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  1. Came back from my Carowinds/Charlotte visit a few weeks ago. My schedule's been a nightmare lately, so I haven't had much time to get around to picking out any of half-decent photos I took and editing and cropping them. Really, REALLY enjoyed my time down there. I was glad I stayed the better part of a week, which gave me the opportunity to check out more than just the park. There's so much cool stuff to do in the greater Charlotte area. I'm certainly no Invertalon, but I thought I'd share a few highlights with you folks, anyway: The Clarion Inn across the way is a so-so hotel overall, but decent for the price, plus it's hard to beat THIS view. The Piedmont Prairie Trail nearby is a great place to go birding (one of my many hobbies), and check out cool birds like this eastern phoebe... ...or this ruby-throated hummingbird... ...or this common yellowthroat. Okay okay, enough birds. Sun's out, tongues out! One of my favorites from the trip. One dude in front with his hands open (but eyes tight shut), and another dude elbowing the hell out of the girl next to him. Amazing. Entrance sign. I wish they'd take a cue from Kings Dominion and use their original park logo (even though it kinda sucks), since using the Cedar Fair font for all of the parks seems a bit, I don't know, tacky? Afterburn! There, um... aren't a lot of great places to get shots of Afterburn, I think. The south gate was closed, so I couldn't go down there without ostensibly attracting the attention of security. Lastly, shark train = best train. Panning shot! God, I love this element. BLURRRRRRRRRR Piplup and pikachu party! Staring contest with the hornet. He always wins. Jerk. Late day airtime. Trim brakes or not, those last three hills are MONEY. Always love taking long-exposures of WindSeeker and seeing what sort of colors show up. Red and blue ain't your thing? No problem, here's some green for ya. Fury. So, so pretty at night. Wish I took this with a little less clutter (read: people) around, but I still dig it. Okay, last shot, I promise. I thought Electro Spin was pretty rad; somewhat reminiscent of Chaos. Also a fun ride to take long-exposure shots of.
  2. Wait... so maybe I missed it somewhere, but wallets are kosher? I was under the impression it was everything.
  3. From my experiences a few years back, I would honestly say that for those three - especially if you're anything like me - you will hate them no matter where you sit. Grab the coaster credits, then go ride something that's actually fun instead. Oh yeah, and while Fury is amazing fun in both the front and back (that feeling of getting yanked over that first drop is UNREAL), I notice you also forgot to mention Afterburn, which I also like as a backseat ride. You'll know why when you get whipped like a muhvugga through that batwing. Man... Afterburn's a damn good invert, save for the anti-rollback being deafening (not sure if that's still the case or not) and the lame-ass "clear for takeoff" dispatch where the guy doing the voice-over was either (A.) on Prozac, or (B.) a recent victim of cranial drill intrusion.
  4. I'll be visiting Carowinds for the majority of next week. Couple questions for those of you in the know: 1. I've only visited in April and September and both times seemed a bit on the slow side, though September was certainly a bit busier. I suppose this is kind of a dumb question, but I assume July will be noticeably more crowded, even during weekdays, yes? 2. I'm hoping to do most of my eating outside the park as I hated most of the food there. Even Harmony Hall was pretty disappointing. I'm big on Luigi's Pizza a few miles to the north, but are there any other must-visit places nearby? I'll also be looking for breakfast one morning, so a good place to grab some grub first thing would be a huge bonus, too. Thanks, you guys. Hoping to share some pics when I get back, too, as the DSLR is also making the trip.
  5. Cool pics, Larry! Also, I forgot how shameless Six Flags is with the product placement. Ugh...
  6. My nuts thank dorneys maintenance team for that Late to the party here, but seconded/thirded/whatever. Good riddance.
  7. Not sure if you're into wildlife at all, but Sheldon Marsh and Pipe Creek are really cool places to walk around. Haven't checked out the nearby Resthaven, though I've heard some good things about it. As a birding hobbyist, I wish I had the opportunity to check them out when I go up to visit tomorrow and Friday (lots of migrating birds moving their way through), but I doubt I'll get the opportunity. In any case, whatever you decide to do, have fun, dude!
