bounds, but I would go as far as to say it's one of my favorite coasters, period. Before we even boarded the train, I was gauging the reactions of returning riders, and rather than the familiar "meh" reactions to the age-old "How was your ride???" question, there was actually some enthusiasm being shown. Promising. Personally, I knew the ride was going to be great after experiencing the turn-around following the vertical loop. It was just so smooth and natural. The rest of the ride followed suit. There is just something so fun about going through all those tight, twisting hops and transitions while standing up. I'd go as far as to say that Georgia Scorcher was the first stand-up coaster to truly make me see why standing up on a coaster isn't just a gimmick, but actually a totally unique and unforgettable experience. Brilliant coaster from start to finish, and a totally unexpected highlight of the trip.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x front seat
Rating: 9.5/10

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The station was really cool, in my opinion. I loved the way you could really see inside of it even from the main path, as the boarding platform was actually lower than the queue entrance, and the front of the actual building was pretty open.

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Honestly, the only downside to this ride was that it looked like the last time it was painted was when Georgia was part of the Confederacy. Seriously, the supports appeared to be melting.

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I'd take two awesome inversions over Riddler's seven ho-hum inversions any day.

Dare Devil Dive

I knew very little about this coaster before visiting SFoG (couldn't even tell you if I had seen a POV), so was expecting very little. I was neither disappointed nor pleasantly surprised. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to name a more forgettable coaster on the trip. When trying to do an updated coaster count, I forgot all about it! We did it early in the day in anticipation of capacity limitations leading to long lines, which was smart, because even with a station-only wait, the line still took over twenty minutes. Also, I have no clue what's up with the restraints on this thing. I'm a thin guy, and I had this 90 pound girl hopping up and down trying to get my restraint to go down further so the train could be sent. It was so bizarre.

I don't really know to what I can compare this ride. It was way different than Mystery Mine (which we would ride two days later) and also not quite like Fahrenheit at Hershey. The lift and drop were a lot of fun, but the rest of the layout was just kind of smooth and drawn out. Not having a train, but rather individual vehicles, really hurt this one, in my opinion. You never really got any of the surprising airtime or acceleration or positive Gs that a longer train can provide. Certainly not a bad ride by any stretch. Just good.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x back row
Rating: 6/10

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Steep, intense drop, but not a whole lot else that really stuck out to me.

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The ride vehicles were spares from Hersheypark's Starship America, apparently.

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Nicely placed entrance, that's for sure.

Goliath

My dream of a front seat night ride on this was the biggest casualty of the afternoon thunderstorm. Thankfully we hit it early in the day, just in case, albeit in the back seat. As far as B&M hypers go, it's one of the best (and I've actually ridden all of the North American ones except for Mako and Raging Bull). That downward helix alone is something special, and the return run through the trees and over the paths was the kind of thing that reminds me how much I love coasters that aren't confined to an enclosed footprint, but bounce around a park. It might be a weird comparison, but to me, this felt like the Great Bear of hyper coasters, in that it travels all over the midway, and you have to do some searching to find the entrance. Airtime was pretty good, but not too crazy. I would have loved to try the front row; I suspect it would have offered an even better ride. Is it better than Diamondback or Behemoth (my two favorite B&M hypers)? No, I don't think so. But it's totally different. And for what it is, it's pretty great.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x back row
Rating: 8/10

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Such an incredible return run. And this is still quite a walk from the station.

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This area of the park kind of reminded me of the Boardwalk area at SFGadv.

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The station is really cool looking, but man do I wish they had come up with a more unique name than "Goliath." For my money, the only "Goliath" that offers the ancient/middle eastern theme that the name implies is SFMM's.

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Over the top.

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Now this is the kind of "parking lot" coaster I can get behind.

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Adios, friendos.

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Sweet, sweet airtime.

Mindbender

So, every once and a while I get to ride a coaster that, for one reason or another, I've been looking forward to riding essentially my whole life. Mindbender is one of those coasters. Perhaps its those Schwarzkopf loops? Or maybe the dramatic elevation changes? I'm not sure. All I know is that I've watched POV's of this on YouTube so often that by the time I was actually in the front seat riding it, the whole experience was nothing short of surreal. What can I say other than that I loved it. Just a beautifully designed roller coaster, and totally worthy of the ACE recognition it has received. My only regret was that we decided to go for the front seat, which was all well and good until I sat down and realized that I couldn't fit unless I literally stuffed my knees into the padding in front of me. It made for quite the adventure when it came time to get off the ride, as I had to un-wedge my lanky frame from the dinky Schwarzkopf coaster car to the entertainment of everyone waiting behind us in line.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x front seat
Rating: 7.5/10

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I'm finally here!

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It gets the Ace stamp of approval.

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Have yet to ride Shockwave at SFoT, but if it's half as good as this, then we're in business.

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This is a man's loop. None of that silly "tear drop" stuff.

Blue Hawk

Let me start by saying that I love the idea of turning an old, crappy ride that kills people into a new, fun ride that brings people joy. I have no idea what Ninja was like, but by all accounts, it sucked. Blue Hawk absolutely did not suck, so hey, sounds like a winner to me. When we got off the train, the guy behind us enthusiastically told his daughter: "That was way better than Ninja." Well done, SFoG.

I thought the first drop was a freaking blast, the way it comes to practically a dead halt at the precipice before you sweep towards the lake. That first Goudurix-style element was a little bit harsh, but the rest of the ride rode like a dream as far as I'm concerned. After riding Flying Cobras the previous day and feeling like they let the new Vekoma trains go to waste, this thing was so satisfying. From what I understand, Vekoma is really turning over a leaf and becoming less of a punch-line these days. I'd totally believe it based on this ride. We were absolutely planning on coming back for re-rides if not for the rain. Considering I don't think anyone in the history of mankind has ever willingly done re-rides on Ninja, this should tell you something about how effective this renovation was.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x front row
Rating: 6.5/10

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Bet you've never seen this angle before!

Great American Scream Machine

The park map made it sound like Scream Machine was running in reverse, but that wasn't the case. Didn't really have any expectations for this one, and I ended up finding it to be really fun. A little jack-hammery at the bottom of some of the hills, but it's fast and shaky and has a true wood coaster feel. Never in a million years am I going to complain about all the RMC conversions being done to old wooden coasters, but I do lament the fact that to some extent, the population of true, rickety old wooden rides is diminishing.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: 1 x back row
Rating: 6/10

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Another ground-level station. Doesn't SFoG know where the shift key is?

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When I think "roller coaster," it's something like this that comes to mind.

Superman: Ultimate Flight

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a somewhat disappointing roller coaster! Cynicism aside, this ride has a lot going for it. For one, you're not staring at parking spaces while you're "flying." That's always a plus. And there's a tunnel, too, which not-so-surprisingly doesn't add much to the ride when you're staring at the ground.

I guess I'm not inherently a flying coaster fan. Something about hanging on a vest with the weight of my entire body just isn't all that appealing to me. I'm willing to make it happen for interesting rides like Tatsu, but the S:UF clones just aren't that inspired layout-wise. I would ride Nighthawk in a second over this. Firehawk or Batwing? Maybe not. But hey, that pretzel loop is still one of the single most intense elements on any type of coaster. The guttural noises that come out of my mouth during those five seconds would have Linda Blair telling me to chill out.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: Row 6
Rating: 5.5/10

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Superman: Ultimate Mediocrity

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What a difference a non-parking lot makes.

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"GRAAAAGGGHHHHHHLLLHHH"--artistic interpretation of the noises I make on this ride

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No sign of my boy Mr. Myxzptlk, my favorite cut-out from Great Adventure, so enjoy another shot of the pretzel loop.

Joker's Fun House Coaster

I know this technically isn't a kiddy coaster, but boy did I feel like I was stooping pretty low in order to ride it (both literally and existentially). You know there's a problem when you physically cannot fit another person in the seat with you. One might even surmise in such a case that the present ride is, in fact, meant for children, and not 6'5" adults with no children. But who's keeping score?

You know, it wasn't half bad. It's a Morgan so I knew it would be smooth. It's also one of the most random coasters I've ever seen. It's like SFoG stole some extra track pieces off the Morgan plant and just kind of connected them above some buildings for decorative purposes and then at the last second figured out they could attach a kiddy coaster train and it would actually work. I think I even remember noting that there was a surprise pop of air somewhere along the circuit, and that whole bit inside the building totally caught me off guard because, believe it or not, I didn't even know this ride existed until a few days before visiting.