  8. I dig it when Cam 1 gives Raptor some love. Feel like that doesn't happen often enough. Also, Cam 3 right now, oh man... RIP, my work day.
  9. I wore sunglasses through the queue of Twisted Timbers and when I reached the station, I was just instructed to put them away, which I did. Say what you will about cargo shorts, they are a must when I visit the parks. Yeah, they don't look good, but that's because I'M wearing them. Putting me in any type or brand of clothes automatically sullies their reputation. Also, I305 is a great ride (DEFINITELY a motherfucker, intensity-wise) but I've always preferred Millennium Force for its legacy, commanding presence, and beauty, and Fury 325 for its fast, smooth, free, intense-but-not-wanting-to-kill-you ride experience. Don't know why I suddenly felt the need to drag the other domestic gigas into the conversation, but there you have it.
  10. Seems like I'm in the same boat as many of you. As a first time RMC rider, I was really surprised by all these really weird, wacky elements. I spent most of the ride thinking to myself, "Hey, this is different, but hey, this is FUN!!!" It was so unlike anything else I've ever ridden. With some of the ejector and hanging elements, I half expected to be clutching my legs in pain like I do when I get off Skyrush, but I was never really in any pain or discomfort, save perhaps for the leg restraints (I'm 6'0", and have freakishly long legs). My second RMC will be Steel Vengeance on May 24/25, and I'm REALLY excited to see what a hyper version of Twisted Timbers will be like. That sucks you had to deal with this. I'm not sure when the expectations of park food and service to be average AT BEST happened. Maybe try out our formula we always use? We eat breakfast before going to the park, which is pretty early. We pack a cooler for lunch and eat in our AC'd car around 12. We leave the park for dinner around 430 and pick a place with cold beer and decent food within 10-15 minutes from the park. After that we return to the park and have a few beers throughout the evening. Although lately we have revised out plan a little which gives us even more park time. It takes us about 5+ hours to get to several parks from where we live. We eat breakfast at the butt crack of dawn before leaving (0430), have a driving/eat in the car brunch about 30 minutes prior to getting to the park, and leave before 4 for early dinner. I like this plan the best, because it gives us a ton of time left when we get back to the park. Really, eating dinner outside of the park is not inconvenient like people think it is. As a matter of fact, in most cases I don't think it's any less convenient that eating within the park when it's crowded. Our preference is to choose a sit down place to relax and take a break from the park, but even close fast food places have typically much better offerings than the park can provide. If you choose close fast food options you can be back in under an hour, which isn't much more than the time it takes at the park for you to wait in line, order, find a table in a crowded dining area, and eat disappointing park food. We have our staple go-to restaurants when we're out of town on a trip. The only park we eat at is BGW, which is just above acceptable. Even when we go to SFSTL, which is our local park, we only go for the back half of the day and eat at one of our well liked sit down places on the way. Lately that has been O'Fallon Brewery for a burger and a beer. After getting to the park around 5 or 6 we'll typically drink a couple beers and we're done eating for the day. If you choose to stay the course I hope you have better luck. At least it seems like park food is getting better than it was when I was a teenager. Stale nacho chips and powdered cheese was about the norm or soft pretzels, if you were lucky enough to find the perfect timing in between "not yet cooked" or dry as a bone. If you were feeling really dangerous you'd grab a dry piece of pizza, chicken strips that make McNuggets look high quality, a dried up hot dog where you can expect to bite into cartilage and bone, or a hamburger made of god knows what. Granted, my usual experience was at a SF park, which I thought was the only game in town. Thanks, Zach. Yeah, sounds like a pretty good plan to me. Whether or not the food's gotten better over the years is subject to debate, given how awful my brisket was, especially for the price. Like I said, I might roll the dice on a burrito or pizza (though both will be obscenely overpriced, and I'm not exactly thrilled to be handing money over to the park for these kinds of shitty business practices) next time I visit, but there's a TON of places to eat down in Ashland that are good and much more reasonably priced. I'm willing to spend the time leaving the park to take my dining business elsewhere and stick it to the park. Cedar Fair, this is what you make me do now. P.S. - Busch Gardens is one park I willingly make an exception for because the quality is so good that you don't feel like the park's totally bending you over.