Times Ridden: 1
Seats: Somewhere in the back
Rating: 4/10

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No free space? No problem. Why build a coaster on the ground when you can build it on a roof?

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I forgot to mention, the ride ends going up a pseudo lift-hill. And oh yeah, you enter the queue next to, like, the claw machine or something inside an arcade. Seriously, you're not really sure if you're queuing for a ride or taking a long route to the bathroom.

Dahlonega Mine Train

I couldn't tell you one thing about this other than that it was a mine train and it had a lot of lift hills. Also, it went through a tunnel at the end, which was fun. When the rain started to let up at the end of the evening, this was the only coaster we saw operating. Instead of riding, we decided to just sit in a bar and watch World Cup highlights. That basically sums up the kind of ride it was. In all seriousness, though, I remember thinking that it was fun for what it was. Nothing negative to say at all. Glad I rode it once...

Times Ridden 1
Seats: Row 2
Rating: 4/10

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This was apparently the only shot I got of this ride. Whatever. You know what lift hills look like. Just imagine, like, six of them and you've got a vivid mental picture of Dahlonega Mine Train.

Acrophobia

I remember watching some Discovery Channel special years ago in which this ride was featured prominently, but upon seeing it from the highway before arriving at the park, I couldn't remember what made it so interesting. I remembered that there was something special about it, but I didn't know what it was. When we got through the queue I was like: oh yeah, you kind of stand up! Then we got to the top and I was like: oh yeah, you kind of tilt forward! Actually, I thought it was totally awesome. I haven't ridden the one down in BGT yet, but I would posit that this is at least in the same genus of drop tower. As you can imagine, this one is a little unfriendly towards men, but as a prospective Catholic priest I can't have kids anyway, so...there's that.

Anyway, a top notch drop tower. One of my favorites, if not my favorite.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 8.5/10

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If I were ever to work at a big boy amusement park (I worked at a family fun center when I was younger, but that doesn't really count), the job I would most want is the guy who says stupid stuff into the microphone on the drop tower. Please, try to tell me there's a better theme-park-related job than that. You could hear this dude from the parking lot singing "Ring around the Rosie." On our ride, he said something along the lines of "If you can name five colors that don't use the letter 'e,' then I'll let you down slow." We dropped as I was in the midst of screaming "bluuuuuuueeeeeeeeeee," which is good because blue totally uses the letter 'e' and nobody could hear how much of an idiot I was because they were too busy swearing loudly.

Monster Mansion

What on earth even is this ride? I went on it because everyone always says "DONT YOU DARE GO TO SFoG WITHOUT RIDING MONSTER MANSION YOU HEATHEN!" And I've got to say, it was...totally awesome! Like a weird cousin to Splash Mountain, except instead of a splash or a mountain, there's a bunch of monsters and a part where you "get your photo taken" but then never actually get to see it. So where does it even go? Do they craft new monsters based off of the photo-captured faces of park guests? Do they kidnap park guests and turn them into monsters? Are we all just monsters of our own nature, fighting to free ourselves from the mansions of oppression? These are the questions that must be asked, and I, for one, am glad that Monster Mansion allowed me to ask them.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: Can you even?

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It looks innocent enough...

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The sign only offers a preview of the impending psychosis.

SkyScreamer

I really do love these rides, but I found that this one ran a really short and disappointing program in comparison to SFA's Lasso of Truth. Love how that one goes halfway back down the tower, and then ascends again at warp speed. This one just came down to earth without much fanfare. Gee whizz, never thought I'd be using SFA as a positive standard.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 5.5/10

Log Jamboree

First off, it was about 95 degrees out and the flume only had a ten minute wait. A Golden Ticket award is in order for that feat alone. The ride itself was wayyy faster than any log flume I can remember riding (and like rapids rides, I won't pass one up), which was neat. Also, the channel seemed awkwardly wide in comparison to the width of the boat, so the logs do this weird rotation from about 10:00 to 2:00 the entire way through the course, which managed to invite all sorts of butt-soaking tidal waves into the boat. Not much of a drop, though, but I'll give it two thumbs up just for the speed.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 6/10

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Let's be honest, I've probably bounced about that high on a backyard trampoline, but this ride was still a blast.