  11. Huh... so the pizza's that good, eh? Would this be near the front of the park or the big parlor by the drop tower? Oh, one other thing I noticed: no southern rock being played around I305 and no fire/eruption sounds at Volcano. Too early in the season maybe?
  12. No, never cared much for the name, and while I think the sign's pretty cool, it's very reminiscent of The Beast. That being said, I expect the ride itself to be nothing short of phenomenal, given how much I dug the significantly smaller Twisted Timbers. Super excited to give this one a go next month.
  13. Yeah, I went Saturday as well. Twisted Timbers was down for several large chunks of the day, it seemed like. I was also one of the first in line and was there when some woman passed out in line and laid on the ground for a good 15 minutes with her eyes twitching. Scary stuff, but I digress. TT was my first RMC, and I have to say... damn. That ride is good. Really, REALLY good. Glass smooth, great airtime, lots of fun and unique elements, and it kept up the frantic pace all the way to the brake run. Think it might be my new favorite in the park. Since the park's app wasn't working properly and because the coaster itself is, for the most part, shrouded by trees and other rides, it doesn't attract enormous crowds when it reopens, so I managed to squeeze four rides in the day. Also yeah, during the latter half of the day, rows 2, 3, and 4 were closed off on one of the trains. Not sure what the deal was there. As far as food goes, the Mac Bowl was pretty solid (bacon, popcorn chicken, and buffalo sauce FTW) though I agree with one of the earlier posters that more of the base cheese would be a huge improvement. I was pretty disappointed with the park's other offerings, though. The only place I could find a milkshake was at the Juke Box Diner, and I later spent an age waiting for a lukewarm brisket sandwich meal that hardly had any brisket on it at all. That, plus a bottle of water came out to nearly $20, even with the Platinum Pass discount. I was borderline FURIOUS. I know that kind of pricing coupled with mediocre food isn't limited to Cedar Fair, but they seem to epitomize the whole "we've essentially got you trapped here, so you have no choice but to pay our obscene prices" approach towards their guests. I'm sure I'll be visiting the park a few more times before the year's up, but I seriously doubt their concessions will see much more money from me. Maybe the burrito place or the Chick-Fil-A, though the latter is typically insanely crowded. Time to pack the cooler and also make trips to the Popeye's and Fuddruckers in Ashland, methinks.
  14. Thanks again, everybody. The reason I asked was because I think I ate at Sharky's once and paid nearly $20 for the most pathetic chicken "strips" meal I ever ate in my life. When I last visited, I think I even left the park several times to go eat at a nearby truck stop and Fuddrucker's because the park food was that damn bad. Once I grab my platinum pass this year, I'm hoping to see if they, along with Cedar Point and others have stepped up their game in the food department, because places like Busch Gardens were blowing them out of the water.
  15. Hey, good to know there are other Dominator fans out there! I think it might actually be my favorite ride there, and that's especially impressive in a park that contains I305 and Volcano. Hard for me to believe some folks have been saying it's rough. When I last rode it a couple years back, I couldn't say enough good things about it; velvet smooth, the huge loop, the overbanked turns, the pops of airtime on the second half of the ride, the fact that the corkscrews and cobra roll don't send my head banging like a superball between the OTSR's, and I also really dug the low, high-speed banked turn after the loop. Made me wish more B&M loopers had them. Holy hell, dude. Are you... human!? That's legit impressive and has gotta be some kind of record. I've only managed 9 spins on I305 in one day (might have to try and break that if/when I make it down there this coming Saturday), and my record for any coaster is 14 on Fury 325. I sincerely hope your planning to donate your body to science after you die... assuming you actually CAN die at all. Wow... Oh, one other question for you KD frequenters, whenever I visit, I seem to have a knack for picking the worst places to eat, apparently, as I don't recall ever having a good dining experience there. What are the best places to grab grub at the park?
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