Thunder River

Not since the halcyon days of Hersheypark's Canyon River Rapids have I been so egregiously soaked by a rapids ride. And I don't even know how. There were like four or five places throughout the ride where you could get wet, and every single one of them got me absolutely drenched. I have to be honest, though: at least I got my money's worth. Is there anything worse than standing in line for a rapids ride for two-and-a-half hours just to have a rogue wave soak your shoes and your crotch? That's like the antithesis of refreshment.

This was also one of the few times where I didn't say much of anything to my boat-mates. There was no fooling around on this ride whatsoever. It was like some sort of water-based Battle Royale, with everyone trying and failing to avoid imminent discomfort for the rest of the day. And it was awesome.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 9/10

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See all those non-manned water cannons? They weren't quite as un-manned when I rode.

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You can't really tell by my gray shirt, but this is not an acceptable level of wetness.

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

On the verge of the oncoming downpour, we made a mad dash to JL:BfM so we could have a productive place to wait out the heavier rain. And my plan totally worked. Oh how I laughed at the schmucks hiding under concession stand awnings and games pavilions while I was dry and waiting in line for a supposedly excellent attraction. Others must have had the same idea, because the line filled up immediately. But just as we were about to move into the final queue section before the loading bay, we get the announcement that the ride is down because of inclement weather, which is odd because I must have missed the part where the ride went outside. In all seriousness, I get it. Lightning is unsafe, yada yada yada, but it would be so nice to have a ride that's running even while everything else is in shut-down mode. Not sure if that's even possible, but it would have been awesome.

Anyway, we popped a squat and waited out the storm with approx. fifteen thousand other guests squished into the indoor queue. And just as Cyborg was about to talk about some Joker-repelling, army grade suit of armor ultimate super suit for the fifteenth time, I could feel the walls closing in on me slowly, yet inevitably. Some guy tried to open the emergency door for ventilation but he got a swift word from a security guy who happened to be outside. So, we got out of that mess and went to one of the bars.

Thankfully, we did come back to try this ride later, as it was just about the only thing running. It was really quite good. I can't compare it to anything at the bigger "theme" parks like Universal or Disney, as I've never been to either, but it was more than I was expecting for a regional Six Flags park. And for paying absolutely no attention to the "mission" of the ride, I found it to be pretty intuitive. Shoot everything that moves. Stuff you aren't supposed to shoot won't count against you. Wouldn't recommend that strategy in the real world, though.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 7/10

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Some of Michelangelo's classics.

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I think the plot-line had something to do with defeating Lex Luthor. I don't know. He certainly showed up on the screen a lot.

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This is what unbridled concentration looks like. Also, I like to think that the sign above the monitors does not say "SHARE," but rather, "SHAME."

Sky Buckets

Utterly horrifying.

Times Ridden: 1
Rating: 6/10

Final Thoughts

Well, that pretty much wraps up this part of the Trip Report. Overall, I was super impressed with Six Flags over Georgia, and was heartbroken that we couldn't stay later to get some night rides. But hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I had high expectations for this park, and they were absolutely exceeded. The coasters were great, the supporting cast of rides was solid, and the overall feel of the park was really fantastic. I would have walked around even more if I could, just taking in the topography and the trees and the ambiance, but I couldn't because Thunder River made my shoes wet, and my feet were being blistered into oblivion.

I don't know what this park has planned for the future, but I would say they are perhaps one marquis coaster and a Zamperla Giant Discovery away from being a contender for top SF park. Even as it stands, it's at the top of my list.

Now let me leave you all with this, as there is no other place for it, and it would just be wrong to leave it out. Behold, the prizes offered in the SFoG claw machines...

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Too soon.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Tune in next time for part three: Dollywood.

Did the donkey fairy give me this title?
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Location: Central Oregon
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Re: (Photo TR) zburns999's Southern Road Trip

Postby pfalcioni » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:42 pm

What a great TR! I loved all the RCT references, and some of your descriptions had me laughing out loud, which wasn't a good thing since I was reading in bed and woke not only my husband but the cat who is now revenge-kneading me in the back.

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